FDIC 2010 Apparatus Displays Have a “Green” Theme

By William C. Peters

Last year at FDIC, the apparatus theme in Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center exhibit halls was “economy” apparatus. Although economy rigs were still prominently featured at FDIC 2010, a larger focus was on more environmentally friendly and more economically operating apparatus.


Sunshine greeted busload after busload of excited visitors to Lucas Oil Stadium at FDIC. The first display that couldn’t be missed was that of Pierce Manufacturing. In keeping with the “green” theme, Pierce had a wide range of products on display, all with 2010 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-compliant diesel engines. A Velocity pumper with a Detroit Diesel DD13 engine was available. Pierce engaged in a partnership with Detroit Diesel and holds the exclusive rights to install this engine in fire apparatus. The DD13, which is available up to 500 horsepower (hp), is EPA-compliant and boasts better fuel economy than previous models.

(1) The Rosenbauer “Green Star” with idle reduction technology. (Photos by author unless otherwise noted.)

E-ONE had an HP-78 model aerial apparatus on display with a 2010 EPA prototype engine installed. Information provided stated that Cummins ISC and ISL engines up to 450 hp are approved and available in all E-ONE custom apparatus.

Navistar-International had several apparatus with its MAXX-FORCE, advanced exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) 2010 compliant engines.

(2) HME, Ahrens-Fox environmentally friendly compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered pumper.

Rosenbauer had “Green Star” idle reduction technology installed on a pumper on display that really caught the eye! The whole lower perimeter was flashing green from the PowerArc green oscillating light-emitting diode (LED) lights mounted all the way around the bottom of the truck.

Representatives of Rosenbauer stated the company developed this technology to make a more environmentally friendly apparatus by reducing diesel exhaust, reducing the service intervals of the diesel filter system over the life of the apparatus, and providing fuel savings. The idle reduction technology automatically detects when the apparatus has been idling for a period of time without the pump engaged. A small diesel-driven auxiliary power unit (APU) starts up and powers all of the vehicle’s 12-volt load, including warning lights, compartment and interior lights, and cab heating and cooling systems. It then shuts down the main diesel engine. If the 12-volt load exceeds the APU’s capabilities, the main engine is started again. In addition, the APU provides up to 8 kilowatts of 120/240 volt line power for scene lights, cord reels, and so on.

(3) CNG is stored in composite cylinders mounted in a heavy steel roll and impact cage.

Depending on the amount of idle time (without pumping) at EMS responses, vehicle accidents, and service calls, idle reduction technology could save several hundred gallons of diesel fuel. Rosenbauer estimates that a typical diesel engine consumes approximately 1.25 gallons of fuel per hour while idling whereas the APU uses only one quart per hour, thus saving one gallon per hour of operation.

Additional savings could be realized through reduced maintenance of the main engine’s diesel particulate filter (DPF). Diesel soot accumulates in the DPF more quickly at idle because of lower exhaust temperatures. The apparatus has to be taken out of service periodically and put in high-idle mode to regenerate the DPF. Over a period of time, the DPF needs to be removed from the vehicle for professional cleaning. Extending the cleaning cycle saves money and reduces out-of-service time for maintenance.

(4) CNG tanks are filled through an industry standard connection on the driver’s side.

Probably the most unique “Green Machine” was manufactured by HME-Ahrens Fox—the first compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered fire apparatus installed in its Armada 1,000-gallon-per-minute (gpm) stainless steel pumper. The unit features a 320-hp Cummins engine that was adapted to use CNG fuel. The manufacturer claims it is quieter and produces less heat than a conventional diesel engine with no reduction in power or performance. The engine is environmentally efficient and meets the EPA emission standards without the use of filters or exhaust gas-treatment devices.

To increase the efficiency of the unit, it has an APU similar to the Rosenbauer unit, except this one is powered by CNG. When the unit idles for a period of time, the two-cylinder APU activates to keep the 12-volt system up while reducing energy consumption by shutting down the main engine.

(5) The Pierce/Oshkosh Striker Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicle was unveiled at the show. (Photo by Tony Greco.)

The CNG is stored in three composite cylinders mounted horizontally in a heavy steel roll cage. The cylinder’s top operating pressure is 3,800 pounds per square inch (psi), and the combined capacity of the three cylinders is equivalent to 50 gallons of diesel fuel. A fill panel is located on the driver’s side, and the cylinders are replenished using an industry standard fill connection.

As for the safety of CNG, the manufacturer indicated that if a leak occurred, the gas—which is lighter than air—would dissipate into the atmosphere, unlike diesel fuel or gasoline.

(6) This is the first Pierce Ultimate Configuration (PUC) tandem pumper tanker.

CNG tanks can be filled at commercial filling stations at a cost of approximately $1.40 per gallon compared with almost $3.00 a gallon for diesel fuel.

The manufacturer indicated that the CNG unit currently costs approximately $20,000 more than a comparable apparatus with a standard diesel engine but operates at 40 percent less cost than a diesel and creates 90 percent less pollution.

(7) The Crimson “Transformer” eliminated the pump house, allowing for a short wheelbase and larger body compartments.




Pierce unveiled its new Oshkosh “Striker” Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicle. Airport fire chiefs and firefighters from around the world had input into the three-year development of the Striker. The ergonomically engineered cab has a mission control console for the driver with color-coded switches and controls. The spacious cab has room to comfortably accommodate five firefighters.

(8) Crimson aerial apparatus with the “Hydra-Load” hosebed.

The Striker chassis is 2,000 pounds lighter than its predecessor to allow faster acceleration. It also has a low center of gravity and an improved turning radius, which improves maneuverability.

The improved fire suppression technology includes an available pulse delivery that projects dry chemical powder more than 90 feet and a 1,950-gpm single-stage pump that provides full capacity output to all discharges at 240 psi. In addition to the standard foam system, a compressed-air foam system and ultra high-pressure water system are available. Two 300-foot crosslays for handline deployment are available as well as a wide selection of bumper turrets and high-reach turrets.

(9) The E-ONE severe-duty cab with stainless steel interior door panels.

Pierce also displayed its aluminum aerial platform and its first Pierce Ultimate Configuration (PUC) tandem axle pumper/tanker.


Crimson had its new “Transformer” model on display. By mounting a power take off (PTO) pump between the frame rails near the rear of the vehicle, the traditional pump house is removed from the center of the apparatus, leaving additional room for storage. A typical 44-inch-wide pump compartment occupies 163 cubic feet of space on a standard fire truck. The pump controls and discharges on the Transformer occupy only 33.6 cubic feet. This allows the wheelbase to be reduced from approximately 200 to 178 inches or less for improved maneuverability. In addition, a transverse forward body compartment provides storage for long items such as backboards, litters, and roll-out equipment trays.

(10) E-ONE is giving away this Tradition four-door International pumper to a fire department that entered a contest expressing need.

The Transformer can be equipped with a 1,250- or 1,500-gpm fire pump, class A and B foam, and compressed-air foam. The hydraulically controlled discharge valves allow the pump panel to be located anywhere on the apparatus.

Crimson also had its “Hydra-Load” hydraulically operated hosebed on a rear mount aerial truck. The hosebed lowers hydraulically to ground level next to the truck for ease of hose repacking.

(11) KME redesigned its aerial platform to increase operating room and safety.


E-ONE had several pieces of apparatus on display in addition to its 2010 EPA prototype. A Cyclone II low travel height aerial cab was shown with a severe-duty cab interior. E-ONE has been able to lower the center of the cab roof to reduce travel height three to seven inches. This could be critical for locations with low fire station doors.

The severe-duty cab interior has interior door panels constructed of brushed stainless steel, dashboard and A post covers constructed of aluminum and painted with a durable coating, and the engine dog house covered with floor matting with foam insulation underneath.

(12) The self-closing and latching platform doors have automotive style “Nader Pin” latches to prevent accidental opening if they are struck by an impact load.

E-ONE is giving away a Tradition four-door International pumper to a fire department that entered a contest expressing need. Seven departments qualified as finalists, and fire service voting will determine the winner. E-ONE partnered with a number of major equipment and accessory manufacturers to outfit the pumper with equipment. Voting ends August 27.


KME had a sample of its new platform design on display. It has additional working space and angle cut corners, increased heat shielding, and platform doors on both front corners and one facing the rear. The hands-free door latches are self-closing and self-latching. Another important safety feature is the use of a heavy-duty “Nader Pin”-type door latch, the same as used on car doors to prevent them from opening on impact, which will help ensure that the doors stay closed even when struck by a heavy load. Last year two firefighters were killed in a training accident when the platform doors of another manufacturer’s apparatus were struck by an impact load of the firefighters’ hitting them and the doors opening.

(13) The Seagrave tanker on display has an integrated polymer body and tank.


Seagrave had a tanker on display with an integrated polymer body and tank. The whole apparatus body with the water tank included is built as one. This durable plastic material is quite strong and won’t rust or corrode as some metal bodies can.

(14) Light-emitting diode headlights in a custom Seagrave pumper.

Fort Garry

Fort Garry Fire Apparatus was showing a rear-mount pumper tanker. The pump, plumbing, and all of the intakes and discharges were all exposed in the rear compartment, much like many European-designed pumpers. The small pump control panel ran across the top and down the center of the compartment. It appears that all of the components would be quite easy to repair in this configuration.

(15) Numerous rigs around the show had heavy-duty steel bumpers with red/yellow chevron striping.

Fire Research/Harrison

Fire Research is working with Harrison to produce a combination line-voltage generator and foam concentrate pump, both powered by the same hydraulic drive system.

(16) This tanker by Fort Garry has the pump and plumbing in a rear compartment.

Harrison also had a 5.5-kw Honda gasoline-powered generator that was designed to fit in a fire apparatus compartment without the use of a roll-out tray. It is prewired for remote start and door interlock and has the exhaust directed out away from the compartment. The fuel tank can be mounted in a remote location to save space.

Federal Signal

Federal Signal demonstrated a new light bar that used a combination of LED and rotating mirrors—all computer-controlled. During the demonstration, lighting colors and flash patterns were easily changed from the dash-mounted control panel.



A feature I saw for the first time was an LED headlight in a custom pumper for the Sugar Creek Fire Department. The headlight looked as though it had a magnifying lens in the center to focus the beam. LEDs are so common now in operating and warning lights that I’m not surprised to see them as headlights as well.

(17) This combination line-voltage generator and foam-injection pump is powered by the same hydraulic pump.

There were many rigs at the show with heavy-duty steel bumpers, most with red/yellow chevron reflective striping. Overall, FDIC 2010 had an impressive display of the latest in innovative fire apparatus technology.

(18) Harrison had a 5.5-kilowatt Honda gasoline-powered generator designed to fit in a fire apparatus compartment without the use of a roll-out tray.

WILLIAM C. PETERS retired after 28 years with the Jersey City (NJ) Fire Department, having served the last 17 years as battalion chief/supervisor of apparatus. He served as a voting member of the NFPA 1901 apparatus committee for several years and is the author of the Fire Apparatus Purchasing Handbook, the apparatus chapters in The Fire Chief’s Handbook, and numerous apparatus-related articles. He is a member of the Fire Engineering editorial advisory board and of the FDIC executive advisory board.

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