So far in our Innovative Rigs on the Street series we have visited locations in California, Maryland and Pennsylvania to identify innovative pieces of apparatus that have been well designed to serve their respective communities.
In this installment we have traveled to the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia to the city of Winchester which has a rich history dating back to 1729 when the first settlement was established. By 1738 the area had become known as Fredrick Town and in 1750 the area became known as Winchester in honor of Colonel James Wood's home town of Winchester, England.
Today the City of Winchester covers 9.3 square miles and has approximately 23,585 year-round residents. Winchester is the county seat of Fredrick County and is home to Shenandoah University and, since 1924, has hosted the annual Apple Blossom Festival which includes a massive parade of both vintage and modern fire apparatus during the last week of April.
The Winchester Fire Department protects the community operating from four fire stations with a combination of career and volunteer staffing. Engine company service is provided by the Shawnee Fire Company #4 and the South End Fire Company #5, each of which operate two engines and several medic units. The Charley Rouss Fire Company #2 operates two ladder trucks including a Pierce Dash 75-foot single-axle rear-mount ladder as well as a Spartan Gladiator/LTI 105-foot tandem axle rear-mount aerial as Ladder 2.
Our Innovative Rig on the Street this month can be found at the Friendship Fire Company #1 which is located on Pleasant Valley Road on Winchester's north side. The Friendship Fire Company was founded in 1831 and over the years has operated with a unique and varied fleet of engine apparatus including a 1951 Mack L model 750-gpm pumper and a 1967 American LaFrance 900 series 1,000-gpm pumper. During 1982 the fire company took delivery of a Seagrave HB model pumper that was one of 11 units built by Seagrave with forward facing open jump seats. A second Seagrave HB model four-door cab engine was delivered in 1987 followed by the present Wagon 1 a 1997 Seagrave TB-50DA pumper equipped with a 1,500-gpm pump with a 750-gallon water tank. The Friendship Fire Company is under the command of Chief Bobby Luttrell and during 2009 the station responded to 2,091 alarms.
Friendship Fire Company apparatus over the years has featured a number of different color schemes including white over red, white over orange with the newer apparatus painted in a distinctive black over orange color. The new Engine 1 was designed by the members of the fire company's truck committee working closely with the local Pierce representative Jim Darr. The Pierce Arrow XT apparatus has some unique features including an FDNY style painted steel reinforced front bumper and low mounted crosslay attack lines. The engine is built on a 191-inch wheelbase with an overall length of 31 feet, 5 inches. The cab has a 10-inch raised roof design while maintaining an overall height of 118 inches.
The apparatus is powered by a Cummins model ISL engine rated at 425 horsepower using an Allison EVS-3000 five-speed automatic transmission. The front axle is a Meritor FL-943 rated for 19,500 pounds with a Meritor RS26-185 rear axle rated at 27,000 pounds. The apparatus is equipped with 17-inch disc brakes on both the front and rear axles with a Jacobs engine brake utilized for auxiliary braking. The Arrow XT 67-inch cab provides seating for six personnel with five seats equipped with secured SCBA brackets for the protection of the crew.
The front bumper is equipped with a 5-inch front suction with a swivel as well as a 2 1/2-inch front trash line that carries 200 feet of 1 3/4-inch attack line in a recessed hose well. In order to provide sufficient room for these components as well as the audible warning devices a 22-inch bumper extension was required. By locating the front suction swivel out to the far right corner of the bumper this provided sufficient room to recess mount the Federal mechanical siren, both air horns and the electronic siren speaker outboard of the frame rails.