Special Delivery: Fairmount Turns to Sutphen for Custom Rescue Pumper

A 1-3/4-inch hose line is deployed off the front bumper of Fairmount's 2010 Sutphen rescue pumper at a fire scene.
A 1-3/4-inch hose line is deployed off the front bumper of Fairmount’s 2010 Sutphen rescue pumper at a fire scene.
Fairmount Fire Department's new Sutphen rescue pumper
Fairmount Fire Department’s new Sutphen rescue pumper is built on a Monarch cab and chassis with seating for seven. It has Whelen LED lights around the apparatus and Mars 888 and Roto-Ray warning lights in front.

Replacing any piece of fire apparatus is a time-consuming and labor-intensive job for the responsible department officers and firefighters. When the department’s first-due pumper is being replaced, the task can take on added stress.

That was what faced the Fairmount Fire Department, a 55-member volunteer fire district covering a heavily-populated area in the town of Camillus, near Syracuse, N.Y.

The apparatus being replaced was a 1993 E-ONE engine with a 50-foot rear-mounted Telesqurt, but department officials decided to change their strategy and run a rescue pumper as first out the door. After considerable research with many manufacturers, Fairmount purchased a 2010 rescue pumper from Sutphen.

“We wanted to put rescue capabilities on our first out engine, as much water as possible, a lot of lighting and a large hose bed, all without compromising compartment space,” said Andrew Zysk, a former Fairmount lieutenant and member of the truck committee. “Besides rescue, pump and tank size were big considerations because we wanted the piece to be self-reliant.”

He pointed out that the department runs a considerable number of mutual aid calls, many of which require rescue capabilities, so the switch to a rescue pumper made sense. In addition, he noted the department has a 2006 Pierce Quantum 100-foot rear-mount aerial, so the need for an elevated waterway on the first piece out was no longer a strategic consideration.

The truck committee began working in early summer of 2009, contacting most major fire apparatus manufacturers.

“We talked with Sutphen, Smeal, Pierce, E-ONE, Seagrave and 4 Guys,” Zysk said. “After a lot of work and discussion, we eventually sat down with Sutphen, Pierce and 4 Guys to get presentations from each of them on what they could do for us.”

Philip Vander Molen of Vander Molen Fire Apparatus Sales, the Sutphen regional distributor for central, eastern and northern New York, said truck committee members told him they wanted a large cab, plenty of compartments and storage, room for rescue tools, a light tower, plenty of water and lots of horsepower.

“We were able to give them everything they wanted,” he said, “with the Monarch cab that seats seven, a thousand-gallon water tank, a top-mounted Hale pump and full-depth compartments around the pumper.”

The pumper has a remote-controlled Akron SaberMaster 1,000-gpm deck gun and hose bed space for 1,200 feet of 4-inch hose. Three 1-3/4-inch preconnected crosslays are mounted above the pump, all carrying Task Force Tips nozzles. Two 2-1/2-inch preconnects of 300 feet each with Task Force Tips nozzles are carried in the hose bed and are accessible from the rear.

The truck committee came up with an unusual request for a transverse compartment behind the cab. Sutphen accommodated the request, building a 36-inch-high custom compartment that holds Halligan tools, pike poles, axes and other forcible entry equipment so that when firefighters exit the cab, they have easy access to the tools.

“Some of the truck committee members had seen a compartment like that on a pumper at Fuller Road Fire Department in Colonie, N.Y.,” Vander Molen said. “They thought it was a great use of space and asked us to include it on their rescue pumper.”

Sutphen also custom-built a half-inch thick steel plate front bumper to hold an Amkus rescue tool, a Hannay reel with 100 feet of hydraulic hose and 100 feet of 1-3/4-inch hose connected to a 2-inch discharge. A second Hannay reel with 100-feet of hydraulic line is carried in a compartment on the officer’s side.

A SmartPower XRT Liberator rescue tool system, which is a 15,000-watt generator and power unit, runs the hydraulic pump for the rescue tools as well as the lighting on the pumper. The generator, mounted in open space at the front of the hose bed, can be engaged from inside the cab, as well as at the pump panel.

“The hydraulic pump runs off the generator shaft, so when the generator is running, they only have to open a valve at the hydraulic reel in order to have power for that tool,” Vander Molen pointed out.

Two other Hannay reels, one on each side of the pumper, carry 200 feet of 10-4 electrical wiring.

Zysk noted that the Fairmount truck committee wanted lots of lighting on the pumper, so they had Sutphen install Fire Research light tower and scene lighting, Whelen LED lights around the apparatus, high-intensity headlights, and Mars 888 and Roto-Ray warning lights in front of the cab.

Clark Green, a Sutphen design engineer, said the Fairmount truck committee members were very much in tune with what they wanted on the pumper and how they expected to use the various equipment.

“They asked for a lot of options on the truck that typically aren’t there,” he said. “For example, there are dual swing-out tool boards in the left side compartment over the wheel wells, the extended bumper with the additional equipment in it and all the extra warning lights.”

Green noted that the committee didn’t want the light tower on top of the cab to be seen at all when not in use, so Sutphen built a custom enclosure to house it.

The committee did a mid-inspection visit at Sutphen to see the body, chassis and pump module, Green said, at which time they made minor changes to finalize some mounting issues. He noted that he and the Sutphen staff communicated with the truck committee by phone and email to iron out issues like the location of hand lights and other equipment, and also sent three-dimensional images of the rescue bumper for approval.

Despite the many custom touches requested, Green said the process went smoothly.

“They, and we, were very pleased with the end result,” he said. “It’s nice to have a challenging truck to build because it gives us a good sense of a job well done when it’s completed. The committee sent us a photo of the pumper when it made its first run and we posted it on our shop floor to give our guys a pat on the back.”

Fairmount (N.Y.) Fire Department

Strength: 55 volunteer firefighters operating out of one station, providing fire suppression, rescue and first response EMS.

Service area: Five square miles in the southeastern portion of the Town of Camillus, Onondaga County, in central New York with a population of about 25,000; the area is densely populated with single-family homes, multi-family apartment complexes and several large industrial and business zones.

Other apparatus: 2004 Smeal Sirius pumper, 1,500-gpm pump, 1,000-gallon tank, 30-gallon foam tank; 2006 Pierce Quantum 100-foot rear-mount aerial platform, 2,000-gpm pump, 300-gallon tank; 2002 Saulsbury walk-through heavy rescue; 2008 Ford Expedition EMS vehicle; 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe 4×4 EMS response “fly car;” 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe 4×4; 2008 Ford F250 Super Duty Crew Cab 4×4 utility vehicle.

Sutphen Pumper for Fairmount (N.Y.) Fire Department

  • Monarch cab and chassis, seating seven firefighters
  • Custom transverse compartment behind cab holding forcible entry tools
  • Cummins ISM 500-hp diesel engine
  • Allison EVS4000 transmission
  • Overall length, 36 feet, 1 inch
  • Wheelbase, 222 inches
  • Front axle capacity, 23,000 pounds
  • Rear axle capacity 27,000 pounds
  • Top-mounted Hale Qmax 2,000-gpm pump
  • 1,000-gallon water tank
  • Foam Pro 5.0 Class A foam system
  • Akron Deckmaster/Sabermaster remote control deck gun, 1,500-gpm combination tip
  • Dual 6-inch master intake valves, electrically controlled
  • Half-inch thick steel armored front bumper holding Amkus rescue tool, Hannay reel with 100 feet of hydraulic line and 100 feet of 1-3/4-inch hose line connected to a 2-inch discharge
  • Hannay hydraulic reel on officer’s side with 100-feet of hydraulic hose
  • Two Hannay electric reels in curbside and street-side compartments
  • 20,000-W SmartPower hydraulic generator
  • Fire Research scene lighting and light tower
  • Whelen LED lights
  • Mars 888 and Roto-Ray warning lights in front of cab
  • Side rollover airbags
  • High intensity headlights
  • Door-ajar indicator for all doors

Price: $635,000 without equipment


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