New Pumper Replaces Two Older Trucks
Vol 21 No 5
new Pierce Lance industrial foam pumper has replaced two older trucks in use at Shell Oil's Deer Park, TX, refinery, said Fire Chief Mike Boaze. The logic behind the decision was obtaining an increased flow.
"In industry, the challenge is people, not equipment," Boaze said. "This truck allows us to put an increased flow on the fire with the same number of people that would have manned the older pumpers. With a five person crew we are able to flow 3,000 gallons per minute versus 1,000 gpm with the same number of people on an older truck."
Shell Deer Park is a 1,500-acre complex located approximately 20 miles east of downtown Houston along the Houston Ship Channel. It is home to the sixth largest refinery in the United States with a crude oil capacity of 340,000 barrels a day. The Deer Park complex also manufactures base chemicals or raw material chemicals used in plastics, paints, pharmaceuticals, carpeting, clothing, adhesives and building materials.
The complex is home to 1,700 employees who operate the fully integrated refinery and petrochemical facility 24 hours a day. Among those employees is the 100 member fully volunteer fire brigade administered by Boaze.
In March, the Deer Park complex took delivery of its new Lance pumper, complete with 515 HP Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine, Husky 300 foam system, Hale 8FG 3,000 gpm pump, 1,100-gallon foam tank and 250-gallon water tank. The truck also came with a Command Zone advanced electronics system, enclosed top mount control, 10-inch inlet and 10-inch discharges. Each discharge has a 10 percent foam capability.
Richard Philbrick, assistant fire team leader at Deer Park, said the new truck is a sister unit to a 10-year-old 3,000 gpm truck already in service. Unlike its predecessor, the new truck is also equipped with a Pierce Husky foam system. The trucks are divided between the refinery's two fire stations, which are also home to a third engine, one aerial, two 4,000 gallon foam tenders, a heavy rescue truck, hazmat truck, brush truck and eight quick attack trucks.
The new Pierce pumper replaces a 1971 1,250 gpm Mack pumper with 1,000 gallons of foam and 200 gallons of water, and a 1976 1,000 gpm International pumper with 1,000 gallons of foam.
Among the customized features specially ordered by Shell are the 10-inch inlets and discharge, large even by modern industrial fire fighting standards.
"It allows us to flow a larger volume of water over long distances with lower pressure loss," Boaze said.
The pumper carries 2,000 feet of 5-inch hose and 750 feet of 3-inch hose. It is also equipped with three sections of hard suction hose on each side, Philbrick said.
"What you find on most industrial fire trucks is 6-inch hard suction," he said. "Our truck carries 8-inch hard suction. It allows us to get that 3,000 gpm we need at draft."
Pierce's Husky 300 foam system is capable of making foam at one, three, six and 10 percent from all the discharges. Used together with the two foam tankers, the Pierce industrial pumper can make more than 5,000 gallons of foam per minute using a pressurized water source and a 3x6 concentration.
Helping to flow that foam onto the fire is a wireless remote control deck gun. However, neither the truck or the deck gun have had the opportunity to fight fire yet.