Johnston Fire Department adds new $1.1M ladder truck to its apparatus arsenal


Have you seen the Johnston Fire Department’s newest investment?

A new Ladder 1 started responding to calls in town last month.

The Johnston Sun Rise asked Johnston Fire Chief David A. Iannuccilli about the importance of the JFD’s new ladder truck and the role it will play in future fire-fights.

“The new aerial ladder is indispensable to our fire department due to its multiple uses,” Iannuccilli said. “Reaching heights and areas that are not accessible to ground-based firefighting equipment. It will also greatly enhance our fire department's capabilities in tackling future fires and various rescue efforts in challenging situations.”

How badly did the department need a new ladder truck?

“The acquisition of the new aerial ladder was urgent due to the old ladder being out of service more often than not, plagued by persistent mechanical issues,” Iannuccilli explained. “This new ladder is paramount for maintaining operational readiness and ensuring our fire department can effectively respond to emergencies without delays.”

When it was ordered almost exactly two years ago, the new truck’s price tag was estimated around $1.1 million, but in the end, it cost around $10,000 more than expected. The town’s new ladder truck, approved for purchase in April 2022 by Johnston Town Council, was built by Spartan Fire and Emergency Apparatus.

In 2015, Johnston purchased “a state-of-the-art 2014 Rosenbauer” ladder truck (replacing an aerial ladder purchased in 1991). Former Johnston Fire Chief Peter J. Lamb said that truck was plagued with mechanical issues.

“They usually last longer than that,” Lamb explained in 2022. “This truck has been problematic. We’ve spent a lot on maintenance. Our ladder truck has been out of service a great deal of the time.”

According to Iannuccilli, the department was offered only $75,000 for the old ladder truck.

“The old truck’s still in pretty good shape,” the chief said Wednesday morning. “We’ll keep it as a backup.”


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