new Athens fire ladder truck

Athens new fire ladder truck

Photographer: Ben Siegel

Paula Horan-Moseley gets title

Athens City Service Safety Director Paula Horan-Moseley receives title for fire truck from Harry Sutphen

Photographer: Ben Siegel

Firefighter jeff schulz

Athens firefighter Paul Schulz climbs on top of new fire ladder truck

Photographer: Ben Siegel

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City of Athens celebrates delivery of new fire truck

$250,000 pledge by University made purchase possible

The City of Athens hosted a show-and-tell on Wednesday morning for a new fire ladder truck that was purchased with the help of a recent $250,000 pledge from Ohio University.

In September, Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis responded to an Athens City Council Resolution by agreeing to contribute $50,000 per year for five years to the City of Athens for the exclusive use of payment on a new fire ladder truck.

The new 2012 model SPH100 Aerial Platform truck was delivered on Jan. 3 to Athens Fire Station No. 2 on Columbus Road and put on display at the Wednesday morning gathering. The truck, which was purchased for $1,030,416 from Sutphen Corp., will replace the department's current ladder truck, which was purchased in the late 1980s.

Among those in attendance were Athens City Mayor Paul Wiehl, several firefighters, several Athens City Council members and Rebecca Watts, Ohio University chief of staff and special assistant to the president.

Former Athens City Council representative Sherry Coon and Wiehl were among the speakers who publically thanked Ohio University for its financial contribution.

"Although firefighting is an old profession, the technology keeps changing, and now we have a 20-year jump in technology," Wiehl said. "This purchase is an investment in our city and our safety."

Athens City Fire Chief Bob Troxel said it was nice to see the university help the city and his fire department. The large contribution says a lot about Ohio University's administration, he added.

"This truck is techno-advanced. I never thought I would be around to see the purchase of a new ladder truck after we bought the last one, but I promise I won't be around for the purchase of the next one," Troxel joked.    

Ohio University made the financial commitment to the City of Athens as part of a more comprehensive formalized memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will address other collaborations between the city and university.

Watts said an eight-person work group comprised of representatives from the university and the city formed by McDavis and Wiehl helped develop the MOU, which is being reviewed by the legal departments of both parties.

" (Ohio University community members) appreciate that we are one community. Our students, faculty and staff work and live in this community, and safety is first and foremost," Watts said. "We are proud to be a part of this by contributing what was needed to provide this great resource for the community."

During a short ceremony, Athens City Service Safety Director Paula Horan-Moseley officially presented a check for more than $994,000 to Harry Sutphen, whose family has owned the Columbus, Ohio, company since 1890.

Sutphen said the Ohio-built truck meets all of the mandatory safety requirements and is state-of-the-art. He said the truck's special features include a 300-gallon water tank, extra ground ladders, a black box data recorder, Chevron reflective striping tape, LED lights, roll stability control, and 3-point seat belts.

Sutphen said ideally fire departments like to replace their fire ladder trucks every 10 years, so the fact that Athens squeezed about 20 years out of its current one is admirable.  

Troxel said he expects the truck to come online within the next three to four weeks, after the department's 22 firefighters are properly trained to use its new features.