Ladder truck test drive on the A&M-Commerce campus

It was only a test! If you saw fire trucks around the new Science Building at Texas A&M University-Commerce Thursday afternoon, July 19th, it was for a demonstration.

Story and photos by KETR General Manager Bill Oliver

Officials with Texas A&M University-Commerce and the City of Commerce have been meeting about the possible joint purchase of a ladder fire truck. Those discussions led to a demonstrator coming to campus on Thursday, July 19th. The truck was parked on the southwest side of the new Science Building. The $675,000 vehicle would be the first of its kind in Commerce. There are similar units as close as Greenville and Sulphur Springs.

The 75-foot ladder could reach the top of 13 of the 15 multi-story buildings on the A&M-Commerce campus, all but Gee Library and Whitley Hall. The ladder truck would also take care of the growing number of multi-story buildings off campus, mostly apartment complexes. The ladder not only helps with heights, but the 75-foot length would help firefighters in rescue operations.

If the money were found, the truck would take four to six months to build. The truck, over 11 feet tall, would be the largest possible for Commerce due to narrow streets and relatively low power lines. It would replace a 15-year-old fire truck in the active fleet.

Commerce firemen, staff from Texas A&M University-Commerce and the City of Commerce,
and members of the Commerce City Council listened to the presentation about the capabilities
of this $675,000 fire truck, featuring a 75-foot ladder.

Look for the waterline under the ladder. That's one less thing firefighters have to carry up and down the ladder.
Unfortunately, there was no water in the truck's reserve tanks to offer a drink to the campus landscaping.

Notice the stabilizer bars keeping the fire truck level while parked on the sloped parking lot.

The circular platform where firefighters control the ladder rotates 360 degrees.

Commerce fireman Brent Vice heads up the 75-foot ladder.

Commerce fireman Brent Vice looks back after reaching the top of the ladder,
which is at the top of the A&M-Commerce Science Building.

How would you like to make this climb?