The Apparatus Architect Part 39 - Apparatus Design on New and Rebuilt Units

Tom Shand and Michael Wilbur explain why, with municipal budgets getting tighter and funds for capital projects becoming scarce, it is more important than ever to develop an apparatus-replacement program for your department.With the beginning of a new...


Tom Shand and Michael Wilbur explain why, with municipal budgets getting tighter and funds for capital projects becoming scarce, it is more important than ever to develop an apparatus-replacement program for your department. With the beginning of a new year, it is appropriate to reflect back on our...


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As a result, the department acquired a 1990 Amertek MACI 1,000-gpm pumper and had the unit rebuilt by CustomFIRE. Engine 3 also is equipped with a 660-gallon water tank and a 40-gallon foam cell. The apparatus was outfitted with additional compartments, warning lights and a reconfigured hosebed that now accommodates four pre-connected lines, including a blitz fire gun and split supply-line beds, each carrying 700 feet of four-inch hose. This apparatus provides an additional resource for the department at a fraction of the cost of a new piece of equipment.

The Arundel Volunteer Fire Company in Gambrills, MD, operates as Station 7 in the Anne Arundel County Fire Department and covers a large first-due area between the Route 50 and Route 301 corridor. The station is staffed with a combination of career personnel and volunteers under the leadership of Chief David Ayers. Apparatus in the station consists of two engines, a heavy rescue and an ambulance. The station responds to over 3,000 calls for service per year, including many traffic accidents in the first-due area and in adjacent Prince George's County.

The station has operated a heavy rescue for years, including several older units that were purchased used to initially gain the experience in rescue equipment and operations. The present Squad 7 is the fourth heavy rescue acquired by the department and is a 2008 Seagrave Marauder II walk-in unit. The previous squad was built on a commercial chassis; in an effort to improve crew safety as well as increase the equipment-carrying capability of the unit, a two-door custom chassis was chosen that incorporates a transverse compartment in the cab area for a Stokes basket, long boards and other gear.

Squad 7 carries an assortment of truck company and rescue equipment, including ground ladders, a portable generator, hydraulic rescue tools, shoring blocks and lighting gear. The walk-in portion of the body has storage areas for EMS equipment, meters, hand tools and seating for six personnel. Many hours were spent designing and laying out the body compartments to accommodate all of the needed equipment and allocate space for future equipment acquisitions.

All three of these fire departments carefully planned out their apparatus fleets to meet the needs of their communities while operating within budget constraints from a practical standpoint. If you are in the area of any of these locations in Orrville, Mount Horeb or Arundel, the stations and apparatus are worth the investment in time to check out what these fire departments have accomplished with their resources.

The next installment of "The Apparatus Architect" will discuss program-type pumpers and the potential advantages of these types of units.

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.