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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Default Rural Fire Apparatus Discussion

    I am hoping to have an in depth discusison on Rural fire apparatus. I am beginning work on our 05 FEMA AFG grant which is going to be for replacement of our 84 Peirce conventinal pumper 1000/1000. It is shot, rusted out tank, and for the most part all wrong for our rural VFD.

    I hope to dicuss Rural fire apparatus in general and to get into various senarious that you yourselves have expereinced.

    Here is the VFD I am trying to taylor a grant for and trying to pick the ideal apparatus for:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quick run down of the PVFD, the VFD that I am doing the grant for:

    730 square miles Eastern Montana. Rolling hills, sparse pine trees, sagebrush and grass. 1 small town of 500, another 500 people rural. 1 highway, 1 railroad. Significant critical infrastructure in the form of Oil and Gas industry instilation. Compressor stations and large diameter natural gas pipelines which form a regional hub for the national natural gas system. Significant oil and gas production. Liquied pretrolium product pieplines everywhere feeding into multiple large diameter pieplines.

    0 water hyrants in the PVFD coverage area. All water supply of from tender shuttle. There are some scattered fill soruces but they can be a long ways from some areas.

    PVFD average operating budget over the last 3 years is 30-35 thousand.

    The other half of the county is coverd by another VFD. They have a town of 2500 (13 miles from PVFD hall) with hospital, nursing home, and another bunch of critical infrastructure instalations with another 800 or so rural.

    PVFD has 50 plus or minus calls in a normal year. In drought years this number often passes 75-100 calls. We have been in a drought year 9 of the last 12.

    Majority of calls are wildfire which often threatens the vairious mand made structures, both residential and industrial. Interface is growning steadily. It is not uncommon for wildfires to result in structure fires from exposure. PVFD asssists in extrication/rescue with the other county VFD maintianing the equipment (Jaws, tools, etc...). Between 5-10 structure fires of various types per year with 50% of those or more being Oil and Gas industry related. Those types of fires quickly overwhealm the entire county VFD system and are often more containment/defensive operations due to feeble water supplies and such.

    The PVFD has mutual aid argreements will all surrounding counties. This results in a total reponce area of just over 8000 square miles. There are many mutual aid responces each year as the majority of surrounding departments have tiny budgets and poor equipment.

    Right now the PVFD has the following apparatus:

    1 Pierce pumper, the one needing replacement, the only true structure fire rated unit.

    2 International 4x4 Heavy Wildland engines, 1 with CAFS.

    9 Brush trucks, both Type 5 and 6 of various condition

    2 Water Tenders, one 4000 one 1200

    We are sorely lacking in the structural fire protection area. Our Pierce is dangerous to use at this point for a number of reasons.

    The PVFD board of directors have identified some of their needs, I am supposed to fill in the rest and get them the grant and make sure the truck gets built right and make sure everbody is trained on it and make sure it happens in 05 and make sure not to forget anything...

    PVFD Needs for New Apparatus:

    - Increased water capacity. 1000 gallons doesnt go very far and shuttle operations have a very very difficult time keeping up decent flows. To many miles to cover. They want at least 2000 gallons

    - Rescue tools. The new apparatus needs to be equiped with Jaws and other rescue tools. The need for 2 sets of Jaws/extrication tools has been demonstraited over and over again in the county, again lots of miles to cover and you cant be in 2 places at once.

    - They would like off road capability. Since most of our fires are wildland/interface in nature they would like to put every unit into use if possible at such incidents. This would also entail pump and roll capabilty for use against sage/prairie fires.

    - Enclosed 6 man cab. The 3 man cabs with canopy rear seats are NOT desirable in MT wind Chill situations.

    - Full winterization. Some winter calls can be up to an hour one way withing district or more out of district. This apparatus needs to be able to operate in far sub zero conditions indefinatly without freezing up.

    - Decent sized generator and good scene lighting. Right now the best they have is headlights, some weak ally lights, and LED helmet lights.

    - Mobile SCBA fill capability. They would realy like a electric compressor feeding a small cascade and fill station. There are currently no mobile air fill capable vehicles in the entire mutual aid area.

    This all needs to fit into once vehcile.

    It would sort of be a...

    Rescue Pumper Tender at the minimum, but if you add the off road capability it would be an...

    INTERFACE RESCUE PUMPER TENDER



    Thats a tall damn order to fill, and would only be possible with grant money, which hopefully works out.

    But it does fill many gaps in apparatus capability and some glairing deficiences currently plauging the PVFD.

    So far here is what I am looking at.

    Advantage apparatus Foam Dragon 2500 gallon. This of course sacrifces the off road capability, but to me that might have to be the case. They can haul all of the required equipment and have enough water capabity to make the tender/tanker issue less critical.

    The other one is the Pierce TFFT (Tatcial Fire Fighting Truck) based on a HEMET military chassis. This is the military fire truck. In stock form they only have 1000 gallong tanks, but I know that there are 2500 gallon HEMET fuel tenders in military service and that their GVWs can handle more water.

    They have all of the capabilities needed and I am sure that a larger tank can be speced out. Another bonus for these, though I am not sure, maybe be that you can get GSA or some other sort of priceing discout since they are sort of a Federal deal.

    Another option might be the Widland XT Ultra that Nevada BLM has been buying.

    http://www.ssfire.com/products/wildland/ultra-xt/

    In any case, I do believe it is doable and that this is a project that will kill half a dozen pesky birds with one stone and chage the level of fire protection for a sizeable region of Montana.

    Plese share any insight, critisism, etc...

    Any and all input is appreciatecd.

    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.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.


  2. #2
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    Just looking over what you had asked I'm not seeing this all logically fitting into one truck so this is what I can figure, take it for my 2 cents...

    Engine/Tanker
    Peirce Lance/Enforcer Cab seating for 6
    2000 Gal Tank w/50+ Gal Foam Tank
    Main set up as a tanker with crosslays Engine Ops
    Combi Tool, and if any other room for basic rescue tools

    Quint/Tele-Squirt
    75ft Pre-Piped Main
    1000 Gal Tank w/50 Gal Foam Tank
    Main Truck op tools, any Engine tools that the tanker couldn't carry

    Mainly Try and have your engine set up like a Rescue-Pumper but have a large enough tank and tools to run as a tanker. But with that have your qunit rigged enough to run without the Engine in 1st out attack. It will be a tight balance between the two but there is no way you can get all that stuff into one truck and have it be worth the money.
    Bucks County, PA.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    I like your suggestion Scott, and I too would welcome the Quint or any type of aerial.

    But that being acknowleged, a Quint/Aerial in not very high on FEMAs priority list to give to rural VFDs.

    IIRC Pumper and Tanker or Pumper/Tankers are up there in the number 1 slot for the AFG.

    Fitting Rescue tools and Air fill capability is a comprimise at best, but they have to make their plan fit the FEMA AFG as they dont have the budget localy to do the 2 apparatus, or 1 for that matter, approach.

    That S&S Wildland XT could be made to work IMO.

    Make the tank 2000 gallons, add the appropriat ladders/tools and such, a vindicator for the Firefox should give you the master stream flow needed. Fit a compact rescue tool in there some where, maybe one of those self contained units, change form the Darley CAFS sytem to a CFS 120 gpm cafs, which is <100 poounds, and then have a PTO dirven main pump to get up there around the 1250 gpm mark. Although I dont knof if a ATC chassis has PTO capability... ?

    The hose would have to go on top, and would be a pain in the but, but we dont ever do hose lays from hydrants so it would probly just ride around up there like it currently does with our old pumper.
    -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.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
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    Default my 1.5cents worth

    I also do not see how this all will fit into one truck, the problems I see are the off road capability with that much water and equipment. A question does this department have 6 people right away to respond on the first out engine? I know some departments have delayed response if they wait for 5 or 6 people on the first out engine, if you could get away with a 4 man cab or even a 3 man, this would help with getting all the other stuff to fit. Also the casade is a big thing, and adds a pretty good amount of wieght, could the dept. maybe get away with a 4 bottle cascade on this unit, and maybe pick up on a small van type truck they could use as a rescue/mobile support unit and have a 6 bottle cascade with compressor there?

    The off road capability is something else I have mentioned, we have a 2450gallon tanker that does not ever leave the road and that is all that is on that truck besides the pump, we don't take it off road cause we have had to pull it out before (not fun). With 2 wildland engines, and 9 brush trucks I wouldn't be concerned with this units off road capability unless you have to drive across country to get to houses and buildings, this truck would be to help keep the ISO rating where its at. I have gone around with our Chief on this, our Pierce pumper doesn't work well for grass fires he said one day, and I told him thats not what the truck was bought for.

    With the Gas and Oil industry in the area I would definatly put A and B Foam injection or around the pump eductor on this truck maybe even A and B CAFS (more expensive). Pump compartment heaters and good pump/discharge drains are a must. I can get you the details on the flood light we have on our pumper, when that is up there is very little need for flashlights, on our car accidents the Highway Patrol always asks us to stay with our light. Thats my thought on it

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Default Re: my 1.5cents worth

    Originally posted by firefighterbeau
    I also do not see how this all will fit into one truck, the problems I see are the off road capability with that much water and equipment. A question does this department have 6 people right away to respond on the first out engine? I know some departments have delayed response if they wait for 5 or 6 people on the first out engine, if you could get away with a 4 man cab or even a 3 man, this would help with getting all the other stuff to fit. Also the casade is a big thing, and adds a pretty good amount of wieght, could the dept. maybe get away with a 4 bottle cascade on this unit, and maybe pick up on a small van type truck they could use as a rescue/mobile support unit and have a 6 bottle cascade with compressor there?


    Yes, I agree that it is a dilema to try and fit all that goodness into one chassis.

    On manpower. Being a VFD they of course have trouble at time staffing during the day (9 to 4 daylight work hours), but at times there are 10 or more FF literaly within 2 blocks of the fire hall. The chief lives across the street, the assistance chief lives across the street, the safety officer lives across the ally, 2 ffs live across the street, and 6 more live in the 2 block range...small town you know! Depending on the time of day the first responding truck could leave with 6 people on board in <1 minute.

    They do want to keep the SCBA fill capability on this truck. It does not have to be a huge/fast system. I was thinking along the lines of a 3 bottle Cascade with on of those small portable compressors. It shouldnt take up a whole lot of room... I wouldnt think anyway.

    They realy want this capability after a few oil field tank battery fires where the SCBAs and all spare cylinders were spent and the guys had to fight fire with their wildland hot shields to try and filter some of the crud out of the air. This obviously realy craped their style and effectiveness.

    There has been some talk of a logistics unit with the mobile air fill station, but that gives another vehicle to man/store/maintain. The dirstrict board would just as soon find a way to put the fill station on the Interface Rescue Pumper Tender.

    I wonder if one of those even exists at this point...

    The off road capability is something else I have mentioned, we have a 2450gallon tanker that does not ever leave the road and that is all that is on that truck besides the pump, we don't take it off road cause we have had to pull it out before (not fun). With 2 wildland engines, and 9 brush trucks I wouldn't be concerned with this units off road capability unless you have to drive across country to get to houses and buildings, this truck would be to help keep the ISO rating where its at. I have gone around with our Chief on this, our Pierce pumper doesn't work well for grass fires he said one day, and I told him thats not what the truck was bought for.


    On ISO. You are right on with that. The main reason for the existance of that Pierce 1000/1000 is for ISO rating purposes, currently Class 8. Nothing worth bragging about, but it did help the k-12 school in town get insurance, they would have not been able to get any without the class 8 rating. I suppose the ISO 8 saves the community some money on insurace each year, how much I have no idea.

    As far as knocking down a structure fire, I feem more confident with the CAFS wildland heavy engine. Our pumper is in such bad shape the tank lining, some sort of epoxy I am guessing, flakes off and plugs up the stupid TFT automatic nozzles we have, leaving you with a limp stream and lack of many self confidence...

    On the off road capability. I agree that they are asking a whole hell of a lot form one unit. 7 of 9 Type 5/6 brush trucks are scattered around the district in the hopes of quick responce to wildfires to get a quick knockdown/control of the wildfire. This works out about 50% of the time. Some of the older ones are only 250 gallon POS home built brush truck put together for less then 5000 dollars. While they serve thier purpose as quick responce brush trucks, they are by no means something you can put a lot of fait in.

    The realy wildland firepower comes from the 2 type 5 brush trucks and the 2 International Wildland Heavies that run out of the fire hall in town.

    The powers that be also have the same view as your chief. They cant in their mind justify the conventional pumper since on 75% of the calls it is basicaly worthless. They want something that can function in some capacity at any type of call, IE a Pumper Tanker, Interface engine, or the infamous Interface Rescue Pumper Tanker.

    I do believe that such a beast is possible, but its going to be quite a chore.

    The ATC chassis has some promis, here is one with a 2900 gallon tank, and check out that S&S Wildland XT. 2400 gallons, 45 degree slope, 70 mph, 40 mph off road. I have no doubt they can pack the load off road, but I have no idea of the cost either.

    Some of the justification for the off road capability does come form the oil and gas field. Some of those indicdents require significat off road travel, and sometimes even the on road travel is very difficult. And then again there is of course the ability to use the IRPT for all wildland incidents.

    The TFFT from Pierce does meet some of the reqirements, but it needs more water.

    ATC chassis fire monster number 1:

    http://www.americantruckco.com/html/fire_vehicles.html

    ATC chassis fire monster number 2:

    http://www.ssfire.com/news/blm-xt.html

    Pierce Tactical Fire Fighting Truck:

    http://www.piercemfg.com/apparatus/TFFT.cfm

    Pierce Hawk Extreme (2500 gallons):

    http://www.piercemfg.com/apparatus/Hawk_extreme.cfm

    With the Gas and Oil industry in the area I would definatly put A and B Foam injection or around the pump eductor on this truck maybe even A and B CAFS (more expensive). Pump compartment heaters and good pump/discharge drains are a must. I can get you the details on the flood light we have on our pumper, when that is up there is very little need for flashlights, on our car accidents the Highway Patrol always asks us to stay with our light. Thats my thought on it
    Yes, Class A/B foam is a must. We use Class A on everything, even some oil fires when we are short of Class B, which we dont ever seem to have enough on hand when it hits the fan.

    I have no experience with compartment/pump heaters, I would like to find some good ones, thats for sure. Currently we have a number of systems that sort of work...air purge, blow all of the water out of the pumping, suppliment with RV antifreeze, circulations, start the pump and circulate through the booster line (for brush trucks), exhaust diversion, run the exhaust over the pumping/pump, on our big tender, works OK, smelly/dirty.

    Again our Pierce is a POS in this category, no real decent way to get it to a fire wihtout freezing up.
    -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.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Here is an example of an ATC "Bruch/Tanker" in service. This deparment has 3 such units I believe.

    http://www.geocities.com/annavillefd/
    -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.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    Go to ISOSlayer.com look at the Rattlesnake, Falon trucks I think you will find close to what you are looking for.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Yeah, the FireSlayer websites have tons and tons of great apparatus ideas. I have been pouring over them constantly.

    The Uber Brush/Tankers of Animville seems close to what the PVFD wants in a new unit.

    It might be something like this:

    ATC Chassis 6x6, 6 man cab (maybe SCBA seats if possible)
    2000+ gallon poly tank
    1250 PTO pump (they do have PTO I found out)
    250 GPM CFX CAFS sytem
    A/B Foam sytem
    All Discharges plumped with 3 inch, Wyes and reducers for smaller lines.
    Front Mouned Fire Fox with Low GPM combi Nozzle and Smooth bore for big flow
    And then find room for the tools, recue tools, ladders, and minimuc hose for ISO, and the cascade system.

    I think its doable, but it is going to take a lot of hard thinking...not a good thing for me.
    -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.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    Just some random thoughts from one Rural/Interface FF to another.
    I have never explored it, but I wonder - could the compressor for the CAFS be used, with a filter, to fill SCBA? (I'm going to look into this for my dept.) That could ease the load.

    Could the oil/gas companies be approached to either kick in some cash, or even buy a 2nd truck that would be located at your dept.? If not, could you bill them for responses to their emergencies? We just started billing on out-of-district calls, $100/hr/truck. Those who get the benefit pay for it. (We have a 10 sq mile district, but are the primary response for 1,025 sq miles.)

    We have CAFS on our first in fast attack, it sure does streach the water. Turns our 300 gallons into 900, gives time for our old tender to get there. You need CAFS - which could reduce the amount of water (thus the weight) you need on this truck.

    What about 2 trucks, one with all the gear and CAFS, the other just a tender? While our current tender has a pump, 99% of the time, all it does is nurse the fast attack (E One Jackrabbit, seats 5, CAFS, extrication gear, SCBA). One local dept. has a tender with a seperate, demountable pump. They can remove it to draft from remote supplies, or hook it up to pump 500 GPM and suppply 2 2.5" lines. We are considering the same setup (just mailed the USDA Grant application).

    There just may be too much weight for one off road truck. The 2 truck concept could also give you more flexability for wildland, extrication (we just used our tender to stabilize a car from one side while we cut it off the patient from the other), and general FF.
    Last edited by Sleuth; 11-16-2004 at 01:53 PM.

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    Spec a Rescue/Pumper with a 2000 gallon water tank and other requirements on a 6x6 custom or commercial chassis from most major companies. You might want to place the cascade bottles (6) with a booster and fill station in an enclosed trailer. This trailer could be pulled by one of your several vehicles and would also be a great Re-Hab/Utility/ unit. This way if your Engine or other vehicle is down, the mobil cascade system is still usable.....and a trailer requires little maintenance.

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    Just a thought, when one of those ATC units break down, how long will it take to get parts? I think you need to consider this for the long run.
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    Default ah ic

    Well I guess with that much manpower there most of the time a 6 man cab would be best. One thing that i found in your last post about the Oil field tank batteries, we have been told around here that if we ever get called to one, not to fight it. Back about 15-20yrs ago just about a whole department was wiped out when they went in to fight one of these fires, the oil companies started telling us to just leave it, and make sure if anyone lives near by to evacuate. just a thought that came to mind. Also i would check with some places, i know of departments that get Oil Impact grants/funding, every year cause they have wells in there area. Good Luck in your search for the monster fire truck.
    Last edited by firefighterbeau; 11-16-2004 at 12:58 AM.

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    We’re somewhat similar out here in many of the rural areas west of the Mississippi. Bridge loadings not big constraint, no 8ft wide turnoffs from a 8ft wide highway. For what you want to do, which is similar to our needs, my advice is go BIG. Locally we have guys that every day drive 4x4 articulate/tracked tractors with 4 axle honey wagons/grain carts that run over 150000lb. In your area you have BIG oilfield trucks running around. Running big equipment is only a new idea in the fire service. The military figured out more than 20 years ago that it is more cost effective and functional to run big trucks rather than many small trucks. Some disadvantages to be sure but when you only have to recruit/train/equip one driver vs. many you have an immediate payoff in equipment cost, repair cost, and insurance. And for the rural fire service, any man used for water supply is one available to fight the fire or for ISO points. Even going to tractor trailer equipment is worth considering. Nothing says rig has to be a straight truck.

    I would not point you at the Tatra truck. Tatra has a long proud history of building strong reliable military trucks. In Europe. Europe is not the same as the US. How many of these trucks are in the US, fire or otherwise? I’ll bet way less than 100. How much are you going to stake on the availability of parts 10 or 15 years from now. The Cummins no problem but what about the transmission, axles, suspension etc. Or as mentioned you can get a converted commercial chassis from any major mfg or apparatus mfg. but it is fundamentally a highway truck with a front drive axle installed. Not at all the same thing as a “Real” off road truck.

    I suggest you look at Oshkosh or (or at a smaller size Stewart Stevenson (FMTV)). I suggest you look at Oshkosh’s newish MTVR. About the same size as the Tatra and an American HEAVY DUTY truck. See:
    http://www.oshkoshtruck.com/defense/...~mtvr~home.cfm
    If you are prepared to think outside of the box and go to a BIG truck look at the Oshkosh M1070 HET as a straight truck See:
    http://www.oshkoshtruck.com/defense/...s~het~home.cfm
    The M1070 replace the Oshkosh M911/M747 trailer when the upgraded M1 Tank went over 60t. M911 was to lightweight. I’m currently putting together an M911/M747 conversion for our dept. If you google on any of these models you’ll find lots of photos on the web. Heavy duty, capable war proven, offroad vehicles.

    Parts for the FMTV. MTVR, M1070 will be readily available for at least the next 25 years as they will be in active military use that long. I would not point you at the HEMMT. Has some major layout and ergonomic “issues” and is just not a space efficient/maintenance efficient vehicle and road manners leave much to be desired. And it is a 25 year old design. If you lean toward the HEMMT go for the 10x10 as you will gain much needed cube/GVWR.

    No reason not to have a SCBA fill on your rig. Tanks and/or compressor. I’d suggest a diesel compressor. Military has used for years and quite possibly you could source surplus equipment thru your forester. Install it in an offroad capable trailer (used military surplus 2 axle 5t/7.5t, if you need help locating a surplus comp or trailer let me know). Add your rescue tools, ISO hose & ladder load, misc stuff. Maybe aux. Pump. Maybe another 500-1000gal of water. Take trailer on the call if you need it, leave at station, or drop (or not) at the trailhead when you go off road. As a former Army truck platoon leader/logistics planner I “love” trailers for tactical vehicles. Adds flexibility and capability to your program. Also no additional insurance/maintenance bill like with that wet dream 2nd new truck. If your prime mover is dead you can always pull your trailer with a shanghaied civilian truck or tractor.

    Certainly get CAFS. Several companies making CAFS system that will run off compressed nitrogen or air. Use your SCBA cascade system to power and save on the cost/upkeep of the CAFS compressor. I got us a new wheeled cascade system mil. from the Army. We decided we did not what to bother with maintaining/certifying a pump. Haul the cascade to “big” town and use their expensive fill station. Photo attached.

    My formula: M1070 with 5000gal, CAFS, quickdump. Trailer with ISO load, rescue tools, Cascade system. Or downsize to MTVR with 2500gal. A civilian chassis with a driven front axle is just not the same thing. Big difference. Light weight vs heavyweight. All the whining over difference between a commercial chassis vs. custom chassis for apparatus is minor by comparison.

    To big? No such thing if your bridges are not a problem. Or use a ford. Or dump 1000gal. Off road mobility - speed difference between a big truck and a little on is not that big a difference (as running lights on vs. lights off on the highway) as the long wheelbase of a big truck helps you with ride/speed offroad. Maneuverability may suffer as takes more room to turn around so getting into tiny place may be an issue but you have your interface trucks for those times. Biggest issue is that many people are intimidated by trucks with tires that cost $1500 ea and are chest high. You’ll get used to it. Heck the Army has Privates Buffy and Amy driving M1070s in Iraq.

    Gonna cost a lot of $ though no matter what you do. Perhaps more than a fire grant will support they have a cap on apparatus $. If you want to do project now and not spend big $ on a chassis you may still be able to get an M911 or M920 thru the surplus system.
    Last edited by neiowa; 11-16-2004 at 01:57 AM.

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    Our military surplus cascade as mentioned above.
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    Originally posted by Sleuth
    Just some random thoughts from one Rural/Interface FF to another.
    I have never explored it, but I wonder - could the compressor for the CAFS be used, with a filter, to fill SCBA? (I'm going to look into this for my dept.) That could ease the load.


    I dont believe any CAFS systems approach useable pressures for an SCBA.

    Visa Versa, as Niowa mentioned, useing the Cascade/SCBA compressor to run the CAFS may save some space.

    Could the oil/gas companies be approached to either kick in some cash, or even buy a 2nd truck that would be located at your dept.? If not, could you bill them for responses to their emergencies? We just started billing on out-of-district calls, $100/hr/truck. Those who get the benefit pay for it. (We have a 10 sq mile district, but are the primary response for 1,025 sq miles.)
    Well, we do approach them...

    And they say "Hey, we just got done paying a whole S##tload of taxes, tell your politicians to give you the money, here is 500$ and an Old bronco for your chief to drive around, now go away, the price of oil is way up and we are buisy..."

    Then we of course go to the politicians and ask for some money, and they say the the road crew, hospital, schools, golf courses, etc... all come first since we are just a VFD that had made due with so little for so long, keep the good work boys, blah blah blah...

    Thank God for the FEMA AFG, its likely our only chance to ever replace capital equipment.

    Niowa does bring up an excellent point with the DOD surplus, but for some reason Montana seems to be realy lacking in this category. It like banging your head agaisnt a brick wall until your head comes out the other side to get any of that equipment.

    We have CAFS on our first in fast attack, it sure does streach the water. Turns our 300 gallons into 900, gives time for our old tender to get there. You need CAFS - which could reduce the amount of water (thus the weight) you need on this truck.
    I agree, CAFS is definatly the way to go. The most lightweight and most bang for the buck CAFS systems I have found so far are CFX systems.

    http://www.epindustries.com/cfxinc.html

    I have talked to them on the phone a few times and I see on their website that they are developing a 800 gpm unit. That would be great IMO, no need to run off a PTO, just have medium diesel engine. Gives you pump and roll for wildland, easy recirculation for winter responce, etc...

    In only they had a 1000 gpm unit...

    What about 2 trucks, one with all the gear and CAFS, the other just a tender? While our current tender has a pump, 99% of the time, all it does is nurse the fast attack (E One Jackrabbit, seats 5, CAFS, extrication gear, SCBA). One local dept. has a tender with a seperate, demountable pump. They can remove it to draft from remote supplies, or hook it up to pump 500 GMP and suppply 2 2.5" lines. We are considering the same setup (just mailed the USDA Grant application).

    There just may be too much weight for one off road truck. The 2 truck concept could also give you more flexability for wildland, extrication (we just used our tender to stabilize a car from one side while we cut it off the patient from the other), and general FF.
    All of this fuss is work on next years AFG grant application. It is to replace our single pumper with something more capable across the board. I have no problem with haveing multiple trucks, but FEMA only allows you to apply for one at a time.
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    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by pz0817
    Spec a Rescue/Pumper with a 2000 gallon water tank and other requirements on a 6x6 custom or commercial chassis from most major companies. You might want to place the cascade bottles (6) with a booster and fill station in an enclosed trailer. This trailer could be pulled by one of your several vehicles and would also be a great Re-Hab/Utility/ unit. This way if your Engine or other vehicle is down, the mobil cascade system is still usable.....and a trailer requires little maintenance.
    Thanks for simplifying this mess.

    Yes, I agree, this is as you say a Rescue Pumper of high water capacity that just happens to be built on an off raod capable chassis.

    The trailer is an interesting thought...
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    Originally posted by firefighterbeau
    Well I guess with that much manpower there most of the time a 6 man cab would be best. One thing that i found in your last post about the Oil field tank batteries, we have been told around here that if we ever get called to one, not to fight it. Back about 15-20yrs ago just about a whole department was wiped out when they went in to fight one of these fires, the oil companies started telling us to just leave it, and make sure if anyone lives near by to evacuate. just a thought that came to mind. Also i would check with some places, i know of departments that get Oil Impact grants/funding, every year cause they have wells in there area. Good Luck in your search for the monster fire truck.
    This kind of varies with the situation here. If there is a chance to save a significant portion of the instilation we go for it, finger crossed, etc...

    I will have to post some pictures of our most recent one, it could have been bad, very very bad...

    I will have to look into that oil impact grant/funding, but i dont have a clue of where to start looking? Any ideas?
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  19. #19
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    Originally posted by neiowa
    We’re somewhat similar out here in many of the rural areas west of the Mississippi. Bridge loadings not big constraint, no 8ft wide turnoffs from a 8ft wide highway. For what you want to do, which is similar to our needs, my advice is go BIG. Locally we have guys that every day drive 4x4 articulate/tracked tractors with 4 axle honey wagons/grain carts that run over 150000lb. In your area you have BIG oilfield trucks running around. Running big equipment is only a new idea in the fire service. The military figured out more than 20 years ago that it is more cost effective and functional to run big trucks rather than many small trucks. Some disadvantages to be sure but when you only have to recruit/train/equip one driver vs. many you have an immediate payoff in equipment cost, repair cost, and insurance. And for the rural fire service, any man used for water supply is one available to fight the fire or for ISO points. Even going to tractor trailer equipment is worth considering. Nothing says rig has to be a straight truck.
    There are few bridge worries as there are few bridges. The weedy ones can be circumvented.

    We have been going larger and large with our apparatus, but not super big...yet.

    Just a small ways into North Dakota, Amadon, they have a very intersting apparatus. It is a old OshKosh airport crash rescue truck they picked up for penneys basicaly. They converted it over to a all terrain wildland monster. It has a font bumper mounted monitor and everything can be controled form the comfort of the drivers seat. IIRC it is 2000 gallons can it can cover a whole lot of prairie fire before they need to refil.

    I would not point you at the Tatra truck. Tatra has a long proud history of building strong reliable military trucks. In Europe. Europe is not the same as the US. How many of these trucks are in the US, fire or otherwise? I’ll bet way less than 100. How much are you going to stake on the availability of parts 10 or 15 years from now. The Cummins no problem but what about the transmission, axles, suspension etc. Or as mentioned you can get a converted commercial chassis from any major mfg or apparatus mfg. but it is fundamentally a highway truck with a front drive axle installed. Not at all the same thing as a “Real” off road truck.
    If we are going to go off road I do believe that a "real" truck is needed, not a freightliner with a dorky front axle swap.

    On the ATC/Tatra trucks. From what I gather Terex has the rights to produce these trucks in the US and is realy making a run at it. It has beaten out the competition to be supplied to Irael for a medium tatcial truck, this was a contract let by the US Tank and automotive command or whatever its called. I think the Terex ATC trucks are here to stay, but yes, they are a very very new thing to the US, scary new.

    If we say to hell with the off road stuff then a Foam Dragon from Advantage apparatus look real real good.


    I suggest you look at Oshkosh or (or at a smaller size Stewart Stevenson (FMTV)). I suggest you look at Oshkosh’s newish MTVR. About the same size as the Tatra and an American HEAVY DUTY truck. See:
    http://www.oshkoshtruck.com/defense/...~mtvr~home.cfm
    If you are prepared to think outside of the box and go to a BIG truck look at the Oshkosh M1070 HET as a straight truck See:
    http://www.oshkoshtruck.com/defense/...s~het~home.cfm
    The M1070 replace the Oshkosh M911/M747 trailer when the upgraded M1 Tank went over 60t. M911 was to lightweight. I’m currently putting together an M911/M747 conversion for our dept. If you google on any of these models you’ll find lots of photos on the web. Heavy duty, capable war proven, offroad vehicles.

    Parts for the FMTV. MTVR, M1070 will be readily available for at least the next 25 years as they will be in active military use that long. I would not point you at the HEMMT. Has some major layout and ergonomic “issues” and is just not a space efficient/maintenance efficient vehicle and road manners leave much to be desired. And it is a 25 year old design. If you lean toward the HEMMT go for the 10x10 as you will gain much needed cube/GVWR.


    Those are some workhorses, no doubt. Do any come with a 6 man or more then 2/3 man cab?

    On the HEMMT, the TFFT is built on that and realy shows the wierd ergonomics you mentioned. It is a very strange beast.

    No reason not to have a SCBA fill on your rig. Tanks and/or compressor. I’d suggest a diesel compressor. Military has used for years and quite possibly you could source surplus equipment thru your forester. Install it in an offroad capable trailer (used military surplus 2 axle 5t/7.5t, if you need help locating a surplus comp or trailer let me know). Add your rescue tools, ISO hose & ladder load, misc stuff. Maybe aux. Pump. Maybe another 500-1000gal of water. Take trailer on the call if you need it, leave at station, or drop (or not) at the trailhead when you go off road. As a former Army truck platoon leader/logistics planner I “love” trailers for tactical vehicles. Adds flexibility and capability to your program. Also no additional insurance/maintenance bill like with that wet dream 2nd new truck. If your prime mover is dead you can always pull your trailer with a shanghaied civilian truck or tractor.


    I will have to bouce the trailer idea off them to see what they think.

    One option for the compressor i was looking at is to have a high power generator and then run one of those small electrick compressors off of it. They are <5000 and enought to keep a 3 bottle cascade system toped off at a major incident.

    Certainly get CAFS. Several companies making CAFS system that will run off compressed nitrogen or air. Use your SCBA cascade system to power and save on the cost/upkeep of the CAFS compressor. I got us a new wheeled cascade system mil. from the Army. We decided we did not what to bother with maintaining/certifying a pump. Haul the cascade to “big” town and use their expensive fill station. Photo attached.


    Any thoughts on the CFX system?

    I was hoping for the 800 or a 1000 gpm CFX run off of a diesel, but another option would maybe be to have the Magnum CFX and then a high gpm pto pump to move big water.

    I have yet to see us try and pump 1500 gpm of CAFS, often we only run a single 1.5 inch line, much more precise application. This is important when you are trying to blanket some petrolium crud.

    My formula: M1070 with 5000gal, CAFS, quickdump. Trailer with ISO load, rescue tools, Cascade system. Or downsize to MTVR with 2500gal. A civilian chassis with a driven front axle is just not the same thing. Big difference. Light weight vs heavyweight. All the whining over difference between a commercial chassis vs. custom chassis for apparatus is minor by comparison.


    Does anybody have a list of what the ISO load entails. I do believe our current POS pumper is the one that got us our ISO rating but I dont know what is needed for the "test".

    Agreed that a commercial conversion would not cut the mustard.

    5000 gallons!!!

    I dont know much about that truck, but holy begezzes, that would be a hella lot of firepower. I doubt it would fit in the fire hall though.

    Speaking of that, even with a MTVR smaller chassis I think the grage door will have to be expanded, upward for sure. Does FEMA allow for that sort of thing on an apparatus grant, IE the 10,000 facility modification?

    To big? No such thing if your bridges are not a problem. Or use a ford. Or dump 1000gal. Off road mobility - speed difference between a big truck and a little on is not that big a difference (as running lights on vs. lights off on the highway) as the long wheelbase of a big truck helps you with ride/speed offroad. Maneuverability may suffer as takes more room to turn around so getting into tiny place may be an issue but you have your interface trucks for those times. Biggest issue is that many people are intimidated by trucks with tires that cost $1500 ea and are chest high. You’ll get used to it. Heck the Army has Privates Buffy and Amy driving M1070s in Iraq.

    Gonna cost a lot of $ though no matter what you do. Perhaps more than a fire grant will support they have a cap on apparatus $. If you want to do project now and not spend big $ on a chassis you may still be able to get an M911 or M920 thru the surplus system.
    OK, thats the other issue.

    Anybody have an educated guess at the cost of such a truck?

    What is the cap on apparatus from FEMA?

    On the surpluss trucks, I wonder if we tracked one down and then had a apparatus builder do the pro grade work on it if that would be a FEMA eleigable project?
    -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.

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    Samson,I'm going to tell you what you don't want to hear.You're going to be hard pressed to get everything you want on the rig and be functional,much less useable off road.Our new 1500/1250(water)rescue pumper with A/B foam(no cafs)rescue tools,cribbing and the usual trinkets plus three "goons"(mongos)tips the scales at 43.5K.Now figure in a compressor big enough to use with your cascade(unless you're using gas)generator to run it plus other needs,750+ more water,cascade bottles,etc. and I'd be damn careful how I ventured off road.In a lot of ways your area isn't much different than mine (ground wise)and gravity with that much weight has a nasty habit of making a vehicle that size immobile once you remove the asphalt.Six man cab,great idea.Big water,rural,great idea.But my professional opinion is that this will have to be a road machine,structural,and a support for the wildland engines.Let them do the off road work.You've got some great ideas,get as many integrated into this new unit as possible.Just remember there isn't a "do all rig" if there was, that would be all the builders would build.A "cascade"or air service trailer isn't the worst idea I've ever seen,our new Engine has a hitch on the back along with about every pickup in the outfit.A big help I haven't been,but take your time and figure out what the highest priorities for this vehicle are and start getting them on paper.Then look at them again.We were close to 15 months planning our last piece and another three or six would have been nice.If possible get to a "Fire" show,many ideas can be had there.You're in kind of a tough place to get anywhere,but closeup/hands on is kinda essential in the planning process stage.Good luck,and please post your progress as this will be one awesome rig once you connect the dots.T.C.

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