The Apparatus Architect Part 40 - Program Fire Apparatus Designs

Tom Shand and Michael Wilbur outline economic factors that may lead fire departments to consider acquiring program fire apparatus.


The last few installments of "The Apparatus Architect" series covered issues facing the fire service with respect to the impact of the economy on the apparatus industry. During the recently completed Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) symposium on fire apparatus, it became clear...


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The engine company layout on Wagon 5 is particularly impressive. There are five pre-connected attack lines, including a 100-foot 1¾-inch trash line, two 200-foot 1¾-inch crosslay lines, a 200-foot 2½-inch bomb line attached to an Elkhart monitor and a 400-foot apartment line consisting of 200 feet of 2½-inch hose with a gated wye with 200 feet of 1¾-inch hose. Other hose carried includes 1,000 feet of four-inch supply line and two beds of three-inch hose used to supply sprinkler and standpipe connections.

Chief Moreland emphasized safety on South End's new pumper by specifying an FDNY-style steel-reinforced bumper, LED turn signals mounted low in the front, a backup camera and safety netting for the hosebeds. The engine is also equipped with a gated front suction, 12-volt scene lights and LED warning lights around the unit.

Somewhat unusual is the hydraulic ladder rack installed on the left side of the apparatus. Because of the narrow streets that are found in the Old Town section of Winchester, having the ladder rack on the left side of the pumper allows the driver to position the apparatus to leave room for the ladder company as well as provide adequate room to drop the ladder rack in tight locations.

The South End Fire Company did an excellent job in researching the available technology and safety components while designing a practical engine company unit that not only met its needs, but met its budget while providing a well-thought-out piece of apparatus.

Given the financial constraints that some departments may encounter in the near future, consideration for a program-style engine apparatus may just be the answer to your problem.

TOM SHAND, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a 33-year veteran of the fire service and works with Michael Wilbur at Emergency Vehicle Response, consulting on a variety of fire apparatus and fire department master-planning issues. He is employed by Seagrave Fire Apparatus LLC as a regional sales manager.

MICHAEL WILBUR, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a lieutenant in the New York City Fire Department, assigned to Ladder Company 27 in the Bronx, and has served on the FDNY Apparatus Purchasing Committee. He consults on a variety of apparatus-related issues around the country. For further information, access his website at www.emergencyvehicleresponse.com.