Opelika (AL) Fire Department Gets Sutphen SL 100 Aerial-Ladder Quint

By Alan M. Petrillo

Sutphen Corp. has delivered a SL 100 aerial ladder quint to Opelika (AL) Fire Department that will replace a 25-year old rear-mount aerial platform, which will be held in reserve.

Shane Boyd, Opelika’s chief, says the department went with a midmount straight stick quint for reasons of maneuverability. “The truck has a very good center of gravity and its ease of movement is very good too,” Boyd observes. “With this truck, we went to a staff of four, where we are using the vehicle for structure fires, high rescue, and also high angle rope rescue.”

Boyd adds that a low travel height was important to the department because their coverage area has a number of low bridges. “We wanted to be able to take this truck anywhere in our district,” he says. “And lots of compartmentation for our equipment was important for both fire and rescue operations.”


The Opelika quint has a Hale QMax 2,000-gpm single stage pump and a 400-gallon water tank. (All photos courtesy of Sutphen Corp.)

Boyd notes that he involved the department’s firefighters and officers on the truck committee “because they are the ones who were going to be using the truck every day.” He adds that the truck carries Holmatro battery powered rescue tools — a spreader, cutter, rams and pedal cutter — in a Lazy Susan style roll-out tray in a back compartment instead of the hosed hydraulic tools on the department’s prior truck.

Jerry Harley, sales manager for Williams Fire Apparatus, who sold the SL 100 to Opelika, says the truck is built on a Sutphen Monarch heavy duty custom chassis with 10-inch double Domex frame rails, a 62-inch extended cab and a 10-inch raised roof. He notes the four door cab can seat five firefighters, four of them in SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus) seats, and also holds an EMS (emergency medical services) cabinet.

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The SL 100 has a 23,000-pound front axle and suspension, a 48,000-pound rear axle and suspension, a 242-inch wheelbase, a 44 feet 2 inches overall length, and a 10 feet 2 inches overall height. The rig is powered by a 500-horsepower (hp) Cummins X 12 diesel engine, and an Allison 4500 EVS Gen5 automatic transmission, with a Delco-Remy 430-amp alternator.

Harley says the truck’s body is Huckbolted 304 stainless steel with Amdor roll up compartment doors over 265 cubic feet of compartment space. Besides the 100-foot aerial ladder, ground ladders include a three-section 35-foot extension ladder, two two-section 28-foot extension ladders, a 16-foot roof ladder, a 14-foot roof ladder, and a 10-foot folding attic ladder.

Boyd points out that the quint has a Hale QMax 2,000-gallon per minute (gpm) single stage pump, a 400-gallon water tank, a Task Force Tips Typhoon electric monitor with a 1,500-gpm nozzle, two 1-3/4-inch cross lays and one 2-1/2-inch cross lay above the pump module, a 1-3/4-inch hose line in the front bumper, two 2-1/2-inch discharges on the left side, and one 4-inch and one 2-1/2-inch discharge on the right side. The hose bed carries 800 feet of 5-inch LDH (large diameter hose).


The tip of Opelika’s aerial ladder carries a Task Force Tips Typhoon electric monitor with a 1,500-gpm nozzle.

Additional equipment on the quint includes a FRC inView 360HD camera system with a built in DVR FRC ACT two-station intercom system, a SmartPower 6-kW generator, a Fire Tech three-piece LED brow light with ICC lights, a Whelen Freedom IV light bar, FRC Spectra 120-volt LED Tele Scene lighting, FRC Spectra 900 12-volt LED scene lighting, two FRC Spectra 120-volt LED scene lights, and Fire Tech LED ladder lighting.

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  • ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Ariz.-based journalist, the author of three novels and five non-fiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including the position of chief.


Sutphen Corp. has delivered a SL 100 aerial ladder quint to Opelika (AL) Fire Department that will replace a 25-year old rear-mount aerial platform, which will be held in reserve.

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