By Alan M. Petrillo
The Otto Township (IL) Fire Department has been a customer of Alexis Fire Equipment for a number of years, so when the department needed to replace a 25-year-old pumper with a new rig, it again turned to Alexis for a side-mount pumper on a commercial chassis.
“This new pumper is the eighth apparatus purchase we’ve made from Alexis,” says Jay Hansen, Otto Township’s chief. “We chose Alexis because of our good history with them, their accommodating nature in the building process, and their excellent after sales service.”
Otto Township’s new pumper is built on a 2019 International MV607 four-door chassis and cab with seating for four firefighters, powered by a 350-hp Cummins L9 engine and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission. The rig has a heavy-duty aluminum body with galvanized steel subframe, ROM roll-up doors, a Hale Qmax 1,500-gpm pump, a 1,000-gallon polypropylene water tank, a 30-gallon foam cell, and a Waterous Aquis 6 foam system with Waterous foam tank refill.
Jeff Morris, president of Alexis, notes that the Otto Township truck committee “was very specific about what they wanted in their new pumper. They knew what features they wanted and the types of equipment to be carried. So, we designed the pumper to meet their needs.”
Morris says the rig has 14,000-pound front axle weight rating, a 30,000-pound rear axle weight rating, and a 44,000-pound GVWR. Wheelbase on the pumper is 250 inches, overall length is 33 feet 10 inches, and overall height is 10 feet 8 inches.
Hansen points out that there is a console that holds maps and binders, a thermal imaging camera, gas meters, an EMS medical bag, first aid kit, AED, and a cold weather bag holding tee shirts, sweatpants, socks, gloves, and hot packs in the cab behind the driver and officer.
He says, “The side-mount pump panel is important for us because often we are shorthanded. We need a firefighter on the ground who can grab an ax, a fitting, or ladder without having to get down off of a top-mount pumper. And, it’s easier for the operator to monitor a portable water tank when we are in drafting operations.” Otto Township’s district is primarily rural, Hansen adds, covering 44 square miles with an interstate, a railroad, and a river running through it.
The new Alexis pumper has two 1¾-inch Mattydale crosslays of 150 and 200 feet over the pump, 100 feet of preconnected 1¾-inch hose in the 18-inch front bumper extension, 200 feet of 2½-inch hose preconnected off the rear, and 300 feet of 3-inch hose with a Task Force Tips Blitzfire nozzle preconnected at the back of the pumper. The rig carries an Elkhart Brass Cobra EXM monitor with panel mount and handheld controls, 1,100 feet of 5-inch LDH in the hosebed, and a Zico dual-arm hydraulic ladder/suction/pike pole rack on the top of the right side.
The pumper has a Smart Power 10 kW hydraulic generator with a 120-volt system, an Akron Brass electric cord reel with 150 feet of 10/3 cord and a junction box, a Will-Burt Night Scan PowerLite light tower with six Whelen LED Lights, Whelen LED warning and scene light packages, a Kussmaul Super Auto Eject 120-volt shoreline connection, and a Federal Q2B mechanical and electronic sirens with a Whelen 100-watt speaker.
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.