HARRIS COUNTY, Texas- The Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department recently acquired a new, state-of-the-art ladder truck.
However, it can't fit down some streets with low-hanging trees, because it is so big.
The truck is 12 feet, nine inches tall and more than eight feet wide.
Fire Chief Amy Ramon says crews are literally running into the problem on a daily basis.
“The trees are growing and getting older. With that, the canopies are getting larger. Where the newer subdivisions have smaller trees in their front yards, as they age, they go over the curb and come down into the path of the regular street,” she said. “Just the other day, we were trying to access a patient with a medical emergency. Because of the trees on their street, we could not bring the ladder truck to their house. The crew had to park the truck and walk to the house for the medical emergency.”
As a result, Cy-Fair VFD is asking for people to raise canopies to over 13 feet.
They've already started working with residents and homeowners associations.
“It is delaying response times, it is damaging equipment. This equipment is all bought with tax dollars, so when we have to make repairs, it's also being paid for with tax dollars, so it has the potential to raise taxes also,” said Ramon.
Ramon says the larger ladder truck will allow crews to fight fires in multi-story buildings, box stores, and homes situated far from the road.
She added that the equipment helps the department's ISO, which is an insurance rating. An improved ISO can lower resident's insurance rates.