'Much-needed': New aerial truck expands capabilities of Brock Fire

A new fire truck will help improve fire safety for Brock firefighters and residents.

The Brock Fire Department took possession of a 2022 Pierce Ascendant 110-foot aerial platform truck this month, which will allow firefighters greater safety while performing high- or low-angle rescues.

“We’ve been needing this truck for about 15 years,” said fire chief Rick Harrison of the $1.4-million vehicle.

“Buildings these days are being built higher and closer together, so it’s really important to have something like this.”

While the need for an aerial truck was first floated within the fire department about 15 years ago, the request gained traction in 2018, when a committee was formed to look at a potential design ahead of a scheduled equipment replacement, and it was also identified as a need in the township’s Fire Master Plan. Following the committee’s recommendation, the preferred truck purchase was approved in the 2021 budget, with $600,000 already allotted for a scheduled truck replacement, and the rest of the purchase price coming from development charges.

“It’s a much-needed piece of equipment that’s going to be very valuable to this township for the next 20 or 25 years,” Harrison continued. “Having this adds another element of safety.”

Prior to the arrival of the truck, firefighters would have to perform high-angle rescues or firefighting from a ladder, which sparked safety concerns. Now, firefighters will be situated inside a platform, which can also swing back out and down to perform low-angle rescues or to provide better stability for ice rescues.

“In a worst-case scenario, if we need to get up to someone’s bedroom window, say, and rescue them, this provides a safe way to do that,” Harrison said. “It’s all for the safety of the firefighters and the public. Hopefully we’ll never have to use it, but I think we probably will.”

Coun. Mike Jubb supported the purchase at council, and said the purchase was critical to ensure the fire department “remains a modern and progressive department.”

“This state-of-the-art truck will be a front-line truck that will properly protect the lives and property of all residents,” he said. “This truck will put you all in the safest possible spot you can be and will serve for upwards of 25 years.”

Harrison said the department is working on scheduling a couple open houses in the fall where the community will be able to stop by and see the new truck. In the meantime, firefighters will complete training on the new vehicle as it goes into service at the Beaverton station, where it will be stationed.

“Beaverton is our busiest, most built-up area, so it makes sense to keep it there,” said Harrison. “It will be operated as a first-line pumper going out of the station, so it will get a lot of use and we won’t have to rely on neighbours anymore when we need an aerial truck. It’s just one more element of safety for everyone.”


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