RENSSELAER — The Rensselaer Volunteer Fire Department will host a “push-in” ceremony from 2-4 p.m. Nov. 20 to dedicate its new ladder truck.

The “push-in” ceremony dates back more than 100 years to a time before fire trucks were motorized and operating with horse-drawn equipment. In those days, firefighters had to push their trucks into the station after a call.

RVFD’s new truck, which was purchased for around $1.47 million, is an ArrowXT 100-foot ascendant tower truck with blacked out features. Since the truck will be used for Rensselaer Central High School events such as homecoming and championship runs through downtown, it will feature red and black colors on the cab door to represent school pride.

Located in the rear of the truck is a hose tray that slides out so that firefighters can stay on the ground. The back-lit handrails are blue in support of the Rensselaer Police Department.

The mid mount platform, meanwhile, has a low overall height, allowing the apparatus to fit underneath bridges.

The overall height of the truck is 10 feet, 10 inches and its length is 42 feet, 4 inches. It is designed to pump 2,000 gallons of water per minute and it features a 300-gallon tank.

To familiarize themselves with the truck, RVFD firefighters must attend a three-day training class to learn how to operate its controls.

“This truck is an industry game changer for many reasons,” RVFD said in a press release recently. “The safety of our firefighters and protecting the citizens of our community is our No. 1 priority. With this truck there are many differences. First, the truck is equipped with a side roll and frontal impact safety system for protection of our firefighters.”

The truck is also six feet shorter than any traditional mid-mount tower truck and it is compacted for easy maneuvering while fitting into tight spaces.

The truck will scrub a building at 50 degrees and can operate up to 20 degrees below grade for rescues. The ladder has a 100-foot vertical/93-foot horizontal reach.

The truck has a 1,000-pound tip load capacity for equipment and firefighters to properly put out a structure fire. It has six stabilizers with integrated ground pads with a 26-second set up to start time so that firefighters can work immediately at a fire scene.

It also has stabilizer cameras for the driver to locate exactly where the outriggers will be placed when pulling up on scene.

The features on the truck are many and the public will get a chance to see them up close during the push-in on Nov. 20.

The department sold its old ladder truck, a 2003 model, to the Brook/Iroquois Township Fire Department in the summer. Brook has utilized the truck at structure fires as well as festivals and parades.

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