Innovative Rigs on the Street: Freeland's 'Progressive' Engine

The Webster Collegiate Dictionary defines the word progressive in the following terms: “Making use of or interested in new ideas, findings or opportunities.” Since the inception of the Innovative Rigs on the Street articles back in December 2009, we...

In addition to the 5-inch supply line the rear hose bed carries two 200-foot long, 2-inch attack lines, a 150-foot long, 3-inch line that supplies a portable deck gun, a 150-foot long, 3-inch leader line together with a 200-foot long, 2.5-inch attack line. All of the preconnected attack lines, with the exception of the front bumper line, are outfitted with smooth bore nozzles. After delivery, each of these discharges with flow test with the department’s hose and nozzles to determine the correct pump pressure for these lines in order to achieve the target flow rates.

Other master stream capabilities are provided by a portable 500 gpm monitor and a fixed monitor supplied by a 3-inch discharge from the pump. In order to provide adequate water supply for these lines, the apparatus is equipped with 6-inch inlets on each side with a 5-inch gated inlets provided at both the front and the rear. When operating from draft, the pump is equipped with a four-way priming valve that reduces the amount of time needed to pick up a prime from any one of the main pump suction inlets.

Around The Cab

Engine 55 is powered by a Caterpillar C-9 engine rated at 425 horsepower through an Allison EVS-3000 transmission. The KME cab provides seating for five personnel, an enclosed EMS cabinet and mounting for hand tools. The apparatus committee put a lot of thought into making tools and equipment accessible by grouping tools together that would be needed to successfully perform certain evolutions.

The apparatus body is constructed of 3/16-inch aluminum and is 100 inches wide to provide lower body compartments that are 26 inches deep in the lower section and 12 inches deep in the upper portion of the body. Several compartments are equipped with Performance Advantage Company Pac Trac tool-mounting boards that provide flexibility in mounting hand tools and other appliances. The right side of the apparatus is provided with a standpipe pack hose tray located under the ground ladders to accommodate hose packs for use in extending hose lines when needed. Recessed hose wells are provided on each side of the apparatus with a 21-inch deep rear step. The longer rear step was provided for sufficient room to mount both the small monitor and the portable deck gun for ease of deployment. The sides of the rear step were angled to improve swing clearance and aluminum rub rails were installed along the body to protect this area and the lift bar latches on the roll-up shutter doors.

An Onan 10Kw hydraulic generator provides power for an electric rewind cable reel together with several outlets and Fire Research scene lighting, which is provided at the front of the cab, side body area as well as telescopic lights located at the rear of the cab on each side.

The Freeland Fire Department members are justifiably proud of their new Engine 55, which continues the organization’s longstanding reputation for operating well designed and innovative apparatus. We would like to thank Chief Engineer Cal Herring for his cooperation in providing information for use in this article.

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.