Mid-Atlantic Rescue Systems, Inc.

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Vacuum Units Deserve A Serious Look

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

The universal challenge to Fire Departments today remains - adequate personnel and water for fire extinguishment. This is especially true in non-hydrant areas.

Departments are fast discovering the savings in personnel, equipment and time with Firovac™ vacuum fire apparatus. The vacuum system works by air movement (like a primer pump), drafting water into the tank at 1,000-1,500 GPM. Discharging water out of the tank under pressure results in a complete empty and ISO rating of “zero” (no deduction for water left in tank).

Loss of prime is not a problem in self-loading and freezing is greatly reduced as no water goes through the vacuum system. Versatility in self-loading from long hose lays up to 180’ and vertical lifts up to 28’ is can result in securing water from nearby water sources thereby saving valuable time driving to a hydrant. They can do anything a non-vacuum unit can but go beyond to new evolutions of speed and versatility.

Firovac™ did not set out just to make another fire truck. A local Department noticed how efficiently and easily vacuum units could supply water, which resulted in a “better way” as discovered by firefighters in hands on situations. Designed specifically for fire service use, they “fit in” any water shuttle system even enhancing it by self-loading from its own water source. They can also increase the flow rate of a hydrant or supply source by running an extra line to a portable tank a safe distance away for the vacuum units to self-load from the portable tank.

The units are built to meet each specific Department’s needs.They can be constructed as a tanker/tender, tanker/pumper, pumper/tanker, rescue/pumper/tanker or wildland unit with features like any other unit. They have nurse, pump and roll, and pump and dump capability. Items like fire pumps, foam, hose reels, bumper turrets, deck guns, large volume floating and transfer strainers and power fold down brackets capable of containing two tanks are available.

The advantages of vacuum units are obvious. Superior fill and flow rates using less tankers and less people means more people on the fireground fighting the fire, less equipment means cheaper maintenance and more equipment on the fire ground, the fill pumper now becomes the backup pumper on the scene, A win-win situation.

Vacuum units deserve a serious look.


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