The Eastern Plumas Rural Fire Protection District (EPRFPD) has gained a new tool for the toolbox — a 1998 American LaFrance fire engine with a 75-foot aerial ladder. The truck has a built-in generator, and it takes a team of two to operate. The ladder itself has an impressive extended range that can go from 80 degrees to minus 20 degrees.
Chief Bob Frank took some time to showcase the shiny, red truck, extending the ladder carefully at the Delleker fire station to demonstrate the reach of the ladder, expounding on the numerous new ways EPRFPD will be able to better serve the community in emergency situations.
“The truck will be in service next week,” Frank stated during a conversation Oct. 2. “This is the first and only fire truck with a ladder in Eastern Plumas County,” he observed. The Quincy Fire Department has one, but Frank feels that the newest addition to EPRFPD’s fleet will be a major asset to the city of Portola and the community at large.
“This will be an asset for many reasons,” Frank explained. “Of course, this is largely significant to Eastern Plumas County, but also to surrounding areas. We can go out with this truck on a mutual aid call as far as requested.” The new truck will serve local and outlying communities in Eastern Plumas when not engaged in mutual aid.
Frank explained that there has been a need for this piece of equipment in the eastern Plumas area, and that his assistant chief “is always looking to find equipment for us.”
Captain-ISO/EMT Elaine Frank also commented on the addition, saying, “We are trying to up the game in Eastern Plumas so that the community can see fire response improvement. Also, having this truck here means a quicker response time than calling the ladder truck from Quincy — it’s really a significant time saver.” In an emergency situation when mere moments can make all the difference, this is monumental.
The ladder truck, Bob Frank explained, is more effective in fighting structure fires, as well as being an important tool for low angle rescue and many other potential situations. “ Imagine a scenario where someone has a heart attack while on a roof, power pole, in a tree — this truck will allow for an easier rescue,” the chief said.
The department will be receiving extensive training to learn about the new truck, with Bob Frank estimating that a few hundred hours of training is expected for staff of 19. Both Bob Frank and Elaine Frank pointed out that they have goals of training, cross training, and continuing to build stronger relationships in a collaborative effort with other departments across the county.
“We would like to bring in other departments to look at the truck, the operation of the truck, and really just familiarize themselves with the equipment,” Chief Frank said.
“We are always looking for interested volunteers as well,” Bob Frank noted with a smile, “Please feel free to reach out to us if you feel like you may be interested in volunteering in any capacity with EPRFPD.”
EPRFPD can be reached for more information at 832-5626.