The North Evans (NY) Fire District was in need of a quick-attack/brush truck to cover calls in its district, and after considering various alternatives, it chose W.S. Darley & Company to build a WASP Max pumper.
Nick Mecca, North Evans chief, says his fire district is a bedroom community on the shores of Lake Erie, 15 miles south of Buffalo, New York. “We have two major highways and two major railroads running through our district, and a lot of areas along the lake where access is limited, especially in the winter,” Mecca says. “So, we were looking for a customized quick-attack engine with four-wheel drive and a lot of pumping power.”
Mecca says he reached out to Neal Brooks, Darley’s apparatus division national sales manager, who gave the North Evans truck committee details about the Darley WASP Max and how it could be customized for the district’s needs. “We went with a Ford F-550 4×4 chassis with a four-door Super Cab instead of the quad cab to give us a shorter wheelbase,” Mecca points out, and decided on a 1,000-gpm Darley LSM pump instead of the larger 1,250-gpm or 1,500-gpm pumps available because we wanted to get the pump module down to 28 inches wide.”
Troy Carothers, apparatus division contract administrator for Darley, said the North Evans WASP Max is powered by a 330-hp 6.7-liter diesel engine; has Super Single wheels and tires and a suspension lift package; and has a 320-gallon water tank, a 25-gallon Class A foam tank, and a FoamPro 2001 foam system. The rig carries two 1¾-inch hose crosslays of 200 feet each, and one 2½-inch hose crosslay of 200 feet in separate beds on top of the pump. Wheelbase on the vehicle is 192 inches, overall length is 25 feet 5¼ inches, and overall height is 8 feet 10¼ inches.
Carothers notes that the WASP Max has a hot dip galvanized subframe for corrosion resistance and PolyBilt® Integral Series body construction, where the body, water tank, and foam tank are built in a single unit of copolymer thermoplastic. “We also were able to have the unit painted in Ford performance (raptor) blue, which is a process that involves a layer of color paint, then a metallic layer, and finally a clear coat layer,” he says.
Mecca says the tail end of the WASP Max has a Hannay electric booster reel holding 200 feet of 1-inch hose on the rear wall of the back compartment, fitted with an under shelf to hold forestry hose and nozzles. The WASP Max’s hosebed carries 600 feet of 5-inch LDH, he adds, with two 8-foot and one 7-foot Kochek flexible hard suction lengths on the top left side and a 20-foot Duo-Safety three-section aluminum extension ladder and an 8- foot Duo-Safety aluminum roof ladder on the top right.
The compartment over the left side rear wheel is set up to hold four SCBA, and Zico folding wheel chocks are also on that side of the truck, while the front bumper has a Warn 8,000-pound winch built in, along with two Grover air horns, one under each running board.
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.