PORTLAND – A 1998 Portland ladder truck was ferried to Peaks Island on Wednesday, significantly augmenting the fire response there, fire officials say.

The shift in equipment was made possible because the Portland Fire Department purchased a new engine, a Seagrave ladder/pumper to be stationed at the Rosemont Neighborhood Fire Station at 212 Stevens Ave.

Ladder 12 was loaded onto a heavy equipment barge at the East End Beach boat launch and carried to the island Wednesday afternoon. That ladder truck will replace the 1983 American La-France pumper-ladder currently stationed on the island.

“While the truck going to Peaks Island is not brand new, Ladder 12 will provide a well-maintained and highly capable fire suppression tool for the island in a cost-effective and efficient manner,” Fire Chief Jerome LaMoria said in a statement. The island also will get a new ambulance, equipped with four-wheel drive and an electronic stretcher, the city said.

LaMoria said the new Seagrave, assigned the number Ladder 3, is versatile. It has a 400-gallon water tank, can pump 1,500 gallons per minutes and has a 90-foot aerial ladder.

The ladder helps firefighters quickly get to upper stories and rooftops for rescues or to vent heat from fires burning inside, the city said. Carrying its own supply of water will allow firefighters assigned to the engine to get water on a fire as quickly as possible.

The truck was purchased for $973,000 as part of the city’s capital improvements program and is expected to last 15 years.

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