Kenora fire chief Todd Skene is testing out their new $1.2 million aerial truck. During a break in training, Skene said they needed a new one, because the old one has spent about 250 hours in the shop and it had become unreliable. 

"We don't know, when we go out, if it's going to work. So, it's time to retire that truck," he said about the old one.

The fire chief added it would've been good to have an aerial truck, when they were fighting the fire at Kenora Forest Products at the end of December. The fire destroyed two drying kilns, delaying production at the sawmill.

Skene adds the aerial truck can also be used for buildings downtown, such as the Clarion Lakeside Inn or Benedickson court.

Kenora fire chief Todd Skene acknowledges the $1.2 million dollar price tag is a lot, but he says it's a good investment for the city.

"This is a suitable truck for four stories and above," he said, noting area hotels and apartment buildings.

Skene adds the truck will also have a long life in the community.

"Knowing some of the companies that are looking to be here, some of the buildings that are going to be built in the future, this is a great fit for the city," he said.

By adding an old aerial apparatus to the new chasis, Skene noted they saved about $600,000. This is equal to the cost of a new pumper truck, he said.

John Rideout says the Sutphen chasis has a mid-mounted 95 ft. ladder, which is more stable than other models, especially in wintry weather. The nozzle at the top can spray 1,500 gallons a minute of water up to 120 ft. away, and it's propelled by a Cummins 425 hp engine with Allison automatic transmission. Sutphen is based near Columbus, Ohio, but modifications were made at Ft. Garry in Winnipeg.

For more information:

Million-dollar fire truck approved

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