Decades ago, Midland Fire Department was without an aerial ladder truck. There were times that ladders they had couldn’t go higher than a second storey or hardly reach the bow or stern of a grain carrier. Council following much research arranged to buy an aerial ladder truck from a fire truck manufacturing company in Woodstock.
The day the truck arrived was truly a red letter day but its baptism would make history. The old fire hall was located where the police station is now located. Upstairs the municipal office was being refitted/refurbished and that’s when all hell broke out. The second storey was engulfed in flames. The aerial truck parked across the street at the Salvation Army Citadel and started to deluge the upper storey with tons of water while other trucks and pumpers set up on Dominion Avenue and attacked the stubborn blaze from that vantage point.
The new aerial truck proved its weight in gold and then some that terrible night. Damage turned out to be so severe that the fire department was relocated to the armouries on Yonge Street. Since then aerial trucks in Midland have been pressed into action more times than one can remember. A highly valuable piece of apparatus, one of its best uses is rising above structure fires and then flooding the inferno with tons of fire quenching water.
Thus it becomes one of the safest ways to quickly reduce/quell blazes that otherwise would take much more manpower at one location, where others could safely mop up remaining hot spots elsewhere. As Council turns its collective mind to re-shaping our fire service model in the coming months, let’s hope that they don’t lose sight of the value of our assets, both in personnel and equipment.