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PHOTO COURTESY ORANGE CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT WANT TO DRIVE ONE OF THESE? — Orange City is buying a new fire engine, similar to the one shown here, capable of extending its ladder 100 feet above the ground to battle flames in high-rise and spread-out structures. The city is paying almost $1.5 million for the ladder truck, which will replace the one in operation since 1996. Orange City Fire Chief Ronnie Long says his firefighters must be trained on the ladder before they use the new apparatus on calls.

Like a family with an aging car whose repair and maintenance expenses are rising, Orange City is purchasing a new fire engine to replace its older one.

The new apparatus will be built by Pierce Manufacturing Inc., of Appleton, Wisconsin, at a cost of $1.48 million. The acquisition of the big-ticket item was included in Orange City’s budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The new truck will feature a ladder capable of rising 100 feet, exceeding the 75-foot maximum height of the city’s current ladder truck. The new Pierce ladder truck will take approximately one year to assemble before it is delivered to Orange City.

The new apparatus will be needed to keep up with growth, including the construction of taller buildings, including hospitals, apartments and nursing homes. The new ladder engine will also be available for emergencies in DeBary, as DeBary contracts with Orange City for fire protection and emergency medical rescue services.

The Pierce truck will replace the one Orange City has used since 1996. The age of the vehicle means Orange City is driving up the cost of repairing it, as spare parts become more scarce, Fire Chief Ronnie Long said, and the addition of years means it has no trade-in value. Thus, he added, the city will offer the old firetruck for sale.

“It will be sold, maybe to a volunteer department,” Long added. “It could go overseas, maybe Mexico or Colombia.”

When the new truck arrives next year, the firefighters will have to practice climbing its ladder before they may use it in an emergency.

“Everyone here will be trained when it gets here,” Long said.

The Orange City Fire Department has a fleet of eight trucks in all.

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