WFC News

Posted: Jul 17, 2013

Surplus Equipment For Sale

Yakima County Fire District 5

1996 - Zodiac Grand Raid Mark 3 Rescue Boat - $4500

For more information please see the attached details/photos or contact our admin office at 509.829.5111.

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Posted: Jul 15, 2013

Annual Pump Testing, Important or Inconvenient?

Fire engines provide the movement of our most important resources, firefighters and water. A worn or damaged fire pump can have significant impact on water flow and the firefighting capabilities without showing any apparent signs of trouble to the operator on lower flow incidents. Without an efficient, effective, and reliable means to move water from point A to point B our performance and the outcome of the incident can be unsatisfactory. Testing department pumpers annually is the only acceptable way to verify your pump’s state of readiness and should be considered very important to your fleet maintenance program...

What do the changes in state code really mean? Has anything really changed? Our codes have told us in the past that we shall follow NFPA, the NFPA then told us how to perform the testing and that we shall also follow the manufacturer specification, then manufacturer specification tells us to test our pumps using NFPA 1911. So really nothing has changed but language, in the end we still need to follow the manufacturer instructions for inspection, maintenance, and testing of our equipment and pump tests are still required. All fire rated pump builders state that the pumps need to be tested on an annual basis; in addition to that, some models with other options have guidelines for the inspection of those systems as well. All of these tests can be performed by a qualified mechanic or individual that has been trained and obtained the appropriate certifications. 

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Posted: Jul 15, 2013

An Inside Job

In our line of work we see and experience events that can be labeled horrific and traumatizing.  Sometime we go on these calls three times in a shift, and other times the events are spread out over weeks or months.  But one thing remains, and that is the memory and experiences that we were exposed to on these scenes.  These events stay with most of us for a very long time.  And sometimes these memories come back and remind us of the hard issues we have seen and are actively trying to suppress.

Most of us have developed a “coping mechanism” to be able to deal with these events at the immediate moment they are happening.  After the events have past and the incident is over, we suppress or compartmentalize the emotions that we experienced.  And we tell ourselves, and sometimes we tell others, that this is a necessary trait in order to maintain an ongoing presence in this profession.  But what happens when you can’t compartmentalize these events or the box just becomes too full to hold any more memories?  What happens when your body and mind tell you that you are human and that you are impacted by trauma and horror?  Where do you turn?

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Posted: Jul 8, 2013

Special Delivery: Wildland Urban Interface Type III Unit Handles Wildland and Structure Fire Calls

Alan M. Petrillo

The Taos (NM) Fire Department's chief and firefighters had been considering purchasing a wildland urban interface (WUI) Type III apparatus for several years-something that could function not only as a wildland engine but also as a structural pumper if needed once it got out in the boondocks, well away from a water source.

The Taos Fire Department chose Pierce Manufacturing to build this Type III WUI vehicle that can do double duty as a wildland fire apparatus and a structural firefighting rig
(1) The Taos (NM) Fire Department chose Pierce Manufacturing
to build this Type III WUI vehicle that can do double duty as a
wildland fire apparatus and a structural firefighting rig. [Photos
courtesy of the Taos (NM) Fire Department.]

Chief Jim Fambro says his department's members had seen a number of Pierce Manufacturing's Hawk Type III WUI units in neighboring areas and liked not only the style but also the stability of the vehicles. "We had talked for years about getting a Type III WUI to use in protecting our outlying areas against large brush fires but also to use as a quick-attack vehicle for structure fires where it would be miles away from assistance and on its own," Fambro says. "We've been in a drought situation since 1996, so the wildfires around here have been pretty significant."

Extinguishing Capabilities

The Taos (NM) Fire Department covers the city of Taos and the central part of Taos County for fire and rescue responses. The district, which staffs four stations, has fire hydrants in only 40 percent of its response area.

The WUI unit for the Taos (NM) Fire Department features a compact pump panel.
(2) The WUI unit for the Taos (NM) Fire
Department features a compact pump panel.

Fambro notes that the department also wanted a compressed air foam system (CAFS) on the new vehicle. "Putting a 500-gallon water tank on the vehicle and using CAFS means we can stretch out those 500 gallons as far as possible," he says. "We go to structure fires 10 to 15 miles outside of town, and those structure fires can easily turn into wildland fires very quickly."

Taos firefighters decided on a Pierce Hawk Type III WUI unit with a Darley dual-control 1,000-gpm PTO (power takeoff) pump, a 500-gallon Poly water tank, a III0-gallon Class A foam cell powered by a FoamPro 1600 foam system, and a Hercules 140-cubic-feet-per-minute (cfm) hydraulic-drive CAFS. "We put an Elkhart Brass Sidewinder 500-gpm monitor on the front bumper and added a Warn 15,000-pound fixed front winch up there," Fambro points out. "The dual foam capability on the Pierce Type III gives us a lot of freedom to approach fires in different ways."

The vehicle carries a Hercules CAFS, shown in the housing above the pump panel, that is hydraulically driven and generates 140 cubic feet per minute.
(3) The vehicle carries a Hercules CAFS, shown in the housing
above the pump panel, that is hydraulically driven and generates
140 cubic feet per minute.

The Rig


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Posted: Jul 8, 2013

Five Questions for Eric Combs, Marketing Director, Elkhart Brass

Chris Mc Loone

CM: How has the Cobra EXM, introduced at FDIC 2013, been received by the fire service so far?

EC: It's been a really great launch for us. We've had a lot of excitement about the new monitor. Typically with a monitor, our ramp up of sales is somewhat delayed because of the buy cycle with the apparatus. But on this product, we've found a lot of early sales. We did some field tests prior to launching it, and some of those folks are now looking to retrofit their department with the new Cobra on all their apparatus. So, it's been a great launch for us. We're really excited about it.

CM: One of the other things you launched at the show, via a partnership with KME, is the Whipline. How important are relationships with various OEMs to Elkhart?

EC: This is critical. The fire apparatus manufacturers have been tasked and challenged to come up with products to meet the needs of the industry. It gives an opportunity for companies like ours to help supply them with new innovative technologies and new product types. They have a better understanding from their viewpoint of what some of their customers want. We have a good understanding of some of the technology and fluid delivery and control. So whenever we can partner, the two of us working together can usually generate a better product than if we were independently trying to tackle something. So, it's critical to our strategy. We have several examples and we have several products in the pipeline. The SafeLink was another one that was shown at FDIC with a couple different manufacturers, which helped to put their fingerprint on what their customers want.

CM: What has helped keep Elkhart Brass out at the forefront of product development for the fire service?

EC: I'd have to attribute that largely to the way we've structured our business. New product development is one of our key areas. We've internally developed an organization we call "Elkhart Brass Labs" that really starts with a marketing department. We have a large marketing department. Just in the last year we've more heavily invested in that. And in our organization, the marketing department is charged with really getting out into the industry, interacting with the users, and interacting with the apparatus manufacturers to really hone in on what problems the fire service is faced with. What are the opportunities for us to bring some innovation? So it starts with that customer focus. We want to understand the need. And once we get to a point where we've identified an opportunity, we've built a machine here at the plant with engineering, process control, tools that allow us to more quickly and efficiently develop these products, and our large R&D group. So it's really building a business to rapidly bring these products to market.

CM: What do you think is the biggest issue facing the fire service today, and how would you suggest the fire service address it?

EC: The common theme that I hear is the budget constraints. The fire service is being asked to protect, in many cases, larger potential risks and higher potential fire loads and to do that at usually a reduced budget from what was enjoyed a few years ago. So that appears to be at the forefront of folks' minds. And, I believe the answer to this is largely technology that drives efficiency. How can the fire service use technology, maybe even technology that's already well-established in other industries, and adopt that to allow for more efficient service to the public?

CM: What keeps you up at night?

EC: I think what's next? How do you get to the next level? I could look at that as an industry. What's going to allow this industry to make the next step? And, the value we offer to the public. What is Elkhart Brass as a company doing to make that next step? How do we get to the next level? How does the mark

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