|(1) The West Metro Fire-Rescue District, in New Hope, Minnestota, chose E-ONE to build custom-rescue pumpers loaded with special features. The district purchased four identical units to use as first-line engines. (Photos courtesy of the West Metro Fire-Rescue District.)|
|(2) West Metro had all-electronic pump panels built inside the climate-controlled crew cabs.|
|(3) The rescue-pumpers E-ONE built for West Metro each carry two 11,000-lumen Whelen Pioneer Plus brow lights.|
|(4) Equipment on the E-ONE rescue-pumpers is carried on drop-down trays, slide-out boards, and pull-out trays.|
Alan M. Petrillo
When the West Metro Fire-Rescue District, in New Hope, Minnesota, decided it was time to replace its first-line pumpers, it decided to standardize the new apparatus yet fill them with a number of custom options that would make the firefighting job a little bit easier.
Calling for Standardization
The department needed to replace four pumpers in three different configurations made by two different manufacturers, says Scott Crandall, chief of the district. “We had a mixed bag of pumpers for replacement-two 1990 General Safety pumpers with 1,250-gallon-per-minute (gpm) Waterous pumps and 500-gallon water tanks, a 1992 Ford/Toyne pumper with a 1,250-gpm Hale pump and a 500-gallon tank, and a 1995 Ford/Toyne with a 1,500-gpm Hale pump and 500-gallons of water,” he says.
Crandall says the truck committee consisted of eight members representing a cross-section of the fire department-a firefighter and officer from each of the department’s three stations, the chief, and a deputy chief. “One of our primary desires was to move away from the commercial-cab style of pumper,” Crandall points out. “The commercial chassis was nearly four feet from the ground to the bottom of the cab floor, and all the pumpers had street-side pump panels. We wanted to get the operators out of the street and into the controlled environment of an interior pump panel.”
Crandall points out that the committee spent nearly a year performing a needs assessment, determining what needed to be replaced, what the pumpers needed to carry, and what the body configuration should be. The committee also looked at what other regional fire agencies were using and combined the options that worked best for West Metro into specifications written for pumpers with 15- to 20-year service lives. It then called a prebid meeting, which seven apparatus vendors attended, to look over the specs. “Our primary motivation was standardization,” Crandall notes, “which led us to put out a spec asking for bids on one, two, three, and four vehicles.”
Three companies submitted bids, Crandall says, with the contract going to E-ONE. Ryan Clarey of Fire Safety USA Inc., the E-ONE dealer in Rochester, Minnesota, says the West Metro pumper specs were the most detailed he’s ever encountered. “The specs were 200 pages long, and the committee members knew them very well,” Clarey says. “The committee was extremely thorough in its preparation and knew exactly what it wanted. When we had questions, it was able to answer them quickly.”
George Logan, vice president of dealer operations for E-ONE, says the vehicles were well laid out, a testament to the good job the committee did in preparing the specs. “They did have an exceedingly large number of options on the pumpers and when that happens, it’s always a challenge,” Logan says. “But, we were able to give them what they were looking for at a price that won the bid.”
Logan notes that the new pumpers feature fully enclosed electronic pump panels placed at the back of the crew cab and a Weldon VMUX multiplex system that has three controller displays-for the officer, driver, and pump operator-allowing electrical functions to be controlled from any display.
Clarey points out the pumpers’ discharge indicator system. “Each discharge has a light and a switch on the outside and a corresponding light on the pump panel,” he says. “When the firefighter makes the connection and is ready for water, he flips the switch, which illuminates the lights at the discharge and on the pump panel, alerting the pump operator.”
The pumpers also feature pneumatic electric aluminum hosebed covers. “They’re safer than climbing up on top of the pumper and can be operated with the push of one button,” Clarey notes.
Crandall calls the change to an all-electronic pump panel “a pretty big leap in terms of technology for us because, with only one exception, we’ve been using all manual handle controls.”
Scene lighting was another important consideration for West Metro, Crandall adds. The new pumpers each carry a Command light tower with six 11,000-lumen Pioneer Plus LED light heads, two 11,000-lumen Pioneer Plus LED lights on the brow, and eight Whelen M-9 LED scene lights-three on each side and two on the rear.
“Everything in the compartments is either in a PAC Trac or Zico mount,” Crandall says, “and all areas are labeled so you know immediately if something is missing from the compartment.”
Crandall notes that the department is impressed by the accessibility of the people at E-ONE, as well as the quality of their products. “When we were at the factory for inspection trips, George Logan and Peter Guile, president of E-ONE, would pop in and have lunch with us,” Crandall says. “They were very approachable.”
Logan has compliments for the West Metro firefighters in return. “What’s unusual about their vehicles is the fact they have so many options combined in them,” he says, “but the firefighters explained exactly what they wanted and we were able to meet their expectations.”
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based freelance writer and is a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.
West Metro Fire-Rescue District New Hope, Minnesota
Strength: 66 paid on-call firefighters, three stations, providing fire suppression, specialized rescue, and emergency medical support.
Service area: Provides fire services to the communities of New Hope and Crystal through a joint powers agreement; covering 13 square miles of residential, commercial, and light industrial areas and an abutting a regional airport. Population is approximately 46,000 residents.
Other apparatus: Station 1: 2005 Pierce 100-foot aerial platform, 2,000-gpm pump, 300-gallon water tank, 30-gallon foam tank; 1995 E-ONE 16-foot walk-in rescue; 2006 Ford F-250 4×4 utility pickup; 2004 Ford Expedition chief’s vehicle. Station 2: 1995 E-ONE 16-foot walk-in rescue; 2010 Ford F-150 utility pickup; 2004 Ford Expedition chief’s vehicle; 18-foot special hazard trailer for trench, confined space, and technical rope rescue equipment. Station 3: 2012 E-ONE walk-in rescue; 2010 Ford F-350 utility pickup; 2008 Ford Expedition chief’s vehicle; 2007 and 2003 Ford Expeditions; 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe pickup; 18-foot life safety trailer for hazardous materials monitoring, decontamination, and firefighter rehabilitation.
• E-ONE Quest cabs with seating for six and 20-inch raised roofs in crew cab areas
• Top-mounted pumps enclosed in rear of crew cab areas
• 228-inch wheelbases
• 35-foot, 10-inch overall lengths
• 10-foot, one-inch overall heights
• Cummins ISL 450-hp diesel engines
• Allison EVS 3000 transmissions
• Waterous CSU 200 2,000-gpm pumps
• 500-gallon water tanks
• 30-gallon foam tanks
• Pneumatic-electric aluminum hosebed covers
• Smart Power HR-20, 20-kW generators
• Weldon VMUX multiplex systems
• Command light towers with six Whelen Pioneer Plus LED lights
• Two Whelen Pioneer Plus brow lights
• Eight Whelen M-9 LED scene lights (three each side, two on the rear)
• Whelen Advantage Pro warning lights
Price without equipment: $565,000