The Ochopee Fire Control and Rescue District in Collier County, Florida, counts among its protection area a very long stretch of U.S. Interstate 41 running from Florida state Route 29 to the Dade County line.
It also serves remote parts of southern Collier County, including Interstate 75 to the Broward County line. A survey of I-75 found that 70 percent of the accidents on it occurred on a 30-mile stretch, so the district wanted to station a heavy rescue with fire suppression capability and a separate patient module at a new station nearby to handle whatever I-75 might throw at it.
|1 E-ONE built this heavy rescue for the Ochopee (FL) Fire Control and Rescue District with rescue, fire suppression, and patient-care capabilities so the unit could be a self-sufficient vehicle when working on Interstate 75. (Photo courtesy of Hall-Mark Fire Apparatus.)|
Hall-Mark Fire Apparatus had sold a number of vehicles to the district in the past and was able to book the order from the district for a new E-ONE heavy rescue, says Steve Kern, Hall-Mark sales representative. “The chief’s goal at the time had a couple of different elements to it,” Kern says. “When out on the Interstate, they often had to wait a while for an ambulance response, so they wanted a separate patient area to get a patient out of the elements but not for transport. And because there’s no water out on the Interstate, they wanted a pump, water tank, and foam on the rescue to handle fire suppression when needed.”
|2 The Ochopee (FL) Fire Control and Rescue District heavy rescue has a patient module behind the cab that is accessed through a door on the officer side of the vehicle. (Photo courtesy of Hall-Mark Fire Apparatus.)|
Alan McLaughlin, Ochopee’s chief, says that after considering the kinds of traffic that comes down I-75, he knew the district would need a pump, water, and foam on the truck to complement its rescue tools. “And in terms of injured people, the closest ambulance is 35 miles away,” McLaughlin points out. “In the summer, it rains every day, and it’s difficult when we have patients on the road in the rain. Plus, at night, the mosquitoes are horrendous.”
McLaughlin says Ochopee’s truck committee first talked with E-ONE and Hall-Mark about making a patient compartment out of the back portion of the cab but ultimately decided on a separate patient box, isolated from the crew’s cab and accessible through a door on the officer’s side of the truck. “The patient module has all of the equipment that you’d find in an ambulance patient box,” he notes. “It’s fully air-conditioned, has an oxygen unit, and a full set of advanced life support (ALS) equipment that paramedics can use while waiting for an ambulance or helicopter to arrive to transport the patient.”
|3 The heavy rescue carries a Hale AP50 500-gpm power takeoff (PTO) pump, a UPF Poly 460-gallon water tank, a 40-gallon Class A foam cell, and a FoamPro 1600 single-agent foam system. (Photo courtesy of the Ochopee Fire Control and Rescue District.)|
Because I-75 is a route that a lot of buses use, bus accidents are a regular occurrence, often creating multiple trauma patients for the Ochopee firefighters. Two of the heavy rescue’s four coffin compartments on the top of the rig hold 12- by 12-foot, heavy-duty pop-up, open-sided tents; 50 fold-up, pop-up chairs; and a multiple-station, fold-up oxygen cannula bar. “We are in the middle of the state, and often in the middle of nowhere on I-75-a long way from help-so we wanted to plan ahead and provide for potential patients until additional help can arrive,” McLaughlin says.
Outfitted for Fire and Rescue
Bill Himsted, director of product management and rescue sales for E-ONE, says that Ochopee’s truck committee also planned well for the fire suppression portion of the truck. “Fire suppression was a big issue for them,” he says, “so we put on a Hale AP50 500-gallon-per-minute (gpm) pump, a 450-gallon UPF Poly water tank, a 40-gallon foam cell, a FoamPro 1600 single-agent foam system, and 1¾-inch attack lines off the front of the vehicle and midship.”
|4 The extended front bumper on the Ochopee heavy rescue holds a 1¾-inch handline in a covered compartment. Another handline is located above the pump panel. (Photo courtesy of E-ONE.)|
Scene lighting was another big consideration on the vehicle, Himsted notes. “Ochopee went with a 10-kW Harrison generator, a Will-Burt Night Scan light tower with LED heads, Whelen warning lighting, and 10 Whelen PFP2 LED scene lights-two at the brow, two at the rear, and three on each side of the truck,” he says.
|5 Coffin compartments and other equipment on top of the Ochopee heavy rescue are accessed by a rear stairway that features built-in compartments under each step. (Photo courtesy of Hall-Mark Fire Apparatus.)|
Kern says that Ochopee’s heavy rescue 26-foot walk-around body carries two 5,000-pound-per-square inch (psi) storage bottles for work air supply, as well as self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) storage for 10 bottles. The top of the vehicle is accessed by a built-in rear staircase with covered storage under each step to maximize the use of space. Because the rescue was bought through state contract, Kern adds, the district had it delivered with all equipment with the exception of hydraulic rescue tools, which the district supplied.
|6 The Ochopee Fire Control and Rescue District’s heavy rescue has a Will-Burt Night Scan light tower with four LED heads on the top center of the rig. (Photo courtesy of E-ONE.)|
McLaughlin points out that the district uses second-generation Hurst eDraulic battery-operated tools: a large spreader, two combi tools, a heavy cutter, and a ram. “We have a lot of incidents where the vehicle leaves the roadway and we can’t get the rescue truck to them,” he says. “We have had to go over a highway fence and across a canal at times. We carry 30 feet of Air Track to get across a canal, but the vehicles are often too far away to reach them with a hydraulic reel from the truck, so we take the eDraulic to them.”
|7 This view shows the interior of the patient module on the Ochopee E-ONE heavy rescue. (Photo courtesy of Ochopee Fire Control and Rescue District.)|
Himsted says that Ochopee’s truck committee and officers did a good job in painting a clear picture of exactly what they wanted and needed to have in their rescue truck. “This heavy rescue we built,” he says, “is like a hand in a glove for them. It’s a perfect fit.”
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist and is a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.
Ochopee Fire Control and Rescue District, Collier County, Florida
Strength: Chief, operations chief, administrative assistant, 24 paid firefighters, six volunteer firefighters, four stations.
Service area: Provides fire protection and rescue services to 1,180 square miles of Collier County, Florida, serving 11 points along the U.S. Interstate 41 corridor from State Route 29 to the Dade County line, as well as the remote parts of southern Collier County, from Big Cypress National Preserve to Interstate 75, including I-75 to the Broward County line.
Other apparatus: Two 2005 E-ONE International pumpers, 1,250-gpm pumps, 1,000-gallon water tanks; 2014 E-ONE International pumper-tanker, 1,250-gpm pump, 3,000-gallon water tank, 60-gallon Class A foam tank, 100-gallon Class B foam tank, twin turbo-draft suction units; 2012 E-ONE International pumper-tanker, 1,250-gpm pump, 2,500-gallon water tank; 2014 Ford F-550 mini pumper, 150-gpm pump, 450-gallon water tank, 15-gallon Class A foam tank, ground sweeps for median and roadside fires; 2009 Dodge Ram 500 mini pumper, 150-gpm pump, 450-gallon water tank, 15-gallon Class A foam tank; 2010 Ford F-150 special response unit for dive equipment and rehab; 27-foot Twin-V catamaran, twin 140-horsepower Suzuki four-stroke engines, Hale 450-gpm pump, Task Force Tips foam eductor.
E-ONE Heavy Rescue
- Cyclone II chassis and medium cab with seating for four firefighters
- 26-foot all-aluminum rescue body
- Patient compartment with two medic seats immediately behind cab
- 225-inch wheelbase
- 41-foot, two-inch overall length
- 11-foot, six-inch overall height
- 21,000-pound front axle
- 40,000-pound tandem rear axle
- 61,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating
- Cummins ISX-12 500-hp diesel engine
- Allison 4000 EVS automatic transmission
- Hale AP50 500-gpm PTO pump
- UPF Poly 460-gallon water tank
- 40-gallon Class A foam cell
- FoamPro 1600 single-agent foam system
- Harrison 10-kW generator
- Will-Burt Night Scan light tower with LED light heads
- Ten Whelen PFP2 LED scene lights; three each side, two at rear, two brow lights
- ROM roll-up doors
- Warn 9,000-pound portable winch
- Four winch receiving points-one each side, front and rear
- Built-in rear staircase with storage under each step
- Four coffin compartments on top of vehicle