Swissvale Fire Department rolled out its new Spartan ERV aerial ladder truck to the public at its Fire Prevention Week open house on Sunday.
Purchase of the $760,000 truck was made possible by a $722,000 federal grant and a required 5-percent contribution from the borough of $38,000.
The 103-foot aerial ladder truck—the fourth ladder truck in the fire department's history—is also a 1,500-gallon pumper truck.
"It's a much safer ladder," said fire Chief Clyde Wilhelm, pointing out there is a more stable platform and a 500-pound tipload instead of the 250-pound tipload of the four-decade-old Seagrave ladder truck it replaces.
The truck has a Class A foam system. When water is added to the foam mixture, it provides a better means of suppressing fire than water alone.
The new ladder truck can improve rescue capabilities for extricating fire victims from upper-story situations. The truck's ability to deliver water and flame suppressants from above will help limit damage.