Menu

WFC News

Posted: Jun 3, 2015

Height and Length Challenges for Katonah (NY) Fire Department Quint

Alan M. Petrillo   Alan M. Petrillo

The Katonah (NY) Fire Department looked at the long-range needs of its fire district and determined it should incorporate an aerial device into its fleet. But, the angle of entry into its firehouse and low support cross beams inside meant the department needed a vehicle with a low travel height and also one with a restricted length.

Katonah had purchased a pumper from Smeal Fire Apparatus a few years before and again turned to Smeal to develop a low-profile quint that would work for its situation.

The result was a 75-foot aerial quint with an overall height of 10 feet, 9 inches and overall length of 39 feet, 1 inch that carries a Waterous 2,000-gallon-per-minute (gpm) two-stage pump, a 400-gallon water tank, a 20-gallon Class A foam tank, and a FoamPro 2000 foam system.

A low travel height and a restricted length were two major reasons the Katonah (NY) Fire Department chose Smeal Fire Apparatus to build a 75-foot quint aerial. (Photos courtesy of Smeal Fire Apparatus.)
A low travel height and a restricted length were two major reasons the Katonah (NY) Fire Department chose Smeal Fire Apparatus to build a 75-foot quint aerial. (Photos courtesy of Smeal Fire Apparatus.)

Specific Requirements

Dean Pappas, Katonah's first assistant chief, says the department had such good results working with Smeal on its pumper that the department instinctively turned to Smeal to work out a solution to its aerial ladder issue. "We also wanted the quint to mirror our new pumper as much as possible," Pappas points out. "Smeal had built a low-travel-height quint for a department in Rhode Island and our dealer, New England Fire Equipment and Apparatus, brought it to our firehouse and put it through our double-length drive-through bay, so we knew our firehouse could handle it. None of the other manufacturers we talked with would guarantee their quint would fit if they built it for us."

Pappas says the Katonah truck committee sat down with Smeal representatives and presented the department's list of requirements for the quint. "We wanted the vehicle on a single axle with full pumping and attack capability," Pappas says. "We wanted as much water as possible, plus a foam tank, foam system, and plenty of hosebed space for large-diameter hose (LDH) supply line. We were shooting for a 500-gallon water tank, but it turned out not to be possible on a single axle with the length of the vehicle we required. So, we ended up with a 400-gallon water tank and a 20-gallon foam tank."

The Smeal 75-foot aerial quint has a Waterous 2,000-gpm two-stage pump, a 400-gallon water tank, a 20-gallon Class A foam tank, and a FoamPro 2000 foam system.
The Smeal 75-foot aerial quint has a Waterous 2,000-gpm two-stage pump, a 400-gallon water tank, a 20-gallon Class A foam tank, and a FoamPro 2000 foam system.

Atypical Height Need

Rich Peck, sales manager for New England Fire Equipment and Apparatus, says the maximum travel height requirement of 10 feet, 9 inches was considerably lower than that of a typical 75-foot quint aerial.

Read more
Posted: Jun 3, 2015

From Water Flow to Transfer Applications, Portable Pumps Prove Themselves

Portable pumps continue to have their specialized uses, especially when firefighters simply can't get a larger apparatus-based fire pump close enough to make a difference on a fire scene.

Portable pump systems are being offered in a wide variety of types and models-from hand-carried versions to skid-loaded units-and firefighters are finding an array of uses.

Jim Darley, national sales manager for Darley Company's fire pump division, says Darley makes three different models of portable pumps, with all its pumps and engines being modular so they can be mixed and matched. "Our largest portable, the HE model that's used for water transfer, has a four-inch suction and can be coupled to an 18-horsepower (hp) or 23-hp engine," Darley says. "This is a direct-drive model and is great for volume flows for filling tankers, but it won't do more than 70 pounds per square inch (psi)."

Another direct-drive model that Darley Co. makes is the 2BE model, which Darley says is a multipurpose pump with a three-inch suction that can be driven by a 23-hp Briggs & Stratton engine, a 21-hp Honda engine, a 23-hp Vanguard engine, or a 24-hp Kubota diesel engine. "We use it on our skid units and sell it to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who are building skid units," he notes. "It's useful in flowing water through a one-inch booster line or a 1½-inch hoseline but also can be plumbed with a 2½-inch discharge."

Darley Co. makes the 2BE series portable pump that's often used in skid units. Shown here in the 2BE23V model; this pump is driven by a 23-horsepower Vanguard engine. (Photo courtesy of Darley Co.)
Darley Co. makes the 2BE series portable pump that's often used in skid units. Shown here in the 2BE23V model; this pump is driven by a 23-horsepower Vanguard engine. (Photo courtesy of Darley Co.)

Darley points out that the 2BE model will generate in excess of 400 gallons per minute (gpm) at low pressures. "At 140 psi, it can do 100 gpm, and at 110 psi it can do 200 gpm, enough for two 1½-inch hoselines," he says.

Darley also makes the 1.5AGE, a gear-driven, engine-drive portable pump. "We put the gearbox between the pump and the engine, which allows the operator to not have to work the engine so hard," Darley points out. "If we use an engine capable of 3,600 revolutions per minute (rpm), and with a 2.7 gearbox ratio, we will have the pump impeller spinning in excess of 9,000 rpm. We can modify the impellers inside the pump casings to give higher volume or pressure depending on what is needed."

Other portable pumps Darley makes are the 2.5AGE, a gearbox and engine-driven pump with a 2½-inch pipe-threaded suction that is capable of higher flows than the 1.5AGE; the Hercules, a four-inch suction pump mounted on a Rotax 582 gasoline engine that also is available in a skid-mounting version or for mounting on a boat; the HE10.5 floating pump powered by a Briggs & Stratton 10½-hp engine; and the HE11H floating pump powered by an 11-hp Honda engine.

Gasoline or Diesel Power

Jerry Halpin, vice president of sales and marketing for CET Fire Pumps, says his company's most popular models are powered by both gasoline and diesel engines ranging from 20 to 60 hp. "A predominant number of those pumps are used for some kind of structural fire up to the point where you have to flow 1,000 gpm," Halpin says. "They mi

Read more
Posted: Jun 3, 2015

Vindicator Nozzle Offers Interior Line Flexibility with Higher Flows

As you know when it comes to extinguishing fires, water is almost exclusively used-with few exceptions. The method of delivery has always been through discharge evolutions made up of hose, appliances, and nozzles. I like to think of the nozzle as an applicator for applying the water for fire extinguishment.

Over the years, there have been several types of nozzles used for firefighting with various results. The Vindicator nozzle developed by First Strike Technologies, although not new, is one of the latest nozzles to enter into the fire service. It is neither a combination nozzle nor a smooth bore nozzle. I've heard some people describe it as a large-bore nozzle; however, it varies from a smooth bore in many ways.

The Vindicator nozzle consists of two parts: the ball valve and the barrel. The ball valve has a 13⁄8-inch waterway with flow capabilities up to 500 gpm, while the master stream nozzle flows up to 1,000 gpm
The Vindicator nozzle consists of two parts: the ball valve and the barrel. The ball valve has a 13⁄8-inch waterway with flow capabilities up to 500 gpm, while the master stream nozzle flows up to 1,000 gpm.

The Vindicator nozzle is a fixed-gallonage nozzle in that it delivers a specific flow at a specific nozzle base pressure. It has a flow range that delivers a workable stream varying from low to high with an accompanying nozzle base pressure. The nozzle base pressure varies from 40 pounds per square inch (psi) to 100 psi, offering a very wide flow capacity range and optimal stream performance for the Heavy and Blitz Attack models.

The Vindicator nozzle only provides a straight stream. It consists of two parts: the ball valve and the barrel. The ball valve has a 13⁄8-inch waterway with flow capabilities up to 500 gallons per minute (gpm) while the master stream nozzle flows up to 1,000 gpm. Inside the barrel there is a stream shaper and a stream deflector that develops the water into a workable firefighting straight stream, which offers lower nozzle reaction characteristics. The handline barrel portion of the nozzle utilizes 1½-inch couplings; the master stream has 2½-inch couplings. The barrel has air intake ports at the base similar to a foam nozzle designed to introduce air into the fire stream, which creates large droplets of water.

There are four Vindicator nozzle models:

  • Light Attack: 90- to 200-gpm flow range and nozzle pressure range of 50 psi at 95 gpm to 100 psi at 200 gpm.
  • Heavy Attack: 175- to 425-gpm flow range and nozzle pressure range of 50 psi at 250 gpm to 100 psi at 425 gpm.
  • Blitz Attack: 250- to 500-gpm flow range and nozzle pressure range of 50 psi at 325 gpm to 100 psi at 500 gpm.
  • Master Attack: 675- to 1,000-gpm flow range and nozzle pressure range of 65 to 85 psi.

The following flow tests were done by an independent agency to compare the performance capabilities of a Vindicator Heavy Attack nozzle against a 15⁄16-inch smooth bore tip. The tests included flow delivery, nozzle reaction, and flow impact.

Shown here is a Vindicator Master Attack nozzle flowing 1,000 gpm.
Shown here is a Vindicator Master Attack nozzle flowing 1, Read more
Posted: Jun 3, 2015

Another Myth Shattered

Robert Tutterow   Robert Tutterow

"It is not possible to build to those dimensions in the current configurations commonly used, especially in the officer's seating area." Say what? The story around this statement was discussed in a three-part "Keeping It Safe" series that ran in November 2014, December 2014, and January 2015.

This column reveals a new layer to this issue. But first, a quick background: The quote is from a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Apparatus Technical Committee meeting about a year ago when discussing the width of seats in fire apparatus. The committee had received a proposal, based on a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) study, to increase the minimum seating width from 22 to 28 inches. The genesis of the proposal is that many firefighters do not buckle their seat belts because of the cramped conditions inside cabs-especially custom cabs. The problem is worsened by the bulk of turnout gear. The NIOSH study is titled, "Safe Seating and Seat Belts in Fire Apparatus: Anthropometric Aspect." Anthropometry is the study of human body measurement. The study indicated that a minimum width of 28 inches is required to accommodate 95 percent of firefighters wearing personal protective equipment. The current 22-inch minimum accommodates just less than 50 percent of firefighters. The proposal was not accepted because of the opening quote above.

One Solution

Since that time, and with input from a firefighter advisory group, at least one manufacturer has made major design changes that will allow the seat width to easily exceed the requested 28-inch minimum. E-ONE recently introduced its new HS series cab and chassis configuration. It is a rear-engine design. Okay, most everyone immediately thinks this is a "dust-off" of the rear-engine E-ONE Hush units that were manufactured and popular in several departments in the 1990s. More than 300 of the Hush units were placed in service over a 10-year period. However, on closer examination, it is a complete design change.

For example, the Hush units had an axle weight ratio of 70:30 (front to rear). There is not as much overhang behind the rear axle as before. For improved handling, the new HS series has a more suitable ratio of 60:40. Access to the engine is gained via rear-slide modules on both sides. The rear-sliding modules do not have to be emptied before they are slid to the rear for engine access. Fluid level checks are easily accessible from the ground. And, the hosebed height has been reduced.

When I had an opportunity for a preintroduction to view and drive the HS series this past March, the openness of the cab led me to think, "Why weren't cabs referred to as 'engine cabs' rather than "crew cabs"? The open space clearly illustrated how much real estate the engine consumes in a conventional custom cab. The HS series design approach is to build the truck around the firefighters. The conventional approach has been to design the truck around the engine and shoehorn the firefighters in with the limited remaining space. The firefighter has historically been an "afterthought," as evidenced by the term and application of the "tailboard firefighter." By placing the engine outside the cab, the interior of the cab becomes a blank canvas for artists-i.e., fire departments-to design the cab to meet their needs without all the previous restrictions.

Debunking the Myth

The HS series totally shatters the conventional myth of the opening quote: "It is

Read more
Posted: Jun 3, 2015

More to Apparatus Floor Finishes than on the Surface

There are many options available to fire departments for apparatus room floor coverings, as well as different levels of protection for those floors.

Toughness, long life, abrasion resistance, appearance, and cost are some of the factors a department considers when laying down a new floor as well as when resurfacing an apparatus room floor in an older station.

Polyaspartic Coating

John Adorjan, owner of Rhino Pro Flooring, says the concrete that makes up the floors of fire station apparatus bays is a rigid sponge, although most people don't think of it as such because concrete is so hard. "Achieving a mechanical bond of the coating you are applying to the substrate, the concrete, is the key to success," Adorjan says. "A fire truck weighs 12 times more per square inch than a car does, so we need to achieve that mechanical bond because if the substance applied isn't bonded to the floor, you will have a delamination problem."

Rhino Pro Flooring put a three-coat polyaspartic finish on this drive-through station for the West Area Fire Department, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. (Photo courtesy of Rhino Pro Flooring.)
Rhino Pro Flooring put a three-coat polyaspartic finish on this drive-through station for the West Area Fire Department, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. (Photo courtesy of Rhino Pro Flooring.)

Adorjan says Rhino Pro Flooring uses a three-headed diamond bonding machine to open up the capillaries in concrete. So when he puts down the first layers of his polyaspartic coating, it wicks down into the concrete. "We put down three coats of 100 percent polyaspartic," he says, "a prime coat, a mid coat, and a top coat. Each coat is done within a couple of hours of the others. After the prime coat, we put down the mid coat, which is where we put in the color, nonslip, or decorative additives, and then the top coat to finish it off."

Polyaspartic coatings were invented by Bayer Technologies in Germany, Adorjan says, and the original patent expired last year, making the substance more widely available. "The advantages of a polyaspartic coating are that it is four times more flexible than a two-part epoxy coating; has twice the abrasion resistance; is ultraviolet-light-stable, unlike epoxy; and won't yellow with age," Adorjan points out. "It also is resistant to hot tire peel, where epoxy is temperature-sensitive and can delaminate after reacting to a hot tire."

After the final layer of polyaspartic is laid down, the surface is ready for foot traffic after about three hours, Adorjan says. And after 48 hours, the apparatus can be returned to the bays. "We can put any color or design into the floor, including logos," he points out. "As for maintenance, keep the grit off of the floor as best you can. Gasoline, oil, diesel fuel, and hydraulic fluid will simply stay on top of the surface until you remove it, and they will not penetrate into the concrete. If the surface needs to be washed, you don't need any chemicals other than a couple of capfuls of ammonia in water."

Adorjan notes there is no limit to the size of the floor to be coated. "We have done up to 10,000 square feet at one time," he says. "For a 7,000-square-foot job, it takes a little over a week from start to finish. The life of the floor is dependent on how well it's maintained, but perhaps 10 years down the road a department might need a new top coat."

Read more
RSS
First63016302630363046306630863096310Last

Theme picker

Search News Articles