By Alan M. Petrillo
The Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department has added an Oshkosh® Airport Products Striker® 8×8 ARFF (aircraft rescue and firefighting) truck to its fleet of fire apparatus at Sky Harbor International Airport.
Wes Patterson, Phoenix Fire’s deputy chief, says Phoenix’s Sky Harbor ARFF fleet now consists of four frontline and two reserve ARFF trucks, with the newest 2021 Striker being added to the frontline group that includes a 2013 and 2011 Striker 8×8, and a 2012 Striker 6×6, all with high-reach extendable turrets (HRET). Phoenix has 2007 and 2006 Striker 8×8 ARFF trucks in reserve. “Consistency in our fleet is what we are looking for, and the Strikers have proven to be excellent vehicles,” he says.
Phoenix’s new Striker 8×8 ARFF truck has a unique feature compared with its other ARFF trucks, says Jack Bermingham, Oshkosh’s business unit director of airport products. “The truck is powered by two Scania DC16 V8 770-horsepower (hp) Tier IV Final diesel engines, and two Allison 4850 EVS automatic transmissions,” Bermingham points out. “It also has an Oshkosh® Power Uniter™ that brings the two engines and transmission into power for the water pump and the vehicle, allowing the operator to engage the water pump at any time and at any speed.”
The new ARFF truck has a Waterous CRQV 2,000-gallons-per-minute (gpm) single-stage pump, Bermingham says, and carries a 4,500-gallon water tank, a 630-gallon foam tank, 550 pounds of dry chemical, and 460 pounds of Halotron. “The truck mounts a 65-foot Oshkosh Snozzle® HRET with Oshkosh’s K-Factor™ Alignment System that rapidly displays the position of the Snozzle piercing tip to the fuselage, eliminating depth-perception issues to maximize precision in piercing tip placement,” Bermingham observes.
The Striker 8×8 ARFF truck has an overall length of 44 feet, 7 inches; a width of 122 inches; an overall height of 11 feet, 4 inches; and a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 124,000 pounds (62 tons).
Patterson says that Phoenix Fire especially likes the ECO EFT™ test system on the Striker that allows the operator to easily measure foam percentages from every discharge on the vehicle without discharging foam. “The ECO EFT system is great for running the regular tests that we are required to do, and not discharge foam,” he says. “And when flowing foam at a scene, the system does the foam proportioning based on what the truck is reading as the gpm output. The sensors tell the truck what gpm is coming out of the turret or other discharges and proportions them correctly.” Phoenix’s Striker 8×8 also carries twin cross lays that hold 300 feet of 1-3/4-inch hose each, Patterson notes.
Bermingham says that the Striker 8×8 has a TAK-4® independent front suspension and mechanical rear-axle steering to enhance the vehicle’s mobility, off-road speed, load-carrying capacity, and ride quality. “The Striker has a low center of gravity and tight turning radius,” he notes, “and can accelerate from zero to 50 miles per hour in under 20 seconds.”
Patterson adds that because Phoenix experiences extreme ambient temperatures, the new Striker 8×8 has an additional exterior-mounted air conditioning unit to help keep firefighters cool when faced with intense heat. The rig’s cab offers excellent visibility, he says, with 98 feet of glass, a 254-degree horizontal viewing plane, and 8.8 feet of forward visibility. Phoenix’s Striker 8×8 also has a 360-degree camera that offers a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle and its surroundings to provide excellent situational awareness for the operator.
ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Ariz.-based journalist, the author of three novels and five non-fiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including the position of chief.