A space-saving dump valve, booster reels, nozzles and controllers were among a range of innovative firefighting and search and rescue equipment introduced by manufacturers at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, Ind.
Elkhart Brass of Elkhart, Ind., exhibited a 10-inch dump valve for tankers that was developed in conjunction with Pierce Manufacturing for its PUC tanker. The unibody DV10P is a compact composite high-flow valve that weighs less than 10 pounds, instead of the standard 100-pound dump valves.
Don Sjolin, Elkhart’s vice president of marketing and strategic development, said the valve is much smaller than standard dump valves, saving compartment space for critical gear and water.
“The valve will not corrode, it seals reliably and can be completely removed in less than 10 minutes,” Sjolin said, adding the controls on the valve allow it to be integrated with the truck’s systems controls.
Saving Space And Weight
“Typically, there are three valves on a tanker – left, right and rear,” he said. “So the new valve has the capability of saving a great deal of space and weight.”
|The Elkhart Brass 10-inch dump valve, developed in conjunction with Pierce Manufacturing, is one-tenth the weight of standard dump valves.|
Elkhart also introduced new UBEC 1C electric valve controllers at FDIC. The new controllers give direct valve feedback, offer enhanced programmability, two-wire networking, presets and a companion pressure gauge. They are available for use with valves from 4 inches to 2-1/2 inches.
|Elkhart introduced a new Flex Attack tip nozzle that adjusts in a single click to the left from a wet CAF attack setting to open waterway and dry foam or a single click to the right for a 15/16-inch smoothbore stream.|
“We’ve made the buttons bigger, so the controller is easier to operate through gloves, and the entire controller is small, under 3 inches in diameter and a half-inch thick,” Sjolin said. “That means the controller can be placed almost anywhere.”
Elkhart debuted a new Flex Attack tip nozzle that adjusts in a single click to the left for operation from a wet compressed air foam (CAF) attack setting to an open waterway and dry foam setting or a single click to the right for a tight 15/16-inch smoothbore stream. Sjolin pointed out the ability to change without shutting down is useful in operations where firefighters must go from CAF to water quickly.
Elkhart also exhibited a new light kit for its Sidewinder monitor that can be positioned independently by remote control.
Akron Brass Company of Columbus, Ohio, introduced three new booster reels at FDIC 2010 in three different sizes, available in electric or manual versions.
Durable And Light
“What makes our booster reels unique is we use a powder coated paint and stainless steel hardware, so they are durable and light in weight,” said Akron Product Manager Jason Riggenback.
The reels hold up to 200 feet of 1-inch booster hose and are rated to 1,500 psi.
Akron debuted a new line of high-pressure nozzles in both hand line and bumper turret versions. The hand line nozzles, Riggenback noted, will flow up to 30 gpm at 1,500 psi. The bumper turret version, developed in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force, features an all stainless steel waterway and operates at lower gallonage with higher pressures to provide more surface area with greater cooling effect and less extinguishing agent, according to Product Manager Jeff Benson.
“The effect of the smaller water droplets out of the nozzle reduces the temperature of the fire more effectively,” he said.
|Akron Brass introduced a new line of high-pressure nozzles at FDIC 2010, among them this hand nozzle and a bumper turret version.|
Akron also introduced a new Universal Control II, a monitor control system that offers plug-and-play installation, field upgradable software, a modular design for simplified maintenance, onboard diagnostic capabilities and real time monitor position feedback.
|Akron Brass exhibited a new line of three booster reels at FDIC, available in either electric, shown above, or manual models.|
Akron exhibited its new Tri-Bar, a durable, drop-forged, single-piece Halligan-type bar made of heat-treated alloy steel, as well as an improved Black Max piston intake valve with a stainless steel piston housing, poly-impregnated body and polymer piston. The Black Max’s enlarged waterway allows for a maximum flow of 2,000 gpm.
Getting A Grip
Operators of light duty vehicles could benefit from RUD Chain’s introduction of the Rotogrip III automatic snow chains, which are mounted beneath an axle to provide traction on icy or snowy roadways. The new version from the Hiawatha, Iowa, company comes in 6-strand and 8-strand chains for light vehicles, compared to its big brother, Rotogrip I, made in 18-strand and 10-strand versions for heavy and medium duty trucks.
Steve Blood, a company spokesman, said the units are placed on the drive wheel axle and use swing arms, pneumatic cylinders and electrically-controlled actuators to engage and disengage the chains as needed.
“Wherever there are hills and ice, that’s where you’ll find us,” Blood said.
Hero Pipe, which introduced its first product at last year’s FDIC, exhibited an improved model this year incorporating a wireless control module, which remotely controls the articulating waterway from the floor below a high-rise fire.
Mike Wielgat, a Chicago Fire Department lieutenant and president of Hero Pipe, said the unit clips to a windowsill, uses floor to ceiling stabilization and extends a telescopic waterway from 8 feet to 14 feet to reach a floor above a fire. The two-part assembly transports easily in elevators along with the team and can be deployed in two minutes by two firefighters.
“With remote control of the monitor waterway,” Wielgat said, “it gives the Hero Pipe that much more flexibility.”
In the life/safety arena, two companies introduced search systems designed to provide safe egress for firefighters searching inside a fire building.
Fire Research Corporation (FRC) of Nesconset, N.Y., introduced its Safer Search system, which includes a search rope with direction and distance markers every 25 feet, a stuff bag and a Safer Search Device (SSD) that slides along the rope and automatically locks in place. The SSD has attachment loops for tag lines to provide connection points for multiple rope operations or to secure a tie-off point.
The direction and distance markers are different shapes, easy to feel with a gloved hand and are made of anodized machined 6061-T6 aluminum.
FRC also introduced the ManSaver bar, a safety bar that mounts across the opening on pumpers with top-mounted panels to prevent falls. The ManSaver, made of extruded aluminum and aluminum bronze castings, is spring loaded so it always returns to a horizontal position.
Illuminated Rescue Cable
Lumiflex Inc. of Burlingame, Calif., introduced Rescue Cablelight, designed for low visibility rescue operations. Rescue Cablelight is a 200-foot industrial strength illuminated cable that’s flexible, rugged and waterproof.
Tom Daley of Lumiflex said the product had been tested by Rapid Intervention Teams and that field reports indicate the Rescue Cablelight provided a steady and visible pathway.
The Cablelight is weight bearing up to 480 pounds, heat resistant up to 385 degrees Fahrenheit, can transmit data and has an emergency flash mode.