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In November, Terre Du Lac Fire Department received, literally, tons of help in the form of a ladder truck which they put into service this week.

The fire truck is a 1995 KME, single-rear axle featuring a 55-foot ladder and a Hale pump that can push out 1,250 gallons per minute through its 500 gallon-capacity tank. It cost the department $25,000.

“The new truck will not only help us serve our community better when fire breaks out, it’ll help improve our ISO rating,” said Jonathon Moore, who was made fire chief in December after serving in an interim capacity since June when he joined the department. This year, the department is looking forward to an ISO inspection.

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating, given on a scale of 1-10, determines how well your local fire protection district can protect your community and home. The lower the score, the more prepared and skilled your local fire district is to quickly and effectively douse fires and perform other emergency services. The lower the ISO score, the lower the insurance rates for everyone in the community who owns a home or building.

The truck arrived at the firehouse in early November after Moore and two other firefighters picked it up from Grosse Isle, Michigan. The truck gets between 10-12 miles per gallon. Before the journey back home, the odometer read just 20,166 miles.

Moore said the apparatus was purchased as a replacement for a 1976 Hendrickson pumper the department used for several years.

He initially planned to have a firefighters’ “wetdown” ceremony, but he said time got away from them and they were keen to put the truck into service this week. In a “wetdown” ceremony, citizens would sponge down the new truck in a tradition that harkens back to the days when firefighters washed their new equipment — often horse-drawn carriages with heavy tanks and pumps — before pushing the carriage into the station.

“With the addition of Truck 4590, the firefighters will be safer and more efficient in fire and rescue operations,” Moore said. “This will ultimately provide safety to the citizens we serve.”

For 2019, Terre Du Lac Fire Department responded to 256 calls for service, with an average response time of three minutes and 13 seconds. Forty training sessions were held for firefighters, equivalent to 164 hours spent in the classroom.

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Sarah Haas is the assistant editor for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3617 or at shaas@dailyjournalonline.com.

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