Innovative Rigs on the Street: Monroe’s ‘Concept’ Pumper

During the 1940s, several manufacturers recognized that when World War II ended, there would be an unprecedented need for new fire apparatus in most communities. As most industrial capacity was focused on supplying armaments and supplies for the war...

The body is fabricated from aluminum and is provided with nine enclosed lower body compartments and four upper body locker compartments. Amdor painted roll-up shutter doors protects the lower body compartments. The compartment layouts were determined by the fire department working with the local Pierce dealership. By using an assortment of slide trays, adjustable shelves and dividers, each compartment was designed to accommodate the type of equipment that would normally be needed to perform certain tasks. For example, the right side forward compartment carries salvage equipment, electrical cords, portable lighting and a Little Giant ladder, together with a unique pullout tray outfitted with small hand tools. The left front compartment contains the fire pump panel, nozzles, adapters and appliances for any type of water supply delivery.

The rear hose bed is equipped with 1,200 feet of 5-inch and 600 feet of 3-inch hose for supply and leader lines. Engine 25 carries two 200-foot, 1.75-inch attack lines in removable hose trays at the front of the body, together with a 300-foot pre-connected 1.75-inch attack line at the rear. A 200-foot pre-connected 2.5-inch line supplies a Task Force Blitz Fire monitor with a second 3- inch rear discharge available for other lines that may be needed.

The fire pump on this unit is a Pierce PUC design rated at 1,500 gpm, equipped with Hercules 140 cfm CAFS with a Husky 12 dual-agent foam system. The fire pump intakes consist of two 6-inch inlets and a 5-inch rear intake equipped with an auto-fill valve control. The left side pump panel is provided with two 2.5-inch discharges with both a 2.5-inch discharge and an LDH discharge controlled by an electric valve. A 3-inch discharge supplies a top-mounted Task Force monitor and is equipped with crank-style valve controls at both the pump panel and at the monitor. A 750-gallon water tank is provided together with two foam cells, one 50 gallon for Class A and 30-gallon Class B foam operations.

The Monroe Fire Company set out to design their apparatus to accommodate all of the needed hose, tools and equipment to operate while making the engine apparatus shorter and more maneuverable than previous units. Engine 25 is a great example of a department taking a “Concept Vehicle” and making it even better by planning the hose, tools and equipment layout on the apparatus. I would like to thank Chief David A. Heckert and President David D. Heckert who assisted with technical information on their new apparatus.

TOM SHAND is a 37-year veteran of the fire service having served with departments in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York. He has worked in the fire apparatus industry since 1985, including 15 years with Saulsbury Fire Apparatus. He is a contributing editor to Fire Apparatus Journal and Firehouse Magazine and works with Mike Wilbur at Emergency Vehicle Response. He co-hosts the Apparatus Architects podcast with Wilbur, based on their column in Firehouse Magazine.