My department is in the process of getting ready to spec out a couple of new "tankers". We are an all-volunteer, rural/suburban fire department with NO hydrants, a couple of ponds, and a dry hydrant on the far south end of our 89 square mile district. We operate out of three stations with three pumpers, three tankers, three grass rigs, a utility, an ambulance, and a medical quick response rig. Our newest rig is a 1999 American LaFrance with a 1250 GPM pump and 750 tank. We have a 3000 gallon tanker, and two 1200 gallon tankers, all with less than 500 gpm pumps.
Now here's the dilemma...if we catch a weekday call, we're usually going to get 8 or 10 people at our main station to respond...however, the other two will be lucky to get one person. This person must decide whether to take the pumper or the tanker. We need to set up a shuttle, but we also need to be able to get the water to our highest capacity pump.
What's everyone's opinion on having a minimum 2000 gallon tanker with at least a 1000 gpm pump? Just in case we need to lay in to the first-in pumper? Or should we just pray that we get enough people to bring all of the rigs? My opinion is that a 3000 gallon tanker with only a 300 gpm pump cripples it's capability...the others say that we can set up the dump tank, but forget that it takes five or six bodies to do it. To me, it would take fewer bodies to "nurse" that first in pumper with a pumper tanker until you get enough folks to set up water supply...
What do you all think...
Thanks, and be safe...
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08-23-1999, 12:57 AM #1phyrngnFirehouse.com Guest
Pumper, Tanker, Pumper/Tanker, or what?
08-23-1999, 03:28 AM #2j crookeFirehouse.com Guest
If you are looking for a first in truck that will hold the fire, I would definetly go with the a larger pump with 1000-2000 gallons. I am assuming your run area has few to no large hills?? ( I'm bad with geography). If that is the case you could even expand the tank size - providing you have room to manuever the beast!
If you are looking for more of a water hauler to back up & nursemaid your primary engine, then a larger tank with a smaller pump 300-500 gpm would be the way to go.
The company I run with is a rural volunteer company covering 225 sq mi. of north eastern PA. We have much of the same problems you are describing, no hydrants, limited fast water supply, and low manpower in the daytime. We operate out of 2 stations.
Here's how we deal with the problems..
If theres is a fire in station #1's zone our 1000gal/2000gpm attack engine goes first, followed by our 2200gal/375(?)gpm tanker & our 2500gal/500gpm tanker from station #2. The engine gets there and starts the attack w/ the tank water then whichever tanker gets there first, come right behind & ties into the 'direct tank fill'. So in essence, the fire is being attacked with 3200 (or 3500) gallons. You don't need to have a large pump on the tanker to directly fill the engine when using a 3" or 5" supply line.
This give you plently of water for an inital knockdown in a standard dwelling fire. Unless, of course, the building is so heavily involved that all the water in the world will not save it. ( at that point what's the use...the homeowner better have a good policy )
I hope this helps and gives you something to think about....
this method works very well for us
Marshalls Creek fire/rescue
08-23-1999, 12:46 PM #3K AFirehouse.com Guest
You need to design for the week link which as you state is people and water.
If your bridges and roads allow for it spec an all in one pumper tanker attack piece.
Also spec CAFS to extend your water.
All the challenges you present will eventually get you. YOu can have a pumper tanker that can be an engine, a hose hauler, a shuttle piece, a heavy rescue, etc...and do all those things well.
08-23-1999, 02:09 PM #4phyrngnFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks for your replies....
So, Jeff...are you saying that if we use 5" hose from our 3000 gallon tanker with a 300 gpm pump that we'd be able to supply our 1250 gpm pump adequately? What kind of flow are we talking?
08-23-1999, 10:59 PM #5FyredUpFirehouse.com Guest
We run a 1500 gallon pumper tanker with a 1000gpm pump. Primarily it runs as an engine but it can shuttle too. I has 3 preconnected 2 inch lines, carries 1000 feet of 5 inch, as well as 400 feet of 2 1/2. It also carries the rest of the required equipment for an engine as well as a dump tank.
It has worked well for us. Normally it runs out second to support our main attack engine. But it has stood alone and proven itself to be a potent piece of equipment.
In your situation I would boost the tank size to 2000 and pump to at least 1000gpm, although I personally would prefer 1500gpm.
Make sure you go with enough power in your engine to move this vehicle along taking into account terrain. I once drove a ladder truck for a neighboring department I didn't think was going to make it up a hill in their district (crested the hill at less than 5 miles an hour).
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