Firefighter markets lightweight large-volume diesel-fueled pump designed to deliver instant reliability on demand
Volume 23. No 4
The need for a large volume fire pump driven by a reliable diesel engine, all on a small, lightweight package attracted Darrell Graf’s attention while working as the fire response director for a renowned ship firefighting response team.
The Grafire 4000 is a 4000 (U.S.) gallon per minute fire pump that delivers all NFPA criteria for a typical fire engine pump, 100 percent (4,000) at 150 psi, 70 percent (2,800)at 200 psi, 50 percent (2,000) at 250 psi and 110 percent (4,000) at 165 psi.
“This system, comprised of top quality, name brand components and our specially created pump transmission allows the owner to be totally comfortable with the reliability of this unit when its qualities are demanded most - at a fire,” Graf said.
Graf’s tenure in the firefighting field, from volunteer (at the age of 14) to paid to volunteer and now as a fire response director, has allowed him to explore the needs of certain fire equipment arsenals and develop needed alternatives to what is currently available.
In 1980 Graf successfully patented the PEMNA fire fighting monitor, which is used in industrial, municipal and military both here and abroad, then another nozzle, the Elevator Devil. Specifically designed for grain elevator boot pit fires, it allows flooding of the pit without stirring deadly, explosive grain dust. Others include the ultimate fire hydrant marker and the Grafire Ace Monitor, a wildland fire fighting monitor with a joystick control and integrated foam system created to mount on existing wildland apparatus.
With the fire fighting background coupled with entrepreneurship and the 19 years as a fire pump mechanic and tester, and apparatus builder, this system was created taking into consideration the expertise from all of the aforementioned fields.
This lightweight Grafire 4000 (4,300 pound) unit is small enough to be carried in a normal pickup-sized box and can be airlifted or otherwise shipped in a small area on a truck, aircraft or ship. Options include a hydraulic remote controlled 4,000 gpm monitor mounted direct to the system and the volume (parallel) or pressure (series) operation for heavy flows at high pressure (up to 600 psi). The standard unit has 4-inch LDH discharges, along with one 1.5-inch discharge / return tube to allow for pump cooling while discharges are shut off. This return tube is vital in pump longevity and efficiency. This system also includes an electric priming system capable of pulling 22-inch hg at sea level.
“This system is created in a direct drive mode, so there is no worry about clutch failing - especially when salt water environments are at hand,” Graf said. “Further, the diesel engine is not only totally reliable, but you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to maintain it. The operator-friendly control panel is a direct result of knowledge gained in building fire apparatus for departments that are far from trained in pump operations. I have never built or developed a piece of apparatus that I wouldn’t be afraid to stake my life on. My motto is ‘I wouldn’t build or sell anything that I wouldn’t want coming to my house to rescue my baby.’ This system gets the same workmanship, engineering and reliability that I expect when I buy fire fighting equipment. Failure is not acceptable.”