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City and County of Honolulu (HI) Fire Department Choose KME for Custom Pumpers

Honolulu (HI) 2,000/750 Pumpers

Honolulu (HI) 2,000/750 Pumpers
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The city and county of Honolulu (HI) Fire Department is taking delivery on 10 KME Severe Service cab and chassis pumpers. (All photos courtesy of KME.)

By Alan M. Petrillo

The city and county of Honolulu (HI) Fire Department has five KME custom pumpers in service from a 2014/2015 order, and is now taking delivery on a new order of 10 custom KME pumpers—five of which are awaiting shipment to the island with the other five finishing up in late February.

Ryan Slane, product manager for KME, says the 10 new pumpers are identical units, with KME Severe Service cabs and chassis, as with the previous rigs, powered by Cummins 500-hp ISX12 diesel engines and Allison 4000 EVSR automatic transmissions. “The bodies are only 136 inches in length, so we had to store the 173-inch long ladders, on the beam, in a ladder tunnel that penetrates into the pump house,” Slane points out. “Honolulu Fire Department’s previous model pumpers had the ladders stored on the top right side of the rig in a ladder rack.”

Dean De Mello, Honolulu city and county’s fire equipment superintendent, says that in removing the ladder rack from its pumpers, the department challenged KME to find space in the interior of the body for them. “They had to free up space in the pump area and elsewhere because we were running CAFS with an auto fill, so KME had to rework the plumbing,” De Mello says. “They were able to do that, plus we got rid of the generator that used space on top of the upper deck and used that space to store long-handled tools.”

De Mello notes that Honolulu city and county have been using CAFS since around 2010. “We have 43 stations and 1,100 paid firefighters, but have issues on the island because we can’t call on mutual aid from elsewhere,” he says. “Our vehicles are set up to do it all, with Waterous 2,000-gpm CMU-C20 two-stage pumps, 750-gallon water tanks, and 40-gallon Class A foam cells. We use CAFS for everything; we are firm believers in it.” The vehicles also have lower hosebeds because of using an L-shaped water tank, plus intakes, discharges, and a one-inch hose reel, especially requested by firefighters, off the rear of the rigs.

Slane says that the pump house on the Honolulu pumpers “is very complex, especially with the CAFS, but is identical across all the custom pumpers they ordered.” Slane says the Honolulu pumpers have front and rear suctions as well as two crosslay discharges and two 2½-inch discharges on the driver’s side rear of the body—one set up for CAFS and the other for water only. “The pumpers don’t have any discharges at the operator’s panel,” he says. “They are all at the rear, front, on the officer’s side, or crosslays. Another challenge we faced and solved was a hosebed that has 800 feet of four-inch LDH  and two 2½-inch split hosebeds.”

Nathan Reyes, salesman at Hawaii Specialty Vehicles, who sold the rigs to Honolulu, says that besides being pumping water only, foam, or compressed-air foam, the vehicles also are EMS rigs, with two EMS cabinets inside the five-person cabs where the typical rear-facing seats would be. “We were also able to put backboards and a Stokes in an enclosed compartment on top of the pump housing where the generator typically would have been,” he says.

De Mello says that Honolulu also specified that it wanted a solid hosebed cover on its pumpers yet still needed enough space up on top to be able to reload hose easily, which KME delivered. Dimensions on the rigs are 31 feet 5 inches (overall length), 10 feet 5 inches (overall height), and 185 inches (wheelbase).

ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment editorial advisory board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.

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