Special Delivery: Eagle Fire Co. #1 Chooses KME for Rescue-Pumper

 (1) Eagle Fire Co. #1 of Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, chose to replace an aging pumper with a 2011 KME Predator six-person cab and chassis pumper that serves a dual role in having more compartmentation for rescue equipment.
(1) Eagle Fire Co. #1 of Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, chose to replace an aging pumper with a 2011 KME Predator six-person cab and chassis pumper that serves a dual role in having more compartmentation for rescue equipment. (Photos courtesy of KME.)
 (2) KME built in space for 150 feet of preconnected 1¾-inch hose and 200 feet of preconnected forestry line in the front bumper of Eagle Fire's new pumper.
(2) KME built in space for 150 feet of preconnected 1¾-inch hose and 200 feet of preconnected forestry line in the front bumper of Eagle Fire’s new pumper.
 (3) Eagle Fire's KME pumper has a LineX pump panel covering that provides added protection.
(3) Eagle Fire’s KME pumper has a LineX pump panel covering that provides added protection.
 (4) The Eagle Fire KME carries ten FRC Spectra 20,000- and 15,000-lumen scene lights, two of which sit atop telescoping poles at the rear of the cab
(4) The Eagle Fire KME carries ten FRC Spectra 20,000- and 15,000-lumen scene lights, two of which sit atop telescoping poles at the rear of the cab.

Eagle Fire Company #1 of Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, like many fire departments around the country, has a replacement program in effect for its apparatus. But even though it was a few years away from replacing its first-due engine, the downturn in the economy and eager-to-sell manufacturers caused the fire company to reconsider and jump ahead of schedule to replace the pumper.

Starting the Process

Early in 2011, Chief Ryan Brenneman formed a pumper committee consisting of four line officers, one firefighter, the mayor of Mount Wolf borough, and himself to find a replacement for a 1994 Spartan/Darley pumper.

Brenneman says the committee was tasked with designing a new structural firefighting engine that could also function in a multiuse rescue role and take the fire company 20 years into the future. In doing so, it researched the role the pumper would have in the fire company, the kinds of responses it would go to, and its estimated call volume.

“We decided on a pumper and rescue combination more for the compartment space it would offer, as well as for its function as a multiuse piece of apparatus,” Brenneman says. “We didn’t have any particular manufacturer in mind but wanted to see what they had to offer us, so we invited all the local area manufacturers with representatives to a prebid meeting where they could make presentations and we could discuss what they could do for us.”

Brenneman notes some of the features the fire company wanted included a custom cab with extra room inside, all LED lighting to eliminate an on-board generator, no front suction, and pump discharges on the officer’s side of the vehicle.

The committee narrowed the field down but didn’t close off the bidding process, so six manufacturers submitted bids: Pierce Manufacturing, Crimson Fire, KME, Rosenbauer, Ferrara Fire Apparatus, and U.S. Tanker. Brenneman points out, “It was very close, but ultimately the bid went to KME.”

The resulting rescue-pumper, delivered in October 2011, has KME’s Predator six-person cab and chassis on a 209-inch wheelbase and carries a Hale Qmax 1,500-gallon-per-minute (gpm) pump, a Poly-Bilt 1,000-gallon water tank, a 20-gallon foam cell, and Hale’s FoamLogix 2.1 Class A foam system.

Starting on the Right Foot

Adam Graves, sales engineer for KME, says Eagle Fire Co. #1 was a new customer for KME and that the new vehicle was Eagle Fire’s first truly custom pumper. “They were very easy and open to work with because they knew what they wanted. Yet when we made suggestions of how something might work better, they considered the change and usually relied on our expertise to make it work,” he says.

Some of the pumper’s out-of-the-ordinary equipment, Graves says, includes all LED lighting, a LineX pump panel covering, a Screaming Eagle mechanical siren, and an oil-dry bin in a wheel well compartment.

Lo Barrick of Fire and Rescue Products, the KME distributor for 40 Pennsylvania counties, says he’s seeing more custom pumpers and rescue-pumpers being fitted with all LED lighting and leaving off the on-board generator. “If you only need area lighting, you can accomplish that well with LED lighting,” he says. “While LED lights cost more than quartz lights, you don’t have the cost of a generator, PTO, hydraulics, and circuit box. But if you need an electric cord reel, you have to have a generator.”

Brenneman says Eagle Fire has the best of both worlds with lighting and electric power. The unit carries a total of ten FRC Spectra LED lights-two 20,000-lumen scene lights on the front brow and two on collapsible poles, four 15,000-lumen scene lights on the vehicle’s sides (two per side), and two on the rear.

Electric power for exhaust fans and portable scene lighting is provided by two portable Honda generators-a two-kW model for the fans and a one-kW generator for portable lighting. “When we go to a structure fire, we have numerous other agencies coming in on automatic mutual aid,” Brenneman points out, “so we rely on those other resources to light up the rear and sides of the scene. That means we didn’t have to add the expense of an on-board generator to the pumper.”

Brenneman says the committee got the idea for the oil-dry compartment from another area fire department, and KME engineers figured out a way to incorporate it into the officer’s side rear wheel well compartment. He notes the right side of the vehicle carries most of the specialized rescue tools, including a battery-powered Holmatro combi-tool, while the driver’s side is set up to carry structural firefighting tools and fans.

The rear wheel well compartments also double as SCBA bottle storage, with five cylinders on the driver’s side and three on the officer’s. The rescue-pumper has five SCBAs in seats and one SCBA spare pack in a compartment.

Fire Suppression

The rig has three crosslays that sit low-two with 200 feet of preconnected 1¾-inch hose and one with 250 feet of preconnected 1¾-inch line. The front bumper carries 150 feet of preconnected 1¾-inch hose for quick attack and 200 feet of preconnected forestry line. At the rear, there’s a preconnected 1¾-inch blitz attack line and what Brenneman calls a “Yamaha” line-600 feet of three-inch hose connected to a gated wye that serves as a portable standpipe pack.

Barrick points out the pumper features KME’s wide deck design that has no lost space on it. “The hosebed is the full width of the body itself, minus the side sheets,” he says. “That allows for a very large hosebed that doesn’t have to be really deep or very high.” Eagle Fire carries 1,500 feet of five-inch large-diameter hose (LDH) in the hosebed, along with the blitz attack line and the Yamaha line.

The rescue-pumper makes use of all usable space for compartmentation, Barrick notes. Under the crosslays in front of the pump compartment, KME built a transverse compartment over the frame rails. There’s also a compartment in the dunnage area behind the crosslays that can accommodate two backboards, he says.

Brenneman points out that 70 percent of Eagle Fire’s coverage area has hydrants, so the rescue-pumper often has to draft water. “We decided on saving money by not putting in a front suction, but the driver’s side of the pumper is set up for drafting,” he says. “We have a total of 38 feet of six-inch suction hose on the apparatus, including a six-inch Storz three-lug with a 90-degree elbow that clicks onto the driver’s side suction and can go to the front or rear to a portable water tank.”

Emergency warning lighting consists of a Whelen 72-inch LED Freedom bar on the cab roof and Whelen 24-inch LED mini-Freedom bars, side-facing over the driver’s and officer’s doors. There’s also a RotoRay LED light on the front of the pumper and a Whelen LED traffic advisor at the rear.

Warning Devices

Barrick says the Screaming Eagle mechanical siren is the first one he’s ever had on a KME pumper. It’s the first for Eagle Fire too. “We found that the Screaming Eagle has a smaller footprint than other mechanical sirens,” says Brenneman. “It has the right pulsating tone and louder decibels too. On the plus side, it has a gold eagle in the center of its face and we’re Eagle Fire Co., so it made sense. It sets our engine apart.”

Since putting the unit in service, Eagle Fire has used it at eight structure fires. “A recent structure fire was a bedroom fire that started while we were on standby in a neighboring station,” Brenneman says. “We were on the scene in a minute and 30 seconds and only had a five-person crew instead of our usual six, but with three firefighters inside and two outside we were able to effectively extinguish the fire before the second-due engine was even on the street.”

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.


Eagle Fire Company #1, Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania

Strength: 62 volunteers (18 active volunteer firefighters), one station, providing fire suppression, brush fire and tanker services, and EMS quick response.

Service area: Serves the borough of Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania (population 1,800), and the eastern half of East Manchester Township, with a total population of approximately 5,000 people in 17 square miles. The service area includes agricultural and suburban settings, light commercial and light industrial complexes, including one of the largest coal-fired power generating plants in the United States. Eagle Fire Company #1 also provides automatic mutual aid to surrounding fire companies covering a population of about 9,000.

Other apparatus: 2002 International/Central States pumper, 1,000-gpm Rosenbauer pump, 500-gallon water tank, and 20-gallon Class A foam tank; 2010 Freightliner tanker, 700-gpm pump, 2,000-gallon water tank, and 2,100-gallon portable water tank; 2008 Ford F-350 Super Duty utility vehicle with Indian Forestry packs, SCBA packs, hand tools, and medical equipment.


KME Predator

  • 2011 KME Predator six-person cab and chassis
  • 209-inch wheelbase
  • 390-inch overall length
  • 114-inch overall height
  • Cummins ISL 450-hp engine
  • Allison 3000 EVS five-speed transmission
  • Hale Qmax 1,500-gpm pump
  • Poly-Bilt 1,000-gallon water tank
  • 20-gallon foam cell
  • Hale FoamLogix 2.1 Class A foam system
  • 1,000-gpm deck gun
  • 1,500 feet of five-inch and 600 feet of three-inch supply line in hosebed
  • Two 200-foot 1¾-inch crosslays
  • One 250-foot 1¾-inch crosslay
  • 150 feet of 1¾-inch front bumper attack line
  • 200 feet of one-inch forestry line in front bumper
  • Two 12-foot, six-inch Storz suction sleeves
  • Two seven-foot, six-inch Storz suction sleeves
  • Two portable Honda generators, one two-kW and another one-kW
  • Battery-powered Holmatro Combi-Tool
  • Ten FRC Spectra 20,000- and 15,000-lumen scene lights
  • Oil dry bin in rear fender well

Price without equipment: $394,014

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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

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