"We have had a Firovac for 28 years and have done nothing to it....."
".....why would we not buy another?"
Is Your Fire Department Efficient?
Colerain Township, Ohio
Charles Clark presented a class at the Ohio Township Association winter meeting in Columbus February 2, 2018 entitled "Is Your Fire Department Efficient?" Charles has been a member for the Colerain Township Fire Department since 1983 and currently a Water Supply Officer, a past Fiscal Officer 1996-2016, a teacher at the Pickaway-Ross Career and Technology Center 1975-2009 and a member of the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association's Technical Advisory Committee on Water Supply. He presented a brief history of the Colerain Township FD which was founded in 1983, the last township in the county to form a department. By 1985 the Department was the 3rd in Ohio to earn a reduced I.S.O. rating (Class 7) using alternative water sources (tanker shuttle) no fire hydrants. The home owners in the fire district have saved over $1.5 million in home insurance premiums. (How willing would your constituents be to pass your levies if you could save that much for them?)
"There was very little information in fire training manuals on alternative water supply for fire fighting. We had to invent our early water supply setup to efficiently transport water to a large fire scene. To this day water supply has been a major interest for our department."
He presented efficiencies in three main areas: Finance, Manpower and Mechanical:
"Thanks to lean budgets in the recent years Colerain has built up a saviings program to pay cash when a new vehicle is purchased." Other conscise financial evidence was presented including working will with neighboring Departments, not competing against them to compliment financing."Tankernomics" presented "5 efficient tankers @ 200 GPM each = 1,000 GpM. Compare to cost of fire hydrant system in you township. A super efficient tanker is a tanker that can do everything that a conventional gravity dump tanker can do plus much more!"
"A fire tanker water shuttle can be compared to a NASCAR race with two pit stops per lap! Pit stop (fill) Pit stop (dump)" Sighting the efficient "fill fast and dump fast" gravity dump tanker they built he presented calculations that a 3000 gallon tank only delivered 2400 gallons. He stated "80% is the same as one truck out of five running around empty!"
Tankers are more efficient if they have side dumps. Some can be retrofitted to side dump. "It's human nature to only rise to the level of minimum expectations. We spend countless hours researching to write specifications for pumpers and then accept any tanker that might be in stock. We test our pumpers but do we test our tankers? If we only had some way to force the remaining water out of these (gravity) trucks. A Vacuum Tanker pressurizes the whole water tank to efficiently force out all available water. When nothing but air blows out of the tank you know the tank is empty. A vacuum tanker is "O loss." The water tank is sealed traveling down the road - no water spillage resulting in ice buildup on the road."
"Vacuum Tankers address many issues facing fire departments...man power...funding...water access... weak infrastructure...equipment efficiency...ISO credit...Safety...cost effectiveness..."
"Avoiding Tamker Gridlock. Your County Auditor's website and Gogle Maps can be used to measure lanes and find water supplies that are not visible from the road. Use large diameter hose to avoid tanker grid lock back a lane." (However) "When you double the diameter of a water line you quadruple the flow of water under the same pressure."
"Manpower Efficiency When Handling Suction Hose (Alligator wrestling) What if you stored suction hose on the truck where oe person can reach the hose standing on the ground?" A vacuum tanker in WV "is capable of hauling up to 135 ft. of suction hose (9 sections) - all accessible to one person standing on the ground. Use a 90 degree suction elbow to keep suction hose up close to the pumper." Dump tank flanges are available to draft through the side wall.
"Hydrant Hooked Many fire departments are "hydrant hooked." They only use water from "Flushing devices" (hydrants). They drive past excellent water sources and travel many miles to line up at weak flow hydrants. If you must use a hydrant as a water source water can flow consistently and gently into a dump tank. A pumper can be used to draft from the dump tank to quickly fill tankers. A vacuum tanker safely and gently drafts from a dump tank fed by a hydrant."
Firovac's goal is not to just provide another unit, it is to provide an advanced system for supplying water to fires in urban/rural areas to improve operations. We thank Charles Clark for this presentation based on the Colerain Township Fire Department's experiences.
Questions and comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
"That Truck is Just Great!"
Newald, WI & Ross-Newald Volunteer Fire Department - Ross-Newald Volunteer Fire Department
"Thank you so much for all the help you have given us and the opportunity to operate one of your units, you were great people to deal with and very helpful thank you again." -Newald, WI & Newald Volunteer Fire Department (Facebook Page)
"Tell Larry that this truck is just great!" -Nick Schuett of the Newald VFD
Tribute to Chief Gary Henrie (Ret)
Gary Henrie - Teton County Fire Protection District
In 1996 the voters of Teton County, Idaho passed a fire protection district according to the business plan to build two new stations, upgrade the existing station and advance the 1950-1960 vintage apparatus to a new apparatus and fire fighting equipment to meet the needs of a very rapidly growing community. Teton was the fastest growing county in the state of Idaho and the tenth fastest in the nation.
With a mixture of grants and tax dollars, the Teton County Fire Protectin District was able to build two new stations, build an addition to the third station, place three new Class-A 1500 GPM engines with 1000 gallon tanks and three new 2600 gallon water tenders (two on used chassis) in service. The three new tenders were the vacuum type.
"We did a lot of research before settling on the vacuum style and purchased them from Firovac." Teton County had very few hydrants, limited to the three cities and a few subdivisions.
"At 6200 feet in elevation and higher, it is difficult to draft with a conventional centrifugal fire pumper. The Firovac (Vacuum) System works well even in these elevations. When we got the first tenders, we took them to a river bridge to test them. In four minutes, fire fighters engaged the vacuum pump, deployed the hard suction straight down to the water 26 feet below the bridge and filled the 2600 gallon tank."
"We are absolutely amazed at what we can do in a water shuttle with this Firovac. After 46 years with the fire service, it is surley nice to have the water you need for a fire."
-Chief Gary Henrie
It is a tribute to Chief Henrie and crew for this large undertaking and to his forward thinking that the pumpers cannot do their job without a good water supply to supply them.
Chief Jim Delman - Sunset Heights Fire Department
Firovac is an excellent fire truck. It makes our part simple. We don't have to worry about having an engine to fill us.
Rural Water Movement Operations
Larry Reber - Firovac
In an article entitled "Rural Water Movement Operations" Bill Adkins entered in the February issue of "Fire Enginering", various ways rural water movement operations can be conducted was well presented.
He pointed out the "First Due Appartus Drafting" method requires fewer personnel than others and is "ideal" for smaller budgets. While "Nurse Tankers" can extend initial water supply it requires communication between the two pump operators and them working together. Also the tanker will stay on the scene so be sure tankers are on the run card when using this method. With the "Rural Hitch" method you need multiple pumps, equipped apparatus with operators and stellar communications between each of them.
My thoughts are various methods have been tried through the years to find a better way to improve the system. The above are the methods that have been available to rural fire departments until recently. Vacuum apparatus is a more efficient system where water can be supplied quicker, simpler and with half the equipment and personnel beginning to end. I welcome your comments and questions.
"Transform the Industry"
"I am not done trying to get a Vac tanker in our area! After watching multiple videos on them, I am sold...the advantages are tremendous. You and your team are going to transform the industry with this technology."
"This is Crazy"
Our department started looking at purchasing a vacuum tanker. I said, "This is crazy," until I saw it demonstrated by a neighboring department.
The Chief of that department said, "I can get water from there." I thought, "Ain't no way." Because it was a small creek in a difficult area - but he loaded the truck from there.
I am now on a different department and we are looking at a vacuum unit.
A Michigan VFD with a Firovac gave an inquiring Department a reference.
They said they, "would not have anything but" [a Firovac].
They also said, "once you use one, you begin to understand what it can do. It does everything they claim it can do. It is good quality and very reliable. The Company is one of the easiest to work with."