By Alan M. Petrillo
Travis County (TX) ESD No. 1 was seeking to replace a rear-mount aerial ladder quint with a more maneuverable mid-mount model and turned to Sutphen Corp. who built a SL 75 aerial ladder quint for the district.
Mark Davidson, lieutenant at Travis County ESD No. 1, says his fire district has some hilly terrain and a lot of tight roads, especially in neighborhoods that have lots of trees with low-hanging branches. “We’ve had some issues with our rear-mounts getting into those places,” Davidson observes, “so we decided on a mid-mount ladder that has a lower overall height and overall length and is more maneuverable. We also like having more than 230 cubic feet of compartment space on the truck, and a low hose bed.”
Jeff Cooper, director of sales for Texas Fire Apparatus, who sold the 75-foot aerial ladder quint to Travis County, says the rig is built on a Sutphen Monarch heavy duty custom chassis with a 73-inch extended cab and 15-inch raised roof, with seating for four firefighters, three of them in SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) seats. “The truck has 10-inch Double Domex frame rails, a 23,000-pound front suspension, a 35,000-pound rear suspension, and a Huckbolted 304 stainless steel body,” Cooper notes. “Wheelbase on the rig is 232 inches, overall length is 42 feet, 9 inches, and overall height is 10 feet.”
Cooper says the Travis County quint is powered by a 500-horsepower (hp) Cummins X12 diesel engine, and an Allison 4000 EVS Gen 5 automatic transmission, with a Leece Neville 420-amp alternator. The quint has a Hale QMax 2,000-gallon per minute (gpm) single stage pump, a 475-gallon water tank, a 25-gallon foam cell, a Hale SmartFOAM 5.0 foam proportioning system, and at the tip of the aerial ladder’s it carries a Task Force Tips Typhoon 1,500-gpm electric monitor and a M-ERP 1,500-gpm nozzle.
Davidson says that Travis County had Sutphen build in lockable EMS (emergency medical services) cabinetry on the rear wall of the crew cab that holds EMS gear and a refrigerated medical vault. “We are a paramedic department that carries at least one paramedic on every run we make,” he points out. “We have 55 full-time paid firefighters, and 90% of them are paramedics or AEMTs (advanced emergency medical technicians), with the rest of our staff being EMTs.”
He adds that the truck has four discharges that are capable of discharging foam — two 1-3/4-inch hose cross lays above the pump panel, a 1-3/4-inch hose discharge in the 24-inch extended front bumper, and a 2-1/2-inch hose preconnected at the top rear of the rig. Ground ladders in a covered chute include a 35-foot three-section extension ladder, a 24-foot two-section extension ladder, a 14-foot roof ladder, and a 10-foot folding attic ladder, Davidson says. The rig also carries a Stokes basket in a storage box on the base section of the aerial ladder.
Cooper notes that lighting on the SL 75 includes a Whelen Pioneer 12-volt LED brow light, a Whelen Freedom 4 LED light bar, a FRC Spectra 12-volt LED brow light, Whelen M9 LED scene lights, Hi Viz Fire Tech 12-volt LED scene lights, and Hi Viz Fire Tech 12-volt LED boom spotlights. He says the quint also has a pedestal mounted Federal Q2B siren, a 12,000-pound Warn winch, a Hannay electric reel holding 150 feet of electric cord, a FRC ACT two-station intercom system, and a Brigade Backeye360® camera system.
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.