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The purpose of the Fire Mechanics Section is to promote standardization of fire apparatus and equipment preventative maintenance, improve safety standards and practices, promote workshops, conferences, and seminars related to the purposes of this Section, and to promote cost savings through standardization of building and equipment purchasing and maintenance.

RECENT FIRE MECHANIC NEWS

Posted: Apr 1, 2013

Dealer Profile: Greenwood Emergency Vehicles

Bill Adams

This is the first in a series profiling individual fire apparatus dealers-the people who sell fire trucks. Although some apparatus are sold factory direct, the majority of sales are through an agent or a broker-an intermediary between purchaser and manufacturer. An agent can also be called a dealer, a dealership, or a sales representative. For the sake of simplicity, this article defines a dealer as an entity that customarily enters into a contractual agreement with a manufacturer to sell product in a given geographical territory. I define a dealership as a dealer who has a physical workplace-a place of business similar to a showroom or service facility. A sales representative, the person fire departments deal with on a face-to-face basis, can be a factory employee, a dealer's employee, or the dealer principal himself.

The intent is not to judge a dealer because of size, longevity, or capability. The objective here is to give the purchaser an understanding of who some fire apparatus dealers are, their business philosophies, and how they got where they are today.

These four aerial devices are being
(1) These four aerial devices are being "flown" behind Greenwood's Sales & Administration building for its 2012 open house. (Photos by author.)

Beginning

In the late 1970s, three friends in Southern Massachusetts-Mark France, a retired captain with the Attleboro (MA) Fire Department; Robert Allard, a mechanic with the same department; and Tim O'Neill-contemplated going into the automotive business together. Allard suggested a shop large enough to accommodate his expertise-repairing fire apparatus. They did and formed Greenwood Motors in 1979. Emergency One (E-ONE), based in Ocala, Florida, which had just started in 1974, was expanding its dealer network, and Greenwood signed on as E-ONE's New England dealer in May 1979. It has experienced steady, planned growth ever since. E-ONE's Web site shows Greenwood being its second oldest dealer-surpassed by one who signed on just three months earlier. Dealer longevity with a single fire apparatus manufacturer is an anomaly in today's marketplace.

I had the opportunity to interview Greenwood's principals at their sales and administration office and later observe their employees interacting with customers and vendors during their September 2012 open house. Commenting on Greenwood, Alan Hollister, E-ONE's northeast region sales director, says, "Greenwood is considered by E-ONE to be one of our premier dealers. A truly professional organization, their strength lies in a firm commitment to customer satisfaction and unmatched customer service." O'Neill is president and owner. Executive vice president is Dennis Carvalho, and Mark MacDonald is vice president of sales.

2012 open house of Greenwood
(2) The product mix at the 2012 open house included a mini pumper, a stainless steel bodied pumper, straight aerials, quints, a tower ladder, a heavy rescue, numerous extruded aluminum pumpers on both custom and commercial chassis, many styles of ambulances, and an aerial that was refurbished in Greenwood's shops.

Growth

In 1979, the business opened a sales and service facility in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, and the business incorporated as Greenwood Motors. A larger building followed in 1984, and the name changed to Greenwood Fire Apparatus. The company built a separate sales and administration

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Posted: Apr 1, 2013

Is It Time for Armored Fire Apparatus?

By Robert Tutterow

Last Christmas Eve's Webster, New York, firefighter ambush that killed two volunteer firefighters and wounded two others once again brought the subject of violence against firefighters to the forefront. This incident was one of a growing number of acts of violence against firefighters. National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) statistics reveal that, on average, there are three firefighter line-of-duty deaths (LODDs) annually from assaults. It is estimated that there are well over a million assaults against firefighters and EMS personnel annually in the United States. Anecdotal evidence also indicates that more than 90 percent of firefighters have been verbally or physically assaulted.

If you are a firefighter reading this column, you can probably recount one (maybe several) assaults. Violence against firefighters is not a new thing.

Thirty years ago, I responded with my volunteer fire department to a reported vehicle fire at an auction barn in rural North Carolina. It was an early Saturday evening, and an auction had just started. On our arrival, the fire had been extinguished. However, people were running out of the auction barn screaming, "He has a gun!" The owner/auctioneer came out of the barn and threatened all of us volunteer firefighters. We stood still, remained silent, let him vent, and then it was all over.

This situation was perhaps unique in that we all knew the owner/auctioneer. He was known as "Dud," and he liked alcohol and women. Apparently, he had a little too much of at least one of his two life pleasures that evening. I don't think any of us felt his threats were sincere, for he had a generous side. Dud was a well-known character who always carried a lot of money-and a gun. He never hesitated to peel off a few bills from the roll of cash he carried during fire department fundraisers. Nonetheless, this incident gave me pause to think how a similar situation in a different setting could have a bad outcome.

The fire service collectively acknowledged violent acts against firefighters in 2004 when the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) issued its 16 Life Safety Initiatives. Initiative #12 states, "National protocols for response to violent incidents should be developed and championed." The issue is also addressed in NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program. Chapter 8, "Emergency Operations," has a section titled "Scenes of Violence, Civil Unrest, or Terrorism."

Acts of Violence

Acts of violence can occur in many ways. The Webster ambush was staged by the assailant setting his house on fire. In 2004, the Lexington (KY) Fire Department lost a firefighter when she was shot during a domestic dispute. Firefighter/EMT Brenda Denise Cowan was in the yard providing aid to the wife of the assailant, whom he shot. She was also the first black female to die in the line of duty in the United States.

In 2008, a Maplewood, Missouri, firefighter was shot and killed at the scene of a vehicle fire by an awaiting sniper. Twenty-two-year-old Ryan Hummert, son of the former mayor, was on his first fire call. The sniper also shot and wounded two police officers.

In the Aurora, Colorado, theater mass shooting in July 2012, the shooter had booby-trapped his apartment to kill emergency responders through an array of ignition systems, chemicals, and a trip wire.

Some of you may recall that many of the tillered aerials in Los Angeles had to be removed from service during the riots following the Rodney King trial in 1992. It was apparent that the tiller person was a sitting duck for rioters.

And, violence against firefighters can occur at places other than an emergency scene. Seventeen years ago, a Jackson, Mississippi, firefighter shot and killed his wife and then went to the central fire station, where he opened f

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Posted: Apr 1, 2013

Bigger Pumps in Smaller Packages

Alan M. Petrillo

Pump manufacturers have responded to fire department requests for fire apparatus pumps that can flow plenty of water yet take up the least amount of space on their vehicles so any extra space saved can be dedicated to equipment storage or other uses.

Narrowing Pumps

Jon Moore, national sales manager for Hale Products Inc., says that his company's QMAX-XS-the XS stands for extra space-is a slimmed down version of its popular QMAX pump with the same flow characteristics and in the same versions that will generate from 1,250 to 2,000 gallons per minute (gpm).

Moore notes that the QMAX-XS takes a foot off the pump box with no loss of functionality. "The QMAX is our most reliable and largest selling pump," Moore says. "It's virtually indestructible and delivers very good performance. The XS version builds on those characteristics but in a smaller package that saves space on a vehicle and has many interchangeable parts with the QMAX."

Hale isn't a stranger to putting the most amount of performance into a smaller package, Moore notes. "We came out with the QPAK, a pump rated from 750 to 1,000 gpm, about 20 years ago and it was the original small pump for the fire service," he says. "This was the smallest version available of a fully manifolded midship pump."

The Waterous CXS end suction pump with ram's horns on the pump's inlet
(1) The Waterous CXS end suction pump with ram's horns on the pump's inlet allows the company to put a 1,500-gpm pump into a 28-inch-wide package when using electric discharge valves. (Photo courtesy of Waterous.)

He adds that the QPAK can be run off of a J gearbox for a left or right power takeoff (PTO) or off of a standard G gearbox for a split-shaft midship drive off the vehicle's transmission. "QPAK is a very slim pump that sets up well for smaller chassis and for tankers where you want a smaller pump box," Moore says. "It also works well in smaller brush trucks. It's the original pump that started the series of narrow pumps we have out now, like the QMAX-2 and the QFLO."

Bruce Senn, Hale's Southeast regional sales manager, says Hale also makes the Sidekick, a pump available in the 500- to 1,500-gpm range but that doesn't require a conventional pump box. "Sidekick fits in a compartment and can be narrowed down to 24 inches wide," Senn says. "It's great for rescues and tankers. The pump is available as both a package and a kit that bolts to the side of the frame rail and works with several different models of pumps."

The S101 end suction pump made by Waterous
(2) The S101 end suction pump made by Waterous uses schedule 10 stainless steel plumbing and can fit into a 38-inch pump house for a 1,500-gpm model. (Photo courtesy of Waterous.)

End Suction

Paul Darley, president and chief executive officer of Darley, says the fire industry has seen a strong move away from big midship fire pumps and toward end suction pumps. "End suction allows an apparatus builder or pump manufacturer to custom design the pump manifolds-the suction and discharge manifolds-which can free up a lot of space in the pump compartment that can be put to other uses."

Darley says one of the key driving forces in putting bigger pumps in smaller packages is the freeing up of space on fire apparatus for other uses. "The second key is the availability of large or full torque PTOs, and the third key is pricing,"

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Posted: Apr 1, 2013

Review of CAN/ULC- S515-12 Standard for Automobile Fire Fighting Apparatus

By Jeff Aiken
Pierce Manufacturing

It is probably safe to say that just about everyone active in the North American firefighting and emergency services community is aware of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards and revisions that are published on a regular basis. What are not yet on everyone's radars are the parallel standards and revision processes that occur within the Canadian firefighting and emergency services community.

The last major ULC-S515 revision was published in 2004 and was written to align closely with NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Apparatus (2003 ed.). ULC-S515 has been undergoing a revision cycle to bring it in alignment with the NFPA 1901 (2009 ed.). ULC-S515-12 has been through the public comment period, the French translation work is complete, and it should be published shortly.

Differences

In looking at NFPA 1901 and ULC-S515-12, there are a number of differences to note. The lists of referenced documents and standards and their respective revisions are not identical. Canada has established the metric SI system as the primary system of measurement. This is significant in that the metric SI unit is the requirement-any units in brackets are considered approximate. Gallons and gallons per minute (gpm) refer to imperial gallons. Any references to United States gallons are noted as "US-gal" or "USgpm."

By law, all Canadian standards must be published in both French and English. So, when a fire department in French-speaking Quebec reads the standard differently than a fire department in British Columbia, it can, quite literally, be a matter of interpretation.

Changes

There are a number of changes and new chapter additions for this latest edition of ULCS515. The chapter for Industrial Supply Pumps and Associated Equipment of the 2004 edition of CAN/ULC-S515 has been incorporated into Chapter 15-Fire Pumps and Associated Equipment of the 2012 edition. There is no longer a separate chapter for Industrial Supply Pumps.

Other chapter changes include Chapter 18-Foam Proportioning Systems, aligned closely with NFPA 1901 (2009 ed.) Chapter 20; Chapter 19-Compressed Air Foam Systems, aligned closely with NFPA 1901 (2009 ed.) Chapter 21; Chapter 20-Line Voltage Electrical Systems, aligned closely with NFPA 1901 (2009 ed.) Chapter 22 but note the primary reference to the Canadian Electrical Code, not the National Electrical Code; Chapter 21-Command and Communications, aligned closely with NFPA 1901 (2009 ed.) Chapter 23; Chapter 22-Air Systems, aligned closely with NFPA 1901 (2009 ed.) Chapter 24; Chapter 23-Winches, aligned closely with NFPA 1901 (2009 ed.) Chapter 25; and Chapter 24-Trailers, aligned closely with NFPA (2009 ed.) Chapter 26.

Data tables for friction loss, miscellaneous equipment, suction and discharge sizes, and flow rates are all located at the back of ULC-S515 instead of in their respective chapters, as in NFPA 1901.

There are no informational annexes, as in NFPA 1901. These resources for firefighters will be developed in the future by ULC Standards but have not been included in this edition. ULC-S515-12 does have an Appendix A on Limiting Design Stresses. This appendix provides direction and equations to be used in aerial device structural design. The safety factor equation used by ULC-S515-12 is not identical to that used by NFPA 1901, so aerial manufacturers need to be aware of this difference.

Aerial Stability Testing

This latest edition of ULC-S515-12 introduces new language covering stability testing requirements for aerial devices with envelope control, or "Limited Reach Operating Envelope Aerials" as they are referred to in the standard. This new language is contained in Chapter 17-Aerial Devices in Section 17.13-Tests. Manufacturers, testing and certification companies, and end users need to review t

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Fire Mechanics Section Board

Chair

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Chair

Elliot Courage
North Whatcom Fire & Rescue
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Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Vice Chair

Mike Smith 
Pierce County Fire District #5
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Justin Claibourn
Central Pierce Fire & Rescue 
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Loren Angiono 
City of Lynnwood
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Paul Spencer 
Fire Fleet Maintenance LLC
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Olympia Fire Department
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City of Redmond
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Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #6

Brett Annear
Kitsap County Fire District 18
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Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #5

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Camano Island Fire & Rescue
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Posted: Oct 20, 2015

Immediate Past Chair

Brian Fortner
Graham Fire & Rescue

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