Jamestown Fire Department takes delivery on ladder truck
Ladder 1 eased into the Jamestown fire station Tuesday afternoon and was promptly washed to a shine by the staff of the Jamestown Fire Department.
"Obviously, this is a good day for Jamestown," said Mayor Dwaine Heinrich. "I'm happy Fire Chief Reuther can sleep a little better at night."
The new ladder truck is a $1 million investment by the city of Jamestown in fire protection. The plan formulated by the city in April anticipated one-third of the money would come from the city's funds, one-third from public donations and one-third from the North Dakota Legislature.
"Fundraising is going very good in light of COVID-19," Heinrich said. "There are a large number of companies and individuals to thank. Our thanks are held up until we can hold a public event."
The North Dakota Legislature convenes in January and may consider the city's request at that time.
"The Legislature is coming up," Heinrich said. "I'm confident the Legislature will go along with our plan."
The Jamestown Fire Department had utilized a ladder truck owned by the state of North Dakota since the 1980s as part of an agreement where the city fire department provided fire protection at the North Dakota State Hospital. That agreement was terminated by the state when the truck suffered mechanical failures in July 2019.
Jim Reuther, Jamestown fire chief, said firefighters would get a chance to start learning how to use the truck late Tuesday when staff would get a chance to "fly it," which is firefighter lingo for raising the ladder to its full height. Full training on the unit is scheduled for Dec. 17 and 18.
"I know we're going to use it," Reuther said. "Since July 2019 we've been fortunate to never need one."
Reuther said the community should be proud of the part it has played in acquiring a new ladder truck.
"It is exciting for Jamestown," Reuther said. "I'll sleep a night or two knowing this is in the station."
Heinrich said the truck is one of those things a community needs but hopes it is never forced to use.
"It makes one proud of the community and region," he said. "This was not a want but a need."
Heinrich said it was a need within the community that will likely save a life at some point.
"At the end of its life in about 30 years," he said, "we will likely be able to identify at least one life this truck has saved."