Holley FD welcomes new ladder truck, other improvements

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 August 2019 at 11:07 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

HOLLEY – The Holley Fire Department welcomed a new ladder truck in June. The $800,000 truck with a 100-foot-long ladder is shown in the June 8 parade in Albion.

The truck replaces one from 1999 that had a 75-foot ladder. The old truck was sold for $75,000 to the Five Mile Point Fire Company near Binghamton.

The old truck was plagued with electrical and hydraulic problems in recent years, as well as rusted structural components.

Harris Reed, the Holley fire chief, shows some of the features on the truck, including compartments for saws and other equipment.

State Sen. Rob Ortt secured a $65,000 state grant for equipment on the truck, including hoses, nozzles, adapters for hoses, rescue ropes and air packs.

Harris Reed holds a combination spreader-cutter extrication tool that was donated to the Holley FD by Jeff Lyons, a dealer for Genesis Rescue Systems. Lyons gave the tool to Holley after the Barre Volunteer Fire Company upgraded with new Genesis tools. Barre’s old tools were a trade-in and Lyons gave them to Holley because they were well-matched to fit the new fire truck.

John Totter served as chairman of the Holley Joint Fire District and was critical in developing a financial plan to pay for the new fire truck. Totter passed away at age 57 on Feb. 13.

There is a plaque in the truck to recognize Totter’s work on the truck.

Harris Reed gives the truck a drive in the village on Thursday evening. The truck was manufactured by Rosenbauer in Minnesota.

“It rides like a Cadillac,” Reed said. “It doesn’t have the thump and bump like the old one. It’s a smooth ride.”

The truck also has a Knox Box next to the driver’s seat with a master key. That key can open Knox Boxes in the downtown and at apartment buildings. The keys to the buildings are in a Knox Box, which spares firefighters from breaking down a door if there is a fire or emergency at the building.

A firefighter needs to enter a code to have access to the key in the fire truck.

Reed said the Knox Box gives firefighters easier and faster access to a building, and also will save the doors for property owners.

It is a tight squeeze fitting the new fire truck in the fire hall. The doors are 12 feet high and the truck is 11 feet, 10 inches high. The manufacturer had to put smaller tires on the truck and build a smaller cab so it would fit in the fire hall.

The ladder on the new truck is Montreal Blue. “It looks sharp,” said Harris Reed, the fire chief.

The longer ladder gives the Fire Department more reach for structures on fire, and also provides more room away from a collapse zone.

The new fire truck has an iPad tablet mounted in front of the passenger’s seat. It gives a map to a scene, and can show an image of a house. Reed said all of Holley’s fire trucks have the iPads. The technology is especially helpful when Holley is called for mutual aid outside its fire district, where firefighters aren’t as familiar with the landscape.

The image of houses and fire hydrant locations also helps firefighters. Many houses do not have clear property numbers. Seeing the image takes away some of the guesswork when firefighters show up on a scene.

The Holley Fire Department will have an open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 8. Community members are welcome to check out the new truck and equipment, and also consider joining the department as members. Reed said the Holley Fire Department has about 50 members, with 20 to 25 who are active in responding to calls.

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