Affordable, Practical, Versatile Apparatus Exhibited At FDIC

Ferrara's Multi Vocational Pumper
Ferrara’s Multi Vocational Pumper (MVP) can handle fire, EMS, hazmat, heavy rescue, high-angle and swift water rescue applications.
Rosenbauer's Safe Scene Pumper
Rosenbauer’s Safe Scene Pumper is designed to get the engineer off the ground and onto a platform on the pumper’s left side. (Rosenbauer Photo)
E-ONE mid-engine Hush
This E-ONE mid-engine Hush with a rear-mount pump was built for the Glendale (Ariz.) Fire Department. (E-ONE Photo)
Crimson Fire's Legend series
The modular design of Crimson Fire’s Legend series lends itself to a wide variety of options and configurations. (Crimson Fire Photo)

A half-dozen manufacturers at the annual Fire Department Instructors Conference in Indianapolis displayed new designs and concepts in fire apparatus in late April.

The recession and its effect on municipal budgets was on the minds of executives at some manufacturers, among them Pierce, Seagrave and Crimson, which stressed affordability and functionality as attributes of their new offerings. Others, such as Ferrara, E-ONE and Rosenbauer, emphasized versatility and safety, while Summit went for muscle with an industrial pumper.

Pierce Manufacturing Inc. of Appleton, Wis., introduced its Contender Responder line of firefighting trucks built on commercial chassis and designed for quick delivery with a limited selection of options.

“The Contender Responder is designed for departments with limited funds, but who still want a reliable, durable and value-added vehicle,” said Greg Pfaff, Pierce’s Midwest district manager.

The Contender Responder uses one of three commercial chassis – the Freightliner M2 and the International 4400 and 7400 (4×4) – as a foundation for a two-door or four-door pumper with a selection of features. These include a long-life aluminum body with a powder-coated steel substructure, a pto-driven pump rated at 1,250 gpm, pump-in-motion capability, and a polypropylene water tank in three sizes, 750, 1,000 or 1,250 gallons.

Other features of the Contender Responder include a single agent foam system plumbed to two low-positioned crosslays with removable packing trays, a high visibility LED lighting package, a lever handle pump system with direct valve access for ease in servicing and high and low side compartments with 500-pound rated slide-out trays and painted roll-up doors.

Pfaff noted the Contender Responder is well suited for smaller communities, especially with its pump-and-roll capability and maneuverability due to a short wheelbase.

Pierce Manufacturing had another surprise to unveil at FDIC – an innovative 100-foot aluminum aerial platform and basket that can operate below grade while short jacked.

The aerial has an 11-foot, 9-inch overall height and a stabilizer spread of 15 feet, 6 inches with 18 inches of ground penetration. It’s rated for 1,000 pounds dry tip-load and for 500 pounds while flowing up to 2,000 gpm.

Tim Smits, Pierce’s aerial sales manager, said the aerial’s operating range is from minus 11.5 degrees to 76 degrees with a 235-degree rotation at minus 11.5 degrees.

“The below grade operation allows for a low step height to the basket without having to extend the device,” he said, “allowing more versatile operation, especially in tight quarters.”

Smits said the aluminum aerial’s design was driven by field surveys of fire departments around the country. “We asked them what they wanted to see in a rear platform and many of them told us they needed to be able to work in tighter areas,” he said. “So with our 15-foot 6-inch stabilizer spread we can short jack to 11 feet, 8 inches and still run at full capability.”

Smits said that the basket also was designed for more ergonomic use by slanting the corners at 45 degrees and adding an outside step.

“The fire departments and consultants helped design this aerial to make the job easier for the firefighters who use it,” he said.

Pierce also introduced its Changeable Response Unit (CRU), which allows fire and rescue departments to customize a single pickup truck to do the work of several specialty vehicles through an interchangeable system of dedicated modules that fit into the cargo area and can easily be swapped out for one another.

The unit on display had a scene safety and water purification module made by W.S. Darley & Co., although it can also handle configurations designed for response to brush fire, ice rescue, rehab, water rescue and hazmat scenarios.

A Pierce Velocity chassis on display had a number of ergonomic improvements, including a redesigned center instrument console in the cab lowered three inches to enhance communications and officer side window visibility, a repositioned Command Zone display for at-a-glance viewing, more office work area and repositioned HVAC and transmission shifter controls.

In addition, Pierce exhibited a Stinger Q4 Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV), purchased by the Louisville Regional Airport Authority in Louisville, Ky., and built on a Ford Super Duty F-550 chassis, carrying 120 gallons of water, 500 pounds of dry chemical agent and a compressed air foam system.

The vehicle, developed with Oshkosh Airport Products, features Pulse Delivery technology to propel dry chemical powder packets more than 90 feet – three times the current capability.

The Stinger Q4 RIV also has QuadAgent technology to attack almost all types of fires by selecting any combination of four agents – water/foam, compressed air foam, dry chemical and clean agent – disbursed from the nozzle to more than 90 feet.

Crimson Fire of Brandon, S.D., a subsidiary of Spartan Motors Inc., displayed the first pumper in its new Legend series, a program designed to provide quality-built vehicles at an affordable price point, according to Crimson president Kevin Crump.

Modular Design

“We designed the Legend series with three things in mind, practicality, functionality and affordability,” Crump said. “The modular design gives departments a variety of options and configurations not commonly found in commercial vehicles.”

Crimson can create 10 different body and 10 different rear end configurations because of the vehicle’s modular design, Crump noted.

The Legend series features a stainless steel sub-frame with stainless-steel huck-bolt fasteners, a Vibra-Torque mounting system to minimize vibration in the body, a 1,250 gpm pump rating for Class A operations or an optional 1,500 gpm pump, foam capabilities and water tanks with capacities from 500 to 1,600 gallons.

The vehicles have 33-inch high, full-depth usable compartment space on split-depth body configurations, a customizable storage area above the wheel well and an extra-large rear compartment.

The Legend series’ shorter wheelbase, due to a shorter pump-house enclosure, improves its turning radius and maneuverability, Crump said. The vehicles are available in both pumper and tanker configurations.


Seagrave Fire Apparatus of Clintonville, Wis., is another company that touted affordability with its new Sentinel Series, which was introduced at FDIC as “the best value in mid-range horsepower custom pumpers and soon to be released aerials.”

The Sentinel Series, according to the company, features only pre-engineered options as the standard offering, such as LED emergency lighting, hosebed size, water tank shape, body size and other components. It also comes with top-mount or side-mount pump controls; body tunnel or hydraulic rack ladder storage; and a 750 or 1000 gallon water tank.

Seagrave said the Sentinel Series “delivers a full spectrum of performance features typically found only on premium-priced pumpers and with no compromise on safety.”

Ferrara Fire Apparatus Inc. of Holden, La., introduced two new vehicles at FDIC – the multi vocational pumper (MVP) and the Ember mid-range custom chassis.

Paul Christiansen, Ferrara’s marketing director, said the MVP was designed to be a truly cross-vocational vehicle that can handle fire, EMS, hazmat, heavy rescue, high angle rescue and swift water rescue applications.

The pumper sports a 183-inch wheelbase and is available in 330 to 500 horsepower models on various Ferrara custom chassis. It carries a 2,000 gpm Hale QMax pump, offers true pump-and-roll with a Hale PTO pump putting out 80 to 90 gpm at 150 psi at 2.5 miles per hour and accommodates water tanks from 500 to 1,000 gallons.

The MVP has 420 cubic feet of compartment space including compartments for a Stokes basket, three backboards, forcible entry and extrication tools, and equipment for swift water and high-angle rescue.

Ferrara’s MVP has a foam tank integral with the water tank and can be equipped with different types of foam systems. It’s available with a generator and 120-volt lighting or no generator and LED/HID scene lighting.

The Ember mid-range custom chassis Ferrara introduced at the show features a 3/16-inch thick marine grade aluminum cab, a single or tandem rear axle, engines from 330 to 425 horsepower and is available with a medium or long cab with a flat or raised roof.

FDIC also saw Rosenbauer Firefighting Technology of Lyons, S.D., introduce its Safe Scene Pumper, a vehicle with a general extruded aluminum body and full pump-and-roll capability through a 1,250 gpm pto-driven fire pump.

Donley Frederickson, Rosenbauer’s national sales manager, said one of the Safe Scene’s innovations is getting the engineer off the ground and onto a side step in front of the pump panel for improved personal safety. The LogiColor pump panel uses Elkhart electric unibody valves, and the vehicle has a multiplexed cab and body with integrated water, foam and pressure gauges.

“The design of the pump panel, with the side step, allows a side mounted pump that acts like a top mount, but doesn’t increase the size of the rig,” Frederickson said. “We can do this type of pump panel on any style pumper that we build.”

The Safe Scene has a front bumper turret for use with pto-driven pump-and-roll and also packs a bumper-housed booster reel with 150 feet of 3/4-inch hose.

The pumper carries a 750-gallon polypropylene booster tank, a Fix Mix foam system with a 30-gallon foam tank and has stainless steel plumbing and manifolds.

The rear of the vehicle features enclosed ground ladder storage and an EZ Climb ladder for hose bed access.

Rosenbauer also introduced its EZ Load Hosebed for aerial ladder apparatus at FDIC. The EZ Load is built into the upper side of an aerial and is hydraulically driven to swing down over the body compartments.

When the hosebed is in the lowered position, the top is less than 48 inches off the ground and the outside edge extends less than 30 inches from the aerial’s body. The EZ Load Hosebed has 1,500 pounds of lifting capacity and auto leveling technology.

Frederickson noted the EZ Load will hold 1,000 feet of 5-inch hose. “It allows firefighters to load hose from below shoulder height, which minimizes the risk of injury,” he said. “The EZ Load is the lowest powered hosebed available on NFPA-compliant fire aerial apparatus.”

Rosenbauer also showed its T-Rex 102-foot articulating ladder, a self-leveling aerial that’s newly introduced into the United States. The ladder can be operated from the seat at the rear of the vehicle or from the platform with equal ease, Frederickson said.

E-ONE of Ocala, Fla., also had a new aerial at FDIC – its HP 78 SideStacker, which carries a 78-foot ToughTruss extruded aluminum ladder with a 750-pound tip load and a fly section more than 25 inches wide to accommodate a Stokes basket.

The HP 78 has a 500-gallon polypropylene water tank, and 55 cubic feet of hosebed with a capacity of 1,000 feet of large diameter hose and 300 feet of double-jacketed hose. It also has a Hale QMax 1,500 gpm single stage centrifugal pump and uses Akron valves with stainless steel manifold and piping.

E-ONE also showed its Hush mid-engine rear-mount pumper, which Sonya Kelly, dealer training and events manager, said was built for the Glendale (Ariz.) Fire Department.

The Hush features an open interior cab with engine and cooling systems located behind the cab, a 1,000-gallon booster tank, a Hale 1,500 gpm pump and a pump panel featuring both manual and electronic controls.

Summit Fire Apparatus of Edgewood, Ky., displayed the Dragonslayer, an industrial foam pumper made for a British Petroleum facility in Toledo, Ohio. Built on a Spartan chassis with a Caterpillar C13 engine and Allison Gen IV transmission, it carries a Hale RME 3,000 gpm pump, a 5,000-gpm monitor, a Snozzle boom and has a sliding pump operator’s platform protected by steel tubing at the left rear of the vehicle.

The Dragonslayer is equipped with a Foam Pro AccuMax 3300 foam system and is capable of delivering individually metered foam solution to each of its discharges.

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