The new $1 million ladder truck budgeted for the Maumelle Fire Department is still in the planning stages and hasn’t been ordered, Chief John Payne said on Tuesday.
Reports that the truck has already been ordered are incorrect.
A committee is still evaluating what equipment is needed on the truck that is planned to equip the new Fire Station No. 2 once it is built.
The final cost of the truck will depend upon the final design once the committee finishes its role, Payne said.
The truck will have a 100-foot ladder and be bigger than an 18-wheeler, Payne said.
Maumelle currently only has a few multi-story buildings, most notably the 7-story senior citizens home and a 3-story office building adjacent to Lake Valencia, but the committee, Payne said, is looking to the future as the truck is expected to be in service at least two decades.
Payne said the need for a ladder would only grow as the city grows both out and up.
Another consideration, Payne said, is that many of the city’s single-family homes are constructed in such a fashion that it is not safe to put a firefighter on the roof.
A ladder truck will also be used in mutual aid events in cities like North Little Rock whom he said often sends an engine company to Maumelle to be on standby when Maumelle’s resources are busy fighting another fire in town. They stand ready in case another fire or emergency arises.
The ladder truck is a significant investment, Payne said, and, "we need to carefully evaluate our need now and down the road."
Payne added that maintaining the city’s ISO rating of 3 was also important. ISO ratings are used by insurance companies to measure what fire departments can do in the case of an emergency and the highest ranking is a 1, which only Holley Mountain Airpark has achieved. North Little Rock and Little Rock both have ISO ratings of 2.