Apparatus Ideas: Southampton’s T-Rex


The Southampton (NY) Fire Department, located on Long Island’s east end, has had a long historical past. The department was created when it constructed its first firehouse in 1881.

In 1891, it purchased its first new fire apparatus, a hand-drawn Runrey engine. Other stations were added in 1959 and 1976. The newest headquarters station was constructed in 2011.

Throughout the years, various makes and models of fire apparatus have been purchased for use in the response district. According to Ed Corrigan, chairman of the apparatus committee, “Our department tries to replace our current apparatus on a 25-year replacement policy. We traditionally have had two ladder trucks at our disposal—a standard platform and an articulating platform. Our fire district has a great deal of large residential properties that have long driveways and are set back from the street. Having an articulating platform gives us greater accessibility to and maneuverability at these types of structures during a fire. Our other platform, which was 12 years old, is used for other areas of our district.”

Southampton’s Rosenbauer T-Rex 115-foot articulating platform.

1 Southampton’s Rosenbauer T-Rex 115-foot articulating platform. (Photos by author.)

The platform basket tucked into the body above the pump panel.

2 The platform basket tucked into the body above the pump panel.

The upper and lower boom extended.

3 The upper and lower boom extended.

Corrigan says, “The Southampton Village Board contracts out fire protection in our village, so we have to work with them with the budget. We have always had a great working relationship with them through the years, and for this purchase it was no exception.”

The project to replace a 1996 Bronto was started three years ago. The five-member committee looked at various types of aerial devices during this process.

“Horizontal reach basically drove the design of this new articulating platform. We liked the 115-foot Rosenbauer T-Rex. The truck sets up faster than our previous vehicle—in less than 90 seconds. The vehicle has self-jacking and leveling, with the bucket sitting completely on the ground,” Corrigan adds.

Rosenbauer Commander chassis
T-Rex articulating platform
Cummins 600-hp engine
Allison EVS 4000 transmission
2,000-gpm Hale pump
300-gallon water tank
39’10’’ overall length
11’10” overall height
228” wheelbase
54” cab 10” raised roof
13’1” tail swing
7’1” front overhang
45-degree cramp angle
33’11” curb-to-curb turning radius
37’3” wall-to-wall turing radius
115’ vertical bucket reach
93’ horizontal bucket reach
Jack setup in 90 seconds
Bucket payload dry 1,400 pounds
Bucket payload wet 1,140 pounds
Operating range for aerial: -3 to 82 degrees, 18 degrees below grade
Ground ladders: 35’, 24’, 14’ folding, two 16’ roof, 10’ folding
10-kW generator
200’ of 10/4 wire
Short-jacked 360-degree rotation
30-mph wind rating
Two 200’ loads of 1¾”; two 200’ loads of 2½”; 600’ of 4” LDH

He continues: “Some of the other features we liked were that the overall truck length was shorter than the other vehicles we looked at and it has a five-person bucket load, a 93-foot horizontal bucket reach, a 45-degree cramp angle, a 115-foot vertical bucket reach, and a bucket that opens up and can easily fit a stokes basket or wheelchair.”

The decision to go with Rosenbauer was based on performance and operation. “We chose to go with one of the apparatus purchasing consortiums, so we didn’t have to go to bid for the purchase of the unit,” Corrigan explains. The aerial portion of the vehicle was built in Europe and then shipped to the Minnesota facility for mounting on the body.

The large, wide platform basket.

4 The large, wide platform basket.

A compartment with fans, electrical reels, built-in electric line, and crosslays.

5 A compartment with fans, electrical reels, built-in electric line, and crosslays.

A compartment with saws and battery-powered hand tools.

6 A compartment with saws and battery-powered hand tools.

“Rosenbauer’s local salesman Howie Snow and Eagle Fire Equipment were with us throughout the whole process. All our expectations and questions were always met during the design and build process. They have a great operation with excellent employees who take a great deal of pride in their work,” Corrigan says.

“One of the unique features they have in the bucket is that they have a wind speed indicator as well as a live weight monitor to allow the truck to operate safely during a fire. It’s really hard to get into trouble with the way this aerial operates,” Corrigan adds.

“We didn’t change any of the options during the build. The truck has ample compartment space to carry our usual complement of truck company tools, saws, fans, forcible entry tools, electrical reels, and so on. The committee was really satisfied with the build, compartment space, and overall operation of the unit when we received it,” Corrigan says. The department members went through 30 hours of training on the operation of the platform before putting it into service.

Response District: 3 stations 7.2 square miles Population 3,900 4 engines 2 ladders 2 tankers 1 rescue 3 brush trucks 1 water rescue 2 boats 2 fire police vehicles 4 utility vehicles

The Southampton Fire Department really did its homework before deciding on a new aerial device. Performance, reach, and accessibility were the main concerns in designing this new articulating platform, and the Rosenbauer T-Rex met all those needs.

Due diligence and proper preplanning make for a better apparatus build. Design for the present as well as the future.

BOB VACCARO has more than 40 years of fire service experience. He is a former chief of the Deer Park (NY) Fire Department. Vaccaro has also worked for the Insurance Services Office, the New York Fire Patrol, and several major commercial insurance companies as a senior loss-control consultant. He is a life member of the IAFC.

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