Apparatus Technology

Sometimes, unfortunate circumstances yield good results. Such is the case for the Apex, NC, Fire Department. One of its front-line engines suffered a catastrophic pump failure at a fire scene and was suddenly out of service. That meant Apex was in need of...


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Other features Plantation built in included speedlay trays that are 47 inches off the ground and can be reloaded in the station on the floor and then placed back in the apparatus, Stearns said. Plantation also ordered a remote-controlled deluge gun, which keeps firefighters off the top of the apparatus while it is deployed.

“Everything we did was done to try to reduce injuries,” Stearns said. “We have to remember we have to design trucks for the people who are going to be using them.”

Stearns said his department is an all-E-ONE station and he hopes that within 10 years, he will be able to convert his fleet to all-eMAX-configured apparatus. He added that because E-ONE builds aluminum bodies, he is planning to re-chassis apparatus as the cabs and chassis wear out. “We’ve had (E-ONE) Hushes for a long time,” Stearns said, “but the new eMAX is three feet shorter and much more maneuverable, while still carrying everything we need.”

And that was the whole purpose behind the eMAX design, which was launched in 2011, said Product Manager Hedges.

“We recognized the fire service roles are changing,” Hedges said. “We know firefighters don’t need the five-foot-long pump panel any longer. They need shorter apparatus that are more maneuverable while still having enough space for all the equipment.”

Grady North, E-ONE’s product manager for pumpers, said configurations like eMAX just make sense these days.

“Fire departments are fighting actual fires maybe 5% of the time and 95% of the time they’re doing something else,” North said. “Yet they’ll devote 50% or more of the apparatus body to firefighting.”

With the new eMAX design, firefighters can get Class A pumpers for the instances when they are needed, Hedges said, noting the apparatus can be configured with 1,250- and 1,500-gpm E-ONE proprietary-designed pumps that offer pump-and-roll capabilities. The new pump location also means bodies can be built to provide up to 586 cubic feet of storage space.

“Right now, we feel 1,500 gpm is the sweet spot for these apparatus,” Hedges said, adding the design is capable of accommodating compressed air foam systems (CAFS), direct-injection foam systems or eductor systems that are deployed at the scene.

One benefit of the eMAX configuration is the scalability of design, with more or less compartment space as needed and wheelbases kept to a minimum to meet urban/wildland interface needs. “We can build on super-short chassis,” North said. “And we can build on custom or commercial cabs and chassis. It all depends on the budget.”

As of now, the eMAX configuration can be built on an E-ONE custom cab and chassis or on International or Freightliner commercial cabs and chassis. Among other features are 530- to 1,030-gallon polypropylene tanks, wheelbases as low as 162 inches and multiplex electrical systems. The custom apparatus are powered by MaxxForce engines that are designed to meet 2013 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions standards and are available in ratings up to 350 hp.

For Haraway, it’s a winning combination. “I am definitely sold,” the Apex chief said, noting he ordered a second eMAX pumper in mid-July. “In this economy, when staff sizes are being reduced, it just makes sense to consolidate apparatus.”