Grosse Pointe Woods  Public Safety Director John Kosanke stands  with the city’s new  100-foot ladder E-One Metro Apparatus firetruck.

Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Director John Kosanke stands with the city’s new 100-foot ladder E-One Metro Apparatus firetruck.

Photo by Deb Jacques

New firetruck arrives in Grosse Pointe Woods

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 27, 2021


GROSSE POINTE WOODS — It’s finally here.

On Jan. 13, the Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Department received its brand-new firetruck, a project two years in the making.

The E-One Metro Apparatus features a 100-foot ladder; a 2,000-gallon-per-minute pump; a 500-gallon water tank; an aluminum body; and an 11-foot spread on the outrigger stability system.

City Council approved the purchase during a council meeting in December 2018. Classic red in color, the truck was supposed to take one year to build, but because of tariffs and COVID-19, one year turned into two years.

Grosse Pointe Woods Public Safety Director John Kosanke, along with Lt. Quincy Lefurgey and Sgt. Joseph Provost, spent plenty of time researching various companies to select the right vehicle for the city.

“It was a long process. This has taken a lot of time, a lot of energy, a lot of cooperation,” Kosanke said. “A lot of detail went into this truck. It’s going to serve and protect lives and properties in Grosse Pointe Woods and the surrounding communities. I would like to thank the mayor, council and city administration for their support of the firetruck.”

The Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods operate under a public safety mutual aid agreement. The E-One Metro 100 costs approximately $996,000, plus another $75,000 in equipment to bring the total cost to $1,071,000. An extra $5,000 for price increases on equipment was set aside over the course of the truck’s life, but Kosanke said that it was not needed after all.

The new ladder truck replaced the department’s 1990 aerial truck, which was new 31 years ago when Kosanke started with the department.

The purchase agreement is between West Shore Fire Inc., based in Allendale, Michigan, known as the “company” in the agreement, and Grosse Pointe Woods, known as the “buyer.” The company agreed to sell, and the buyer agreed to purchase the fire apparatus manufactured by E-One Inc. of Ocala, Florida, and related equipment described in the company’s proposal, page specifications and firetruck schematics.

The new truck joins the department’s second truck, which is a pumper firetruck. All Grosse Pointe Woods public safety officers are trained in police, fire and medical operations. The ladder truck comes equipped with all the necessary tools and equipment, including fire extinguishers, hoses, axes, air packs and pipe poles. The new truck will be used for fighting fires, high rescue operations and aerial suppression.

“An aerial suppression is where a residence or building has gotten to the point where the fire has extended to the second floor,” Kosanke said. “We have to fight the fire from the air. A firefighter may have to go on a ladder or a roof to perform ventilation. Every fire is different. Every fire gets to be complex.”

Before using the new truck, all the officers, in small groups, will be trained on it. The employees, including Kosanke, will initially undergo five hours of driver training. In the middle of March, E-One Metro will send a trainer from Florida to train the department’s public safety officers on the truck, pumping and ladder operations. According to Kosanke, the truck has the same concepts of previous vehicles, but with new technologies, “the configuration is a little bit different.”

One new feature is the installation of a camera on top of the ladder, which will allow firefighters to see fires from the ground without having to immediately climb the ladder. There are backup cameras to help watch out for traffic.

“With this new fire apparatus, the City Council has made an investment into the future of the safety of our residents and our public safety officers,” City Administrator and Police Commissioner Bruce Smith said in an email. “The technological advancements this truck represents is remarkable in its versatility to be the first in apparatus to every structure fire.”

According to Smith, the new purchase can protect neighboring structures from fire spread, and the ladder can be used to rescue victims “unable to make exit by normal means.”

“It has the capability to support an aggressive interior attack of a fire inside of a structure. Yet at the same time, it has the exact same capability to be first on the scene with a 100-foot aerial ladder to make defensive fire attacks extinguishing the fire from above,” Smith said. “Our public safety officers can switch from an offensive interior attack to a defensive exterior attack in a matter of minutes, resulting in a quicker fire extinguishment and less property damage.”