Special Delivery

Tesoro’s Ferrara HD-100 Rear-Mount Platform is set up for rescue with fresh air piped to the top, a rescue litter and nozzles underneath to keep the platform cool. (Ferrara Photo)
Tesoro’s Ferrara HD-100 Rear-Mount Platform is set up for rescue with fresh air piped to the top, a rescue litter and nozzles underneath to keep the platform cool. (Ferrara Photo)

Refinery Upgrades Fleet With Ferrara Industrial Pumper And Aerial

Firefighting in an oil refinery involves the same considerations faced by municipal and volunteer departments around the country, including life safety, structural integrity, exposure protection and extinguishment.

The chief differences lie in the volatile compounds – gasoline, diesel oil, gasses and crude oil – and the vast physical size of a refinery and some of its structures.

An Unusual Opportunity

When Tesoro Refining Company’s Fire Department in Wilmington, Calif., got the go-ahead to buy a new pumper – something that hadn’t happened in three decades – Fire Chief Vicki Jansen had an unusual opportunity on her hands.

“I’ve worked here 30 years, and we’ve never purchased a new piece of fire equipment for the plant, so we had no specs,” Jansen said. “We were a Texaco facility in the past, then merged with Shell and then were bought by Tesoro. They decided they wanted to invest in the new equipment.”

Jansen heads a department of 50 volunteer firefighters, all of whom are engineering and operations employees at the refinery. She’s divided the department into three teams – apparatus, rescue and hazardous materials. All the volunteers are trained as firefighters and at a minimum at the hazmat responder level.

The refinery, which has the capacity to handle 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day, makes gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel, petroleum coke and fuel oil. Tesoro Refining covers approximately 300 acres and has 18 operating facilities on its premises.

­ Before receiving two Ferrara apparatus in December and January, the last new vehicle the department specified and purchased was in 1982. Ferrara built Tesoro a 2009 Inundator Industrial Foam Pumper with a Hale 8FG 3,000-gpm pump and 1,200-gallon foam tank; also, a 2009 Industrial HD-100 rear-mount platform with a 100-foot aerial, a Hale 8FG 3,000-gpm pump and 300-gallon foam tank.

Retiring Apparatus

Until this year, Tesoro’s fire department mustered a 1982 Darley pumper with 1,250-gpm pump and 500-gallon water tank, two 1974 GMC pumpers with 1,250-gpm pumps and 500-gallon tanks, a 1973 Crown pumper with 1,250-gpm pump and 500-gallon tank, a 1967 Crown pumper with 1,250-gpm pump and 500-gallon tank, a 1994 Freightliner foam tender (purchased used) carrying 2,500 gallons and a 1971 International Harvester foam tender of 1,600 gallons.

After the two Ferrara vehicles went into service, Jansen said she retired the Darley pumper and the two Crown pumpers and kept the two GMC pumpers in reserve.

The department also fields two Williams guns on trailers – 7,000-gpm and 6,000-gpm models – as well as two Williams 3,000-gpm monitors on trailers.

In addition, Jansen said the department has two F-450 quick attack vehicles, each carrying 160 gallons of foam, 450-gpm nozzles and 2,000-gpm portable monitors. Two other pickup trucks carry a 2,000-gpm and a 1,500-gpm monitor.

The department has a Scott portable air compressor to refill its air bottles and keeps 7,000 gallons of Thunderstorm ATC 1X3 on site to replenish its foam stocks.

Because Jansen felt no one in the department had the necessary expertise to write apparatus specifications, she turned to a consultant, Greg Stone, vice president of East West Fire Apparatus Consultants Inc. in Thousand Oaks, Calif., for assistance.

Stone worked with Jansen and two other apparatus committee members, firefighter Brian Williams and Capt. Ken Sams, to define the department’s needs and identify vendors that could meet those needs.

“We worked on the specs and had a couple of vendors come in and show us their apparatus,” Stone said. “Initially, the department was only going to purchase a pumper, but we asked them to consider purchasing an aerial at the same time so we could design all the components, from the cabs to the pumps and the equipment, so they would be the same and in the same place for ease of use and training.”

Stone said Tesoro agreed and found the funds for the aerial.

“We ended up with two bidders, Pierce Manufacturing and Ferrara Fire Apparatus,” Stone said. “Both bids were extremely close, within $3,000 of each other. We worked closely with both manufacturers and the fire department made the final decision in choosing Ferrara.”

Stone complimented Ferrara for producing highly functional vehicles and doing “an outstanding job on both of the rigs.” He called the aerial “pretty much a plain Jane in terms of refinery trucks” because it doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles.

Both vehicles only carry foam tanks. “They can hook up and get water easily anywhere,” Stone said. “It’s the foam that’s important in a refinery.”

While the capacity to carry lots of foam was vital to Jansen, the reach of a 100-foot aerial also was essential. “Many of our tanks and towers are tall, so we wanted a bucket for the rescue folks in case it was needed,” she said. “Our bucket is specifically set up for rescue, with fresh air piped to the top, a rescue litter and nozzles underneath to keep the platform cool. There is a 500-pound attachment point for rappelling and rescue equipment, and we also have two Elkhart 1,500-gpm nozzles out front.”

Mike Doran, vice president of sales for Ferrara Fire Apparatus Inc. in Holden, La., said his firm always tries to be innovative and flexible when dealing with customers and their needs.

“We took them through our plant and discussed what they were looking for in the apparatus,” Doran said. “We asked for the ability to submit suggestions for changes they may not have considered, and they embraced that. Together we made a better piece of equipment.”

Doran pointed out that California does not have many industrial foam platforms. “There are probably about five of them in the state, and two of them are in Southern California,” he said. “It’s a huge asset for Tesoro or any other facility with a problem in the greater Los Angeles area. If Los Angeles had a large petrochemical fire, I could see them asking for assistance from Tesoro.”

Doran said the envelope for the industrial aerial platform is the same as it is for a municipal vehicle. The differences in the two Tesoro rigs, he said, lie in their large foam tanks and the pumping capacity.

“The pumper is a top-mount with a pump panel that’s significantly larger because of the foam controls and foam meters needed to operate the Williams foam system,” he said. “And this is a piece of apparatus on a grand scale in terms of flow capacity, with the deck gun being capable of a 5,000-gpm flow.”

Doran described the two apparatus as “pieces of artwork in terms of quality, layout and how clean both are in terms of working them.”

In keeping them functional, he said, “We still had to allow access to maintenance, which we accomplished by having pump house doors that are hinged to give access to valves for maintenance.”

While neither the Ferrara pumper nor the aerial platform has had to handle any big conflagrations to this point, Jansen is confident they will perform as expected. “The vehicles accommodate us very well,” she said. “We really like the aerial and the way it moves and responds so smoothly, especially when we’re close to the towers. Besides, it has plenty of storage room.”

She said Tesoro’s apparatus sometimes goes off site because the refinery has facilities away from its main location. The Tesoro Fire Department also belongs to Southern California Industrial Mutual Aid (SCIMA), sometimes getting calls to assist at the locations of other SCIMA members, such as Chevron, Exxon, Valero, BP, Alon, Conoco Phillips, the Torrance Fire Department and Plains America Pipeline.

Tesoro Refining Company Fire Department

Strength: One paid chief, 50 volunteers; one station; providing fire suppression and emergency responses for Southern California oil refinery.

Service area: Covers 300 acres and 18 major facilities.

Other apparatus: 1982 Darley pumper, 1,250-gpm pump, 500-gallon tank; two 1974 GMC pumpers, 1,250-gpm pumps, 500-gallon tanks; 1973 Crown pumper, 1,250-gpm pump, 500-gallon tank; 1967 Crown pumper, 1,250-gpm pump, 500-gallon tank; 1994 Freightliner 2,500-gallon foam tender; 1971 International Harvester 1,600-gallon foam tender; two F-450 quick attack vehicles, 160 gallon foam tanks, 450-gpm nozzles, 2,000-gpm portable monitors; two pickup trucks, 2,000-gpm and 1,500-gpm monitors; Williams 7,000-gpm and a 6,000-gpm portable guns on trailers; and two Williams 3,000-gpm portable monitors on trailers.

Ferrara Inundator Industrial Foam Pumper

  • Long 4-door cab with 8-inch raised roof, seating for 8
  • Ferrara Igniter custom fire chassis
  • Overall height of 11 feet, 8 inches
  • Overall length of 36 feet, 7 inches
  • Wheelbase 256 inches
  • Cummins ISM 500-hp engine
  • Allison 4000 EVS transmission
  • Hale 8FG 3,000-gpm pump
  • Williams Hot Shot II-300 balanced pressure foam system
  • Four 6-inch steamer inlets, 2 left and 2 right, all with MIV-E inlet valves and Storz adapters
  • Two 5-inch left side discharges
  • Two 5-inch right side discharges
  • Two 5-inch rear discharges
  • Fire Research FPA400 flowmeters
  • 1,200-gallon foam tank
  • Whelen Freedom fully populated light bar
  • Whelen Super LED warning lights
  • On Scene Solutions LED compartment lights
  • Reverse Control Inc. backing system
  • Harrison 8,000-watt hydraulic generator
  • Fire Research 500-watt brow light
  • Fire Research 1,000-watt telescopic lights
  • Hannay electric rewind 200-foot cord reel

Price: $730,000 without equipment

Ferrara HD-100 Rear-Mount Platform

  • Long 4-door cab with 8-inch raised roof, notched for aerial ladder, seating for 8.
  • Ferrara Igniter custom fire chassis
  • Overall height of 12 feet, 2 inches
  • Overall length of 48 feet, 8 inches
  • Wheelbase 240 inches
  • Cummins ISM 500-hp engine
  • Allison 4000 EVS transmission
  • Hale 8FG 3,000-gpm pump
  • Williams Hot Shot II-300 balanced pressure foam system
  • Four 6-inch steamer inlets, 2 left and 2 right, all with MIV-E inlet valves and Storz adapters
  • Fire Research InControl pressure governor
  • 4-inch full flow waterway discharge
  • Fire Research FPA400 flowmeters
  • 300-gallon foam tank
  • Three-section heavy-duty rear-mount platform
  • 100-foot vertical reach at 72 degrees
  • Dual Elkhart electric monitors
  • 1,500-gpm waterway
  • 500-pound tip load while flowing 1,500 gpm
  • Breathing air to platform with three connections
  • Two Fire Research 500-watt tripod lights on platform
  • LED blue rung illumination for climbing safety
  • 500-pound rappelling arm on front of platform
  • Whelen LED mini-light bars
  • Whelen Super LED warning lights
  • On Scene Solutions LED compartment lights
  • Reverse Control Inc. backing system
  • Harrison 10,000-watt hydraulic generator
  • Three Fire Research Optimum quartz lights
  • Hannay electric rewind 200-foot cord reel

Price: $1,088,000 with limited equipment

More Fire Apparatus Current Issue Articles
More Fire Apparatus Archives Issue Articles

No posts to display