South Lake Tahoe Fire Department took delivery this week of its new, 100-foot platform truck.
The 2013 model Ferrara replaces a 1982 model 75-foot ladder truck that was taken out of service because of its unreliability, South Lake Tahoe Fire Chief Jeff Meston said.
The new fire truck probably will not go into service for a few more months.
With no ladder truck of its own, the city has been operating under a mutual-aid agreement with Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District, which does have a ladder truck.
“We still need to equip the truck, outfit the radios and go through extensive training,” Meston said.
“We have a specialist from Ferrara coming out and training all three shifts on the basics; the hydraulics, how the ladder works, how you flow water, permissible angles,” Meston said.
“Then we will go out to the airport, set up a drivers course for people to get comfortable with it and come up with a task book.”
South Lake Tahoe City Council authorized the $1,039,345.15 purchase in November. The truck was funded by California sales tax money devoted to public safety.
The custom-built Ferrara fire truck is all-wheel drive and can be operated in either two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive or six-wheel drive.
The size of the truck will require some changes at Fire Station No. 2 because the bay is too short to house it. For now, the fire truck will be stored in a city hangar at Lake Tahoe Airport.
“Public works is working through that process now and we hope to award a bid at the next (City Council) meeting,” Meston said.
Some people might question why the city needs such a truck with only one nine-story building, Meston said.
“It’s something you don’t use often, but when you need it, you need it,” he said.
“With responses to near Stateline with Tahoe Douglas and mutual-aid, this will augment their force and theirs will augment ours. It’s a nice combination of working with our neighbors to try to provide the best service we can.”