Change Fire Apparatus from Chemical to Booster Pump
The Repair Shop of the Pittsburgh, Pa., Fire Department, under the supervision of Superintendent William H. Monahan, has completed work on the last of twenty-two American-LaFrance 750-gallon triple combination pumpers, which are being changed from chemical to that of booster pump fresh water apparatus and the replacing of the old style solid tire running gear with new wheels, mounted with pneumatic tires, 38 X 7 inches on the front wheels and 40 X 8 inches on the rear wheels.
In connection with this work, each of the twenty-two pumpers has been given a general overhauling and practically rebuilt. The chemical hose reel or basket located on top of the hose body has been replaced by a hose box, built beneath the rear end of the hose body and into the rear foot board, which improves the general appearance of the apparatus to a great extent and at the same time gives the firemen much more room to work in loading the hose on the apparatus.
With the installation of the fresh water system, the familiar hand rail on the top of the hose body, which is nickel plated brass pipe, is used as the supply pipe between the fresh water tank located on the front of the hose body and the hose connection at the rear end of the apparatus.
The regulation hard rubber chemical hose is being replaced on each of the pumpers with 3/4-inch cotton rubber lined hose, which takes up less room in the hose box and is much more easy to handle.
With the installation of the new wheels and pneumatic tires, new brake drums and brake rigging castings were required on each of the pumpers, as well as new fittings and valves between the pump and fresh water tank, each of which holds forty gallons of water.
As the mechanical work was completed, each of the pumpers were sent to the Fire Department paint shop and repainted, redecorated and varnished, making them look like new apparatus just out of the factory.
The approximate cost of the work on each apparatus, including labor, new wheels and tires, castings and material was about $800 each. The yearly saving to the city in the purchase of soda and acid for chemical tanks will be considerable, while the destruction and damage to household goods, clothing, etc., by the chemical solution will practically he eliminated. Each of the changed over pumpers will continue to carry one regulation soda and acid hand extinguisher and one foamite extinguisher.
All other combination pumpers in the department will gradually be changed from chemical apparatus to fresh water apparatus, as money is provided for the work.
In addition to the changing of the twenty-two triple combination pumpers, two American-LaFrance combination hose and chemical wagons, each equipped with a Morse monitor turrett nozzle are being overhauled, and equipped with new wheels, mounted with 38 x 7-inch pneumatic tires, and repainted and varnished.
These two wagons are to be placed in service in the high value business and manufacturing districts.