The Town of Comox will replace the fire department’s aging aerial truck. Supplied

The Town of Comox will replace the fire department’s aging aerial truck. Supplied

Comox Fire Rescue orders new aerial truck

The Town of Comox and its fire service partner, the Comox Fire Protection District, has authorized the replacement of the fire department’s aging aerial truck. Comox Fire Rescue has operated a fleet of three fire engines since the 1950s and instead of adding to the fleet, the recommendation is to keep the machines current and utilizing the latest technology.

For almost 30 years, Comox Fire Rescue has continued to remain on top of the fleet’s asset management needs and maintain a replacement schedule for its fire apparatuses. The lifespan for larger aerial vehicles are set at 20 years. Replacing the truck maintains insurance rates in the Comox area, ensuring minimal disruption to rates for commercial and residential structures.

The requirement for an aerial ladder truck is determined once a community has more than a handful of three-storey or taller buildings. The number of taller buildings in the Comox area has grown significantly throughout the years, as has the number of residents living above the second floor. Call volume has also grown significantly for the department. Firefighters responded to more than 750 calls in 2021.

The new truck has a reach of 110’ and features a three-person platform bucket on the end of the ladder. The platform allows victims to be lowered to the ground two or three at a time, which is safer and more efficient for firefighters. The reach is important as many times the ladder cannot be placed right beside a building to reach balconies, decks or roofs. The aerial also includes an elevated water stream of 1,000 gallons of water per minute.

“This new truck will be the greenest in our fleet and is expected to serve the community until 2042,” says Comox Fire Chief Gord Schreiner.

The cost for the truck is about $1.5 million, a large portion of which has been covered by revenue earned through the fire department’s response efforts assisting the province in wildfire incidents over the past several years. The remainder will come from the Town of Comox (about $630,000) and the Comox Fire Protection District (about $270,000).

The truck is expected to be ready for delivery in the fall of 2023. The next scheduled fleet replacement will be the main (and most used) truck in 2030/2031.


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