3 New Rigs, 2 Manufacturers for Hummels Wharf Fire Company

Issue 5 and Volume 3.

Since 1924, the Hummels Wharf Fire Company (HWFC) has been providing fire protection to the residents of Monroe Township, located approximately 45 miles north of Harrisburg, Pa. The company’s recent apparatus purchase is an excellent example of how the needs of a company or department should dictate the manufacturer selection. In the HWFC’s case, although it could have gone with one manufacturer for all three rigs, it chose two companies that best met the specs of the apparatus.

Planning for the Future

Covering 16 square miles with a population of 4,000 residents, Monroe Township includes low- and high-end housing; 75 percent of the area is undeveloped and 30 percent lacks hydrants. Routes 11 and 15, which traverse the town, provide transport for an average of 50,000 vehicles per day. The area also features 2.5 miles of strip shopping centers and restaurants, as well as a custom home manufacturer.

The township has always taken a proactive approach to fire protection and the equipment it provides to the fire company. Beginning in 2000, the township government created a Fire Task Force to look into replacing some older apparatus because the area was rapidly expanding, not only in population, but also in traffic. Commercial and residential construction were on the rise as well.

“The town supervisors approved a plan back in 2001 that would help us in future apparatus purchases,” says HWFC Deputy Chief John Grove. “We received several grants that allowed us to purchase a new squad truck with assorted equipment and an eight-wheel amphibious vehicle with trailer.”

In 2005, the department received an Assistance to Firefighter Grant for more than $200,000 to replace its tanker. “In addition to the grant, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed a $52 tax collected from all people who work in the township,” Grove says.

The tax could be used for roads, fire, EMS and police. “This gave us additional tax money that could be used for our apparatus improvement purchases,” Grove says. Accordingly, the HWFC also made plans to order a new engine and an engine/rescue.

2 Different Manufacturers

The HWFC had long favored Mack Apparatus, but the company no longer builds fire apparatus. Accordingly, for the tanker, it chose the Mack Granite chassis with a body built by SEMO. “The dealer for SEMO was also the area representative for Crimson Fire Apparatus, so we really had the best of both worlds,” Grove says.

The chiefs worked together with some of the members to draw up the specs. “For the tanker, we wanted something that could be run by one person if needed,” Grove says. “It would be used not only for water transport but also for fire attack if necessary. We also wanted Class A foam and a 1,250-gallon pump on the vehicle.”

After reviewing SEMO’s choices, the HWFC chose the company to build the tanker. “They build a quality product and the fact that we could build it on a Mack chassis was an added plus for our fire company,” Grove says.

For the two engines, the company looked at five different manufacturers. “Since we planned on storing a lot of equipment in the compartments as well as in the extended front bumper compartment, we looked at manufacturers that built a strong chassis with thicker frame rails and large compartment offerings,” Grove says. “We thought weight would be a problem, so we made this a concern for whatever manufacturer we chose.”

Some manufacturers designed larger compartments than what the HWFC needed, but “Crimson was willing to sit down with us, hear our ideas and discuss what we needed,” Grove says. “The compartments they designed for us work well with all of our tools.” The company visited the factory six times to work out the details and observe the building process.

“They were great to work with in all areas,” Grove says. “We had some minor problems along the way, but all of them were worked out to our satisfaction. All said and done, both manufacturers met all of our needs and specs, and we had good experiences dealing with both SEMO and Crimson.”

Long-Term Plans

Lately we are hearing about more and more fire departments working with their local government to draft a fire apparatus purchase plan several years in advance of the purchase. Whether it is a 5- or 10-year plan, it makes good sense as far as planning your needs for the future.

Long-term plans not only provide a way to obtain funds, but they also encourage communities to consider what apparatus (and other fire department resources) will be needed to meet future growth. Will your community be experiencing major growth or roadway construction? Will a large mall or an abundance of strip shopping centers be constructed? Or new housing subdivisions? These are all major concerns when deciding what the future needs of your community might be concerning fire suppression.

You might want to consider the fire station in your planning as well. New apparatus can be challenging to fit into older stations, which is especially true when it comes to the height of aerial apparatus.

I can’t say this enough, and most of your are probably tired of hearing it, but plan for your community’s needs and you won’t go wrong.



3’s a Crowd
A close-up look at Hummels Wharf’s 3 new rigs

Mack Granite chassis
• Hale Qflo 1,250-gpm mid-ship pump
• FRC Throttle Excel control module
• Hale Foam Logix 5.0 foam system
• 3,000-gallon Pyroline dry-side tank 
• Stainless-steel body
• 10″ Newton dump valves
• Weldon V-Mux electrical system
• Whelen LED lighting package
• Backing camera 
• TFT Hurricane RC deluge gun

 Rescue Pumper
• Spartan Gladiator chassis
• Hale Qmax 2,000-gpm pump
• Pro Poly 500-gallon tank
• Foam Logix 5.0 foam system
• Harrison 15-kW generator
• Wilburt light tower
• 6,000-psi cascade system
• Stainless-steel body

• Spartan Gladiator chassis
• Side-control pump panel
• Hale Qmax 2,000-gpm pump
• Pro Poly 1,000-gallon tank
• Hale Foam Logix 5.0 foam system with CAFS
• 40-gallon Class A foam/50-gallon Class B foam tanks
• Will-burt Nite Scan light tower
• Stainless-steel body
• 2,000-gpm TFT Monsoon electric deck gun
• 20-kW Harrison generator