Creative Fire Apparatus, LLC partners receive innovative product award for new fire fighting vehicle
Published on 8 June 2009
As a 30 year fire-fighting veteran, Jim Belford repeatedly experienced frustrating, costly, and even horrifying situations due to the fact that standard-sized fire engines could not get close to fight fires and rescue people in places with narrow streets, tight turns, unstable surfaces, or under low overhead structures.
Today, he and Paul Kingston, co-owners of Creative Fire Apparatus, LLC, have been recognized by Smart CEO Magazine with a Circle of Excellence Award for creating the Hydra H-1, an innovative mini-sized, but full-capacity, emergency vehicle that can maneuver through any situation.
"I have fought fires for over 30 years, and saw that lives and property were put at risk because many buildings did not have quick emergency vehicles to fight fires or rescue people in areas such as food courts or parking garages," said Belford. "We can now easily reach these areas, and even take the Hydra H-1 into sports arenas and amusement parks with crowded pedestrian sidewalks and beach front communities, where standard emergency equipment is too large and heavy."
Belford created the idea of building a mini-sized, but full-capacity emergency vehicle that can fit in very narrow and low areas and maneuver on both paved or unpaved ground. He collaborated with his friend, Paul Kingston, who brought the "build-it" ability, and together they designed and built the Hydra H-1, a patent-pending vehicle that has full water pumping ability, specialized tool storage, and even patient transport capacity. The Hydra H-1 also carries the newest fire fighting technology, compressed air foam.
The chassis, despite its payload equivalent to two full sized fire trucks, can fit within the tightest of spaces, even inside buildings like government complexes, shopping centers, and sports arenas, and yet is capable of fighting fires on rough terrain such as sand, agricultural, and wooded areas.
This first of its kind vehicle has already proved itself when it served as a patient transport vehicle at the Polar Bear Plunge, held in January at Sandy Point State Park in Maryland, where it took persons to the emergency service tent for care after collapsing from being in the frigid water.
"Timing is always right when you can bring a vehicle to market that will save lives," said Kingston, referring to the current economic climate. "We can deliver this powerhouse unit for less than one-third the cost of traditional fire engines and not only does it fit inside tight spaces, but also into tight budgets, without compromising abilities!"
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