1. #1
    LeoVincent
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy Lack of Innovation in Fire Apparatus

    I left the fire apparatus business quite a few years ago. When I did it was for a variety of reasons. The biggest one being, I have a bit of a conscience about playing fast and loose with people lives for the sake of getting propriatary specification items. But that is not the topic I am discussing.

    I guess it really doesn't suprise me to see that very little has changed in apparatus since I left. The reason that doesn't suprise me is that very little had changed for 30 years before I started. Compare a 1960 model car to a 2000 model. Then do the same with a piece of fire apparatus. I am an old car buff (my daily driver is a '67 Porsche), but as much as I love the old ones, I have to admit the new ones are safer, more reliable and just ergonomically a lot better. The same cannot be said for fire apparatus. There have been minor improvements, but for the most part nothing new. You would think that in this area where saving lives is the prime concern, new innovations would be a must, but it isn't.

    I have a few ideas why this is the case. One, Fire apparatus companies spend most of their time trying to figure ways to better work the municipal bidding system, not build a better product. Sure you will hear a lot of stories of corruption, bribes and the like, but brand loyalty in the fire service is often a matter of habit. Since this is not a consumer market, little is done to truly make the product better.

    You might agree or disagree with me on this, and I hope to see some discussion on it. I would strongly suggest becoming an expert on Fire apparatus construction if you plan to be in the service. A knight is only as good as his horse. And where fire apparatus companies are concerned I have a quote of mine that has often been repeated, "Just because you have been doing it for 40 years, doesn't mean that you are now, or have ever, done it right"



    ------------------
    Leo Vincent
    Fire@westcoastvintage.com
    Seeking Firewolf Industries Items!

  2. #2
    LHS'
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    //Lack of innovation?/ very little had changed//

    Hmmm, I guess our rigs are pretty typical then. Our tower can support 12 people on the device plus 4 in the basket. Were they doing that 30 years ago or even 5 years ago?

    Full size pumpers that can out turn a Chevy pick up.

    I can sit in the cab and see what four different crews are doing inside the building and know within 12 seconds if any one of 2600 firefighters needs help. I can tell you which one by name is in need. I cn tell you by name each and every rig on scene. We can find the exact location of any member within a few inches anywhere on the fire ground. We have the ability to communicate with over 4500 departments in 3 states and invite hundreds of rigs in seconds.

    Our fire trucks display a moving map display and actually tell us when to turn left or right so we get to the dispatched address the shortest way possible and configure the response taking into account where every rig in the county is located and allows us to know where we are on earth within a few centimeters. At the push of a button we can view the pre-plans of any building in the county, locate any and all water sources, view hazmat data or surf the web. We can chat on a cell phone and on one rig a satellite phone.

    The traffic lights turn green when our fire truck approaches them and red the other three directions.

    Our electrical systems are self healing and have driven over 2200 miles without an alternator. Made a 180 mile run without batteries or an alternator.
    We can deploy a floodlight, preconnect line, air bags, tripod light, jaws, piercing nozzle, ram, air chisel, sawzall all in less than 15 seconds be operating away from the rig with the tool.

    Our pump panel which happens to be in the cab measuring 24 by 18 inches and only has two gauges has just one switch that activates the pump, compressor, generator, foam, floodlights, jaws, and pre-sets the pump pressure. Does that sound like an old thing?

    We were running down the highway with our aerial carry 2000 gallons of water, 200 gallons of foam, 1/2 mile of 5" hose, 3600 feet of attack line, 12 air packs, 10 guys, a 5000 gallon drop tank, 10 salvasge covers, 12 spare bottles, a full set of jaws, 170 feet of grtound ladders, 9 pike poles, 25 KW worth of preconnected flood lights, 40 feet of ard suction hose, air bags, 4 saws, and 250 cubic feet of cabinetry at a speed of 85 mph uphill with the A/C on, stereo playing and eating ice cream. That is an old thing?

    Ever shuttle water in tanker shuttle with aerial ladders and maintain flows in excess of 250 gpm each in a 2 mile round trip shuttle?

    Ever fill your water tank on your aerials or pumper with a bambi bucket from a helicopter?

    Ever flow 3000 gpm through three monitors and a ladder pipe, with just 3 firefighers, using only one rig supplied from a fire hydrant 300 feet away and complete the entire evolution in just in 3 minutes?

    Ever send and recieve e-mails from truck to truck, truk to person, or truck to station, or truck to home? Ever page individuals members from the cab of the truck? Ever give military or EMS helicpters differentially corrected GPS coordinates from the cab when they were 300 miles away?

    Ever drive 630 miles on a tank of fuel in a 68,000 pound fire truck?

    Can you operate your aerial with a wireless remote control from 400 feet away?

    Can you see 1/2 mile away what your aerial crew is seeing? Can you see it in color or in thermal imaging or overlay both together? Do you record what you see?

    Do you have water powered cutting systems that will cut through 12 inches of wood or concrete on the tip of the aerial? How about lasers to help you position the tip and determine if you can even make the reach in the first place?

    Do you have to stop you fire truck to lay a supply line? We don't. DO you have to leave a firefighter at the hydrant to turn it on? We don't.

    Can you tell from 1/4 mile away what your water tank level is? Whether the aerial or pump is engaged or if the parking brake is set?

    Have you ever videoed all your responses and recorded them with in the cab VCRs to cover your tail and record what each rig sees on scene? Do you do the same with vehicle mounted thermal imagers?

    In the cab of all of your apparatus: do you have 12 gallons of drinking water that is kept filled from your water tank or supply line via a reverse osmosis system, a refrigerator, a frezzer, a cook top and a microwave oven? How about 21 cubic feet of food storage? Do you have a pair of coffee makers that serve 4800 cups per hour? Can you watch movies in the cab on one of two color TV's? Do you have sleeping facilities for three?

    Did you carry 200 feet of light weight se through hard suction hose back in the good old days that didn't need a rubber mallet to seal?

    Could you insure a pump urge couldn't happn in the old days even when shutting off a 200 gpm master stream suddenly?

    Did the trucks come from the factory fully outfitted, with water in the tanks and hose loaded in the bed? Did you drive cross country with them in sub zero weather and park them outside for 9 hours at -28 to see if they would resist the cold without damage? All you had to do is put them in service when they arrived?

    In the good old days could you produce 45 kw of power with the flick of a switch and project 6500 watts 65 feet in the air and 18,000 watts at ground level?

    I can change out any valve on my fire truck in less than 3 minutes and not use a wrench or need a mechanic.

    Were all the fluids on your rigs unique in color so you could tell what was leaking without hunting down the leak?

    We got a draft from a water source 250 feet from the rig 120 feet below the pump suction. Did they do that in the olden days?

    We can't dump our aerial, it won't let us. We can't short jack it, it won't let us. We can't pinch a guys leg between the rungs, it won't let us. We can't over load it or extend it into an overload situation, it won't let us. It has required less than 4.5 hours of total aerial maintenance in 75,000 miles. Most of which over dirt or gravel roads.

    Could you pump 1250 gpm from tank to pump? Did your tanks rust?

    The engine and ladders all passed a 28 hour pump test.

    We clean up after fires with a broom not a mop.

    Ever drive 38 miles with a deck gun operating off tank water without refilling producing a 440 gpm stream?

    We spray a house with 25 gallons of water and none of it runs off in 24 hours in 100 degree weather.

    Ever drove around spraying water with your aerial up?

    Could you produce four kinds of foam at one time with a range of flows from 5 to 4000 gpm and flow water at the same time with one rig? Could your supply the foam systems from 4 different concentrate tanks and a pair pf off board pickup tubes?

    Can you reload all of your attack lines with just one firefighter? Were all your attack beds less than 28 inches off the ground?

    Did you ever have everything preconnected and use as many as 9 reels on one rig?

    Ever seen a 40 foot long fire truck make a 180 degree, 270 or a 360 degree turn in half it's length (20')?

    Ever climb a 67 degree slope with 2500 gallons of water? Blow flames from your flame thrower or water or foam from your rig at 70 mph? Drive through a swamp, over a sand dune and over the highway with the same rig? Launch thousands of flares for hours at a time without stopping? Climb right over a 40 inch wall straight on? Ford 50 inches of water? Outrun an M1-A2 tank cross country with your fire truck? Have a 13,000 mile mean time between failure on your fire truck?

    Ever teach the whole FD how to operate your entire fleet in less than 90 minutes and put them all in service?

    Ever place a portable monitor, lay one mile of 5 inch hose to supply it, connect to the pump discharge and flow 900 gpm from draft with just one guy in just 4.5 minutes?

    Ever get a draft in 11 seconds with one woman? That includes the time required to deploy the hose, strainer, and prime the pump?

    Ever seen a 70,000 pound fire truck slam on the brakes on glare ice and accelerate without slipping?

    Ever seen a fire engine drive through smoke and see where they were going? Ever look at a building from in the cab and tell what room the fire was in, if the vehicles in the drive way had been operated recently?

    We're just a small volunteer outfit but we have or have done all this stuff.

    It surprises me all of this is not innovative. I bet there is a heck of a lot more out there that wasn't going on a decade ago.

  3. #3
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    And...

    Seated and belted riding positions - firefighters aren't scattered all over the road if the rig is in an accident.

    Engines and transmissions shut down before they destroy themselves.

    Pumps shut down before they destroy themselves.

    Aerial failures are significantly less.

    Brakes don't lock up.

    Brake failure is almost a thing of the past.

    200'+ towers.

    Elevator towers (Asia)

    Aerials that can lift a Crown Victoria.

    Aerials that can be set on uneven ground.

    Pumps that require virtually no attention once the water supply is established.

  4. #4
    LeoVincent
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    As for the first respondant, I am impressed with your knowledge of modern gadgets, but I am dismayed with the fact that you missed my point completely. I drive past stations every day in a huge class 1 city, and I see 30 year old designs running calls all day long. I to use my earlier analogy I could say "Well, a Lamborghini Diablo can go 202 MPH and a Hummer can go through XYZ terrain......." but that does not mean that the technology is prevelant or even applies to the entire industry. If you are educated, you can stick a lot of advanced items on your antiquated design, but it is still an antiquated design.

    As for the second respondant, the advances in European trucks vs the Stagnation in American ones was what I was refering to.



    ------------------
    Leo Vincent
    Fire@westcoastvintage.com
    Seeking Firewolf Industries Items!

  5. #5
    LHS'
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Ok Leo,

    //I drive past stations every day in a huge class 1 city, and I see 30 year old designs running calls all day long.//

    We are a small volunteer Class 1 town and we don't run 30 year old designs.

    /// you can stick a lot of advanced items on your antiquated design, but it is still an antiquated design.//


    So what would be a non-antiquated design?

    Come on boy spit it out! What the frick are you talking about?

  6. #6
    ADSN/WFLD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    When it comes down to it firefighting hasn't changed much in the last 80+ years. Apparatus has grown larger and can carry more stuff, but where the rubber hits the road very little has changed. A first due engine at a fire pulls lines and puts the fire out, almost the same as they did in 1917. OK before you jump all over me, Yes we have airpacks and better gear, some people have thermal imaging cameras, and some people even have CAFS. (I wouldn't wait for CASF to become common place in the big cities, I'm mostly sure you and I will have died of old age before the big cities adopt it) Hose is lighter (does that mean we are weaker?) But in general an engine co. pulls hose off of a pumper we enter the building and put the wet stuff on the red stuff. Same as our brothers did 80+ years ago.

    I understand what your talking about Leo and I don't have a solution. But as long as the higher ups can get a Florida vacation when its time to do an inspection, some manufacturers will continue to turn out crap.

    I can't in good faith place all the blame on any FD's administration. Why are so many of us resistant to change. I haven't seen many people jumping at the E-One Daytona, why "cuz it looks strange". same to a lesser extent with the Pierce Quantum. I can't tell you how many mechanics tell me that the Quantum's fold down stairs will never work.

    And this will not change soon. When an engine costs 250,000 + a town can't risk purchasing a piece of junk.

    If you have a solution, then fix it! Don't just brag about how much stuff you have on your rig. Because the bottom line is we both get fires and they go out in both our municipalities.

    Stay Safe

  7. #7
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    "As for the second respondant, the advances in European trucks vs the Stagnation in American ones was what I was refering to."

    So were you speaking in code or what? No where do you mention this - you just flat state there have been little or no advancements since the '60s.

    So where are we stagnant? Give examples.

    I hear that crap all the time "Europe is better than us in this or that area." BS if the way they do it in Europe is so much better, you could bet we'd be doing it that way. Our regulatory agencies would see to it. In fact, a friend of mine has been to Europe to teach them how WE do it. Now I'm not in the big giant loop, but I don't hear about Euro's comin' over hear to show us how its done.

    Don't confuse different with better.

    Just wondering - Did you get driven out of the apparatus business by one of the big boys or what? In all honesty, from this and your other posts it sounds like you have a hell of a chip on your shoulder.

    And ADSN/WFLD - I just got back from one of those 3 day trips to Florida. While it was nice and we were treated exceptionally well, believe me it was no vacation.

    [This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited September 09, 2000).]

  8. #8
    CollegeBuff
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    LHS, I gotta ask..... what possesed you to drive an ladder truck around spraying water? What possesed you to take on uphill at 85 mph? What possesed you to slam ont he brakes and then accelerate on ice? Why do you need to be sending emails or watching tv in your trucks? Why do you needs to have helicopter refill capability? Why do you need to remotly operate your ladders? Is your department afraid of hights? I mean, I don't intend to offend you or anyone, I;m just tryin to understand why you need al of this. How many times do you really need to see out of a color/thermal camera mounted on the ladder? I will readily admit, a lot of that stuff is great, and some of it should even be standard equipment. But how many times per year do you need a laser-guided cutting tool mounted on a ladder operated from 400 feet away? And who paid for these BattleFire Gallactica's that leave the station 400 times a year? I'm not knockin your department, I think it might just be overkill is all.

  9. #9
    LeoVincent
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy

    Well, to answer a few of the questions posed, I was one of the youngest VP's of Marketing ever in the Fire Apparatus Biz. I worked for both large and small companies. I really don't have a chip on my shoulder, but try if you will to think about the way it feels when you talk to a civilian who has no concept of what a firefighter really does. Well, that is what it was like to see fire departments buying apparatus after working in the business for a while. I was a firefighter when I started, but I had to give it up due to time constraints.

    When I went to Intershutz der Rote Hahn in Germany I saw fire apparatus that was exceptional. Balanced pressure foam systems that were exceptional and so advanced over what the US was using at the time and yet so simple. I saw trucks with multiple rescue / support modjules that could be completely re-outfitted in under 2 minutes while the first out truck was in route. I saw rock steady bronto lifts in of 175 feet and more. I saw Schwing aerials that had fully articulated 4 section booms that could reach 50 feet under an overpass it was sitting on top of.

    I was very impressed with the rear mount pumpers. They changed the weight distribution to almost optimum while still giving the visibility options of a midmount control panel (which really screws the weight balance).

    If you look at the product lines Rosenbauer produces, you will see a lot of these advances. Unfortunately, I saw some VERY poor attempts by American companies to copy these designs. They were hampered by the how do I set up the spec so that no one else can meet it, issue, and made embarassing mistakes.

    And I saw a lot of closed minded fire departments who insisted they were the best in the world and if there was anything better they would already have it, cause they were 18 feet tall and bulletproof and they believed everything E-one or Pierce or KME told them and if they said it, it was the gospel.

    That is where I am coming from on this issue. I hope that clears it up a bit.



    ------------------
    Leo Vincent
    Fire@westcoastvintage.com
    Seeking Firewolf Industries Items!

  10. #10
    Charlie Hoffman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Nature of business attachment
    Nature of your business: To manufacture and sell to distributors in the fire industry the
    STRIKE FORCEFIREFIGHTER TRACER LINE
    Type of products or services:
    The firefighter tracer line is a revolutionary device in the next generation of search and rescue equipment. Tracer Line is a multi-functional, self-contained, personal tether line made of the newest, safest, and strongest materials. The unit facilitates safe entry and exit from a search environment, doing away with the old methods and problems. Tracer Line is a lightweight, compact reel that adheres to a rescuer's air pack harness or belt and can disconnect easily in the event of entanglement or problems. Tracer Line is the only self-retracting personal tether line on the market.
    The unit contains one hundred feet of self-retracting stainless steel line which is attached to a doorjamb mechanism and takes the place of the wooden wedges that were used to hold entry doors open. Our injection molded housings and doorjamb mechanisms are heat resistant, fire resistant, and will not conduct electricity, thus making it the best and safest material for Firefighters. The door anchor mechanism has several functions. The device is made to easily and one handedly attach to any doorjamb, keeping the door open for smoke ventilation, preventing the door from closing and locking behind as some commercial building doors will do. The unit is also equipped with a beacon light so that firefighters or rescue personnel can see that an area is already being searched and serves to find a firefighter that has fallen and is in need of help.
    If a doorjamb is not available, the anchor mechanism is designed to allow tying off to a handle, pieces of furniture, railings, or another tracer line and with the introduction of new technologies such as the inferred and heat vision masks and devices, our tracer line is a natural fail-safe device to secure Firefighters in the event of technological failure. The tracer line was designed for room to room search in high-rise buildings, or can cover a two-story two thousand square foot house anchored at its front door. Other applications include use by scuba DART team divers, petroleum platform firefighters, crude oil tanker ships and firefighters on naval ships.
    When your life is on the line, Tracer Line gets you out!
    Geographic market area:
    We have U.S. Patent (5042613 August 27, 1991) and plan to patent our product in other countries as soon as funds allow. The Firefighter Tracer Line will begin marketing in the United States and then to countries worldwide.
    List key customers: There is hundreds of fire equipment distributors nationally, as per our business plan here are examples of just a few who wish to distribute The Firefighter Tracer Line
    Interspiro – 45 Distributors
    Grace Industries – 386 Distributors
    Hansen Enterprises – 350 Distributors
    Chief Safety Supply – 30 Distributors
    Lee and Associates - 50 Distributors
    Please refer to business plan for a complete list of distributors.

    *PLEASE NOTE: Interspiro is the world’s largest manufacturer of Fire equipment, 40 yr. Europe and 20 yr. U.S., one of the products they manufacture and distribute is a firefighter respiration pack. They have informed us of their interest in purchasing and attaching the Firefighter Tracer Line to their air pack to make a complete life saving system to give them an industry edge against their competitors.
    GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS:
    To date we have been solicited by the US Navy Pacific and Atlantic Fleets. David Mierke
    (Department Head of Training San Diego) and Chief Nowacki (Director of Safety and Survivability Norfolk Virginia) both awaiting tracer lines for evaluation aboard ships and also at naval bases. If accepted by the US Navy other Government Agencies will follow.
    List major competitors: This is a completely unique device and there is nothing like it on the market to date. Strike Force Firefighter Tracer Line is the first and only personal tether line to reach the fire industry; thus it will, like fire, spread throughout the industry.


  11. #11
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    "I saw trucks with multiple rescue/support modjules that could be completely re-outfitted in under 2 minutes while the first out truck was in route."

    This is an improvement over rigs we use today? You know, the ones that are multi-purpose having the full complement of firefighting, ladder company and rescue tools, etc. showing up on the first arriving unit?

    Why waste time "reoutfitting" a rig before leaving the station when a properly designed rig will carry it all?

    We have a 105' aerial that 2 people can set up, put a crew to the roof or do a rescue, grab two ports off a hydrant, put 4 master streams in service, while 2 more of the crew start an extrication on the rubberneckers that slammed into each other while trying to see what was on fire. All this in about 4 minutes.

    If a department wants a rig that'll do this, all they need to do is spec it.

    "I saw rock steady bronto lifts in of 175 feet and more."

    One of the big builders you bash sells these in the US. Beltsville MD, Knoxville TN, DFW Airport just to name a few already have them in service.

    "I saw Schwing aerials that had fully articulated 4 section booms that could reach 50 feet under an overpass it was sitting on top of."

    Yeah, we got those here too. Some will flow over 5,000gpm from the aerial device.

    "I was very impressed with the rear mount pumpers."

    Yeah, we got these too. But personally I prefer the mid-ship pump with the walkway - gets the operator out of the street.

    "I saw some VERY poor attempts by American companies to copy these designs."

    I don't suppose you'll give examples would you?

    [This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited September 10, 2000).]

  12. #12
    LHS'
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    //what possesed you to drive an ladder truck around spraying water?

    Structure protection when hundreds of homes are threatened in the interface.

    //What possesed you to take on uphill at 85 mph?

    we respond up to 167 miles to some parts of our first due area, we have a large county roughly 5000 square miles.

    /// What possesed you to slam ont he brakes and then accelerate on ice?

    our temperatues range from 50- to 125 degrees, tanker shuttle operations, snow, and traffic often require on ice performance for hours at a time

    // Why do you need to be sending emails or watching tv in your trucks?

    ever spend weeks at a time away from home in your fire truck on mutual aid hundred of miles from home?

    //Why do you needs to have helicopter refill capability?

    Sometimes the nearest fill point is 70 miles away. Choppers are faster than fire trucks, sometimes.

    //Why do you need to remotly operate your ladders?

    So you aren't on the rig when you hit a power line, so you can get back and see what you are really doing

    ///I;m just tryin to understand why you need al of this.

    I think the L A Riots proved you don't need a fire department the comunity won't burn down even with hundreds setting fires, however, we choose to have a full tool box to deal with anything.

    ///How many times do you really need to see out of a color/thermal camera mounted on the ladder?

    everytime we send a crew to the roof or raise the aerial command has a god's eye view of the entire fire scene.

    //But how many times per year do you need a laser-guided cutting tool mounted on a ladder operated from 400 feet away?

    when you need it you need it, how often do you use air bags?

    /// And who paid for these BattleFire Gallactica's that leave the station 400 times a year?

    the public and in return for the fleet we return the taxpayers investment in fire protection every 28 days with lower insurance rates.

    //I'm not knockin your department, I think it might just be overkill is all.

    Well, lets look at this weeks news. How many wildland fires are burning? How many homes were lost? How many people were in the tour bus over 100 miles beyond the range of any air ambulance? How many tankers burnt out on the highway? How many extrications went bad? It is far easier to say good enough.

    The cost of doing things half way versus all the way isn't that great. Our budget is $276,000 a year, just how much could you save us a year? How much do you return to the taxpayers a year? Could you cover this area on that budget? Do you commonly send 5 rigs at a time out of town? Can you shuttle 1100 gpm 15 miles from the closest water point? How do you get water 120 feet below the pumper? Ever been on a fire the size of Deleware? Why is it we read all over this forum daytime staffing sucks? We average 56 per fire and you? They don't give the Class 1 ratings away, what do you have?

  13. #13
    LHS'
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    ///Balanced pressure foam systems that were exceptional and so advanced over what the US was using at the time and yet so simple.

    Old news today

    ///I saw rock steady bronto lifts in of 175 feet and more.

    Old news 290 footers are on the market today, But, the one 178 footer in Texas doesn't work nor do their little brothers in Vancover, small point but the truth.

    //I saw Schwing aerials that had fully articulated 4 section booms that could reach 50 feet under an overpass it was sitting on top of.

    In use in 11 departments today. Must not be a real gopopd idea or we'd see more wouldn't we?

    ///If you look at the product lines Rosenbauer produces,

    You mean like the overweight unit in Texas, or all the doors they just replaced in Texas on an entire fleet?

    ///you will see a lot of these advances. Unfortunately, I saw some VERY poor attempts by American companies to copy these designs.

    Maybe some are not ready for prime time. Over weight...bad form, the doors on an entire fleet were replaced by american made products. The silly deck guns replaced by an akron, the swing out crap in the compartments were all rebuilt on the demo on just 3 years. None of the electric valves work today, but heck, they'll be getting rid of the 3 year old rig in just 2 months. That's progress?

    ///They were hampered by the how do I set up the spec so that no one else can meet it, issue, and made embarassing mistakes.

    That should have been part of their business plan it is the reality of the american fire service not some fairy tail

    ///That is where I am coming from on this issue. I hope that clears it up a bit.

    Oh. The aerial you mentioned as a good thing sure can't compete head to head with the products made by the folks you just slammed.

    The 194 Simon Fire Wolf for example, 1000 gpm pump? Come on, hamstringed forever with a toy pump, didn't save a cent not buying a 1500 gpm. Cross lays 8.5 feet in the air, that is a good idea? A package unit A/C than can't possibly carry the load on the raised roof cab. One maker yo slammed standard A/C unit has three times the output as that rigs. 100 amp siren attached to what size alternator? Chose a chassis manufuacturer that went out of business shortly there after. One set of 12 volt spot lights for nighttime illumination. I guess it doesn't get dark in FL. Overall the rigs is a plain jane, everyone builds one sttyle rig. Nothing inovative that wasn't done by someone else then or today. Except possibly the highly confused pump panel. Even KME saw nothing in the line to continue to copy.

    The other rig, pushes the margins of being overweight, same old same old layout that everyone else builds. If you own a fork lift you can get the hard suction off and in 3 to 4 minutes you could be drafting. How does that compare to 11 seconds? I thought you were talking about innovation? Ground exhaust, anti citizen on thestreet corner weapon, insures the rig can't ford water. 12 volt scene lights no floods. I'm sorrry other than angle of approach and departure issues what are the good ideas on this rig? Must be the boodter reels.

    The worst thing about the rigs is the departments are stuck with out of production apparatus. The element of trust is long gone. Just another reason to look out for up starts.

    Take a look at what are buying now if you'd like to see some real innovation.

  14. #14
    LHS'
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    //I saw rock steady 175' lifts

    Hmmm, define rock steady.

    Let's compare

    Measure Mine Yours
    Wind speed 40 mph 15
    tip load 1350 lbs 500
    Distributed 6000 lbs 0
    Gpm flow 3000 gpm 350
    Stability factor 3-1 1.5 to 1

    Rock steady? I don't think so, extree special duty, YEP!

  15. #15
    Capt. Zada
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Careful Leo, it looks like Larry is going to have a stroke on this one!

  16. #16
    LeoVincent
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry

    Please Please Please, think out arguements before making them. When someone tells you that companies are keeping you from seeing more of the better products and you respond by saying " Well they must not be very good or we'd see more of them".

    The examples of European trucks you see here have been hamstrung by meeting incomprehensible specifications written by their competition. I also never said that Firewolf was a good example. Our wanting to purchase items from their defunct company has to do with the collection of one of the owners here at West Coast Vintage.

    Firewolf took great european designs and handed them over to an inept engineer who butchered them according to all accounts. This guy had misrepresented his credentials and took credit for someone else's work to get the job. The trucks they ended up turning out were hampered by this yo-yo and then even more by the archaic specfications they were forced to meet.

    I am not saying that there are not a few advanced pieces of equipment here and there. I am saying that many of the advances enjoyed through out the world have been held away from US fire departments.

    Rear mount pumpers offer the best and safest layout bar none. The issues of operator safety in regards to traffic were brought out by Fire apparatus companies who had tried repeatedly to design these trucks and could not overcome the problems of drive shaft vibration due to poor engineering. I was there, I saw it, heard it, shook my head and walked away. Fire Departments must lead the charge for better equipment. As long as you take the position "It's gotta be the best cause it's what I got" you will continue to play the fool to the folks pulling the strings.



    ------------------
    Leo Vincent
    Fire@westcoastvintage.com
    Seeking Firewolf Industries Items!

  17. #17
    LHS'
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I find it interesting reading your reference to a certain company across the pond and what wonderful products they make only to read in a trade magazine today that they are in resevership for 30% of their operation.

    Doesn't build confidence.

  18. #18
    mongofire_99
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Is this guy for real?

    Following this and the E-one Issues thread he says "think out arguements before making them."

    Then he doesn't?

    The examples of European trucks you see here have been hamstrung by meeting incomprehensible specifications written by their competition.

    I am saying that many of the advances enjoyed through out the world have been held away from US fire departments.


    You were asked for examples 2 days ago, will you ever provide them?

    Rear mount pumpers offer the best and safest layout bar none.

    Is this a fact or your opinion? If it is a fact, please cite your references so we'll have something to go with.

    ...Fire apparatus companies who had tried repeatedly to design these trucks and could not overcome the problems of drive shaft vibration due to poor engineering. I was there, I saw it, heard it, shook my head and walked away.

    When and where?

    When I "think out" your arguement on this position, you are stating that there is not one competent engineer in the US apparatus industry that can design a rear pump apparatus.

    Do you really believe that?

    Do you honestly think that if fire departments on this side of the pond wanted rear pump rigs they would spec them and someone would build them? Doesn't Pheonix have them?

    I was there when the manufacturer told the apparatus committee for the department I was with at the time that they don't know what they're asking for. The committee insisted it was what we wanted so we got it. Then they said "this isn't what we had in mind," but it met our spec to the letter.

    In your opinion whose fault would that be, the manufacturer or the buyer?

    Geez, look at the time, I'm gonna be late for work...

    Hey LHS' what's reservership?

  19. #19
    LHS'
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    //Hey LHS' what's reservership?

    Opps Recievership. It means the bank is liquidating the companies assets because they couldn't pay their bills.


  20. #20
    ADSN/WFLD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    "the public and in return for the fleet we return the taxpayers investment in fire protection every 28 days with lower insurance rates."

    ISO class 1 is basically the same rate as class 3. What can a family who owns a single family home in your dist do with the extra savings, probably purchase an extra box of Kraft Mac and Cheese and a can of tuna.

    "We are a small volunteer Class 1 town and we don't run 30 year old designs."

    I've also heard that your vehicles can't leave the state because they are so overweight.

    "//Why do you need to remotly operate your ladders?

    So you aren't on the rig when you hit a power line, so you can get back and see what you are really doing"

    I think your drivers should go back to school and learn how to operate their apparatus. If someone can't keep the ladder out of the powerlines they shouldn't be driving/operating that rig.


    I hope your still reading, it doesn't feel to good when someone starts to pick appart everything you say. Lets be adults and think about the topic.

    We have all seen salesmen who make their products look like the greatest thing on earth. We also have all seen the biding process. you know that manufacturers and salesmen will manipulate everything they can to win a bid. We have just experienced this at one of the departments I work for. Each and every salesman told us that certain items were unnecessary on our units and we should allow their exceptions.

    S. Cook how many things did Enema One try to slip past you on your unit? If you didn't find anything wrong with your rig you didn't look close enough. The last 4 rigs we purchased had several things wrong with them and it was only because of our hard nosed mechanic that thoes things got fixed.

    Try not to get so defensive. this post was started (I presume) to stimulate our minds and get us thinking. Take a good look at ourselves how many of us realy are experts in our field. It seems obvious to me that we all could use some more experience and knowledge of our jobs. If you doubt that just look at the number of deaths every year, then look at the number of fires we get. Every year we get less fires but our death rates aren't dropping.

    Stay Safe and learn everything you can.


  21. #21
    ladderman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I think this guy LeoVincent sells or works for a eurapean fire truck mfg.



  22. #22
    ADSN/WFLD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    You May be right

  23. #23
    LeoVincent
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I have not been in the business in almost 10 years now.



    ------------------
    Leo Vincent
    Fire@westcoastvintage.com
    Seeking Firewolf Industries Items!

  24. #24
    S. Cook
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    "S. Cook how many things did Enema One try to slip past you on your unit?"

    Just to clarify, we were just there for the prebuild and to the best of my knowledge, none.

    We made some changes to make our rigs better, swapping a few things here and there (e.g. different pump to get the trucks shorter allowed us to get Class A foam). None were suggested (outright or subliminally) by the rep or the company, all were by us. Afterwards we made sure to clarify all the little details.

    If they get anything by us in delivery, it's not their fault its ours. We can accept or decline the rigs just like every other department that buys one.

    "The last 4 rigs we purchased had several things wrong with them and it was only because of our hard nosed mechanic that thoes things got fixed."

    I can be realistic and understand that every new rig is going to have some squawks. Hell I used to fix brand new helicopters that just rolled of the line (some had major problems but most were minor), new cars have problems too. But if your rigs had "several problems," why did your department even take delivery? Why didn't your department wait util they were fixed?

    "Each and every salesman told us that certain items were unnecessary on our units and we should allow their exceptions."

    Did you guys hold your ground or did you cave to the salesman? How about an example or two of what they said was unecessary?

    If any company is ripping cities and counties off on a regular basis, how can they still be in business, much less the biggest boys in the business?

    They would have to be only selling to idiots that are too stupid to know they're getting the shaft or are willing to take it; wouldn't you agree?

  25. #25
    STATION2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Leo, you preach of safety and then go against it in one breath. How is standing at the rear of an Engine Co. on a freeway for a car fire safe? We go thru all the trouble of parking to protect the scene (You know the firefighters, police, EMS and civilians) and put front trash lines on our rigs and then you go and get prehistoric on us by putting the E/O back in the street to get hit. What happens when they get rear ended? Remember your not there in the street for a distracted driver to run into and pin you between their car and the rig. Hows that for your safety issue. Anaheim likes the idea and there are benefits, but don't jump up on the safety issue with that example. The wonderful developments you like from "over the pond" aren't widely accepted here maybe because of NFPA. The minute you bring up NFPA and make them meet it and still perform they go away as you quietly drift back to the Rosenbaur hospitality suite. I believe that things have changed. What about cabs and chassis. Back then you could get an open cab or open jumpseat rig all day long. How about Class A or CAFS, floodlighting, better warning lights, improved technology in terms of TIC's, lightweight hose, etc. We have come to value our people more now, like you preach but obviously don't believe. LHS and Scott have covered everything else more than enough. I'll just add one more thing....... "What Larry and Scott said." Ladderman, He may not work for one currently, but he probably owns a considerable amount of stock in one. Be safe.

    Larry

    [This message has been edited by STATION2 (edited September 12, 2000).]

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