Portable Hydrant Delivers Heavy Volume at Fire Scene
RURAL FIRE FIGHTING took a big step forward with the delivery of a new pumping engine to Meadowood County Area, N. H., Fire Department. The pumper is a standard 1700 International chassis with a large motor and non-spin differential. The hose body is extra large and there is a compartment which carries under cover a 1000-gallon portable water tank. The pump is a single-stage Hale.
What makes the new unit unusual is that it will not carry the standard complement of equipment found on a pumping engine. It is essentially a water supply vehicle. However, the combination of this pumping engine, which was built by Maxim Motors, and the 5000 feet of 3 1/2-inch British hose which it will carry, together with a portable distributor or hydrant, does provide an extraordinary ability to deliver a large volume of water long distances at little friction loss.
The distributor has a large relief valve which lets go at 175 pounds, and there is a pressure gage attached to the top of the carrying frame. The distributor when tested by engineers proved to have less than 5 pounds friction loss.
This distributor will be placed at the scene of a fire and the truck will lay out either single or double lines of 3 1/2-inch hose to the water supply. The distributor can therefore at adequate pressure serve lines directly at the fire itself and or fill water tanks which do not have to shuttle back and forth.
The British-type 3 1/2-inch hose has 3-inch couplings. It is single jacket with synthetic fibers, latex rubber lining, and the jacket is plastic impregnated. One hundred feet of this hose with lightweight couplings weighs only 68 pounds versus the conventional double-jacket 2 1/2-inch American hose, which weighs over 140 pounds for the same length.
This hose has far exceeded the 600-pound bursting test. The plastic impregnation which fills the fiber pores prevents water absorption by the jacket. Therefore this hose is ideal for cold and snow conditions.
The friction loss on this hose is under 8 pounds per 100 feet, with 500 gpm of water flow.
The portable distributor or hydrant is comprised of a cast aluminum spherical manifold having two 3-inch clapper valve inlets to which the 354-inch hose can be attached, and two 254-inch and four 154-inch gated outlets.
A great deal of research has been done on this hose both in England and in Bermuda, and it has shown remarkable resistance to abrasion and is proving to have long-wearing characteristics. It also can be patched if an unexpected rupture occurs.
Although no claim is made for this hose that it is ideal as an attack line for the heavy, rough demands which it might receive in a city fire department, as a supply line it appears to be a heaven-sent answer to rural areas.
Meadowood demonstrated the capabilities of hose and distributor before a large gathering of members of the Southwestern New Hampshire District Fire Mutual Aid System, who appeared much impressed.
This truck with its equipment continues the basic concept of Meadowood to furnish a 25-town county area with specialized appliances to supplement the equipment of local fire departments.