Firefighter Training, Firefighting

TFT Doubles Elevation with New Blitzfire Monitor Line

TFT’s new Blitzfire He and Blitzfire Oscillating He high elevation monitor series will allow firefighters to go from 10 degrees above horizontal to nearly ninety degrees overhead — a gain of some 40 degrees of elevation over previous models — with the same 500 gpm big-water power, and the unparalleled protection of the monitor’s patented safety shut off valve.

“The idea for the new Blitzfire He line came during a meeting overseas with one of our best Blitzfire customers,” said John Donnelly, TFT’s Asia Pacific Sales Manager. “The problem was that with the refineries they’re building today, the degree of setback between the storage tanks is getting tighter and tighter, while the tanks themselves are getting taller. This guy loved our Blitzfires, but needed a higher elevation to fight fire or provide exposure protection. I brought his request back to our engineering department.”

TFT Senior Project Engineer Dave Kolacz, the original Blitzfire’s designer, was brought back onto the project.  As luck would have it, TFT’s new Hemisphere portable monitor valve featured a ball-and-socket design, which was exactly what Kolacz needed to increase the Blitzfire’s elevation.

“With the ball and socket already designed, getting the higher elevation was almost a given,” Kolacz said. “The design challenge came, surprisingly, with the oscillating mechanism (on the Blitzfire OSC He).  The extra elevation interfered with the oscillator mechanism, so we basically had to redesign it.”

The Blitzfire’s oscillating mechanism had a great 10 year track record, so no one ever thought of modifying its design.  But as Kolacz re-examined the mechanism, he realized that the pull pin which sat below it could be eliminated, allowing for a new and improved oscillator that was even easier to access and operate.

“Once this (oscillator design) gets a little history, we’ll be modifying the design for the standard oscillating Blitzfire as well,” Kolacz explained.  “The new design is more intuitive, which makes it better for our customers.  In addition, it’s not only easier to use, but we found that it’s easier to make.  So this is a win-win situation all around.”

Since the nozzle reaction point changed with the monitor’s new higher elevation, TFT engineers widened the carrier plate to help support what can be over 200 pounds of (nozzle reaction) force. The additional ball and socket and the modified oscillating unit will add approximately three pounds to the unit’s weight.

“Just to clarify, the new Blitzfire He elevation monitor is still the same portable Blitzfire monitor that will go anywhere a firefighter can go,” explained Rod Carringer, TFT director of marketing. “It’s got the same stable carbide tipped legs, the same storage bracket,  the same patented safety shutoff to reduce the risk of injury if the monitor ever becomes unstable, the same 10 degree above horizontal low attack position, and still goes 20 degrees either side of center. It is entirely the same Blitzfire you’ve all come to love. It’s just that we added about 40 degrees to the elevation, and we’ve made some great design modifications that will benefit all.”

The new Blitzfire and Blitzfire Oscillating He elevation monitors will be available this fall, listing for approximately $300 more than the standard Blitzfire packages, and will be offered in addition to the standard Blitzfire and Blitzfire OSC. Because of the unique “pivoting knuckle” design that provides the new Blitzfire monitors their added elevation, this cannot be offered as an add on or modification kit to existing Blitzfires. 

“Anybody who has ever used the Blitzfire oscillating monitor is a strong potential customer for the new elevated version, because this one does all that the old one does and more,” Donnelly added.  “It’s a little more front heavy and a little heavier in weight, but that’s well worth it with what you gain in its expanded capabilities and refined design.”

For more information on TFT’s new Blitzfire and Blitzfire Oscillating He monitors, please visit www.tft.com or call (800) 348-2686.