Thread: Need some help.

  1. #1
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    Default Need some help.

    We are looking at a new rescue. The specs we need is a 300 gallon tank, pump and roll,rescue tools for automotive rescue(system we already have), 4 door chassis, All-wheel drive, Air compressor,generator, Scene lights, ECT.... We will also add a front extension for fighting fires with the pump and roll on ground cover fires and a winch.

    We are looking at a F550 mainly because we need the unit to keep up with the ambulance at speed of 95mph at times. Thinking about the V10 so we can get $4500 in more equipment with what we save by not getting the diesel. Also What about the Air bags on the truck, I can just see someone eating the mic when they ramp a ditch.

    Anyway Any ideas are appreciated and sorry for the long post.

    D308

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    Ihave been told, but do not nofor sure that the v10 has been discontinued.

    spend the money and get a diesel.less maintaiance, for the area your in more fuelmilage, less break down problems more reliability.

    heat and gas engines dont get along ,be creative find the money ,but do your selves a big favor go diesel.

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    In my opinion you might be better off getting the diesel if you can afford it. especially if you want to powers to get 300 gallons of water and all the gear you need to roll down the road at the speed you want. You might also consider an International or Freightliner 4-door cab. We've got them on our engines, and have had fairly good luck with them.
    I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine.

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    308, go to www.attackone.com and look under "products". The truck with the #29 on it is ours. 99 F550 crew with 7.9 powerstroke diesel. Front compartment is transverse at the top for back boards and then it has slide out trays for hyd tools and also slide out vertical trays where scba is mounted(4 packs, 4 spare bottles), middle comp is misc support tools on rt side and EMS comp on drivers side. Rt rear is plumbed hyd power unit with hyd hose reels or we can remove unit and go with it. Lt rear compartment is empty for bunker gear. Lt front has another additional slide out vert tray in addition to scba that manual tools are strapped on to(axe, mini-pike sledge). Water tank of 200 gallons and 15 gallons of foam that runs off of a mini diesel pump that I can't recall right now. 200' of booster line and a compartment that runs front to back for 150' of 1&3/4 inch preconnect. All this weighs in at about 16,000#. Diesel of course a little slow out of the hole but is great in the mid range and is governed to 85 mph. We've had pretty good luck with it so far and since we've had it, have ordered a couple of more of them with smaller tool beds and Tri-max extinguishing units. They are custom designed and had good luck with the building process.
    "dfwscotty@hotmail.com"

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    95 mph?

    I can't think of a situation where that would be operating a truck with "due regard" for the safety of others.

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    RJE
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    DonRobbie - ever hear of turnpikes?

    Out here (Oklahoma) we have pikes with 75MPH speed limits and one exit every 15 miles (on average). If you're in an MVA 1/2 way between the highway 20 and the highway 28 exit on the Will Rogers, then the response will be an ambo and a pumper from Claremore (on ramp at mm 255) going NE and one ambo and one pumper from Adair (mm 269) going SW. And the Adair dept. is all volunteer - and the town is 6 miles east of the pike.

    I have personally been on that stretch, doing 78mph, and had an ambulance overtake me. I slowed down and moved right, but he still overtook fast enough that I didn't have time to get stopped. I'd estimate he was doing about 85-90mph. Considering that traffic was very light (this was late at night) and that "normal" flow on this stretch is 80-85mph, I don't think he was being unreasonable.

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    Yep, same thing where I used to work at Cleveland FD (Oklahoma). Cimarron Turnpike ran through our ambulance district 8 miles south of town. Two onramps--one 10 miles SE of town down two-lane Hwy 64, and one 12 SW of town down two-lane (no shoulder) Hwy 99. Rescue on the pike was covered by two very compentant volunteer FD's, and I always liked to send Jennings FD from the west and Peninsula FD from the east until someone found the crash, particularly if callers didn't know where they were (and they never do--it's always "A couple miles from the exit.") And even if you know exactly where a crash is, you may have to bypass it by a mile or two just to get to a turn-a-round.

    Yeah, I had our ambulances up to the 90 mph mark (and beyond) a few times, on the pike. I'm not condoning this (it was a violation of our SOP) but when traffic is moving at 80 mph, I felt it was a calculated risk.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    Our district is in the area of 400sq. miles and if we have to assist a mutual aid dept. we may be looking a 40 to 50 miles to get to the scene. We do not like the diesel as much mainly because the unit is started cold pulled out abuot 300yds to the main road and then it is time to let the hammer down also I work a a auto mechanic at times and have worked on several powerstrokes they are just too expensive to run. traffic is not a problem might meet 5 cars the entire run. Main question is about the air bag and is it safe on a rescue.

    Thanks
    D308

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    Oh, bye the way. Those of you that do use the powerstroke. Which I do think is a good engine just to expensive to run for us. BE SURE AND CHECK THE PH LEVEL IN THE ANTIFREEZE. if you don't check and correct it every time you change the oil it will develop acids in the antifreeze and eat the block out. No Sh** I have seen it.

    Hope the info helps

    D308

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    Started cold, pulled out, hammer down.
    Gas or deisel a block heater wired to the shore line will help.

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    d308 the block heater idea I agree with, The diesel I prefer(I am a diesel mech. biased). The IH chassis I don't think you will see 95mph in due to the DT series engines (not enough H/P) unless you go to a class 8 chassis. Ramping a ditch at the speeds you will be going, eating a mic is the last thing I would be worried about, get the air bags. Are you shure you ned 4X4 this could offset some of the diesel cost.

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    My agency has an American Eagle F350 with a 250 gal polytank, extrication and ems equipment on it. Its a great truck, but, it runs on regular gas and is somewhat lacking on the power side. I'd recommend diesel. Also, we have some problems with the suspension due to the weight loaded on the vehicle. Good luck.

    Stay safe
    Bless all of our Fallen Brothers and Sisters. You will not be forgotten

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    The unit is also used as a grassfire attack unit and 4x4 is a must. Also because of muddy dirt roads and we have at least one 12" snow each year. It is the same reason that the next ambulance we get will be 4x4.
    Ggg, you are right if it was not for these few things we would save the money by not getting the 4x4.

    Thanks D308

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    Ever hear of the word "lawsuit". Think about it. You are going to take a nearly ten ton truck and send it down the highway at almost 100 mph. Ever lose a tire at that speed? Ever have an idiot pull out in front of you? (happens even on the turnpike) Will speed be considered a factor in the accident by the investigating officer? You'd better believe it. Will the grieving famil(y)(ies) consider you responsible? Who will stand up in court with you and defend the use of a piece of fire apparatus at 90+ mph? The chassis mfr? the tire mfr? the apparatus mfr? your Insurance carrier? There are some things that are indefensible. The simple reality is there is no reason for an apparatus to break the speed limit at least 99.9% of the time (I can't think of a situation but I'm sure there is one sometime, someday, somewhere).

    Besides the liability factor, it just is simply a bad idea. Do you know for sure that the tires are rated for that speed? (tread separation, blowout, etc) how will the high center of gravity and the water shifting affect the vehicle in evasive manuevers at that speed? We really have a hard enough time here prying money from the city fathers without having to buy the same big ticket items twice, is the situation that different there? Not to mention the real cost. How many people aren't with us because of apparatus accidents?

    Think about your profession's future as well. If your average bozo is traveling 90 mph in his Olds and kills himself and a few other people in an accident it's not usually a big story. If he does it in an ambulance or a fire engine however it WILL be on the front page of your local paper and probably on the TV and the radio as well. It WILL get you a lot of negative attention and it WILL hurt your fundraising and recruiting. The last thing a volunteer (or paid for that matter) department needs is to be seen as reckless daredevils who are a menace to the people they serve. It can take years to recover from the damage. Of course it will never happen to you. Your fire apparatus has that great light package and that "bulletproof" red paint. Your apparatus operators are well versed in operating the piece at speeds near the century mark and with the reflexes of an Indy car driver they can dodge all hazards and zip along 20 mph faster than the flow of traffic without risk.


    There is nothing quite like the feeling of being strapped in an apparatus with a driver in the "code 3 trance" travelling at mach 2 and someone pulls out in front of you. Intense pucker factor. Life is exciting enough without that kind of excitement.

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    oops, going too fast for conditions caused me to double post

    [ 08-25-2001: Message edited by: DonRobbie ]

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    If you want a vehicle to go that fast you might want to consider a corvette with a pump can and a pry bar. seriously though what good are you going to do the victims if you are rolled over in a ditch? as far as vehicles go the F550 with power stroke and the dodge 3500 cummins with camper package are both excellent vehicles also the freightliner and international are nice. although my departments rescue is built on a Peterbilt chassis and I and the other members of the department are very happy with same
    so others may live

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    O.K. for the record. SOP is for response to grass fires,sturucture fires,MVA's non critical,and nusiance fires, Code 3 10 mph over speed limit. Exceptions are, MVA's with entraped LEVEL 1 trauma patients,Structure fires people inside, and first response to major cardiac distress. Then the speed shall be as fast as necessary considering all traffic conditions,weather conditions, and any other factors that influence driving conditions. This may mean on an icey day your top speed is 15 to 20 mph, whereas on a sunny summer afternoon it may be the 95mph. Saftey is a big issue and we do not and will not endanger the public any more than 100% necessary to do the job at hand. Think a minute, what if it was your family in a car accident on a sunny after noon. your (wife,husband,daughter,son,ect.) is hurt bad and entrapped you are 15 miles from the nearest fire dept. and 40 miles form the nearest ED and 100 miles from the nearest Level 1 trauma center, now what is the safe speed to run, the 3+ minutes saved by the 95mph response could mean the diffrence between the person living and a family being at a funeral the next weak.

    Be Safe
    D308

    [ 08-26-2001: Message edited by: d308 ]

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    RJE
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    Absolutely D308 - sounds like you're reading my SOPs, too.

    In my 'pike example, you wouldn't be able w/most pumpers to even drive the speed limit (75mph). But an ambulance or small rescue (built on a 1-ton or small freightliner chassis or equiv.) shouldn't have any problem (safety wise) travelling at 85mph (note that that's in the 10mph over rule)

    And considering that the 'pike (around here anyway) is very straight, very wide, and users (including many big rigs) routinely travel it at 80-85mph, 90 (15mph over) is not unreasonable.

    That being said - traveling at that kind of speed in any OTHER situation sounds ridiculous.

    I've driven many fire apparatus. I've also had my Pete up to 90 - and that with 50,000# in a 45' trailer, no less - It's not unsafe. It's not even scary (in the right situation, on the right road). But at that speed the Pete would take >1/2 mile to stop. No way I'd do that on any road that had places where someone could pull out in front of me!

    [ 08-30-2001: Message edited by: RJE ]

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    What if your family was in the path of the responding apparatus?

    <IMG SRC=http://www.firehouse.com/ems/news/01/8/23_Pfirestone.jpg>

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    I agree mostly with Don Robbie. If you think back to fire school the number one safety factor is ME, the public, property, the environment etc.. in that order. Specking out a vehicle on it's speed (95mph)rather than it's safety features, durability, service contract etc... is rather tunnel visioned. Remember if we don't get there safely we don't make a differance. Kinda like-be a part of the solution not problem.

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    Back to the original question:
    1. The vehicle requirements (ignoring speed) are reasonable except the air compressor. I'm assuming you are referring to a unit to fill air bottles. These units are large in size and heavy. If you plan on doing off-road operations, even a small compressor with the compliment of 300 Gallons of Water, HRT, and whatever crap you can fit on this thing is going to make it not feasible.
    2. Back to the pH issue; I don't think everyone knows that (last I knew) the Powerstroke is made by International Truck's motor division. A piece that was eliminated was a filter (Or simular component) that maintained the pH in the collant. I believe you can buy this now for your engine. I know that the additive is available in any auto parts stores that has a clue.

    E-One's Superlynx program may help out or the Fire-Rescue Group's (E-One, Saulsbury, Superior, Bronto) new Tradition Series may also help.
    E-One
    Tradition Series by E-One, Saulsbury, Superior
    "The light that goes around, even up-side down".

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    Ok, drop the speed down to 75 mph. That is the fastest 19.5" tires I can find and should be safe if handled properly. Don you are right tires should be kept at the rated speed to maintain saftey. Chops, The air compressor that I am talking about is an 175psi electric compressor for air tools. The reason for the compressor is that we can get the compressor cheeper that the high preasure bottles to run the equipment, and we are going to get the generator no matter what for bright scene lights.

    Also chops your right, very few of the people that own powerstrokes that i know realize that they are actually a DT444E Navistar engine that is modified to fit into the ford truck, and it is nice to know that you can get the filter kit now, that will help the problem

    Keep the info comeing

    Thanks D308

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    Based on my limited experience with the 450/550 line I believe that one loaded with standard fire/rescue gear will become progressively more unstable at speeds of 65 mph +.95 at the stock tire/spring configuration borders on insanity.I don't care what these guys do with them in ambulance form,the vehicle isn't designed to do that.I have personally lost a steer tire at 50 mph and it wasn't pretty.To lose one at 70+ is going to eat up a lot of road and I'll guarantee the pilot will probably have brown shorts.T.C.

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