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)|
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.|
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.
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)|
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.|
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.