On October 26, members of our Department's Apparatus Committee returned from inspecting two new apparatus projects at KME Fire Apparatus in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania. For the first project, a final acceptance inspection was performed on the first of 11 new pumpers. Although our Department rarely makes major changes to our apparatus specifications, these new pumpers have received some improvements based on input from field personnel.
For example, the new Cummins 450 horsepower engine package allows for additional rear cab space for personal protective equipment and strike team gear without increasing the size of the cab itself. The electrical system was upgraded and additional cabinets built in for the new mobile data computers (MDC) installation, and a new intercom system with color coded and lighted buttons, and weatherproof exterior headset jacks, was installed.
The cab roof was redesigned with a dedicated antenna array, eliminating the need to drill holes in the roof other than for the air conditioner, thus mitigating potential leaks. The pump throttle control and relief valve were replaced with an electronic throttle/pressure governor, while a front bumper-mounted stinger line was added for quick attack from the front of the apparatus which will protect our firefighters from traffic and keep them in sight of the engineer during pump and roll operations. In addition, the main fire pump and pump panels were redesigned to accommodate larger intake valves with higher incoming flow rates than prior units. Project team members Fire Captain Anthony Fina, Fire Fighter Specialist Brian Riley, Fire Equipment Mechanic Mitch Connett and Power Equipment Specification Writer David Thornton passed the pumpers in the inspection, and they should arrive next month.
A mid-construction inspection was also performed on a new industrial foam pumper which will be able to carry 2,000 gallons of Class "B" foam for fighting large petroleum fires. This vehicle is being constructed on an International 7600 Workstar chassis with a 430 horsepower engine and ten-speed automated manual transmission. The fire pump is capable of 3,000 gallons per minute (GPM) in a stand-alone configuration, but is able to supply up to 5,000 GPM during a major incident thanks to an auxiliary pumper connection to the 2,000 GPM remote controlled master stream monitor. The pump controls are top mounted across the truck's frame so the operator has a 360-degree view of the entire scene. Programmable remote controls for the master stream monitor and side intake valve give this vehicle the ability to be operated by minimal personnel, freeing up resources for other fire suppression duties.
The firefighting foam system is a full flow electronic, multi-point injection system which allows for direct mixing of foam at different rates into the individual discharges while not losing any flow that would normally be used in a pressure/balance type system. The remote control master stream nozzle is self-educting, providing a redundant operation in the event of a foam system failure.
Additional suppression capabilities include the ability to remotely pick up foam from an off the truck source for an on-going supply or switching to a different type. Also, a 500-pound nitrogen pressurized dry chemical system fills the center rear compartment. Side rear compartment roll up doors and slide out trays provide for easy access to the foam generator and other heavy equipment, mitigating climbing and lifting injuries and dedicated storage for additional five-gallon pails of foam is provided near the operator's position. Specialized hose, nozzles and adaptors are included in this project due to the nature of the mission and providing the ability to seamlessly connect and integrate with local refinery resources. Fire Fighter Specialist Richard Reid, Fire Equipment Mechanic Sam Simpson and Fleet Division Chief Craig Weeks passed this apparatus for inspection, and estimated delivery of this vehicle is February 2013.