When the Jefferson City (MO) Fire Department was nearing the end of a 10-year lease on five pumpers and two aerials, its entire front-line fleet, the city government decided to make use of the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) Cooperative Purchasing Program to replace all seven apparatus with newly purchased rigs. Houston-Galveston Area Council’s program assists local governments in reducing costs through a government-to-government procurement service that is available nationwide.
Matt Schofield, Jefferson City’s chief, says the department set up a truck committee headed by Assistant Chief Tim Grace that included two firefighters from each shift. “We had drivers, captains, firefighters, and chiefs on the committee, so there was an extensive amount of input on the details we needed on the vehicles,” Schofield says. “One of the big changes that the committee came up with was a change to rear-mount pumps on the engines instead of the sidemount on our previous pumpers.”
Brian Franz, owner of Sentinel Emergency Solutions, who sold the vehicles to Jefferson City, says he brought a couple of nearby Rosenbauer rear-mount pumpers with wheelbases similar to what Jefferson City wanted to the department to allow them to get the feel for operating on a rear-mount. “Once the committee decided what their wants and needs were, we put together the features it required on the pumpers and the aerials,” Franz says. The department purchased three engines, two rescue-pumpers (which it calls squads), a 109-foot Viper aerial ladder, and a 101-foot three-section Cobra aerial platform.
“The bodies on all the vehicles are identical except for the platform, which has wider compartments because the torque box is so long,” Franz points out. “The pumpers and rescue-pumpers are identical except for the R1 compartments, which are 30-inches wide on the engines and 50-inches wide on the rescue-pumpers. The five pumpers are powered by 450-hp Cummins L9 diesel engines and Allison 4000 EVS automatic transmissions, and have 1,500-gpm Waterous S-100 pumps, 750-gallon water tanks, and 40-gallon foam tanks.”
Franz notes that the two aerials carry 2,000-gpm Waterous S-100 pumps, 500-gallon water tanks, and 40-gallon foam tanks. The Cobra platform has 210 cubic feet of compartment space, while the Viper ladder has 190 cubic feet of compartment space. Both are powered by 600-hp Cummins L15 diesel engines, and Allison 4000 EVS automatic transmissions. The ladder has a Task Force Tips 1,250-gpm Monsoon monitor at the tip, while the platform has two TFT Monsoons under the bucket. Both aerials use Rosenbauer’s SMART Aerial control system.
Franz points out that the Jefferson City aerials are the first Rosenbauer has built where the outriggers can be controlled by a wireless remote. “The operator can use the remote to control the aerial, the monitors, and the outriggers,” Franz says. Jack spread on the platform is 17 feet 2 inches, he notes, and 15 feet 6 inches on the aerial ladder.
Grace says, “The remote control jacks have worked flawlessly. Using the remote control allows a single operator to set up the vehicle, which is an advantage with a limited staff. And, having the remote ability allows the operator to gain perspective on where the water stream is hitting.”
The engines and rescue-pumpers carry two 200-foot 1¾-inch speedlays off the rear, one 150-foot 1¾-inch preconnect in their front bumpers, and a 200-foot 2½-inch attack line in the hosebed, along with 1,000 feet of five-inch LDH and 500 feet of 2½-inch hose. The engines and rescue-pumpers carry remote-controlled Task Force Tips Monsoon 1,250-gpm deck guns, with the engines having 150-foot booster lines on reels, and the rescue-pumpers 100-foot booster lines on reels. The rescue-pumpers also have Smart Power Systems 10-kW hydraulic generators, Command Light Knight series 100,000-lumen light towers, and receiver hitches at two locations for mounting Paratech monopods.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist and is 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.