WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Tuesday, the Charleston Fire Department added almost $2 million in new equipment.
At Station 19 in West Ashley, the department dedicated both a new aerial apparatus and Hazmat truck.
The department says it needed the aerial or ladder truck to reach the new 4-story story apartment complexes in the West Ashley area.
"Ladder trucks are great big toolboxes," Charleston Fire Chief Karen Brack said. "The primary function for that rig is to be able to do effective search and rescue."
The aerial truck cost $1.2 million dollars and was paid for by a city-wide property tax increase passed in February 2013.
The city's new Hazmat truck cost $750,000 with $560,000 of the cost coming from a federal grant.
The truck is the first and only one in the city and will cover the entire region. It comes with high-tech equipment for sensing hazardous gas and a built-in command post.
"They will go with the police department on meth labs, gas leaks," Brack said. "They go to all gas leaks."
The trucks have long life spans. The aerial truck can last around 15-20 years and the Hazmat truck will last at least 20 years.