LaVale (MD) Fire Department was running a 1982 Sutphen SP 95 midmount aerial quint that had been refurbished in 1995, but earlier this year the rig started really showing its age, and the department knew it needed to be replaced. Since it had such success with the Sutphen SP 95, the department went back to Sutphen to look for a replacement aerial platform.
Justin Howell, Sutphen’s senior sales territory manager, says the LaVale truck committee checked out a demo SPH 100 aerial platform quint that the company had in production, “and they fell in love with it. They especially liked the updated design of the ladder handrail, which is a storable handrail that meets NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus.” Howell points out that the storable handrail works off a pivot/hinge system, where each strut is connected by a pin. “You deploy each self-locking section at a time, and when the handrails are stowed while traveling, it means a lower overall height, which LaVale needed to fit the rig into its existing firehouse,” he says.
Ryan Reichert, LaVale Fire Department’s chief, says his firefighters like the storable handrail system on the new aerial. “We chose a midmount aerial platform so we can get it into our firehouse, which has low doors,” Reichert says. “A rear-mount aerial sits up too high for us to fit it in the station. And, we went with a longer aerial than our previous truck because we wanted the additional reach. We have a lot of houses that have big setbacks, and the additional length helps us in those situations.”
Reichert notes that LaVale Fire Department has 25 volunteer firefighters working from two stations to protect a 3-square-mile fire district that’s a mix of rural, residential, and commercial properties. In addition to the new SPH 100 aerial platform quint, the department runs a rescue-pumper, a pumper-tanker, a rescue squad, two brush trucks on Ford F-350 and F-250 chassis, and a Polaris UTV brush and rescue unit.
Howell points out that LaVale’s new SPH 100 has a 236-inch wheelbase, an 11-foot travel height, and a 46-foot 7-inch travel length. It’s built on a Sutphen Monarch heavy-duty custom chassis with a 62-inch extended cab and a 10-inch raised roof with seating for six firefighters. It is powered by a 500-hp Cummins X 12 engine and an Allison Gen 5 4000 EVS automatic transmission.
The aerial platform quint has a Hale Qmax 2,000-gpm single-stage pump, a 300-gallon water tank, two 1¾-inch and one 2½-inch crosslays, two 2½-inch discharges on the left side, and one 3-inch and one 2½-inch discharge on the right side. The 100-foot aerial platform has two Akron Brass 3483 Stream Master2 1,250-gpm manual monitors mounted on the corners.
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The rig has more than 280 cubic feet of compartment space covered by Amdor roll-up doors and carries 115 feet of ground ladders, including a 35-foot two-section and a 24-foot two-section extension ladder, two 16-foot and one 14-foot roof ladders, and a 10-foot folding ladder. The SPH 100 has a Smart Power 10-kW generator, a Hannay electric cord reel with 150 feet of electric cord, an FRC InView TrueView camera system, a Roto-Ray warning light, a Whelen Freedom IV 72-inch LED light bar, an FRC Spectra LED brow light, FRC Spectra 12-volt scene lights, and two FRC Spectra 240-volt LED telescoping lights.
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.