Wake Forest (NC) Fire Department put together an apparatus committee to design the layout it wanted on a new tractor-drawn aerial (TDA) quint it wanted to purchase. The committee knew that it needed to have a large amount of compartment space for the various fire and rescue disciplines the rig was going to have to handle, as well as the ability to fight fire by having it carry a pump and a tank, making the truck what’s called a “quiller.”
Daryl Cash, Wake Forest’s services chief, says, “The apparatus committee put in a lot of time and effort on designing the layout of the trailer because we do fire, search and rescue, extrications, and Type 2 water rescues, and all those functions had to be accounted for on the quiller.” Cash notes that Wake Forest checked out five major manufacturers of TDAs, “and the one best-suited to the needs of Wake Forest was Spartan ER.”
Lance Dill, marketing and sales manager for Atlantic Coast Fire Trucks, who sold the quiller to Wake Forest, says the apparatus committee had a lot of good questions about the Spartan ER rig. “They wanted a truck they could use without restriction and like the design of the Spartan ER ladder,” Dill points out. “They also were concerned about getting the maximum amount of compartment storage space on the vehicle, as well as more than 300 feet of ground ladders, and for the rig to carry a pump and water tank, but still wanted to keep the truck as short as possible.”
To accommodate those preferences, Spartan ER put a volute style Waterous CXS 1,500-gallons-per-minute (gpm) pump on the quiller, and a 200-gallon polypropylene water tank instead of the typical 300-gallon tank on a TDA in order to keep the length shorter. “The 105-foot aerial ladder has a waterway and an Akron Brass StreamMaster™ II 1,500-gpm monitor at the tip,” Dill says.
Randy Hummer, aerial account manager for Spartan ER, says the Wake Forest quiller has 466 ½ cubic feet of compartment space, and 372 cubic feet of ground ladder storage that holds one 45-foot Bangor extension ladder, two 35-foot extension ladders, two 28-foot extension ladders, one 28-foot extension ladder, one 24-foot extension ladder, three 16-foot roof ladders, a 10-foot folding ladder, a 14-foot Fresno combination ladder, and a 17-foot Little Giant folding ladder, along with a 16-foot roof ladder on the aerial’s fly section.
“The quiller is built on a Spartan Gladiator tractor and cab chassis with seating for six firefighters, five of them in H.O. Bostrom self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) seats,” Hummer says, “powered by a 600-horsepower (hp) Cummins X15 diesel engine, and an Allison 4000 EVS automatic transmission.”
Hummer notes that the tractor and cab have the Spartan Advanced Occupant Protection System which includes front and side impact protection for the driver and officer, and also side curtain airbags for the seating positions in the crew cab. “It also has an Advanced Seat Belt System where retractor pre-tensioners tighten the seat belts around the occupants, securing them in seats in the event of a crash, and integrated outboard crash sensors on the perimeter of the vehicle,” he says. The four-section, 105-foot aerial ladder has a full-length aerial walkway lit by blue LED lighting, and is controlled by an AL-11 turntable digital control system that displays the aerial’s extension, elevation and rotation, and the truck’s engine vital signs, Hummer adds.
Dill says that the Wake Forest quiller has an 8-kW Harrison hydraulic generator, 360 degrees of HiViz Fire Tech LED lighting, including scene, headlight, compartment, and ground lighting, and Whelen LED warning lighting and a Roto Ray light on the front of the cab.
Cash, who chaired the apparatus committee, points out the new quiller “can get to places, like around garden apartments with narrow, one-lane accesses where we can’t get an engine, and we can jackknife the quiller to get closer to a building, which you can’t do with a straight chassis aerial.”
He notes Wake Forest Fire Department employs more than 80 full-time firefighters, 20 part-timers, and 28 volunteers at five different stations housing seven companies: Engine 1, Engine 2, Engine 3, Engine 4, Engine 5, the quiller, a 100-foot platform, and a reserve tiller. The department protects the Town of Wake Forest and a surrounding 42-square-mile area and answers nearly 4,000 emergencies each year. Its entire full-time staff is North Carolina Firefighter Level 1 and 2, Hazardous Materials Operations Level, and EMT (emergency medical technician) certified.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Ariz.-based journalist, the author of three novels and five non-fiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including the position of chief.