NORWICH – For months, the fate of the Norwich Fire Department’s arial ladder truck has been up in the air, presenting safety concerns within the city and contracting townships. Now, the future of the apparatus looks bleak after recommendations have been made by NFD to the Common Council to move forward with the purchase of a new or used truck rather than make repairs to the existing one.
An annual inspection of the 30-year-old truck was performed by engineers of the American Test Center in June. The agency refused to pass the truck, citing a number of concerns including a supporting cross-member so badly deteriorated that it would present serious safety risks if the truck’s 100-foot ladder were to be used. Replacement of the cross-member alone would top $24,000 and making the 18 other additional repairs could certainly trump the truck’s overall worth, according to Fire Chief Tracy Chawgo.