Township Ladder Truck Instrumental in Retrieving Submerged Pick Up
Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:09:32 EST
A ladder truck became the unlikely hero in the recovery of pickup truck fully submerged in water.

At about 6:30 Saturday evening (11-18), the Alpena and Maple Ridge township fire departments were called to the boat launch off Long Rapids Road near Haken Road. There, a full size pickup truck driven by an Alpena man ended up under water in the Thunder Bay River.

Rescue crews were called to check on the condition of the truck's driver who was able to free himself from the vehicle. Crews then began to concentrate on removal of the truck. Unable to be seen underwater, members of the Michigan State Police Post in Alpena kept the location marked using beams from flashlights.

Due to the truck's location, employees from Prell's Towing were not able to hook it. It was determined the best approach would be to use the Alpena Township Fire Department's ladder truck.

The ladder truck was brought close to the water's edge, and the ladder extended over the river and above the pickup. With water coming from the dam at a high rate of speed, crews worked quickly to connect a hook to the pick up from the tow truck. It was then guided to shore and removed from the water with assistance from firefighters in cold water rescue gear.

Those on scene had feared the truck would be swept away in the current, and were also concerned of leaks of gasoline and oil into the water.

Tow truck workers had already positioned their vehicle and extended its bed to make removal easier for fire personnel.

Typically, a ladder truck is used for firefighting purposes. The National Fire Protection Association requires two means of egress from any emergency roof situations. Township firefighters are able to meet those requirements with the use of the ladder truck, along with a ladder they use for higher elevations. Locations such as big box stores and the new Thunder Bay Transportation facility would be some of the cases where NFPA requirements whould need to be met.

There scene was cleared in about two hours.


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