The Central Lyon (NV) Fire Protection District had been considering purchasing a Type 3 wildland engine for a couple of years but wanted to do an outright purchase instead of bonding, so it took its time to find the right rig and the right price.
The district is only 30 miles from the California border and regularly gets mutual aid requests from California, so it leaned toward a Type 3 on the Model 34 spec developed by CAL FIRE.
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Ryan McIntosh, Central Lyon’s assistant chief, says the district developed a request for proposal and sent the spec to three fire apparatus manufacturers. “We piggybacked on the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) contract and awarded the bid to HME Ahrens-Fox,” McIntosh says. “They had three Model 34 Type 3 engines in the queue for production, and we were able to get the last two of them.”
The resulting engines are built on four-wheel-drive International HV507 chassis with four-door cabs that each seat five firefighters in nonself-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) seats. The rigs are powered by Cummins L9 diesel engines and Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmissions. They each have a wheelbase of 183 inches, an overall height of 9 feet 7 inches, and an overall length of 26 feet 6 inches, according to Jim Featherstone, owner of Red Sky Fire Trucks, who sold the two engines to Central Lyon.
Featherstone points out that the engines have eight-foot-long corrosion-resistant stainless-steel bodies, full-height pump modules with Darley two-stage 500-gallon-per-minute (gpm) JMP500 midship pumps, Darley 1-1/2-AGE auxiliary pumps powered by 26-horsepower (hp) Kubota diesel engines for pump-and-roll capability, 500-gallon water tanks, 20-gallon foam tanks, and FoamPro 1600 foam systems.
1 The Central Lyon (NV) Fire Protection District had HME Ahrens-Fox build two Model 34 Type 3 engines on International four-wheel-drive, four-door chassis and cabs, with seating for five firefighters. (Photos courtesy of Central Lyon Fire Protection District.)
Central Lyon (NV) Fire Protection District
Strength: 11 paid full-time firefighters and chiefs, 16 paid part-time and volunteer firefighters; seven stations.
Service area: The Central Lyon Fire Protection District provides fire suppression, rescue, and ALS emergency medical services to a population of 30,000 in 630 square miles containing the communities of Dayton, Dayton Valley, Mark Twain, Mound House, Silver City, Silver Springs, and Stagecoach.
Other apparatus: Seven Type 1 engines; one Type 1 engine with a 50-foot TeleSqurt, four Type 3 engines, two Type 4 engines, two Type 6 engines, one heavy rescue, one air-light unit, seven ALS ambulances.
Ed Boring, fleet sales manager for HME Ahrens-Fox, says that the company’s Model 34 Type 3 wildland engine is the product of years of collaboration with CAL FIRE. “In western states, CAL FIRE is the benchmark that most fire departments measure themselves against in terms of wildland firefighting,” Boring says. “The Model 34 Type 3 is basically a CAL FIRE spec’d truck that delivers the perfect balance of stability, handling, durability, and functionality.”
Boring notes that the pumper is engineered to handle rugged terrain and twisting mountain two tracks with its clearance, capability, and capacity designed to meet the challenge of rugged wildland environments. “The Model 34 Type 3 features HME Hydra Technology™, a corrosion-resistant stainless-steel body, a full complement of wildland specific storage solutions, and a large four-door cab to carry a full crew,” he says.
Central Lyon Fire Protection District provides fire protection, rescue, and advanced life support (ALS) ambulance service to the communities of Dayton, Mark Twain, Mount House, Silver City, Silver Springs, and Stagecoach, covering a 630-square-mile area with a population of 30,000 residents. McIntosh says that because the two engines were purpose built as “sister trucks” for WUI response, they were placed in service at Station 35 in Dayton and Station 37 in Stagecoach.
2 The pump panel area on the Model 34 Type 3 engine.
3 Firefighters can easily get to their wildland gear. 4 The tail ends of the units have supply lines, discharges, preconnected hoselines, and 2½-inch intakes.
HME Ahrens-Fox Model 34 Type 3 Pumpers
- International HV507 four-wheel-drive, four-door chassis and cab with seating for five firefighters
- Eight-foot-long corrosion-resistant stainless-steel bodies
- Cummins L9 diesel engines
- Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmissions
- Full-height pump module with 500-gpm Darley JMP500 two-stage pumps
- Darley 1-1/2AGE auxiliary pumps powered by 26-hp Kubota diesel engines for pump and roll
- 500-gallon water tanks
- 20-gallon foam tanks
- FoamPro 1600 foam systems
- Whelen LED warning and scene lighting
“They came off the assembly line one after the other,” he points out. “As sister trucks, they drive the same; the pumps are operated identically; and all the equipment carried on the rigs is in the same place, which makes it easier for the firefighters to operate the trucks and get the maximum performance out of them. And, because our fire crews rotate among the district’s seven stations, having equipment that functions and operates identically increases efficiency.”
CAL FIRE SPEC MODIFICATIONS
McIntosh says that Central Lyon made some changes to the two units it purchased. “We wanted changes to the configuration of the compartments,” he says, “that were different from the CAL FIRE spec because they had set the compartments up the way they wanted, but that wasn’t necessarily the way we worked. So, the configurations were changed, and when we took delivery, we made in-house changes by adding different hangers and brackets for the tools and line gear our firefighters would be using. Now our firefighters can get out of the cab, walk back to the cabinets, and grab their gear right off the hooks.”
Another change, Boring says, “is that they have two 1½-inch crosslays in the front bumper, instead of a single 1½-inch crosslay per the CAL FIRE spec. Usually, departments do that when they want the option of protecting an exposure while suppressing fire at the same time or having the engine serve as a [wildland urban interface (WUI)] pumper.”
McIntosh notes that Central Lyon also chose to have a backup camera installed on each of the engines, added air ride seats for the firefighters for long trips to wildland fire deployments, and had all the diamond plate on the vehicles blacked out with Line-X.
ALAN M. PETRILLOis 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.