The Winona Lake Town Board met Tuesday night and a big decision was up for discussion: the purchase of a new ladder truck for the Winona Lake Fire Department.
The ladder truck the department has now is a 1985 model and needs a new ladder, at the cost of about $100,000. A new truck with a ladder capable of reaching the roof of a 3-story building will cost nearly half a million dollars; a payment plan spread out over 5 years and a 25-year estimated life of the new truck added some appeal to the idea of a replacement.
A lot of thought goes into a decision like this, and safety matters perhaps even more than a big sticker price was the general concensus, said Winona Lake Fire Chief Mitch Tituts.
The Warsaw Fire Department has a ladder truck, but they also have about three times the number of fire calls in a year. If the ladder truck is already at a call, it can’t be in two places at once. It also is too large to maneuver around some of Winona Lake’s streets noted Titus. The next nearest ladder truck is in Syracuse.
The decision was made to table the issue to gather more information. An inventory of all WLFD trucks and equipment will be made, with estimates of condition and when replacement may be necessary to be noted. The inventory will be presented for discussion at the next board meeting at 7 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23.