Middleburg Heights has an upgraded truck in town, and we’re not talking Ford or Chevy.
With City Council’s approval, Fire Chief Briant Galgas recently purchased a model year 2000 aerial ladder truck for $124,000, which is a significant step up from the department’s 1979 fire truck that preceded it.
The upgrade features a 102-foot ladder – compared with an 85-foot ladder on the older model – that is able to convey firefighters in a motorized “bucket,” or the ladder can be climbed manually.
The six-figure sum may seem like a hefty tab for one truck, but a 2016 version of the same vehicle costs a million dollars or more, so comparatively the price was right, said Galgas.
“Fire Chief Galgas saved the City ‘s taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars through his timely research and resourcefulness,” according to Middleburg Heights Mayor Gary Starr.
To ensure proper use of the truck, Middleburg Heights’ firefighters conducted training exercises with the vehicle from this past June to November.
“The additional 17 feet in ladder elevation allows us to better meet the demands of our growing city, and gives us access to almost any point in Middleburg Heights,” said Galgas.
“Having a younger and taller ladder truck is a must-have for our city because of the multi-level office buildings and Southwest General Health Center,” added David Bortolotto, Councilman at Large and Chairman of the Public Health, Safety and Relief Committee.
And fortunately, if the Fire Chief were confronted with an emergency that exceeded his department’s capabilities, then he’d rely on longstanding mutual aid agreements with neighboring departments to address it.
“From our Stroke Mobile Unit and to our elite police and fire forces, we’re always ready to meet an emergency head on to keep those who live in and work in our great City as safe as possible,” said Starr.