NORTH PROVIDENCE – Mayor Charles Lombardi has acquired a used ladder truck for $30,000 from the city of Cambridge, Mass., simultaneously selling the town’s former backup ladder truck for $15,000 to northern Rhode Island communities of Cumberland, Lincoln, Smithfield and Woonsocket to share.
Ladder trucks are difficult to come by and “very, very rare,” said Lombardi, especially one such as this with a ladder that’s 30 feet longer than the 75-foot one on the truck the town sold. The 105-foot ladder gives North Providence firefighters better potential access to the town’s residential high-rise buildings, he said, for a safer situation in the entire community.
“We’ll be a little safer and more secure,” he said. “We won’t have a problem getting to anyone.”
Lombardi said he heard from former Fire Chief Leonard Albanese, now serving in the same position in Chelsea, Mass., that the 1994 truck was available. The town needs to always have a backup ladder truck available, he said, in case the frontline one has to be taken out of commission for any reason.
The used ladder truck acquired has been well cared for, he said, including a complete refurbishment by the manufacturer, essentially “made new,” in 2008. With 100,000 miles, he said, the purchase was a no-brainer.
“To us it’s worth a lot more than that,” he said of the purchase price. “This was a very inexpensive way for us to get what we wanted and them to get what they wanted.”
For years, he said, North Providence has been loaning out its backup ladder truck to other communities as they’ve needed it.
Lombardi said he’s also in the process of acquiring a new 3-year-old rescue for $85,000, an acquisition that would run upward of $230,000 if brand new. Having a hospital in town, rescue runs are often 6 miles in total, he said, 3 miles to the call and 3 to the hospital, so there’s no need for a top-of-the-line vehicle at an added cost.