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Thread: FDNY 75' Platform Apparatus

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    Post FDNY 75' Platform Apparatus

    The city of New York, only recieved one bid for the FDNY 75' platform aerial apparatus. Seagrave Fire Apparatus was the lone bidder at $ 16,958,407.00 the total contract cost .Nothing new here since Seagrave is the only builder who could meet the spec's for a aerialscope type device. I am surprised that Ferrara fire apparatus has not contracted with a aerial or crane builder somewere and try to duplicate the box boom construction of a Aerialscope device that the FDNY is using!
    Last edited by Woodbridge; 06-18-2012 at 01:22 PM.
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    Thank God they didn't!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodbridge View Post
    I am surprised that Ferrara fire apparatus has not contracted with a aerial or crane builder somewere and try to duplicate the box boom construction of a Aerialscope device that the FDNY is using!
    My understanding is that only two aerial platform on the market offer a waterway that is not on the underside and therefore exposed to the parapet. Given how FDNY works their Scope's it would seem a pretty important feature. So that leaves the current sole bidder and Sumpthin, anyone else would have to hit the drawing board, not a small task with regard to engineering an aerial device given the total market. That's an awful lot of R&D and costs for a slim shot at a small market. And that's just one item, likely FDNY demands some other features that aren't standard on most aerial platforms?

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    FFA needs to focus on their current problems not bite off more of what they can't chew.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    My understanding is that only two aerial platform on the market offer a waterway that is not on the underside and therefore exposed to the parapet. Given how FDNY works their Scope's it would seem a pretty important feature. So that leaves the current sole bidder and Sumpthin, anyone else would have to hit the drawing board, not a small task with regard to engineering an aerial device given the total market. That's an awful lot of R&D and costs for a slim shot at a small market. And that's just one item, likely FDNY demands some other features that aren't standard on most aerial platforms?
    The Aerialscope is the only platform that doesn't derate platform capacity when flowing water..Unrestricted in all functions while flowing at full capacity--Thats what makes it exclusive..

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    Quote Originally Posted by RESQRICH911 View Post
    The Aerialscope is the only platform that doesn't derate platform capacity when flowing water..Unrestricted in all functions while flowing at full capacity--Thats what makes it exclusive..
    And... Does FDNY only buy things based on exclusivity? Maybe that's one of their specs? Or is being able to carry more than 2 Firefighters, while flowing water a significant need? I certainly have no basis to question why FDNY specs what they do, some are pretty obvious, others likely are less obvious to the outside observer, but truly relevant to their ops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfTL41 View Post
    Thank God they didn't!
    I was down at the Ferrera plant just the other day doing a pre-pait inspection on our new pumper and had a chance to see 8-10 FDNY aerials at various points in the construction process, plus 3 or 4 that had been completed.

    They looked like they were very well built and certainly comparative in quality to the Seagraves.

    By the way, there are many urban departments such as Houston and Indy that have a large Ferrera fleet and seemingly have no issues as they have placed multiple orders. I don't know your experience with Ferrera, but I have ahd no issues with them on my department and I know the 2 neighborong city departments that are close to 100% Ferrera have had no significant issues as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I don't know your experience with Ferrera, but I have ahd no issues with them on my department and I know the 2 neighborong city departments that are close to 100% Ferrera have had no significant issues as well.
    You're comparing your rigs to the abuse that FDNY puts theirs under?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    You're comparing your rigs to the abuse that FDNY puts theirs under?
    Well put. Many people compare tools and apparatus and never take into account the difference in workload. Case in point. I know a guy who's department uses Echo chainsaws and he swears they are ultra reliable and work great and that the problems we had with ours must be a fluke. However, his department has only cut one roof in two years and we cut roofs dozens of times a year. In order for something to fail, it needs to be used often. You cannot compare your lack of issues on a product to mean their is nothing wrong with it if you use it much less then someone else. If your department ran a rig to a call 500 times a year and had zero issues but i ran the same rig to 2,000 calls a year and had lots of issues, who's opinion on the equipment is more accurate?

    One FDNY year is equivelant to about 5-7 years on most other departments. NYC is BRUTAL on equipment. The potholes alone can tear a truck apart. Look at the number of runs they get and actual fires. Throw in the fact they salt roads to death in the winter, have some of the worst stop and go traffic and tight turns and narrow streets. Trucks get banged up pretty quick.

    I have seen the FDNY's new Ladder 24 and sure, it looks nice. But looks don't mean much. That is cosmetics. Lets see how those rigs hold up after a year. Fit and finish and how pretty a rig is is not really any indication as to how well it will perform and last. Poorly designed and installed electrical and computer systems can render the nicest looking truck worthless.
    Last edited by WD6956; 06-19-2012 at 04:04 PM.

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    And THAT is why I will be interested to see how the Ferarra(Smeal)ladders hold up under FDNY use.

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    Anyone know if the new 100' ferrara sticks are in service yet, or are they still sitting at the dealership in north jersey ? They do look nice !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodbridge View Post
    Anyone know if the new 100' ferrara sticks are in service yet, or are they still sitting at the dealership in north jersey ? They do look nice !
    In service where? FDNY has had 100' Ferrara's being delivered for months now. 54 (at least) have been ordered. I saw the new Ladder 24 back in January.

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    Several of them are in service, yes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodbridge View Post
    I am surprised that Ferrara fire apparatus has not contracted with a aerial or crane builder somewere and try to duplicate the box boom construction of a Aerialscope device that the FDNY is using!
    Who says they aren't trying to?

    I have no reason to believe they are, just pointing out that the fact that they don't have something right now doesn't mean they aren't or haven't tried.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Who says they aren't trying to?

    I have no reason to believe they are, just pointing out that the fact that they don't have something right now doesn't mean they aren't or haven't tried.
    I doubt Ferrara (or any other company for that matter) is looking to create a comparable box beam type aerial (a TRUE Tower Ladder). Aerialscopes are nothing new having been around well over 30 years. If other apparatus builders truly thought that a Tower Ladder was nessecary to add to thier line up in order to stay competitive they would have spent the money to build them decades ago. The fact you don't see similar type aerials proves that the Aerialscope design has effective patents protecting it and/or no other builder has saw the need to invest the money to even try and make one of their own.

    Most small departments prefer either a Ladder or a Ladder Tower as both are far more useful then an Aerialscope in most situations. Especially when you don't have a large fleet. While an Aerialscopes biggest advantage is it's load capacity which is great for master stream operations and for getting Firefighters off a roof or out a window in a bailout situation, the fact their is no way to get to and from the tip under normal operating conditions makes it poorly suited for evacuating multiple victims.

    Many Ladder towers have almost comparable ratings now anyhow. E-One's 95 Ladder Tower is rated at 1,305 pounds dry at any angle and any extension and 805 pounds with water flowing (1,250 GPM). Sure, you lose 195 pounds of payload capacity when flowing water but you gain a useable ladder at all times. That seems far more useful to me. And i for one see no need to have to worry about not having a 1,000 pound capacity when flowing water. Why would you need that? That is the weight of about 4 large Firefighters. Why would you ever have 4 people in the basket when operating a Master Stream? And if you had to halt Master Stream operations to swing in for a rescue, you would be shutting down the water anyhow. So i don't see any reasonable argument for why any department NEEDS an Aerialscope over a Ladder Tower. If anybody could give me an example, i would love to hear it.

    Boston and Chicago are two major cities that have similar varieties of structures to NYC from super tall buildings to multi family houses on narrow streets. They seem to do just fine without Aerialscopes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post

    Most small departments prefer either a Ladder or a Ladder Tower as both are far more useful then an Aerialscope in most situations. Especially when you don't have a large fleet. While an Aerialscopes biggest advantage is it's load capacity which is great for master stream operations and for getting Firefighters off a roof or out a window in a bailout situation, the fact their is no way to get to and from the tip under normal operating conditions makes it poorly suited for evacuating multiple victims.
    I'm not sure this paragraph is all that accurate. In the last 7 years we've been operating a Ladder Tower, I can't think of a time when using the ladder was required. Sure guys have gone up to the bucket, but not out of necessity. As for making multiple rescues, while the ladder may seem faster in actuality I doubt it is even close. If you have 5 victims at the window, who's helping them down? One at a time, full length? Is someone staying in the bucket? Maybe filling the bucket and going to the ground is a bit faster? If it was so bad you couldn't leave people at the window, would you trust the 3:1 safety factor and fill up every bit of room and go down? I think you'll find that most FD's just aren't willing (as mine wasn't) to pay another $100-150k for a similarly appointed Scope over the Ladder Tower of their choice.

    We're very happy with our Ladder Tower and I guess short of length of life(Remounts are common whereas nearly non-existent with others) can't see why we'd pay more for an Aerialscope. I'm thinking FDNY has a lot invested in shops, training, and policies that necessitate an aerial that fits the same mold as their Scope's but as for other places, why they "need" one? We buy a lot of stuff we don't all need, some can justify others fall short.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 06-20-2012 at 08:49 AM. Reason: keyboard misspelled words

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    You're comparing your rigs to the abuse that FDNY puts theirs under?
    No, but I would think it's fair to say that Houston, as an example does, and they keep buying Ferrera.

    It's true that NYC has a way of abusing apparatus. With that being said Ferrera has come a long way over the last few years, and as I operate with Ferrera chassis, comparing the two, the FDNY is not a typical ferrera chassis. It is built far heavier.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they work out just fine.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 06-20-2012 at 09:02 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I'm not sure this paragraph is all that accurate. In the last 7 years we've been operating a Ladder Tower, I can't think of a time when using the ladder was required. Sure guys have gone up to the bucket, but not out of necessity.
    Then consider yourself lucky. While not common in many areas, it does not take much to cut off the stairways in a 2+ story structure and require people to evacuate out a window. We had a fire over the winter late at night in a two family two story house. First floor fully involved. 11 people came out one window onto a waiting aerial. What would have happened if it was an Aerialscope? When your department has half a dozen ladder trucks in a reasonable sized district, you can afford to hold back and let the ladders's take prime position up front for rescue and hole the Aerialscope off to deal with Defensive operations. But when you have money and staffing for only 1 or 2 Ladders on your department, an Aerialscope is (in my opinion) a poor choice. Again, the only thing you really gain over a Ladder Tower is about 200 pounds more load flowing water. And as i mentioned in the previous post, when is a realistic situation where you would have 3-4 large men in the basket while operating a Master Stream? A Ladder is FAR more useful then 195 lbs of additional capacity when flowing water.

    Another scenario.... You need a hoseline 5 stories up to try and stop a fast moving fire with trapped occupants. Standpipe is OOS. Only quick option is running a line off the basket on your Ladder Tower. While you may have lost the ability to reposition that ladder for the duration of the hose line operation, you still have a fully functional ladder to get to and from the location of the fire. With an Aerialscope? You have a half million dollar standpipe.


    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    As for making multiple rescues, while the ladder may seem faster in actuality I doubt it is even close. If you have 5 victims at the window, who's helping them down? One at a time, full length? Is someone staying in the bucket? Maybe filling the bucket and going to the ground is a bit faster? If it was so bad you couldn't leave people at the window, would you trust the 3:1 safety factor and fill up every bit of room and go down? I think you'll find that most FD's just aren't willing (as mine wasn't) to pay another $100-150k for a similarly appointed Scope over the Ladder Tower of their choice.
    Plenty of video's online showing that provided the angle is not that extreme that one Firefighter leading the way down can escort multiple victims while another Firefighter in the Bucket helps them get in and then transition to the ladder. Would this be common? No. But does the possibiltiy exist that you could find yourself with far more victims then you would expect trying to escape from a window? Absolutley. Far better to let victims take their chances negotiating a fire ladder then burning alive. Sure, if you have the time or the number of victims is only a few that it would be much easier and safer to simply load them in the bucket and then bring it down to the ground. But it's nice to have options. A ladder would be faster if you had a large number of victims and a rapidly spreading fire. Depending on the obstacles around the building, going from a window 80' up then down to the ground to offload victims and then back to the window could easily take 3-5 minutes per cycle. WAY too long in some situations.

    Just because it's something you never encountered does not mean it's something you never would. We carry Bresnan Distributors and Piercing Nozzles on all our Engines yet none have even been deployed in a fire in over 15 years. But we still carry them. We have a 20' enclosed trailer FILLED with shoring for a collapse situation that has never been needed. But when we do need it, we have it.

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    WD6956: When I said we haven't needed to use the ladder I wasn't saying at all, just that we've not had the need to use the ladder for climbing. My FD has taken victims over our previous stick on numerous occasions, the ease of which was determined by the victim, not us. Without a doubt a possibility exists to need multiple rescues(3 or more) from the same window, but one might consider that a truly rare occasion. Other than the individual persons needing rescue, I don't see it taking nearly 3-5 minutes between a window at 80 ft, the ground, and returning to the window, though leaving victims and a FFer at the window would be a last option situation. In fact the real issue is likely the victims slowing progress.

    When considering the ladder for multiple victims: What happens when a victim freezes on the ladder? What if the victims are at multiple windows (far more likely?)? How many firefighters does rescuing more than 2 victims require? One must assume those numbers increase with children and the elderly?

    I'm not saying sticks and ladder don't work or have value, I'm sure far more victims have come down that way than by platform, I just don't put much stock into using the ladder part on the platform as a reason not to buy an Aerialscope or Sutphen for that matter. Without a doubt he ladder tower allows for both options, but to me that would not be a deciding factor. Again, we just plain couldn't justify the cost of the Scope and therefore happily bought a LT.

    Lastly, while I;m by no means an FDNY whacker, one must acknowledge that they are able to test tools, equipment and tactics more than most. Greater numbers allow for better R&D and proveable results, and I'm betting they conduct more aerial rescues than any other FD in the US as well. Of course their ability to fill the street with sticks and Scopes may be the key to their success, but they've not realized what you claim to be the obvious benefit of the best of both worlds? They seem to be partial to their Aerialscopes and I'm betting it's with good reason, we know it isn't strictly cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post

    Another scenario.... You need a hoseline 5 stories up to try and stop a fast moving fire with trapped occupants. Standpipe is OOS. Only quick option is running a line off the basket on your Ladder Tower. While you may have lost the ability to reposition that ladder for the duration of the hose line operation, you still have a fully functional ladder to get to and from the location of the fire. With an Aerialscope? You have a half million dollar standpipe.

    We do not use the aerial as a flying standpipe, favoring raising a 2.5" or 3" line and securing it at the window. Yes, there are times the ladder is advantageous and agree that it's likely a Scope isn't the best choice of a sole aerial for a given area. This thread started as a discussion about the Scope bid in FDNY and sort of migrated into why other builders don't bid, which I stated I thought the market was too small being that few places have the necessity of the Aerialscope at it's highere costs. I'm by no means trying to convince anyone they're the right aerial for them, just acknowledging that maybe FDNY knows a thing or two about why their features are so important to their operations... I'm sure there are many other FD's that own them literally because FDNY does, and I feel bad for their taxpayers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    WD6956: When I said we haven't needed to use the ladder I wasn't saying at all, just that we've not had the need to use the ladder for climbing. My FD has taken victims over our previous stick on numerous occasions, the ease of which was determined by the victim, not us. Without a doubt a possibility exists to need multiple rescues(3 or more) from the same window, but one might consider that a truly rare occasion. Other than the individual persons needing rescue, I don't see it taking nearly 3-5 minutes between a window at 80 ft, the ground, and returning to the window, though leaving victims and a FFer at the window would be a last option situation. In fact the real issue is likely the victims slowing progress.
    Well put. We can only hope that everybody we have to take out a window has no fear of heights, has no injuries, is in top physical shape and has amazing dexterity. The reality is that never seems to be the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    When considering the ladder for multiple victims: What happens when a victim freezes on the ladder? What if the victims are at multiple windows (far more likely?)? How many firefighters does rescuing more than 2 victims require? One must assume those numbers increase with children and the elderly?.
    Agreed 100%. And in those cases everything slows down. You cannot train for everything and you certainly can not be prepared for everything. We all hope that we can do the best job we can with what we have on hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I'm not saying sticks and ladder don't work or have value, I'm sure far more victims have come down that way than by platform, I just don't put much stock into using the ladder part on the platform as a reason not to buy an Aerialscope or Sutphen for that matter. Without a doubt he ladder tower allows for both options, but to me that would not be a deciding factor. Again, we just plain couldn't justify the cost of the Scope and therefore happily bought a LT.
    I understand about not making the lack of a ladder on a Scope as being the deciding factor as to whether or not to buy it. But if you take the ladder out of the equation, then what IS the single biggest reason to buy an Aerialscope? That is where my previous comment comes into play. We already know that you can get the same 1,000 lb. bucket load (dry) on a Ladder Tower as you can on the Scope. The only real difference comes with when you are flowing water. At that point, an Aerialscope will beat a ladder tower by 195 lbs. capacity. And in my opinion, it's a non issue because why would you have more then two people in the bucket flowing water anyhow. Do you agree?

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Lastly, while I;m by no means an FDNY whacker, one must acknowledge that they are able to test tools, equipment and tactics more than most. Greater numbers allow for better R&D and proveable results, and I'm betting they conduct more aerial rescues than any other FD in the US as well.
    This is why any department would be stupid to not pay attention to what they choose to use and what they don't use. The FDNY goes to great lengths and spends a TON of money on R&D for products. Look at the creation of the EXO Bailout system, High Rise Nozzle, Window Curtain, reflective search ropes, Metro DRD, Halligan tool, etc, etc. They are the largest and one of the busiest in the world. And as we mentioned earlier in this thread, they have ability and the resources to test most products far better then any other department. Sure, not everything they use is the best, TIC's as an example shows that cost plays a role at times. But in most cases, they use what works best under a ridiculous workload and in real fires. So if something can survive the punishment they put it though, then it likley will work fine in most smaller departments. Their is a very good likleyhood that if the FDNY uses a product it is well made, reliable and will last a long time.

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Of course their ability to fill the street with sticks and Scopes may be the key to their success, but they've not realized what you claim to be the obvious benefit of the best of both worlds? They seem to be partial to their Aerialscopes and I'm betting it's with good reason, we know it isn't strictly cost.
    The FDNY loves their Aerialscopes because they are virtually NEVER in a situation where a conventional ladder is not available. Their is also never a manpower issue so even with an Aerialscope in operation thier are plenty of other Ladders around and working.

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    WD6956: Can't find anything to disagree with above. The fact is that looking to FDNY for guidance on things we will use the same way makes sense, they have the ability to have truly vetted things far beyond most. Then on the other hand, as you've noted, there are items such as the Tower Ladder that rarely can be compared apples to apples, given the numbers of personnel, straight sticks, 75's, 95's, etc most departments cannot stack aerials on the street when the first couple don't fit the bill.

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    The FDNY could have sent out specs for a 75' Ladder Tower Apparatus, such as the Spartan/Crimson 75, ALF/LTI 75, Rosenbauer 75,and the cost would have been about $300k less than a scope. They have been using the baker booms for over 45 years now, and they must be happy with the way there truck companies operate, with using the scopes for master stream water supply and there 100' ladders to bring down people for recues!

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    Spartan-Crimson, ALF/LTI, and Rosenbauer AMERICA/RK; under current designs and standards, haven't even been building these devices for a combined 45 years. That right there is why FDNY stays with something tried and true versus following something new and trendy. It works for them, that's all that matters.

    Big reason they buy Scopes over other designs... rigidity while flowing master streams... and this comes right from one of the horses' mouths. With the exception of earlier LTI Mid-Mount Towers, NO BODY can allow a free moving tiller bar controlled "Stang" monitor in the bucket without fear of the reaction forces causing damage and premature wear to the aerial device.

    A 4-Sided box boom will always be more sturdy then, with less reinforcements required, then the traditional U style ladder device. However, they're sometimes heavier and more maintenance intensive. There's Pro's and Con's to each design, and again, the Aerialscope works for FDNY.

    In the end... maybe they just felt sorry for Seagrave and wanted to throw them a bone
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    Quote Originally Posted by EES_SEAN View Post
    Spartan-Crimson, ALF/LTI, and Rosenbauer AMERICA/RK; under current designs and standards, haven't even been building these devices for a combined 45 years. That right there is why FDNY stays with something tried and true versus following something new and trendy. It works for them, that's all that matters.
    Well, you must mean with the exception of their new Ferrara Aerials and Rescues? You think it really all comes down to tried and true companies or maybe tried and true specs?

    Quote Originally Posted by EES_SEAN View Post
    Big reason they buy Scopes over other designs... rigidity while flowing master streams... and this comes right from one of the horses' mouths. With the exception of earlier LTI Mid-Mount Towers, NO BODY can allow a free moving tiller bar controlled "Stang" monitor in the bucket without fear of the reaction forces causing damage and premature wear to the aerial device.
    Our 2006 ALF/LTI MM was approved by LTI engineers for the tiller bar controlled "Stang" gun that's mounted on it, though others clearly stated tehy would not for fear of the reaction force. E-One would consider it if we paid for the engineering (Tain't likely as Bob Marley says).

    Not that it matters to the rest of us, or should anyway, but one might ponder whetehr the FDNY spec is more performance based or rigid (such as box-beam construction, radial outriggers, etc.)?

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