The Hopewell (VA) Bureau of Fire was a prior customer of Goodman Specialized Vehicles for PL Custom Ambulances, so when a Goodman manager got word that Hopewell was in the market for a custom pumper, he contacted the department because Goodman also represents KME for fire apparatus.
Hopewell’s chief, Donald Hunter II, says the department has limited staffing and has to be able to do almost everything with each piece of its apparatus, as opposed to having specialty units available. “We wanted a pumper with a large water tank size, a lowered height on the ladder storage, lots of compartment space, and an area for hydraulic extrication equipment,” Hunter says. “Our town is at the junction of the Appomattox and James Rivers, where we have six major chemical businesses, an area with large and small residenes, and seven- and five-story buildings in the city.”
Hopewell Bureau of Fire is a paid fire department that handles 3,800 fire, rescue, and EMS calls a year. “We expect to deal with 5,000 calls this year,” Hunter points out. “Sixty-five percent of our calls are EMS, while the rest are fires, vehicle fire, vehicle rescues with entrapment, and other miscellaneous calls.” He adds that a portion of Interstate 295 runs through town, where the Bureau sees plenty of heavy motor vehicle accident calls and rescues.
Because Hopewell’s fleet was aging, the department decided to purchase two new engines and talked with three vendors about supplying them. KME won the contract. “We decided on two pumpers, each with a Waterous CMU-C20 1,500-gpm pump, a 600-gallon UPF Poly water tank, a 50-gallon foam cell, and a Foam Pro 2002 foam system,” Hunter says. “Because of the ethanol and chemical plants we have in town, we run AR-AFFF foam (Chemguard alcohol-resistant aqueous-film-forming foam concentrate). “The two new KME pumpers replaced two 1997 Quality-Spartan engines, he notes.
Ryan Slane, product manager for KME, says the two engines are set up as pumper-rescues with 172-inch-long bodies that include full-height and full-depth (29 inches) compartments on each side of the rigs. “They are built on KME’s 100-inch-long Severe Service 4×2 LFD chassis with a 10-inch raised roof,” he says, “with ground ladder storage sleeved in the water tank to lower the ladder tunnel height for easier access and pike pole storage at the rear of the apparatus.”
Scott Zingaro, KME fire and rescue service manager at Goodman Specialized Vehicles, says the rigs are powered by Cummins 500-hp ISX12 diesel engines and Allison 4000 EVS automatic transmissions. The rigs have wheelbases of 216 inches, overall lengths of 35 feet one inch, and overall heights of 9 feet 11 inches. The vehicles each have two 1¾-inch 200-foot crosslays, one 200-foot 2½-inch cross lay, a Task Force Tips Extend-a-Gun deck gun, and 150 feet of 1¾-inch hose preconnected in an extended front bumper compartment.
“The front bumpers also have two female hydraulic hose connections for the department’s TNT rescue tools,” Zingaro points out, “and two hydraulic reels and preconnected TNT rescue tools are located in a compartment at the back of the vehicled.” Zingaro notes the rigs each have a Harrison PTO/hydraulic 15.MPC series generator with a Harrison IHT hydraulic rescue tool system, an Intec triple camera system, a Whelen light package, FRC Spectra 900 LED scene lights, two Whelen Pioneer Plus 150-watt LED brow lights, two Akron SceneStar telescoping lights, and two Hannay electric cord reels.
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.