E-ONE Stainless Steel Walk-in Heavy Rescue Truck
A couple of years ago the operations and special operations chiefs at the Lexington (KY) Fire Department decided the department needed a new rescue truck and formed a committee of eight firefighters to determine what would work best for the 565-firefighter career fire department covering 285 square miles of urban, suburban, and open county land.
“Four of the committee members went to Washington, D.C., and the Baltimore, Maryland, area, to look at heavy rescues,” says Ryan Hogsten, a captain at the Lexington Fire Department. “They visited nine fire departments and checked out both four-door and two-door rescues and walk-around and walk-in vehicles. We previously had a heavy rescue walk-through with seating for six in the crew cab but no seating in the back. The committee determined we should change to a two-door cab with seating for five firefighters in the back of the walk-in body.”
Mike Mildner, rescue sales specialist with E-ONE, says Lexington chose to have bench seating in the rear walk-through body to accommodate five firefighters on top of cabinetry that holds equipment underneath the seats. “They wanted no wasted space on their rescue truck,” Mildner points out. “This is their premier rescue company that does all different kinds of rescues—from road rescues to collapse to confined space.”
E-ONE built a 304L stainless steel walk-in heavy rescue for Lexington on a Cyclone cab holding two firefighters up front and five in the body, with a climate controlled-transverse rear storage area behind the front cab. The rescue is powered by a Cummins 550-hp ISX15 diesel engine, and an Allison 4500 five-speed automatic transmission.
Mildner says the rig has a Dana 22,800-pound front axle, a Meritor 48,000-pound tandem rear axle, a wheelbase of 227 inches, an overall length of 38 feet 8 inches, and an overall height of 10 feet 3½ inches. “The rescue has a Safety Vision rear backup camera,” he says, “and an officer’s side external camera and monitor, along with internal crew cameras in the back body that show on the officer’s monitor.”
The walk-in body is accessible from the rear of the vehicle, Mildner says, and the vehicle has full-height rescue compartments down both sides of the exterior of the truck’s body. “In the body interior, there is shelving from back to front for equipment, with a couple of gaps for windows,” Mildner notes. “At the front of the interior body area is a locker for dive suits with a tray on the bottom for drainage.”
Hogsten says the rescue truck’s transverse compartment behind the cab carries a Stokes basket, two Little Giant ladders, two backboards, four 4×4 timbers in a sleeve, and an Arizona Vortex (tripod) for rope work and confined space rescue. The new rescue has a 24-inch extended front bumper with a lid that covers it entirely. In the bumper are two Holmatro CORE Technology hose hookups, two 14-inch trays, and a Warn 15,000-pound winch with 7/16-inch synthetic rope instead of steel rope.
Mildner says the transverse compartment also has a Holmatro electric power unit plumbed to CORE Technology fittings at the front, rear and sides of the rescue truck. “The main hydraulics are a Holmatro 5050 and 5055 spreader and cutter,” he says, “and there is a full complement of hydraulics for spreaders, cutters, specialty cutters, pedal cutters, and rams.” The transverse compartment also holds a three-bottle cascade cylinder system for confined space and dive operations and an inflatable raft, he adds.
The rescue carries HiViz FireTech LED brow lights (one across the front and one on each side of the cab), Whelen Pioneer LED scene lights on the sides, a Command Light tower, Whelen M6 LED lights, and an Onan 30-kW generator. All interior and compartment lighting for on-scene work is blue to prevent flash blinding at night, while white lighting is available during the day. Crew lighting in the back of the rig is either red or white, depending on the time of day.
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.