Longboat Key Fire Rescue hit the streets last week in a new fire apparatus.
The new addition to the department’s fleet is a ladder truck with a 75-foot ladder and 500-gallon water tank. The truck carries all emergency-medical services equipment with the exception of a stretcher.
A committee of five department personnel helped design the vehicle.
“It is unique to what we need,” said Longboat Key Fire Rescue Chief Paul Dezzi. “It’s not just a cookie-cutter vehicle.”
The $750,000 apparatus replaces a yellow ladder truck that was stationed at the South Fire Station and was costing the town several thousand dollars annually in maintenance, according to a memo from Dezzi to the Longboat Key Town Commission. The vehicle was funded through infrastructure surtax funds, i.e. the one-cent sales tax.
Typically, ladder trucks last approximately 15 years, according to Dezzi.
The apparatus is the same type of vehicle as the department’s second ladder truck, which allows personnel to switch between trucks or stations without going through additional training.
All department personnel have been trained on the operation of the truck and have completed a driving program.