|Alan M. Petrillo|
The Flower Mound (TX) Fire Department has 100 paid firefighters and 15 administrative staff working out of six stations to protect a population of 70,000 in 50 square miles that includes heavy residential, big box warehouses, retail, and half of the shoreline and waters of Lake Grapevine. The Flower Mound Fire District is five miles north of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Eric Greaser, Flower Mound’s chief, says the fire district has rural areas situated in between more densely developed areas to the east and west of town, where there are some extremely tight spots to maneuver apparatus. “We have tight turning radii on some of the streets that we service, and on the north end of the lake the houses were built in the 1940s and 1950s where it is extremely tight to get into as well as having to go over some small bridges and over rough roads,” Greaser says. “It’s a challenging area that isn’t standard with other areas of town. It’s a conservation district where there is a limited density of houses on two acres of land or greater.”
|1 The Flower Mound (TX) Fire Department had Pierce Manufacturing build this Type 3 WUI pumper and added a number of Type 1 engine characteristics to it. (Photos by Lindsay Dye.)|
Getting Around the WUI
Faced with limited access, tight turning radii, and the need for four-wheel drive, Flower Mound had Pierce Manufacturing build a Type 3 wildland urban interface (WUI) pumper that has many features of a Type 1 engine. “We started out with a typical Type 3 WUI spec of a four-door, four-wheel-drive vehicle with a minimum of a 1,000-gallon-per-minute (gpm) pump and 500 gallons of water,” Greaser points out, “and merged it with Type 1 engines specs, where the vehicle would carry some structural firefighting equipment but still serve on the wildland side too.”
Kirk Lambert, a Flower Mound captain, says, “We use the Type 3 WUI rig as first out of our station for structure fires to do an initial knockdown, but it’s also very wildland-capable, with its bumper sweeps, the Darley 1.5AGH mobile attack pump for pump and roll, 150 feet of 1¾-inch hose and 200 feet of one-inch forestry line in the front bumper, and a hose reel with 100 feet of one-inch red (booster) line.”
|2 The Type 3 pumper for Flower Mound has a Darley LSP 1,000-gpm single-stage midship pump, a Darley 1.5AGH mobile attack pump for pump and roll, a 500-gallon water tank, and a FoamPro foam system.|
Lambert notes that because the hosebed on the Type 3 is smaller than on the Type 1 engines, only carrying 400 feet of five-inch large-diameter hose (LDH) and 500 feet of 2½-inch, the department uses different tactics when approaching a structure fire. “We have a lot of large homes tucked into hilly rural areas that have a lot of sharp curves, so we’ll drop our LDH to the house, and a second engine will take the hydrant and lay to our supply line,” Lambert says.
Besides the new Type 3, Flower Mound runs six Pierce Velocity and Enforcer Type 1 pumpers, a Pierce water tender, a Pierce Arrow XT 105-foot aerial quint, a Pierce Saber Contender rescue truck, two Ford F-550 brush trucks, and four Horton ambulances.
|3 The Flower Mound Type 3 WUI pumper has five Whelen 12-volt Pioneer LED flood lights: two at the rear, one on each side, and one at the front.|
Travis Ownby, regional sales manager for Siddons-Martin Emergency Group, which sold the Type 3 WUI engine to Flower Mound, says some of the requirements for the vehicle “were off-road capability, a lower weight rating to be able to cross old roads and bridges in the rural area, and maneuverability to get into and out of tight places. The department needed a pumper that could handle wildland work but also a pump to do structural firefighting too.”
|4 The pumper’s hosebed carries 400 feet of LDH and 500 feet of 2½-inch hose, as well as a 14-foot Duo-Safety ladder and a roof ladder in a slide-in compartment.|
In addition to the Darley 1.5 AGH mobile attack pump, Ownby says, the Type 3 has a Darley LSP 1,000-gpm single-stage power takeoff (PTO) midship pump, a 500-gallon water tank, a FoamPro foam system, and Akron Brass 8000 series valves. “The biggest change from a standard Pierce Type 3 was that Flower Mound wanted their Darley pump-and-roll pump to use a hydraulic PTO drive, instead of being driven by a diesel engine,” Ownby notes, “which gives them better throttle control on the pump during pump-and-roll operations.”
Ownby says Flower Mound had Pierce put as many compartments as possible on the 185-inch wheelbase Type 3, including a bolt-on compartment at the officer’s side pump panel with a notch in it to carry a pike pole on the outside. “The final result was for Flower Mound to take a wildland engine and make it as structural as possible, without losing its wildland characteristics,” he says.
|5 Besides running first out in its service area on structure fires and handling wildland fire incidents, the Flower Mound Type 3 WUI pumper serves as a paramedic response engine.|
John Schultz, director of pumper and custom chassis products for Pierce Manufacturing, notes that while Flower Mound had its own fire district needs to handle with the new Type 3 WUI engine, the department also works on deployments in the state of Texas for wildland fire incidents. “They are part of the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) and also work with Texas A&M Forest Service for wildland fire coverage,” Schultz notes.
|6 The front bumper on Flower Mound’s Pierce Type 3 WUI engine has 150 feet of 1¾-inch hose; 200 feet of forestry line; and two 15-gpm individually controlled, field-adjustable flow ground sweeps underneath.|
Schultz says that while Flower Mound’s Type 3 “has a body that’s common for our Type 3, the fire suppression system is different, with a hydraulically driven pump instead of a diesel for pump and roll, which gives them better pressure control with less expense than a diesel-driven pump.” Pierce also gave the Type 3 the maximum angle of departure possible, Schultz adds, giving it good off-road capability.
Greaser points out that the Type 3 WUI engine is still a new concept for the department. “The firefighters are still learning how it works in our alarm assignments because it rolls like an engine on alarms,” he says. “It can put first water on any kind of fire, from an apartment fire to a 10,000-square-foot residence, where it initiates a fire attack and then gets supported by three Type one engines, a ladder, and the rest of the alarm.”
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.
Flower Mound (TX) Fire Department
Pierce Manufacturing Type 3 WUI Wildland Engine
- Type 3 Wildland pumper on an International 7400 4×4 commercial chassis and four-door cab
- 37,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating
- 185-inch wheelbase
- Navistar 330-horsepower N9 diesel engine
- Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission
- Wildland high idle with electronic engine
- Navistar auxiliary brake and exhaust brake
- Darley LSP 1,000-gpm single-stage PTO midship wildland pump
- Darley 1.5AGH mobile attack pump, hydraulic-driven with dual control from cab and pump panel
- 500-gallon water tank
- FoamPro foam system
- Akron 8000 series valves
- Four 2½-inch discharges (one each on left and right, two at the rear)
- One crosslay, 200 feet of 1¾-inch hose
- 150 feet of 1¾-inch hose and 200 feet of one-inch forestry line in front bumper
- Two 15-gpm individual-control, field-adjustable-flow ground sweeps under front bumper
- Hose reel with 100 feet of one-inch booster line
- 400 feet of LDH and 500 feet of 2½-inch hose in hosebed
- Aluminum hosebed cover
- Five Whelen 12-volt Pioneer LED flood lights
- Two 12-/24-volt lights, one each side at the rear
- One Duo-Safety 14-foot ladder
- Three pike poles and one D-handle trash hook
- Two 2½-inch hard suction sleeves