The city fire department unveiled its newest piece of firefighting equipment at fire headquarters. The 4,000-gallon Spartan ERV foam tender that allows firefighters to battle petroleum and chemical fires more quickly and efficiently.
The new unit, funded by a $685,000 Port Security Grant from the Department of Homeland Security, mixes a foam firefighting substance aboard the vehicle, instead of making firefighters do that manually on site as in the past, according to Fire Chief Gregory Rogers.
Up until now, the fire department had to carry 40 55-gallon drums of foam concentrate that had to be “painstakingly handled by the barrel and drafted by pickup tubes, which is a manpower-intensive operation,” the chief said. In contrast, the foam tender unit provides easy delivery of the 4,000 gallons of the concentrate to a site, which then is pumped directly to the truck for quick, high-volume dissemination.
“This is one-stop shopping,” Roger's said on June 6. “Everything we need to get the job done is right there on this truck.”
The unit will be used to battle petroleum-based and chemical fires, those of gasoline, oil, and naphtha nature, which have to be fought in a different manner, according to the chief.
“It’s the foam that helps extinguish the fire,” he said. “It’s the vapors on top of the liquid that actually burn. This keeps down the vapors. It doesn’t let vapors rise to ignite fires.”
Mayor Mark Smith said the new firefighting apparatus showed the city’s commitment to the Public Safety Department.
“It’s important to do that, because you folks need the tools to do your job,” Smith said.
Public Safety Director Jason O’Donnell, also a state assemblyman, said the city was aggressive in obtaining security grants.
“In the last few years we’ve been able to bring grant funding of a couple of million dollars,” he said. “This is without any cost to the taxpayer.”
Only one of its type
The truck, custom-made to Bayonne’s specifications, is the only one of its type in the state, Rogers said, and likely one of the only one on the East Coast. It took one year to build.
The vehicle features a 500-horsepower engine and turret gun sprayer.
With the petroleum-related business in the city, Rogers said the new vehicle was a valuable one for the fire department.
Fire truck home
The new unit is being housed at the department’s Station 7 on Hook Road, and will be moved to the new firehouse at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor when it is opened later this year.