A new Pierce Arrow XT fire apparatus outfitted with the Snozzle High Reach Extendable Turret (HRET) is helping the Malaga Volunteer Fire Department in New Mexico protect crude oil pumping and storage facilities located throughout southern New Mexico and West Texas.
"On a single day, in particular — during the aftermath of a lightning storm — the apparatus traveled more than 300 miles and its crew put out four different tank battery fires," explained Pecos Davis, fire chief for Malaga Volunteer Fire Department. "On another occasion, we responded to a series of tank battery fires with a neighboring district. They were fighting it with hand lines trying to put it out. We pulled up with the Snozzle, set the foam percentage at three percent, and put it out within 15 minutes."
Fires that would have taken two or three hours to put out now take 20 minutes or less, said Robert Brader, director of fire services for Eddy County, N.M. "The Snozzle apparatus gives us faster set-up time, greater reach, higher volume flow, and instant access to lots of foam," he said.
A company official said Oshkosh, which manufacturers Pierce products, is seeing a spike in interest for the Snozzle in oil-producing regions.
The Pierce Arrow XT apparatus features a 500-hp engine, a four-door cab, seating for four firefighters, TAK-4 independent front suspension, tandem rear axles, and Command Zone advanced electronics. The vehicle also sports a Pierce Snozzle HRET with a 50-foot reach, a Husky 12 single agent foam system, a 1,250-gallon poly water tank, a 200-gallon foam cell, 1,000 feet of 5-inch hose, and 500 feet of 2.5-inch hose.