Seattle Fire Department unveils novel firefighting vehicle equipped with CO2 technology

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Frontline Communications delivers advanced firefighting vehicle to Seattle

The Seattle Fire Department has revealed a pioneering energy response unit (ERU), kitted out with an innovative carbon dioxide (CO2) fire suppression system.

This technology has been designed to tackle fires in underground electrical vaults, a frequent issue in large, densely populated cities like Seattle.

The frontline communication vehicle has been supplied by Frontline Communications, a sector of Pierce Manufacturing, Inc., and a branch of Oshkosh Corporation.

The vehicle’s funding was procured from Seattle City Light, the public utility providing electricity to the city.

You can find more information on Frontline Communications’ official website.

The innovative firefighting vehicle aims to combat underground electrical vault fires

About 20% of the US electric distribution network is located underground, making accessibility and fire combat difficult, especially when traditional fire suppression agents like water can cause significant damage to the infrastructure.

The new CO2 technology presents a fresh offensive approach to this challenge.

By depriving fires of oxygen, it prevents the spread of fire through an entire electrical vault system.

Fire Captain Chris Greene, a leading U.S. authority on fighting energy fires, played a significant role in the development of the new ERU.

He expressed his thoughts on the project: “The revolutionary design of our new emergency response unit is a remarkable evolution of the Pierce vehicle retrofitted for us back in 2018.”

Unravelling the enhancements of the new firefighting vehicle

In 2018, a unique method was adopted to fight electrical vault fires by retrofitting a decommissioned Pierce vehicle with CO2 canisters.

This method has since been developed to address limitations identified in the department’s original design.

Captain Greene elaborated on the upgrades: “We increased our capacity by 11-fold compared to our old rig, now with three hose lines 200 feet each, which can be deployed simultaneously or connected for a total of 600 feet of hose line.”

The ERU’s residence is at Seattle Fire Department’s Station 25.

The station houses 48 members of an energy response team, trained to handle public safety needs arising from energy hazard incidents.

Upon the occurrence of an electrical vault fire, the team uses CO2 to extinguish the fire and once cleared, the area is made safe by Seattle City Light personnel.

IFSJ Comment

This is a pivotal development in the field of fire safety.

By addressing the often overlooked challenge of underground fires, the Seattle Fire Department, in collaboration with Frontline Communications, is setting a global standard.

We eagerly anticipate witnessing the impacts of this innovative firefighting vehicle in action.

About Frontline Communications

A division of Pierce Manufacturing, Inc., and a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation, Frontline Communications is a leading provider of custom broadcast and communications vehicles. Their technology, including the newly unveiled CO2 Vault Fire Response Truck, plays a crucial role in public safety, furthering their mission to create vehicles that help communities around the world.

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