Oct 20, 2013 10:00 PM by Lindsay MacLeod, KSBY News

Firefighters say the need for ladder trucks on the Central Coast is increasing

Five Cities Fire Authority has one of four ladder trucks in San Luis Obispo County, and it's the only one in south San Luis Obispo County.

The ladder carries 300 gallons of water, 25 gallons of foam, a fire pump, tools, and it has aerial capabilities. The ladder can reach up to 100 feet, which is crucial in rescues at multi-story buildings and to reach rooftops to fight fires. That horizontal reach capability helped in last weekend's hotel fire in Santa Maria.

Firefighters say that as the population increases and the Central Coast continues to develop, more trucks like these will be needed.

"When you see the larger complexes, whether it's a residential complex, the new housing complexes at Cal Poly, the ones that are coming up here, the hotels and motels in our area. They're not allowed to spread out. They don't have the area, so they are going up," said Captain Patrick Ferguson, of the Five Cities Fire Authority Station 66.

Five Cities Fire serves about 38,000 people in Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach, Oceano, and Halcyon. They also serve about 1.5 million visitors who come through the area each year. Firefighters say they've noticed an increase of about 100 to 150 calls each year.



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