The market is so hot for concrete tilt-up buildings and warehouses in Lathrop right now that companies are building them completely on spec with hopes of securing any one of a number of tenants looking to capitalize on the city’s location.
And in order to serve that growing need, the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District is beefing up its inventory with a new 107-foot ladder truck that will allow them to access any of the massive buildings that are either planned or currently under construction within the city limits.
Last week Lathrop-Manteca Fire Chief Gene Neely and Battalion Chief Larry Madoski flew back to Appleton, Wisconsin – the home of Pierce Fire Engines – to ensure that the new $750,000 truck is up to the exact specifications that they laid when placing the order.
According to Madoski, the truck is expected to be delivered by the beginning of June and should be in service around July 1 – enough time for 30 days of training with the new rig to give firefighters and engineers the experience they need with the new equipment before it’s put into service.
In addition to the roughly $750,000 price tag, the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District board just approved the expenditure of around $250,000 to outfit the new rig with everything needed to serve the community – Hurst tools, airbags, blocks, flashlights, hoses and all of the other elements that aren’t included from the factory.
Now that the vehicle has been inspected, it will be driven from Wisconsin to Lathrop by a company that specializes in transporting emergency vehicles – saving the district the liability of driving it more than 2,000 miles back home.
And it’s not a standard ladder truck. Per the district’s specifications, in addition to having a ladder that will extend beyond 100-feet, the truck is also a single-axle, which will cut down on the amount of wear and tear on tires and maintenance on the suspension that would have to be performed regularly given the demands of its use.
Having a truck capable of reaching the roof heights of some of the new buildings going up – and getting water onto those roofs – is something Madoski said is beyond important.
“Having that access is critical and this is going to give us the ability to do just that,” he said. “This will give us options at attacking the fire that we don’t currently have, and the range will allow us to be outside of the collapse zone which will make things safer for the firefighters that we would be sending in.
“It’s a piece of apparatus that we’ve needed, and it’s something that we’re excited about having in service.”
The full cost of the unit is being picked up by fire facility fees paid for by new commercial and light industrial development.
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