WFC News

Posted: Oct 2, 2013

Apparatus/Equipment News

ISG Infrasys X380 personal thermal imaging camera delivers the image clarity and features of a larger camera with high-resolution imagery and a full-size LCD, all housed inside a lightweight and compact system. The TIC can be custom-made to suit the exact requirements or budget of a fire department. With features such as intelligent focus and direct temperature measurement (DTM) installed as standard, customers can opt for a simplified version with a single-button setup for power on/off or up to a five-button configuration providing functionality like the new Cold Spot Tracker that allows first responders to locate and pinpoint thread or valve gas leaks or the Hot Spot Tracker that allows the user to measure high temperatures in a dynamic way., 877-733-3473

Hannay Reels ECR1600 cable reel offers a live connection of power cable for direct wiring to a collector ring assembly with an electric rewind and switch and solenoid. The reel is designed for use on rescue vehicles for power tools, electric cable, and other uses that require a safe, continuous current during cable payout and rewind. The reel itself has a small footprint and can be customized to fit on any truck. The ECR1600 features a standard spring tension brake and a 45-amp, three-conductor, 600-volt collector assembly with #8 gauge wiring from the collector ring to the junction box. Additional conductors or higher amperage can be accommodated as well. The standard collector assembly has double copper graphite brushes with copper alloy rings for each circuit. A removable direct crank rewind and adjustable cam-lock drag brake are featured on manual rewind models, while a comet brake is also available., 877-467-3357

Larson Electronics LM-18-4X150RT-RB 18-foot telescoping LED light mast is an extendable tower lighting system that allows users to quickly and effectively illuminate large sites more than two acres in size. Featuring a rugged tower assembly constructed of heavy gauge steel, four 150-watt LED lamp heads, and a rotating base assembly, this light tower lets operators put powerful illumination right where it's needed regardless of tower positioning. The LED lamp assemblies provide 48,000 lumens of light output. These LED lights are designed for use in demanding conditions and are waterproof and sealed against dust and dirt, making them well suited to abusive industrial and outdoor applications. This tower operates at 12 VDC and draws approximately five amps, making it easily powered by portable power sources such as rechargeable battery packs, heavy equipment, and vehicle electrical systems without producing excessive battery drain. The tower assembly is constructed from powder-coated steel and consists of a 10-foot-long lower section and a nine-foot upper section with one foot of overlap for strength and rigidity., 903-498-3363

FireSyte real-time monitoring services help ensure vehicles carrying first responders are prepared 24/7. FireSyte features automated instant alerts and reporting for public safety vehicles including tire pressure monitoring and GPS tracking to enhance safety as well as simplify maintenan

Read more
Posted: Oct 2, 2013

Five Questions for Paul Darley, President and CEO of W.S. Darley

Chris Mc Loone

CM: How is the fire industry doing right now? Can we say that we've finally turned the corner?

PD: According to FAMA statistics, new orders for fire apparatus have seen an increase recently. The first quarter of 2013 showed that new orders were up about 25 percent when compared to the first quarters of 2011 and 2012. New orders were up five percent compared to the last quarter of 2012. If this trend were to continue, annualized sales would be up 40 percent over 2012. This is a big "IF," as I don't think the trend will continue. The numbers are skewed because of some large, nonmunicipal orders in the first quarter.

Although I can't say the market has finally turned the corner, this is some positive news. In 2012, the United States municipal market was still down more than 40 percent when compared to its height in 2008 when the market peaked at more than 5,000 trucks. The market was flat compared to 2011. Historically, there have been more large municipal orders, and these have slowed over the past five years. Based on this, we are starting to see some pent-up demand, particularly with larger cities. This is tempered by a reduction in AFG grant funding and a lower percentage of awards being made for fire apparatus.

Look, no one wants to see a rebound in apparatus and equipment sales more than the manufacturers, but it's too early to tell if the market is back. Statistics from the League of Cities Annual Report show that municipalities are far from being out of the financial crisis. Fire departments' budgets are no longer sacred cows when it comes to municipal spending cuts. Once the dust settles in a few years, I predict we'll probably see the market settle into a "new normal" market of 4,250 to 4,500 new fire apparatus per year.

CM: What is the biggest issue in the fire service, and how is Darley helping to address it?

PD: I don't know of a person in the industry who wouldn't quickly point to the budgets crisis as the biggest issue for career departments. This is at a time when most departments are being asked to do more with less. Fire departments really need to rethink their approach and reinvent themselves.

Darley is keenly focused on this industry need. On the pump side, we have been working closely with fire apparatus manufacturers during the past few years to help them introduce unique and competitively priced multipurpose vehicles by offering them "Pump System Solutions" that address the true needs of today's fire service. These pump systems allow the manufacturer to offer one vehicle that can serve a variety of department needs, rather than just having to devote a specialized vehicle for rescue, pumping, or hazmat.

We are focusing on lower-cost equipment such as competitively priced, high-quality Darley branded bunker gear, nozzles, adapters, and so on. We also have a variety of financing options available.

For volunteer departments, recruitment and training are pressing long-term issues. We are designing our products to be easy to operate while being high-tech, which appeals to today's new volunteer recruits.

CM: To you, what is the most important product Darley produces?

PD: Under our diversification strategy, we've cast a wide net and launched a lot of innovative new products over the past few years-everything from pumps to equipment, polyurethane bodies, compressed air foam systems (CAFS), water purification, and drones. At our core, we're still a pump manufacturer. I would say that they're all important, but I grew up on the pump side of our business and continue to migrate mostly to this area where I know the industry players well and understand market needs. It comes very natural to me personally.

We've recently introduced a new 3,500-gallon-per-minute (gpm) pump that has been highly successful. It is the highest flow pump

Read more
Posted: Oct 2, 2013

In The News

In the News

OSHKOSH AIRPORT PRODUCTS GROUP, a division of Oshkosh Corporation, recently delivered its 1,000th Oshkosh® Striker® aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicle. Striker number 1,000 was placed into service at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada. The new Striker 6x6 features a 680-hp engine, a TAK-4® independent suspension, and a seven-speed automatic transmission. Its firefighting systems include a 3,000-gallon water tank; a 420-gallon foam tank; and a roof turret and a low attack front bumper turret, each rated at 625/1,250 gallons per minute. The vehicle also features 460 pounds of Halotron delivered through a 150-foot hose reel as well as a second hose reel in a lower compartment for water and foam discharge.

SMEAL FIRE APPARATUS CO. recently announced that Delwin Smeal, company president, retired effective September 1, 2013. Delwin worked for the company for 47 years including the past 20 as president of the organization. "Del has given his whole adult life to our company and our customers," says Rod Cerny, board chair. "He has earned the opportunity to enjoy retirement with Vicki. We all wish them the best." Cerny also announced the hiring of a new company president and two promotions. Mark Denniston Huber will join the company as president. Jeff Hunke, a 26-year veteran of the company, has been named chief operating officer. Jeff Wegner has been promoted to vice president of sales.

SCOTT SAFETY and MOTOROLA SOLUTIONS have signed a product development agreement designed to enhance firefighter safety and accountability. Central to this agreement is the capability to transmit Scott Air-Pak SCBA data, such as air levels and PASS alarm data, over Motorola APX™ Project 25 portable radios. The Motorola APX radio pairs to Scott's Air-Pak X3 SCBA via mission critical wireless. The air tank telemetry is sent over the ASTRO 25 network whenever the firefighter presses the push-to-talk (PTT) button. This data is displayed on either the Motorola Solutions APX accountability solution or Scott's accountability solution.

RICHARD A. MARINUCCI, CFO, Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment "Chief Concerns" columnist, has received the Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership Legacy Award. Marinucci has been at the forefront of the United States fire service for his entire career. The Ronny Jack Coleman Leadership Legacy Award recognizes an individual from an accredited agency or the chief officer designation echelon for superior leadership and actions that have elevated the International Fire and Emergency Service (IFES) profession through mentoring, teaching, and sharing outstanding contributions; and who has exhibited the consistent dedication of renewal qualities and commitment to fire service professionalism by demonstrating a devotion to help raise the IFES to greater heights.

E-ONE has received its first ProTech™ order. The Bryn Mawr (PA) Fire Department is the first department to order apparatus with the new safety technology package developed by E-ONE. It ordered two trucks with the system. ProTech is an occupant protection system that integrates prevention and protection technology to offer an all-encompassing safety technology package. It features OnGuard® for audible collision warning and accident mitigation, G4™ electronic stability control for added stability, CrewGuard™ for occupant detection, and a 360-degree camera system for perimeter protection.

E-ONE also announced that it and Fire Service, Inc., its dealer for Indiana, northern Illinois, and western Ohio, were recently awarded a five-yea

Read more
Posted: Oct 2, 2013

Protection Systems Mature Inside Apparatus Cabs

Alan M. Petrillo

Fire apparatus cabs are getting safer for occupants with various protection systems being installed by manufacturers to protect firefighters-from beefed up cab structures to nearly-all-around air bag protection to custom-designed seat belt harnessing systems.

Egress Systems

Rosenbauer's director of dealer development, Mike Schoenberger, says his company builds safety and integrity into its custom Commander cabs, as well as into the Smart Cab crew module that can be mounted onto the back of a two-door commercial chassis.

The Smart Cab features a 96-inch width that allows four firefighters to be seated across the cab, Schoenberger says, as well as EZGress swing out steps. "EZGress has a large stepping surface in a three-step arrangement that makes it easy to get in and out of the cab," he says. "You don't have to back out, you walk out like on a staircase. When the firefighter puts weight on the step, it locks in place."

A choice of air-actuated or electric steps is standard on some Pierce custom cabs and options on others, according to Lilsa Barwick, director of product management for cab, chassis, and electrical products at Pierce Manufacturing. "The steps are tucked up and out of the elements when firefighters are in the cab," she says. "When deployed, they provide a more ergonomic stair step approach to getting in and out of the cab to help prevent knee or hip injuries."

A split view of immediately before and at the moment of a crash impact of the cab front air bags deploying during a Spartan Chassis test of its Advanced Protection System
(1) A split view of immediately before and at the moment of a crash impact
of the cab front air bags deploying during a Spartan Chassis test of its
Advanced Protection System, standard equipment on several of its chassis.
(Photo courtesy of Spartan Chassis.)

Cab Protection Systems

Schoenberger says both the Smart Cab and the custom Commander cab passed the side impact and roof crush tests required by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus. "Our crew cabs have full-width floors for firefighter safety and comfort," he observes. "There is no step well in the crew cab.

The custom Commander cab, which is made out of 3/16-inch extruded aluminum, offers complete air bag protection for occupants, Schoenberger notes-a driver's steering wheel air bag, officer's knee air bag, and side air bags in the crew area for outer seat positions. "About 25 percent of our vehicles are equipped with air bags," he says. "It's a choice of the customer because the NFPA does not require them."

Inside the cab, Pierce has developed ergonomic seats with integrated side air bag protection, as well as dual seat belt retractors. "Over the years, we integrated air bags into the cab's side walls and now into the seats," Barwick observes. "And, our extra-long seat belts retract much quicker so they don't dangle and get hooked on things or get caught in doors."

IMMI ReadyReach seat belt system
(2) Pierce Manufacturing uses the IMMI ReadyReach seat belt system for its
cabs-extra long seat belts that retract much quicker so they don't dangle,
get hooked on equipment, or get caught in doors. (Photo courtesy of Pierce
Manufacturing Inc.)

In the front of the cab, Pierce installs a driver's air bag

Read more
Posted: Oct 2, 2013

Is It a Pumper-Rescue or a Rescue-Pumper?

Bill Adams

The trendiest rig in the fire service today is the pumper-rescue. Its popularity has steadily increased during the past few decades with trade journals expounding on the subject for just as long. Some fire departments pride themselves when specifying one, thinking they've just reinvented the wheel. Fire apparatus manufacturers have embraced the concept with innovative designs and aggressive marketing and have done a respectable job doing so. It has almost become the industry standard for pumpers.

Amazingly, fire departments are rushing out to purchase, manufacturers are building, and apparatus pundits are eagerly reporting about fire trucks that have no formal definition, adhere to no specific regulatory standard, and embrace-as new-a concept introduced in the early 1950s. There are no industrywide accepted design criteria and no recognized standard specification. Nor is there any agreement on what to call it. Other than being compliant with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus, for a pumper, there is no clear-cut job description for the "other half" of its name.

In actuality, a pumper-rescue, or whatever you choose to call it, is a concept. It's a theory-a philosophy of design easily adaptable to meet the individual needs of many. It seems to be working. The adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" may have merit.

Boston's Engine-Squads 14 and 53
(1, 2) Taken by unknown photographers in the early 1960s, these photos show
Boston's Engine-Squads 14 and 53. In the mid 1950s, the Robinson Boiler Works
rebuilt five 1948-era Mack hose wagons with "rescue/squad" style bodies, 750-gpm
pumps, 400-gallon tanks, and overhead ladder racks. [Photos 1 and 2 courtesy of Bill
Noonan, Boston Fire Department (ret.).]


Pumpers, or engines, have been around since day one and need no further explanation. It's generally accepted that the first rescue company was organized in New York, New York, in 1915. From the Fire Department Journal-a History of Boston Rescue Companies, by Firefighter William Noonan, Boston, Massachusetts, followed in 1917, eventually having three heavy rescues on its roster. Noonan says in his book, "In 1954, the fire commissioner decided that the city needed only one heavy rescue company and he would create five engine-squad companies spread around the city. Rescue Co. 1 was deactivated, and some of the rescue equipment was transferred to the wagon of Engine Co. 7. They would respond to rescue calls with their wagon only and fire calls with both rigs. At times they were called Squad 7 on the department radio."

Job-specific pumper-rescue bodies may have also originated in Boston. The Boston Fire Historical Society's Web site notes that Engine 14's 1948 Mack hose wagon was one of five rebuilt around 1955 with 750-gallon-per-minute (gpm) pumps, 400-gallon booster tanks, and a "Robinson rescue/squad" body. The Robinson Boiler Works, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, built pumpers and hose wagons for departments throughout New England. Running as Engine-Squad 14, it featured high side compartments on both sides, a narrow pump house, and a tilt-down overhead ladder rack-a close prototype for today's pumper-rescue designs. As a premonition of things to come, Boston's 1954 annual report reflected not only the creation of the five engine-squads running as single-piece companies, it showed the closing of four engine and four ladder companies and eliminating the hose wagon on nine additional two-piece engine companies. Hello, quints, quads, squads, rescue-pumpers, downsizing, and limited staffing. History is repeati

Read more

Theme picker

Search News Articles