Compartment Corner: Fort Lauderdale (FL) Fire-Rescue’s Custom Sutphen Pumper

Engine Company 8 runs a 2018 Monarch heavy-duty extended cab and chassis custom pumper.

By Mike Ciampo

The Fort Lauderdale (FL) Fire-Rescue Department is located in southeast Florida about 25 miles north of Miami. It is the largest city and county seat of Broward County. The city is a popular vacation destination because it sits adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean with miles of pristine beachfront. The city is also known as Venice of America and is the Yachting Capital of the World due to its extensive network of canals, which covers 165 miles of waterways within the city limits. Beautiful yachts and smaller boats travel through these canals and often dock at large homes or marinas throughout city.

The city is named after a series of forts built by the United States during the Second Seminole War and named after Lieutenant Colonel Lauderdale. The city is protected by the Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Department, which provides a host of services to the community and surrounding jurisdictions: fire protection, emergency medical service, marine and dive rescue operations, hazardous materials operations, aircraft rescue firefighting (ARFF), SWAT medics, ocean rescue lifeguards, and a technical rescue unit. A fire prevention and fire investigation unit is also a part of the department’s make up. The department also provides contract fire, rescue, and EMS services to the adjoining city of Wilton Manor and town of Lazy Lake.

Over the past few years, the department has been purchasing Sutphen fire apparatus. These purchases have included both top- and side-mounted pump-controlled engines, an SP-95 aerial tower, and a custom-built squad pumper. One of the reasons they’ve ordered both types of engine apparatus was due to the heavily traveled interstate, where they often operate at vehicle fires and motor vehicle accidents. Having the driver out of the roadway and monitoring the scene from atop the apparatus gives them another margin of safety; especially due to the fact that the engine is parked further away from the scene, blocking traffic when hoselines are stretched off of it. The side-mounted pump controls are normally located in the downtown and residential neighborhoods, where street traffic isn’t as much of a concern as operating on the interstate.

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Engine Company 8 runs a 2018 Monarch heavy-duty extended cab and chassis custom pumper. It has a raised roof cab with seating for five firefighters and a medical supply compartment installed on the rear wall of the cab. It is powered by a Cummins ISL9 450hp diesel engine which drives the Allison Gen5 transmission. The rig is made of 3/16’s extruded aluminum which is painted red, it’s also equipped with Rom Roll-Up doors which aren’t painted. A large reflective “EKG”-like stripe runs along the side of the crew cab and continues horizontally across the rest of the body. DOT reflective striping is adhered to the rear and the front bumper of the rig. The front bumper is a 30-inch extended bumper which also serves as the rig’s extrication-equipped storage area. It has a hinged treadplate cover which conceals the Holmatro battery-operated extrication equipment.

There are battery chargers on the rear wall of the storage compartment and a receptacle for electrical power; if the tools need to be run directly off the apparatus. The rear 18-inch tailboard is cut at 45-degree angles on the ends to assist in the rig’s maneuverability. The rig has a Hale Q-Two 1,500-gpm two-stage pump and a top-mounted Hannay booster line hose reel used for small rubbish and grass fires. Also above the pump panel is a 3-inch discharge deck gun discharge. The rig is equipped with a UPF 750-gallon water tank and a 40-gallon foam tank, which supplies the Foam Pro 3012 system.

Just below the top-mounted pump controls are three speedlay trays; two are designated to hold 200 feet of 1 ¾-inch and one holds 200 feet of 2 ½-inch hose. The rear hose-bed is set up to hold 1,000 feet of 5-inch supply line and 800 feet of 2 ½-inch with a three-way gated-wye on the end of the line, which is used as a courtyard or boat dock stretch. A thin compartment is located in the hose-bed which holds two backboards and a 10-foot hook.

There is an aluminum hose-bed cover over the top of the bed and a vinyl securing flap on the rear, to keep the hose from discharging when driving. Engine 8 has a Ziamatic Zico-hydraulic ladder rack on the officer’s side of the rig, which is equipped with an Alco-Lite 24-foot two-section extension ladder, 14-foot roof ladder, and 10-foot folding ladder. The folding ladder is stored in a treadplate box and a 10-foot section of 6-inch hard suction are also mounted onto the overhead rack.

Engine 8 has a large complement of Whelen warning and advisory lights. There is a Freedom IV LED lightbar on the roof of the cab, LED red beacon lights on the rear hose-bed, H20 level indicator on both sides of the crew cab, and numerous LED Combo LED lights mounted on the upper portion of the body and cab. To enhance safety while operating, a Whelen Traffic advisor is mounted below the hose bed.

The front of the cab has a Whelen 600 LED warning package and a Federal Q2B siren mounted on the grill. There is also a Fire Research Corporation (FRC) Spectra 12V LED brow light mounted on the cab for scene lighting. For enhanced scene lighting, there are two telescoping Spectra LED lights mounted on the rear of the crew cab. Recessed into the front bumper are dual air horns for additional audible warning devices.

For added safety, mounted on the upper portion of both sides of the cab are blind spot mirrors to assist in judging the front bumper in tight areas. The rig is also equipped with an AC unit mounted on top of the cab, when in quarters the rig is kept plugged in to the shoreline, in order to keep the medicine in the EMS compartment cool.

As we all know, southern Florida can experience warm temperatures year-round and, couple that with numerous runs, the inside of the crew cab can become warm. Engine 8 continues to be one of the city’s busier engines and with this 2018 Sutphen, we continue to hope they “Roll all Night” safely.

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