AFD holds push-in ceremony for new Tower 19 truck

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – The Alabaster Fire Department held a push-in ceremony for Tower 19, their new state-of-the-art ladder truck.

Getting the truck was a collaborative effort between AFD, the city of Alabaster and Williams Fire Apparatus who sold them this particular model.

The truck is an Aerial Platform Quint developed by Sutphen and matched to the specifications that AFD needed to be able to provide full-coverage service to any building in the city, according to Alabaster Fire Chief Tim Love. AFD set up an internal committee that worked on a design that would best suit the city’s needs.

“This ladder has a reach of 100 feet,” Love said. “That gets us to our maximum capabilities. We can reach any height to be able to perform at any level here in the city. Before we had a 75-foot ladder that was extremely worn out and we were having to do repairs on it pretty frequently. This new piece of equipment is a huge investment for the city at $1,317,000, but it will serve us for the next 20 to 30 years.”

Other specs for the truck include a 56-inch flat roof, room for up to five firefighters, a front-axle with a weight rating of 23,000 pounds, a 500-horsepower Cummins X12 diesel engine and a 4500R EVS automatic transmission.

When most people think about firetrucks, the often picture firefighters holding a hose connected to the truck spraying down a fire. Tower 19 has a 2000-gallon-per-minute single stage pump and a 300-gallon water tank so that AFD can be ready to take on fires in the city.

Love also discussed the 230-inch wheel base, and the truck’s ability to access areas throughout the city.

“It is obviously a big truck,” Love said. “We designed it with a 230-inch wheel base so that it can fit on most roads in the city and be able to get in and out of situations. We shortened the bumper and the cab on it to emphasize utility and function over aesthetics.”

At the push-in ceremony members of AFD, city officials and residents including some younger children gathered to stand at the front of the truck and roll it into the station for official use. This ceremony comes at the heels of the department’s training to operate the new piece of equipment.

“This is the culmination of two years of work,” Love said. “We ordered this truck back in 2019 and it has been a waiting game since then. We knew it would take a while, but it is finally here. We have had a group come in from Georgia that specializes in aerial operations to give guidance. Since then we have been working on getting ready to use this out in the city.”