Menu

WFC News

Posted: Apr 20, 2015

Fire Truck Photo of the Day-EVI Rescue Truck

Read more
Posted: Apr 16, 2015

Fire Truck Photo of the Day-Pierce Tiller Truck

Read more
Posted: Apr 15, 2015

LA Department Adds 100-foot Midmount Aerial Platform Quint to Its Fleet

Alan M. Petrillo   Alan M. Petrillo

The Bossier City (LA) Fire Department had purchased pumpers and a quint from Ferrara Fire Apparatus in the past, so it was only natural for it to turn to Ferrara to build a 100-foot midmount aerial platform quint to replace an aging platform that would be moved into reserve status.

Steve Pennell, deputy chief for the Bossier City Fire Department, says the department had purchased eight pumpers and a quint from Ferrara to staff its nine stations that have to cover 41 square miles. "Our 13-year-old platform that was going into reserve is a 100-foot midmount," Pennell says. "Our previous chief had been buying vehicles from Ferrara, and when Chief (Brad) Zagone took over the department in 2011, we sat down with them and took a look at their aerial platforms. We liked what we saw in terms of quality, plus the fact the trucks are built in our state and are on state contract."

The Bossier City (LA) Fire Department had Ferrara Fire Apparatus build this 100-foot midmount aerial platform quint to complement its eight Ferrara pumpers, a Ferrara 77-foot quint, and two Sutphen 75-foot aerial ladder quints. (Photos courtesy of Ferrara Fire Apparatus.)
The Bossier City (LA) Fire Department had Ferrara Fire Apparatus build this 100-
foot midmount aerial platform quint to complement its eight Ferrara pumpers, a
Ferrara 77-foot quint, and two Sutphen 75-foot aerial ladder quints. (Photos courtesy
of Ferrara Fire Apparatus.)

Multiple Response Types

Pennell noted that Bossier City's aerial platform quint runs on all fire calls in the city with a heavy rescue unit, and both vehicles are housed in the department's central station. "Barksdale Air Force Base is in the middle of the city, so we have areas we have to protect to the north and south of the Air Force base," he says. "Our platform gets a lot of use because it runs on all fire operations calls, plus special operations calls like rope rescue, hazardous materials, and trench rescue. It also has to protect four riverboat casinos with high-rise hotels."

The Ferrara platform is outfitted to handle special operations and rescues, Pennell points out, being fitted with a rappelling arm that swings out from the bucket and can handle a load of up to 500 pounds, a Stokes bracket for securing a patient on the platform, and a bracket to secure a parapet ladder.

The Ferrara HD 100 aerial platform quint has specialized rescue equipment on the platform, including a rappelling arm, Stokes bracket, and parapet ladder bracket, in addition to two Elkhart Brass 1,000-gpm monitors.
The Ferrara HD 100 aerial platform quint has specialized rescue equipment on the
platform, including a rappelling arm, Stokes bracket, and parapet ladder bracket, in
addition to two Elkhart Brass 1,000-gpm monitors.

As a quint, the 100-foot aerial platform has a Hale QMAX 2,000-gallon-per-minute single-stage pump; a 300-gallon water tank; two preconnects, each with 200 feet of 1¾-inch hose; a full complement of ground ladders; and a hosebed carrying 1,000 feet of five-inch large-diameter hose. The aerial device is a five-section steel ladder that has blue LED lightin

Read more
Posted: Apr 15, 2015

Combating Wildfires Using Satellite/Cellular Technology

By Sue Rutherford

Throughout time, wildfires have been a valuable resource management tool to maintain ecological conditions. But as population throughout the world increases, communities are expanding beyond urban areas into what was once wilderness. This causes great conflict with these natural occurrences.

The destructiveness of a fire can be devastating. Lives are lost. Prized possessions are destroyed. Whether caused by dry conditions, mechanical sparks, or human negligence, the wrath comes at a very large price. Recent examples include more than 9.3 million acres burned during the 2012 wildfire season at a cost of about $2.7 billion in the United States. In early 2014, forest and peat fires in Indonesia affected nearly 50,000 people. In the Australia bush country, there have been twice as many catastrophic fires during the past three years than the entirety of the 1970s.

Wildfires also present long-term ecological problems. For instance, when vegetation on a hill or mountain is hit by fire, it can weaken the soil, causing land erosion and debris flow. Months after a fire, heavy rains can cause rock and mudslides down a burned-out mountain, creating another costly natural disaster.

The "WASP In A Box (WIAB)" shows a flow meter, hydrant valve, and SkyWave terminal. (Photos courtesy of SkyWave.)

The Challenge

Unfortunately, no matter how hard they try, emergency workers do not have the staffing to manage a growing fire or must evacuate for safety reasons before a fire is out. After 16 years of battling wildfires in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, Darrell Pyke, a veteran wildland firefighter, decided there was a need for a new type of firefighting equipment.

Building from Pyke's idea, Wasp Manufacturing Ltd. developed Wildfire Automated Suppression and Protection Equipment, also known as WASP. The suppression and protection system combats circumstances that impede firefighting.

To make the solution complete, it needed a system that allowed emergency personnel to remotely monitor and operate equipment from a safe location away from the fire.

The Solution

Wasp Manufacturing worked with SkyWave Mobile Communications, a global provider of wireless data communications for the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) market, to integrate low-power satellite/cellular terminals optimized to work over terrestrial and satellite networks. Combining the technologies provides fire personnel with 360-degree visibility regardless of where a fire is occurring.

The system includes a mobile trailer containing hoses and sprinklers that are on a mobile platform. SkyWave provides one of the most important aspects of the WASP systems: the satellite/cellular terminals that allow remote fire protection and suppression equipment operations.

This WASP mobile sprinkler trailer was delivered to the Peachland Fire and Rescue Service, in British Columbia, Canada. It includes more than 1,500 feet of hose and sprinklers paired with SkyWave dual-mode terminals that allow the equipment to be operated remotely and off site
This WASP mobile sprinkler trailer was delivered to the Peachland Fire and Rescue Service, in British Columbia, Canada. It includes more than 1,500 feet of hose and sprinklers paired with SkyWave dual-mode terminals that allow the equipment to be operated remotely and off site.

WASP is capitalizing on the operational, cost benefits, and reliability of SkyWave's dual-mode communicati

Read more
Posted: Apr 15, 2015

"Typing" of Fire Departments

Robert Tutterow   Robert Tutterow

In my recent column about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) possibly developing standards for the emergency responder community, I mentioned a suggestion from the July 2014 OSHA stakeholder meeting about "typing" fire departments.

This means that a fire department would be typed by the level of service it provides that meets a prescribed standard-especially as it relates to firefighter health and safety. When given some consideration, this is a very fascinating idea.

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating system is somewhat of a measure of a department's capability for fire suppression. However, ISO ignores about 75 percent of the service provided by most fire departments and is not focused on wellness or fitness capabilities. I have always maintained that a fire department that is fully compliant with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program, is, by default, a most capable fire department in all aspects of its mission. A cursory glance at each of the document's chapter headings reveals the comprehensiveness of the standard:

  • Administration.
  • Training, Education, and Professional Development.
  • Fire Apparatus, Equipment, and Drivers/Operators.
  • Protective Clothing and Protective Equipment.
  • Emergency Operations.
  • Facility Safety.
  • Medical and Physical Requirements.
  • Behavioral Health and Wellness Programs.
  • Occupational Exposure to Atypically Stressful Events.

Moreover, the standard references almost 50 other NFPA standards.

Cons

There are certainly pros and cons to the concept of typing. On the downside, there will be disagreements about how a department is categorized. There could be angst over which agency determines the type. Then there could be additional angst over how to maintain or improve a classification type. And, as is almost always the case, there could be very high costs for developing the system and ongoing costs to maintain the system. Will OSHA be directly or indirectly involved in these issues?

Pros

Whether or not such a system is ever developed, the idea has a few interesting facets. The basic premise behind this idea is that fire departments must meet basic standards for each service they offer. First, it would force a department and community to take a realistic look at the number and level of services it can provide. One question to be addressed is whether or not a department should be an interior firefighting department. There is a growing line of thought among several in the industry that some departments, primarily small rural departments, might not be able to meet basic required standards for interior firefighting because of the cost and time commitment.

Lager departments would need to closely examine whether or not to offer specialized services such as hazmat response, vehicle extrication, high-rise rescue, trench rescue, swift water rescue, underwater rescue, and so on. For each service provided, there would be a minimum standard to meet.

Wellness and Fitness

A key topic of discussion at the OSHA stakeholder meeting was with the issue of firefighter health and wellness. How would this fit into a fire department "typing" system? There would most certainly be minimum levels of fitness and physical agility tests to pass. There would have to be required periodic medical examinations specific to the job requirements. And, there would need to be other "fit-for-duty" minimum standards. Would all members h

Read more
RSS
First3569357035713572357335743575357635773578Last

Search News Articles