Alan M. Petrillo
Motiva Enterprises’ Norco Manufacturing Complex in Norco, Louisiana, is a dual-use facility that contains a Motiva petroleum refinery and a Shell chemical plant, each presenting unusual hazards in terms of fire prevention and suppression. Add the fact that the complex is a small city complete with office buildings, warehouses, housing, and a web of large and small roadways, and the task of designing a pumper to protect the facility seems daunting.
Last year Michael Mitchell, emergency response manager for the Norco Complex, was faced with developing specifications for two industrial pumpers and an industrial aerial platform in less than a month. “We were advised there was capital available for the apparatus but that we had to put the specs together quickly,” Mitchell says. “We contacted Ferrara to help us with the specs for the pumpers.” Ferrara ultimately got the job to build two vehicles.
|(1) Ferrara Fire Apparatus built two industrial pumpers for Motiva
Enterprises’ Norco Manufacturing Complex with Hale 8FG 3,000-gpm
pumps, 1,000-gallon foam tanks, and 500-gallon water tanks. (Photos
courtesy of Ferrara Fire Apparatus unless otherwise noted.)
Mitchell says replacing older pumpers was a major concern and that he had specific needs to be met on the new vehicles. “We wanted the pumpers to be on a single axle for better maneuverability, be able to carry 1,000 gallons of foam and 500 gallons of water, and be able to deliver 10,000 gallons per minute (gpm),” he says.
When pumping from the refinery’s water system, Mitchell points out, firefighters can tap a great deal of volume and pressure. “We have up to 30-inch water mains throughout the complex,” he says. “And, there are eight locations where we can take fire water from a river, wells, and lakes with a pumping capacity of more than 20,000 gpm.”
Motiva Enterprises awarded Ferrara the contract for the two pumpers, Mitchell notes, “because we had dealt with them in the past, they are a local provider in our state, they have excellent engineering and sales support, and they turned in the low bid on the two pumpers.”
|(2) The two industrial pumpers each have two Task Force Tips Monsoon 2,000-gpm monitors at the rear in addition to a Williams Fire & Hazard Control Ambassador 2,000- to 6,000-gpm main deck gun.|
The two pumpers are identical. Each is built on a Ferrara Igniter XMFD four-door custom cab and chassis with a 3⁄16-inch 5052 H32 marine-grade extruded aluminum body with a Cummins 600-horsepower ISX15 diesel engine and Allison 4000 EVS transmission; each carries a Hale 8FG 3,000-gpm pump, a 1,000-gallon foam tank, and a 500-gallon water tank.
Firefighting punch is delivered by a Williams Fire & Hazard Control Hot Shot 2 balanced pressure foam system that can be directed to any or all of three monitors-a Williams Ambassador 2,000- to 6,000-gpm main deck gun and two Task Force Tips (TFT) Monsoon 2,000-gpm monitors at the rear of each vehicle. All three monitors can be controlled either from the pump panel or by wireless remote.
“We wanted to take advantage of the large fire water system we have, so we had Ferrara design the pump and manifold to achieve high flow rates,” Mitchell observes. “The two Monsoon monitors at the rear can be fed from a separate location through a Task Force Tips Jumbo Ball Intake valve and operated independently from the main gun if needed.”
Mitchell adds that every discharge has an Elkhart UBEC 3 electric valve control with integral pressure and flow readout.
|(3) The Motiva Norco industrial facility has up to 30-inch water mains, and its fire brigade is able to take water from rivers, a lake, and on-site wells. (Photo courtesy of Motiva Enterprises.)|
Brad Williamson, industrial products manager for Ferrara, says another challenge his company faced with the two Motiva pumpers was that the company wanted to outfit the vehicles with a lot of equipment not typical on industrial fire apparatus. “They wanted space for vehicle rescue equipment, extrication tools, collapse equipment, and high-pressure lifting bags,” Williamson says. “We worked with them and put a lot of thought into how the vehicle would be laid out so it would function well no matter what kind of response it was called to-tank fires, vehicle rescues, forcible entry, and medical calls.”
Williamson adds that besides protecting “all the people and structures inside the fence,” Motiva wanted the rescue capabilities built into the pumpers in case they were called on as mutual-aid apparatus by surrounding municipal departments.
“During shift changes, the firefighters do an equipment check,” Williamson notes, “so we installed a lot of hinged tool boards and pull-out trays to make it easier to inventory the equipment on the pumpers.”
Mitchell says that Motiva wanted the compartmentation to be National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) compliant and include space for various types of extrication equipment. “We have a lot of cranes and forklift trucks here. Two railways split the facility in two, and a major four-lane highway is along our property with our tank farm on the other side,” he points out. “So we wanted to be prepared no matter what kind of accident we would be faced with-vehicle, building, or industrial.”
Williamson says that Ferrara also worked closely with the Motiva fire brigade to design the layout of the pump and foam panels on the pumpers. “The Motiva brigade firefighters use the pumpers regularly and practice a lot,” he says. “They also spend a lot of time on regular inspections of the vehicles, so we wanted to make them as user- friendly as possible.”
|(4) Both Motiva pumpers carry Williams Fire & Hazard Control’s Hot Shot 2 balanced pressure foam system that can direct any or all three of the vehicle’s monitors.|
Although Motiva employs 22 full-time firefighters on staff, it also has 110 volunteer firefighters among its employees. The company found it had a need for a central location where those volunteers would get their bunker gear and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), so it had Ferrara build a third vehicle-a service unit that serves the functions of mobile command, accountability, and rehab and carries 16 SCBAs and 25 sets of bunker gear.
The service unit is built on a Ferrara Ember custom chassis with a heavy duty extruded aluminum body and has an Onan Genset 25-kW PTO generator, a six-cylinder breathing air cascade system that allows on-scene SCBA change-outs and refills, and two refrigerator-freezers for rehab. Williamson notes that Ferrara worked with HME on developing the service vehicle.
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.
Motiva Enterprises Norco Manufacturing Complex
Strength: 22 paid firefighters, 110 volunteer firefighters, three stations.
Service area: Provides fire suppression and rescue to a petroleum refining and chemical manufacturing complex with a daytime population of 1,700 that occasionally swells to 3,000. Types of refinery hazards include two-story office complexes, warehouses, trailer complexes, blast-resistant modules, unit control and electric switchgear rooms, laboratories, storage tanks, and pipe racks up to 18 feet high. Types of chemical hazards include units for distilling, catalytic cracking, catalytic reformers, alkylation, hydrocracking, hydrotreating, and coking-some two blocks long and with columns up to 200 feet high.
Other apparatus: 2013 Sutphen 112-foot industrial aerial platform, 3,000-gpm pump, 4,000-gpm waterway, 800-gallon foam tank; 1999 Quality pumper on Volvo chassis, 2,000-gpm pump, 1,000-gallon foam tank; 2013 Ford F-650 hose tender with 5,000 feet of five-inch large-diameter hose; 2001 HME heavy rescue for confined space and high-angle rescue; 1992 International with Hackney body hazardous materials vehicle; three quick-attack Chevrolet pickup trucks with 2,000-gpm Williams Daspit nozzles, 100-gallon foam tanks; two Chevrolet quick attack pickup trucks with twin 1,000-gpm Williams HydroFoam nozzles; two ambulances; 2007 28-foot Boston Whaler boom response boat with 500-gpm portable pump; 2013 Wells Cargo technical rescue trailer for collapse and excavation rescue; two trailers with Williams 2,000- to 6,000-gpm monitors.
Ferrara Fire Apparatus Industrial Pumpers
• Ferrara Igniter XMFD four-door custom cab and chassis
• 3/16-inch 5052 H32 marine grade extruded aluminum body
• 22,5000-pound front axle
• 33,500-pound rear axle
• 257-inch wheelbase
• Overall length of 37 feet, 61/4 inches
• Overall height of 11 feet, five inches
• Cummins 600-hp ISX15 diesel engine
• Allison 4000 EVS automatic transmission
• Hale 8FG 3,000-gpm pump
• 1,000-gallon foam tank
• 500-gallon water tank
• Williams Fire & Hazard Control Hot Shot 2 balanced pressure foam system
• Williams Ambassador 2,000- to 6,000-gpm main deck gun
• Two Task Force Tips Monsoon 2,000-gpm monitors at rear
• All three monitors controlled via wireless remote and panel mount control
• Elkhart UBEC 3 electric valve controls with integral pressure and flow readouts for each discharge
• Two six-inch discharges, left and right sides
• Two six-inch rear discharges with Task Force Tips Jumbo Ball Intake
• Four three-inch discharges (two on each side)
• Dual three-inch foam intake/flush connections
• 2½-inch foam concentrate discharge on right side
• One two-fly 24-foot extension ladder
• One 14-foot roof ladder
• One 10-foot attic ladder
Price without equipment: $870,000