Truck ‘Retired’ After Ladder Fails Pennsylvania Fireman

A western Pennsylvania volunteer fire company is retiring a 36-year-old ladder truck after the ladder collapsed, causing a firefighter on it to fall to the ground.

Aliquippa fire officials say Capt. James Pennington is recovering in a Pittsburgh hospital Tuesday after breaking his elbow and suffering other injuries when the truck’s 100-foot ladder collapsed while Pennington was about halfway up the device early Sunday during a fire at an auto repair business.

The 1976 American LaFrance truck has been taken out of service. The fire department had expected to receive a replacement in December, but that $800,000 truck – purchased using a federal grant – has been delayed and likely won’t arrive until February.

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health will inspect the failed truck.