There’s a new truck in town.
Earlier this month, the newest addition to the Norfolk Fire Division’s fleet — dubbed Tower One — was delivered. Then, on Tuesday morning, it was unveiled to the public.
The process of designing and purchasing Tower One was shared between the City of Norfolk and the Norfolk Rural Fire Protection District. The two entities partnered together to split the cost of the $1.2 million aerial.
A committee consisting of fire division employees — both past and present — began researching and identifying the specifications in 2016. Members of the committee traveled to other fire departments to see and learn about similar equipment, as well as taking part in factory tours to watch actual trucks being built.
In 2017, the process of requesting bids began. Three companies submitted bids on the aerial. Smeal Fire Apparatus Co. of Snyder was ultimately awarded the bid in November 2017.
Tower One is what’s known as a mid-mount aerial platform truck that can reach up to 100 feet in the air. It is high enough to reach Norfolk’s tallest residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
Tower One is taking the place of a 1974 snorkel truck. An 85 foot aerial, it was commissioned in December 1974. It was the first aerial apparatus in Norfolk.
As part of the bidding process for the new truck, the snorkel was sold as a trade-in to Danko Fire Equipment Company, which is the authorized dealer for Smeal Fire Apparatus.
The snorkel was then purchased by a local reserve firefighter with the intent to keep it in the Norfolk area. Though it is decommissioned as a part of the Norfolk Fire Division’s emergency fleet, it still may make appearances in parades and at other local celebrations.