By Danny Webb
82nd Training Web Public Affairs
7/19/2012 – SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) — The main fire station has received a new weapon in their arsenal, the P-34 Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV), which is the newest addition to the Air Force crash response fleet. The RIV is the first vehicle in the Air Force to use new ultra high pressure fire fighting technology and is smaller and more agile than the other similar vehicles in the Air Force’s inventory.
The RIV is primarily designed as a response and crash vehicle but can also be used for other fire fighting situations. The RIV has a lot of potential for being used off road because of the pump and roll capability, another feature of the truck is that it has hand lines that can deploy and the scene can be lit with all the lights on the vehicle.
The technologically advanced ultra-high pressure turret is mounted on the front bumper and is operated by a joystick inside the cab. The turret discharges 60 gallons of fire fighting agent per minute at 1,350 pounds per square inch with a range of 100 feet. The RIV can deploy the turret while in motion and can go around objects necessary to get to the fire.
“The theory is increasing the surface area with water by itself is incredible inefficient at absorbing heat, but by putting foam into the water it becomes 80% efficient because the overall goal is to increase the surface area of your water hoping that it can absorb more heat,” pump and foam system test technician, Ray Tritt said. “Through new technology we can show and prove to people that this works and the Air Force is leading the world as an agency by going to this new technology”.
The RIV makes an impact because of its size compared to the larger vehicles in its line of work. It’s quite a change for most firefighters and at first some were hesitant to make the switch.
“Initially, most firefighters initially are reluctant because they are use to their big trucks that has 3,000 gallons of water and a roof turret that can flow 1,250-1,500 gallons of water per minute”, said Tritt. “My job is to teach the Air Force firefighters what this vehicle is capable of doing.”
This new technology allows the vehicle to discharge a mixture of water and foam at 1,350 psi. This increased pressure makes the vehicle more effective than conventional firefighting vehicles and increases the length of time a vehicle can remain on the scene without having to be resupplied.
According to David Mounsey, Fire Chief at Sheppard Air Force Base, “This is the next generation of a vehicle, with the new technology we get three and half times of what the agent value is on the vehicle” so a 500 gallons capacity agent vehicle is now getting 1,750 gallons of value out of it compared to a 1,000 gallons” Mounsey said.