Firefighting Technology: Darley, Idaho Tech Developments


Darley has been awarded several major U.S. Defense contracts in excess of $20 million. Among them is one for remote-controlled robots (from Macro USA, Darley’s partner) for soldiers in Afghanistan. The Macro Armadillo will be used to search vehicles at check points, conduct surveillance of structures before entering, and detonating improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on roads used by the soldiers.

Also, the U.S. Air Force has placed orders for up to 212 Pyrolance L1000 fire protection systems. The system uses Ultra High Pressure in a patented technology to penetrate walls and other barriers by flowing water at 10 gallons per minute with a pressure of 1,500 pounds per square inch at speeds of 400 miles per hour through a specially designed lance that integrates granite abrasive. With this combination, firefighters can pierce or cut virtually any material quickly.

PuriFire Versa Pak Systems for first responders

Darley’s PuriFire Versa Pak Systems features multipurpose water treatment technology. Versa Pak A uses advanced oxidation and combined filtration for emergency response fresh water purification. Versa Pak B features the latest in decontamination and surface sanitation without using chemicals. Both modules come in rugged compact poly cases that can be easily transported and deployed. The Paks are battery-powered and rechargeable with solar and 12-, 24-, 120-, or 240-volt power supply.  

High-Rise Firefighting and the Future

In tests performed in conjunction with the Shanghai Fire Department, Darley identified technologies that are promising for meeting challenges presented in fighting fire in high-rise skyscrapers. Some of the tests were conducted in a structure the height of approximately 70 stories to verify these response capabilities in extreme conditions. In comparison, a National Fire Protection Association 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus, pump can push water up around 30 stories with an effective stream at the end. Specialized equipment and custom-built apparatus were used for the tests.

The tests showed that high-pressure water and compressed air foam systems (CAFS) could be successfully deployed and discharged at that height and that Darley’s special wye draining system also worked well. The serious safety concerns posed by draining the hoselines were also successfully addressed.

Darley sees the helicopter pumper as an interesting alternative. Its partners at Kanrus are delivering helicopters able to carry 700 gallons of water and equipped with a Darley HE64R series pumping unit. The helicopter pumper can achieve impressive knockdown capabilities in tall structures. You can view this application on YouTube.

Drone Aircraft is the latest development in high-rise firefighting. The Darley Stinger, a compact, remotely controlled helicopter, can relay fireground information back to the command post in real time. It can fly to any story of a high-rise building and, through the use of infrared cameras, can determine which floors are in danger. The Stinger can be equipped with high-definition live video, thermal imaging, radiation and hazmat detection, and many other features.


Idaho Technology Inc.’s (ITI) RAZOR CRP BioThreat-X Kit is a component of the Critical Reagents Program (CRP) for the U.S. military. The kit is the first U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) system capable of testing for 10 biothreat agents at a time in the field, according to ITI. In addition, it yields results in 30 minutes.

The kit contains polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays, which ITI licensed from the University of Utah. The assays are packaged and freeze-dried in ITI’s patented pouch system designed specifically to run on the RAZOR™ Biothreat Detection System platform. The kit, in addition to testing for 10 biothreat targets, includes a PCR inhibition control and amplification control that confirms proper system operation.

The detection kit was developed at the direction of the CRP, the principal resource of biological detection assays and reagents for the U.S. DoD. It will be available for purchase to cleared agencies through the CRP catalog. Information on ITI’s biotechnology program is at

Mary Jane Dittmar is senior associate editor of Fire Engineering and conference manager of FDIC. Before joining the magazine in January 1991, she served as editor of a trade magazine in the health/nutrition market and held various positions in the educational and medical advertising fields. She has a bachelor’s degree in English/journalism and a master’s degree in communication arts.

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