CLEMSON – The newest addition to the Clemson University Fire Department, a fire truck with a 100-foot ladder, is gearing up for action.

The new truck can reach a 10-story building.

The new truck can reach a 10-story building.
Image Credit: Ken Scar / Clemson University

The truck is equipped with a ladder topped by a large bucket to access buildings up to 10 stories. This new truck, manufactured by Sutphen Corp. of Dublin, Ohio, was acquired to serve the needs of Clemson’s expanding campus and the city of Clemson.

“Knowing that all the construction is coming – Douthit Hills, Core Campus, in downtown and the city and the multistory apartment buildings – our two straight-stick ladders are very functional and very good, but this gives us more rescue capability,” said Chief Bill Daniel. “It’s very maneuverable and very easy to operate.”

The bucket on the end of the ladder makes it easier to reach tall campus buildings and dorms if people need to be rescued.

“With the bucket on the end, you can ride it up and down instead of having to climb it,” Daniel said. Riding in the bucket rather than climbing the ladder is safer and easier for the firefighters too.

Funding for the $1.2 million truck was made possible by the ClemsonForward initiative to ensure the safety and well-being of students and employees. Daniel said the truck will be in service 20 to 25 years.

The truck will be used for campus safety and around the local community. According to Daniel, it takes a year to build a new fire truck, and this one was custom built for Clemson’s needs as the community continues to grow.