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Pulaski fire chief continues fight for new truck he says could save lives

Town has been without ladder truck since 2011

PULASKI, Va. – Pulaski's fire chief is fighting for a new truck that he says could mean the difference between life and death.

"Our needs now are greater than ever," said Pulaski Fire Chief Robbie Kiser.

The fire department hasn’t had a ladder truck since 2011. Kiser has been pushing for one ever since.

"Not having one really hurts us. It limits us what we can do on the ground," Kiser said.

Dublin has the only ladder truck in the county.

"When you need this truck, nothing else will do," Dublin Fire Marshal Robbie Cecil said.

Any time Pulaski needs a ladder truck for a fire or rescue, they call on Dublin, but that's about 15 minutes away.

"That's probably too long," Cecil said.

"Every second does count in a fire. You know, it's a matter of saving somebody's life or not," Kiser said.

The truck is a necessity for tragedies like the Pulaski Church of God fire in 2017. Ladder trucks from Dublin and Radford sprayed water from above to places firefighters couldn't access for 12 straight hours.

"It's one of these trucks that you have to have," Cecil said.

A $1 million plus price tag has kept a new ladder truck out of reach, and numerous attempts applying for grants have failed. Now, Pulaski is closer to a deal than ever before. Kiser said they’re in talks with Blacksburg about purchasing the ladder truck it's getting ready to replace. If they can't work out a deal, Kiser said it's back to the drawing board, applying for grants.


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