Pierce Manufacturing, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK) company, has received an order for three Pierce Ultimate ConfigurationTM (PUC) pumpers and one air/rehab. vehicle from the Spring Lake Park – Blaine – Mounds View (SBM) Fire Department in Minnesota. The new front line pumpers are built on Pierce® Saber® custom chassis; all four apparatus will be placed into service this summer.
“We didn’t believe our budget would allow for custom vehicles, so we initially looked at commercial chassis with rear-mounted pumps,” said Lt. Dan Anderson, chair of the truck committee at SBM Fire Department. “Through the specifications and purchase process, we came to realize that the Pierce PUC design not only fit within our budget, but enabled us to decrease the overall vehicle length – without sacrificing storage space or room inside the cab.”
“This purchase, from a progressive and highly-regarded fire department in Minnesota, is an excellent case study on how the PUC design offers significant advantages for fire departments and the communities they serve,” said Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Fire & Emergency. “For the SBM fire department, the PUC means a compact vehicle with state-of-the-art firefighting capabilities, all at an excellent value.”
The PUC eliminates the need for a bulky pumphouse, and it features a simplified two-step pump shift operation. The entire pump system is located above the frame for easier and quicker service and maintenance. The SBM pumpers are each equipped with a 450 hp engine, 177” wheelbase, 69 inch long cab, seating for 6 firefighters, a 1500-gpm single stage PUC pump, a 500-gallon water tank featuring a low hosebed, a HuskyTM 3 foam system, a 20-gallon foam tank, an LED lighting package, Weldon V-MUX electrical system, roll-up compartment doors, and EMS cabinets inside the cab.
The air/rehab. vehicle is designed to respond to all major incidents, and it features an air cascade system with a capacity of 80 SCBA bottles. The four-person crew cab provides rehab space for first responders, and the vehicle will carry health monitoring equipment, core cooling chairs, and other rehabilitation related equipment.
“Our committee made a conscious decision to move to a smaller and more maneuverable vehicle, and the new Pierce PUCs will be nearly four feet shorter than the pumpers they replace,” added Lt. Anderson. “In addition, the vehicle mechanic at SBM is pretty excited, as the PUC system provides much easier access to the pump components for routine maintenance.”
Located less than 20 miles north of Minneapolis, the SBM Fire Department is primarily volunteer-based, and provides a wide range of fire and emergency response services for the communities of Spring Lake Park, Blaine, and Mounds View, a protection district that encompasses 40 square miles. The Department’s Fire & Life Safety Bureau instituted a comprehensive education program that, over the past 10 years, has resulted in a decline in total call volume and fire calls despite significant population growth.