News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 06/26/2014
Subject :

New Ladder Truck Gives Palo Alto Fire Department Greater Firefighting Capabilities
Contact : Catherine Capriles, Deputy Chief, Palo Alto Fire Department    650-329-2265
Palo Alto, CA–The Palo Alto Fire Department has a new weapon for fighting fires—a Pierce Tractor Drawn Aerial Ladder Truck ("Tiller"). The truck, which will replace a 1998 Spartan Hi-Tech Quint Aerial Ladder Truck, has far greater capabilities than the existing truck and will be able to provide a higher-level of service to the community.

On June 30, community members are invited to attend a ceremony at City Hall from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. as the fire department officially takes possession of the new truck. After the ceremony, firefighters will demonstrate the capabilities of the new truck, as well as give “tours” and answer questions about it.

The new Pierce model truck offers significantly more storage for vehicle extrication, technical rescue operations and water evacuation equipment; an increase in ladder reach from 75 feet to 100 feet; and better maneuverability through the narrow and dense Palo Alto streets and neighborhoods. The new ladder truck is also the only apparatus in the fleet capable of accommodating an additional person and up to 25 percent more equipment.

“We are excited to add this new Tiller truck to our fleet,” Palo Alto Fire Chief Eric Nickel said. “It will provide the community with a dependable, safe, state-of-the-art apparatus that will enhance community service and safety for many years.” 

In June 2013, City Council approved $1.2 million for the purchase of the new truck. Under the City of Palo Alto's vehicle policy, aerial ladder fire apparatuses are to be replaced at 15 years and/or 50,000 miles. The current ladder truck, purchased in 1997, exceeds both the age and mileage guidelines.

The City was able to take advantage of a cooperative purchasing policy through the San Jose Fire Department to purchase the new Pierce Tiller. This saved the City an estimated 350 to 400 hours of labor and reduced the purchasing process by nearly a year.

The addition of the Pierce model truck also provides standardization among the fire department’s current fleet, which includes six Pierce engines. This allows the mechanics to stock a supply of regularly needed parts to repair and maintain each apparatus, to use the same diagnostic software for the entire fire fleet, and to utilize their training on the Pierce fire apparatuses.

For more information on the Palo Alto Fire Department, visit or call 650-329-2265.