Innovative Rigs on the Street: A Slew of Vehicles Protect Maui County

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...


New Deliveries

During 2010, the department took delivery of two Emergency One Cyclone II pumpers and assigned them to Station 2 in Paia and Station 13 in Kula. These units are built with a 180-inch wheelbase with an overall length of 29 feet, 1 inch. The engines are equipped with a Waterous single-stage pump rated at 1,500 gpm with a 750-gallon water tank and a 30-gallon foam tank. In place of fixed side windows, exterior compartments were provided with roll-up doors. The aluminum bodies are equipped with seven enclosed compartments with storage space for a stokes basket and ground ladders at the rear of the apparatus. Aluminum tread plate hosebed covers are provided to protect the hose and equipment carried in this area.

The island of Molokai is protected by three fire stations 4, 9 and 12 located at Kaunakaki, Ho’olekua and Puko’o. Due to the remote location of these stations any mutual aid is coming from the island of Maui where additional personnel would be transported to Molokai using department leased helicopters. Molokai has some very rugged terrain with many structures located some distance from paved roadways. For this reason several stations are assigned rigs with four wheel drive capability.

Engine 9 operates with a 2005 Pierce Saber 4x4 pumper equipped with a 1,000-gpm pump, 750-gallon water tank, 30 gallons of Class A foam with a Husky foam system. The apparatus carries four preconnected attack lines in crosslay hosebeds in addition to a top-mounted deck gun and portable Task Force Blitz fire monitor. The aluminum body is provided with roll-up shutter doors and a hydraulic ladder rack. Engine 12 is assigned a 2003 Kenworth T-300 four-door cab chassis with bodywork by Pierce. This apparatus is equipped with a Darley LMP pump rated at 500 gpm with a 750-gallon water tank and a 30-gallon foam tank. Engine 12 maintains CAFS capability with a Darley foam system that can supply preconnected handlines together with a front-mounted bumper turret. The rescue style body compartments are stepped up in the rear to provide additional clearance during off-road operations and carry a left-side hydraulic ladder rack.

Geography & Climate Pose Design Challenges

As many of the departments fire stations were built back in earlier years, the design of the engine company units must take into consideration the restrictions of station bay space as well as the unique characteristics of the weather, topography and roads on the islands. For this reason the engine apparatus are designed with a minimal front-bumper extension to improve the angle of approach and reduce the overall length of the apparatus. The crosslay hosebeds on the Pierce units were designed low to the ground as the department utilizes shoulder loads for their preconnected attack lines.

Due to the high concentration of salt air, the use of aluminum tread plate was minimized where possible. In high wear areas such as the interior of cab doors, pump panel area and rear body panels were protected with brushed stainless steel. Engines are provided with remote-control deck guns to provide safer and more efficient use of personnel. This appliance, together with the use of Blitz Fire portable monitors and bumper-mounted turret monitors, provides multiple means for the engine apparatus to deploy their rated pump capacity using heavy-stream appliances.

While the Maui County Department of Fire and Public Safety may be considered small, with respect to the number of fire stations when compared to some departments back here on the mainland, the department can be justifiably proud of their commitment to providing excellent service to the community. Appreciation is extended to Deputy Chief Robert Shimada who assisted in making arrangements for fire station visits and apparatus photographs.

  • See Tom Shand Live! Join Tom for a live recording of the Apparatus Architects at Firehouse World on Feb. 1. Tom Shand will be presenting "Fire Apparatus Purchasing: What You Need to Know Before Signing the Contract" on Feb. 28 and "Engine Company Operations: The Top 5 Things You Need to Accomplish at All Incidents" on March 1.