Fire rig concept could put fast water on attic fires

Combine the piercing nozzle technology used on ARFF rigs with the reach of a municipal aerial and you have an interesting firefighting concept

From my experience, the attic fire is one of the more difficult fires to gain access to and apply the proper fire flow in a timely manner. This is especially true for the attic on a two-story Colonial model home.

I’m sure everyone has either seen or been a part of this scenario. A summer thunderstorm passes through with thunder, lightning and torrential rain.

Then, about 20 minutes after the storm passes, the 911 calls start coming in as homeowners discover lightning has struck their home. Most of the calls turn out to be benign — some structural damage, but no fire damage.

And then the call comes in from the neighbor across the street — and you know how this is going to go. When the first-in engine arrives, the officer reports smoke coming from the second floor on side D of a two-story Colonial, single-family dwelling.

From there, we all know the drill: advance hose lines to floor two, gain access to the attic area and apply the fire stream into the attic space. An operation that’s equipment, staffing and time intensive.

Now imagine if you could be that first-due engine with this arrow in you quiver.

Spot the engine in the best operating position and use a piercing nozzle on the end of an aerial stick to make a hole in the roof covering and begin applying some serious fire flow directly into the attic space. Or position that nozzle at an existing opening into the attic space, such as a gable vent, for fire attack.

But what if this was the scenario?

The other option

Instead of a working attic fire, the first-in officer reported fire showing from a window on floor two, side A of a two-story Colonial single-family dwelling. A situation where a transitional fire attack (hit it hard from the yard) is the fire suppression strategy that the fire officer wants to employ.

The pump operator puts the stick and nozzle into operation flowing water into the upper space of the fire room. Simultaneously, the fire officer and the other firefighter (assuming a three-person crew) could already be advancing a 1 ¾-inch fire attack line into the structure to begin a search (if required) or continue advancing the fire attack line to the second floor to complete fire extinguishment.

And all that done with a single engine and its three-person crew.

Just like their American cousins, the U.K. Fire and Rescue Services is constantly looking for better fire suppression technologies — especially technology that will help close the gap between the fire suppression workload and decreased staffing.

Rosenbauer UK developed the AT-Stinger in collaboration with Lancashire Fire and Rescue and subsequently began delivery exclusively in the United Kingdom in late 2016. 

The Stinger boom package is a HRET (High Reach Extendable Turret) developed to provide a long reach and a large range of motion. It allows rapid and precise positioning for increased extinguishing performance.

Here are seven of its more interesting features.

  • A 16.5-meter (54-foot) boom with a fire stream with a reach of over 80 meters (264 feet).
  • A piercing tool that can punch through industrial structures and then deliver 1,000 liters (265 gallons) per minute of water from perforations in the spike.
  • A 4,500 liter (1,189 gallons) per minute monitor that can be set to a smaller flow for smaller incidents.
  • A fixed thermal imaging camera at the tip.
  • A fixed real-time camera at the tip.
  • LED lighting at the tip.
  • Wireless, ergonomic remote control.

It will be interesting to see if this firefighting technology ever comes off the airport tarmac to be deployed for structural firefighting on this side of the pond.

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2023 FireRescue1. All rights reserved.