Update on ladder truck purchase

The Village is very appreciative of the funds raised toward the purchase of a new ladder truck. Several folks have asked about the status of the purchase of the firefighting apparatus. Below is a timeline and synopsis of what the Department of Public Safety has accomplished:

  • November 20, 2021 – Lighthouse Landing fire.
  • December 5, 2021 – Fundraiser at a private residence.
  • December 7, 2021 – Trip to Sunset Beach to look at Sutphin 75’ ladder truck.
  • December 15, 2021 – Trip to Brunswick County EOC to look at demo Rosenbauer 79’ ladder truck.
  • January 4, 2022 – Trip to Brunswick County EOC to look at demo Pierce 107’ ladder truck.
  • February 4, 2022 – Trip to Wrightsville Beach to look at Seagrave 75’ ladder truck.
  • January 11, 2022 – E-one sales visit to the island.
  • January 28, 2022 – Fire chiefs conference, Concord, NC; viewed 75’ Spartan and 75’ KME.
  • February 8, 2022 – Pierce sales visit to the island for CAD drawing of 107’ ladder truck.
  • February 9, 2022 – Brunswick County EOC to look at demo Rosenbauer 109’ ladder truck.
  • February 16, 2022 – E-One sales and engineer/aerial specialist visit to the island with drawing and timeline.
On December 15, 2021, the Village Manager, Public Safety Director, and Public Safety Officers viewed a demo Rosenbauer 79′ ladder truck at the Brunswick County EOC.

Is the truck going to be equipped with a 75’ (+/-) or 100’ (+/-) ladder?

There are pros and cons for both.  The Village knows a longer ladder is needed.  The current ladder is only 50’ long. The Village is leaning toward a 100’ ladder.  This purchase is expected to be a 20-year truck and the additional 25’ length will allow for a longer span of reach over trees and structures.

What is the price?

The Village has been given price ranges of $1.1 to $1.4 million.

How long is it going to take?

The Village will not be able to order a standard truck that might be coming off of the assembly line because the specifications are unique to the island’s needs. Vendors are saying there will be anywhere from an 18 to 24-month build-time. We will know more once we select a vendor.  

NOTE: The current ladder truck is operational and is expected to be through this period of time. It is an older truck, but it is in good condition, it has not deteriorated but does not have the updated technology and capability a new truck would provide.

What are some of the specifications?

Overall Travel Height – The island canopy is at 12’, so the height must be less than 11’ 4” in order to sufficiently clear ALL trees and limbs without incurring significant damage to the truck; the current ladder truck is 10’11”.  This is very important because if the ladder truck is damaged by limbs, it must be taken out of commission and sent off for inspection.

Jack Spread – Outriggers on both sides of the truck are extended to stabilize the truck when the ladder is extended. The jack spread is the distance between the outriggers. The island’s roads are 12’ wide  or less of paved asphalt surface with an additional 1’ of compacted marl on both edges to protect the asphalt, so the outriggers should not extend wider.

Single Axle – A single axle truck is a must since a double axle truck will cause damage to the roads.

Overall Length – Length must be less than 42’ in order to navigate the numerous tight turns.

What is the next step? 

The entire process must be put out for public bid that will ultimately be approved by Village Council for purchase and the Village is finalizing a Request for Proposals document which will include all “must-have” specifications to help narrow down the choices and get through the bid process as expeditiously as possible.

How much money has been raised?

To date, the Public Service Auxiliary has raised approximately $429,000 which is earmarked toward the purchase of the new ladder truck.  Thanks again to everyone who has generously donated.  If you would still like to donate, instructions can be found HERE.

Please send any questions to public.information@villagebhi.org.