By Alan M. Petrillo
Equipment designed for wildland firefighting is as important as the apparatus that brings it to the scene of a wildland fire. Approximately 250 wildland firefighters, officers, and incident commanders had the opportunity to meet with equipment, component, and gear makers at the recent Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) conference at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada.
WATERAX exhibited its MARK-3 portable wildland fire pump, a 58-pound four-stage unit powered by a WATERAX 10-horsepower (hp) gasoline engine with a 2-inch suction intake, and 1½-inch discharge that puts out a maximum of 105 gallons per minute (gpm) at 380 pounds per square inch (psi). Mario Janson, WATERAX’s sales manager, says,” This is a portable pump that can be handled by one firefighter. It’s a great pump that’s able to push water long distances, which often is needed in wildland firefighting.” WATERAX also displayed its Mini-Striker® drip torch, and its Vanguard 18 portable pump.
GESS International Holdings Ltd. showed its Fire Bozz™ rapid deploy water sprinkler-like water cannon that can shoot water, foam, or retardants up to a radius of 300 feet with a 360-degree traverse. Ron Szasz, managing director of GESS International, says the Fire Bozz works with existing portable pumps, pumpers, hydrants, and 1½-inch and 2½-inch hoselines. “Its standalone, set-and-forget capability keeps firefighters out of danger and allows fire teams to be used elsewhere,” Szasz points out.
Wildfire Property Protection displayed the Hurricane WD gear-driven 360-degree oscillating monitor that can cover up to one acre of space through a 1½-inch coupling. Jesse Pitt of Wildfire Property Protection says the unit can from from 25 to 200 gpm, but that it’s ideal flow is in the 40- to 60-gpm range at 40 psi.
The Farm-To-Fire Suppression Hydrant, developed by Cody Bakker and Thomas Traphagan of Trakker Industries LLC, is a portable hydrant that fits on a farm’s irrigation riser to provide clean water without contaminants to fight a wildland fire. Bakker notes that farm risers are generally spaced every 50 to 60 feet and provide between 30 and 75 psi of pressure. “The Farm-To-Fire Suppression Hydrant clamps onto the riser by going over the T-handle,” he says, “which you use to open the riser. Usually you can get up to 250 gpm out of a farm riser.”
Fire & Flood Emergency Services displayed a mobile above-ground hydrant system that is capable of handling distances of up to 75 miles, says Anthony Jumeau, sales representative. “We’ll take a water supply from rivers, lakes, ponds, or other sources and pump through lay flat hose of two to 12 inches in diameter,” Jumeau says. “Our pumps run from 80- to 750-hp models, along with 4-inch, 6-inch, and 8-inch submersible pumps. Our water cannons are multiangle and range from two feet to 830 feet in distance.”
Ron Hawkins of WASP Manufacturing Inc. demonstrated a gutter-mounted sprinkler system that is able to be deployed on a home without using a ladder. The unit can be either bracket- or gutter-mounted, Hawkins points out, and is connected to a 25-foot length of ½-inch lay-flat hose that will spray out 1½ to 2 gpm at 50 psi to a distance of 40 feet.
PHOS-CHeK displayed several products for wildland and structural firefighting, including its WD881 Class A foam concentrate, ground-applied Long-Term Retardant for wildland use; First Response Class A foam concentrate and wetting agent to make water more effective for firefighting; PHOS-CHeK Insul-8 structural fire protection liquid gel; and the PHOS-CHeK Solid Class A Foam Stick.
Scotty Firefighter, exhibited it’s wildland foam nozzle as well as its 4010 Fast-Foam applicator for wildland use. “The Fast-Foam applicator uses PHOS-CHeK Solid Class A Foam Sticks,” says Lloyd Rees, sales and support for Scotty. “A firefighter can flow from 15 to 95 gpm from the Fast-Foam nozzle and can get 35 minutes of foam flow at 15 gpm constant flow.”
Norbe Puroll, Western regional manager for Safe Fleet’s FRC brand, displayed FoamPro’s Accumax, 1600 series, and 2000 series foam controllers as well as FRC’s Tank Vision, pressure governor, and InControl systems.
In wildland personal protective equipment (PPE), Workrite™ Fire Service showed its Wildland Response Shirt Gen II and Wildland Pant, both meeting NFPA 1977, Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Fire Fighting, and NFPA 1975, Standard on Emergency Services Work Apparel.
California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) displayed its First Defense™ wildland firefighting gear that also meets NFPA 1977 in two colors: yellow and orange.
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.