Equipment at Local Fire Departments Pulled After Nationwide Recall

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Fire departments across the state have pulled some of their trucks out of service after the company that makes those trucks issued a recall because of a major safety concern. (Published Thursday, Jul 24, 2014)

    Several fire departments across Connecticut have taken some of their trucks out of service because of a nationwide recall issued after an accident in Georgia.

    Ohio-based Sutphen Corporation issued the recall and it is affecting fire departments in Wethersfield, Middletown, Guilford, New Haven and Milford.

    The recall was issued after three firefighters in Georgia were injured during a training exercise when a ladder they had extended suddenly dropped.

    "There's a cable that runs that aerial up in the air, that cable snapped, sending that ladder track back into its bed," Deputy Chief Steven LaRosa of the Middletown Fire Department, said, describing what happened in Georgia.

    Sutphen has instructed fire departments to remove SPH 100, SP 110, SPI 112, and SAI 110 Aerial devices from service, until further notice. 

    Middletown’s truck is now out of service.

    "If these other towns have that type of service where they need that ladder, that's going to put an awful crimp on their everyday responses to keep their people safe," LaRosa said.

    Fire officials in Middletown said the public's safety was never compromised, but the recall has affected fire departments statewide.

    "When those trucks are in service, it's difficult to lose them," LaRosa said.

    New Haven's Fire Department also lost two tower ladders, but the chief insists it's not affecting staffing or public safety.

    Two trucks in Wethersfield were affected and Guilford and Milford each have one.

    Middletown is using a truck that has not been used regularly as a temporary replacement for the truck they had to take out of service.

    "We have to make sure everybody is covered, so we made the decision to put this back into service," LaRosa said.

    Middletown firefighters had a truck handy even though they don't use it regularly.

    On Wednesday the president of Sutphen issued a letter and said they're investigating as quickly as possible.

    “As a proud company of over 124 years, we have taken our responsibility to our communities and customers very seriously – for generations,” he wrote. “We have now voluntarily removed all 5-Section Aerial Devices (SPH 100, SP 110, SPI 112, and SAI 110)  from Service and are undertaking a thorough review.”

    Middletown says it hopes to get the truck back into service next week.