Insurance covered $1.28 million of the cost for the new engine and the rest of the cost was spent to customize the vehicle to fit the department’s particular needs and add safety features like a 365 degree camera so the driver can see everything around the truck.
He said he is pleased with how the truck, that took about a year to build, turned out.
“This is everything we had designed it to do,” Klussman said. “We had a really good design committee that laid out everything from the way the interior of the truck is, to the cab and the compartments, even just the lettering and color scheme.”
Trustee Steve Schramm said while the crash was unfortunate, it helped the fire department’s budget.
“It is one of those odd situations where holy mackerel we just basically saved our budget for the fire department for the next two or three years by having an act of God,” Schramm said. “So I thank somebody somewhere but this is not the way you want it to be done.”
Trustee Tom Farrell said the main reason the ladder truck was on the expressway that day was to serve as a “blocker truck” to protect first responders. He said the township had just instituted the new policy two months earlier.
“There were 15 emergency people in front of that fire truck, had that fire truck not been there and that semi went through there it certainly would have taken lives," he said. “You don’t need a ladder truck on the freeway, you have all those other trucks and that ladder truck came all the way from (Ohio) 747 and (Ohio) 129. The point was that’s the best truck to use as a blocking truck.”
The township has another truck coming, this one a regular replacement engine that cost about $600,000. Klussman said that vehicle is on the assembly line right now and should be ready in January.