Spotlight – “Hazel”
Working for the Charleston Fire Department I got to see “Hazel” come to life as she was being built. We would receive frequent updates from our headquarters with photos attached. All the advance photos were nothing compared to the first time I saw the tiller back into its station on Coming St. I have seen a hand full of tiller ladders before but not up close and personal.
I had no intention of painting our new tiller until I stumbled across a photograph by Firefighter, Photographer, and owner of www.3housephoto.com, Colt Roy. Through a mutual friend’s Facebook page I found this photograph which featured a technique called “High Dynamic Range”. I immediately reached out to Colt to see if he was ok with me using his photograph for a painting. Luckily, he was not only willing, he also has a library of great photographs for future use.
“Hazel” is a 2013 Pierce Arrow XT 100 foot tiller ladder. The tiller is 57′ 11 ” in total length, It carries a full complete of Hurst extrication equipment (cutter, spreader and rams) air bags, Res-Q-Jacks, A-Jax tool and rope gear. It also has seating for six firefighters and carries six air packs . There is a 10kw generator along with two electric cord reels and two hydraulic cord reels.
“Hazel” got her name from late Charleston Chief, Hazel Wine . Chief Hazel Wine joined the Charleston Fire Department in 1966 and retired in 2006 as a Battalion Chief in the 3rd Battalion. Chief Wine started his career on Ladder 4 and rose through the ranks to become the captain of Ladder 4. During his career he saw the integration of the fire department. He became the second black battalion chief in the CFD. Chief Wine was a leader, mentor and was fair with his people, and in his honor the new ladder was dedicated in his memory.