|(1) The Sauk Rapids (MN) Fire Department’s new Rosenbauer rescue unit includes an 18-bottle SCBA storage area that’s accessible from both inside and outside of the vehicle. [Photos courtesy of the Sauk Rapids (MN) Fire Department.]|
|(2) The Sauk Rapids (MN) Rosenbauer rescue carries a Command Light 9,000-watt light tower, a 25-kW Onan PTO generator with integrated XRT Powerhouse hydraulic rescue tool power unit, two FRC 750-watt Focus removable tripod lights, and four FRC 750-watt recessed scene lights.|
|(3) Rosenbauer custom built an extended front bumper for the Sauk Rapids (MN) Fire Department to hold its two hydraulic rescue tools and two hydraulic reels, all plumbed to the XRT Powerhouse generator.|
|(4) The department first considered a rescue-pumper to replace its aging Chevy step van rescue, then a one-ton quick-attack vehicle, but decided on a traditional walk-in rescue so it could carry all the equipment it needs for various types of rescues.|
The Sauk Rapids (MN) Volunteer Fire Department had a decision to make about what it would choose to replace its rescue unit, a 1984 Chevrolet step van. Its choices included purchasing a new full size rescue-pumper, buying a quick-attack rescue vehicle on a one-ton chassis, or sticking with a traditional rescue unit with no pump or water tank.
Sauk Rapids Chief Tony Hommerding says that buying a new rescue truck hadn’t been on the horizon for the department for at least a couple of years, but major mechanical issues developed with the existing rescue that forced the department to speed up its purchase of a rescue. “The mechanical problems were causing us a lot of difficulties,” Hommerding says, “and things got critical because we were carrying so much equipment in it and there was still not enough room for everything we needed to have on board.”
The chief formed a truck committee that consisted of himself, two assistant chiefs, a captain, six firefighters, the mayor, and a city councilman. “We looked seriously at different configurations to fit our needs,” Hommerding says. “We considered a full-size rescue-pumper at first and then went toward a quick attack-style rescue on a one-ton chassis.”
Getting Around Town
One consideration on the minds of the committee members was the new unit’s maneuverability because the department often needs to get into rural areas, especially farm yards, Hommerding points out.
Additionally, the makeup of the department’s first due means it needs equipment to cover various types of rescues. “We have two major highways, Routes 10 and 15, encircling our coverage area, so we do a significant amount of auto extrication,” Hommerding says. “The Mississippi River runs through the community, so we do water rescue work. Also, we have small lakes, so we do ice rescue and have to carry all that equipment on our rescue truck.”
In the end, the truck committee wrote the specifications for a traditional walk-in rescue unit with a number of custom touches. The successful bidder on the project was Rosenbauer, which built a rig with seating for seven in the cab in front of an 18-foot walk-in rescue body. The vehicle sits on a 180-inch wheelbase, satisfying the department’s need for a maneuverable truck.
Built for the Cold
Steve Harris of General Safety Fire Apparatus, which sold Sauk Rapids the Rosenbauer rig, says the department also was looking to have a command area in the rear of the vehicle, as well as a space for rehab.
Rosenbauer’s Todd McBride, apparatus specialist, says the rescue carries a four-bottle 6,000-pound-per-square-inch air cascade system with a Space Saver two-bottle fill station. “They wanted the ability to do the fill station work on the inside of the rescue instead of the exterior,” McBride notes, “mainly due to the harsh Minnesota winter weather. You don’t want to be standing outside then, filling bottles.”
Harris notes that Rosenbauer came up with the idea to be able to access the 18-bottle self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) storage module from both the interior and exterior of the rescue body. “We custom-designed that storage area for them but had to change the interior design of the compartments to get it done,” he says.
Hommerding says the firefighters are pleased with the SCBA fill and storage setup on the rescue. “When firefighters outside remove an empty bottle from their SCBA, they put it in the rack with the knob facing in so the firefighter filling bottles knows it’s an empty,” he says. “When the bottle is filled, it’s returned to the rack with the knob facing out, so everyone knows it’s a full bottle.”
Harris says that Sauk Rapids wanted the rescue truck set up with portable winch points to allow ropes to be tied off, so Rosenbauer built in four winch points-front, rear, and one on each side.
Rosenbauer also accommodated a late change to the vehicle involving hydraulic rescue tools. “Originally our hydraulic tools were a set of jaws and a cutter on a portable cart that we were going to carry off the tail of the truck,” Hommerding says. “Then we saw another department’s new truck with an extended bumper, two hydraulic reels, and the tools all plumbed into the bumper. For the amount of auto extrication work we do, adding the extended bumper and hydraulic tools up front was one of the most important elements to our new rescue.”
An advantage of mounting the rescue tools in the extended front bumper, says Harris, was that the move freed up another compartment at the rear of the vehicle. “It’s a very multipurpose vehicle on a short wheelbase, which makes it very maneuverable,” Harris observes. “And with the compartmentation, winch and tie-off capabilities, coffin compartments, and air cascade system, we like to think of it as the Swiss Army knife of rescue trucks.”
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based freelance writer 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.
Sauk Rapids (MN) Volunteer Fire Department
Strength: 29 paid on-call volunteer firefighters, one station, providing fire suppression and rescue.
Service area: covers the city of Sauk Rapids and townships of Sauk Rapids, Haven, Watab, Minden, and Mahew Lake with a total population of approximately 24,000 people. The service area includes rural and suburban settings, light commercial and light industrial complexes, and three- to four-story apartment complexes in the city of Sauk Rapids.
Other apparatus: 2006 Rosenbauer pumper, 1,250-gpm rear-mount pump, 750-gallon water tank; 1998 General Safety Spartan chassis 65-foot Snorkel, 1,100-gpm pump, 500-gallon water tank; 1996 International pumper with a 65-foot TeleSqurt, 1,200-gpm pump, 750-gallon water tank; 1996 International tanker, 400-gpm high-pressure rear-mount pump, 250-gpm portable pump, 3,000-gallon water tank; 1987 International tanker, 400-gpm high-pressure rear-mount pump, 250-gpm portable pump, 3,000-gallon water tank; 2007 Ford F-350 crew cab brush truck, 400-gpm high-pressure pump, 180-gallon water tank; 2011 CMC extended cab brush truck, 400-gpm high-pressure pump, 180-gallon water tank; 1990 Chevrolet pickup utility vehicle.
• Spartan Gladiator chassis
• Medium four-door cab with Bostrom seating for seven and 20-inch raised roof
• 20,000-pound front axle
• 24,000-pound rear axle
• 180-inch wheelbase
• Evolution front end
• Class 1 Load manager and vehicle data recorder
• Cummins ISC 360-hp engine
• VGT Turbo Brake
• Allison 3000 six-speed transmission
• Accuride aluminum wheels
• 28-inch front bumper extension
• Retrac Heated Remote mirrors
• Kussmaul Pump Plus
• Whelen Super LED warning lights with FNQLED light bar
• Federal Q2B siren
• Code 3 3992 siren head
• Rear-view backup camera
• Heavy-duty extruded aluminum Rosenbauer Minnesota 18-foot walk-in rescue EXT body
• Transverse compartmentation above rear wheels
• Four-bottle 6,000-psi air cascade system
• SpaceSaver two-bottle air fill station
• 18-bottle SCBA storage module accessed from both rescue body interior and exterior wheel well SCBA compartments
• Three full-body-height rescue body interior compartments
• On Scene Solution LED compartment door strip lighting
• Slidemaster single and dual direction roll-out trays and slide-out and down trays
• Vertical compartment backboard storage
• Flip-up bench seating in rescue interior
• Sliding body windows
• Electric awning
• Whelen 12-volt rear scene lighting
• Whelen TAL 65 LED traffic advisor rear of body
• 25-kW Onan PTO generator with integrated XRT Powerhouse hydraulic rescue tool power unit
• Command Light CL-615 9000-watt light tower
• Two FRC 750-watt Focus removable tripod lights
• Four recessed FRC 750-watt recessed scene lights
• Hannay electric cord reel
• Four receiver points for portable winch, one each side front and rear
• Warn 9,000-lb. portable electric winch
• Two Hannay hydraulic rescue tool reels recessed and preconnected to tools in front bumper
Price without equipment: $415,000