With a capacity of 18,000 gpm, think of Ferrara Fire Apparatus’ latest fire vehicle, the Deluge, like a fully accessorized quick-attack truck designed to tackle fires as big as those in storage tanks, said Bob Gliem, Industrial Product Specialist for Ferrara.
“It’s like a quick-attack truck on steroids,” Gliem said. “It’s built around the concept of large flow delivery.”
Ferrara demonstrated its new truck during the Hellfighter U fire school conducted at Brayton Fire Training Field at Texas A&M University in December.
With storage tanks 300 feet and more in diameter becoming more common, the idea behind the new vehicle is to develop one multi-faceted vehicle that can take the place of as many as three trailer-mounted monitors, Gliem said.
“We designed this truck to have the flexibility to go anywhere,” Gliem said. “We wanted to build a response truck that you could take to any facility, no matter what the couplings and connections, and be able to adapt it to mitigate the emergency at hand.”
Most quick-attack trucks are equipped to flow around 4,000 gpm from two monitors. The Ferrera delivery vehicle demonstrated at Brayton comes with an 8,000 gpm Williams Fire & Hazard Control Ambassador monitor behind the bulkhead and two Elkhart Brass Magnums capable to 5,000 gpm each at the rear.
Rather than the 18,000 gpm maximum, the demonstration was conducted with a sustained flow of 11,000 gpm. The supply was fed from a Ferrara Fire Apparatus SkyFlow aerial at 5,500 gpm and a 6,250 gpm US Fire Pump trailer-mounted pump. The Ferrara Deluge truck comes equipped with two 12-inch inlets, two eight-inch inlets and two six-inch inlets.
Ferrara plans to perform a full flow test of the Deluge after New Year’s, Gliem said.
“For some of these students it was the first time they had seen a hose larger than five-inches,” Gliem said. “We utilized hose as large as 12 inches in diameter and some 7¼-inch hose, which is now becoming the norm in industrial fire fighting.”
Besides being a large-flow delivery system, the new truck also qualifies as a rolling toolbox. At first glance, the new Ferrara vehicle could be mistaken for a standard rescue truck. However, the roll-up doors hide a seemingly unlimited variety of nozzles, adapters and self-contained breathing apparatus.
“We decided to outfit it to give the idea of what you could put on it to increase the function of the vehicle,” Gliem said. “We installed some equipment to show the options available in the compartmentation.”
If you look at the history of Ferrara you will see we are known for innovative ideas, Gliem said.
“Ferrara is trying to revolutionize the fire industry with unheard of products,” he said. “For instance, the SuperPumper holds a Guiness World Record for having the highest pumping capacity in a fire engine. The SkyFlow flows 5,000 plus gpm out of a 100- foot aerial and now the Deluge, an 18,000 gpm quick-attack truck equipped to adapt to any fire emergency. There are many other revolutionary projects on the horizon and you can expect to see a few of them being introduced at FDIC this coming year.”
The history behind the development of the new vehicle is surprisingly brief. The idea for the project truck hit the desk of Ferrara Fire Apparatus’ President and CEO Chris Ferrara no more than two months ago, Gliem said.
“I told Chris that we were planning to attend Phos-Chek’s Hellfighter U Advanced Foam School again in December,” Gliem said. “We normally try to do a large-flow delivery demonstration for the school because it’s about foam and tank fires.”
Originally, the big 8,000 gpm monitor was to be accompanied by two 2,000 gpm monitors at the rear, the typical configuration for a Ferrara SuperPumper, Gliem said. But then Elkhart Brass introduced its new Magnum EXM monitors designed for industrial aerials.
“I called Elkhart Brass and asked if we could get two of the new monitors for our new truck,” Gliem said. “And they came through. The monitors were only delivered last week.”
Save for testing at the Ferrara plant in Holden, LA, the new truck made its official debut at Hellfighter U.
“The plan now is to take it back to the plant for some refinements,” Gliem said. “Then we are going to hit the streets with a whole series of product demonstrations.”