4 Guys, Apparatus, Petrillo, Pumpers

CAFS Capabilities Drive Department’s New Pumper Purchase

Issue 3 and Volume 21.

A compressed-air foam system (CAFS), plenty of CAFS- and foam-capable discharges, and a large amount of lighting were the top items on the new pumper wish list being developed into specifications by the Oak Bluffs Fire Department on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

John Rose, Oak Bluffs chief, served on the truck committee since its inception and became chief in the middle of the committee’s work. “It took a year to design the pumper as we wanted it,” Rose points out. “The way the downtown in Oak Bluffs is constructed, it started out in the 1800s as a small village with some houses as close as two feet away from each other.”

CAFS Requirement

The truck committee and department officers were concerned, Rose says, with having sufficient knockdown power in a pumper to handle closely packed homes, protect exposures, and provide a fire break if needed. “We wanted the knockdown power of CAFS, its better absorption of carbons, and the fact that it does little water damage,” Rose says. “We also wanted to be able to put it on a house in that little village and use it as a fire break if the situation called for it.”

1 The Oak Bluffs (MA) Fire Department had 4 Guys Fire Trucks build this pumper with a compressed-air foam system (CAFS) on a Spartan Metro Star MFD chassis and cab with seating for six firefighters. (Photo courtesy of 4 Guys Fire Trucks
1 The Oak Bluffs (MA) Fire Department had 4 Guys Fire Trucks build this pumper with a compressed-air foam system (CAFS) on a Spartan Metro Star MFD chassis and cab with seating for six firefighters. (Photo courtesy of 4 Guys Fire Trucks.)

The committee also wanted as much lighting as the new pumper could handle, including a light tower and multiple LED scene lights. Once it settled on the specs, Rose notes, “We put it out to bid on the Massachusetts Central Registry and got two bids. We chose 4 Guys Fire Trucks because it met our needs better than the other bidder and was very close to the specs we really wanted.”

The end result is a 2015 pumper on a Spartan Metro Star MFD chassis and cab with seating for six firefighters; an all 304 stainless steel body, subframe, pump house, and plumbing; and custom emergency medical services (EMS) cabinetry in the cab. The vehicle is powered by a 380-hp Cummins ISL9 engine and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission and carries a Hale QMax 1,500-gallon-per-minute (gpm) pump, a 500-gallon UPF Poly water tank, and a Waterous 140-P CAFS unit with a Hale Foam Logix 5.0 foam pump.

2 Overall length was a concern for Oak Bluffs firefighters, so 4 Guys Fire Trucks brought the CAFS pumper in at an overall length of 31 feet; an overall height of nine feet, six inches; and a wheelbase of 201 inches. (Photo courtesy of 4 Guys Fire Trucks
2 Overall length was a concern for Oak Bluffs firefighters, so 4 Guys Fire Trucks brought the CAFS pumper in at an overall length of 31 feet; an overall height of nine feet, six inches; and a wheelbase of 201 inches. (Photo courtesy of 4 Guys Fire Trucks.)

Jonathan Cares, owner of Granite Fire Equipment, which sold the CAFS pumper to Oak Bluffs, says the CAFS is piped to supply two 1¾-inch speedlays and one 2½-inch speedlay, all located forward of the pump house, while foam solution is piped to a rear discharge, two 1¾-inch running board handlines, and a booster reel.

Built for Its First Due

Cares notes that the stainless steel body, subframe, plumbing, and pump house “are perfect for Oak Bluffs because of its Martha’s Vineyard location in the salty air of the Atlantic Ocean. We also had a concern with the overall length of the vehicle because of the tight quarters in our downtown area,” Cares says. “We were able to hit the targets with an overall length of 31 feet; an overall height of nine feet, six inches; and a wheelbase of 201 inches.”

3 The Oak Bluffs CAFS pumper has compressed-air foam piped to three speedlays and foam solution piped to a rear discharge, two running board handlines, and an enclosed booster reel at the rear of the pumper. (Photo courtesy of 4 Guys Fire Trucks
3 The Oak Bluffs CAFS pumper has compressed-air foam piped to three speedlays and foam solution piped to a rear discharge, two running board handlines, and an enclosed booster reel at the rear of the pumper. (Photo courtesy of 4 Guys Fire Trucks.)

Cares says that he took a demo Spartan Metro Star chassis out to the island so the Oak Bluffs firefighters could drive through the tight areas in town and be sure that the chassis could get where it needed to go. “There are dozens of cottages down there, many in the Queen Anne style with gingerbread moldings around the eaves,” he says, “and the roads are narrow and the corners tight.”

Design Challenges

Tyler Meekins, sales assistant at 4 Guys Fire Trucks, says another concern the Oak Bluffs truck committee had was to get as much compartment space on the rig as possible because the vehicle has to carry hydraulic rescue tools. “They wanted a vehicle that is maneuverable, but while it’s a smaller vehicle, they wanted to maximize the compartment space,” Meekins says. “Besides the CAFS system, we installed a pull-out tray for hydraulic tools in the driver-side rear compartment and put a one-inch booster hose reel in an enclosed compartment above the frame rails at the tailboard just below the hosebed.”

4 The CAFS pumper has a 380-hp Cummins ISL9 engine, an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission, and a 44,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating. (Photo courtesy of 4 Guys Fire Trucks.)
4 The CAFS pumper has a 380-hp Cummins ISL9 engine, an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission, and a 44,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating. (Photo courtesy of 4 Guys Fire Trucks.)

As for the lighting the truck committee wanted on the pumper, Rose says that the department got everything it needed. “We have a Will-Burt NightScan light tower with four Whelen Pioneer halogen light heads,” Rose notes. “We chose halogen because it penetrates farther into a scene than LED does. The pumper also has six Fire Research Corp. (FRC) Spectra LED scene lights, two at the rear of the vehicle and two on each side. Plus there are two FRC LED brow lights on the pumper.”

Rose points out that the department would not buy a new pumper if it didn’t have CAFS on it. “Firefighters should be thinking about using foam for everything now,” he says. “It increases their ability to knock the fire down faster, uses less water so it saves on water damage, and decreases the risk of rekindling.”

5 The Oak Bluffs pumper carries a Hale QMax 1,500-gpm pump, a 500-gallon UPF Poly water tank, a Waterous 140-P CAFS, and a Hale Foam Logix 5.0 foam pump. (Photo courtesy of 4 Guys Fire Trucks
5 The Oak Bluffs pumper carries a Hale QMax 1,500-gpm pump, a 500-gallon UPF Poly water tank, a Waterous 140-P CAFS, and a Hale Foam Logix 5.0 foam pump. (Photo courtesy of 4 Guys Fire Trucks.)

The chief adds that the building process for the new pumper went smoothly. “It was great,” he says. “The truck arrived when we wanted it to go into our new station, and we’ve taken it out numerous times. It worked one very big structure fire and did exactly what we wanted it to do.”

ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist 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.

department

Oak Bluffs (MA) Fire Department

Strength: 11 paid full-time firefighters, 55 on-call firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs); one station.

Service area: Provides fire protection, rescue, and EMS to seven square miles of the town of Oak Bluffs on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, with a year-round population of 5,000 and a summertime population between 40,000 and 50,000.

Other apparatus: 2005 E-ONE Cyclone pumper, 1,500-gpm pump, 500-gallon water tank, 20-gallon Class A foam tank, 30-gallon Class B foam tank; 1996 KME pumper, 1,250-gpm pump, 500-gallon water tank; 1988 E-ONE Hush pumper, 1,250-gpm pump, 500-gallon water tank; 2001 HME Metz 110-foot aerial ladder; 2000 Specialty Vehicles heavy rescue; 44-foot Seacraft fireboat.

specs

4 Guys Fire Trucks CAFS Pumper

  • Spartan Metro Star MFD chassis and cab with seating for six firefighters
  • All 304 stainless steel body, subframe, pump house, and plumbing
  • Custom EMS compartment between rear forward-facing seats
  • 31-foot overall length
  • Nine-foot, six-inch overall height
  • 201-inch wheelbase
  • 20,000-pound front axle
  • 24,000-pound rear axle
  • 44,000-pound GVWR
  • 380-hp Cummins ISL9 engine
  • Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission
  • Hale QMax 1,500-gpm pump
  • 500-gallon UPF Poly water tank
  • Waterous 140-P CAFS unit with Hale Foam Logix 5.0 foam pump
  • Two 1¾-inch speedlays and one 2½-inch speedlay forward of pump house
  • Two 1¾-inch trash lines, one in the running board on each side
  • CAFS piped to three speedlays
  • Foam solution piped to rear discharge, two running board handlines, and booster reel
  • Five-inch front suction
  • Ladder storage through water tank on right side
  • Wheel well SCBA compartments
  • Custom pull-out hydraulic rescue tool tray
  • 8-kW Harrison hydraulic generator
  • Will-Burt NightScan 6,000-watt light tower
  • Six Fire Research Corp. Spectra LED scene lights, two each side and two at rear
  • Two Fire Research Corp. PFA-2 brow lights
  • Two electric cord reels

Price without equipment: $479,911