ShareThis Page

Rillton Volunteer Fire Department sports new ladder truck

| Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 7:25 p.m.
Submitted
Members of the Rillton Volunteer Fire Department show off their new ladder truck procured in April 2013.

Rillton fire Chief Paul Rupnik Sr., was impressed that the 1999 Pierce Telesquirt fire truck the department purchased was like brand new—so much so, even the ladder rungs showed no wear.

The truck is the first of its kind to be owned by a Sewickley Township department and may make work safer for firefighters as well as lead to a better safety rating for the township.

The medic rescue engine has the capabilities to reach up to five stories with its ladder, and includes pumper and other aerial equipment.

“It'd cover just about anything we have in our area,” Rupnik said.

The fire department had planned to buy a truck of this kind ever since the fire department was rebuilt 15 years ago, he said.

It was purchased from the Santee Fire Department north of San Diego, a paid fire department that regularly replaces trucks no matter the condition, Rupnik said.

The trucks sell for about $300,000 to $400,000 new and the company was asking for $80,000, he said.

“They had it listed for 80 (thousand); we got them down to 65 (thousand),” Rupnik said. “We were very pleased.”

The department used allotted 2012 emergency services tax money to make a down payment, then took out a second mortgage on the fire hall and garage to pay the remainder, he said.

In addition, Rillton will make a request for a contribution from the 2014 emergency services tax money and possible seek some state grants, Rupnik said.

Assistant Chief Tim Luft said the truck will help keep firefighters safer, since the ladder can be positioned near roofs as an emergency exit for attic and chimney fires.

“It will go on every call,” he said. “Every fire that we go to, that's going to help us.”

The 32-foot long truck can pump water at 1,500 gallons per minute and also has a 30-gallon cell for foam, which is sometimes used to fight fires quicker than water, Rupnik said.

Firefighters and township officials were invited to a demonstration of the truck's capabilities on April 25.

Supervisor Alan Fossi said the township's ISO rating, which is a measurement of international standards, is assessed every two to three years and ranked from 1 to 10, depending on certain risk factors.

“We're very fortunate to have all the fire companies in the township do an excellent job,” said Fossi, who works as a commercial insurance producer with Rupp & Fiore Insurance Management based in Robinson.

Sewickley Township's rating stands at six now, and “we're hoping that having a ladder truck knocks us down one number to a five, but we don't have any control over that,” he said.

Fossi said after he spoke with two insurance companies, however, that premiums are impacted more when the rating drops to a four.But having the ladder truck in the township is a welcome resource, he said.

“That's another asset we have now,” Fossi said. “You never know when one of these things can change a life.”

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at sfederoff@tribweb.com or 724-836-6660.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.