Orlando fire department expands operational capabilities with the addition of SVI-built hazmat


HAZMAT FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The City of Orlando (Fla.) Fire Department will expand coverage with the addition of Hazmat 1, a technical response unit built by SVI Trucks that will replace the department’s existing hazmat while incorporating additional operational responsibilities, including vehicle rescues, rapid intervention and confined space response.

“We are currently going through an operational philosophy change that is going to incorporate further responsibilities for our HazMat 1 in their daily duties,” explained Aaron Rhodes, Orlando Special Operations District Chief. “When we designed this hazmat unit with the help of SVI Trucks, we had to take into account the expanding response capabilities now required of Hazmat 1.”

The new apparatus features a four-door, walk-through Sutphen Monarch cab with three jump seats, compared to the previous three-door cab. “With this cab alone, we’re able to increase staffing, which in turn allows us to re-think many of the truck’s operations.” The truck was sold by David Stonitsch for Fort Myers’ South Florida Emergency Vehicles (www.sflev.com).

The truck features a walk-through interior that spans the length of the 26’ SVI-built body to house the crew’s hazmat meters and Level A and B personal protection equipment in a climate- controlled environment. The custom shelves feature outlets to allow for on-the-go meter charging, and the front end of the walk-through features a station for meter calibration and operational research and planning. This interior station incorporates a WeatherPak weather system monitor with plume modeling software, allowing the crew to establish an evacuation zone. Dual curb- and street-side awnings provide additional shade and cover during long scenes, and the apparatus features top-mounted exhaust to move containments away from the crew as they work around the apparatus.

Five exterior compartments are dedicated to hazmat, decontamination and confined space equipment, including a decontamination tent, overpack drums and off-load pumps. In tandem with the off-load pumps, the hazmat is equipped with a Boss Industries PTO-driven air compressor, rated at 160 CFM at 110 continuous PSI, along with front and rear air outlets.

For vehicle rescues, the apparatus features a 15,000-lb. front winch and a Harrison HydraGen generator, which powers Hazmat 1’s hydraulic tools, housed in the front bumper and rear exterior compartments, complete with struts, airbags, chain saws, pneumatic reels and portable extrication tools. An additional compartment houses spill control material.

In addition to vehicle and machinery rescues, the truck is equipped for rapid intervention, should firefighters become trapped during incidents. The rig is able to transport a 16-foot straight ladder with ladder access located below the rear walk-through doorway, and several exterior compartments house the necessary equipment for this type of rescue, including five SCBAs.

“With this truck, we are capable of handling all things related to hazmat response, vehicle extrication and rapid intervention,” Rhodes said. “We’re excited to put this apparatus into service. It’s going to serve our community well.”

Orlando’s new hazmat will be on display at South Florida Emergency Vehicles’ 8th Annual Open House from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 6, 2019 at SFEV, 4655 Cummins Court in Fort Myers. SFEV asks that interested parties RSVP with Patricia at patricia@sflev.com.

To view specifications, drawings, photos and a walk-around video of this apparatus, please visit bit.ly/orlando-1110.

About SVI Trucks

SVI Trucks, a Super Vacuum Manufacturing Company located in Fort Collins, Colo., builds custom fire apparatus, including rescue trucks, hazmat units, command vehicles, fire engines, tanker trucks, law enforcement vehicles and more. To see SVI’s full fleet, visit svitrucks.com. To browse drawings, features and specifications of a truck, visit SVI’s Apparatus pages and click on any truck image.

About the City of Orlando Fire Department

Established in 1885, the Orlando Fire Department began as a group of dedicated volunteers. Operating as "Orlando Hook and Ladder Company No. 1", "Orlando Hose Company No. 1", and "Mechanics Hose and Engine Company No. 2", these firefighters proudly served to protect the lives and property of the 1,666 citizens of Orlando. In 2018, Orlando Fire Department achieved ISO Class 1 for the 10th year in a row. This rating places the Orlando Fire Department in the top 1% of fire departments in the United States, and is the only fire department in the state to have ISO 1 classification, International Fire Accreditation, Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) certification, Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) and ACE accreditation (911/Communications Center).

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