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Help us better protect you

Date: 11/7/2014

There is a Special Town Meeting scheduled for Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. One of the warrant articles up for a vote is in regard to the purchase of a Quint aerial apparatus for the fire department.

A Quint aerial apparatus is a multi-purpose, single piece of fire apparatus that combines the operational ability of a fire pumper and a ladder truck into one unit. A Quint is commonly found in a modern day fire department fleet. 

The Longmeadow Fire Department has been without an aerial apparatus since 1992, and the tallest ground ladder currently at our disposal measures only 28 feet in length.

Due to this, the department has had to rely on mutual aid from other fire departments when an aerial apparatus is needed. This is an unnecessary waste of precious time when every second counts, resulting in the potential delay of rescuing a victim, delayed extinguishment of fires, the subsequent increase in property damage and an elevated risk to the firefighters at an emergency incident.

All of the Longmeadow firefighters are troubled at the thought of not having equipment sufficient to save a life due to the many residential and non-residential occupancies in town that are too tall or large for the successful deployment of the ground ladders carried on the department’s fire pumpers. In addition to large residential structures in town, the department is charged with protecting large and/or multi-story structures that include elderly housing complexes, a college campus and multiple schools, shopping centers and churches.

Seeing that the Longmeadow Fire Department operates daily with limited staffing, this multi-purpose apparatus would be an extremely welcome addition and would be an invaluable asset to alleviate the concerns mentioned above.

In simple terms, certain incidents require mitigation in a manner that we can not currently address immediately and urgently without waiting for a mutual aid aerial apparatus to arrive at an emergency scene. Being able to respond to an incident with the flexibility a Quint aerial apparatus provides would allow for immediate actions that could rescue a victim, safely and effectively ventilate a structure and provide elevated suppression ability to coincide with a ground based fire attack.

To expand on and stress the importance of the last point, our department has responded to many fires over the years where a ground based fire attack was not enough to safely reach the main body of fire in various sized structures. A mutual aid aerial apparatus from another department was required for elevated fire attack; the end result being additional property damage that could have been avoided if the Longmeadow Fire Department had a Quint aerial apparatus as it’s first due apparatus.

In summation, the Longmeadow Firefighters Local 1903 unanimously and unequivocally believe a Quint aerial apparatus would most assuredly maximize the efficiency of our department and in the process, better protect the public we are sworn to serve as well as ourselves. Your support is appreciated and we encourage you to attend the Town Meeting on Nov. 18. Let your voice be heard and your vote cast in favor of the department obtaining a Quint aerial apparatus to better protect you.

Dean Godfrey
Longmeadow Firefighters
Local 1903