Photo via facebook/Palo Alto Fire Department

Photo via facebook/Palo Alto Fire Department

By using cooperative purchasing for a new fire truck, the Palo Alto Fire Department estimates it has saved 350 to 400 hours of labor and reduced the purchasing process by nearly a year. The city formally takes delivery of the $1.2 million Pierce tractor drawn aerial ladder truck ("tiller") today.

The addition of the Pierce model truck also provides standardization among the fire department’s current fleet, which includes six Pierce engines. This allows fleet technicians to stock a supply of regularly needed parts to repair and maintain each apparatus, use the same diagnostic software for the entire fire fleet, and utilize their training on the Pierce fire apparatuses, according to the city.

The truck replaces a 1998 Spartan Hi-Tech Quint Aerial Ladder Truck that exceeds the city’s aerial ladder fire apparatus replacement policy of 15 years and/or 50,000 miles. The previous truck was purchased in 1997.

The new Pierce model truck offers significantly more storage for vehicle extrication, technical rescue operations, and water evacuation equipment; an increase in ladder reach from 75 feet to 100 feet; and better maneuverability through the narrow and dense streets and neighborhoods. The new ladder truck is also the only apparatus in the fleet capable of accommodating an additional person and up to 25% more equipment, according to a city release.