The Yakima (WA) Fire Department has taken delivery of two new Rosenbauer pieces of apparatus: a 101-foot Cobra platform quint and a top-mount custom pumper.
Bob Stewart, Yakima Fire Department chief, says the department has an apparatus replacement program in place where engines serve as front-line apparatus for 12 years, then in reserve for five years, and then go into the surplus fleet. Aerials are destined for 20 years of front-line service, he notes, and then five years in reserve before going into surplus. “One of our trucks is staffed 24/7,” Stewart points out, “while the second truck is cross-staffed with an engine.”
Ken Gormley, sales engineer for General Fire Apparatus, who sold the platform quint and pumper to Yakima, says the department wanted room for personnel in the platform’s cab, so it went with an eight-inch raised roof and 70-inch-long cab with seating for five firefighters. “They also wanted an internal emergency medical service (EMS) cabinet in the cab behind the driver,” he says. Gormley notes that the platform quint is built on a Commander cab and chassis with a welded body. Wheelbase is 252 inches, overall length is 47 feet 6 inches, and overall height is 12 feet 8 inches.
The platform quint is powered by a Cummins 500-horsepower (hp) ISX15 diesel engine and an Allison 4000 EVS automatic transmission and carries a Darley EM 2,000-gallon-per-minute (gpm) pump, front bumper and rear 1¾-inch discharges, and a 1,500-gpm Elkhart Cobra EXM wireless control monitor on the platform.
Stewart notes that Yakima is impressed with the Rosenbauer Smart Aerial control system that handles all the aerial platform’s functions. “It has envelope control so you can’t put the aerial in an unsafe position, especially if the vehicle is short jacked,” he says. “Also, there’s an auto stow feature, body collision prevention, and proximity warning sensors on the platform.”
Gormley points out that Rosenbauer designed the rear of the aerial platform so that it has two angled ladders on the rear corners of the body. “They are 45-degree corners, each with a climbing ladder,” he says. “That way, you have easy access up to the pedestal because, depending on how the truck is oriented at a fire scene, you might not be able to get to a single ladder at the rear and would have to use the vehicle’s folding steps at the front of the pedestal.”
On the platform, Rosenbauer installed two FRC Focus 540 12-volt LED telescoping lights and four Whelen Micro Pioneer 12-volt LED scene lights. The aerial has a 10-kW Harrison generator, two Go LED lights on the roof of the cab, and seven FRC Evolution 12-volt LED scene lights on the body.
Stewart says that Yakima is a very traditional department and has run top-mount pumpers since the 1990s. “Top-mounts give the operator an excellent view of the scene, so we stayed with that format,” he says. “Hosebed height and crosslay height were also important to us on the engine, and Rosenbauer was very good in getting us the lowest heights available, which translates directly to firefighter safety.”
The top-mount pumper is built on a Commander cab and chassis with an 11-inch raised roof and seating for five firefighters and has an EMS cabinet in the cab. The pumper is powered by a Cummins 450-hp ISL9 engine and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission and carries a Darley PSM 1,500-gpm pump and a 760-gallon water tank.
Stewart points out that the Rosenbauer pumper has two 1¾-inch crosslays of 200 feet each, a 1¾-inch 200-foot preconnect off the rear, a 150-foot 2½-inch blitz line off the rear, and 1,000 feet of five-inch large-diameter hose in the hosebed.
Gormley says that the custom top-mount pumper has a Rosenbauer CT modular body. “The advantage of the modular body,” he notes, “is that it is much easier to repair in case of an accident. You simply unbolt the section and put a new one on.” Yakima also had a special requirement on the pumper, Gormley adds. “On the driver’s side at the rear, they wanted us to build a storage box to hold pike poles,” he says. “Also, we built in a walkway they can use when on top of the vehicle.”
Both the aerial platform and the top-mount pumper are fitted with heavy-duty steel front bumpers, Gormley says. “They are so much better than the lighter bumpers,” he notes. “They can take a hard bump and have nothing but a scratch on them but not transfer all that crush energy to the frame of the vehicle.”
Stewart has high praise for Rosenbauer’s Commander cab and chassis. “The Commander chassis and cab are light years ahead of others in terms of ergonomics,” he says. “The cabs are very quiet, the fit and finish are great, and the most important thing is the visibility inside the cab. Firefighters sitting in the cab’s forward-facing seats have an almost unrestricted view from the sides and to the front instead of like being seated in a cave.”
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.