Kingston Fire District, University of Rhode Island unveil
new aerial platform truck
KINGSTON, R.I. -- Jan. 24, 2001 -- The Kingston Fire District and the
University of Rhode Island today unveiled a new aerial platform fire truck
that can reach the tops of the highest buildings on campus and provides
firefighters with a safer and more versatile tool for lofty fire assaults.
The $650,000 1999 E-One truck replaces the district's 1989, 100-foot,
light duty Seagrave ladder, which is owned by the University. The University
provides substantial operating funds for the fire department through a contract
with the Kingston Fire District. Emergency One Inc., of Ocala, Fla., built
the new vehicle.
The E-One is a demonstration model that Kingston Fire Chief Nate Barrington
said saved the district and the University up to $50,000 from the cost of
a 2000 model straight from the factory.
Barrington said the old ladder truck had limited use for several reasons.
When it was fully extended, it had to be resting against the building. Not
more than one firefighter could be at the ladder's tip without building
The new platform, which extends from the tip of the ladder, can carry
two or three firefighters without needing building support, and its floor
is equipped with a heat shield. It can carry 1,200 pounds of equipment and
personnel at all angles of elevation at full extension. In addition, the
accompanying extendable ladder can be climbed. It has the widest ladder
sections in the industry, so it can be used to lower a victim down in a
In addition, Barrington said 12 people at a time could be on the ladder
during evacuations, an impossible load for the old apparatus.
"This is actually a mobile fire escape," said J. Vernon Wyman,
URI assistant vice president for business services.
"This truck is a real asset to every student in a residence hall
and the University as a whole," said Frank McGovern, director of URI's
Department of Safety and Risk Management.
Barrington said the truck purchase is the result of a solid partnership
with the University. He said he has a great working relationship with Frank
McGovern, URI's director of safety and risk management, and Wyman.
When the platform is fully extended, it is 100 feet above the ground,
Barrington said, which means it can easily reach the highest building points
on campus. The platform can be tipped, so firefighters can cut a hole in
a roof without having to actually be on a burning structure.
There is an intercom at the turntable or base of the platform apparatus
and in the platform, so that firefighters at the top and bottom can communicate.
The apparatus is also equipped with a direct air feed, which can send air
directly to firefighters' air packs while working above a building.
A 4-inch monitor (or water jet) and a master stream line that flows 1,000
gallons of water per minute eliminate the need for firefighters to carry
hose up the ladder.
To get water to higher elevations with the old ladder, firefighters would
have to drag hose to the tip. A hose produced a flow of only 600 gallons
"We can also move this while flowing water," Barrington said.
The new truck has seating for six, but it can be outfitted with two more
seats, said Lt. Mark Walsh, a full-time URI student from Narragansett, who
is in charge of the truck.
"This provides us with increased reach over buildings and the bucket
allows for easier building evacuations," said Walsh, who is one of
nine resident firefighters who live at the station on Bills Road.
"We specifically bought this with the campus in mind," Barrington
said. "We can put this up to a dorm and evacuate a significant number
of people very quickly. We can get water to higher elevations in academic
buildings," he said.
All of the 31 members of the volunteer department will be trained on
the new truck.
During a brief test drive, Walsh said the truck handles very well. It
has a 470-horsepower Cummings diesel engine and a five-speed automatic transmission.
The front wheels turn 45 degrees, which Walsh said is very helpful while
traveling on some of the small campus roads.
During a demonstration, Walsh extended the ladder/platform smoothly
over a building near the old URI dairy barns. It moved easily from side
to side and to its full 95-foot extension.
The Kingston Fire District is one of two districts in the Town of South
Kingstown. Kingston covers the campus, and surrounding village of Kingston.
The Union Fire District provides fire protection to the rest of the town.
However, each volunteer district works together on mutual aid calls.
Barrington, who works full-time as a physician assistant at the Roger
Williams Medical Center, said the new platform truck is a great complement
to Union's 105-foot, heavy-duty ladder housed in Wakefield, which would
also respond to URI on a mutual aid call.
Barrington said the platform truck will also be responding to emergencies
throughout the town, as it is needed.
For Information: Nate Barrignton 783-6830, J. Vernon Wyman
874-5478, Frank McGovern 874-2618, Dave Lavallee 874-2116