Huntington Beach Has New Giant
The city of Huntington Beach, Calif., is one of the richest tideland oil producing centers in the country. Nevertheless, its very riches of oil fields and large oil leases produce fire hazards—particularly in areas where there is insufficient water with which to fight fires.
Conscious of the need for a piece of fire fighting equipment that would be able to carry sufficient water with it for quick attack and yet, if need be, to maintain the attack in volume, Fire Chief D. G. Higgins set about developing a unit of apparatus that would meet the particular needs of his department.
After two years of planning and engineering the Chief came up with the specifications for such a unit. He has the satisfaction of seeing his ideas translated into what, in many ways, is one of the most unique pieces of fire fighting equipment to be introduced in some time. Actual producer of the fire fighting mechanical giant is the Crown Coach Corporation.
Chief Higgins’ husky “brain child” measures 28 feet in length by 108-inches in height, 96 inches in width and, fully loaded, it weighs over 25 tons. It is powered by a 296 h.p. engine and carries 100 gallons of fuel. Among its other features are air brakes and power steering.
The unit has a 250 gpm pump connected to a 2500 gallon tank by a 4-inch pipe fitted with a 4-inch fast-acting valve and swing-check valves. A 150 gpm booster pumper is connected to the power take-off and either pump may be used to supply the electric booster reels. The piping to the booster reels is fitted with check valves. The 10-gauge tank is baffled into five compartments and lias a 10-inch filler opening near the front top. A 4-inch overflow provides relief when filling and is piped in such a manner that there is no loss while in motion.
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Pre-connected hose lines consist of two 1-inch booster lines, each 150 feet in length; four 1 1/2-inch lines, each 100feet long, and two 2 1/2-inch, 100-foot lines. All hand lines are equipped with fog nozzles. In addition, 1600 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose is carried in the hose bed.
A 600 gpm deck gun is mounted over the pump and directly connected to it by a 3-inch pipe with gate valve.
According to Chief Higgins, the ability to hit the fire quickly with such a volume has resulted in 99 per cent of the fires attacked by this unit being extinguished before other companies were able to stretch in and put water on the fire. With all nine pre-connected hose lines in operation, the discharge total is 1225 gpm; two minutes of operation are possible under these conditions. With only one booster line in operation, it requires one hour and 23 minutes to empty the tank.
The “giant” carries all conventional pumper equipment together with various other facilities in the generous compartment space available. Before acceptance, the unit was required to meet all Underwriters’ tests. Big as it is, the vehicle reportedly operates handily and has a turning radius permitting it to make a complete circle in 62 feet.