Out with the Old

“We had a 1988 Mack CF pumper that has served our department well through the years, but it was time to replace it,” Luparello says. “The vehicle had undergone an extensive refurb in 1996 by RD Murray and was now 28 years old - eight years over our usual replacement date.”

The company’s fire protection services and contract are controlled by the Town of Hempstead, and because of contract issues it had to wait longer for replacement. It is also part of three other fire companies in the district, so funds must be split evenly between the three entities.

Finding the Manufacturer

Several years ago, the captain of the company formed an apparatus design committee, and the committee met with several apparatus manufacturers to discuss its specs. After several meetings with the various vendors, the committee recommends its choice to the engine company members for their final approval and vote.

“Our design for the new engine was being based on equipment and space as well as our operations and future needs for response in our area,” Luparello says. “Our response district is just like other departments in the area. We have the Long Island Railroad running through it, a large residential component, strip malls, restaurants, some commercial, and Jones Beach at the south end of the district.”

“We wanted to go with a stainless-steel body, which we felt would hold up better for our area, especially with the salt and sand put down on the roads in the winter,” Luparello says. “E-ONE was chosen not only for being able to meet our specs, but the truck would be built in the Hamburg, New York, facility.” This factory has had a unique past. It was originally owned by apparatus builder RD Murray, which did the refurb on Empire Hose Company 3’s 1988 Mack and put a new stainless-steel body on that apparatus. The factory was then bought out by American LaFrance, which went bankrupt, and then by E-ONE several years ago.

“Our second pumper was also built by RD Murray in 1999, so even though E-ONE is a different company, it’s kind of ironic that some of the same people who worked on two of our previous vehicles had a part in building this new pumper for us,” Luparello says.

Apparatus Specs

The new design that the company spec’d was pretty close to the company’s old Mack but with some major improvements. “We wanted to maximize space but also wanted to have added space to grow,” Luparello says. The committee wanted a rescue body for the vehicle for added space for future use as well as to be able to carry more existing equipment. The cab was also downsized from a ten-person to an eight-person cab. This also made the wheelbase a little shorter for better maneuverability around town.

A lot of new equipment was planned to be carried on the new rig, including a Genesis Combi Tool with spreaders and cutters, additional engine company tools, truck company tools (forcible entry tools, saws, etc.), battery-powered cutters, and drills but with the same amount of hose as the Mack. The only difference was a lower hosebed that would make it easier for firefighters to pull and pack hose. “The vehicle was also designed with a simple pump panel with manual gate valves for the most part. It would be easier to train on for our members and probably have less mechanical downtime,” Luparello adds.

The hosebed carries 1,000 feet of five-inch large-diameter hose for supply lines, two preconnected 1¾-inch hose for attack lines, 1,100 feet of 1¾-inch hose, and 500 feet of 2½-inch hose.

“The design worked well for us. E-ONE was easy to work with, and the factory, located near Buffalo, New York, was easy to travel to for our inspection trips,” Luparello says. “The local dealer worked well with us, helping to answer all of our questions and helping with the design.”

Plan Ahead

The Merrick Fire Department’s Empire Hose Company 3 worked together with a familiar yet different manufacturer to design its new engine for the community. It took into account future needs as well as designing the vehicle for current functionality.

More space was added for future needs but the cab was downsized for existing staffing response and to make the wheelbase shorter and the vehicle more maneuverable for drivers.

The design of the pump panel, gauges, and gate valves were old school, which the company felt would be easier for its firefighters to operate and train on, and the electronic element was taken away for less maintenance downtime.

It seems to me that the company got what it wanted from a manufacturer that listened to its needs and built what it wanted in the long run. Service after the sale was provided by the local dealer, who also met the company’s needs.

All of these items should be of concern to your truck committee when you work on the specs for your new vehicle. Plan accordingly, and hopefully your design will be as good as the members of Empire Hose Company 3 designed.

Empire Hose Company 3 Engine Specs

  • E-ONE Cyclone II chassis with a stainless-steel body.
  • A 2,000-gpm Hale QMAX single-stage pump and 500-gallon L-shaped water tank.
  • A 450-hp Cummins ISSSL diesel engine with an Allison ECS300 automatic transmission.
  • A Smart Power 10-kW hydraulic model HR-110 top-mounted generator, a top-mounted deluge gun, and a booster line.
  • An extended front bumper with swivel front suction and discharge for 1¾-inch attack line.

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September 2016
Volume 11, Issue 9
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Pennwell