By Alan M. Petrillo
Aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicle manufacturers have made great strides in ARFF vehicle design and operation in an effort to give firefighters greater fire knockdown power, more nimble vehicles that are more ergonomically friendly to operators, and rigs that require fewer personnel to operate them.
R.J. Jones, sales and product manager for United States government and airport products at E-ONE, believes the market will see more use of CAFS on ARFF vehicles in the near future. “Right now CAFS is approved for Class 1, 2, and 3 vehicles, with a Class 1 being a Ford F-550 chassis and a Class 3 being a Freightliner or International chassis,” Jones says. “I think the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will make it a selectable option in the near future for Class 4 trucks (4×4 models carrying 1,500 gallons of water) and Class 5 vehicles (6×6 and 8×8 with 3,000 gallons of water).”
E-ONE’s Eco-Logic Foam system has been approved for foam testing to NFPA 412, Standard for Evaluating Aircraft Rescue and Fire-Fighting Foam Equipment, Jones notes. “It’s a system integrated with the ARFF vehicle that allows testing of the foam system without having to discharge any foam,” he says. “We can turn the foam system off, then run water and a dye through the system to simulate flowing foam and determine how it performs. It gives the customer the ability to test the foam system more than only once a year and saves the cost of discharging foam during a test. The cost of the system is about the same as one load of foam.”
E-ONE also has a cart-based Eco-Logic Foam system that operates the same as the integrated system, Jones points out, where departments can have one cart per location so every ARFF vehicle wouldn’t have to be modified for testing.