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A paradigm shift in firefighting and maintenance
Published:  24 April, 2015

NEWS FROM FDIC: Pierce unveils two ‘game changing’ products during the Fire Department Instructors Conference currently taking place in Indianapolis, USA.

Taking centre stage on the Pierce booth is the Ascendant, a heavy-duty steel ladder that is built on a single rear axle configuration. The aerial delivers a 107-foot vertical reach and a 100-foot horizontal reach with an operating range from -10º to +77º.

According to Pierce, the 100-foot horizontal reach is 32-feet greater than a typical single rear axle aerial – made possible thanks to a weight-optimised design featuring high-strength steel, custom-tubing and gusseting.

Built with 100,000 psi minimal yield strength steel support elements, the design features a 1500 gpm tip flow, a 750 lb dry tip load capacity, a 35 mph wind rating, and a ¼-inch ice rating.

The aerial pedestal is protected by the E-Coat corrosion protection system that was developed for Oshkosh defence vehicles. A single set of H-style stabilisers and one rear downrigger provide support. A full complement of optional equipment is available, including LED rung lighting and breathing air at the tip.

‘The ability to integrate a 107-foot heavy duty ladder with 100 feet of horizontal reach on a highly maneuverable, single rear axle configuration changes the market,’ said Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Fire & Emergency: ‘We are extremely proud to showcase the Pierce Ascendant aerial ladder at FDIC.’

Command Zone

The new in-vehicle system integrates a number of data inputs that are displayed via a seven-inch touchscreen monitor.

The system enables drivers to quickly ascertain vehicle diagnostics to ensure that all systems are fully functional prior to vehicle deployment. As well as safety information such as seat belt usage the Command Zone features optional capabilities for satellite navigation to the emergency scene. Other available capabilities include tire pressure monitoring, collision mitigation, and outrigger placement when operating an aerial.

The Command Zone system operates as its own mobile Wi-Fi network and can simultaneously connect and share data between smart phones or tablets. This means that firefighters can access emergency scene information through Command Zone monitors or via connected network devices. These remote devices can be used to monitor truck health and vehicle control functions such as HVAC and scene lighting.

A subscription service offers the ability to relay data specific to a department’s geography. With Streetwise, officers can view the location of hydrants, way points, and other responding apparatus.

Lastly, the new system enables service technicians to view diagnostic codes and troubleshooting procedures from the touchscreen display or networked device. Data logging capabilities enable the system to maintain a history of each vehicle’s fault codes, warnings and cautions.

‘The Pierce Command Zone system represents a paradigm shift in the future of fire fighting operations and maintenance,’ said Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Fire & Emergency. ‘By working with fire departments from coast to coast, we’ve incorporated a wide range of new integrated capabilities while allowing for the integration of future enhancements.’