WFC News

Posted: Aug 29, 2014

Apparatus Showcase

Ron Heal   Compiled by Ron Heal

Delivery of the Month


KME-Deptford Township (NJ) Fire Department, pumper. Predator cab and chassis; Cummins ISL 450-hp engine; Hale Qmax 2,000-gpm pump; UPF Poly 750-gallon tank; Onan 10-kW generator; rear and passenger-side Voyager cameras. $439,000. Dealer: Fred Hundt, 1st Priority Emergency Vehicles, Manchester, NJ. (Photo by Dennis C. Sharpe.)
Click photo to view video.

Spartan ERV

Spartan ERV-Little York (TX) Fire Department, two pumpers. Metro Star cabs and chassis; Cummins ISL 400-hp engines; UPF Poly 500-gallon tanks; 30-gallon foam cells; FoamPro 1600 single-agent foam systems; SVI Night Light ll telescoping scene lights. $524,000 each. Dealer: David Tovey, Metro Fire Apparatus Specialists, Houston, TX.


E-ONE-Belleville (NJ) Fire Department, 100-foot aerial quint. Cyclone ll cab and chassis; Cummins ISX 550-hp engine; Hale Qmax 2,000-gpm pump; UPF Poly 500-gallon tank. $886,618. Dealer: Troy Heffelfinger, Absolute Fire Protection, South Plainfield, NJ. (Photo by Ron Jeffers.)


Rosenbauer-Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Company, Ocean County, NJ, pumper. RBM Commander cab and chassis; Cummins ISL 330-hp engine; Hale Qmax 1,750-gpm pump; UPF Poly 750-gallon tank; Northern Star 8-kW generator. $465,000. Dealer: Ray Van Marter, Blaze Emergency Equipment, Browns Mills, NJ. (Photo by Dennis C. Sharpe.)


Ferrara-Aurora Colden Fire District 6, West Falls (NY) Fire Company, pumper. Cinder cab and chassis; Cummins ISL9 330-hp engine; Hale Qmax XS 1,500-gpm pump; UPF Poly 750-gallon tank; 10-gallon foam cell; FoamPro 1600 foam system; Harrison 8-kW generator; Akron 3440 electric Deck Master monitor. $470,000. Dealer: Jim Lyons, Ferrara Fire Apparatus Inc., Glastonbury, CT.


Pierce-New Haven (IN) Fire Department, pumper. Saber cab and chassis; Cummins ISL9 450-hp engine; Waterous CSU 1,250-gpm pump; UPF Poly 1,000-gallon tank; 30-gallon foam cell; Husky3 Class A foam system; $376,500. Dealer: Keith Oberlin, Global Emergency Products, Whitestown, IN.


Darley-Sheldon (TX) Community Volunteer Fire Department, Vision pumper-tanker. Spartan Gladiator cab and chassis; Cummins ISL 9 450-hp engine; Darley LDM 1,500-gpm pump; 3,000-gallon tank; 30-gallon foam cell; FoamPro 2002 single-agent foam system. $499,000. Dealer: Webb Fire, Houston, TX.


Sutphen-Windsor, Ontario, Fire Department, two 95-foot platform quints. Sutphen custom cabs and chassis; Cummins ISX11.9 500-hp engines; Hale Qmax 1,500-gpm pumps; 300-gallon polypropylene tanks; FoamPro 2002 foam systems; Smart Power

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Posted: Aug 29, 2014

In the News

FireRescue Magazine Announces Erich Roden as Editor in Chief

Erich Roden   FireRescue Magazine, a PennWell Public Safety publication, has announced that Erich Roden was named editor in chief, effective August 1, 2014. He leads a team of top editorial contributors to develop high-quality content in print and online at

Roden is a 21-year veteran of the fire service and a battalion chief with the Milwaukee (WI) Fire Department assigned to the fire academy. He has been a H.O.T. instructor at FDIC for more than 10 years and is a lead instructor for "Urban Essentials." He is also an instructor for the Milwaukee Area Technical College's Fire Science Program and has a master of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He is an online editor for Fire Engineering and is a cofounder and editor of Urban Firefighter. In 2013, he was appointed to the Underwriters Laboratories Technical Review Panel for the Effectiveness of Fire Service Ventilation and Suppression Tactics: Vertical Ventilation. He is currently conducting extensive research on socioeconomic and urban demography data to determine its impact on fire service resource deployment in urban neighborhoods with researchers from the University of Chicago and Harvard University.

"I am very excited about the opportunity and thank PennWell for the honor and opportunity to serve the fire service community in such a dynamic way," Roden says.

SUTPHEN CORPORATION is instructing its customers to remove all SPH 100, SP 110, SPI 112, and SAI 110 aerial devices from service until further notice. The company states that customers should use the affected apparatus as engines or support vehicles only. Sutphen will stay in close contact with its customers to report details and when the units may be placed back in service. "At this time, our priority is the safety of our firefighters," says Drew Sutphen, president. "In light of recent incidents, we recognize there is an immediate need to take precautionary action. I would rather take every precaution necessary than to put firefighters at risk." Sutphen is contacting customers with the affected units personally to inform them of the events that have occurred and the steps it is taking to get the units back in service in a timely manner.

PIERCE MANUFACTURING, Inc., and HURST JAWS OF LIFE®, Inc., recently sponsored the "Power to Protect" sweepstakes to support the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). The Hurst Jaws of Life hydraulic tools featured in the sweepstakes include a spreader, a cutter, and a ram from the company's eDRAULIC™ line of tools that do not require hoses or power units. Ron Siarnicki, the NFFF's executive director, says, "Our sincerest thanks to Pierce Manufacturing and Hurst Jaws of Life for their support of the NFFF through their Power to Protect sweepstakes. Without initiatives like these, we would not be able assist the families and loved ones of these fallen heroes. Today, we need the industry's help more than ever."

HOLMATRO has officially launched Holmatro Industrial Solutions. "With Industrial Solutions, we demonstrate that we go further than just developing and manufacturing standard hydraulic equipment", says Niels Rombouts, Holmatro Industrial Equipment director. "The demand for customer-specific solutions has increased enormously over the years. We now have a complete team of engineers and experts dedicated to finding the right solution for various different challenges together with the customer." The Holmatro Industrial Solutio

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Posted: Aug 29, 2014

Oshkosh Striker ARFF Unit Protects Texas Airport

Alan M. Petrillo   Alan M. Petrillo


The Harlingen (TX) Fire Department protects nearly 100 square miles of commercial, industrial, urban, and suburban territory. It also protects the Valley International Airport, the largest airport in the Rio Grande valley and second busiest in terms of passenger count, with 700,000 visitors and passengers going through its terminal last year.


The fire department, which has 110 paid firefighters, has an aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) station on the airport grounds staffed by two officers and two firefighters. On all aircraft alerts, the department rolls its two ARFF rigs and gets immediate backup from the department's other six stations in the form of two district captains, three pumpers, a rescue truck, and an advanced life support ambulance.

Government Involvement

One of Harlingen's ARFF trucks was aging and beginning to cost the department and the airport more money than it was worth to keep running. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has program managers who work with airports to identify when an ARFF truck should be replaced, says Thomas P. Carle, sales support manager for Oshkosh Airport Products. "They don't want an airport to be out of service because of the lack of an ARFF truck, and it's not always possible for an airport to have a backup ARFF vehicle," he says.

1 The Harlingen (TX) Fire Department purchased an Oshkosh Airport Products Striker 4x4 aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicle
1 The Harlingen (TX) Fire Department purchased an Oshkosh Airport Products Striker 4x4 aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicle, shown at left, which has become the lead vehicle in its ARFF fleet, along with two other ARFF units. (Photos courtesy of Harlingen Fire Department.)

Valley International was able to secure a federal grant through Airport Improvement Funds to purchase a new ARFF rig, says David Lompra, a Harlingen Fire Department captain and the officer in charge of the ARFF station at Valley International. "At the time, we had two 10-year-old ARFF trucks," he says. "We had refurbished both of them in the past and planned on replacing them in a staggered time period."

Valley International Airport is an Index B airport, Lompra points out. The FAA determines an airport's index by a combination of the length of the air carrier aircraft and the average daily departures. An Index A includes aircraft less than 90 feet long; Index B includes aircraft at least 90 feet but less than 126 feet long; Index C includes aircraft at least 126 feet but less than 159 feet long; Index D includes aircraft at least 159 feet, but less than 200 feet long; and Index E includes aircraft at least 200 feet long.

Lompra points out that the average aircraft arriving and leaving Valley International is either a Boeing 737 or an Airbus 320 carrying 140 to 175 people per aircraft. He says the airport can handle up to a 250-passenger aircraft.

The FAA further requires certain firefighting equipment and agent for each type. For an Index B airport like Valley International, the fire department must have either one vehicle carrying at least 500 pounds of sodium-based dry chemical, Halon 1211, or clean agent and 1,500 gallons of water and the commensurate quantity of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) for foam production; or two vehicles, one carrying the extinguishing agents as noted above and another vehicle

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Posted: Aug 29, 2014

New York Firefighter Tests New Hearing Technology

Paul Irwin


To the general population, the ear splitting whine of sirens, the blast of horns, and the roar of a fire apparatus's motor are all hallmarks of the firefighting culture. The alerts to a fire company's rush to danger have to be loud enough to rouse the citizenry to keep them out of harm's way. But, what about the harm done to hearing health-particularly the health, in this case, of Fire Department of New York (FDNY) members?


The hazards of fighting fires are well known, with the best possible efforts made to protect firefighters from heat, smoke, and falling debris. Personnel wouldn't think of getting on a fire truck without proper footwear, headgear, outerwear, and breathing apparatus. But, too many routinely expose their ears to high levels of sound.

For some, after a career risking life and limb in the line of duty, the residual impact of hearing loss caused by overexposure to loud sounds can last a lifetime. And for too many firefighters, overexposure to harmful levels of sound comes with the territory.

1 The HD-15 package includes two electronic earplugs
1 The HD-15 package includes two electronic earplugs, a durable neck cord, seven different pairs of eartips to accommodate many ear shapes and sizes, a cleaning tool, filters that make sound clearer and prevent earwax from damaging the components, a filter changing tool, batteries, and a protective case. (Photo courtesy of author.)

EtyMotic Research

Here's the good news. There's a new product on the market, developed by Chicago-based hearing health company Etymotic Research, which not only addresses the need to be protected from loud sounds but amplifies quiet sounds as well. This "wearable technology" is called the Etymotic HD-15. It fits securely in the ear and adjusts volume automatically, sensing the changes in sound levels.

"The HD-15 is designed to give firefighters, police, military, and corrections officers a unique advantage," says Etymotic's director of audiology, Dr. Gail Gudmundsen. "While wearing this product, users have natural hearing until sounds exceed safe levels. As soon as hearing is at risk, the devices automatically become hearing protectors. If a blast occurs, there is instantaneous protection. Natural hearing is restored when sound levels return to safe levels."

Etymotic Research received the Safe-in-Sound Award for Innovation in Hearing Loss Prevention given by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Hearing Conservation Association.

Safe Protection

HD-15 electronic earplugs use a new version of the Etymotic K-AMP® integrated circuit from the 1990s. The transducers are high-definition, balanced-armature drivers, and high-sensitivity microphones. Their bandwidth is 40 Hz to 16 kHz.

They're also failsafe in the sense that for sudden, loud spikes in level, the devices are limited above 118 dB. Peak sound pressure levels above 118 dB are reduced to safe levels by the output limitation of the circuit. Because these bursts are so short-on the order of a few milliseconds-the clipped transients are safe. The sound reduction is instantaneous, so hearing is protected from intense transients. A gun blast of 140 dB, for example, cannot be reproduced. It sounds like a normal gunshot but is drastically reduced in level. The nearly instantaneous recovery time of the circuit also means no fidelity loss.

The product includes two electronic earplugs, a durable neck cord, seven different pairs of eartips to accommodate many ear shapes and sizes, a cleaning tool, filters that make sound clearer and prevent earwax from damaging t

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Posted: Aug 29, 2014

FDSOA Apparatus Specification and Maintenance Symposium

Michael Petroff


The dictionary defines "symposium" as a meeting or conference for discussion of a topic, especially one in which the participants form an audience and make presentations.


The annual Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) Apparatus Specification and Maintenance Symposium truly embodies that definition. One attendee describes the symposium as the best fire service gathering because of the mix of people involved in planning, presenting, and attending. Participants are both presenters and audience, discussing apparatus design, maintenance, regulatory standards, and new innovations. The annual event is the only conference dedicated to providing a better understanding of fire apparatus by bringing together end users, leading industry figures, and apparatus and equipment manufacturers. The 2015 event marks the symposium's 27th anniversary. Although the basic format of the program remains, a new era begins with the addition of Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment magazine as its official publication.

An old radio station said its news broadcast presented the facts by describing who, what, where, when, why, and how. A description of the FDSOA Apparatus Symposium, following that format, goes something like the following.


Attendees include fire chiefs, safety officers, apparatus purchasing team members, EMS personnel, and vehicle maintenance technicians. Presenters include that same group plus apparatus manufacturers, accessories and tool suppliers (from bumper to bumper), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) specialists, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health investigators.


The Symposium is a unique chance to learn, ask questions, and network. It provides an opportunity to stay current with the latest developments in apparatus and ambulance safety and to be the first to hear about pending changes and proposed standards. This knowledge will help guide you in making decisions regarding one of your department's most expensive assets-its vehicle fleet.

In cooperation with the National Association of Emergency Vehicle Technicians, emergency vehicle technicians can take various certification tests.

Attendees can view new innovation exhibits, meet with manufacturers and discuss their products, and ask questions about maintenance or installation of their product.

In 2015, the keynote address will be presented by Gordon Graham, an internationally known speaker on risk management. Additional sessions will include avoiding pitfalls in specification development, the political side of apparatus acquisition, commonly overlooked maintenance items, vehicle accident loss expense, accident avoidance systems, NFPA updates, and ultra high pressure water and foam systems.

Where? When?

The 2015 Apparatus Specification and Maintenance Symposium will take place at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, 1850 Hotel Plaza Boulevard, Orlando, Florida, on January 18 to 20.


The best testimonial for why to attend comes from comments made by past participants. Comments include the following:

  • "The greatest value for me is the networking opportunity, and that only works when the significant players, or maybe survivors, are around the table.
  • "This has to be a significant event for the big players in the industry to have face time with the nuts-and-bolts guys who are involved in buying and using their products. They can wine and dine chiefs at other events, but this should be the place to talk to the guys who write the specs."
  • "The opportunity should be priceless. This is where I come to get real technical information."


How does the symposium come to fruition? The Fire Apparatus Manufacturers' Association's Technical Committee

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