Sutphen Officials Say Certain Aerials Should be Placed Out of Service Immediately

Another ladder failure Tuesday that left three Georgia firefighters injured has caused Sutphen officials to request departments put certain aerials out of service immediately.

Hall County Firefighters Will Griffin, TJ Elliott and Stephen Jackson were alert after they were injured in the incident at the training center Tuesday afternoon. Two were flown from the scene to a trauma center, while the other was transported to a local hospital by ambulance, according to WXIA TV.

The trio was in the bucket of the extended ladder when there was a failure, and it dropped about 20 feet before jamming, explained Scott Cagle, fire department spokesman.

In June, three Pennsylvania firefighters were injured in a similar incident involving a Sutphen aerial.

The manufacturer accepted responsibility, saying improper cables were installed on the tower truck during a rebuild two years ago.

Following Tuesday's incident, Sutphen Corporation officials announced that departments should remove all "SPH 100, SP 110, SPI 112, and SAI 110 aerials from service, until further notice, effective immediately."

“At this time, our priority is the safety of our firefighters,” President Drew Sutphen said in a statement posted on the company website. “In light of the recent incidents, we recognize there is an immediate need to take precautionary action.  I would rather take every precaution necessary than to put firefighters at risk.”

The company will be contacting customers with the affected units personally to inform them of the events that have occurred and the steps that are being taken to get the units back in to service in a timely manner.

“We feel the need to personally assure our customers that we are working to investigate and correct the situation,” he added. 

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