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Hale Products' latest fire fighting technology for Dublin Fire Brigade

Hale Products' latest fire fighting technology for Dublin Fire Brigade

Dublin Fire Brigade have just taken delivery of two Class B fire appliances featuring the latest in fire fighting technology. The vehicles - chassis supplied by Dennis Fire of Guildford, body work by Browns Coachworks of Lisburn, N. Ireland - incorporate a Hale compresed air foam system. The larger appliance uses a Hale CAFS200 unit and is providing cover for the new Dublin Port tunnel as the "Tunnel Response Vehicle".

Compressed air foam is a mixture of foam, water and air that possesses superior fire suppressant qualities to water based fire attacks.

There are several unique benefits of compressed air foam that make it a winner for the fire fighter:

  • Because the solution has less surface tension than water, it smothers the fire more quickly and penetrates the fuel more effectively.
  • It has quicker fire knockdown capability
  • It uses significantly less water.
  • The mixture makes for far lighter hoses - a great advantage for fire fighters, making for more efficient operation.
  • The mixture has better projection capabilities allowing fire fighters to keep a safe distance from the fire source.
  • Less water in the mixture means less property damage and water run-off.

CAFS are a speciality of Hale Products Europe, who have been perfecting the technology for a number of years and are now recognised as a world leader for this advanced form of fire fighting. Some 25% of UK brigades now use one of the three CAFS configurations available - main pump with Integrated CAFS50, MiniCAFS self-contained retro-fittable unit and the MCP50 CAFS package for customised installations by the vehicle builder.

Dublin Fire Brigade now operate fire appliances with all the different versions of CAFS on board, and the new CAFS200 fitted appliance is ideally suited to the fire scenarios that may arise in tunnel locations.

Both the appliances are based on the Dennis Fire Sabre chassis powered by the Cummins ISCe Euro 3 engine (8.3litre capacity). The dedicated tunnel vehicle with the CAFS200 unit has a longer wheelbase and uses an XL crew cab.

Brown Coachworks supplied the appliance bodywork and while they had previously installed the Hale Integrated CAFS50 pumps they had not fitted the larger CAFS 90 or 200 models.

Browns' main challenge was to incorporate the CAFS pump into the body layout required while still dealing satisfactorily with Health & Safety, Manual Handling, and maintenance access issues.

The build process started with the installation of the pump into the chassis with the associated fire engineering and then the bodywork build was fitted over the pumps. Hale Products Europe staff provided initial guidelines and set out the essential relationships between the various components. Once the pump was fully installed Hale staff checked the installation before the bodywork was fitted.

Due to the unique tunnel application of the CAFS 200 appliance, its storage requirements were also unusual with 12 long duration BA sets, 12 spare twin cylinder packs, 31 lengths of delivery hose, 6 gas tight suits in boxes, stretcher, 7 extinguishers etc. many of which required the engineering of specific storage brackets and handling.

The principles in the CAFS 90 appliance were very similar to its larger stable mate but here the challenge was for the appliance to be close in layout to the rest of the Dublin Class B fleet with the exception of the pump. This meant that the central roof trough etc had to be retained and the resultant space for the pump was therefore restricted but with the experience gained on the requirements of the CAFS 200, the installation was completed to the satisfaction of both Hale Products Europe and the Dublin Fire Service.

The larger of the two new appliances, which features the CAFS200 system, in the Dubin Port Tunnel. This appliance is designated as the Tunnel Response Vehicle.

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