WFC News

Posted: Oct 15, 2018

Fulshear Simonton (TX) Fire Department Takes Delivery of High Water/Flood Rescue Trucks from Acela Truck Company

high water flood rescue truck

The Fulshear-Simonton (TX) Fire Department has taken delivery of the first of its two newly purchased purpose-built High Water/Flood Rescue Trucks from Acela Truck Company.

With 47-inch tires, 23 inches of ground clearance, all-wheel-drive drivetrains, waterproof alternators and starters and deep-water fording kits, the Acela Monterra-based specialized flood rescue trucks are capable of navigating a whopping 50 inches of water while safely carrying up to 17 seated passengers with ample room and payload for pets, personal property or rescue gear. One of the two trucks is additionally equipped with a heavy-duty “V-plow” for clearing emergency access roadways by pushing downed trees and debris after major hurricanes, wind events, storm surges, etc.

“As flooding becomes more and more prevalent in our area, we knew we needed trucks that were truly purpose-built for the response mission. The Acela High Water/Flood Rescue Trucks fit our criteria for ensuring the safety of our community in times of need,” says Fire Chief Gilbert “Herc” Meier Jr., “Simply put, these trucks can go where no others can during flooding events and will significantly enhance our response capabilities, particularly during flooding events.”

Bed of rig

Both High Water/Flood Rescue Trucks will be outfitted in the future to do year-round double duty as brush/wildland trucks and can be quickly and easily adapted for other departmental operational or logistical needs as required.

Fulshear-Simonton’s second High Water/Flood Rescue Truck is scheduled to be delivered in November, 2018

For more information about Fulshear-Simonton Fire Department, please visit their website at

For more information about Acela Truck Company, please visit their website at


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Posted: Oct 15, 2018

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Commits to Protect Firefighters Better with New Protocols and Particulate Hoods

As one of the busiest departments in the country, St. Petersburg (FL) Fire Rescue has committed resources to elevate the protection of its firefighters at the fire scene. For two years, the department’s Safety and Training Division has been researching health and wellness issues as the industry continues to publish studies about fireground contaminants. It has focused its first efforts on upgrading fireground protocols and turnout gear, specifically related to hoods.

A member of the Safety and Training Division, Lieutenant Robert Neuberger, says, “Several firefighters in our area have needed aggressive treatment for neck and throat cancer, so this has been an important issue for our department. Our unit decided we needed to upgrade the department-issued hoods to NFPA-compliant particulate hoods to provide better protection against fireground particulates.” The group evaluated various particulate hoods on the market and set the requirements for a hood that provided the highest level of protection after being washed repeatedly using the NFPA laundering protocols. 

The Safety and Training Division ran a wear trial during which firefighters from the two busiest stations evaluated the hood for more than 60 hours, which included responding to structural fire and hazmat calls. They had two important reasons for the wear trial. First, they wanted to ensure that the hood performed well in real fireground conditions. Second, and just as important, they wanted to make sure that the firefighters liked the particulate hood; the firefighters that evaluated the new hoods have been in the service for many years, so this would be a change for them. According to Neuberger, the firefighters’ feedback was very positive, saying, “The GORE® Particulate Hood was comfortable, and it provided better protection. It fit around the neck and the longer length stayed tucked in. They really liked the combination of the inspection opening and the red stitching that was only on the outside. The stitching helps them be sure they have the right side out after using the inspection opening to visually check the particulate-blocking barrier for cuts, tears, or holes.” So, based on this feedback, St. Petersburg purchased 400 GORE® Particulate Hoods.

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue personnel wearing the GORE® Particulate Hood during training.

The Safety and Training Division talked with its MES dealer, John Schmidt, about decontamination protocols. As a retired firefighter, John had been doing his own research, and he had been developing protocols at his department before he retired. St. Petersburg has just ordered an additional 400 hoods so that each firefighter can swap out his or her hood during rehab at the fire scene. Neuberger explains, “It doesn’t make sense for us to stress wearing a clean hood for every call if they don a filthy hood when they return to the scene after rehab. Once we receive the additional hoods, our protocol will require all firefighters to don a fresh hood after rehab to help avoid contaminating their neck and face if they were to pull on a dirty hood.”

When asked about dealing with the increased costs of this program, Lieutenant Neuberger said the Safety and Training Division faced this potential issue directly. “We justified the investment by researching the total cost of our health and wellness programs, including health insurance and the impact of sick days. We also considered the importance of the morale of our firefighters. If they know we are looking out for their health and welfare by providing the best possible gear, then that has a positive effect on thei

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Posted: Oct 15, 2018

New “Jet-Style” Firefighter Helmet from MSA Compliant with NFPA Performance Standards

PITTSBURGH, PA—Global safety equipment manufacturer MSA Safety Incorporated (NYSE: MSA) announced that its new jet-style fire helmet, called the Cairns® XF1, has received third-party certification as compliant with the 2018 edition of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 1971 performance standards for structural firefighting. It is also compliant with the 2013 edition of the NFPA’s 1951 performance standards for technical rescue. With this , MSA can begin shipping orders for the Cairns XF1 immediately.

The Cairns XF1, which was previewed in April at the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, Ind., represents a new addition to the MSA firefighter helmet line. The helmet, which resembles a firefighter jet pilot helmet, represents a significant design departure from the “brim-style” helmet traditionally preferred by North American firefighters. The new style delivers enhanced technology integration while maintaining the quality, durability, and safety performance firefighters have come to expect from MSA’s Cairns brand.

The XF1 helmet incorporates a number of optional user features, which include a protective visor, an integrated communication system and LED lights that, because of their placement on either side of the helmet, rather than at the top of the head, significantly improve visibility without blinding others on scene.

Additionally, and like all other Cairns helmet models, the XF1’s soft goods are removable, washable and replaceable – all without requiring the use of tools – which will help firefighters comply with various cancer prevention directives published by leading agencies like the Firefighter Cancer Support Network (FCSN).

Jason Traynor, MSA’s General Manager for Global Respiratory Protection and Fire Helmets, explained that the introduction of MSA’s newest jet-style helmet is not meant to replace any of the traditional helmet models the company currently manufactures, but rather serve as another option when choosing a fire helmet.

“Choosing a fire helmet is a very personal decision. It’s an icon of the profession and, for that reason, it represents a source of pride for many firefighters. And that’s why we solicited feedback from hundreds of firefighters throughout the design process. From these Voice-of-Customer conversations, we knew the time was right to bring a jet-style fire helmet to the North American fire service market,” commented Mr. Traynor.

“At MSA, we’re dedicated to providing firefighters with the latest technology to help protect them when lives are on the line,” Mr. Traynor continued. “The Cairns XF1 looks entirely different than the ‘traditional’ brim-style helmet that U.S. firefighters wear today. And that’s the point. The Cairns XF1 represents a new and now NFPA compliant option that wasn’t previously available. As the global leader in fire helmets, we’re excited about the opportunities this helmet will bring to the possibility of interconnected personal protective equipment.”

For more information, visit

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Posted: Oct 15, 2018

Surtax Helps City Of Greenacres (FL) Get New Fire Truck

The state-of-the-art apparatus was purchased with the surtax dollars that the city received. Pure, Fuller and Vehicle Maintenance Supervisor Mike Wilson visited the Pierce plant in Wisconsin during the design phase to customize the truck to fit the city’s needs.

The cost of the truck was $778,088. It includes a 500-gallon water tank — far more than the 200-gallon tank in the truck it is replacing. In addition to the larger water tank, the new vehicle has a smaller turning radius, can carry much more equipment, including advanced life support medical gear, pump a larger amount of water, and the 75-foot ladder can be set up for a rescue within minutes.

The seats are made of a special non-absorbing material, and the interior air filtration system removes the harmful toxins firefighters are exposed to during their service. The old truck was used for more than 16 years until the manufacturer went out of business, making parts difficult to acquire and increasing maintenance costs. The vehicle is currently listed for sale with an online brokerage firm.

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Posted: Oct 15, 2018

Special Delivery; 1940s Fire Truck Brought To GHS (TX)

For at least the next year, the Gainesville Fire-Rescue apparatus from the 1940s will be worked on by students of Automotive Technology Instructor Zachary Terry.

“The first issue is to check to see if the engine is froze up,” Terry said  of  the 1947 American LaFrance pumper truck. “That's gonna tell us a lot.”

The truck, which was found in town in an old metal building, was sold in September to area business owners with the intent to restore it. 

The business owners said they  were  prepared to financially support the community project. However, one of the business owners said the group  wanted  to remain anonymous to keep the focus on the community.

Wally Cox, retired Gainesville Fire Chief, said he was contacted in September to help. Since then, he's been working on tracking down the history of the apparatus. 

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