Equipment to the rescue

Oct. 1, 2003
FIRE service leaders from across the country converged in Dallas to view the latest firefighting apparatus August 22-25. Fire-Rescue International is

FIRE service leaders from across the country converged in Dallas to view the latest firefighting apparatus August 22-25.

Fire-Rescue International is an annual event sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Fire-Rescue International 2004 will be held August 12-15, 2004, in New Orleans.

Here is a sample of the products seen at this year's event:

Telescopic boom puts penetrating nozzle inside aircraft. It's easy for the big airport crash trucks to dominate the shows of firefighting equipment. Fire-Rescue International 2003 in Dallas was no different. E-One's Titan ARFF was on display, now equipped with a telescopic boom that puts the foam or water nozzle 52 feet in the air or 29 feet forward of the vehicle.

The Titan HPR G-series is designed for the largest international airports. The one on display in Dallas will soon go to the huge Schiphol Airport at Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Schiphol already has three other similar crash trucks, but without the telescoping boom. The new truck is part of a Dutch order for 34 Titans, two of which have the new boom.

The nozzle of the new E-One telescoping boom has a spring-loaded tip that can penetrate 14" into the skin of a downed aircraft. It also has two cameras (color and infra-red), two xenon lights, and a hydro-chem nozzle mounted on the head.

This is truly an international vehicle. The Bronto F17 telescoping boom is manufactured in Finland. The four Meritor S 5000 independent suspension axles are by ArvinMeritor in France. The swing-out hose reels are by Youldon in the UK. However, the twin-steer chassis and vehicle were built at the Emergency One plant in Ocala, Florida.

The boom-tip nozzle can pump 1,200 gallons per minute onto or into a burning aircraft, or 600 gpm at low flow rate. The on-board tank carries 2,380 gallons. A bumper turret can also pump 6,600 gpm. Two hand lines are on hose reels, and four undermount nozzles are designed to protect the vehicle from ground fire. Dry chemical is also available on a hand line, with a 2½" discharge on each side.

The styled body is of GRP glass fiber-reinforced polyester construction. Bus-type doors are pneumatically operated and have reduced swing-out for less congestion. Seating for four is provided.

Weighing 104,000 pounds, the Titan is powered by a Detroit Diesel MTU 12V series 2000 putting out 1,005 hp. It has an Allison M-6610A six-speed automatic transmission and rides on Michelin 24R21 XZL tires. The price tag for the ARFF vehicle with boom is almost $1.5 million.

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The first pumper of a new series was introduced by Crimson Fire — A Spartan Company. Among the innovations is an angled instrument panel for the pump operator. It is easier to see from the ground, reduces glare, and is hinged for easy repair. Angling the panel outboard also extends the top deck, making it safer and easier for the operator.

The 1,000-gallon poly tank is custom formed to lower the center of gravity while making more efficient use of the space for compartments. Caged construction uses triangular tubing to increase space within the compartment. Access to the 1,500-gpm Waterous pump can be made in eight seconds.

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The Enforcer is a new rear-mount pumper available from Pierce Manufacturing as a standard model. It is equipped with a Waterous 1,500-gpm S100D single-stage pump mounted at the rear. This reduces the wheelbase and lowers the center of gravity. Wheelbase is 182.5". The on-board poly tank holds 900 gallons. The 56"-wide hose bed has a capacity of 97 cubic feet. Cab seating is provided for six.

All plumbing and compartments are of stainless steel, and all welds are hidden. Flat facia panels are painted before adhering to the stainless steel compartments for better cosmetics and repairability. All shelving is of 3/16" aluminum and rated at 500 pounds per shelf.

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Self-filling water tanker. Reggie Ridgway started Southern Fire Equipment Inc two years ago to build water tankers, and today his company is specializing in 2,000- to 5,000-gallon tank trucks that are vacuum-loaded and pressure-assist unloaded. Pictured is a 2,500-gallon tank with quarter-inch aluminum shell. It has both external rings and internal baffles to handle the pressures. With 6" lines on each side and the rear, it can dump or fill in less than two minutes.

This Water Master 2,500-gallon tank is mounted on a Freightliner M2 Business Class chassis. It is equipped with a Wittig 430 cfm rotary vane vacuum pump. A 500-gpm Hale PTO pump is optional for firefighting, along with crosslays for two 1½" hose lines.

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Rescue pumper is a new addition to Hackney Emergency Vehicles has specialized in rescue vehicles. By using the same pinched-frame concept as Hackney beverage bodies, it provides rescue trucks with very large and low-mounted compartments 40" deep. The rescue pumper pictured is Hackney's first venture into combination vehicles. Shown at Fire-Rescue International in Dallas, it retains the same large compartments but adds a firefighting capability. It is equipped with a Hale Class I pump module and a 500-gallon poly tank mounted over the drive axle.

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Forestry fire equipment rides on Unimog. American LaFrance showed a very specialized custom firefighting unit mounted on a specialized chassis — the Unimog U 500 from Mercedes-Benz. It was built by Carl Becker, who has some 30 years' experience in fire apparatus. He formerly owned Becker Fire Equipment in Casper, Wyoming, a firm he merged into American LaFrance in 1999.

Mounted on the Unimog 26,000-lb GVW chassis, this vehicle is certified a Type 3 U S Forestry unit. It has full pump-and-roll capabilities, since a separate Cummins four-cylinder diesel drives the Hale 400-gpm pump. On-board tank capacities are 525 gallons for water and 25 gallons for Class A Foam.

The all-aluminum body is framed with 6061 T6 extrusions having 1/4" to 1/2" wall thickness. The chassis has portal axles that provide about 17" of ground clearance. Seating is for two or three crew members.

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A fully multiplexed electrical system is one of the features of the new Predator “next generation” chassis. Solid-state devices replace mechanical switches, relays, and flashers. The fully multiplexed pump function has a redundant back-up pump system to ensure performance of critical functions. Strategically placed input and output modules result in a dramatic reduction in wiring size, length, and connection points. Computer and modem-ready interfaces permit vehicle features to be diagnosed and reprogrammed to fit changing needs.

Interior space in the cab is improved by moving the engine forward and redesigning the radiator farther forward and lower. It has an extremely low engine doghouse, opening up the interior for a larger crew area and more seating options.

Foster Auxiliary Rescue Unit combines all the rescue fundamentals of electrical power, compressed air, light, and hydraulic power in a compact and cost-effective trailer format. Weighing less than 2,500 pounds, it can be pulled to the scene by virtually any vehicle, including a battalion chief's car. It can get inside buildings and into underground parking garages. In mass casualty situations, its small footprint and light weight allow it to be dropped off and pushed into optional position by hand, dramatically de-congesting the scene and reducing apparatus gridlock. Completely self-contained, it can run for days at a time, requiring only an occasional refill of the 6.5-gallon gas tank.

At a cost of just over $50,000, completely equipped with airbags and hydraulic extrication tools, the Auxiliary Rescue Unit offers cities an affordable way to provide stored excess rescue capacity for mass casualty incidents. For many other fire departments, it's an affordable everyday rescue unit that will meet the needs of more than 90% of rescue calls.