The Fire Station, The Station Articles

Case Study: NY Fire Department Adds Vehicle Exhaust Removal System for Firefighter and EMT Health

The North Tonawanda (NY) Fire Department is a combination department that has existed for 101 years. With 38 career and 60 volunteer firefighters, the North Tonawanda Fire Department covers 10 square miles bordered by the Niagra River and Erie Canal.

The Challenge
Before installing a Plymovent vehicle exhaust removal system, the North Tonawanda Fire Department had an exhaust extraction system from a different manufacturer. According to Chief John Lapham, the previous system had design flaws and would not release, causing the product to be damaged and unusable. With this ineffective system in place, it was causing more damage than good to both the firefighters and the station. “You could see soot on the electronic equipment during station cleanup,” says Lapham. “It was a red flag, and we needed to do something about it.” This was an imperative action, particularly since the World Health Organization had recently published a press release stating that diesel engine exhaust is classified as carcinogenic to humans, with an increased risk for lung cancer. 

The Solution
Advanced technology from Plymovent has proven its worth to the North Tonawanda Fire Department. All stations have since installed the code-compliant, Plymovent Magnetic Grabber® system to improve fire station air quality and reduce cancer-causing airborne toxins, creating a healthier work environment for all. Stations now have a minimum of two hose drops to allow for reserve apparatus storage, and the fire headquarters has been set up with four drops. Additionally, the mechanic’s shop was fitted with the Magnetic Grabber® system for service on all fire equipment. The combination of track and rails in the stations reduces exposure to hazardous exhaust fumes.

Plymovent a-tsource exhaust removal systems are installed with an ergonomic “Safety Disconnect Handle,” ensuring a safe disconnect from the system should it be necessary. Also equipped in the stations are fully automatic, Plymovent-manufactured, UL- and AMCA-certified fans and control boxes that operate the exhaust system in the most efficient way. Full warranty and service is provided by Air Cleaning Systems, Inc., the local Plymovent dealer for the North Tonawanda Fire Department. 

Intalled Plymovent products between five stations include:

  • 9 Sliding Balancer Tracks with Magnetic Grabber®
  • 2 Straight Rails with Magnetic Grabber®
  • 4 TEV Fans
  • 1 FUA Fan
  • 4 OS3 Control Boxes 
  • 1 SER Fire Maintenance Hose Reel 

Lapham says, “Our experience, the product, and the installer Air Cleaning Systems, Inc., have been nothing less than exemplary. Installation was quick and efficient. Service has always met our expectations, and there is always someone available to resolve the very few issues that may have arisen. Durability of the product, especially with the harsh weather of Western New York, has stood over both time and conditions. We can tell in the daily cleaning duties as there is no soot build up. It has made for a healthier work environment for all our personnel.”

Plymovent cares about the air you breathe. We offer products, systems and services which ensure clean air at work, anywhere in the world. We respect the environment and we deliver high-quality products. Our expertise gained over many years and our genuine commitment to customer requirements enable us to provide precisely the solutions you need. For more information, visit