New Crash Truck Installed at Los Angeles International Airport
—LAFD photo by Paul Garns and Doug Morton
A NEW aircraft crash truck, said to be the finest in service anywhere, has been delivered to the Los Angeles Fire Department and stationed at the city’s International Airport, second largest in the United States.
The $60,000 21-ton crash unit was press-previewed by Chief Engineer William L. Miller and members of the department’s Battalion 16 who demonstrated how their new apparatus could quickly snuff an intense fire set in and around the hulk of an old B-45 bomber.
The crash truck, in contrast to other pieces of Los Angeles Fire Department equipment, is painted a brilliant canary yellow which experience has shown makes it more easily seen from the air.
The capacity of the mammoth vehicle is 1,500 gallons of water and 160 gallons of liquid foam solution. The rig was built to LAFD specifications by the Yankee Body Motor Corporation and FWD Auto Corporation. It is powered by a HallScott 324-lip motor and has an all-wheel, 10-wheeler, drive. Pump equipment consists of two Lincoln engines each driving a 750-gpm centrifugal pump. Total load discharge time is 2 1/2 minutes.
Other features of the apparatus which embody the best thinking of trained Los Angeles Fire Department aircraft fire fighters include: Two foam turret guns mounted on the top of the cab with variable fog-to-solid-stream nozzles, either water or foam, together with three ground-sweep foam nozzles at the front bumper level.
The rig is perfectly adapted for control center operations. The captain of the crash unit can direct his forces outside the apparatus via a public address system. A two-way fire department frequency radio keeps him in contact with the West Los Angeles and Westlake Signal Offices and a third radio enables him to monitor the two-way ground control frequency so that he can read the conversation between the control tower and the pilot of the troubled aircraft.
Chief Miller said future plans call for supplementary tanker apparatus both at International Airport and at the San Fernando Valley Airport.