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Posted: Aug 1, 2013

Industrial Facility Protection Calls for High Flows and Foam Capacity

Alan M. Petrillo

Fire departments and fire brigades in industrial facilities around the country face the prospect of protecting huge complexes and having the proper resources available to fight fires in large, high-hazard facilities. Refineries, tank farms, chemical plants, and other big industrial sites share a common need in what they seek from apparatus manufacturers-the ability to flow a lot of water, quickly, with a lot of reach.

This custom industrial pumper was built by E-ONE for the Yanpet Fire Department in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
(1) This custom industrial pumper was built by E-ONE for the Yanpet
Fire Department in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It has a 3,000-gpm pump, a
1,030-gallon foam tank, a 500-gallon water tank, a 2,000- to
5,000-gpm deck gun, two rear deck guns capable of 2,000 gpm each, a
2,000-pound dry chemical system, and a ultra-high-pressure (UHP)
system.
(Photo courtesy of E-ONE.)

Higher-Flow Waterways

Chad Trinkner, Pierce Manufacturing's director of product development for aerials, pumpers, and fire suppression, says Pierce has seen an increase in requests for elevated waterways that can handle a high water flow. "Refineries and other industrial customers are looking for up to 4,000-gallon-per-minute (gpm) waterways," Trinkner says. "They want to protect silo-like structures and need to elevate in order to put up a foam wall to protect such exposures."

But, higher waterway flows mean bigger reaction forces, Trinkner points out, which can threaten the stability of an aerial. "We're in the process of building two models, a 75-foot and a 53-foot version that have a 4,000-gpm waterway but still maintain the stability of the aerial," he says.

Jim Salmi, senior director of global aerial products for Spartan ERV, agrees that big flow volumes are driving industrial apparatus purchases. "The typical need is to get very large flow volumes going, especially to provide protection in the case of tank fires," Salmi says. "These units have to establish a large flow of foam solution, usually out of a 2,000- to 3,000-gpm elevated master stream appliance."

Refineries have large water supplies and good residual pressure, Salmi maintains, which allow them to get very good fire stream flows. He notes that Spartan ERV has upsized the waterways on its industrial aerials to reduce the amount of friction loss in the system. "On a 100-foot platform, we normally would have a five-inch outside diameter waterway, but with an industrial aerial, we use a six-inch outside diameter waterway, which means it [has a] 5¾-inch inside diameter," he says. "We wanted to reduce restrictions to the flow, which largely are based on the speed of the water-foam solution going through the system."

Salmi notes that a large number of industrial customers prefer an aerial platform to an aerial ladder "because a platform has greater strength to handle large water flows and you can get dual monitors on a platform, while ladders only carry single guns."

Brad Williamson, industrial products manager for Ferrara Fire Apparatus, says that although his company has produced quite a few industrial aerials-both platforms and ladders-it is starting to push an articulating concept aerial device. "It's a three-section 85-foot articulating boom that has an eight-inch waterway that reduces to six inches on the swivel knuckles for each section," he says. "It carries a Williams Fire & Hazard Control Ranger Three-Plus 4,000-gpm monitor and gives unrestricted flow no matter where the boom is positioned."

Chuck Gl

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Posted: Jul 17, 2013

Surplus Equipment For Sale

Yakima County Fire District 5

1996 - Zodiac Grand Raid Mark 3 Rescue Boat - $4500

For more information please see the attached details/photos or contact our admin office at 509.829.5111.

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Posted: Jul 15, 2013

Annual Pump Testing, Important or Inconvenient?

Fire engines provide the movement of our most important resources, firefighters and water. A worn or damaged fire pump can have significant impact on water flow and the firefighting capabilities without showing any apparent signs of trouble to the operator on lower flow incidents. Without an efficient, effective, and reliable means to move water from point A to point B our performance and the outcome of the incident can be unsatisfactory. Testing department pumpers annually is the only acceptable way to verify your pump’s state of readiness and should be considered very important to your fleet maintenance program...

What do the changes in state code really mean? Has anything really changed? Our codes have told us in the past that we shall follow NFPA, the NFPA then told us how to perform the testing and that we shall also follow the manufacturer specification, then manufacturer specification tells us to test our pumps using NFPA 1911. So really nothing has changed but language, in the end we still need to follow the manufacturer instructions for inspection, maintenance, and testing of our equipment and pump tests are still required. All fire rated pump builders state that the pumps need to be tested on an annual basis; in addition to that, some models with other options have guidelines for the inspection of those systems as well. All of these tests can be performed by a qualified mechanic or individual that has been trained and obtained the appropriate certifications. 

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Posted: Jul 15, 2013

An Inside Job

In our line of work we see and experience events that can be labeled horrific and traumatizing.  Sometime we go on these calls three times in a shift, and other times the events are spread out over weeks or months.  But one thing remains, and that is the memory and experiences that we were exposed to on these scenes.  These events stay with most of us for a very long time.  And sometimes these memories come back and remind us of the hard issues we have seen and are actively trying to suppress.

Most of us have developed a “coping mechanism” to be able to deal with these events at the immediate moment they are happening.  After the events have past and the incident is over, we suppress or compartmentalize the emotions that we experienced.  And we tell ourselves, and sometimes we tell others, that this is a necessary trait in order to maintain an ongoing presence in this profession.  But what happens when you can’t compartmentalize these events or the box just becomes too full to hold any more memories?  What happens when your body and mind tell you that you are human and that you are impacted by trauma and horror?  Where do you turn?

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Posted: Jul 8, 2013

Special Delivery: Wildland Urban Interface Type III Unit Handles Wildland and Structure Fire Calls

Alan M. Petrillo

The Taos (NM) Fire Department's chief and firefighters had been considering purchasing a wildland urban interface (WUI) Type III apparatus for several years-something that could function not only as a wildland engine but also as a structural pumper if needed once it got out in the boondocks, well away from a water source.

The Taos Fire Department chose Pierce Manufacturing to build this Type III WUI vehicle that can do double duty as a wildland fire apparatus and a structural firefighting rig
(1) The Taos (NM) Fire Department chose Pierce Manufacturing
to build this Type III WUI vehicle that can do double duty as a
wildland fire apparatus and a structural firefighting rig. [Photos
courtesy of the Taos (NM) Fire Department.]
 

Chief Jim Fambro says his department's members had seen a number of Pierce Manufacturing's Hawk Type III WUI units in neighboring areas and liked not only the style but also the stability of the vehicles. "We had talked for years about getting a Type III WUI to use in protecting our outlying areas against large brush fires but also to use as a quick-attack vehicle for structure fires where it would be miles away from assistance and on its own," Fambro says. "We've been in a drought situation since 1996, so the wildfires around here have been pretty significant."

Extinguishing Capabilities

The Taos (NM) Fire Department covers the city of Taos and the central part of Taos County for fire and rescue responses. The district, which staffs four stations, has fire hydrants in only 40 percent of its response area.

The WUI unit for the Taos (NM) Fire Department features a compact pump panel.
(2) The WUI unit for the Taos (NM) Fire
Department features a compact pump panel.
 

Fambro notes that the department also wanted a compressed air foam system (CAFS) on the new vehicle. "Putting a 500-gallon water tank on the vehicle and using CAFS means we can stretch out those 500 gallons as far as possible," he says. "We go to structure fires 10 to 15 miles outside of town, and those structure fires can easily turn into wildland fires very quickly."

Taos firefighters decided on a Pierce Hawk Type III WUI unit with a Darley dual-control 1,000-gpm PTO (power takeoff) pump, a 500-gallon Poly water tank, a III0-gallon Class A foam cell powered by a FoamPro 1600 foam system, and a Hercules 140-cubic-feet-per-minute (cfm) hydraulic-drive CAFS. "We put an Elkhart Brass Sidewinder 500-gpm monitor on the front bumper and added a Warn 15,000-pound fixed front winch up there," Fambro points out. "The dual foam capability on the Pierce Type III gives us a lot of freedom to approach fires in different ways."

The vehicle carries a Hercules CAFS, shown in the housing above the pump panel, that is hydraulically driven and generates 140 cubic feet per minute.
(3) The vehicle carries a Hercules CAFS, shown in the housing
above the pump panel, that is hydraulically driven and generates
140 cubic feet per minute.
 

The Rig

Mi

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