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March 9, 2018

$1.4-million Tower 1 makes its debut in Warrenton

This ladder truck can get to a scene quicker and set up quicker.
— Assistant Fire Chief Sam Myers
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
The veteran firefighter kept smiling like a child on Christmas morning after driving Warrenton’s shiny, new 47-foot-long tower truck into town for the first time Friday morning.

Retired Fire Chief Dale Koglin, 68, wheeled the $1.4-million truck from the dealer in Gainesville to its new home at the Warrenton Volunteer Fire Co. station on West Shirley Avenue.

Tower 1 has a governor that limits its speed to 60 mph.

“I pushed it to the limit,” Mr. Koglin admitted with a broad grin.

> Video at bottom of story

A Warrenton volunteer for 55 years, he served as chief and assistant chief. When Mr. Koglin retired from running calls in 2014, company officials decided to dedicate the next tower truck to him.

“It handles well,” said Mr. Koglin, a Company 1 life member. “It’s a nice piece of equipment. There’s a lot of technology on this one, a lot of safety features that weren’t available when the older one was built.”

Built in Appleton, Wisconsin, the new Pierce truck will replace the station’s 22-year-old model.

The Essex County fire department in Tappahannock will purchase the older ladder truck for $250,000, according to Warrenton Assistant Chief Sam Myers.

The Warrenton Town Council appropriated $450,000 toward the new vehicle’s purchase.

After selling the older truck, Warrenton’s fire company will owe about $650,000 on the new one.

The company hopes to get 20 years out of the new vehicle, explained volunteer Master Technician Jason Koglin, Dale’s son.

“This ladder truck can get to a scene quicker and set up quicker,” Mr. Myers said. “It brings us a much better dynamic to serve citizens quicker.”

The custom truck took about a year to build. Warrenton volunteers visited the factory four times to inspect the truck at various stages of construction.

Equipped with a work platform atop its 100-foot aerial, the truck has more storage space and more equipment. Equipped with two aerial nozzles, it can pour 2,000 gallons of water a minute onto a blaze.

“The new truck has larger crew capability,” Jason Koglin said. “The old truck held four, while the new one can hold six.”

Tower 1 also has video cameras on its rear, on the passenger side mirror and on the ladder bucket.

The company had to modify one of the station’s bay doors — raising it 2 feet — to accommodate the new truck, which stands just more than 12 feet tall.

A six-member committee wrote the new truck’s specification. It will go in service late this month, after training for about a dozen drivers and other firefighters, along with the transfer of equipment from the old truck. A Pierce factory representative will visit next week to conduct three days’ worth of training with the volunteers.

Video of Tower 1’s first trip down Main Street:

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