Camden ME Fire Apparatus Arrives After Cross-Country Trek

Engine 4 is a significant investment for Camden (ME), representing more than $542,000 of taxpayer dollars at work, and several years of financial deliberations and engineering design.

The truck, a Dash-CF multi-purpose vehicle with pumper capabilities, traveled 1,360-miles from Wisconsin to Maine. The truck was designed and constructed by Pierce Manufacturing, in Appleton (WI) beginning with the engineering last summer, and the framing of its steel chassis in September.

The truck is replacing, over the span of several years, Engines 1 and 6, a decision reached by a municipal committee in 2010. Camden has already divested Engine 1, which was sold last fall, subsequently opening a bay inside the fire station for Engine 4.

The Dash-CF provides firefighters an array of new features, including more functional space and maintenance ease. It has many storage options for equipment — turn out gear, cold water rescue gear, brooms and shovels and chain saws — lower step heights (four inches lower), a shorter wheelbase and independent suspension that is designed to allow the truck to travel¬†with a minimum of road shock at highway speed over improved roads and moderate speed over rough terrain.

It has two tanks, one that holds 40 gallons of foam, and other 750-gallon booster water tank.

The engine is moved further back from the front cab, creating more room for up to six firefighters to shift around as they get gear on. The batteries, alternator and air cleaners have been relocated for easier access for maintenance and mechanics can lift the entire cab up off the engine compartment, which sits beneath where firefighters ride. The cab tilts forward on an hydraulic pump, part of its “ease of service” that Pierce advertises.

Camden’s new 58,000-pound Dash CF represents design upgrades that Pierce characterizes as its “next generation of fire apparatus.” The company built a series of prototypes in its design and research department and some of them were subsequently destroyed in crash tests.

Its six-cylinder, 450-horsepower Cummins-built engine is “green,” according to Pierce, and after a major reconfiguration, it now meets Environmental Protection Agency fuel economy guidelines. The truck carries a 65-gallon diesel fuel tank. The EPA standards added cost to the vehicle, but the engine and exhaust system meets 2010 emission levels, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions and diesel particles, according to Pierce personnel.

The truck’s electrical system incorporates lighting from the deck, rear work lights, and scene lighting that includes four 900-watt flood lights that sit atop a six-foot tower. It is also equipped with a trailer hitch that will be used as an anchor point for ropes and winches.

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