La Junta (CO) Fire and EMS recently received a new Sutphen SP 70 aerial platform quint to replace a nearly-20-year old straight stick aerial, and the new Sutphen quickly proved its value at the scene of a massive feed store structure fire. Brad Davidson, La Junta’s chief, says the Sutphen SP 70 aerial platform quint “performed beautifully at the huge feed store fire we recently had. It was great tactically to attack the fire from above using two different aerial water streams directed into different areas of the fire.”
The aerial platform quint has a Hale Qmax 1,500-gallons per minute (gpm) single stage pump, a 500-gallon water tank, two 2-1/2-inch discharges on the left side, a 3-inch and 2-1/2-inch discharge on the right side, a 2-1/2-inch discharge on the upper left side, and a 1-1/2-inch discharge in the 24-inch extended front bumper.
Davidson points out that the quint has two 200-foot 1-3/4-inch hose cross lays with smoothbore nozzles above the pump, 150-feet of 1-1/2-inch double jacket hose in a hose well in the extended front bumper, and 200-feet of 2-1/2-inch hose preconnected to the upper left side discharge. At the platform, the quint carries two Akron Brass Company 3470 Gemini manual monitors, one with an Akron Brass 1,250-gpm Akromatic nozzle, and the other with Akron Brass quad stacked tips and a stream shaper.
Davidson notes that the rig’s hose bed carries 1,100 feet of 5-inch large diameter hose, and 600-feet of 2-1/2-inch hose. “We are fortunate to have hydrants and a good water supply in the three towns in our fire district,” he observes, “but in the rural areas, we rely on shuttling water in our two 1,800-gallon tenders (tankers), and other engines.”
Davidson says La Junta made the change from a straight stick to a platform for two main reasons. “The first is that it’s safer for our staff to work out of a bucket,” he notes, “and the second is that it’s easier to make a rescue from a platform, where you can get a victim into the platform much quicker and easier than have them climb down a ladder.
The chief adds that with a lot of tight streets in La Junta’s fire district, the department has found that the vehicle’s lower center of gravity, lower profile, and greater stability gives them greater maneuverability and usability with the truck. He says the rig’s 192-cubic feet of compartment space is covered by ROM roll-up doors, and that it has an Alco-Lite 35-foot three-section extension ladder, a 24-foot two section extension ladder, a 16-foot roof ladder, and a 10-foot folding ladder.
The aerial platform quint has a grill-mounted Federal Q2B siren, a FRC ACT two-station intercom system, a 6-kilowatt Smart Power generator, a Hannay electric cord reel with 150-feet of electrical cord, a FRC InView 360HD camera system with a built-in DVR, a Roto-Ray warning light, a Whelen Freedom IV LED light bar, Whelen L31 LED rear beacons, and FRC Spectra 900 LED scene lights.
Zach Rudy, Sutphen’s director of sales and marketing, says, “We want to thank the La Junta Fire Department and Chief Brad Davidson for their trust in the Sutphen product and Sutphen family. This SP 70 is La Junta’s first Sutphen apparatus, and we are honored to be a part of the La Junta, Colorado, community.”
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.