The City of Bennettsville Fire Department has a new addition to help keep the area citizens safe.
A Sutphen TS 100 with a 100-foot tower with 1,500 GPM Hale pump and a 300-gallon water tank has been purchased.
The vehicle was recently on display at the Scarecrow Fest.
Acting Fire Chief Chris Burks said having a ladder truck is very important to the city and county.
“We have buildings that ladders (on the fire engines now) will not reach,” he said.
The ladders range from 34 to 35 feet.
The ladder truck will not only help them in height but will help them in reach.
The truck will provide a faster means of fire attack,” Burks said.
It is the first ladder truck for the department and will provide personnel safe access to elevated areas.
Burks added it will also provide access to areas that the ground ladders cannot reach. It could be used for water rescue or tree rescue.
City Council members approved the purchase of the ladder truck from the Fountain Inn Fire Department for $35,000 plus $7,000 accessory equipment in September.
Purchasing a ladder truck has been something members had wanted to have.
The Bennettsville Fire Department received $26,236 in donations. This included a $25,000 donation from Arauco.
Most of the full-time employees in the department have had an aerial operations class.
Burks said they plan to have an aerial operations class at the beginning of the year and offer it to the entire county.
Technically, the truck is not in operation while the members are training with it. The requirements will be six hours of driver’s training and six operational training on using the aerial itself for full-time employees.
“If it is needed in the county, we will gladly take it,” Burks said. “We all do the same thing. We’re just different departments. We need to depend on each other if we have to.”