The Bronson (MI) Fire Department’s last two pumpers purchased were top-mount rigs, which its officers and operators liked because they can get up high and see more of a fire scene—and especially when operating at a MVA on a busy roadway. Bronson’s two engines are on commercial chassis, so the department chose to build a replacement for its the oldest pumper with one from Rosenbauer on an International four-door chassis and cab.
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“We consider the top-mount pumpers a safety issue for our operators because it gets them up and out of the roadway on an auto accident scene, and gives them a better view of a structural fire scene, which is a second set of eyes that can assist with information for command,” says Scott Wilber, Bronson’s chief. Bronson is a paid on-call department covering a population of 8,870 and 192 square miles comprising the city of Bronson and surrounding areas that have some commercial, a lot of agriculture and open space, and a few lakes, Wilber points out.
The Rosenbauer pumper for Bronson is built on a four-door International chassis and cab with a hot dip zinc galvanized frame and is powered by a 350-hp Cummins engine and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission, says Roger Parker, central regional sales manager for Rosenbauer America. It carries a Hale DSD 1,500-gpm pump, a 1,000-gallon polypropylene water tank, a 20-gallon foam tank, and a FoamPro 1600 foam system. Wheelbase on the pumper is 277 inches, overall length is 32 feet 7 inches, and overall height is 9 feet 7 inches.
Jim Warner, apparatus salesman for Emergency Vehicles Plus, who sold the pumper to Bronson, says he first met the Bronson crew at the Rosenbauer booth at FDIC International 2016. “They were looking for a commercial chassis and cab pumper and liked what they saw on the show floor,” Warner says. “The pumper committee went back and drew up their specs, and after narrowing it down, chose Rosenbauer to build the pumper.” Warner notes that while a top-mount pumper adds 24 inches to the wheelbase of the rig because of the width of the walkway, “It’s not a concern for Bronson because they have a lot of open space and no difficulty getting their commercial chassis pumpers anywhere in their district.”
Wilber points out that Bronson has another commercial pumper and a custom chassis 75-foot aerial quint, which primarily operates in the city, as well as a tanker (tender) for more rural operations. “Our new Rosenbauer pumper is first out on calls now,” he points out. The pumper has an electric Newton 10-inch square dump valve with an extension in the rear compartment, he says, as well as a 1,500-gallon folding portable tank in a through-the-tank compartment on the left side of the vehicle. The right side of the rig carries its ground ladders in a through-the-tank compartment.
“We had all the diamond plate on the pumper covered with Line-X to keep it clean and give a better grip for the firefighters,” Wilber says. “The Trident Air Primer on the pumper is absolutely amazing, as are the sealed lever cable controls on the pump panel. We have PAC mounts on the slide-out trays, slide-out and down trays for the saws, and swing-out tool boards.”
Parker observes that the Rosenbauer pumper carries a TFT 1,500-gpm Crossfire deck gun with a TFT Extend-A-Gun, a 5-inch rear suction, a full-width hosebed, an oil dry compartment behind the rear wheels, and a Rosenbauer E-Z Climb ladder at the rear of the vehicle.
Warner notes that the pumper has FireTech HiViz LED scene lighting in black casings to match the Line-X on the rig, two telescoping models next to the walkway, one each side on the body, and two at the rear. “The pumper also has a FireTech HiViz LED brow light,” he notes.
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.