Thursday will be a big day for Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue as the first of three tractor-drawn aerial ladder trucks begins responding to calls. The truck will be based out of Farmington Road Station 67 in downtown Beaverton.
The new truck, commonly referred to as a tiller truck, has separate steering wheels in the front and back for better maneuverability through skinny streets, sharp turns, tight curves, and congested neighborhoods with lots of parked cars. Its ability to navigate more easily through challenging areas than straight-frame trucks allows crews to access scenes efficiently and position the aerial ladder for potential rescues of fire victims. This maneuverability will also improve response times.
Eighteen apparatus operators have been trained to drive the 60-foot-long truck with an apparatus operator driving in the tractor and a tiller operator driving in the back.
The rig has a 100-foot aerial ladder and includes 24 compartments with 40 percent more space than other trucks in TVF&R’s fleet to store equipment and tools needed to respond to fires, rescues, and other emergencies.
More apparatus operators will be trained later this year with the arrival and deployment of the second tiller truck.