Article Archive
Volume 23, No. 5

Federal Signal announces E-ONE sale

Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE: FSS), a leader in advancing security and well-being, announced in July that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell E-ONE, a manufacturer of fire apparatus located in Ocala, FL, for approximately $20 million to American Industrial Partners. AIP has confirmed that E-ONE management will invest alongside AIP as significant shareholders of the company. The transaction is expected to close by mid-August. BMO Capital Markets has acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Federal Signal on the deal.

Jim Goodwin, interim CEO, stated, "We are pleased to be nearing completion of this divestiture. The E-ONE employees in Ocala have been a part of Federal Signal for many years. With a strong management team led by Peter Guile, and the experience of American Industrial Partners, I am confident that the future of E-ONE is in good hands and that they will be able to focus on continuing to build quality, innovative fire apparatus and growing their customer base. I would like to thank all of the E-ONE employees as well as the dealers and customers who have supported E-ONE while it has been part of Federal Signal. "

Alabama fire school assumes new name

The Oliver Field Emergency Response Training Center near Mobile, AL, that reopened in April 2007 after being closed nearly seven years, is now operating under a new name --The Gulf Coast Emergency Response Academy. Mike McCreary, a co-owner in the company that reopened the facility, has joined with a new group to buy out control of the academy, said James W. Kiesling, one of those involved in the purchase. Kiesling is a captain with the Fire Department of New York's special operations command.

The 52-acre site is mainly set up for industrial training but plans are to expand beyond that, Kiesling said. "There are numerous haz mat (tanker trucks, rail cars, etc. )props and numerous confined space entries (above and below ground)," Kiesling said. "A local steel mill that is currently under construction has expressed an interest in duplicating some of their extensive underground system on our site. "

The fire school is built around a four-story industrial mock-up that can simulate as many as 30 different fire scenarios, including mishaps involving chemical process, rail car loading, pumps, tanks,vessels, flanges, overhead pipe rack, acetylene cutting torches and electrical transformers. The fire training academy was originally owned by the past Greater Mobile Industrial Association, a not-for-profit industrial mutual aid organization.

First Attack nozzles wins 1st distributor

Ferrara Apparatus of Holden, LA, has agreed to serve as distributor for International Fog Inc. 's First Attack piercing fog nozzle in the southern United States, said First Attack inventor Eugene Ivy.

Ferrara is the first company to sign up as a distributor of the First Attack nozzle, a slender device with a stainless steel tip honed to a 25 degree angle. Behind this piercing tip is a rotating sleeve made from Kevlar that creates a 30-foot diameter fog pattern.

Available in two, three and four foot lengths, the First Attack normally operates in a water pressure range between 50 to 225 psi. However, Ivy has tested it at as much as 400 psi.

Ivy, a former Port Arthur, TX, firefighter, designed First Attack for volunteer fire departments with limited manpower and water resources. It atomizes water into a fog pattern of droplets sized anywhere between five and 20 microns. The nozzle produces a shield that can reduce the amount of heat reaching the firefighter by 80 percent.

Ferrara is a leading manufacturer of fire and rescue apparatus. The company has apparatus in service in 35 major U. S. cities,China, South America, the Middle East and The Philippines. "We welcome Ferrara is our first distributor," Ivy said. "We are looking for others as well to represent us in other regions of the U. S. "

CSB probes fatal Houston heat exchanger rupture

The U. S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced in August that it is proceeding with an investigation of the causes of a recent accident at a rubber manufacturing facility in southeast Houston,in which one employee was killed and seven others were injured,including contract workers who were exposed to anhydrous ammonia. CSB investigators have now completed two week-long visits to the plant conducting interviews and gathering other evidence.

The accident occurred on June 11 during a maintenance operation ona heat exchanger, which used pressurized, liquid ammonia to cool chemicals that are later processed to make synthetic rubber. The rubber making chemicals were pumped through steel tubes inside the heat exchanger, while ammonia flowed through a cylindrical steel shell that surrounded the tubes.

The day prior to the accident, the process was shut down for cleaning. During the shutdown, an isolation valve was closed between the heat exchanger and a pressure-relief device designed to protect the heat exchanger from possible over-pressure. On the morning of the accident, an operator used steam to clean out process piping; the steam also flowed through the heat exchanger tubes. The steam heated the liquid ammonia remaining in the exchanger shell which caused the pressure to build. With the path to the pressure-relief device blocked, the heat exchanger ruptured catastrophically.


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