Salem Fire Chief David Cody was happy to report Thursday morning that the contract for the department's new mid-mount aerial ladder truck has been finalized and blueprints from the manufacturer are expected to arrive early next month.
The contract for the $1.1 million fire apparatus was awarded to the Pierce Manufacturing Co. of Appleton, Wisc., which recently completed work on the Marblehead Fire Department's new $1.2 million quint ladder truck.
Cody said he expects to receive blueprints detailing the department's new ladder truck sometime in early March.
"Either the first or second week in March we will be getting the drawings for the truck," Cody said Thursday. "They will be the first real drawings of our truck - everything else before this has been a diagram of one of their stock trucks."
The $1.1 million purchase was included in the city's Capital Budget Plan for 2012, he said. When the new ladder truck is completed, hand-inspected and and driven to Salem, Cody said the plan is to have Ladder 1 sent to Station 4.
"We're not sending any of our older trucks to reserve status - with this purchase we're adding one new truck to service," Cody said.
The department's new ladder truck will be a "mid-mount power" complete with a rear-mounted bucket-loader, similar to an apparatus currently used by the Chelsea Fire Department - one that Cody said will better-equip the Salem Fire Department to handle larger fires.
"The bucket is just such a stable platform that it almost acts as a crane," Cody said. "Sometimes you end up putting people out onto rooftops that are pitched and with this truck you can just line the bucket up and work right from there."
There is no timeline for completion of the new ladder truck - though Pierce Manufacturing completed Marblehead's new quint apparatus in less than a year.