Minto council approves purchase of new aerial fire-fighting truck

Council here has approved the purchase of an aerial truck for the local fire department.

At the Dec. 12 meeting, Minto council approved the agreement with Brindlee Mountain to purchase a 2004 American LaFrance Fire truck for $215,000 U.S. and directed Fire Chief Chris Harrow to finalize and sign the agreement to purchase the vehicle.

Harrow explained in a staff report that the town’s current aerial truck failed its annual third party inspection in September.

“The master ladder portion of the truck was taken out of service, which gave us no ability to perform aerial ladder or master fire stream operations,” Harrow noted. At the Nov. 3 meeting, council directed Minto Fire to pursue purchasing a used aerial apparatus to meet the department’s needs.

Minto Fire searched for an apparatus through a company located in the United States called Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus.

“There appears to be few used apparatus located in Canada that are a good value for a volunteer fire department,” Harrow stated, noting many fire departments have used Brindlee’s services “and found them exceptional to deal with.”

With the company’s aid, the Minto department located a 2004 American LaFrance 110 foot Aerial truck located in Clackamas County, Oregon.

Minto Fire’s in-house technician inspected the truck in Oregon and researched its history by speaking directly to the home department. He reports the truck was in excellent condition and has been well maintained, Harrow stated.

Minto Fire’s aerial is a 1989 and was to be replaced in 2017.

“A new aerial truck would cost in excess of $1 million,” Harrow stated. “Given the mechanical report and the fact there is no rust or similar wear, Minto Fire believes the vehicle is a good fit for the town.”

Harrow noted that in Wellington County, only Minto, Centre Wellington and Puslinch fire departments have aerial trucks available, which effectively spreads capability  through the northern, central and southern portions of the county.

He said the town has an agreement in place with Mapleton to provide aerial support and could make arrangements with other municipalities as needed.

“What struck me is the price of a new truck … I think this is a good find for our town. There’s a distinct need for this type of unit in case we had, God forbid, an accident on our main streets,” said deputy mayor Ron Faulkner.