San Jose Airport Gets Two New Units
Fire protection at its Municipal Airport has recently been improved by the City of San Jose, Calif., through the addition of two new pieces of crash fire fighting equipment. This became necessary when the airport joined the list of the 10 busiest airports in the nation.
Airport protection at San Jose started six years ago with a surplus FFN-5 and expanded with the acquisition of a surplus 0-10. Not long ago, a decision was made to buy the most modern equipment available. Many demonstrations of extinguishing agents, ranging from high expansion foam to Light Water, were observed before purchasing decisions were made.
A small rescue unit for speed and versatility was the first vehicle to be put into service. This was a Dodge 3/4-ton pickup with an Ansul Purple K and Light Water unit known as a “450-50” (450 pounds of Purple K and 50 gallons of Light Water). This unit has a power reel strong enough to pull a man to safety. It also carried a resuscitator and first aid equipment.
The second unit to be put in service was a Ford C-750 tilt cab modified for aircraft fire fighting consisting of a Magnum unit carrying 1,350 pounds of Purple K dry chemical and 300 gallons of Light Water. This vehicle has flotation tires, an all-wheel selective drive, an Allison MT 30 automatic transmission, and a Dyn-amp 2,300-watt generator for lights and tools.
The turret, which can be operated from inside or atop the cab, has discharge rates of 180 gpm of Light Water and 25 pounds of Purple K per second. Two hand lines, like the single one on the Dodge, have power reels. The dry chemical is expelled through the use of six 400-cubie-foot nitrogen tanks. The arming device is inside the cab. A 391-cubic-inch engine accelerates the crash truck from 0 to 55 mph in 12 seconds.
The fire and rescue station at the airport also houses a 1,700-gallon water tanker and a 1,000-gpm pumper. The water tanker is used for washing down fuel spills and providing water curtains. The pumper is used for structural fires at the airport.
All the crash rigs have two radios, one on the ground control and the other on the fire communication frequency. The ground control frequency is necessary to get clearance from the control tower for all taxiways and runways and to keep us informed about an emergency. The fire frequency is used to dispatch and place additional equipment at standby positions.
Through the cooperation of the fire department shop and the men at the fire and rescue station, who did much of the work, the two units cost less than $40,000.