In the last installment of our “Innovative Rigs on the Street” column we visited the island of Maui and the Maui County Department of Fire and Safety. The department operates with 14 engine companies, two ladder companies and a host of specialized units including a rescue company, hazardous materials unit, tankers and several mini pumpers.
The department protects all areas on the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai and is under the command of Chief Jeffery A. Murray. During our stay on the islands we were afforded the opportunity to visit a number of stations that operate apparatus specifically designed to handle the hazards within their response areas.
The 10 fire stations located on the island of Maui are strategically located in the different population centers where tourism is one of the predominant economic industries. Providing fire protection over the 727-square-mile area presents a challenge with elevations ranging from sea level to over 10,000 feet, over 120 miles of shoreline and narrow roadways in many areas. As a good portion of the island is within five miles of the coastline there is a strong marine influence, which impacts wildland firefighting tactics. For these reasons the department has adopted a progressive attitude towards apparatus design where units must be capable of operating independently for long periods of time.
Station 1: Northern Coast
Fire Station 1 is located in Wailuku on the northern coast of the island. This area is one of the older areas and is developed with stores, shopping areas and is home to the Maui Medical Center and the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Station 1’s first due area includes a large area of the coastline along the Kahekili Highway that has many narrow points and switchbacks, which makes the use of full-size apparatus almost impossible. For these reasons the station operates with both a mini pumper and one of two 2007 Pierce Arrow XT model pumpers.
Engine 1 is built on a 184.5-inch wheelbase with an overall length of 29 feet, 7 inches and is powered by a Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine rated at 515 horsepower. This engine is equipped with a 1,500 gpm pump, 750-gallon water tank together with a 50-gallon Class A foam tank. A Pierce Husky compressed air foam system with a 200-cfm compressor can supply a number of discharges on the apparatus. Four crosslay hosebeds are available with two rear hose body discharges for preconnected attack lines. In place of standard aluminum tread plate scuff panels both the front and rear sides of the aluminum body are covered with brushed stainless steel for reduced maintenance. The body is 140 inches long and is equipped with seven enclosed body compartments with a hydraulic ladder rack.
Mini 1 is a 2006 GMC 5500 four-wheel drive chassis with Pierce aluminum bodywork. This unit is equipped with a 500-gpm pump, 300-gallon water tank with a 10-gallon foam cell supplying a Hercules CAFS system. Mini 1 is outfitted with a front-mounted bumper turret, overhead ground ladder rack and an aluminum body with roll-up doors. These two pieces of apparatus provide an assortment of tactical options for use on the fireground and were designed to easily maneuver in the tight, restricted areas within their first due area.
Station 7: Eastern End of Island
At the eastern end of the island of Maui lies the community of Hana, which is some 45 miles distant from the next closest fire station. Hana is protected by Fire Station 7, which is equipped with three pieces of apparatus, including a 2007 Pierce Arrow XT pumper assigned as Engine 7. Mini 7 is a 2004 Ford F-550 four-wheel drive vehicle built by Pierce that carries a 500-gpm pump, 275-gallon water tank and a compressed air foam system. The newest unit is Tanker 7, a 2010 International 7600 two-door cab chassis with aluminum bodywork by Classic Fire Apparatus in cooperation with Emergency One. Tanker 7 carries 1,800 gallons of water together with a 500-gpm pump, 20-gallon Class A foam tank and front-bumper turret.