The Town of St. Paul is now the proud new owner of an aerial fire truck. According to Fire Chief Trevor Kotowich, the fire department was able to purchase a used 2001 Smeal 75 foot ladder fire truck from the City of Airdrie.
“I’m very happy to report that the truck was purchased for $37,750 plus GST so significantly cheaper than the one from Leduc that we missed out on. And I’ll be honest with you, this one, I think it’s going to be a better fit for us,” said Kotowich.
The truck was picked up from Airdrie on Tuesday, but it will be a few weeks before all of the equipment is moved over to it and the fire department can start training on it.
“But certainly the truck will be serving the community by for sure March, if not sooner,” said Kotowich.
Kotowich noted the purchase of the truck would not have been possible without council having previously approved the buy at the Sept. 14 council meeting.
“It is through a government auction site. And it was a back and forth thing right up until the last minute. So if we wouldn’t have been on it, and we didn’t have those funds available, we would have obviously still been looking,” said Kotowich.
In an interview after the meeting, Town of St. Paul Mayor Maureen Miller said the aerial truck is something the town has been working towards for quite some time.
“We’re quite excited to have it. And I mean, based on the fire that was just here recently, sometimes you’re in a position where you have a low building, but you need to get into it from a different angle. So it’s just one more measure to protect the community. And we’re very thankful to have it,” said Miller.
The recent fire she was referring to was a total loss of a building on Main St. which required the assistance of Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority and their ladder truck in order to extinguish.
With the acquisition of the new aerial fire truck, the fire department plans to sell the pumper truck, a 1987 Ford which was purchased from Bonnyville in 2012 and has been the second truck to respond since 2016.
“Since then is has been used almost exclusively as a training unit for our department,” said Kotowich. Any funds from the sale of the 1987 pumper truck would be put in to the Fire Department’s reserve fund.