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Industrial Fire Chiefs Have Differing Opinions When It Comes To What Is Essential Equipment For Their Brigades
Vol 22 Number 5

Minimum pump capacities for fire apparatus approved under NFPA 1901 should start at nothing less than 2,000 GPM, says Jameson R. Wendell, fire protection technical specialist for Kinder Morgan based in Houston, TX.

"I do not feel that an oil/gas process or storage facility with a Fire-Emergency Response Team or even a municipal fire department with a similar hazard should even consider anything less," Wendell said.

Wendell was one of the most outspoken participants in a recent survey conducted by Industrial Fire World focusing on fire apparatus in industrial facilities. Industrial fire chiefs representing regions as diverse at Kentucky, Louisiana, California, Wyoming, Washington and Tennessee participated in the survey.

Kinder Morgan protects their two large storage tank farms that contain pipeline manifolds and marine loading facilities on the Houston Ship Channel using a 3,000 GPM foam-pumper with 1,000 gallons of 1x3 AR-AFFF on board and a 1,750 gpm foam-aerial device with a 75-foot ladder and 500 gallons of 1x3 AR-AFFF on board. Quick attack vehicles are also utilized for first response emergencies.

With regard to pumping apparatus, Wendell said that NFPA should require discharge outlets no smaller than four inches.

"Why continue to introduce small waterways," Wendell said. "We need to provide more flexibility with the apparatus on the incident scene."

He also supports increasing testing times under NFPA 1901 to four hours at 100 and 150 percent.

"The industrial world's incidents can last that long or longer," Wendell said. "The testing should match real world durations."

?NFPA 1901 defines the requirements for new automotive fire apparatus designed to be used under emergency conditions to transport personnel and equipment and to support the suppression of fires and mitigation of other hazardous situations. This important standard covers everything from pumpers to aerial fire apparatus to special service apparatus, such as rescue vehicles and hazmat vehicles, as well as quints and mobile foam apparatus.

Asked what he would like to see on new apparatus, Wendell answered that there should be standardized layouts to pump panels.

When asked the same question, Don Stevenson of Wyoming Refining said he would like to see around-the-pump foam proportioners built into apparatus for refinery equipment. Wyoming Refining operates a 13,250 barrels per day refinery in Newcastle.

To protect the facility from fire, Wyoming Refining has one 500 gpm pumper, a 600,000 gallon water tank, eight 265 gallon foam totes, (11) 1,200 gpm monitors, a rescue truck, a hose truck, 2,800 feet of five-inch hose, 1,700 feet of 2?-inch hose and 1,200 feet of 1?-inch hose. Plans call for the purchase of four more 265 gallon foam totes and a command vehicle.

Several fire chiefs used the survey as an occasion to draw attention to unique equipment bought to meet their needs. Dusty Mills of the Marathon refinery in Catlettsburg, KY, said that his 6,000 gpm pumper is one of the largest in the world.

The survey also provided a unique experience to compare the equipment inventories for some of the biggest U.S. refineries. The Catlettsburg brigade has a 3,500 gpm pumper, a 2,000 gpm pumper, a 1,500 gpm pumper and a 1,200 gpm pumper. Other equipment includes a 3,700 gallon foam tank, one 10,000 gpm monitor, one 2,000 gpm monitor, a 65-foot aerial device, one rescue truck, one hose truck carrying 6,000 feet of five-inch hose and a hazmat vehicle.

Future purchases in mind at Mill's 222,000 barrels per calendar date (bpcd) refinery include a 110 foot aerial device on a 4,000 gpm pumper and a 16-foot rescue vehicle.

Rivaling the Catlettsburg refinery in size is BP North America's Cherry Point Refinery in Blaine, WA. The original engineering design allowed the refinery to process 100,000 barrels of crude per day. Today, over 250,000 barrels can be processed every day and the refinery is the largest in Washington state. Nearly half a billion dollars has been invested over the past 10 years to keep the refinery modern and efficient.

According to Battalion Chief Dan Daniels, the shinning star of Cherry Point's fire equipment inventory is a three-year-old 104-foot aerial platform that carries 800 gallons of 1x3 AFFF concentrate with two 2,000 gpm monitors.

"We also have a new Pierce pumper that carries 1,000 gallons of 1x3 AFFF with a 4,000 gpm deck monitor," Daniels said. That Pierce pumper is rated at 3,500 gpm. Cherry Point also has a 2,000 gpm Darley pumper, a 6,000 gallon tanker for 3X6 foam, a 5,000 gallon tanker for 1x3 foam, a Williams 8,000 gpm Ranger III portable foam nozzle and a portable 6,000 gpm foam nozzle. The refinery has 75 750-gpm fixed monitors throughout the facility.

The brigade has one rescue vehicle, one command vehicle, one hazmat truck and trailer, one hose reel trailer with 2,400 foot of five-inch hose and one trailer with 5,000 feet of flat laid five-inch hose.

Some of the other major refineries participating in the survey include ConocoPhillips 250,000 barrels per day Lake Charles, LA, refinery. According to Charron Comeaux, the refinery is protected with three pumpers ranging from 2,000 to 3,500 gpm, one two million gallon fixed tank and two foam tenders to handle 14,000 gallons of foam on hand, much of it in 300 gallon totes and drums.

Lake Charles refinery has two 1,500 gpm monitors mounted in pickups, three 1x3,000 trailer mounted monitors and one 1x6,000 trailer mounted monitor. The fire brigade inventory also includes one enclosed rescue trailer, one hose trailer carrying 3,000 feet of five-inch and 2?-inch hose and two command vehicles.

Other available equipment includes:

?Dock fire pumps - two diesel engine driven and one electric motor driven supplying unlimited water from the nearby river.

?Fire pond - one 5,000 gpm diesel engine driven pump and an 8.2 million gallon supply of water.

?Primary water supplied from fire lagoon - three diesel engine driven pumps, two electric motor driven pumps and a 5.2 million gallon supply of water.

?Two foam tender trailers - one 6,400 gallons, one 5,500 gallons.

  • (11) 300-gallon foam totes.
  • (20) 55-gallon drums of foam.
  • 2,000 gallons combined on foam pumper apparatus.

Two portable fire pumps,.trailer mounted - one 2,000 gpm diesel engine driven pump and one 5,000 gpm diesel engine driven pump.

Valero Energy's Memphis, TN, refinery, processing 195,000 barrels a day, includes a quick attack vehicle on its list of equipment it intends to purchase within the next two years.

The equipment inventory at the Memphis refinery includes a 1,000 gpm foam tank filled with 1x6 Thunderstorm. The refinery also has one 4,000 gpm monitor and a command vehicle. Along with the quick attack truck, the Memphis refinery plans to purchase a pumper with a 1,250 gallon foam concentrate capacity.

"The Quick Attack has been ordered and should arrive within the next couple of months," said Larry Loomis. "I have placed the order for the foam pumper and it is to arrive the first of next year."

The 1,000 foam tank is a 1,000 gallon capacity foam pumper filled with 1x6 Thunderstorm.

"We also have in addition to the 4,000 gpm portable monitor, three 4,000 gpm monitors fixed inside the refinery with foam totes staged in place along with a very large amount of other fixed monitors and deluge system," Loomis said. "As part of our firewater system, we have a million gallon fire water tank which has an automatic refill altitude valve."

Companies that constitute an off shoot of chemical and petrochemical refining took an interest in our survey too. John Kearns of Nickey Petroleum in Placentia, CA, took the opportunity to praise the content in Industrial Fire World magazine.

"I like your quality articles about fuel and fuel related issues as well as articles relating to hydrocarbon fire suppression," Kearns said.

We thank those who participated in our survey for helping us capture the diversity of fire protection responsibilities in industry. From plant to plant problems and the resources needed to resolve them differ greatly.

The common factor is an interest in updating equipment and training to the best level that is available on the market today to the fire service.


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