When the Williamsport (PA) Bureau of Fire needed a new engine, it was able to get some grant money to fund the purchase and drew up specs that it sent out to four major apparatus manufacturers. The best bid, according to Williamsport’s fire chief, was from KME, which was awarded the contract. “We wanted a severe-duty chassis and cab on this engine because it would be on the street every day,” says Todd Heckman, Williamsport’s chief. “We downsized the equipment that we carried on our vehicles and got rid of the equipment we rarely used. Then we outfitted the KME rescue-pumper.”
Ryan Slane, KME’s pumper product manager, says the rescue-pumper KME built for Williamsport is on a KME Predator™ Severe Service MFD four-door chassis and 100-inch cab with a 10-inch raised roof and a 158-inch Flex medium body made of 3/16-inch aluminum and is powered by a Cummins 450-hp ISL diesel engine and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission. He notes the rig carries a Hale Qmax XS-150 1,500-gpm single-stage pump, a 500-gallon water tank with a 25-gallon integral foam cell, and a FoamPro injection foam system.
He notes that the severe service-cab has a narrow doghouse and short extension into the cab that provides more room for the crew, added insulation for less noise in the cab, and has KME’s Total Occupant Protection (TOP) system of side airbags for all outboard seat positions.
Slane points out that Williamsport wanted the vehicle to have as short a wheelbase as possible and to stay under a 32-foot overall length. “We were able to do that for them with the wheelbase coming in at 183 inches, an overall length of 31 feet 9 inches, and an overall height of 10 feet 2 inches,” Slane says. “And, that’s with a 27-inch-wide extended front bumper that holds a Hurst eDRAULIC® combi tool, space for cribbing and chains, and a 1¾-inch hoseline.”
Heckman notes that the department wanted full-height and full-depth compartments on the driver’s side of the vehicle, and that they keep their hydraulic-hose-connected Hurst tools in the rear compartment of the rescue-pumper. “The hydraulic tools are on a slide-out tray at the rear,” he says, “along with a hydraulic hose reel on the left side of the compartment, and an electric cord reel on the right.”
Slane says the Bureau also wanted as low a hosebed as possible on the vehicle. “We gave them an L-style water tank that allowed for a hosebed 70 inches off the ground,” he says. “They are carrying a lot of hose on the rescue-pumper, like 1,200 feet of five-inch LDH, 600 feet of three-inch, 200 feet of 2½-inch, and 200 feet of two-inch.”
Heckman says the officer’s side of the rescue-pumper has ¾ height compartments with a Zico drop down electric-over-hydraulic ladder rack over the compartments as well as a hard suction sleeve.
Slane adds that KME had to package a two-section 28-foot extension ladder and a 16-foot roof ladder on the rescue-pumper, which extends about 195 inches when in the Zico rack. “The ladders extend up to the pump box, but don’t impact the three 1¾-inch crosslays,” he says. The rig also has a 2½-inch discharge with a gated wye at the rear of the pumper, and a Task Force Tips Blitzfire 300-gpm monitor mounted, but not preconnected, on the driver’s side of the body.
Heckman notes that the rescue-pumper has a one-inch booster reel and a 10-kW Harrison hydraulic PTO generator in the dunnage area above the pump house, all Whelen warning and scene lights, two 150-watt Whelen flood lights, and a Whelen Pioneer 150-watt LED brow light.
The Williamsport Bureau of Fire operates with a four-platoon system with one platoon chief and six firefighters assigned to a platoon. Currently more than 95 percent of its 33 paid personnel are Fire Fighter I certified, Heckman says, all of whom carry at least EMT certification. The Bureau runs to 2,600 calls a year, and in 2016, 50 of those calls were structure fires.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.