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L'Anse getting county's 1st aerial fire truck

L’ANSE — L’Anse Fire Department will have the first aerial fire truck in Baraga County.

The department signed a purchase agreement this week to buy a 2005 Pierce Dash truck for $350,000.

The department’s been looking for a new truck for the past three years, with an aerial as the priority, said Lt. Cory Frisk.

Aerial trucks have become more necessary as metal roofs become more common, Frisk said.

“In the winter time, you don’t want to climb on metal roofs with snow on them, because the snow will let loose and then fall,” he said. “It’s then beneficial for fighter safety and another point of attack on a fire.”

When L’Anse has needed an aerial truck, it’s had to call on Ishpeming or Houghton, as it did recently with the Holiday gas station fire.

“We were very fortunate that Houghton was willing to come down,” Frisk said. “They sent an engine as well to assist with that fire.”

Baraga County, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, L’Anse Township and the Village of L’Anse split the cost of the truck.

The department found the truck — most recently used by the Southard Fire Department of Howell Township, New Jersey — on an online dealer site, Frisk said. It has a 95-foot ladder, 2,000-gallon-per-minute pump and about 10,000 miles on it. L’Anse was able to buy it for below the $395,000 asking price.

“We were looking for something with low miles, low hours and good condition,” Frisk said. “It was hard to buy new for Baraga County, because it’s $1.8 million new. For us to burden the taxpayers with that, it probably wasn’t going to happen.”

The department anticipates getting the fire truck in May. Brisk was part of a group from the department, also including Assistant Fire Chief Craig Kent and Treasurer Dony Ison, that traveled to New Jersey to inspect the truck.

“It looks amazing, brand new,” he said. “It was like going to a Pierce’s showroom. All the trucks we were able to look at were nice and clean. You can tell they were very meticulous.”

The purchase is pending tests of the pump and aerial systems.

Once the truck arrives, the L’Anse department and its neighbors will train together with the new truck.

“It’s a lot to learn, and we’re going to spend the majority of the summer doing that,” he said.


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