Most Viewed Stories
YPG firefighters train on new ladder truck
- Click here to see more shots of the new firetruck
Firefighters with the Yuma Proving Ground Fire Department spent the day Thursday training on a new 100-foot aerial ladder truck so they will be ready to use it — if and when they ever have to.
Fire Chief Don Kist said the new ladder truck has all the latest state-of-the-art features, as well as platform/bucket at the end of the ladder, unlike the old truck.
“The firefighters are all well-trained on the old truck. The new truck has new operating features and safety features to be aware of. It is quite a bit different to operate the new one from the old one, so that is basically what they are accomplishing here today. So after today they will be fully qualified to operate it.”
The new ladder truck, which cost $800,000, replaces a ladder truck the YPG fire department used for the past 20 years.
“It was a great truck when we got it,” Kist said. “But all trucks have a retirement age to them, and this one has reached it.”
Kist explained that the old ladder truck had actually been out of service the past couple of years. He added that he expects the new ladder truck, which is manufactured by Pierce, to last 10 to 15 years, if not longer.
Standing near the shiny new behemoth, Kist spoke about some of the difference between it and the old ladder truck, mainly the platform/bucket at the top of the ladder. He said the ladder extends 100 feet in the air and the bucket has an adjustable nozzle on it that can direct water on to a fire in a spray or fog, depending on what the situation calls for.
As part of their training, the firefighters practiced stabilizing the truck and extending and maneuvering the ladder, which can be rotated and lowered to almost ground level for easy access.
Kist said firefighters on every shift will need to complete 10 hours of training on the truck to become certified. The training, he said, consisted of a classroom setting followed by time spent on the truck.
“We get to play around with the controls,” said firefighter/EMT Tyler Hudson. “It is a little different, so having the training is going to help refresh us and make us better operators. It is a great truck and we are happy to have it.”
With a five-story hotel coming to YPG in the near future, Kist said the new ladder truck is useful for many types of fires, not just for ones in towering structures. Having the new ladder truck will also benefit the surrounding area, Kist said, because the YPG fire department also responds to off-base emergency calls.
Other key safety features Kist spoke about were the ladder truck's side- and rear-view cameras that allow the driver to see in the truck's blindspots when it makes a turn. “You have the ability to see what is on the right side of the truck, the left side of the truck, and the rear of the truck by toggling the cameras.”
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854.