WFC News

Posted: Jan 14, 2022

Somerville (NJ) Fire Department’s Antique Apparatus Fully Restored

Not even Tropical Storm Ida could stop the Somerville (NJ) Fire Department’s octogenarian Engine 5.

Department officials spent four months restoring the vintage apparatus after it was submerged in floodwaters in last September’s storm, reports

With the hardened residue on the floorboards—amongst other damage, including to the engine and transmission—removed, the 1942 Mack L95S Antique is just about ready to resume its ceremonial duties of parades and firefighter funerals.

The apparatus was trapped inside the East Main Street station along the Peters Brook during the storm’s worst, the report says. A few feet of water made its way into the facility and submerged the truck for a few days until the water subsided.

Days later, the apparatus was transported via flatbed to a dry barn in Warren County. It was then dried out and restored by department members, according to the report. It was driven back to Somerville under its own power, and officials say it’s running better than it ever has.

The apparatus has a 1,000-gallon-per-minute pump, a 300-gallon tank, and a hose bed retrofitted as a casket for firefighter funerals.

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Posted: Jan 14, 2022

Southwest Polk (OR) Fire District Has Three New Stations

The Southwest Polk (OR) Fire District now has three new stations to provide emergency service to its 123 square miles of coverage, and the district has been busy celebrating each’s opening.

Officials opened the first station in Salt Creek on January 5 with a ribbon cutting. The facility at 9105 Rickreall Rd. was christened on Wednesday, and the third’s will be January 19 at the Bridgeport Station, 6040 S. Kings Valley Rd., at 11:30 a.m.

A first attempt to build just one new station in Salt Creek failed in 2008; a second attempt, in 2017, succeeded via a bond measure applying 69 cents tax per $1,000 valuation of district property owners, a report in says.

The Salt Creek station’s kitchen, community room, and bathroom were funded by a $230,000 Ford Family Foundation grant. Also, the department was notified on January 4 of a $12,000 Boise Cascade grant for which it was qualified for plywood for the facility’s interior, according to the report.

Officials say the three stations cover about 95% of the district, which is looking to add a fourth facility in Oak Grove to close that gap.

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Posted: Jan 14, 2022

City of Visalia (CA) to Build New Fire Station

The city of Visalia (CA) plans to build a new fire station downtown to replace its oldest—and largest—station, reports

In December, council designated 1.46 acres of city-owned land as the future site of Station 51—currently a parking lot directly west of City Hall off Acequia between Conyer and Stevenson streets, the report says.

The current Station 51 opened in 1970 and houses Engine 51 and Truck 51, each staffed by three personnel; Truck 251, a reserve fire truck; as well as Squad 51, its paramedic unit.

The new facility will be primarily paid for through Measure N, the city’s 2016 half-cent sales tax measure. The initial 10-year plan included $4.4 million for the design and construction of a new—or renovation to the existing—Station 51, according to the report.

Officials say bringing the current station up to code would have likely been more expensive than building new digs. The largest challenge, they say, would have been renovations for wheelchair access. City officials estimate the project’s price tag between $6 million and $15 million.

Also in the works for the Visalia Fire Department is Station 56, on which the city spent $294,000 on a Lovers Lane property in May just south of Tulare Avenue, the report says. The city has been purchasing space from Cal Fire at the Lovers Lane Tulare Unit headquarters since 2006.

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Posted: Jan 14, 2022

NFPA & ISO: Collaboration or Overreach

By Bill Adams

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) NFPA 1901 Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus is being replaced by a new standard – NFPA 1900 Standard for Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Vehicles, Automotive Fire Apparatus, Wildland Fire Apparatus, and Automotive Ambulances. My understanding from the NFPA website is that public comment on the new 1900 standard is closed and its technical sub-committees have been adjourned.

My personal interpretation is all that remains is for the 30 +/- members of the NFPA 1900 committee to vote to approve or disapprove each proposal for the final draft. I can’t find if or when the final draft will be available for public viewing or when the committee’s final vote will be held.

In my opinion, NFPA committee members are like Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) members. They are very tight-lipped about the internal happenings within their organizations. That can be frustrating, but to its defense, the NFPA always makes available written substantiation for each decision on every proposed change to a standard. That is admirable, however, good luck finding a specific change in the labyrinth of material they make available to the public!

Worthy of mention is a proposal or proposals for the new standard to eliminate the current lists of ancillary equipment NFPA 1901 requires for each of its seven classifications of fire apparatus. Eliminating the equipment lists may jeopardize the collaboration currently existing between the NFPA and the Insurance Services Office (ISO). The dictionary defines collaboration as teamwork, a relationship, or cooperation.


From the website, “The Insurance Services Office, or ISO for short, is an insurance advisory organization that provides statistical and actuarial information to businesses.” A common misconception is the ISO is still the original non-profit organization that took the place of the former National Board of Fire Underwriters (NBFU) in “rating” a municipality’s fire protection including its fire departments. The ISO is now a for-hire business that among other services still “rates” municipalities and their fire departments for entities such as insurance companies, brokers, and governmental agencies.

The ISO’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) is used to evaluate municipalities. The current 2012 issue has its own lists—albeit very abbreviated ones—of ancillary equipment each fire apparatus should carry. [Note: My reference copy is stamped “Filed–Not Approved.” Consequently, there may be some changes in it.]

My copy mentions NFPA 1901’s ancillary equipment lists in several places. As an example, FSRS Section 500 Fire Department, 512 Equipment on Existing Engine Companies states: “Evaluate pumper equipment and hose carried for fighting structure fires by referring to NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus, Pumper Fire Apparatus.” The FSRS equipment list for engine companies is in its Appendix A, Table 512A. The list is not as extensive as NFPA 1901 criteria. Which prevails when the ISO evaluates a fire department?

What happens to the inferred ISO/NFPA 1901 collaboration if the NFPA eliminates its equipment lists? It appears—and I stress appears—the ISO allows its inspectors latitude in evaluating ancillary equipment carried on fire apparatus. However, if the new NFPA 1900 eliminates equipment lists or in an appendix it merely “recommends” what equipment should be carried, who monitors or approves how and what a

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Posted: Jan 14, 2022

Photo of the Day: January 14, 2021

Seagrave—Louisville-Jefferson (KY) County Metro Government HydroForce pumper. Marauder stainless steel tilt cab and chassis; Cummins X12 500-hp engine; Waterous CMU two-stage 2,000-gpm pump; stainless steel body; waterway with water flow of 1,500 gpm; UPF Poly 500-gallon water tank; Task Force Tips Typhoon RC Y5-E21A-L45 monitor. Dealer: Dennis Downes, Fire & Specialty Equipment, Shepherdsville, KY.


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