The Chandler (AZ) Fire Department was seeking to replace two aerial apparatus in its fleet as well as add a third aerial to run out of a station in the southeast part of the city that didn’t have strong ladder coverage. The department’s apparatus committee put together specs and worked through the city’s purchasing division to put out an RFP for three aerial platform quints, which garnered six bids. The winning bid was awarded to Rosenbauer.
Kevin Gale, Chandler’s battalion chief of logistics, says the city has a population of 270,000 and covers 65 square miles, although the department is responsible for some adjacent unincorporated response area bringing its total coverage area to 72 square miles. Chandler has 214 paid full-time firefighters operating 10 engine companies, three ladder companies, five rescues, a brush truck, tanker, hazmat unit, air/light truck, and two ALS acuity units out of 11 stations.
Brandon Whittaker, Rosenbauer’s aerial sales manager, say the three vehicles built for Chandler are identical units: 101-foot Cobra rear-mount aerial platform quints built on Commander R6011 chassis witha 100-inch wide and 60-inch long cabs and 11-inch raised roofs. The rigs are powered by Cummins 505- hp X15 diesel engines and Allison 4000 EVS automatic transmissions and have 24,000-pound Hendrickson parabolic front suspensions and 60,000-pound Hendrickson ULTIMAXX rear suspensions. Wheelbase on each vehicle is 240 inches, overall length is 47 feet 9 inches, and overall height is 12 feet 11 inches.
Chad Horne, salesman at Velocity Fire Equipment, who sold the aerials to Chandler, said that the cab was raised on the vehicles, with no cutout of the aerial, so that the ladder and platform would be up and out of the driver’s visibility. “They didn’t have any problem with door height on their stations or with low obstructions in the district, so raising the cab and moving the platform higher wasn’t an issue for them,” Horne points out.
Whittaker notes that the Cobra platforms have hot dip galvanized outriggers and torque boxes, Smart Aerial controls, and single joystick operation. Each has a 2,000-gpm Akron Brass monitor at the platform, as well as a color camera mounted to the monitor whose images are viewable on smart screens. Tip loads on the aerials are 500 pounds wet and 1,000 pounds dry. He adds that the Cobras have a 101-foot vertical reach and a 94-foot horizontal reach and can be controlled from the platform, the pedestal, and through a remote control unit.
Gale says that Chandler Fire has only operated quints as its truck companies for more than 30 years, which is why it continued the practice with the new Rosenbauer Cobra platforms. Each rig has a Hale Qmax 1,750-gpm pump and a 300-gallon polypropylene water tank, he says.
Gale notes that Chandler handled a multiple-alarm apartment fire in the town earlier this year where several aerials and master streams were in place. “It turned into a defensive fire,” Gale says, “and our new platforms operated there for more than eight hours and performed very well.”
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.