|(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.|
|(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.|
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.
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.
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.
- 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