East Avon (NY) Fire Department always was a believer in equipping its apparatus with foam systems, especially for industrial applications and for motor vehicle fires, but hesitated to get into compressed air foam systems (CAFS) until a new board of fire commissioners was elected and decided that the department’s next engine would carry CAFS.
“When the commissioners decided to go with a CAFS vehicle, they wanted to try it out on a smaller rig, not a full-size pumper,” says Chris Batzel, East Avon’s chief. “We have two fire departments in the town, with Avon Fire Department covering the village of Avon, and our department covering the entire rest of the town. The kinds of fires we get are residential, agricultural, motor vehicle, barn, and combine fires, with about 10 percent of fires being industrial. Also, we have a lot of truck stops because US Route 390 runs along the eastern part of town, and State Routes 5 and 20 bisect the district.”
Batzel says the department researched quick-attack rigs built by different manufacturers. At the Lancaster County Firemen’s Association Annual Fire Expo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the department members met Neal Brooks, apparatus division national sales manager for W.S. Darley and Co., who took them through a Darley Max WASP on display.
“We liked the fact that Darley builds the Max WASP on a military suspension with an uplift kit and Super Single wheels and tires,” Batzel notes.
Troy Carothers, Darley’s contract administrator and CAFS manager, says the East Avon Max WASP is built on a Ford F-550 XLT four-door, four-wheel-drive chassis and cab with a Super Single package that carries four firefighters, with the two rear places being self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) seats, with two additional SCBAs mounted on a bracket between the rear seats and pointed toward the side doors.
“The Max WASP has a Darley PSMC 1,500-gallons per minute (gpm) midship, split-shaft pump, a FoamPro 2001 foam proportioner, a Darley 120-cubic feet per minute (cfm) AutoCAFS, a 300-gallon water tank, and a 25-gallon foam tank integrated into the copolymer body,” Carothers says. “A second Darley Davey twin impeller pump, powered by a Yanmar 10-horsepower (hp) diesel engine, provides pump and roll capability, delivering 120-gpm at 40-pounds per square inch (psi).”
Carothers points out that the East Avon Max WASP has two 1-3/4-inch hose crosslays over the midship pump, a 2-1/2-inch preconnect in the hose bed, a 1-inch booster reel over the pump, an Elkhart Sidewinder front bumper monitor, two front bumper spray nozzles, and the ability to deliver foam to all discharges.
Batzel says East Avon also runs a 2017 Pierce pumper-tanker set up as a quad with 150 feet of ground ladders, a 2,000-gpm pump, and a 2,000-gallon water tank and a 2005 Pierce 75-foot quint with a 1,500-gpm pump, 470-gallon water tank, and 30-gallon foam tank. The department also has several support vehicles. “The Max WASP is running first due on house and garage fires, motor vehicle accidents, car fires, brush and grass fires, and farm equipment fires,” he says. “The Pierce quad is first out on commercial building fires and barn fires, with the Max WASP being second due. The Max WASP has been handy on a lot of our narrower rural roads, and especially on the narrow, long driveways to camps where it’s difficult to get to with a larger apparatus.”
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Ariz.-based journalist, the author of three novels and five non-fiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including the position of chief.