A recently sold Sutphen SAI-110-foot aerial was only one of four industrial fire
apparatus utilized in live-fire training scenarios in December during the Hellfighter U foam fire school at Brayton Fire Training Field in Texas.
The original game plan was to use the aerial to rescue a fallen firefighter from one of the higher elevations of Brayton’s chemical complex, a full-scale, live-fire simulation of an emergency in a multi-level industrial structure, said Jim Kirvida, factory representative for Wisconsin-based Custom Fire.
“We were going to rescue the little dummy made up from hose lines and old bunker gear,” he said. “
Making the situation even more dramatic, the training was done at night. Unfortunately, what Kirvida arrived with was a “straight stick” aerial with no platform at the end.
“You can do rescues using an aerial without a platform but it takes more equipment than was immediately available,” Kirvida said.
Plans were shifted to using the aerial’s 5,000 gpm Akron Renegade directly against the fire while making the rescue by other means. The truck advertises a flow rate of 4,000 gpm. But Kirvida said that it had tested at up to 4,700 gpm at the plant.
A caravan of four different industrial apparatus scheduled for delivery made the two-day trek from Osceola, WI, to College Station, TX. The aerial was to be delivered the following day to Phillips 66’s Alliance refinery in Belle Chasse, LA.
“We promised Frank Bateman that we would have some trucks for his school,” Kirvida said. “Little did he know he was getting so many.”
It just happened that these vehicles were all in production at the same time. So the Sutphen Industrial Solutions Team simply coordinated the delivery date to coincide with Hellfighter U.
Another new truck making the trip from Wisconsin was a foam pumper-tender, equipped with the customer’s favored rear-mount pump system, making its way to the Refinery Terminal Fire Company in Corpus Christi, TX. RTFC wanted something different, Kirvida said.
“It’s actually a Sutphen truck, but due to the stainless-steel body with rear-mounted industrial pump module, those components were manufactured at our facility,” Kirvida said. “RTFC liked the Collaborative-Companies concept and were open to trying the Sutphen/Custom Fire offering,” Kirvida said.
For the last 10 years Custom Fire has been representing Sutphen municipal apparatus, in its Minnesota and Wisconsin territories; and, for nearly three years has been the national representative of the Sutphen industrial product line.
Sutphen manufactures Industrial Pumpers, Aerial Ladders, and Platforms, all of which incorporate Industrial Pump Modules provided by Custom Fire. And Custom Fire continues to build municipal trucks under its own brand name, Kirvida said.
Zach Rudy, director of sales and marketing for Sutphen Corporation added, “Custom Fire is a tremendous business partner for the Industrial Fire Market for Sutphen. Kirvida’s wealth of knowledge and leadership is a tribute to the rapid growth of the Sutphen Industrial Solutions brand.”
Also on hand for the night burn was a 1995 National Foam Servo Command pumper re-manufactured by Custom Fire for Energy Transfer (previously SUNOCO) of Nederland, TX. In addition to refurbishing of the Chassis, the 1995 Industrial Pumper was fitted with a new Industrial Pump Module, featuring a Waterous 3500-GPM pump and an AccuMax 300-GPM foam system.
The fourth vehicle is a demonstrator roll-off foam proportioning platform, equipped with the company’s RatioResponse industrial foam delivery system that Custom Fire is leaving in Texas. It is designed to inject a precise ratio of foam concentrate into multiple large diameter waterways.
“It comes with an electronically controlled direct discharge injection foam system,” Kirvida said. “It injects a ratio of foam into a water stream.”
Also in attendance at the Hellfighter-U School, supporting the loaned Apparatus; were: Gene Maharg and Zach Rudy of Sutphen, and Ethan Schwanke and Pete Herpst of Custom Fire.