Volunteer firefighters in South Carroll can take rescue to new heights with a 75-foot aerial ladder mounted on a new enhanced-pumper engine.
The Sykesville Freedom District Volunteer Fire Department takes delivery of the $400,000 E-One engine, manufactured in Florida, at 7 p.m. today.
The public is invited to visit the station, on Route 32 at Freedom Avenue, to see the truck tonight.
"The department is doing its best to enhance its fire rescue capabilities," said William J. "Bill" Wagner, president of the volunteer company.
"The engine will allow for quicker and better access for rescue and firefighting in our area of response."
The area's growing number of multilevel homes and buildings -- many higher than three stories --prompted the purchase, Mr. Wagner said.
"The new engine offers easier access to and evacuation from multilevel residences," he said.
It can spray a large volume of water and will help the department fight chimney fires, he said.
The new equipment, 35 feet long and nearly 11 feet tall, is the first of its type in South Carroll. Both Westminster and Hampstead own aerial trucks.
The E-One carries eight people, including the driver. Equipment includes a 1,200-foot hose and capacity for 500 gallons of water. Volunteers expect to have the truck in service early next week.
"We have to load hoses and other equipment onto the truck, and add connections and adapters," Mr. Wagner said.
The truck will replace a 1979 Ford engine, which the company hopes to sell for about $55,000.
"We have had a few bites and are negotiating," said Mr. Wagner, who has been active in the company for four years.
The company, which owns seven rescue vehicles, also will replace one of its two ambulances with a 1993 model.
Excellance Inc. of Alabama will ship an $89,930 vehicle to Sykesville in about three weeks. The remaining ambulance was refurbished recently.
The all-volunteer organization has raised the money to pay for the new equipment over a 10-year period, said Mr. Wagner.
"The funds came from raffles, carnivals, investing and the annual mail solicitation drive, which is going on now," he said. "We have drained out everything and can use all the contributions we get."