Barrow fire training rises to future challenges

WINDER - A new apparatus at the Barrow County Fire Department is evidence the growing agency is quite literally moving on up.

Fire personnel are undergoing training to bring a recently purchased ladder truck - the county's first - into the department's fleet, a crucial apparatus for attacking blazes from the air while filling several other key purposes.

The $508,711 apparatus, a capital expense purchase in the county's 2008 budget, is expected to go in to service in coming months, Barrow County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Scott Dakin said.

The ladder truck "is a crucial apparatus to the department as Barrow County continues to grow," Dakin said. "While some people have the misconception that a ladder truck is only used on tall buildings, (we) know differently."

Sure, the ladder truck's forte is providing firefighters with a bird's-eye view of structure fires - an attack perch from the sky, if you will. But the truck, and its company, also executes vital ground operations, including search and rescue, fire ventilation and upper-floor rescues.

Firefighters have been undergoing training for several months to best prep for the ladder truck's activation, Dakin said.

"It is, and always has been, our goal to provide the best possible service to all Barrow County citizens," Fire Department Chief Robert Post said. "This includes training all personnel in the operation and care of the equipment that the county purchases."