City of Watertown Fire Department is hurting for ladder trucks

Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:34 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - “We need ladder trucks right now to be able to do our jobs, and the two that we need to use are both out of service,” said Matt Timerman, Chief of the City of Watertown Fire Department.

The City of Watertown Fire Department needs a new truck. More importantly, they need a new ladder truck.

“The one behind us here is having some mechanical troubles. Unfortunately, that’s happening at the exact same time that our reserve ladder truck has had some mechanical problems,” said Timerman.

The city currently has one truck in service. However, there is an issue with the hydraulics on the ladder, causing firefighters to be instructed not to climb it. A second ladder truck owned by the city is also out of action at the moment. Although it’s ladder may be working, the rear suspension and axles on truck two are not.

“There are times when only an aerial like this will do the job,” said Timerman.

A brand new truck is on its way, but is not scheduled to arrive until December of 2023. In the mean time, the Watertown Fire Department has relied on help from its neighbors when they need to battle a blaze atop a tall building.

‘If we have a structure fire that sounds like there could be any need for a ladder truck, we’ve been calling for mutual aid right off the bat,” said Timerman.

Watertown City Council is proposing a resolution to buy a used ladder truck from the City of Geneva for $40,000, saying public safety is a priority in the city. Council members are expected to agree to the purchase.