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  1. #1
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    Default Writing Ladder Specs-Looking for Input

    Our rig committee has switched from looking into a Snozzle to an aerial (75 to 78' range). Looking at single rear axle side stacker style hosebed 1500 GPM pump 500 tank aerial to be used as first out "quint" type rig.

    I am creating a spec document to hopefully put out to bid. I have no real issues writing the language for the sections on the cab, chassis, electrical, generator and pump, as I did alot of research for our 2007 project. Where I am looking for some insight is in the aerial section.

    We are looking at E-One HP78. The guys like it. I'd like to see at least one other vendor be able to compete on this job. That being said, I am trying to create a document that accomodates this.

    I will probably come back to this thread with questions as they come to mind but here are a few.

    Generator. With new LEDS putting out 14 to 15k lumens, gonna spec brow and side facing as LED Pioneer or FRC and do 1000W tripods. By reducing floodlight requirements on the gen, I'm thinking of downgrading from a 10 to an 8 or maybe even a 6kw Hydraulic gen. Also, any opinions on hydraulic gens. We have harrison, and no issues to speak of. Electric load would be two 1000W tripods, two 750w portables, 2000w fan. This adds up to about 6000W. I think we would be ok with 8Kw but is that cutting it close?

    What to put at the tip.

    -Floodlight options are mounted to the sides ot the new under aerial light from FRC. Opinions on one versus the other? I would lean more to the under aerial light being placed farther back so that the sides of the tip are more clear to get up against stuff. Thinking LED versus 120V as well.
    -Electric on the tip. Is there any point to having an electric outlet on the tip. I dont think we have ever used the one on our firestix boom.
    -Aerial controls at tip. Ive seen "creeper controls" at aerial tips. Are these just a gadget or worth it?
    -RF controlled monitor. Is this a gimmick or worth the extra money?

    Are there any things on an aerial of this size you like/recommend? I am open to all feedback on any part of the rig. I have written specs and sat on apparatus committees before (just not for an aerial), so shoot me the tech talk version please.

    Thanks in advance.


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    Mike, I sent you by e-mail the only two ladder specs that I have in my collection. Neither of them are aluminum ladders, but I'm sure there will be some useful info in them after you wade through all the gobooldygook. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    My advise for FWIW, DON'T skimp on the Generator. Unless all your fans and such are Gas powered. There are quite a few builders that can build what you're looking at. Smeal and Ferrara are two with better Horizontal reach. Do you want a pinnable or fixed ladder pipe? How much storage? All of these items are somewhat cookie cutter by design but some can be tweaked.With the Remote controls and such,try to get a Demonstrator with them on it.Then you can answer you own questions. Remotes are handy if you run with "short" crews. If you have plenty of help,this MAY not be an issue. T.C.

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    I'll throw out a concept since you're already thinking about LEDs saving on electric usage.

    For your remote scene lights look at a battery operated LED tripods. Such at FoxFury Nomad http://www.foxfury.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=5
    Run around $1000 ea. Streamlight, Pelican and others have similar items. Longer life/reduce operating cost. And give some additional flexibility beyond being tethered to the truck. And eliminates the cost and space (expensive) of cord reels.

    Use a gas PFV.

    You're going to have no choice but to buy a 400amp +/- alternator. For what? Use it with a inverter if you need some limited 120V.

    Eliminate the on board genset, breaker box, outlets, AC wiring reels, etc. save some very large $ while leaving more compartment space.

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    I will try and get you some pics of our 1996 E-One HP75...the tip has some goodies on it, like the quartz light, air hook up, ladder controls, and I THINK, electric, might be wrong on that.

    Just a thought - especially here in the NE, it might be prudent to not go with ALL LED, utility lights or emergency lighting..they just don't generate the heat to keep ice and snow build up off of them. This drastically cuts down on the light output.

    I will say this...as much as I love our truck, it has it's pitfalls...generally speaking..it is too small. Not the ladder or truck per se, but small things like the cab, the rear jump seats area is a JOKE if you have 2 guys in each side...the ladder to the turntable is too narrow..but then again, I am a big guy...truckie sized,..LOL
    FTM - BTB - KTF

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    My advise for FWIW, DON'T skimp on the Generator. T.C.
    I agree with TC. My rule of thumb is: Figure out how many kW you need right now and go up one size. It will cost you an extra 2-3k up front, but trust me; there will be times down the road when you'll need it.

    C6

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    For a 75 foot rear mount you can write the specs for aluminum and get E-One and Pierce to bid. Beware though, I'm hearing lately that Pierce is sometimes getting very competitive with E-One on pricing. Heck, if you don't stipulate a rear mount then Sutphen will be in there with a hell of a stick in the SL75.
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  8. #8
    Forum Member NY911Bowhunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by npfd801 View Post
    For a 75 foot rear mount you can write the specs for aluminum and get E-One and Pierce to bid. Beware though, I'm hearing lately that Pierce is sometimes getting very competitive with E-One on pricing. Heck, if you don't stipulate a rear mount then Sutphen will be in there with a hell of a stick in the SL75.
    I meant to mention Sutphen too in my last post. Talking to my current Chief, he was involved in spec'ing our current ladder...he was leaning towards Suthen's mid mount 65 foot stick, but the local dealer would not negotiate on price, then pulled some stuff and ended up dropping his price by 30k..after he lied to the committee, they said forget you...
    FTM - BTB - KTF

  9. #9
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    I'll throw out a concept since you're already thinking about LEDs saving on electric usage.

    For your remote scene lights look at a battery operated LED tripods. Such at FoxFury Nomad http://www.foxfury.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=5
    Run around $1000 ea. Streamlight, Pelican and others have similar items. Longer life/reduce operating cost. And give some additional flexibility beyond being tethered to the truck. And eliminates the cost and space (expensive) of cord reels.

    Use a gas PFV.

    You're going to have no choice but to buy a 400amp +/- alternator. For what? Use it with a inverter if you need some limited 120V.

    Eliminate the on board genset, breaker box, outlets, AC wiring reels, etc. save some very large $ while leaving more compartment space.
    Within the two depts I serve we have over 20 rigs,ONE with an inverter. And it will be the LAST with an inverter. Quite possibly, the WORST and most expensive way for an FD to make 120 power. Buy a DECENT hyd Genset, sized CORRECTLY,and be happy for the rest of Time. Or buy an inverter,in a couple years replace the burned out inverter,and again, until the end of service life. In MY experience most outfits DO NOT operate a inverter correctly which leads to early and multiple failures. Along with accelerated alternator and battery replacements. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 03-20-2011 at 09:38 AM.

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    We specced our quint with 2 500 watt floods at the tip, and they're removable. RD Murray built us brackets to hold them, along with outlets. I believe they are controlled at the pump panel and pedestal. We used regular fold down square cordlights. They're mounted far enough back that they don't interfere TOO much with tip placement. We normally run with them tipped down to protect them from the NUMEROUS tree branches in our district. They work pretty well- esp for roof ops! (no such thing as too much light up there on a night scene!)

    We also got an air system. IMO, the usefulness of that option on a strait stick is pretty limited. Not to mention the extra hardware you'll require to make it compatible with your SCBA's. I don't even want to think about the logistics involved with changing the big bottle... We got the ladder pre piped with remote electric controls, so there's no real reason for anyone to be up there for a long duration in the smoke.

    As far as outlets, I guess that depends on your SOP's. Do you anticipate needing to extend an electric tool off the aerial? Of course, if you have floods put up there, this is a moot point- the electric is run anyway... I tend to think of this option like I would a hose outlet: as soon as you use it, the aerial is "locked" in place. Plus, you need to carry the cord and tool up there, or store it on the stick. You might just as well run a cord in a window or up the fire escape, and save the stick for rescue or access. Then again, it may just come in handy some day- to light up a room for a fire investigator, run a fan or tool in an area that's out of reach of your cord reels due to interior layout, etc.

    A diamond plate box is on one side of the base section as well, for pigtails, rope bags, stokes, etc. The other side sports a roof ladder.

    I personally dislike gas PPV fans. Doesn't it defeat the purpose, if you're pumping gasoline exhaust INTO the structure??

  11. #11
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    NozzleNut.. I echo R101 and Command's advice. the hydraulic generator is the way to go. Our last 4 rigs have hydraulic generators.

    I personally dislike gas PPV fans. Doesn't it defeat the purpose, if you're pumping gasoline exhaust INTO the structure??
    Considering that you are replacing massive amounts of smoke and CO with fresh air and a minute amount of CO, which is dissipated by the air movement through the PPV's fan blades, it's tradeoff I gladly accept!
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 10-26-2011 at 05:49 AM.
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  12. #12
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    NozzleNut.. I echorR101 and Command's advice. the hydraulic generator is the way to go. Our last 4 rigs have hydraulic generators.



    Considering that you are replacing massive amounts of smoke and CO with fresh air and a minute amount of CO, which is dissipated by the air movement through the PPV's fan blades, it's tradeoff I gladly accept!
    Me being me,I'd have TWO (2) Big ELECTIC's(PPV) AND a Gas powered . We get called frequently to air out buildings with High CO,no visible smoke. Our testing has proven that "pocket" CO can actually INCREASE with the Gas driven fan. Not so with the Electrics. There is a place for both. But if you are gonna run BIG electrics,you better have some generator(big) on board. If I want to move MASS quantities of smoke and CO there's always the Airboat. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 03-20-2011 at 04:23 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    NozzleNut.. I echorR101 and Command's advice. the hydraulic generator is the way to go. Our last 4 rigs have hydraulic generators.



    Considering that you are replacing massive amounts of smoke and CO with fresh air and a minute amount of CO, which is dissipated by the air movement through the PPV's fan blades, it's tradeoff I gladly accept!
    Chief,

    I've seen increases in CO with use of Gas PPV. We have switched most of our PPV fans to electric.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nozzle nut 22 View Post
    We specced our quint with 2 500 watt floods at the tip, and they're removable. RD Murray built us brackets to hold them, along with outlets. I believe they are controlled at the pump panel and pedestal. We used regular fold down square cordlights. They're mounted far enough back that they don't interfere TOO much with tip placement. We normally run with them tipped down to protect them from the NUMEROUS tree branches in our district. They work pretty well- esp for roof ops! (no such thing as too much light up there on a night scene!)

    We also got an air system. IMO, the usefulness of that option on a strait stick is pretty limited. Not to mention the extra hardware you'll require to make it compatible with your SCBA's. I don't even want to think about the logistics involved with changing the big bottle... We got the ladder pre piped with remote electric controls, so there's no real reason for anyone to be up there for a long duration in the smoke.

    As far as outlets, I guess that depends on your SOP's. Do you anticipate needing to extend an electric tool off the aerial? Of course, if you have floods put up there, this is a moot point- the electric is run anyway... I tend to think of this option like I would a hose outlet: as soon as you use it, the aerial is "locked" in place. Plus, you need to carry the cord and tool up there, or store it on the stick. You might just as well run a cord in a window or up the fire escape, and save the stick for rescue or access. Then again, it may just come in handy some day- to light up a room for a fire investigator, run a fan or tool in an area that's out of reach of your cord reels due to interior layout, etc.

    A diamond plate box is on one side of the base section as well, for pigtails, rope bags, stokes, etc. The other side sports a roof ladder.

    I personally dislike gas PPV fans. Doesn't it defeat the purpose, if you're pumping gasoline exhaust INTO the structure??
    Our gas PPV fans have exhaust hoses so no exhaust is drawn into the air stream

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    If I want to move MASS quantities of smoke and CO there's always the Airboat. T.C.
    Now THAT I want to see!

    I'm a big proponent of large generators. Esp on truck companies! I appologize if I didn't make that clear in my earlier post. Currently, we use a combo of diesel and gas units- 10kw on the quint, for example. I'm also a fan of the hydraulic generator- it's quiet, can be located in out of the way places- saving compt space, and works well on units with pumps or other compnents that require varying engine speeds. They're easy to make "hot shift" too.

    Obviously, they only work when the engine is running. Tucking the generator away in an out of the way place can make it a PITA to service, driving up maintenance costs.

    Diesel gens are large and bulky, not to mention heavy. they need access to fresh air and a place to vent exhaust and dissipate heat. This means either giving up a large compartment, or placing it up top. They also tap into your main fuel supply, which may be a concern on long duration calls. They represent another engine that needs preventative maintenance and repair, and, Lastly, they generate large amounts of noise!

    On the plus side, they are totally independant of other vehicle systems, and are quite reliable. Their placement also means they are easier to work on or service. A simple starter control and an "on" light can be mounted in the cab, so it can be started enroute and ready to go as you pull up. A diesel gen will work with the main engine shut off, too.

    PTO gens generally require a certain range of RPM's to work correctly. This can interfere with, or be nullified by, pump operations, or a high idle setting for the stick. Mounting location is the least flexible of the three, as the device is powered by a shaft driven by the engine.

    These units are also very reliable, and come in a wide range of capacities.

    A "hot shift" arrangement ( ie, shift on the fly) can be specced for PTO and Hydraulic gens, but it might cost more. Worth it imo.

    Anyhow, I'd echo the other's comments: Don't skimp on the generator. Many truck co functions require electric power- not just lighting. A big alternator and inverter might be fine for a medic vehicle or even a pumper or tanker, but on a truck company or rescue, you will need plenty of juice!

    I'd also look for the widest ladder sections. It makes using it much easier. Truckie- sized members, stokes baskets, and bringing bulky tools like a saw to the roof need the extra room! E-One is a good choice for this- it's one of their claims to fame. Other makes can accomodate this too. Smeal/Ferrara and KME also offer models with nice, wide fly sections. Our Quint has an Aerial Innovations stick, and we specifically asked for wide fly sections. We have NOT been sorry. It's just so much more user friendly.

  16. #16
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ffp20 View Post
    Our gas PPV fans have exhaust hoses so no exhaust is drawn into the air stream
    How long are the hoses? If they are under 6' I BET you are STILL drawing CO into the building. My opinion is based on OUR testing only. T.C.

  17. #17
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nozzle nut 22 View Post
    We specced our quint with 2 500 watt floods at the tip, and they're removable. RD Murray built us brackets to hold them, along with outlets. I believe they are controlled at the pump panel and pedestal. We used regular fold down square cordlights. They're mounted far enough back that they don't interfere TOO much with tip placement. We normally run with them tipped down to protect them from the NUMEROUS tree branches in our district. They work pretty well- esp for roof ops! (no such thing as too much light up there on a night scene!)

    We also got an air system. IMO, the usefulness of that option on a strait stick is pretty limited. Not to mention the extra hardware you'll require to make it compatible with your SCBA's. I don't even want to think about the logistics involved with changing the big bottle... We got the ladder pre piped with remote electric controls, so there's no real reason for anyone to be up there for a long duration in the smoke.

    As far as outlets, I guess that depends on your SOP's. Do you anticipate needing to extend an electric tool off the aerial? Of course, if you have floods put up there, this is a moot point- the electric is run anyway... I tend to think of this option like I would a hose outlet: as soon as you use it, the aerial is "locked" in place. Plus, you need to carry the cord and tool up there, or store it on the stick. You might just as well run a cord in a window or up the fire escape, and save the stick for rescue or access. Then again, it may just come in handy some day- to light up a room for a fire investigator, run a fan or tool in an area that's out of reach of your cord reels due to interior layout, etc.

    A diamond plate box is on one side of the base section as well, for pigtails, rope bags, stokes, etc. The other side sports a roof ladder.

    I personally dislike gas PPV fans. Doesn't it defeat the purpose, if you're pumping gasoline exhaust INTO the structure??
    Get the ASME Bottle and the remote fill plumbing and you'll NEVER have to change it out, Just hook up the fill hose and away you go. T.C.

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Me being me,I'd have TWO (2) Big ELECTIC's(PPV) AND a Gas powered . We get called frequently to air out buildings with High CO,no visible smoke. Our testing has proven that "pocket" CO can actually INCREASE with the Gas driven fan. Not so with the Electrics. There is a place for both. But if you are gonna run BIG electrics,you better have some generator(big) on board. If I want to move MASS quantities of smoke and CO there's always the Airboat. T.C.
    I'll second this. A neighbor came in and ran their PPV for us on a fire, and it was gas powered. I was "lucky" enough to be the guy monitoring CO levels during overhaul that day and levels increased considerably after starting up and running their gas unit, to the point people had no business being interior with the fan running.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

  19. #19
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    Our rig committee has switched from looking into a Snozzle to an aerial (75 to 78' range). Looking at single rear axle side stacker style hosebed 1500 GPM pump 500 tank aerial to be used as first out "quint" type rig.

    I am creating a spec document to hopefully put out to bid. I have no real issues writing the language for the sections on the cab, chassis, electrical, generator and pump, as I did alot of research for our 2007 project. Where I am looking for some insight is in the aerial section.

    We are looking at E-One HP78. The guys like it. I'd like to see at least one other vendor be able to compete on this job. That being said, I am trying to create a document that accomodates this.

    Anytime you want, come straight down 130 to and see our 2010 Pierce 75' Quint.

    I will probably come back to this thread with questions as they come to mind but here are a few.

    Generator. With new LEDS putting out 14 to 15k lumens, gonna spec brow and side facing as LED Pioneer or FRC and do 1000W tripods. By reducing floodlight requirements on the gen, I'm thinking of downgrading from a 10 to an 8 or maybe even a 6kw Hydraulic gen. Also, any opinions on hydraulic gens. We have harrison, and no issues to speak of. Electric load would be two 1000W tripods, two 750w portables, 2000w fan. This adds up to about 6000W. I think we would be ok with 8Kw but is that cutting it close?

    Our previous rig had a 5kw Diesel Generator - Always tapped it out on scenes. The new rig has a 15kw Harrison Hydraulic - well worth the money. From what I understand, there was not much difference price or size wise going from the 10 to the 15.

    What to put at the tip.

    -Floodlight options are mounted to the sides ot the new under aerial light from FRC. Opinions on one versus the other? I would lean more to the under aerial light being placed farther back so that the sides of the tip are more clear to get up against stuff. Thinking LED versus 120V as well.

    Under light gets in the way of the waterway.

    Our old rig had 2 500w fixed mounted lights - the new one has 500w portable lights, mounted at the tip and wired to outlets with coiled cord. Nice thing is that on upper floor fires, it's easy to bring a light in through the window. Otherwise, the impair vision when placing the tip and they do add weight to the ladder. Also great for getting caught up in trees when placing the stick and driving down the road.


    -Electric on the tip. Is there any point to having an electric outlet on the tip. I dont think we have ever used the one on our firestix boom.

    We've used ours quite a bit. Works good to get electric in upper floors when the ladder is sitting at a window. Also has been used to power the sawzall for cutting eaves open for those weird hidden little fires. It's worth the cost even if used once.

    -Aerial controls at tip. Ive seen "creeper controls" at aerial tips. Are these just a gadget or worth it?

    We have them. Didn't need them before, haven't used them since the truck went into service. I have done a good job at getting the umbillical cord stuck in trees several times. It's just one more thing in the way.

    -RF controlled monitor. Is this a gimmick or worth the extra money?

    Worth it. Doesn't cost much, and it's amazingly flexiable. We have used ours and it's one of the few things we actually like on the new rig.

    Are there any things on an aerial of this size you like/recommend? I am open to all feedback on any part of the rig. I have written specs and sat on apparatus committees before (just not for an aerial), so shoot me the tech talk version please.

    75' Ladders - Stick with single jack set.

    NO RAISED ROOF!!! This was a mistake. Sure it makes the cab more comfortable, but there is no way to skirt under wires and low trees with the damn roof in the way.

    Side Stack hosebeds are nice, but not a nessecity. Ours is a traditional bed with chutes, it's not bad at all and we carry a lot of hose.

    Cord Reels on both sides of the rig. As well as outlets. Make sure you have fixed lighting on the rig as well as portable lights. Our old rig was all portable lights mounted to the rig, eventually the scene would get real dark when they would all make it inside.

    Be able to switch ALL the lights from the cab. When spotting the aerial on the way in, it's an asset being able to provide sunlight in order to spot the jacks and overhead obstructions.

    Flexible ladders. Make sure you have at least 2 24's or 28's. You're 35 is going to have to be a 3 section with the short body and it'll never get used.

    Keep the clutter in the fly section to a minimum. Basic tools are nice, but roof ladders get in the way. Mount one to the base section behind a ladder sign and you'll be much better off.

    Saw box on the turntable.

    If you have low trees, Officer side control pedestal - every manufacturer will do it but you have to ask. We're learning this one the hard way.

    Don't just look at the ladders - fly them - Climb them - at all angles too!!!

    We have a steel Pierce 75'. The aluminum wasn't bad at all, but this is the worst feeling straight ladder I've ever climbed and I've climbed a ton of different ladders in my time. I'll take a medium duty Seagrave over this so called "Heavy Duty" Pierce stick anyday! BUT... there is a lot of good ideas you may like, and a few of don't make the same mistake as us things as well.

    Most importantly... Keep It Simple!!!!!!!!


    Thanks in advance.

    Good luck with your project. All of this is my opinions and not my company's. (even though those of us that run the rig all feel the same way)
    Last edited by Opinionated; 03-25-2011 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Spelling and Grammer
    FTM-PTB DTRT

    Everything I state on here is to support and aid my fellow firefighters. Everything I post is my opinion only, and in no way should be taken as an official opinion of any Company, Department, or Municipality I represent... oh and this includes Pierce Mfg, as so their legal department has advised me; since they apparently also invented the right to control "Free Speech".

  20. #20
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    We own a Smeal 75 foot. Hose bed is in middle of truck comes out and down holds 1000' of 5" hose, love it, only drawback it cuts down on water tank size. Also have little LED lights going up ladder steps, great help at night.

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