SVI Heavy Rescue Expected To Be Busiest Apparatus

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West Hempfield Fire & Rescue selected SVI to build its new heavy rescue on a tandem-axle Spartan cab and chassis with seating for seven. It is equipped with a Darley 500-gpm pto pump and a 500-gallon tank with Class A and B foam cells (Fire Apparatus Photo)
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Cribbing is an essential part of West Hempfield’s response plan for extrications and rescues. To prevent it from shifting and binding the roll-up doors, hinged doors were installed to keep it all in place. (Photo by Mark Kniesly)
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A tall compartment in the cab just behind the back doors holds tools that might be needed immediately by firefighters. (Photo by Mark Kniesly)
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Because auto extrication is a primary mission of the new heavy rescue, tools are mounted in the front bumper. (Photo by Mark Kniesly)

Mark Kniesly, a firefighter with West Hempfield Fire & Rescue in Silver Spring, Pa., believes his department’s newest apparatus – an SVI/Spartan heavy rescue with fire suppression capabilities – will be its busiest.

“It’s designed to be our first out on almost everything,” he said. “We’re a 100 percent volunteer fire department with limited daytime staffing. We need something that can do a little of everything because we may not be able to get that second apparatus out the door.”
West Hempfield provides coverage in the suburban Harrisburg area with limited access highways, lots of traffic and all too frequent crashes.

The primary function of the department’s SVI rescue will be vehicle extrication, according to Kniesly, who was a member of the department truck committee that selected the new rig.

The truck is equipped with Hurst Jaws-of-Life tools preconnected front and back with a Hurst Simo Power Unit in the front and a Hurst Trimo Power Unit in the back. It carries an assortment of airbags, including an oversized 70-ton unit, and a large load of cribbing, up to six feet long.

The department asked SVI to do something different for cribbing storage. Since cribbing can shift and slide, firefighters requested that a second, hinged door be placed between the cribbing and the roll-up door to keep the lumber from binding the roll-up door. “It works very well,” Kniesly said.

West Hempfield also asked SVI to make a separate compartment with its own lid for dry absorbent. “We’ve heard some horror stories about dust and material getting into everything,” he said, “and we wanted to avoid that.”

With firefighting capabilities provided by a Darley 500-gpm pto pump and a 500-gallon tank with Class A and B foam cells, Kniesly said the new apparatus gives firefighters the ability to extinguish vehicle fires or provide protection during extrications. With 10 gallons of Class A foam and 30-gallons of Class B foam, the unit can do a bit of fire suppression as well.
Starting An Attack

“We can send it on investigation calls, and if we find something, we have the capability to put it out or at least start an attack,” Kniesly said. The heavy rescue has two 200-foot 1.75-inch handlines, and one 200-foot 2.5-inch handline. The department also specified space for a bundle of 3-inch supply line. “That way, we can stretch a line to a hydrant if needed,” he said.
The apparatus is outfitted as a rapid intervention team (RIT) support vehicle with plenty of tools, an SCBA refilling system, two Stokes baskets and ladders, including a 28-foot extension, a 16-foot roof ladder, a 10-foot attic ladder and two Little Giant ladders. In addition it has a thermal imaging camera, hand tools, power saws, ventilation fans and high-angle rescue and water rescue equipment.

A Harrison 30,000-watt hydraulic generator provides power for tools and lights, including a Command Light light tower.

SVI usually puts light towers in a compartment on top of the body, Kniesly said, but the department had the tower put on top of the cab to preserve space in the body.

The SVI has a tandem axle and was purchased to replace a single-axle 1992 Saulsbury/Spartan rescue. “We wanted to go a little bigger,” he said, “and we wanted a quality rescue.”

Department members traveled to Pennsylvania and New Jersey to look at rescue trucks and were impressed by an SVI rig in Deptford, N.J. “We saw the quality,” Kniesly said, “and we knew they were very pleased with the unit.”

One of the requirements of the cab and chassis was a tall compartment located just behind the rear doors of the cab to be used for Halligan and forcible entry tools. “We wanted them right there, ready to grab when we get out of the cab,” Kniesly  said. “Spartan told us it was the first time they did that. It was so important to us that we weren’t going to go with any builder if they couldn’t do it.”
The Cab Compartment

The cab compartment took some engineering to develop a balance between comfort and adequate tool space, according to Kniesly, who said 12-inch deep compartments on each side proved to be the magic number to permit a seven-occupant cab.
West Hempfield solicited bids, and SVI offered the lowest price. The heavy rescue cost $675,000 and was financed with a $600,000 municipal appropriation spread over three years and department fundraising. By the time the truck went into service with a mix of old and new equipment mounted by 10-8 Emergency Vehicle Service, located in nearby New Holland, Pa., the price tag grew to about $800,000.

Kniesly praised SVI for its “very personal” approach to building apparatus. “They made a very workable truck for us,” he said. “They helped us make it work and make it what we wanted… This was a big deal for us.”
The SVI heavy rescue was sold by Dwayne Shellhamer, Shellhamer Emergency Equipment, Breinigsville, Pa.
West Hempfield Fire & Rescue, Silver Spring, Pa.

2009 SVI/Spartan Heavy Rescue

• Spartan Gladiator ELFD 20-inch raised roof cab and chassis
• Detroit Diesel Series 60 515-hp engine
• Allison 4000EVS transmission
• 23,000-pound front axle
• 44,000-pound rear axles
• Seating for seven occupants, six with SCBAs
• David Clark intercom system
• On-Spot tire chains
• Heated mirrors with remote controls
• Floor cabinet in crew area with power strips
• Overhead cabinets in crew area
• Extended front bumper

Pumping Features
• Darley LSP pto 500-gpm pump
• 500-gallon tank
• 10-gallon Class A foam cell, 30-gallon Class B foam cell
• FoamPro 1600 foam proportioner, Class B eductor
• Two 1.75-inch 200-foot preconnected hose lines
• One 2.5-inch 200-foot preconnected hose line

Other features
• 24-foot stainless steel body with roll-up doors
• Harrison 30,000-watt hydraulic generator
• Cab-mounted Command Light
• 9,000-pound Warn winch with hitch receivers on four sides
• Seven Roof hatch compartments
• SLIDE MASTER adjustable pull-out and tilt trays
• Air bag rack
• Electric Hurst Trimo Power Unit
• Electric Hurst Simo Power Unit
• Two gasoline-powered Hurst Mini-Mate Simo Power Units
• Five Hurst reels
• Two Hannay electric cord reels
• One Hannay low-pressure air reel
• One Hannay high-pressure air reel
• Four 6,000 psi air cylinders
• Eagle Sidewinder two-position fill station
• Four Fire Research 1,000-watt scene lights recessed in the body
• On Scene Solutions LED compartment lighting
• Whelen LED warning lights
• Federal Signal QB2 siren
• Voyager rear-view camera
• SCI Air Source Combi-CART
• Rear stairway with integrated compartments in every step

• 41.5 feet long, 9 feet, 8 inches wide,
11 feet 5 inches high
• Delivered weight (wet) 55,700

Price without equipment, $675,000

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