Alan M. Petrillo
The Township of Union (NJ) Fire Department faced a problem-how to replace an aging 1988 reserve rescue squad and its light tower that seemed to be out of service more than it was in with an agile rescue-pumper that served the department’s lighting and water flow needs. “We began by looking at light towers that didn’t break down all the time,” says Chief Frederic A. Fretz. “We have three vehicles with light towers, and one of them always seems to be broken. We investigated a number of vehicles with light towers and then took a look at Spartan’s Boomer.”
|(1) The Township of Union (NJ) Fire Department went to Spartan
ERV for this Boomer rescue-pumper that includes a 28-foot
aluminum extrusion boom capped by an Akron 1,000-gpm
(Photos courtesy of Spartan ERV/Campbell Supply Co.)
Height and Length Restrictions
The Union truck committee, consisting of the chief, a battalion chief, a captain, and three firefighters, had looked at a number of different rescue-pumper manufacturers and their products before they encountered Bob Paleczny of Campbell Supply LLC, the Spartan ERV dealer in the Union area. “I sat down with the committee and found out what they wanted the piece to accomplish for them,” Paleczny says. “They wanted a rescue-pumper with full-depth compartments on both sides, a light tower, and good water flow capabilities.”
Paleczny notes that the arched doors in the Union station where the apparatus would be housed meant the new vehicle had height restrictions. Added to that, he says, there was a length problem too. “The length could not exceed 414 inches and the maximum overall height was 130 inches,” Paleczny says. “The Boomer came in at 128 inches high with a 409-inch overall length on a 213-inch wheelbase.”
The vehicle that the department chose to purchase is a Spartan ERV rescue-pumper with an LLFD cab and chassis carrying a 28-foot hydraulic boom. “The department was looking for a versatile master stream and the Boomer is the answer,” Paleczny says. “It replaces the deck gun, is great for an upper story outside attack, and allows a tremendous capacity for exposure protection. It also can go to negative seven degrees off the side, so it can angle its nozzle up into a first-floor ceiling and hit a fire that way.”
Jim Salmi, general manager of the aerial division for Spartan ERV, came up with the Boomer concept a number of years ago when thinking about how to help fire departments get more functionality with less equipment.
“Internally, we call the Boomer a ‘Swiss Army knife’ addition to a fire truck,” Salmi says. “It was designed to add five or six functionalities to a pumper, rescue, or tanker that, in many cases, people buy separately.”
|(2) The boom on the Union rescue-pumper also has a 1,000-
pound lifting anchor, a Safety Vision camera system, two
hydraulic tool connections, two 2½-inch discharges, a 120-volt
electrical receptacle, and six 750-watt Fire Research Corporation
The Union Rig
The Township of Union’s boom weighs less than a ton and carries a 1,000-gpm Akron monitor, six Fire Research Corporation 750-watt lights, a 1,000-pound lifting anchor, a 120-volt electrical receptacle, a Safety Vision camera system, two hydraulic tool connections, and two 2½-inch discharges at its tip.
The vehicle has a 20-kW Harrison hydraulic generator to power electrical needs, including two electric cord reels. It’s lighting package includes six 12-volt Whelen LED scene lights on the body and a Weldon LED warning light package.
Salmi says the remote-controlled boom is made from a single piece of aluminum extrusion that can be mounted on either side of a vehicle. “The boom is offset so it’s not sitting in the middle of the truck,” Salmi points out. “When the device is in its stored position, it doesn’t complicate loading or paying out hose. Its structure straddles the pump module, so it’s minimally intrusive.”
|(3) The Township of Union (NJ) Fire
Department went with Spartan’s Boomer
concept on the left side of the top of the
rescue-pumper because it didn’t want to
interfere with the hose load it typically
Another feature of the Boomer is that the vehicle doesn’t need outriggers. Fretz says the lack of outriggers and the number of features the boom offered are the elements that sold his committee on purchasing a Boomer. “Interstate 78 and the Garden State Parkway run through our district, and they have a lot of bridges and gullies that can be difficult to reach,” Fretz says. “With the Boomer, we can get up close to guard rails (no outriggers) and provide water, lighting, or hydraulic tools down onto a scene.”
He pointed out the committee chose to locate the boom on the driver’s side of the vehicle so the apparatus operator would have a better view of the boom. Also, Union chose to have a ladder rack installed on the curb side of the rescue-pumper.
Salmi adds that most departments that purchase a Boomer pumper want the boom on the driver’s side of the vehicle. “They want the best visibility from the operator’s position,” he says. “Also, when the boom is on the driver’s side, it’s more flexible when handling a scene on a roadway median.”
|(4) The Boomer attachment was placed on the left side of the rescue-
pumper so Spartan ERV could install a hydraulic ladder rack on the top
left rear side of the vehicle.
Plenty of Space
Fretz says that Spartan ERV worked hard to be sure the department could carry its standard complement of hose-1,000 feet of five-inch-as well as have full compartmentation on both sides of the vehicle. “We’re very pleased with the amount of room in the cab,” he says. “We seat five firefighters and used every space possible in the cab for cabinets and storage, including EMS.”
Paleczny points out that the vehicle’s compartmentation includes a 74-inch- high compartment behind the crew area where two backboards can be carried, full-depth high and low compartments on both sides, and SCBA and extinguisher compartments. He notes that Spartan ERV also customized compartment shelves, roll-out trays, roll-out tool boards, and compartment dividers.
Meeting Water Needs
“This is the first Boomer in New Jersey,” Paleczny says. “Union has a lot of three-story frame houses and this is much more versatile than a ladder when used as a master stream. It can reach the third story of a structure easily, and that was a big seller to the Union firefighters.”
Fretz concurs. “We can flow the water we need to with this rescue-pumper,” he says. “And we’re surprised that after we put all our equipment on the vehicle, we still had some room left in the compartments. But, it carries everything a squad company needs.”
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.
Township of Union (NJ) Fire Department
Strength: 107 paid firefighters, six civilians, three stations.
Service area: Provides fire suppression, rescue, hazardous materials protection, fire prevention, and emergency medical care to the nine-square-mile Township of Union with a population of 56,000. Coverage area runs from heavy industrial through commercial to residential with some high-rises, including university residence halls holding 3,000 students.
Other apparatus: Two Pierce Enforcer pumpers, 1,500-gpm pumps, 750-gallon water tanks, 150-gallon foam tanks; One Pierce Quantum rescue-pumper, 2,000-gpm pump, 750-gallon water tank, 125-gallon foam tank; Pierce 103-foot rear-mount ladder quint, 1,500-gpm pump, 300-gallon water tank; GMC light rescue tactical unit; GMC van for confined space rescue; self-contained decon trailer; Road Rescue ambulance; battalion chief’s vehicle; three Pierce pumpers in reserve, 1,500-gpm pumps, 750-gallon water tanks, 125-gallon foam tanks; Pierce 103-foot rear-mount aerial ladder in reserve; Baker 75-foot tower ladder in reserve; Wheeled Coach ambulance in reserve.
Spartan ERV Boomer
• Spartan Gladiator LLFD cab with 10-inch raised roof and seating for five with rollover protection on stainless steel rescue-pumper body
• Three interior cab compartments
• 23,000-pound front suspension
• 32,500-pound Ridewell rear air suspension
• ABS/ATC/EXC braking system with 17-inch front disc brakes
• Cummins ISX 15 550-hp diesel engine
• Allison Gen IV E-4000 EVS transmission
• Waterous 1,500-gpm two-stage pump
• UPF 700-gallon water tank
• 50-gallon foam tank with Hale EZ-Fill system
• Hale 5.0 Logix foam system for three discharges
• 28-foot boom with Akron 1,000-gpm monitor
• Boom carries six Fire Research Corporation 750-watt lights, 1,000-pound lifting anchor, one 120-volt electrical receptacle, Safety Vision camera system, two hydraulic tool connections at tip, and two 2½-inch discharges at tip
• Left- and right-side three-inch auxiliary suctions and auxiliary inlet for boom
• Front suction and discharge
• Four 2½-inch discharges
• One four-inch master discharge
• Three two-inch crosslays
• One two-inch hosebed preconnect
• All stainless steel plumbing
• Left- and right-side full-depth body compartments
• Four upper body storage compartments
• Six SCBA compartments in wheel well
• Two extinguisher compartments in wheel well
• ROM roll-up doors with LED strip lighting
• Customized compartment dividers, shelves, roll-out tool boards, roll-out trays, and air bag module
• 20-kW Harrison hydraulic generator
• Six 12-volt Whelen LED scene lights on body
• Two electric cord reels
• Two Hannay hydraulic tool reels
• One air hose reel
• 9,000-pound portable Ramsey winch with four receivers
• Right-side and rear-view camera system
• One 12-volt cab front Whelen LED light and two cab-side Whelen LED lights
• Weldon LED warning light package
• Federal Q2B siren and Federal PA4000 200-watt electronic siren
• GPS navigation system
Price without equipment: $669,937