By Mike Ciampo
If you didn’t get out to FDIC International 2016 this year, you missed a multitude of apparatus, new arrivals and some very interesting upgrades, equipment layouts, and compartment layouts to say the least! Ferrara Fire Apparatus had quite a variety of apparatus on the showroom floor and one particularly impressive MVP (Multi Vocational Pumper) rescue-pumper capable of performing fire/rescue/EMS/hazmat/salvage operations. The company bills this unit as being “an ideal solution for maximizing your department’s response and performance in both urban and rural departments.” It also states, “The compact design allows for easy maneuverability and deployment through busy city streets or wide open country roads where response time is crucial.” The MVP apparatus is available with any Ferrara custom chassis and also comes in an MVP Rescue Ladder. The apparatus comes with either an extruded aluminum or a stainless steel body and can accommodate water tanks from 300 to 1,000 gallons, depending on the type of apparatus chosen.
The MVP rescue-pumper is designed with firefighter safety in mind with extra low cab step height, low crosslay and main hosebeds, and a lower body height so it’s easier to retrieve equipment out of compartments. The vehicle also offers an air bag system that not only includes the standard bag out of the steering wheel but also new knee deployment bags that the company spent over a $1 million in research and design to create this feature. The MVP also carries a huge cache of tools and equipment, either stored in the side compartments with roll-up compartment doors or up on top of the apparatus in coffin-style compartments. The MVP also offers some other unique features. One is its pump-and-roll capability with 330 gallons per minute at 80 psi. Another new feature is the “Total Vision System” on the electronic pump panel. This system allows the pump operator to control the pump with the push of a button, monitor all vehicle fluid levels, and see if there’s a compartment or crew cab door open, all while monitoring the pump panel.
The MVP rescue-pumper on the showroom floor was painted in an all red body scheme with two black reflective stripes running low around the front nose of the apparatus and then diagonally upward on the front cab doors toward the upper third of the rear body. The stripes bisected three times on the side of the apparatus to give it a unique look. Perhaps what made this vehicle stand out even more was that the rims, body trim, front grills, hand rails, tow hooks, siren cover, and diamond plate were all painted in a flat black color. The front bumper extrication diamond plate compartment cover and protective diamond plate guard for the elevating roof light were also painted in black, giving the apparatus a really unique and bold appearance.
The left rear compartment of the MVP shown on the floor was very impressive and unique. It offered storage on two horizontal roll-out shelves, one vertical roll-out shelf, and had two saws mounted on a permanent shelf with an incline shelving design with storage beneath one of them. There is also a small shelf that sits between the pull-out and stationary shelf that allows for storage of some smaller equipment. Starting at the bottom of the compartment on the lower horizontal shelf is the extrication equipment. The tray has permanent brackets and securing brackets by PAC which hold one Hurst eDRAULIC® combi tool and two eDRAULIC rams. There are also two battery backup packs, two chargers and a Black Jack rolling floor jack on this shelf. In a black diamond plate tool box, consistent with the paint scheme of the apparatus, on this shelf are tie down ratchet straps and other extrication accessories.
On the upper horizontal roll-out shelf are two Stihl chain saws and a splitting maul secured once again in mounting hardware. Two small metal tube brackets contain a combination of splitting wedges, with a pair of work gloves also next to them. The permanently mounted shelf above the two roll-out shelves is also for saw storage. The Tempest chain saw with depth guard for roof cutting, sits on the left hand side of the shelf and is mounted very cleverly in an incline fashion, secured by mounting hardware. There are two handles on this shelf. Lifting up on them allows access into the storage area below. The shelf lifts easily because of two gas lifting pistons that support it. The area beneath this saw is for storage of bar oil, fuel mix, extra circular saw blades mounted on the back wall, extra chain saw blades, safety gloves and glasses, saw wrenches, and TruFuel. To the right of the chain saw sits a Tempest rotary saw, also mounted on an incline and secured in a mounting bracket. Standing up to the right of this saw, toward the back compartment wall is a Come-A-Long. And, mounted on the rear wall is a small Craftsman hand saw. To the right of both saws is a full face safety visor mounted on the dividing wall and a small tool box container below which holds other personal protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, and Chaps for when cutting with the chain saw. On the opposite side of this dividing wall, there is a small bolt cutter and a small shelf containing battery chargers and extra batteries for the cordless equipment.
The vertical pull-out shelf facing the front of the apparatus contains a variety of cordless DeWalt power tools: reciprocal saw, flashlight, circular saw, impact gun, and a drill. There is no storage on the back side of this pull-out shelf. Mounted toward the rear of the wall toward the back of the apparatus, in a protective plastic storage cylinder, is a retractable portable electric light. Beneath this light there is a dead blow hammer and small hatchet attached to the walls. There is also a control valve for the automatic speed-dry mounted in the rear wall of this compartment.
The Ferrara MVP shown at FDIC International 2016 had plenty of firefighters stopping by to take a look at this piece of art!
MICHAEL N. CIAMPO is a 30-year veteran of the fire service and a lieutenant in the Fire Department of New York. Previously, he served with the District of Columbia Fire Department. He has a bachelor’s degree in fire science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. He is the author of “Compartment Corner” on www.fireapparatus.com. He is the lead instructor for the FDIC International Truck Essentials H.O.T. program. He wrote the Ladder chapter and co-authored the Ventilation chapter for Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and II (Fire Engineering, 2009) and is featured in “Training Minutes” truck company videos on www.FireEngineering.com.