AFD welcomes new aerial ladder truck

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – Alabaster’s Fire Department recently upgraded their equipment after receiving a new ladder truck capable of reaching heights of 100 feet.

Alabaster Fire Chief Tim Love said that the new Sutphen Aerial Tower 19 ladder truck will help increase the department’s ability to better take care of its citizens.

“This is a huge positive to our city, and we are so grateful that the city was looking ahead with this investment,” Love said. “This truck gives us the capability of meeting compliance on ISO, and allows us to reach the top of any building in the city.”

This truck carried a price tag of more than $1.3 million, which Love said would help protect the city for years to come.

“Previously, we had a 75-foot ladder that was extremely worn out and we were having to replace parts for it pretty frequently,” Love said. “We sold it off because the maintenance was killing us. This new truck is a huge investment in our city’s safety for the next 20 to 30 years.”

Aside from the safety aspect, the new truck also provides a sense of security for developers, businesses and homebuyers looking to set up in the city.

“We have had developers who are thinking about coming to Alabaster ask about our ladder truck capabilities in the past,” Love explained. “People are looking at all aspects of the functionality that our fire department has to meet any of their potential needs. We were looking at not only where our needs are now, but where our needs will be down the road as the city continues to grow.”

The truck was ordered back in 2019, and was customized by an internal committee consisting of AFD’s leadership.

“When we designed this, we were looking at functionality over your standard bells and whistles,” Love said. “We had our team design it with the equipment that we knew that we needed right here in the city. It is a big truck, but we designed it to easily fit on most roads in Alabaster. We did things like shortening the bumper and the cab on it.”

With the arrival of new equipment comes the needs of additional training and staffing to ensure that it is put to proper use. Love said that training was already underway to make sure that the team is capable of getting full functionality from the truck.

“We took delivery and started training this week. Next week we have a group from Georgia coming that specializes in aerial operations to give us some guidance,” Love said. “We have had additional staffing approved to make sure we have enough people. We plan to put this in service on June 5. It was so much of an improvement over what we had before. We are very proud and very fortunate to have such a great piece of equipment.”