Recently mandated sequester cuts will deeply impact government funding for firefighters and firefighting equipment for the upcoming and future wildfire seasons, nationwide. Kingsway Industries, Inc., the manufacturer of TRI-MAX products, is a Redding-based maker of fire prevention systems, presenting a cost-effective and labor-saving alternative to the traditional water-supported fire engine model, with its more effective Compressed Air Foam (CAF) technology — particularly theTRI-MAX 200 SUPER-CAF – a high output model, ideal for wildfire prevention.
Wildfire seasons are growing more severe with each coming year. The Sequester cut more than $115 million from the federal wildland fire program budget, USDA officials have said, at a time when the nation continues to face abnormally dry conditions, particularly in the western states. These cuts put lives, land and property at risk. In many cases, such as wildland fires, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has used CAF, which has been effective for years.
Dave Mahrt, Sr., owner of TRI-MAX, says, “Our groundbreaking CAF products are an extremely cost-effective way for fire departments to dramatically increase their fire suppression capabilities. Installation takes only one to three days, meaning trucks are never out of service. Plus, TRI-MAX foam minimizes the damage that is done by fighting fires with water.”
How CAF systems compare to traditional fire prevention methods
- The average fire engine can deploy 600 gallons of water, or 2,400 gallons of air aspirated foam, against a fire before it has to be refilled. A CAF system, like the TRI-MAX 200 SUPER-CAF, has the ability to produce up to 4,000 gallons of foam per tank load. The TRI-MAX CAF system’s foam generates smaller bubbles that cling to the surface sprayed and lasts many times longer than air aspirated foam, thus fewer trucks are needed, as we have seen with the recent Colorado fires
- A traditional fire engine typically costs anywhere from $150,000 to $250,000 to purchase. It also requires more manpower to staff than a 1-ton truck that can carry a TRI-MAX 200 gallon unit (which typically costs $28,000 and smaller systems starting at $1500 up – a fraction of the cost of a fire engine), and can be deployed by a driver and one additional firefighter. A volunteer firefighter could conceivably carry a unit like this in his or her own truck as needed, as well
- Because of its nimble size and short turning radius, a 1-ton truck carrying the TRI-MAX 200 SUPER-CAF would be able to protect structures in more remote areas than a traditional fire engine can, due to its size and limitations
TRI-MAX believes that given sequester cuts, part of the nationwide firefighting community’s dilemma will need to be firefighting strategy reform. Traditional methods of firefighting are vital, however finding solutions that are budget-saving and require less manpower, maintenance and fewer trucks, is critical. TRI-MAX CAF systems are a part of the solution. With CAF technology, firefighting communities can make smarter choices on how to attack and suppress inevitable fires in the upcoming months.