New Heavy-Duty Tiller Aerial Ladder Now In Service At Fire Station 1
For the first time in nearly forty years, a tractor-drawn aerial ladder truck enters the Madison Fire Department's fleet, bringing back old technology to meet modern needs.
Requiring two drivers— an Apparatus Engineer in the front and a Tiller Operator in the back— its tractor-trailer design allows greater versatility to navigate the hard-to-reach alleyways, courts, and cul du sacs of downtown Madison, which the previous Ladder 1, a 2011 Pierce Quantum straight truck, could not maneuver.
As high-rise buildings become a mainstay on the isthmus, vertical reach is more important than ever for downtown firefighters. The tiller's aerial ladder is able to extend 107 feet vertically, reaching an estimated eight or nine stories high.
The tiller does have a 1500 gallon-per-minute flow rate when flowing the aerial master stream via relay from another engine. Not having a pump means the tiller will operate more like a traditional truck company, has much more compartment space for specialized rescue equipment, and saves money on the overall production costs.
The acquisition of this tiller aerial ladder simply brings back old technology to meet today’s accessibility needs. The MFD’s first known tractor-drawn ladder truck dates back to the 1930s.
View footage from our open course training:
Training Officers Pat Howe, Ali Langer, Jon Byrd and Apparatus Engineer Matt Powers contributed to this blog.