Posted: Wednesday, July 23rd 2014 at 11:59am
Ladder truck manufacturer investigates following accident with firefighters
By B.J. Williams Administrator
GAINESVILLE - The Ohio company that manufacturers aerial firefighting equipment like the truck involved in a training operation accident Tuesday in Hall County has instructed customers to stop using the equipment.
Sutphen Corporation issued a statement immediately after a ladder on Hall County's SPH 100 "pancaked" during a training exercise, seriously injuring three firefighters. All three remained hospitalized at last report.
"At this time, our priority is the safety of our firefighters," said company president Drew Sutphen in a press release. "In light of the recent incidents, we recognize there is an immediate need to take precautionary action. I would rather take every precaution necessary than to put firefighters at risk."
Contacted by phone, a company spokesman refused further comment, saying the company would not discuss the incident further until engineers had evaluated the piece of equipment involved in the incident.
Engineers were expected to arrive in Hall County Wednesday. Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle said at some point the ladder truck would be returned to the factory in Dublin, Ohio.
Cagle said the company has been pro-active in calling for safety, following the incident.
"They are a family owned company and our support for them and their equipment is unwavering. The President of the company, Drew Sutphen, has been in contact with Fire Chief David Kimbrell and his first concern is for the Hall County Firefighters and their well-being," said Cagle in an email statement.
The vehicle in question is a 2006 model, according to Cagle. The county had purchased it recently and had been using it for four months. The ladder truck had been housed at Hall County's new Station #16 on Shirley Road.
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