By Alan M. Petrillo
A fire company in Pennsylvania had such good luck with its first Precision Fire Apparatus rear-mount pumper that it went back to Precision for another nearly identical rig when it came time to replace an aging pumper.
The Langhorne Middletown Fire Company, in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, needed to replace a 1992 3D Manufacturing engine and decided that for the best continuity of operation and training, it wanted “a mirror truck of our engine 21, which is a 2009 Precision Fire Apparatus rear-mount pumper,” says Langhorne Middletown Chief Frank Farry. “But, we did make a couple of changes, especially with regard to foam and the front bumper equipment.”
|1 The rear-mount pumper built for the Langhorne Middletown Fire Company, in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, by Precision Fire Apparatus has a 500-hp Cummins ISX 12 diesel engine, an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission, and a heavy-duty extruded aluminum body with a stainless steel substructure. (Photos courtesy of Precision Fire Apparatus.)|
The new Precision rear-mount pumper is built on a 2015 Spartan Gladiator ELFD 10-inch raised-roof cab and chassis and has seating for eight firefighters with an emergency medical services medical cabinet and a tool board on the back wall of the extended cab. Powered by a 500-hp Cummins ISX 12 diesel engine and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission, the new rear-mount has a heavy-duty extruded aluminum body with a stainless steel substructure. Wheelbase is 209 inches, overall length is 34 feet 3 inches, and overall height is 9 feet 11 inches.
Charlie Beck, Langhorne Middletown’s chief engineer, says that the differences in the two pumpers can be seen in the front bumper and in foam capability. “Our 2009 Precision rear-mount has Class A and B foam tanks, but we decided that wasn’t needed on the new pumper,” Farry points out. “Also, our earlier rear-mount has hosed hydraulic rescue tools located in the front bumper, but the new pumper carries an attack line of 200 feet of 1¾-inch hose off a two-inch discharge, a 2½-inch hoseline in its front bumper, and a Holmatro battery-operated combi tool in an under seat area in a forward-facing seat in the extended cab.”
|2 The pump panel on the pumper is located in the end compartment on the officer’s side, protected by a ROM roll-up door. The rig has a Hale RSD 1,500-gallon-per-minute pump and a 500-gallon UPF water tank.|
Farry notes that the new rear-mount pumper has a transverse compartment behind the crew cab that’s enclosed by ROM Corp. roll-up compartment doors and holds two 200-foot 1¾-inch preconnects, one 200-foot 2½-inch preconnect, a Stokes basket, a long board, and long tools. He adds that since there is no midmount pump panel, the pumper has approximately 30 percent more equipment space than a typical side-mount pumper.
“Tactics are important to consider with a rear-mount pumper,” Farry observes. “We do a lot of highway work where we face car fires and extrication scenes, and we found the rear-mount pumper gives us good avenues to approach a scene, park, and allow the operator a good line of sight.”
Trapper Meadors, sales engineer with Precision Fire Apparatus, says the Langhorne Middletown pumper carries the same number of firefighters as the previous rig, but the equipment load required to be carried on the new pumper allowed for the extended cab, giving firefighters more room inside. “Essentially, the extension of the cab came out of the first compartment of the body,” Meadors says.
|3 The Langhorne Middletown Fire Company spec’d its pumper with two electric-over-hydraulic ladder racks-one carrying a 35-foot extension and a 14-foot roof ladder and the other a 28-foot extension and 16-foot roof ladder.|
Dual Ladder Racks
Meadors notes that the Langhorne Middletown truck committee also wanted the new pumper to carry additional ground ladders in electric-over-hydraulic operated racks. “The officer’s side of the vehicle has a three-section 35-foot extension ladder and a 14-foot roof ladder,” he says, “while the driver’s side carries one 28-foot extension ladder and a 16-foot roof ladder.” Meadors notes that Precision custom designs its own electric over hydraulic ladder racks in a single-arm model that drops down very close to the vehicle so it can be used in tight quarters.
Farry points out that the dual ladder racks were all about functionality and using resources wisely. “If we only get one pumper out of the station, we want it to be functional,” he says. “The ladder racks on top of the pumper save space, are easy to deploy, and we have everything we need on the one vehicle.” He adds that the fire district has a number of 2½-story residences with long setbacks that the department can’t reach with its aerial platform, “so we want to be able to use our 35-foot extension ladder to hit those places if we have to.”
|4 The electric-over-hydraulic ladder racks are custom built by Precision on a single arm that drops the ladders down close to the vehicle to allow them to be lowered in tight spots.|
No Wasted Space
The top of the rear-mount pumper carries a Will-Burt light tower that has wireless controls, an Akron Deck Master deck gun, and four coffin compartments. The rig also has a Harrison 8-kW hydraulic generator, Akron Diamondback warning lights, Whelen LED scene lights, an electric cord reel, and a rear camera.
Farry says that the truck committee also added a six-inch suction intake in the middle of the pumper on the officer’s side “because if there’s a hydrant curbside, we would be able to come straight off the officer’s side of the truck with a six-inch sleeve.”
|5 The top of the pumper carries a Will-Burt light tower with wireless controls, an Akron Deck Master monitor and nozzle, and four coffin compartments.|
Farry says that there is no wasted space on the new rear-mount pumper. “We used every bit of space on that vehicle,” he says. “And, having near identical functionality in our two engines has been a huge benefit for the department.”
Meadors notes, “This is not your typical pumper. For us, the rear-mount pumpers have always been popular. And while this one started in design as a midship side-mount pumper, we pitched the idea of a rear-mount because of the equipment and layout the fire department wanted to achieve with the vehicle.”
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and 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.
|6 Many of the compartments on the engine are fitted with slide-out trays and tool boards to make equipment access easier.|
Precision Fire Apparatus Rear-Mount Pumper
- 2015 Spartan Gladiator ELFD 10-inch raised roof cab and chassis with seating for eight firefighters
- Heavy-duty extruded aluminum body with stainless steel substructure
- Air ride rear suspension
- In-cab tool boards and EMS compartment
- 34-foot 3-inch overall length
- 9-foot 11-inch overall height
- 209-inch wheelbase
- Cummins ISX 12 500-hp diesel engine
- Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission
- 24-inch extended front bumper with compartments and two discharges
- ROM roll-up compartment doors with LED compartment lights
- Hale RSD 1,500-gpm pump
- 500-gallon UPF water tank
- Six-inch side auxiliary suction
- Akron Deck Master deck gun
- One-inch booster reel
- Pump compartment heater
- Weldon VMUX multiplexed electrical system
- Harrison 8-kW hydraulic generator
- Will-Burt light tower with wireless control
- Akron Diamondback warning lights
- Whelen LED scene lights
- One electric cord reel
- Dual ladder racks carrying one 35-foot extension, one 28-foot extension, one 14-foot roof ladder, and two six-inch hard suction sleeves
- Rear camera
- Vinyl hosebed cover
- Four coffin compartments
Langhorne Middletown (PA) Fire Company