FDIC 2010: The Good Stuff (Part 2 of 2)

Crimson Fire showed one of the most interesting pumpers ever built at the 2010 Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis.

We’ve all seen front-mounted pumps, rear-mounted pumps and, of course, mid-mounted pumps. With the Crimson Fire Transformer, the pump house is eliminated, and the pump and manifold system are integrated forward of the rear axle. The pump panel is located above the driver-side rear wheel well.

Crimson’s Transformer places the pump operator’s panel above the rear wheel well and eliminates the pump house. The new configuration allows for more compartment space and a shorter wheelbase.   (Fire Apparatus Photo by Robert Tutterow)
Crimson’s Transformer places the pump operator’s panel above the rear wheel well and eliminates the pump house. The new configuration allows for more compartment space and a shorter wheelbase.   (Fire Apparatus Photo by Robert Tutterow)

The major advantages of this design are considerably more compartment space, a shorter wheelbase, a more maneuverable vehicle and an increased cramp angle. Crimson states that a typical “pump house” requires about 160 cubic feet of pass-through space. The new design frees up 130 cubic feet of this space to allow more storage or a more compact and maneuverable apparatus. The unit shown at FDIC had a 1,250-gpm PTO Darley pump and a 750-gallon booster tank. It has been talked about a lot and probably done, but the Transformer was the first apparatus I have seen with a designated space for the engineer’s PPE.

HME Ahrens-Fox proudly showed the first compressed natural gas-powered apparatus. The unit had three gas bottles mounted horizontally behind the cab. The power plant meets EPA and CARB 2010 emissions without the DEF and SCR systems required on diesel engines. 

The HME truck had an 8.9-liter Cummins engine that produced 320 horsepower, 1,000 foot-pounds of torque and a maintenance-free exhaust system.  The pump was rated at 750 gpm, and it had a 500-gallon booster tank. The truck was smartly outfitted with “green field” graphics, and the overall design was very compact, but functional – typical of many HME Ahrens-Fox units.

LED Scene Lights

At least two manufacturers introduced new LED scene lights. Fire Research Corporation (FRC) showed a light that produced 20,000 lumens. Command Light, a division of Super Vacuum Manufacturing Co. Inc. (SVI), displayed a fold-down swivel LED light with four fixtures. Each of the fixtures produced the equivalent of a 1,000-watt bulb.

Command Light displayed an LED light tower that runs off the vehicle’s 12-volt system and emits the equivalent of four 1,000-watt floodlights. Command Light displayed an LED light tower that runs off the vehicle’s 12-volt system and emits the equivalent of four 1,000-watt floodlights.

The beauty of the Command Light tower is that it is powered by the vehicle’s 12-volt system. It can easily be mounted on a staff SUV or pickup truck.  In addition, Command Light exhibited a new design in its traffic directional signal lights. The small footprint design is suitable for mounting on the highest plane of an apparatus. It is hidden in the stowed position and telescopes upward when in use.
 
Have you ever had trouble opening a roll-up door because the equipment inside the compartment was lodged against the door? Or opened a compartment door and had the equipment fall out on the ground or on your feet? Alexis Fire Equipment showed a truck with one of the compartments featuring an inner see-through cage-type door. It allows the compartment door to be opened while knowing everything is secure. Simply open the cage to access the equipment.
 
Hand Tools

Channellock introduced two new hand tools for the fire service. The first, called the 6-N-1 Rescue Tool, is an adaptation of a lineman’s pliers. The tool includes a glass punch, gas shut-off, spanner wrench, pry bar and the cutting and gripping features of lineman’s pliers. The second tool, called the Cable Cutter Rescue Tool, has the same features as the 6-N-1 except it has a cutting head instead of the lineman’s pliers head.  Either tool is a great choice for those who carry such items in their turnout gear pockets.
  
Summit Fire Apparatus exhibited a Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) with a trailer attached. The trailer was designed around a Polaris UTV and was capable of carrying six seated firefighters/rescuers or three patients in Stokes baskets. The “walk-out-the-door” price of the unit was around $25,000. The use of UTVs is growing in fire departments across the nation.

R•O•M, the roll-up door company, has refined its hose bed cover. Rather than rolling vertically, it rolls horizontally. The aluminum slats look like typical roll-up doors, but they are much more robust, and a firefighter can even stand on the cover if required. This was illustrated by the slip-resistant covering on the slats. The door is opened and closed by an electric motor. Yes, there is a manual override in case of power or motor failure. Without a doubt, this is a very secure way to hold hose on apparatus.

R•O•M makes covering the hose bed simple, safe and easy. A flip of the switch, and the motorized cover opens or closes.  (Fire Apparatus Photo by Robert Tutterow)
R•O•M makes covering the hose bed simple, safe and easy. A flip of the switch, and the motorized cover opens or closes.  (Fire Apparatus Photo by Robert Tutterow)

For some reason, FDIC 2010 was the show for firefighter boots. It appeared that every boot manufacturer was introducing a new line. All were touted to be lighter, to fit better and to provide better protection. There were a couple of new boot manufacturers displaying, as well. The overwhelming choice of materials in the boots was leather. If you or your department is in the market for new boots, be sure to check out the latest product lines.
 
There has been a lot of angst over the 10-year life cycle of PPE as required by the National Fire Protection Association 1851 Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting. Realizing this is an on-going issue, W.L. Gore introduced two new moisture barriers with warranties. Their display was unique in that they demonstrated testing equipment to show the rigorous testing they do on their products.

To prevent tools from falling out of a compartment when the door is opened or from lodging against the door so it will not open, Alexis showed a unit with an expanded metal door inside the exterior door.
To prevent tools from falling out of a compartment when the door is opened or from lodging against the door so it will not open, Alexis showed a unit with an expanded metal door inside the exterior door.

Additional information about these products is available from your local dealers and from the manufacturers’ Web sites. Once again, FDIC maintained its status as the premier fire equipment show in North America.

Editor’s Note: Robert Tutterow, who has 30 years in the fire service, is the Charlotte (N.C.) Fire Department health and safety officer. He is a former member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Fire Department Apparatus Committee and is on two other NFPA committees, the Structural and Proximity Firefighting Protective Ensemble Technical Committee and the Technical Correlating Committee for Fire and Emergency Services PPE.

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FDIC 2010: The Good Stuff

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This Rosenbauer aerial has a slide-out platform for the safety of firefighters loading supply hose.
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A Seagrave pumper built for the Owings Mills Fire Department in Baltimore County, Md., is designed and equipped for very high flow capability.
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KME displayed a low hose bed for easy access to hose and equipment.
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This Rosenbauer tanker dump valve allows for discharge on either side or the rear. The pre-connected extension provides quick deployment.
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Fire departments no longer need to rely on portable toilets for extended operations. The Porta-Lisa provides complete restroom facilities, including sinks.
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Innovative Controls has developed an effective color-coded pump panel with striking good looks.

(Part 1 of 2)
The 2010 Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis was quite a success, considering the economy. The announced attendance of 27,474 exceeded most expectations. The array of new equipment on the show floors did not disappoint, either. Here’s what caught my attention.

The biggest eye-catcher was probably the new Oshkosh ARFF Striker vehicle in the Pierce exhibit. The unit has modern sleek lines like its European counterparts and an ergonomically designed cab interior. It is quite the change from the former “boxy-military-utilitarian” look.

Pulse Technology
Striker features “Pulse Technology” that delivers dry powder at an advertised “Mach 1” speed. This is enough force to penetrate into a fire and “bloom” to maximize heat absorption and quick extinguishment. The feature allows firefighters to remain at a safer distance from the fire. The fiberglass body enables the unit to be 2,000 pounds lighter than its predecessor. Oshkosh also states it has improved acceleration and braking.
Rosenbauer exhibited three units with features that stood out. The company’s tanker had a swivel-mounted rear dump valve cleverly designed to dump to the right or left or rear. An aerial platform featured a seat on the turntable for an operator with a breathing air connection for added safety. Another aerial was equipped with a slide-out platform with an access ladder, providing a safe standing area for repacking hose. The slide-out feature is similar to the “slide-outs” found on campers, RVs, and command vehicles.
Portable Restrooms
In addition, Rosenbauer featured Idle Reduction Technology, a system that uses electronic controls to automatically shut down the engine while on-scene without the pump engaged. The auto shut-down simultaneously starts an on-board generator, which provides 8,000 watts of power. The unit powers the 12-volt electrical system as well as heating and air-conditioning. Rosenbauer says diesel consumption is reduced by about 75 percent during this mode.
It was very comforting to see portable restrooms on display. Portable John Inc. showed its “Porta Lisa” two-room portable unit on a single-axle trailer. Having seen portable toilets mounted on utility trailers, it was a relief to see someone had finally developed an integrated design.
The restrooms featured sinks, lights, mirrors, urinals and toilets. The exterior of the trailer had LED light indicators for “Occupied” or “Unoccupied.” The finish was very “upscale”. A logo with an image of the Mona Lisa states: “Porta Lisa – Artful Restrooms from People who Care.” The product sure beats the crap out of plastic rental units.
Sutphen showed an aerial platform with two swing-out Stokes basket arms that were neatly stowed beneath the floor of the platform, out of the way until needed. Each arm has a capacity of 250 pounds, and the stowed and deployable positions have well-designed positive locks. The feature illustrates that aerial apparatus are not exclusively for firefighting.
Innovative Controls displayed color-coded pump panel controls. The mix of color and chrome created a functional and – if I may say – beautiful pump panel. Color coding is considered a safety feature as it helps the pump operator quickly match pump controls with the corresponding gauges. Be aware that the National Fire Protection Association 1901 apparatus standard (Annex A.16.9.1) has a recommended color scheme for labels and discharges.
Do you need a winch? Warn Industries introduced an unusual way of anchoring a winch for fire apparatus. The design integrates a pad, where an apparatus’ rear dual tires rest, with a trailer hitch receiver for attaching a winch.
Easy Access
KME displayed an easily accessible hose bed that accommodated 1,000 feet of 5-inch supply hose. The overall height of the loaded hose was no more than 6 feet above the ground. The bed configuration also provided safe and easy access to two pre-connect attack lines, a Stokes basket, hard suction sleeve, Little Giant ladder and pike poles.
Seagrave exhibited a fully-equipped 2,300-gpm pumper purchased by the Owings Mills Volunteer Fire Company in Baltimore County, Md. The unit had amazing water flow capabilities. Truck committee members must have attended a large diameter hose school. LDH appliances, discharges and intakes were abundant. For large flow, the design was well done.
The Owings Mills pumper was visibly conspicuous with two Mars lights, a Roto Ray light and other lights mounted on the front. The Roto Ray had red, green and yellow lenses. It would be interesting to know the science behind this “spinning stop light” concept.
Tencate (formerly Southern Mills) showed its latest military fabrics. The company’s booth was indicative of the technology transfer the fire service receives from the military, and vice versa.
CTECH introduced its modular aluminum cabinetry for command vehicles and trailers. The company has been active in the racing industry and is now going for the fire service market. The modular design should be less costly than custom cabinetry. In addition, CTECH offers large mobile toolboxes on castors.
Editor’s Note: Robert Tutterow, who has 30 years in the fire service, is the Charlotte (N.C.) Fire Department health and safety officer. He is a former member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Fire Department Apparatus Committee and is on two other NFPA committees, the Structural and Proximity Firefighting Protective Ensemble Technical Committee and the Technical Correlating Committee for Fire and Emergency Services PPE.

 

 

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