The Seiverville (TN) Fire Department has had a lot of success using compressed air foam systems (CAFS) and rear-mount pumpers, so when it came time to replace an aging pumper, the truck committee wanted to have a similar vehicle built.
After considering proposals from four fire apparatus manufacturers, Seiverville chose KME to build a custom rear-mount CAFS rescue-pumper.
“KME did some things on the Predator chassis that couldn’t be done on [other] chassis,” says Fred Atchley, Seiverville’s battalion chief. “One of the big things we wanted was to have the rear-facing crew cab seats eliminated and replaced by a very large dual emergency medical services (EMS) cabinet. That medical cabinet was made accessible from both inside the cab and through exterior doors on each side of the vehicle. And, we wanted as much space as possible on the shortest wheelbase for the size pump and water that we wanted, so we went with the extended cab model.”
More Water, Storage
Adam Terry, apparatus salesman for KME, says that Seiverville wanted to carry more water than it had on its other pumpers, which was 750 gallons, “so KME was able to give them a 920-gallon water tank plus a 30-gallon foam cell. We took the existing design and stayed with the same wheelbase and overall length but were able to get more water and foam on the chassis for them. In addition to the EMS compartment in the cab, the department wanted to carry as much equipment on the rig as possible, especially because of the hilly terrain they have, with a lot of narrow mountain roads.”
Mark Kopunek, product manager for KME, says the resulting custom rescue-pumper uses KME’s rescue body to maximize compartment space with full height and full depth compartments on both sides of the vehicle, while the rear-mount design and its pump panel minimize compartment space used by that equipment. “The pump panel controls are located in the rear compartment on the officer’s side of the rescue-pumper,” Kopunek points out.
Atchley says that with the pump panel on the right rear corner of the vehicle, “we can position the pumper so the operator is able to see the fire and still be protected from being exposed on the street side of the pumper.” He adds that while the medical cabinet in the cab displaced two firefighter seats, KME added two fold-down nonself-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) seats, one on each side of the two SCBA-equipped forward-facing firefighter seats.
“Having a rear-mount pumper with the pump and pump panel at the back part of the truck frees up a lot of room on the pumper and gives us a lot of extra compartment space,” Atchley points out. “The rescue-pumper has a transverse compartment where a side-mount pump panel would be, where we store our Stokes basket, backboards, and forcible entry tools.”
Six discharges on the rescue-pumper are foam-capable, Kopunek notes. Three preconnects are located at the middle of the pumper’s body (two 1¾-inch speedlays holding 200 feet of hose each and a 2½-inch speedlay holding 200 feet of hose, all three in roll-out trays), a front discharge for 150 feet of 1¾-inch hose, and two 2½-inch rear discharges. The vehicle also has a four-inch water-only discharge at the rear, as well as a Task Force Tips Blitzfire monitor connected to one of the 2½-inch rear preconnects.
KME Custom Rear-Mount CAFS Rescue-Pumper
Rescue Tools, Hose, Ladders
The driver’s side rear compartment holds all the department’s Holmatro hydraulic rescue tools, Atchley says. “We carry a spreader, cutter, combi tool, set of rams, pedal cutter, and set of air bags in that compartment,” he adds.
Atchley says the rescue-pumper’s 70-cubic-foot hosebed holds 900 feet of five-inch large-diameter hose (LDH), 600 feet of three-inch hose, and 600 feet of 2½-inch hose. Ladder storage is through the water tank, while a Little Giant ladder fits in the dunnage area on the right top of the vehicle, along with three coffin compartments down the left top of the rig.
Lighting on the rear-mount rescue-pumper includes a Command Light Knight 2 LED light tower, Kopunek says, along with a Whelen LED warning light package, Whelen Pioneer LED scene lights, and a Roto Ray LED light at the front of the vehicle. The rig also has a Federal Signal triple camera system and a KME Lock-N-Load™ hosebed cover.
Seiverville (TN) Fire Department
Atchley notes that the maneuverability of the rescue-pumper is very good. “This vehicle has a 192-inch wheelbase, which is shorter than our 2000 and 2003 KME pumpers, which have wheelbases of 197 inches,” he says, “but the new rescue-pumper has more storage space and carries more water than the others—and on a smaller footprint.”
Atchley says that the firefighters “love the rig, which has been in service for about a year now. We recently had an apartment fire in a two-story apartment building where the fire started by the front door and was spreading to the next-door apartment. We had fire out the front reaching up to the second story, so we pulled a 1¾-inch CAFS line, had the fire put out, and were into overhaul in about a minute. We were able to extinguish the fire before our second-due engine could lay a supply line to us.”
He continues, “We also had a fully involved house fire awhile back that was through the roof, and we used our CAFS to extinguish that fire. If we pull up to a fire, no matter what kind it is, we use CAFS. We’ve had a lot of success using CAFS, and we don’t have to go back to a scene for rekindles.”
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.