Springfield Township, Delaware County, PA

1978 Sutphen Tower 44

Manufacturer: Sutphen Corporation, Columbus, OH

Year Manufactured: 1978

Cost: $209,700

Years of Active Service: 21 Years (1978-1999)

Sold to:  Reamstown Fire Company, Lancaster County, PA, April 1999

Height of Aerial Tower: 92 feet

Pump Size: 1500 GPM Hale Mid-Ship Single Stage

Water Tank Size: 300 Gallons

Crew Cab: 6 Personnel (Driver, Officer, 4 Firefighters)

Springfield Fire Company was the first department in the State of Pennsylvania to purchase a Sutphen Aerial Tower.  The Members of the Company started to research the Sutphen Aerial Tower in 1973 when one member of the company, on a visit to the Ohio area, had the opportunity to see one and he was impressed.   With the 1954 Pirsch Aerial Ladder needing to be replaced, the Company formed a Committee and decided to replace the Ladder Truck with a Sutphen Aerial Tower.

When the truck was delivered in early 1978, it was ahead of its time.  The Tower came with a 8V-71 Detroit Diesel Engine, Allison Automatic Transmission, 1500 GPM Hale Mid-Ship Pump, 300 Gallon Water Tank, Preconnected Hoselines and Supply Line.  Today this type of Apparatus is often referred to as a Quint Apparatus, having the ability to function as both an Engine Company and a Truck Company.

The Truck was first seen by members of the company as a specialized piece of equipment and its use was limited.  But with the insight and knowledge of certain members of the company, it was soon realized that this truck was very practical and served a purpose on many emergencies, not just special situations.

The Aerial Tower first ran as the fourth piece responding on all structure fires for the first years of service, then was moved to third out piece.  In the late 1980’s the truck was moved to second responding piece were it ran until the last year of service when it was moved back to third out piece, intended as a move to cut down on maintenance cost before the truck was to be replaced.

The 1978 Sutphen Aerial Tower was one of the best pieces of fire apparatus for Springfield Fire Company and the Sutphen Aerial Tower is probably one of the best and safest Aerial Devices in the United States Fire Service today.

These are the features that the 1978 Sutphen Aerial Tower had upon retirement from the Springfield Fire Company fleet in April of 1999:

90’+ Aerial Tower, 1500 GPM Hale Mid Ship Single Stage Pump, 300 Gallon Capacity Water Tank, 6 Kilowatt Generator, 500′ of  5″ Supply Hose, 2 – 200′ 1 3/4″ Preconnected Crosslay Hoselines, 2 – 35′ Extension Ladders, 1 – 30′ Extension Ladder, 2 – 18′ Ground/Roof Ladders, 1 – 14′ Ground/Roof Ladder, 1 – 12′ Ground/Roof Ladder, 1 – 8′ “A” Frame/ 16′ Extension Ladder, 1 – 8′ Folding/Attic Ladder, 1 – 10′ Folding/Attic Ladder, Specialized Equipment:

  • “Rabbit” Hydraulic Forcible Entry Tool
  • Stokes Rescue Basket
  • 2 – MSA Hip-Air Masks
  • Cutters Edge Ventilation Saw
  • Homelite XL-98 Rotary Saw with “D-AXE” Cutting Blade