1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Experience with the Pierce Telesquirts?

    My VFD is supposed to be receiving a military surplus 50' Pierce Arrow Telesquirt from Camp Lejeune soon and I was hoping there are some military FF's out there that could let me know about their experience with these units. What's good, bad, etc?

    From googling, I could tell that the Navy/USMC apparently bought a lot of these units, so there should be plenty of experience around. Thanks!

    The world's oldest probie Firefighter
    Henderson, NC

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2009


    It is Not a Ladder Truck! Although some Federal Fighters would like to think it is. It is more of a Pumper with an elevated water tower.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    FWDbuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003


    I have experience on both the 50' that you are going to receive and the 65' squrt.

    Both are very good units. xFedFFis 100% correct, it is not an aerial ladder. Don't use it as an aerial ladder and don't expect it to be an aerial ladder. It is not built to be used as such (no side railings, etc.)

    Your drivers and officers should all be fully trained in the units capabilities and limitations. All drivers and officers should have classes on aerial operations and placement- so that you get maximum use of the aerial water tower.

    As long as Lejune's motor pool took care of it properly (many DoD Motor Pools are rather incompetent when it comes to fire apparatus) you should get a nice used unit.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    North Carolina


    I work at Lejeune and the squirts are in good condition. The just had the ladders refurbished about 2 years ago. They are 1000 GPM pumps with 500 gallon tanks and 50 gallons of foam. They are not "aerials" however they are very versatile apparatus. They can give you a elevated master stream in tight quarters. The ladder can be used for rescue.

    If I was you I would have the pumps serviced for just the small things. (packings and so on).

    If you have any questions on using them email me at Rautry2@ec.rr.com

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    The biggest shortcoming I see with the squrts is that because they are all so old, they have real limitations in compartment space. It sucks to have to work to pull a given piece of gear. We have the compartments stuffed to the gills and try to keep it orderly, but there's only so much you can do. They were designed for a different era in this regard.

    Also, the hose beds are a pain to load due to the turntable, and there's really no good place for high rise bundles.

    Assuming the squrt you're getting has been maintained, it should give you good service. Our newest squrt is an '89, and though they were all reworked in the last decade, they are showing their age. Our mechanics are an issue too. They are not certified fire apparatus mechanics, and to them a fire engine is a bus is a street sweeper is a stake-bed. What FWDbuff said...

    We try to fix little things that break, ie primer linkage, leaks, minor electrical problems, etc. or we won't see our front line rig for weeks or even months, as we get no priority for repairs.

    I would advise a thorough check of the wiring, since these rigs have had lots of add-ons over the years (radios, chargers, GPS, MDTs, etc) and the contractors who did ours were low-bid shade tree types who slapped stuff in there without much design thought. But I'm not at Lejeune so maybe their rigs don't have this issue.

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