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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Default Mini/quick attack Pumpers, are they worth it?

    Just looking to discuss Mini/quick attack pumpers, not so much brush trucks as they are intended for a different appliation. What I would like to talk about are mini pumper intended to fight fire in urban terrain.

    Have you had good experiences with this class of apparatus?

    Do they have a place in major metro departments to save wear and tear on the full sized vehicles?

    What situations have you found them to be a read advantage, IE tight confines, speedier responce?

    What are the features you have found to help the most with these units?

    What is not worth putting one them?

    What chassis, pump, tank, body combinations do you use?

    What chassis, pump, tank, body configuratoin would you consider to be the ultimate mini pumper.
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  2. #2
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    Exclamation Waste of money

    I can put out a trash bin fire with a class A pumper but I can't handle a two story residential fully involved with a mini-pumper.

    Stay Safe,

    Pete
    Pete Sinclair
    Hartford, MI
    IACOJ (Retired Division)

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Default

    True enough.

    How about something like this. An interesting sort of pumper, I am wondering how effective something like this can be???

    Edgewater Park takes delivery of a new Bodyguard body from V.R.S.Sales. The unit is built on a GMC w series six man chassis. The truck carries 200 gallons of water with a class "A" foam system, 500 gallon Hale pump, an aluminum extruded body with Robinson roll up doors.

    http://www.vrs-sales.com/Images/edgewater.jpg

    Anybody ever been around a pumper like this?

    Thanks
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

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  4. #4
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Default

    Like all other tools, techniques, idea, etc, they have their place. They can't do everything. Town near me had one for years. It handled 99% of their calls with 3 guys. 3 guys on a minipumper are not much different than 3 guys on a class A. Course, that is only if you have the Class A to back it up the %1 of the time it could not handle the problem.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Default

    All true Bones. I guess that is what I am trying to feel out, what is the role of mini pumpers, what are their upper limits, etc...

    I have seen a lot of minipumpers with 500 GMP pumps.

    Has anybody seen one with 750-1000 gpm pumps?

    Is it even possible?
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

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  6. #6
    Forum Member backdraft663's Avatar
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    Default

    We have one its a 1995?? Ford/ Summitt.

    We use it on first out on car wrecks and high and low angle rescues. . Its very handy little thing. It carries just about all the tools that a regular standard engine would carry. Your hurst tools, airpacks, traffic control devices, stokes basket. The truck also has a pump I have no information on the size of the pump and all, it usually never gets used. The only disadvantage is that it only carries 2 persons. We have it basically for our 2 paid guys to just get in it and go, you dont have to wait to get more people though. This truck can get in tight spaces, and your responce time is shorter because you are not driving a big bulky engine.
    Ryan

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  7. #7
    Forum Member NFD159's Avatar
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    Ours is used by our part-timers during the day time. It carries our ALS equipment and responds to all runs (Fire/EMS). It's available at night and on weekends for the POC members to roll on fires if we have the manning. If the piece of Sh*t would stay out of the shop long enough for us to use on a fire I'd let you know how it works. It has a 300 gallon tank and a 500 gpm pump.

    Care to add anything '77?

    You can see a larger photo at www.northwoodfire.com
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  8. #8
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    I wish we had one for EMS runs, then we would never have to transport. With low daytime staffing, we can't afford to have our rescue unit out of service for transports. Some of our residents don't understand this and question why we have to call for a private ambulance when we showed up in an ambulance.

    They are also great for "nuisance fires", grass, leaves, dumpsters, etc.

    Our neighboring larger city used to have Scat minis back in the 70's and 80's and switched first to full-size vans and now Suburban SUVs. They work great for EMS runs but they have quite a bit of trouble fighting grass and leaf fires that are off the road with full-size engines.

    Like Pete said, they could have a potential for misuse. One area POC department rolls their minis first on structure fires. I could maybe see it if the alarm came in as a odor investigation or something like that but when their cops report a working fire and you still hear a mini going out first you gotta wonder...
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    We have a mini pumper (4WD, 250 gpm, 250 gallon tank)and when I first started with the department ('bout 15 years ago) it was first out for structure fires. The idea being that you could respond quicker and get water on the fire faster before it got too big. The "Quick Attack" mini-pumper concept was gaining popularity at the time. I believe it was purchased following a fatality fire we had in the late 70's where the structure involved was only accessible through fields and farmland and the larger engines could not access the area.

    Also, the engines we had at the time were older, underpowered gasoline rigs that would top out at about 53 mph. As most of our runs are long highway responses vs. local streets, and the older engines only carried 500 gallons of water anyway, I can see where a small, fast unit may have been an advantage at the time. But with the acquisition of larger, diesel engines, with better highway speeds and 1000 gallon tanks, it made more sense to roll the big engines for all fires. More water, more equipment, and response time is now about the same.

    The mini-pumper is still in service, but in much different role. It's used mainly to run medical calls and hardly ever pumps water anymore. I'd much rather roll the big engines to any fire. I suppose mini-pumpers still have their place in certain situations, but we're not likely to purchase another one soon.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    we had one ..........when I first got on we used to run ALOT of grass/field fires mostly caused by the railroad throwing sparks or flares, those would have been hard to get to with a regular engine. However with the decline of the railroad and now with only single track crossings, unless it was really muddy we could drive an engine there. We pulled the tank and booster off and it now runs as the safety officer vehicle.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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  11. #11
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    We just bought a 2004 F550 with a Snuffer CAF system from VRS.

    I'll concede that it's not the best brush truck, not the best initial attack truck, and not the best utility truck... but is definetly one of the best combination units that I've seen for the money. It sure does do a good job at handling all of these roles together.

    The CAFS allows for incredible knockdown capability. With limited manpower these days, you can knock down a heavy volume of fire--often from the exterior.

    If you're going small (read: small water tank) you'd be crazy not to at least consider compressed air foam systems.

    We've been using Class A since the 80's on smaller attack vehicles. We then moved to running the big trucks first out on all calls. Now we are in the process of determining areas of our response area where the small engine will be the first out truck.

    CAFS might not be the end-all, be-all solution to firefighting. But when you can't get big trucks where they need to be AND/OR you don't have a lot of water to play with, definetly consider it.

    I'm waiting for the truck to be lettered prior to getting pics of it to share.
    Last edited by Resq14; 05-08-2004 at 03:03 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Where I was at before we had a 400gpm with 300 tank. That puppy was loaded for bear. Had 2 1 3/4 discharges 3 inch supply, 5kw generator, 2 nite fighters, 4 scba's, saws, foam, grass equipment, ems gear, and a partridge in a pairtree. Wat overlaoded which happens to most of them.

    Did its job for us. Was qucker on the straight up hills. Easier to get across smaller bridges, able to get into a low flow creek for water supply, and just about anything else you can think of.

    There is a dept, around that has a 750gpm with LDH and the like. They use it wisely and when needed but it works. Point is, don't overload and use for specific calls only .

    Always wondered that if CAFS is such a gret thing which I beleive to be true then why not use it with a 400 gallon tank. What kind of fire can it take and handle with a 750-1000 gpm pump.

    STILL STANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. #13
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    Default

    Alexis had a Ford F-550 mini pumper on display at the FDIC with a 1,000gpm rear-mount pump and an automatic transmission. I could have sworn that it had CAFS, but their website is only listing it as a foam injection system.

    Resq14 - looking forward to seeing your new rig.


  14. #14
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    Default In looking at the rig again...

    I don't think I buy the idea of having the rear rotating beacons sitting above the rest of the body, though. Either raise the body or lower the lights - they're screaming "Wipe me off!"

  15. #15
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Originally posted by NFD159
    Ours is used by our part-timers during the day time. It carries our ALS equipment and responds to all runs (Fire/EMS). It's available at night and on weekends for the POC members to roll on fires if we have the manning. If the piece of Sh*t would stay out of the shop long enough for us to use on a fire I'd let you know how it works. It has a 300 gallon tank and a 500 gpm pump.

    Care to add anything '77?

    You can see a larger photo at www.northwoodfire.com
    Actually, ours put out it's first fire yesterday. Fully Involved mattress fire in the driveway!!!!

    They have their places, but you really have to watch the weight. Ours is an automatic tranny 2WD with a GVW of 19,000lbs., but it's close to being maxed with not a whole lot of equipment.

    You can get big pumps in them, but there are a few things:

    Most places will tell you that a 500gpm pump is too large for an automatic transmission (on F-550). You can go bigger with either a manual tranny or a separate engine running your pump.


    Like I said, they have their places, but I would rather see a Medium Duty Chassis being used, like an Urban-Interface rig.......

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    We sat over beers with one of the Alexis engineers at their reception at FDIC and he remarked about how much effort it took to get the Ford tranny to work with the pump, and lock out high gear.

    I'm not sure what the maximum reasonable pump capacity is that you should mate with the newer Powerstroke and tranny combo, but the guy said that they tested the hell out of it. Only drawback that I can see is that they ate Ford's warranty, so if the truck eats transmissions, then Alexis if footing the bill. I know there was all kinds of electronic trickery to convince the "brains" that it was fine to lock into high gear while not moving down the road.

    Didn't someone on the forums post about a KME mini pumper that had a tranny/pump combo that just plain refused to work? I might have to look that one up.

    I will say that if someone isn't considering one of these units because of the older Powerstroke/4-speed tranny combo, the newer motor and 5-speed is a completely different beast.

    --Joel

  17. #17
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default 2 cents...

    Thanks for the above posting regarding the Ford tranny.
    Interesting.

    Anyways- I like these quick attack aka patrol aka tpye 4
    units. They are nice since they have lots of uses. From
    fire, to medical, to command to incident support. Common
    sense is needed for attack a large fire, ofcourse.

    Lastly- West-Mark continues to make a great truck.

    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 07-07-2004 at 10:59 PM.

  18. #18
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default More...

    Another truck-

    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 07-07-2004 at 11:00 PM.

  19. #19
    Forum Member NFD159's Avatar
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    Didn't someone on the forums post about a KME mini pumper that had a tranny/pump combo that just plain refused to work? I might have to look that one up.
    firenresq77 knows more about this, but basically:

    Our pumps in 3rd gear. KME had to call Ford to figure out the codes to get the tranny to lock up. The best they could do was 3rd gear. They did a pump test a KME and it I think pumped 500gpm in third and didn't rev to high, so that'a what we ended up with.

  20. #20
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by NFD159


    firenresq77 knows more about this, but basically:

    Our pumps in 3rd gear. KME had to call Ford to figure out the codes to get the tranny to lock up. The best they could do was 3rd gear. They did a pump test a KME and it I think pumped 500gpm in third and didn't rev to high, so that'a what we ended up with.
    KME tried to ask Ford how to lock it up and Ford basically told them, when you (KME) find out how to lock it up, then we (Ford) will know how. Ford didn't want anything to do with it, and I can't say I blame them. They have no reason to want to lock up the tranny.

    Yes, ours pumps in 3rd gear and it doesn't rev THAT high, and it pumps at 500+gpm, BUT..........

    KME had to put a 1000gpm pump in it in order to get it to pump at the 500gpm that was bid. Once they figured out how to lock it up in 3rd, I think they gave up, since they could at least use it to pump.

    Just be cautious when you are bidding a truck and make sure it can be done. KME told us ours could be doen when we bid it, then Ford changed the engine and tranny with the 2003's and that's where KME got lost. I guess they tried to find a 2002 chassis for us, but couldn't locate any, so they had to work on the 2003 to figure it out. We were the guinea pig. Hope nobody else has had the problems we have.........

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