By Author(s): Bob Vaccaro 
Published Tuesday, June 1, 2010
| From the June 2010  Issue of FireRescue 
The theme of this year’s Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC), held in April, was “Imagine the Impact.” The “impact” most of the fire service felt this past year was undoubtedly in their ongoing budget restrictions, but as in years past, the apparatus industry at this year’s show appeared to be thriving. There wasn’t a vacant spot left in either the convention center or the Lucas Oil Stadium. The only major player missing was American LaFrance, which decided to forego this year’s show to continue to reorganize.
Judging by the number of announcements of large apparatus orders made by just about every apparatus manufacturer, as well as the number of new unveilings on the exhibit floor, the industry is continuing to do well.
Let’s take a look at some of the offerings displayed at the show.
Alexis displayed three vehicles: a Freightliner M2 four-door pumper for Bluegrass, Iowa; a custom midship-mounted pumper built on a Spartan Metrostar chassis for Eldridge, Iowa; and a 3,500-gallon tanker on a Peterbilt chassis for the Mad River Township Fire Department and the Green Township Fire Department, both in Ohio.
Crimson made a big announcement this year, introducing its new Transformer pumper. The vehicle features an extruded aluminum body with a rescue pumper configuration. Other features include a Darley 1,250–1,500-gpm pump, a 750-gallon water tank, a 10-gallon foam tank and hydraulically controlled valves, which can be located anywhere on the vehicle.
Also on display was a pumper for Dallas, built on a Spartan Gladiator chassis, a Legend Series pumper on an International 7400 chassis, a 75' Star Series quint and a “first response all calls” (FRAC) unit, which was built on a Spartan Furion chassis.
Danko showcased a quick-attack unit built on a Ford F-550 4 x 4 chassis for Hamlin Township, Ohio. Features include a 150-gpm Waterous pump and a 250-gallon poly tank. Also on display was a mobile hose and pump test unit, as well as a demo Westside tanker with a 750-gpm PTO pump and an 1,800-gallon tank.
Darley was well represented at the show this year, displaying its full line of pumps as well as “The Fire Truck,” a lime-green demo unit built on a Spartan chassis with a PolyBilt body.
E-One displayed a large complement of apparatus this year. Vehicles included a 100' rear-mounted platform quint built on a Quest chassis for Carol Stream, Ill.; a Cyclone II custom rescue pumper for Sachse, Texas; a 78' demo quint with a 2010 Cummins ISP engine; a Typhoon Tradition rescue pumper for Newberry, S.C.; a Freightliner M2 ES rescue pumper demo, and a 100' rear-mounted quint for St. Paul, Minn.
EJ Metals showcased a Ford F-350 four-door mini pumper for Townsend, Del. EJ Metals is a fairly new player in the fire apparatus manufacturing business, but its line of mini firefighting vehicles caters to the industrial, military and municipal markets.
Ferrara made full use of its large exhibit space in the Lucas Oil Stadium. On display was an multi-vocational pumper (MVP) for New Paltz, N.Y.; a sky-blue Inferno pumper and a 107' rear-mounted quint, both for the Bayou Blue Volunteer Fire Department in Houma, La.; a 100' rear-mounted platform quint for Buffalo Grove, Ill.; an Ignitor custom pumper for Indianapolis; and demos of both a 100' mid-mount platform quint and a 77' rear-mounted quint.
Fort Garry, a Canadian fire apparatus manufacturer, displayed its new Terminator vehicle, a large rear-mounted pumper built on a four-door, 4 x 4 Freightliner M2 chassis. The vehicle comes equipped with a 1,250-gpm, rear-mounted Darley PTO pump, a 1,200-gallon poly tank, a 30-gallon foam tank, internal ladder and suction hose storage, and high side compartments on both sides of the vehicle.
Pierce didn’t disappoint this year with its large-scale unveiling of its parent company’s new Oshkosh Striker ARFF vehicle, which is 2,000 lbs. lighter than its predecessor, has easy access to its rear 700-hp Deutz engine and features Pulse technology that provides quicker agent dispersal. It also has a better turning radius, TAK-4 suspension and updated interior joysticks for bumper- and roof-mounted turrets.
Also displayed was an aluminum, rear-mounted Arrow XT platform for Oswego, Ill.; the first Pierce Ultimate Configuration (PUC) Impel pumper/tanker for Winfield, Ill.; a top-mounted custom Contender PUC demo; a 75' aluminum Arrow XT quint for Schererville, Ind.; and a 2010 EPA engine-compliant Velocity pumper demo.
Lastly, the U.S. Navy displayed its non-walk-in Velocity heavy-rescue unit, which is stationed at one of its bases in the San Diego area.
As usual, KME had a large array of apparatus on display. Besides showing the newly styled grill for its Predator line, KME also showcased a 100', rear-mounted Predator quint, a 2010 Predator pumper, a Severe service pumper, a rear-mounted rescue pumper for Coldenham, N.Y., and a Predator rescue pumper for Mt. Washington, Penn.
A new product on display was the Ridgerunner Interface pumper built on a Navistar 7400 4 x 4 crew cab. Available options include a 1,500-gpm Hale pump, a Hale 2/1 class A foam system and an 800-gallon tank. Not only does it meet NFPA 1901 requirements as a class A pumper, but it also has the full off-road performance of a Type 3 wildland engine with pump-and-roll capabilities.
HME unveiled its new compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered emergency response vehicle. Built on an HME 1871 custom short-wheelbase chassis, the rig features a 750-gpm, PTO-driven pump, a 500-gallon tank and a CNG-driven generator and foam system. Additional features include a Cummins Westport engine, which produces 320 horsepower, and a three-way catalyst exhaust system that meets EPA requirements. There were also several demos on display built on HME’s rapid attack truck (RAT) Ahrens Fox chassis.
Hackney showcased its new Commander Series of heavy-rescue vehicles, which can be built on a Spartan Custom, Freightliner, International or Kenworth single- or tandem-axle configuration. The unit comes equipped with a remountable aluminum body and a safe ascent/descent staircase, as well as fold-down auxiliary steps for a safe climb from the ground to the upper walkway.
Marion had two demos on display: an RPM pumper on a Spartan Gladiator chassis and a midi-pumper built on an International chassis with a 1,250-gpm pump and a 500-gallon tank.
Rosenbauer displayed its Tech Drive demo apparatus, as well as a new product called the Maverick, a short-wheelbase pumper built on a Freightliner M2 chassis. Features include a PTO-driven, 1,250-gpm pump and a 2,000-gallon water tank. If used as a tanker, the rig also comes equipped with a swivel-style dump extension, high ground clearance and pump-and-roll capabilities.
Also on display was a Green Star pumper built on a Spartan Furion chassis for Tempe, Ariz., and a Metz ladder on a Spartan chassis.
Seagrave showcased its big tractor-drawn aerial for the City of Orange, Calif., a 1,500-gpm Marauder II pumper for the Sugar Creek Township Fire Department in New Palestine, Ind., and a 2,250-gallon Marauder II rescue pumper for Owings Mills, Md.
Seagrave also displayed a new product: a 3,000-gallon tanker for the Bethesda Fire Department in York County, S.C. The rig was built on an International 7400 cab and chassis, and features a poly body, a 500-gpm Gorman-Rupp pump and pump-and-roll capabilities.
Smeal topped out its showcase with a mid-mounted quint for Grand Junction, Colo., a rear-mounted ladder for Yonkers, N.Y., a top-mounted rescue pumper for Keener Township in DeMotte, Ind., and a custom series pumper built on a Kenworth T370 chassis for the Richland Area Fire Department in Athens, Ohio.
Spartan had its complete line of chassis on display, but it also debuted its new non-emergency ambulance transport (NEAT) vehicle. Based on a Ford Transit Connect chassis, the rig features a module that contains an attendant seat, a gurney locking system, O2 bottle storage, a suction system, a Sharps container, dual overhead lighting, a medical glove storage area and more, all geared toward the medical/handicap/transport/taxi market.
In the past several years, Summit has consistently built a lot of large apparatus, and this year was no exception. The company displayed a large rescue-style pumper built on a Spartan Gladiator chassis for Sharonville, Ohio. Features include a 200-gpm Hale Q-Max pump, a 500-gallon tank, a 30-kW hydraulic generator, a roof-mounted light tower and front-mounted hydraulic lines.
Also showcased was a large hazmat trailer for Hamilton County, Ohio. The unit consists of a 36'7" trailer pulled by a Freightliner M2 cab with a Wilburt light mast, a 25-kW generator and a command area.
Other apparatus on display included a rescue pumper for Butler Township, Ohio, and a heavy-rescue unit for Alexandria, Ky.
Sutphen showcased a 1,500-gpm Shield Series S3 pumper for the City of Woodruff, S.C., a 100' aerial platform quint for Bowmansville, N.Y., and a 70' aerial platform sold to Augusta, Kan.
The company also displayed several demos, including a 75' aerial quint, a 100' aerial quint and a Guardian pumper.
SVI showcased an impressive heavy-rescue unit built on a Spartan Evolution tandem axle chassis for Zionsville, Ind. Features include a large, extended front bumper that contained numerous hydraulic lines, a roof-mounted command light, large compartments and electric and hydraulic reels.
Toyne had two units on display. The first was a top-mounted Spartan Metro Star rescue pumper equipped with a 2,000-gpm Waterous pump, a 600-gallon UPF tank, a 15-kW hydraulic generator and a 2002 class A/B Foam Pro foam system. The second was a top-mounted pumper for Pleasant Hill, Mo. Features include a 1,500-gpm Waterous pump, a 1,000-gallon UPF tank, an 8-kW generator and a class A Foam Pro 1600 foam system.
Many other impressive offerings were on display from manufacturers such as Rocket Fire Manufacturing, Fouts Brothers, U.S. Tanker, Custom Fire, Midwest Fire, Plastisol, Firematic, Crash Rescue, Quiroga, HMA, Rescue 1, Maintainer, Precision and a host of others.
One thing I took particular notice of this year at FDIC was that there seemed to be a bigger emphasis on commercial vehicles. Several new models on display from the major players are built on commercial chassis.
With the advancement of pump technology, we’re also seeing larger pumps and bigger tank sizes with lightweight poly tanks. And we’re beginning to see more departments speccing CAFS systems and class A & B foam systems as well.
It’s rare to see a ladder truck built without a pump, except maybe for the larger East Coast cities. “Doing more with less” will probably be an understatement in the future.
Remember: If you’re looking to purchase an apparatus or add tools and equipment to an existing vehicle, you can really gain a lot of insight by checking out the numerous vehicles on display at trade shows like FDIC and Fire-Rescue International.
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