North Hays County Fire Rescue new ladder truck arrives
After a patient wait, ESD #6 North Hays County Fire Rescue’s new ladder truck has arrived and it’s a game changer.
“We are excited to announce that our ladder truck has arrived,” NHCFR Fire Chief Scott Collard said. “This ladder truck is an integral part of matching our emergency response plan with the growth of our community. This unit features a 100 foot ladder and can pump up to 2000 gallons of water per minute.”
“As our population grew and buildings getting bigger, like with hotels and big box stores, we needed an apparatus to reach the top pretty quickly,” NHCFR Lieutenant Chas Humphrey said.
But the “Rescue” in North Hays County Fire Rescue also comes into play. “The ladder truck could also be used in a swift water rescue [as] the ladder extends 100 ft. from the truck,” Humphrey said. “Of course our personnel would still have to outfit themselves with swift water equipment, but hopefully we could use the ladder to reach a stranded person without having to go into the water ourselves. It’s one more tool in our toolbox. That’s also why we purchased a truck with a bucket—and the ladder truck also comes equipped with a full complement of BLS [Basic Life Support]. That includes first aid and oxygen.”
Funding the $750,000 truck came in part from a voter approved sales tax initiative for Emergency Service District (ESD) #6, which was approved by voters in 2017. It permitted firefighting related services to begin collecting ¼ of 1% sales tax on the unincorporated areas within the district of service in Northern Hays County. Purchase of the truck was a specific goal of the initiative.
The ladder truck is in the final process of being outfitted so that it can go into service. “We are also in the process of placing all of the hose, nozzles and other rescue equipment on it and plan to place it into full service in October,” Chief Collard said. Collard also mentioned that the truck was purchased “used” as a means of providing good stewardship to tax dollars. “We thought there was value in obtaining a good quality, late model, used truck, as opposed to purchasing a brand new truck,” Collard said.
This past week, 6 members of NHCFR finished a week-long training program to become certified by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection to drive and operate the large truck. Lt. Humphrey said that as the year moves on, additional training will be ongoing. “It won’t be unusual to see us practicing around town as we train our personnel.”
“The apparatus is a tremendous asset to our fleet of emergency vehicles,” Collard said.