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City able to find replacement fire truck

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By Stephen Thomas

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - The Shepherdsville City Council is working with the city’s fire department to replace a ladder truck.

Shepherdsville Fire’s truck was totaled after flipping over during an emergency run on May 27. Three firefighters were involved, with one serious injury reported.

Fire chief Layne Troutman updated the council on the situation. He said Shepherdsville Police investigated the incident.

According to Troutman, the firefighter driving the truck was a well-trained veteran who had completed numerous driving courses.

“There’s one thing you can’t control... when the tones go off for a fire run... there’s a thing called adrenaline,” Troutman said.

The run was for a fire at the Gordon Foods Services warehouse in the Cedar Grove Industrial Park. 

The ladder truck was exiting Interstate 65 onto Cedar Grove Rd. when it flipped while making a left turn.

Troutman said the truck’s speed was estimated at 40-45 MPH on the turn. He said the truck was a C-axle, where most trucks are a dual axle.

According to the Shepherdsville Police Department report, the accident happened at 4:36 p.m.

“Unit 1 was traveling too fast to negotiate the turn and rolled onto its right side,” according to the police report.

James R. Foster was listed as the driver of the truck. Passengers were

Andrew C. Worrall and Jessica C. Stone.

The council approved a search for a replacement truck. 

Troutman said a used 110-foot ladder truck was available for purchase from the Ridge Road Fire Protection District located in Greece, New York.

He said the department researched and checked as many as four potential trucks. The one offered by Ridge Road was a 2001 American LaFrance model.

The truck’s estimated worth was in the $330,000 to $350,000 price range. 

The offer made for purchase was set at $175,000.

According to Troutman, the story pertaining to SFD’s ladder truck went national.

“The department had other offers on the truck,” he said. “They saw this story, so they gave the option to us.”

Council member Bernard “Bernie” Brown inquired about estimates for equipment upgrade. Troutman said an estimated $5,000 would touch up the paint. He said a water pump valve would need replacement.

“Otherwise it is in working order and in good shape with over 30,000 miles on it,” Troutman said, adding that the ladder was higher, a necessity in the city for locations such as industrial parks.

According to city clerk Tammy Richmond, the damaged Shepherdsville truck was valued at $437,709. She said insurance was offered at a total of $295,000.

“With the price of fire trucks, we’re looking at changing our insurance for full  replacement value of anything over $100,000,” said mayor Scott Ellis.

According to Richmond, the city currently paid a total of $166,174 for insurance. Adding full replacement coverage would increase the annual payment to $179,470 (not including the new truck).

Council member Gloria Taft asked when the last fire department vehicle accident took place. Richmond said there was not an accident of note.

Council member Clinton Kline advised that saving the extra proposed payment would take the city over 10 years to collect enough payment for replacement of another damaged vehicle.

“What if a tornado hit this building?” he asked. “I don’t think $1,200 a month matters the way this council spends money.”

The council voted 5-0 to allow Troutman purchase of the new truck, along with upgrading city insurance for full coverage of vehicles over $100,000.

Council member Faith Portman was absent.