Halide Lights on Truck Rival Daylight With 329,000 Lumens
The next thing to daylight is provided by the new lighting truck of the Sound Beach Fire Department in Old Greenwich, Conn. Three halide lights developed by General Electric produce a total of 329,000 lumens from an input of 3500 watts.
A 1500-watt halide spotlight is the most powerful unit on the truck and produces 153,000 lumens. In addition, the two 1000-watt halide floodlights add 88,000 lumens apiece to a night scene for what seems to be near-daylight brilliancy.
Some idea of the power of the light from the halide lamps can be gained by comparing the halide lamps with the incandescent lights also carried on the Sound Beach truck. Each of the six 500-watt incandescent lights is rated at 6500 lumens. These lights are a type commonly used in the fire service.
Chief John Weigold of the Sound Beach Fire Department points out that some idea of the amount of light produced by the halide lamps can be visualized by comparing them to 1500-watt quartz lamps rated at 35,800 lumens. He says that the decision to use halide lamps was made because of the tremendous amount of lumens produced by the relatively low number of watts used.
The halide spot is mounted just forward of the midpoint of the truck bed and the two halide floodlights are on telescoping poles at the rear corners of the body. A 10-KW diesel generator plant made by Consolidated Diesel Electric Company of Old Greenwich is in the forward end of the truck bed and provides the power for all the lighting equipment as well as for electric power tools. An 8-gallon diesel fuel tank is large enough to keep the generator operating at full power for 12 hours.
The warmup time for the halide lights is about two minutes, and before that time, the lamps are providing an amount of light that can be called acceptable. The generator diesel can be started from the truck cab while en route so that the unit has warmed up by the time the truck has reached the fireground in most instances. The generator also can be started from a control panel in a side compartment. The starter works off the truck battery. The Sound Beach volunteers (the department has some paid drivers) felt that the truck battery has to work to get the truck engine started before there would be any need to start the generator. However, the generator diesel, which has a compression release, can be started with a hand crank.
Four-wheel drive truck
The generator and lights are mounted on an International, model 1310, four-wheel drive truck. This truck has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds, a 132-inch wheelbase, an eight-cylinder 350-cubic-inch engine and dual rear wheels. Power to the front axle can be disconnected at the wheel hubs. The truck has a four-speed transmission and power hydraulic brakes.
Wire for portable lamps and power tools is carried on two reels, one on each side of the truck. Each reel carries 450 feet of 10/3 wire, mostly in 100-foot lengths.
The truck has a 10,000-pound winch on the front and a wide assortment of rescue and extrication tools. Among them are an acetylene cutting torch, an air chisel which works on air from breathing apparatus cylinders, and a hydraulic rescue kit. Both a chain saw and electric saws, as well as snatch blocks, extra winch cables and wire rope slings are also carried on the truck.
On the rear of the truck, there are both a pintle ring and a ball hitch for trailers. Sound Beach has a small rescue boat on a trailer.
Other equipment includes an electronic siren and PA system and two radios, one on the Sound Beach Fire Department frequency and the other on the Greenwich Fire Department frequency. Old Greenwich is in the Town of Greenwich.