A two-person crew knocked down each fire in under one minute and used less than five gallons of water per fire.
The Ruff vehicle uses an extended-cab pick-up truck to house a 100-gallon/ 455-litre water tank, an ultra-high-pressure pump and 100 feet/30.5 metres of small-diameter, high-pressure hose on a reel.
Ruff president Brian Abbott explained that the truck uses only one-tenth of the water compared to conventional fire engines. ‘It can knock fires down faster than any other truck while requiring fewer firefighters on one vehicle. Moreover its costs a fraction of the price of most firefighting rigs.The trigger nozzle can shoot water as far as 80 feet/ 24 metres and has a fog curtain setting to protect firefighters.’
The demonstration was held at Hennepin Technical College’s fire training facility and involved an open burn of straw and pallets, a vehicle fire and a room-and-contents fire. Following the live burn demonstrations, the students took a turn at knocking down vehicle fires with the UHP engine.
In all three scenarios, the Ruff crew was able to engage the pump, charge the line and get water on the fire faster than the four-person Hennepin College crew. The pump is preset at 1,100 psi and doesn’t require a firefighter to remain with it during operations; the pump can put out up to 1,500 psi.
Also participating in the demonstration was the International Fire Relief Mission. Abbott pledged to donate a percentage of his company’s sales to IFRM, which collects donated firefighting equipment and delivers it to developing countries looking to build a safer and more effective fire service.
‘Like our long-standing partnership with Lion, I’m eager to see Ruff succeed in this venture and become a major partner in our effort to equip and educate firefighters in parts of the world where firefighters are at great risk on every call,’ said IFRM president Ron Gruening. ‘Their success will be our success.’
Abbott said his reason for donating to IFRM was simple – he likes helping others, especially firefighters.
‘I joined the organisation a couple of years ago, and when I met the team, my first thought was, that this was going to be great. I knew from then on that this is what I am going to put my time into and make a difference,’ he commented.
Abbott said he designed the vehicle with developing countries in mind.
‘Firefighters in the developing world often don’t have much money for fire apparatus, they don’t have hydrants in their communities and they often don’t have many trained firefighters. The pump skids can be mounted on trucks commonly used in those countries, so rigs won’t sit idle because a replacement part can’t be found, he said.
‘During our travels, we’ve seen so many fire trucks donated from the US abandoned because the vehicles were old and the firefighters in those countries did know how or couldn’t get the parts to fix them when they broke,’ Gruening said.