Special Delivery: DFW Airport Fire Rescue Division Gets Pierce PUC Pumper

DFW's new Pierce PUC
DFW’s new Pierce PUC gives fire and rescue crews pump-and-roll capability.

Growth on the airport grounds, the need for a vehicle with a smaller wheelbase and greater compartmentation, and the solid relationship between Dallas Fort Worth International Airport fire officials and Pierce Manufacturing led to the purchase of a 2010 Pierce PUC pumper.

The pumper complements a fleet of seven other structural firefighting apparatus that are used to meet the fire and rescue needs of the facility, which covers nearly 30 square miles.

The airport also has a fleet of eight Oshkosh Striker 4500 Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) apparatus, two with 65-foot Snozzle articulating booms. Oshkosh Corporation is the parent company of Pierce.

The new Pierce PUC will eventually be housed along with an ambulance in DFW’s sixth fire station, which is under construction at the north end of the airport property, some distance away from the terminals and runways. The area is under development, and the new station is intended to protect an anticipated eight million square feet of warehouse space.

Capt. Bob Linnemann of DFW Fire Operations Support said the airport’s relationship with Pierce Manufacturing goes back to 1999 when airport officials purchased their first Pierce apparatus – a 2000 Sky-Boom 61-foot elevated water tower. The airport later purchased two other Sky-Booms from Pierce and has one of the rigs in reserve.

When airport officials decided to build a sixth station and staff it with a structural firefighting pumper, they looked at various manufacturers and settled on Pierce.

“Our airport uses the HGAC, the Houston Galveston Area Council, a governmental group that goes out to bid for agencies like us on various types of equipment,” Linnemann said. “HGAC works with various vendors, and it worked with Martin Apparatus (in Dallas) to bid on the vehicle for the specs that we had laid out.”

Travis Ownby, the Martin Apparatus salesman for the northern Texas area, said DFW fire officials have always regarded their department as one that deals with more than aircraft fire and rescue.

“They look at themselves from the industrial and municipal point of view,” he said. “Their aerials all have 2,250-gpm pumps, and the earlier PUC is a 1,500-gpm rig like the new one. The PUCs are like mobile pumping stations where you can drive and pump at the same time, much like a mini-ARFF truck. They were very interested in that capability.”

He said DFW officials also wanted a small wheelbase on its pumper for maneuverability. By going with the PUC, he said the department didn’t lose any pumper features and gained pump-and-roll capability, as well as greater compartment space.

“They wanted to stay with the Velocity chassis and cab so they could keep other key features the same as their other apparatus,” Ownby said. “That way, it helps their operators when they jump into the cab because everything is located in roughly the same place on each apparatus. It’s a streamlined design.”

He said the PUC pumper has a considerable amount of emergency medical storage inside the cab and has space for an extra set of gear for each firefighter because the rig carries both structural bunker gear and aircraft rescue gear.

The pumper has a Husky 12 foam system built in with a draft feature besides the fill mode to the tank. The system handles both Class A and Class B foam. The PUC also has a compressed air foam system (CAFS), an Elkhart Sidewinder nozzle mounted on a bumper turret monitor and an Elkhart fully-extendable remote-controlled deluge gun on the top.

The new PUC carries 1,000 feet of five-inch hose, 400 feet of three-inch hose and 250 feet of 2-1/2-inch hose.

Chad Trinker, market manager for pumpers and aerials at Pierce Manufacturing, said the cab configuration was very important to DFW fire officials.

“They wanted the capability for both ARFF and standard engine applications, which the Velocity cab and chassis gave them,” he said. “The pump-and-roll capability was important, because this PUC can serve as a dual purpose engine for both structural firefighting and ARFF at the cost of a pumper.”

The remote-controlled monitors also were a selling point, he noted. The department’s bumper-mounted 95-gpm Sidewinder turret monitor can be operated using a joystick in the cab.

“They don’t have to get out of the cab to use either monitor,” Trinker pointed out.

The department had Performance Advantage Company Pac Trac tool mounting systems installed on all the driver’s side compartments.

As for future plans, Linnemann said the department has approval for the purchase of three additional apparatus this year. He said officials plan to replace a 75-foot aerial ladder and a 100-foot platform, both of which are 10 years old, and to purchase another Pierce PUC pumper that will replace a reserve engine.

“After that,” he said, “we’ll be working on replacing some of our ARFF apparatus, probably starting in 2012 or 2013.”

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Department of Public Safety Fire Rescue Division

Strength: 193 active paid personnel; five stations with a sixth under construction; providing fire suppression and rescue, emergency medical services, fire prevention and fire training for one of the busiest airports in the country.

Service area: Covers nearly 30 square miles of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport property.

Other apparatus:

  • Station 1: two Oshkosh Stryker 4500 Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) apparatus with 1,900-gpm pumps and 1,500-gallon tanks, one equipped with a 65-foot Snozzle articulating boom; a 2001 Pierce quint 75-foot aerial ladder with a 2,250-gpm pump and a 300-gallon tank.
  • Station 2: three Oshkosh Stryker 4500 ARFFs, one with a 65-foot Snozzle; a 2009 Pierce 105-foot aerial ladder with a 2,250-gpm pump and a 300-gallon tank; a hazmat truck.
  • Station 3: two Oshkosh Stryker 4500 ARFFs; a 2008 Pierce 100-foot aerial platform with a 2,250-gpm pump and a 300-gallon tank; an air stair truck.
  • Station 4: an Oshkosh Stryker 4500 ARFF; a 2000 Pierce 100-foot aerial platform with a 2,250-gpm pump and a 300-gallon tank; a Tempest 60-inch fan truck for positive pressure ventilation.
  • Station 5: a 2008 Pierce PUC pumper with a 1,500-gpm pump and a 750-gallon tank; a mass casualty vehicle; three ambulances.

2010 Pierce PUC Pumper

  • Velocity chassis with 5-person cab
  • 49,800-pound gross vehicle weight
  • TAK-4 suspension
  • Detroit Series 60 515-hp diesel engine
  • Allison 4000 transmission with retarder
  • Side roll and frontal air bag protection
  • Pierce PUC 1,500-gpm pump
  • 750-gallon tank
  • Husky 12 foam system
  • Hercules CAFS system
  • Front inlet and bumper turret with additional outlet for those line
  • Harrison 6,000-watt hydraulic generator
  • Telescoping lights
  • Electric reel
  • TNT rescue tools with hydraulic reels
  • Hatch compartments for additional storage

Price: $650,000 without equipment


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