Features, Fire Apparatus

Specialized Industrial Fire Apparatus Protect Refineries, Tank Farms, Chemical Plants

Issue 9 and Volume 25.

By Alan M. Petrillo

Industrial fire apparatus, both pumpers and aerials, are their own special category of fire apparatus, requiring massive pumping power, large foam application capabilities, and specialized monitors and nozzles for fires in refineries, tank farms, and chemical plants.

Manufacturers have produced industrial fire apparatus that help fire departments combat these fires. Brian Van Daalwyk, senior product coordinator of fire suppression systems for Pierce Manufacturing Inc., says there’s been a recent trend of end users moving toward higher-flow industrial fire apparatus. “These big facilities have their own dedicated water supply and relay pumps in their systems to be able to get a lot of water on a fire,” Van Daalwyk observes, “so they need large-volume engine-driven pumps to feed the apparatus monitors and remote monitors around the facility.”

He notes that typical fire pumps used on industrial apparatus are those made by Hale, Waterous, and Darley, which put out 3,000 gallons per minute (gpm) from draft and 6,000 to 7,000 gpm from pressurized water sources. “We make a mix of custom pumpers and aerial platforms available on our Arrow XT™ and Velocity® chassis with a Darley 2ZSM pump that produces 5,500 gpm from draft and 10,000-plus gpm from a pressurized water source,” Van Daalwyk says. He notes that inlet configurations are up to 12 inches in diameter, multiple discharge outlets are up to 12 inches, and foam ratio controllers are available through 10 inches with the Husky 450 foam system able to handle up to 14 discharges.


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Allen Huelsebuch, director of sales and service for the Industrial Apparatus Services division of Siddons-Martin Emergency Group, says the industrial pumpers he sells are custom Pierce rigs carrying a Darley 3,000-gpm pump, a 1,000-gallon foam concentrate tank, and usually a 300-gallon water cell as well as Pierce pumpers with the Darley 5,500-gpm 2ZSM pump. “We see movement toward multiple monitors on industrial pumpers,” Huelsebuch says, “with either a 5,000- or 6,000-gpm monitor over the foam module in the middle and twin 2,000-gpm monitors at the rear of the rig. Most of these pumpers are carrying a minimum of 6-inch large-diameter hose (LDH) and some of them 7¼-inch LDH.”

A Pierce industrial pumper carrying a Darley 2ZSM 5,500-gpm pump, a Williams Ambassador

1 A Pierce industrial pumper carrying a Darley 2ZSM 5,500-gpm pump, a Williams Ambassador® 2×6 6,000-gpm monitor, and two Task Force Tips Monsoon 2,000-gpm monitors operates at a storage area in Port Arthur, Texas. (Photo courtesy of Pierce Manufacturing Inc.)

2 Ferrara Fire Apparatus built this industrial super pumper with a US Fire Pump 6,250-gpm pump, 900-gallon foam tank, and FoamPro Fusion 300-gpm foam system with a Fire Lion Global 300-gpm foam pump. (Photo courtesy of Ferrara Fire Apparatus.)

3 E-ONE built four custom industrial pumpers for Saudi Aramco on Cyclone® chassis and cabs with Hale 8FG 3,000-gpm pumps, 750-gallon Class B foam tanks, 280-gallon water tanks, Williams Hot Shot 2 300-gpm foam systems, and Williams Ambassador 2×6 6,000-gpm monitors. (Photo courtesy of E-ONE.)

This Rosenbauer industrial pumper carries a Rosenbauer N130 3,500-gpm pump, 1,000-gallon dry chemical system, and 1,500-gallon water/foam tank.

4 This Rosenbauer industrial pumper carries a Rosenbauer N130 3,500-gpm pump, 1,000-gallon dry chemical system, and 1,500-gallon water/foam tank. (Photo courtesy of Rosenbauer.)

Brad Williamson, industrial product manager for Ferrara Fire Apparatus, says Ferrara offers a wide variety of configurations in pumpers and aerial platforms, depending on the physical plant to be protected as well as what it is storing. “The bread-and-butter industrial pumper is in the 3,000- to 4,000-gpm range in both side-mount and top-mount configurations,” Williamson points out. “Lately, there’s been a push for rear-mount pumps with side controls, and some are going for very high-flow apparatus, like the US Fire Pump 6,250-gpm pump.”

Williamson adds that industrial units are now carrying monitors that can flow 8,000 and 9,000 gpm like the Williams Ambassador, the Task Force Tips Tsunami, the Akron Brass Renegade, and the Elkhart Brass Magnum. “For industrial aerials, we make a 100-foot midmount aerial ladder that’s capable of flowing 5,000 gpm at extension; a three-section, 85-foot articulating boom rig that flows 4,000 gpm; and a 100-foot rear-mount aerial platform capable of 3,000 gpm with rescue capabilities,” he says.

Chris Kleinhuizen, industrial products manager for Rosenbauer, notes that Rosenbauer “has been restrategizing how we handle the industrial market and is now making an effort to pursue it. As a starting base, we make a custom pumper on a single rear axle with a Rosenbauer N130 3,500-gpm pump, 1,000-pound dry chemical system, and 1,500-gallon water/foam tank. If there’s no dry chemical on the vehicle, then a 2,000-gallon water/foam tank on a dual rear axle.”

CustomFIRE built this 112-foot industrial aerial platform for Shelly Polymers on a Sutphen chassis and cab with a Waterous CRU2 3,000-gpm pump, 800-gallon foam tank, Aquis UltraFlow electronic direct discharge foam system, and two TFT Monsoon monitors on the platform.

5 CustomFIRE built this 112-foot industrial aerial platform for Shelly Polymers on a Sutphen chassis and cab with a Waterous CRU2 3,000-gpm pump, 800-gallon foam tank, Aquis UltraFlow electronic direct discharge foam system, and two TFT Monsoon monitors on the platform. (Photo courtesy of CustomFIRE.)

Rosenbauer has made some T-Rex 125-foot articulated boom industrial aerials with Hale 8FG 3,000-gpm pumps, 500-gallon water tanks, and Rosenbauer hydromatic foam systems, Kleinhuizen says, “and we are working on putting the 3,000-gpm Rosenbauer N130 on them. Most of our industrial aerial platforms have 1,000-gpm water/foam tanks with Hale 8FG or Rosenbauer N130 pumps and hydromatic foam systems.”

Jim Kirvida, president of CustomFIRE, says his company partners with Sutphen Corp. in the Sutphen Industrial Solutions Program, building industrial apparatus on Sutphen chassis. He notes that they built five industrial units for Shell Polymers in Monaca, Pennsylvania: a 112-foot aerial platform with a Waterous 3,000-gpm CRU2 pump, 800-gallon foam tank, Aquis UltraFlow electronic direct discharge foam system, and two TFT Monsoon monitors on the platform; a Monarch industrial pumper with a Waterous CRU2 3,000-gpm pump, 1,000-gallon foam tank, 500-gallon water tank, and Aquis UltraFlow foam system; a hazmat command vehicle on a Peterbilt chassis; and two Ford F-250 quick-attack trucks, each carrying two 1,250-gpm TFT Hurricane monitors fed by manifolds at the rear of the rigs.

Terry Planck, industrial sales specialist for E-ONE, says E-ONE recently built four custom industrial pumpers for Saudi Aramco. The pumpers are on E-ONE’s Cyclone® chassis and cabs and have Hale 8FG 3,000-gpm pumps, 750-gallon Class B foam concentrate tanks, 280-gallon water tanks, Williams Hot Shot 2 300-gpm foam systems, and Williams Ambassador® 2×6 2,000- to 6,000-gpm monitors, Planck says.

E-ONE also has two 4×2 multipurpose industrial pumpers in the final stages of production, he points out. Their features include Cyclone chassis and cabs, Hale 8FG 2,000-gpm pumps, 750-gallon Class B foam concentrate tanks, 280-gallon water tanks, and 2,000-gpm Elkhart Brass monitors with Williams Ranger Hydro-Chem® 2.0 nozzles. Also on the production line, he adds, is a high-flow 90-foot aerial ladder with a Hale 8FG 3,000-gpm pump, 700-gallon foam tank, Williams Hot Shot 2 foam system, and 3,000-gpm monitor at the ladder tip.

Joe Messmer, president of Summit Fire Apparatus, says Summit built an industrial pumper for British Petroleum’s Toledo, Ohio, refining facility, carrying a Hale 3,000-gpm rear-mount pump, a 1,000-gallon foam tank, an Akron Brass 6,000-gpm deck gun, and three six-inch intakes at the rear of the vehicle. “The smallest discharge on the pumper is 3 inches,” Messmer points out, “while the others were 4-inch and 6-inch discharges. There’s a pulpit pump panel on the left rear side of the pumper, which also carries a 65-foot Snozzle.”

David Rider, director of aerial and industrial products for HME Ahrens-Fox, sees the trend in the industrial market of companies moving up to 4,000-, 5,000-, and 6,000-gpm pumps on their apparatus. “However, we saw there was a niche in the industrial market where we could focus and leverage our EVO mini-pumper on a Ford F-550 chassis with a 1,500-gpm pump,” Rider says. “We can put 500 gallons of fluid on the chassis and 75 pounds of dry chemical in a rear compartment that can be delivered at the rate of two pounds per second.”


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.