Boone County WV fire

Van VFD vacuum tanker working at a large fire in Boone County, WV

Vacuum tankers
Cold weather vacuum apparatus, review
Charles Clark - Colerain Twp FD
Kingston, Ohio

To all of my Facebook friends who are firefighters:

As bitterly cold weather looms remember the capabilities of Colerain Twp. FD’s vacuum tanker:

The vacuum pump moves air not water-no water in regular fire pump to freeze up.  The truck carries 78 ft. of suction hose.

For alternative water sources just out of reach for regular fire trucks pumper/tanker 1912 can do the draft and dump set up to supply up to 450 GPM to the attack pumper. Respond to this post if you have any questions.

Rafe Britton asked:  It carries how much water ? Charles Clark Answered:  Rafe Britton,  3,000 gallons

Robert Kirkbride responded:  That sucks!

Charles Clark replied:  It sure does suck! It has primed 123 ft of 6 inch hose in 26 seconds. Compare that to over 2 min to Prime 100 ft. Of 6 inch suction with a standard fire pump with a new automatic air primer.


The tanker worked better than we could ever imagine.
Chief Michael Gauthier - Grafton Fire Department
Grafton, MA

"We went mutual aid to a fire at a company that produces firewood. This company is called West End Firewood. They season and kiln dry the firewood. They had a massive fire that consumed hundreds of cordwood and a few buildings. There were approximately 22 tankers involved with a water shuttle. We found our own fill site and did approximately 65 loads. We estimated that we did more than 5 times more than any other tanker. The tanker worked better than we could ever imagine."

Delivery of 3800 gallon Firovac
We like it.
Chief Jimmy Winters - Oak Hill VFD

"I've been trying to get this area to look at vacuum for years.  It did well on the hill.  We like it". 

Water Movement Class
It still impressed me
Chief Droop Howell - Van FireDepartment
Whitesville, WV

Droop Howell

It still impressed me that I can draft through 84 ft of hard suction with 20ft of lift and still load 2600 gallons in around 3 minutes 

Western Holmes Co. Mutual Aid
Roland Phillips - Holmes County District 1
Holmes County

We have officially put into service a new 2020 Firovac 2,600-gallon tanker at the beginning of June. Many folks have probably already seen it out and about, as we have been getting personnel trained on driving and operations of the new tanker. It's a bit different and will be more versatile compared to the old tanker. We have had many memories of our old tanker 655 "Turtle", a 1982 Mack, it has served the community well. It has gone back to the Division of Forestry, and will likely serve another fire department. We are very excited to see how the new tanker will serve our community in the future. We are grateful for our community's support in order to provide the equipment and apparatus needed to serve.

Roland Phillips responded with Thanks for coming to District 1 fire on THURSDAY. They sucked water from Killbuck creek worked out real good. 1-man operation deal move some serious water. thank you again.

Thank you Roland Phillips, That's what Firovac was designed to do & has always done. More water, less manpower!

Ditch water
Ditch water
Chief - Sterling Fire District
Seville, Ohio

I am sending the pictures in two separate emails. Initially, Seville had their tanker back in the drive near the actual fire supplying their pumper. Next in was Westfield with their tanker and they supplied Seville with their tanker. Chief Winkler had asked me to run water supply, however, at that time, they were not flowing much water. There was a dry hydrant no more than ½ a mile away, so I had originally planned to keep our tanker and CanaanTownship’s tanker to handle the remaining water supply. However, before that
could get established, the water flow was even less significant that we ended up backing our tanker down the drive once Westfield was out and used the flow of water from the “ditch” which was helped with the current rains at the time. Dale (Glessner) ended up plugging the culvert using a larger rock that was nearby to back up the water on the opposite side to helpincrease our efficiency in loading. With the use of the PTO fire pump, we then just supplied Seville for the duration of the fire and were able toreturn the other units in service.
Josh Glessner, Chief
Sterling Fire District


A solid truck
A solid truck

September 2019

"I just got done meeting with a representitive from Firovac on his way to deliver this 3000 gallon vac tanker including a 1000 gpm pump, same Company that made that massive pumper tanker for Grafton fire that was on display at FDIC.  I was impressed.  Filled 3000 gallons through over 70' of hard suction in 3 minutes and discharged that same 3000 gallon in a minute and a half.  Peninsula Fire in Michigan is getting a solid truck."

Got Big Water Post
Got Big Water Post
Mark Davis - Got Big Water

This post speaks for itself.  Mark Davis and Got Big Water crew are not afraid to "think outside the box".  They do an excellent job of conducting and educating in their water movement classes.  Contact them on their web site.

2013 email

Exerpts from an email received in 2013. "For those of us who have watched one of your 3000 gallon Vacuum tankers, which also has a standard fire pump, compete against a tanker using the same old technology we now have, the vacuum tanker won the contest by a wide margin.  The Vacuum tanker can load and unload water faster than what" (a non-vacuum) would "and for a lesser cost"...  " Your new vacuum tanker design makes it possible to draft from a greater height from streams or ponds that are some 28 feet below your tanker while a standard fire engine is limited to  about 15 feet.  This makes your Vacuum tanker a more useful apparatus especially on mutual calls.  Since some of your Vacuum tanker users have found that they can carry 90 feet of 6 inch suction hose and can easily reach a water source that a standard tanker or fire engine can not get to or accomplish, this makes your vacuum tanker design all the more useful than the old technology tanker being considered. Tanker shuttle guidelines used by the ISO and NFPA point out that the time to load and unload a tanker is more important than high speed especially on our rural roads."

Retired firefighter's observation.