Fire Service Today

Anderson (Ohio) Fire Department
The Anderson (Ohio) Fire Department bought a heavy rescue unit from Life Star Rescue. It’s built on a Spartan Advantage cab and chassis with a 10-inch raised roof, an EMS cabinet and 12-volt scene lights. It is powered by a Cummins 400 hp engine and an Allison 3000EVS transmission. Equipment includes Hurst rescue tools, a 15,000-watt Onan generator, cord and hydraulic reels, water rescue boat storage, air bags and shoring, and a 3,000-watt Command Light tower. The unit, which cost $299,900, was sold by Tony Crum, Life Star Rescue, Van Wert, Ohio. In the March 2007 edition, incorrect information was published.

At this writing, 2007 is less than three months old and five firefighters have died in the line of duty because they failed to buckle their seatbelts.

That’s 22 percent of all LODDs this year, but when you subtract the heart attacks from the total it is 33 percent of the 15 on-duty deaths in 2007.

Haven’t we all been to enough auto accidents involving ejections to convince us that we have a personal responsibility to our families, our fellow firefighters and the people we serve to realize no apparatus – or responding POV – should roll without everyone belted?

Those who kill themselves this way probably don’t read the fire service magazines. You do! So it’s your responsibility to speak out whenever boarding a rig. One word from anybody on the crew, “Seatbelts!” just before responding or returning might save somebody’s life.

Yeah, it might get you heckled, but probably only once or twice. Keep it up “Seatbelts” and the heckling will stop as soon as the news carries the next LODD due to some clunkhead not buckling up. And heckling someone for a safety reminder gets old pretty fast.

You’ve just got to have the stones to be firm, consistent and constantly repetitive from the outset. Isn’t that why you’re in this business – saving lives and helping people? Why not help your own crew members first?

Thirty-three percent of firefighting fatalities are from not using seatbelts. That’s almost the same percentage of fatal auto accidents due to alcohol abuse which is 39 percent. Would you think it macho to ride in apparatus driven by a drunk driver? Well, that’s just about the same risk you run when you or your buddies fail to buckle up!

Think about it – your chances of being killed on the job by letting a drunk drive your apparatus are only 6 percent greater than not buckling up your seatbelt yourself!

The Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) trade show in Indianapolis, Ind., will have more new apparatus and equipment introductions than any in recent memory.

E-ONE is a booth not to miss. The company will show six new apparatus models. These will be the first significant E-ONE model changes in several years and the first since Marc Gustafson took over as president in the fall of 2004.

Expect to see E-ONE not only catching up with developments introduced by competitors in the last few years, but exceeding them to make its own mark on the industry.

Look for remote-controlled aerial cameras from E-ONE platforms as well as new approaches to make large diameter hose reloading easier and faster.

There will be a lot to see at the E-ONE area in the RCA Dome and the company will be pushing its latest advances in electronic stability control for apparatus, the G4 System.

E-ONE claims its new system is a generational advance over the computerized anti-roll and stability control now becoming standard among most manufacturers who build their own chassis as well as those who use various Spartan chassis models.

The G4 adds independent automatic braking for all four wheel positions on the apparatus to the existing roll and traction control system.

In addition, the computerized ordering and CAD drawing production system that the company introduced last year should now begin to pay dividends. Ordering, selecting options and getting immediate drawings of what the finished apparatus will look like – and knowing whether or not things will fit together – is beginning to win new customers for E-ONE.

George Kanugh, former director of marketing and sales with Seagrave, has joined Ansul as business development manager for that company’s Magnum Rapid Intervention Vehicles.

Ansul, a division of Tyco which operates a number of fire service related companies, has made a good choice. George knows the fire fighting vehicle industry and has a keen eye for marketing. It was under Kanugh’s leadership – and previous management at Seagrave – that this century-old apparatus manufacturer initiated an aggressive sales program to expand dealers and raise the company’s profile.

In the last couple of years, especially since George went back to regional sales and current Seagrave management dropped the ball, the company’s image has suffered greatly. And with its current low profile – or no profile – approach to marketing, it makes you wonder how long the independent dealers are going to put up with lack of marketing support from the manufacturer.

The Magnums are fast attack trucks that deliver a combination of dry chemical and AFFF foam for small airports, industrial sites or any place needing quick fire knockdown. The 440 is built on a Ford F550 4×4 and carries 450 pounds of Purple K dry chemical and 150 gallons of pre-mixed AFFF. The 480 is also a 4×4 but built on the Ford 750XL. It carries 1,350 pounds of Purple K plus 300 gallons of AFFF.

Both vehicles can carry four crew members and have room for tools, loose equipment, generators, winches and other gear.

Gene Morris, founder Alexis Fire Equipment, passed away in March. He was 80 and had kept up his interest in the company now run by his son Jeff.

Commenting on his father’s death, Jeff said, “He was blessed to form lifelong friendships with many customers and associates. It still brought a special light to his eyes to talk about the old days at Alexis or simply have old friends ask after him.”

Gene will be missed not only by his family, but by all the workers at Alexis and the many in the fire industry who’ve known him over the years.

There’s a new manufacturer who will be showing apparatus for the first time at FDIC. Freedom Fire has set up operations in Marietta, Ga. It is owned by Jim Freeman, Mike Flowers, previously with Southern Fire Equipment, and Jim Hester, formerly with Fouts Brothers, Inc., for many years.

Freedom Fire has been launched with a line of extruded aluminum body mini-pumpers, fast-attack trucks and medium-duty rescues. It also will be producing 2,000- to 3,000-gallon pumper-tankers with two different tank styles on Peterbilt 340 tandem and single axle chassis.

According to Jim Hester, the Peterbilts will come with Cummins ISC 330 hp engines as standard, and all new apparatus will be built on steel subframes with poly coating for rust protection. Freedom is also offering a 10-year warranty and is featuring UPF PolyII Tanks.

The new manufacturer’s pumpers will feature a choice of Darley or Hale midship pumps up to 1,750 gpm with all stainless steel plumbing. Expected by mid-April is Freedom’s first medium -duty walk-in rescue truck model.

The company’s new apparatus models will all be on display at the FDIC trade show. The company can be found on its new Web site www.freedomfireequipment.com.

Be sure to stop at the Pierce apparatus exhibit at FDIC where a wide variety of models of the company’s new Velocity and Impel chassis will be on display. And watch for some new product announcements as well.

Pierce is celebrating its recent designation as Wisconsin’s Manufacturer of the Year, winning the Grand Award for excellence in the mega category, representing businesses with 1,000 or more employees. Founded in 1913, Pierce employs 1,700 in its Wisconsin facilities.

The company earned the recognition for “overall outstanding achievement and an exemplary contribution to manufacturing in the state.”

“The award acknowledges the progress and growth at Pierce, as well the hard work of the employees,” said John Randjelovic, president of Pierce Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Oshkosh Truck Corp.

“Our employees take great pride in the work we do. Our heritage is grounded in the pursuit of manufacturing excellence. Continuous operational improvement by our employees remains a firm foundation for our ongoing success,” said Randjelovic.

The Pierce president also said, “Building the best vehicles for our fire-fighters across the nation and around the world is the sole objective of, and the driving force behind, our quality initiatives, production enhancements and technology development.”

Last year, Pierce opened an $18 million, 130,000-square-foot production facility expansion at its Grand Chute facility near Appleton, Wis. This new plant gives Pierce additional capacity to meet growing demand and reduce lead times for customers.

FirePrograms of Inglis, Fla., supplier of software solutions for fire department management, has just released its Mobility Solution database system for entering and retrieving information from mobile computers in apparatus on the fire scene.

The company will be giving demos at its booth at FDIC.

FirePrograms was acquired last year by Gary Ewers, former president of Hale’s Fire Suppression Group, and is the nation’s leading supplier of fire department software programs. The company has software to handle everything from training and personnel records to daily logs, hydrant locations, hazmat references and fireground management.

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