In March 2006, Chestermere Fire Service (formerly Chestermere Fire Rescue) began to consider the benefits of adding an Aerial truck to the department’s fleet of vehicles. Three house fires in 2005/2006 required mutual aid from Calgary Fire Department, which resulted in first-hand observation of what a ladder truck was capable of and the additional safety and protection benefits the fast-growing community of Chestermere could experience.
After calculating the approximate cost of building and maintaining an aerial, CFS presented their request to Chestermere’s Council for budgeting and approval. Council was in agreement for the purchase of an Aerial and applied for some government funding to help cover the cost. Council was awarded a large sum of money as an ‘Infrastructure Grant’ and put about $1 Million towards the purchase.
Aerial 116 was built in the United States with a Spartan chassis and cab in 2007, then shipped off to Germany for the installation of the Metz boom and outriggers in 2008. Finally, it was sent back to the U.S. for Rosenbauer to install the compartment lockers.
Initially, the three best options for the Aerial’s boom manufacturer were Bronto, Metz, and Pierce. Once our department decided that a bi-directional arm would add more versatility to the aerial services, Metz became the manufacturer of choice.
One of the most unique features of Aerial 116 is that it still has a raised roof. Most Aerial trucks have a lowered or indented roof to allow for the boom to drop down into a groove, therefore lowering the profile of the truck. At 12’6”, our Aerial easily fits under the height restrictions of surrounding bridges and clearances and allows for significantly more room inside the cab than you would find in most ladder trucks.