The City of Sedalia and the Sedalia Fire Department are now the new owners of a Rosenbauer 101’ Cobra Aerial Platform Fire Engine after the city council approved a bid from Rosenbauer Minnesota, LLC for $835,755 for the purchase of the truck on Sept. 4.
The News-Journal had a chance to sit down and speak with Sedalia Fire Department Chief Mike Ditzfeld and Deputy Chief Greg Harrell about the new piece of equipment.
Ditzfeld was asked if the department was pleased with the council’s decision to purchase the equipment.
“The thing that gives me the most pleasure is the city administration, council and mayor have been pretty supportive in trying to add to our resources, and understanding the need to purchase this type of equipment in order to increase our ability to do our jobs,” Ditzfeld said.
Harrell added, “I think they are trying to do a very good job at spending the city’s money and being good stewards.”
Ditzfeld commended Harrell for his hard work and determination in getting the equipment designed and implemented.
“He worked the hardest on this,” Ditzfeld said of Harrell.
“Greg spent a countless number of hours over the last eight months. He has done a tremendous job,” Ditzfeld said.
Ditzfeld was asked when payment on the equipment is set to begin.
“We won’t pay anything until the City of Sedalia’s fiscal year 2014. The first payment will not be made until July or August of 2013,” he said.
Ditzfeld was asked what exactly an aerial platform is, and what it will be used for.
“The aerial platform has a six foot by four foot platform on it. What that is going to have up there is a pre-piped waterway with huge nozzles that will be capable of pumping 1,500 gallons of water per minute, piped air for breathing apparatuses and it will accommodate up to four or five people at once. Rescue capabilities are probably the main interest,” Ditzfeld said of the platform.
The current ladder truck only allows for firefighters to travel up the ladder one at a time in spaced intervals. The new platform will be able to hold wheelchairs and other medical devices victims may have.
Ditzfeld and Harrell were asked if any additional training will need to be completed before anyone can operate the equipment in the field.
“There will be lots of additional training. We will have a factory rep here as part of the contract.
“They will be on site for a minimum of three days. We will develop a training cirriculum that all operators will have to be proficient in,” Ditzfeld explained.
“There are 10 pages of standard operating guidelines. As far as intensive training on it, that will last through the summer,” Harrell added.
Ditzfeld was asked when the current ladder truck will be retired.
“There is a misconception that we are getting rid of a truck. It will continue to a part of our readied fleet.
“We will reduce the current truck’s workload to get a few more productive years out of it. We should extend its useful life another 10 years,” Ditzfeld said.
The fire engine is contracted to be finished being built from the ground up at the end of 360 days.
“We are probably going to get them to extend the delivery, because the space we will need for that equipment won’t be ready for about 16 months,” Ditzfeld said.