By Alan M. Petrillo
The Howlett Hill (NY) Fire Department had a pumper that was at the extended limit of its life and need to be replaced, and its second-due engine was getting heavy use on Howlett Hill calls as well as mutual aid, so the department spec’d a new pumper that would ultimately be built by Marion Body Works.
Fred Alfreds, a Howlett Hill engineer and member of the pumper committee, says the department wanted a Spartan chassis and cab, with a 1,500-gpm pump and 750-gallon water tank. “We liked what Marion suggested in terms of a design that gave very good weight distribution, and the resulting custom pumper is a very good driving piece of apparatus, extremely smooth and maneuverable.”
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The custom pumper that Marion built, says John H. Harris Jr., partner in Har-Rob Fire Apparatus, who sold the rig to Howlett Hill, is on a Spartan Gladiator chassis and LFD cab with seating for seven firefighters, powered by a Cummins 500-hp diesel engine, and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission. The pumper has a Hale QMax 1,500-gallons per minute (gpm) pump, a UPF Poly 750-gallon water tank, a 20-gallon foam cell, and a FoamPro 1600 single agent foam system.
Harris notes that the pumper has two 200 foot 1¾-inch speed lays on the side of the pump panel, which is behind a roll-up door, a front bumper discharge with a gated wye, a 5-inch front suction, an Akron 3440 remote control deck gun, and in the hosebed, 2,400 feet of 5-inch LDH, two 2-inch hose dead lays of 200 feet each, 300-feet of 3 inch preconnected to a ground monitor, and 250 feet of preconnected 2½-inch hose.
The Marion custom pumper for Howlett Hill has a Harrison 15 kW hydraulic generator in the dunnage area, Harris says, along with a Will-Burt VRT 620-1100 light tower with 22,000-lumen LED Styron lights, Amdor red LED strip compartment lighting, Whelen LED warning lighting, six Whelen M9 LED scene lights (two each side and two at the rear), and a cord reel with 150 feet of wire and a junction box in the L1 compartment.
“A Zico center arm electric ladder rack is on the top right side of the pumper holding a 28-foot, two-section extension ladder, a 16-foot roof ladder, and a 10-foot attic ladder,” Harris points out. “There are two 6-inch by 10-foot hard suction lengths recessed in the rear body, and the pumper carries two 6-inch by 5-foot PVC suction lengths in the dunnage area. Access to the top of the pumper is by a Marion fold-out access ladder at the rear, and each compartment has 12-volt drop-in power as well as shelves, trays, slide-outs, and tool boards.”
Alfreds notes that since the Marion pumper went in service, it has been called to seven working structure fires—five in the Howlett Hill fire district and two in response to mutual aid. “The pumper performed really well,” he says. “On one structure fire we were sent to a draft site near the fire, our hose was laid out, and we fed a neighboring department’s aerial device the entire time. With this engine and our second-due engine, we are able to lay one mile of 5-inch LDH. We’re very pleased with this vehicle.”
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.