We know that in order for our first responders to effectively do their jobs they must have up-to-date equipment. In 2018, the Cherokee Fire Department needed to purchase a new ladder truck – after using a relic from 1976 for longer than anyone can remember. A new truck would be a major investment of $870,000.
The fire department started a fundraising campaign, and MidAmerican Energy answered their call for a contribution. The new truck means they don’t have to rely on neighboring communities for a ladder truck, effectively reducing response times by more than an hour.
Cherokee County is home to more than 12,000 people linking eight small towns. The county was established 1851 and has been always an important connection point between South Dakota and Iowa; as well as a hub for many railroad companies in the early 20th century.
“We have the only ladder truck in Cherokee County,” said Greg Eaton, fire chief with the Cherokee Fire Department. “Without our own certified ladder truck, we’d have to wait nearly an hour for a truck to arrive from another community.”
Iowa is home to many railroad towns and counties like Cherokee, and we know it’s our duty to assist where we can, especially when it comes to ensuring communities can provide safe, reliable services to their citizens.