Chris Ferrara, CEO and President, US Fire Pump talks IoT in the world of fire pumps, with a major rise in uptick of services
In today’s world the increasing of new technologies seems never ending, and quite overwhelming at times. We start the process of adopting new technologies and seemingly it’s out of date before it’s even implemented.
However, paraphrasing the 36th American President Lyndon B Johnson, ‘you can get crushed if you’re not prepared for the new technologies available or even for the acceptance of adopting new technologies.’ When it comes to technological adoption you must start somewhere, or risk falling behind.
At US Fire Pump our team was often requested to provide a mobile temporary pump solution with the technology to mimic stationary or fixed firewater pumps. At the time this technology, packaged in a true mobile firewater pump, didn’t exist. Our engineering team didn’t scoff at the idea, even as they found the process of development to be no short order. In fact, hearing the repeated need from customers, only strengthened their resolve to create a solution.
Professionals that have worked with mobile fire pumps as compared to fixed fire pumps know that their requirements differ greatly. Finding a suitable adaptation to these requirements, in a temporary mobile package, was the first task for our team. Fixed pumps have the luxury of control rooms, fire control panels and many other redundant safety systems in place, and usually all in a controlled environment.
However, what we were being asked to achieve was a mobile system without the liberty of any of the above controls in place. Our team was able to engineer a smart system for mobile use, thanks to which these smart fire pumps can be used in your next turnaround, unplanned outage, or as a temporary replacement for fixed fire water pumps.
Our smart systems have since been installed in petrochemical facilities, private health institutions and State facilities throughout the United States.
To be a market leader and innovator you must have forward thought mindset. To do so, you must find or develop new technologies to make that road easier to navigate.
US Fire Pump’s in-house engineers and experts can assist with pre planning for outages, or at a moment’s notice for emergency unplanned outages and events. Our rental fleet of fire and ancillary equipment is the largest on the globe and our smart technology is ready for dispatch 24/7.
Tell us a bit more about smart technologies and how it has made its way into pumps.
The ability for mobile pumps to mimic fixed pumps in temporary situations has been a big change. In what seems like never-ending supply chain issues and parts shortages, more and more fixed fire pumps are being taken out of service for extended periods of time. How do you replace these and keep facilities on-line? With temporary solutions like our mobile fire pumps. Adding smart pumping technology to these mitigates the need for firewatch personnel and acts in accordance with the fixed firewater pumps, albeit in a temporary solution.
How does the Submersible Response Truck address market requirements?
The idea behind Submersible Response Truck was to address areas with water shortage, and for a myriad of reasons there are many use case scenarios. For the industrial sector it can be that your fire water supply has been temporarily, or by accident, nullified. For the municipal sector, particularly rural settings with no hydrant systems but plenty of water in the surrounding area, it allows the SRT to have the submersible pumps deployed to any static water source for water supply. This, depending on the water source, can sustain water supply for much longer than your average tanker.
Tell us about US Fire Pumps research and development efforts?
US Fire Pump will always be at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. We welcome ideas from First Responders who work in the field daily. Not to forget our own Emergency Response Team members. In addition, we have a team of dedicated engineers who are tasked with developing innovation and technologies for the fire service sector. I’ve always felt that old problems need new technologies for solutions.
Tell us why equipment rental is gaining popularity?
We have seen many our rental customers use this programme to fill ‘stop gap’ methods for repairs and unplanned outages. Quite often there isn’t sufficient capital to support purchase of new equipment, especially during fluctuating economic scenarios. The benefit of renting means unallocated funds can go towards temporary replacement of other critical equipment. We also offer long term lease that gives customers a chance to test new gear on site.
Do you have market expansion on your mind?
Absolutely, the company’s pumps and fire equipment have been used by customers all around the world. We have also advised customers on emergency responses across the globe and have a large international presence. As for further expansion geographically, we are assessing different markets. US Fire Pumps is ready to go places.