Wildland firefighters, incident commanders, chief officers, and others recently were provided the opportunity to view and check out a variety of fire apparatus useful to wildland teams in suppressing fires.
BFX Fire Apparatus displayed two Type 6 wildland engines, built to specs for the United States Forest Service (USFS) and a fire agency in Colorado. The wildland rig for the USFS, says Perry Shatley, BFX's national sales manager, is built on a Dodge 5500 4x4 chassis and crew cab, with a copolymer composite body and a WATERAX BB-4 pump that delivers 110 gpm at 150 psi and 73 gpm at 300 psi, powered by a Kubota 24.8-horsepower (hp) D902 diesel engine. The rig has a 300-gallon water tank, a 12-gallon foam tank, a Darley Fast Foam 150 foam system, dual Hannay hose reels, and Code 3 LED warning and scene lighting.
The BFX-built Type 6 wildland pumper for the Mesa County (CO) Sheriff's Office is on a Ford F-550 Super Duty 4x4 chassis and crew cab, with a copolymer composite body carrying a diesel-powered WATERAX DD-4 pump that delivers 110 gpm at 150 psi and 68 gpm at 300 psi powered by a Kubota D902 24.8-hp diesel engine, a 300-gallon water tank, a 14-gallon foam cell, and a Darley Fast Foam 150 foam system. The Colorado Type 6 has a single Hannay hose reel, and Whelen LED warning and scene lighting.
Shatley points out that both the USFS and Mesa County chose BFX's copolymer body because of its ability to flex 30 degrees and then return to its original form. "The fiber composite body is extremely useful for wildland pumpers that are doing a lot of off-road work, especially in uneven or hilly terrain," he observes.
A smaller-profile wildland rig was shown by MTECH Inc., the QTAC Model 85HP, a skid-mounted pumping and suppression system that was mounted on a Honda Pioneer 1000 UTV. Jason Black, president of MTECH, says the skid will fit any standard UTV, including Polaris, John Deere, Gravely, or a pickup truck bed. "The 85HP has a WATERAX VERSAX 6 high-pressure pump that will put out a maximum of 105 gpm at 120 psi," Black points out. He notes that the Model 85HP displayed has 50 feet of ¾-inch booster hose on a manual Hannay reel, an 85-gallon PolyTough™ baffled water tank, a 5-gallon foam tank, and a Scotty Firefighter eductor foam system.
MTECH also had its Model EMS-R medical skid on hand, mounted on a trailer drawn by the Honda UTV. The EMS skid unit has a padded, adjustable attendant seat, a welded one-inch-thick copolymer rescue litter platform, a hinged and latched door for storage area access, an oxygen compartment, and can be fitted with an IV pole. Black points out that the medical skid can be converted to the 85EMS-C model with the addition of a medium-pressure Koshin or a high-pressure WATERAX VERSAX 6 pump, and a Hannay 1800 series manual reel for one-inch diameter hose.
Flash Fire & Safety displayed its 600T trailer, designed as a highway/off-road wildland fire suppression unit. The hitch-pulled trailer has a 360-gallon water tank, a 5-gallon foam cell, a foam induction system, and a gasoline-powered WATERAX VERSAX 9 electric-start pump that will deliver 105 gpm at 150 psi, according to Luc Lainey, technician-salesman for Flash Fire & Safety. The trailer carries a three-quarter-inch hose line on a Hannay manual reel, is set up for a half-inch sprinkler system, has two 1½-inch discharges, carries four portable water backpacks, and mountings for hand tools.
A hitch-pulled Wildland Fire Suppression Trailer built by WASP Manufacturing Inc. carries a wide assortment of fire suppression and prevention equipment on board, including WATERAX and Wick portable pumps, chain saws, hand tools, single jacket weeping hose from ½ to 2 ½ inches in size, portable sprinkler systems, portable generators, and two folding portable water tanks.
To give incident commanders an "eye in the sky," Xcraft displayed two UAV systems. The X2 Pro is a four-rotor vertical takeoff and landing drone with 50-minute endurance, wireless data downloads, a telemetry range of 25 miles, and options for electrooptical, multispectral, and infrared sensors. Xcraft's Shadow tethered drone offers unlimited flight time, plug and play 110-/220-volt power, 360-degree video streaming, a mesh network radio, and a comm relay antenna.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and 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.