BY ALAN M. PETRILLO
Those municipal fire departments that have a large industrial facility in their districts face huge challenges in protecting such places along with the facility’s internal fire brigade. In many situations, large water flows are needed to control, contain, and extinguish a fire.
David Fieber, chief engineer for fire suppression products at Pierce Manufacturing Inc., says that Pierce’s high-flow industrial pumper came about as a result of customers telling Pierce they wanted to flow greater amounts of water. “We worked with Darley (W.S. Darley & Co.) to develop a pump to give more water,” Fieber says. “But, more water means bigger valves, which required new hydraulic actuators with enough torque to open and close those bigger valves. Also, we had to put in bigger pipes on the rig, as well as a new controller for the valve actuator, and still make the system as user-friendly as possible.”
The resulting high-flow industrial pumper can be built on an Arrow XT or Velocity chassis, Fieber says, and requires a 600-horsepower (hp) Cummins ISX15 diesel engine. “At a six-foot draft height, using three eight-inch 20-foot suction hoses with strainers, we get 5,500 gallons per minute (gpm) at draft at 200 pounds per square inch (psi),” he notes. “The pumper will do more than 6,000 gpm at 100 psi and 10,000-plus gpm from a pressurized water source.”
Fieber says another thing industrial customers were seeking was a more accurate flowmeter, so Pierce created a flowmeter integral with the ratio controller that uses the Venturi effect to accurately measure flow range. “The pumper is available with the Husky 30, 60, 90, 160, 300, and 450 foam systems,” he adds.
Terry Planck, industrial sales specialist for E-ONE, says that Saudi Aramco came to E-ONE to build 10 industrial pumpers with 3,000-gpm and 4,000-gpm pumps and three monitors. “The pumpers have a Williams Fire & Hazard Control Ambassador 2×6 monitor (2,000 to 6,000 gpm) in the center and two Task Force Tips 2,000-gpm monitors on the rear corners,” Planck points out. “They can get in excess of 7,000 gpm through them.”
Planck says E-ONE also built an industrial pumper for CITGO in Lamont, Illinois, on a custom chassis with a Darley ZSM pump flowing 3,500 gpm at 100 psi, a 1,030-gallon foam tank, a Williams Fire & Hazard Control Ambassador 2×6 monitor in the middle, and two Task Force Tips 2,000-gpm monitors on the rear corners. “We’re also building the same type of rig for Imperial Oil in Sarnia, Canada, along with a 3,030-gallon foam tender,” Planck notes, “and just received an order from an industrial customer for a pumper on a Freightliner M2-112 chassis powered by a Detroit 550-hp diesel engine and with a Hale 8FG pump that can do 3,500 gpm at 100 psi from draft.”
Joe Messmer, president of Summit Fire Apparatus, says Summit built an industrial pumper for the Toledo (OH) Refinery Fire Department with a 3,000-gpm pump, 1,000-gallon foam tank, and 65-foot Snozzle. “The pumper had a lot of hose on it and much compartment space,” Messmer says. “Then we built two similar pumpers for a refinery in Australia, but instead of top- or side-mount pump controls, we built a pedestal control station that slides out at the rear of the truck and sits about four feet off the ground. On the other side of the rear of the pumpers is an 8,000-gpm Akron Brass monitor.”
Jim Kirvida, president of CustomFIRE Apparatus, says his company has been manufacturing pump modules for Sutphen industrial fire pumpers for 10 years through Sutphen Industrial Solutions. “We make the pump modules with one of several different foam systems, including the FoamPro AccuMax multiport foam injection system, Williams Fire & Hazard Control Hot Shot 2, and National Foam’s Servo Command,” Kirvida points out. “With industrial pumpers, the pumps start out at 2,000 gpm and go up from there to 5,000 gpm. But because the largest engine for highway use is the 600-hp Cummins diesel, that’s the limiting factor on an industrial pumper.”
HME Inc. makes the AF-1 chassis that can carry its proprietary SS-2000S stainless steel pump, says Dave Rider, HME’s business development specialist. “It’s an end-suction pump made of all stainless steel except for the impeller,” Rider says. “The transfer case is rated at 20,000 foot-pounds of torque, and in the industrial version, it can do between 3,000 and 3,500 gpm from draft but upward of 7,000 gpm from a pressurized water source.”
Super Pumper Record
Brad Williamson, industrial product manager for Ferrara Fire Apparatus, notes that Ferrara’s Inundator Super Pumper recently received Underwriters Laboratories (UL) confirmation for a flow capability of 6,256 gpm from draft at a discharge pressure of 125 psi. He says that the 100-psi ceiling was broken because of the pumper’s new HPV6000 high-velocity pump made by U.S. Fire Pump. The Super Pumper carries up to a 3,000-gallon water tank, a FoamPro AccuMax 3300 foam injection system or a Williams Fire & Hazard Control HotShot 2 foam system, and either a Williams Fire & Hazard Control Ambassador II 8,000-gpm monitor or a Task Force Tips Tsunami 8,000-gpm monitor.
“It’s becoming more of a challenge for industrial fire departments to extinguish some tank fires,” Williamson points out. “They might have to require 18,000 gpm to extinguish a 300-foot-wide tank, so they need to have the assets to address that issue.” He adds that in refineries, tank farms, and chemical plants, it’s not unusual to have a 12-inch riser coming off of a 24-inch pressurized water main. “You might have 175 psi coming out of the plant’s water system, and you have to consider the plumbing on the pumpers so they can handle that pressure,” he says, “so we’ll use Trident Emergency Products’ AirPrime and its AirMax incoming relieve valves for larger pumps to protect the system.”
Industrial Foam Tankers
Mark Kopunek, product manager for KME, says KME recently built an industrial foam tanker (tender) for Atlanta (GA) Fire Rescue. Kopunek notes that the rig is built on a Kenworth T800 chassis with two-person cab and has a Hale 8FG 3,000-gpm single-stage top-mount pump; a 2,000-gallon foam tank; and a FoamPro AccuMax 3150 foam system capable of delivering 15,000 gpm at one percent foam, 5,000 gpm at three percent, and 2,500 gpm at six percent.
“Each foam-capable discharge has an individual foam controller and Akron Brass 9323 electronic valves,” he says. “These include two 2½-inch discharges, two 1¾-inch crosslays, one four-inch rear discharge, and two monitors—an Akron Brass 3580 Renegade with Akron Brass 5088 nozzle midship that flows 5,000 gpm and a Task Force Tips Monsoon RC 2,000-gpm monitor on a TFT Extend-A-Gun.” A rear access door in the vehicle holds four six-inch suction hoses.
Summit has built a number of industrial foam tankers that use the FoamPro AccuMax foam injection system, according to Messmer. “There’s a manifold on top of the truck where different lines can be hooked up, and each line can have a different percentage of foam delivered to it,” Messmer says. “These foam tankers are built on Sterling commercial chassis, carry 2,000 gallons of foam, and have a hydraulic pump that operates the different metering valves.
“These vehicles don’t pump water,” he notes. “You bring a pumper to it and push water, and the tanker mixes the foam and water and sends the mixture to the various outlets. We’ve built foam tankers with an array of six-inch, five-inch, 2½-inch, and 1¾-inch outlets.”
Trailers, Platforms, Stand-alones
Kirvida says CustomFIRE also makes foam delivery systems that are available in several forms, including a roll-off platform, trailer platform, and encapsulated skid. “We recently built a trailer platform for 3M Company with a foam delivery system that will inject foam through either a single or double waterway,” he says. “We’ve built foam trailer systems that can deliver through 10 waterways.” CustomFIRE’s roll-off platform carries the same components as the trailer but includes two suction reels and two monitors.
CustomFIRE’s stationary platform, built on an encapsulated skid, is a direct injection flow device that uses an electric motor, Kirvida notes, which can be used in hazardous environments where a diesel engine can’t be used, for example, at a fuel loading facility where large ships are either offloaded or fueled. “We also make a foam delivery tender that can carry between 1,000 and 4,000 gallons of foam onboard,” Kirvida says. “Its foam delivery system is designed to offload the foam through a manifold and hydraulic pump running into a foam injection system.”
Bob Gliem, industrial product specialist for U.S. Fire Pump, says that in addition to the HPV6000 his company also makes a deluge truck that will handle more than 16,000 gpm. “It has a scalable 4,000- to 8,000-gpm monitor in the center and two 5,000-gpm Elkhart Brass Magnum EXM monitors at the rear,” Gliem says. “The deluge truck has two 12-inch Storz rear intakes, two eight-inch rear intakes, two six-inch side intakes, two gated eight-inch rear intakes direct to the rear monitors, and an integral 250-gallon foam cell.”
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.