STRUCTURE AND WILDLAND TESTING
BY VETERAN HOT SHOT CREW
To whom it may concern:
After many hours of research, talking with other departments and with HMA fire personnel, the Cloud Chief Fire Department purchased a HMA UHP system in 2011. We felt that a UHP system would be the most universal and beneficial system for our department and boy were we right. We are a small rural department in western Oklahoma with very limited resources. Another problem we have is the distance between our water sources so having a very efficient system was critical in our decision to go with a UHP system.
We were looking for one unit that could be in our first out truck that was capable of fighting any kind of fire we would face. The UHP system was that unit. We have used the UHP system on grass fires, vehicle fires, structure fires, as well as oil field location fires and it has impressed everyone at every fire. At almost every fire we go to with other departments, after the fire, someone is asking questions about our UHP system because of how well it works.
The most impressive part of the UHP system is how much fire it can put out with such small amounts of water compared to traditional low pressure units. The majority of our fires are grass and brush fires in very rural parts of our county. Being able to stay on the fire line for longer periods of time is very crucial. When we pull on to a fire line with other departments with low pressure units, we are able to stay on the fire line as much as twice as long without having to fill up. This is also important because of the distance between water sources. Another benefit to the UHP system is the ability to use the nozzle for a variety of applications. With such high pressure the nozzle is able to strip bark off of trees and brush that are burning allowing us to have fewer flares ups due to smoldering logs and trees. It has also been very useful on hay bale fires for the same reason. It is able to penetrate into the hay bales much deeper than low pressure units.
Our system has been used a number of times on vehicle fires as well. The UHP system sucks the life out of these fires very quickly. I have personally used this unit on a fully involved semi fire and was able to have the fire approximately 90% contained before another unit arrived on scene. This was accomplished using the integrated foam system and approximately 100 gallons of water. We have also used this system on several structure fires. Once again, its ability to put out so much fire with so little water is incredible. This helps us save property because there is so much less water damage to the structures than with low pressure units. The UHP system has proven itself so well in our county that surrounding departments have requested it on structure fires due to its efficiency.
After using this unit for our primary response vehicle for quite some time, the only complaint I ever heard was at some times it had too much pressure. These times being during the mop up stages of wildland fires and on small fires. I went to HMA fire with these concerns and in less than a week they had a solution to our problem. The staff at HMA Fire had come up with a retro fit throttle system that would allow us to use the automatic throttle for fighting fire or, with the turn of a valve, have a manual throttle to reduce the pressure for mop up and smaller fires. In my opinion, this gave us the ultimate fire fighting system.
Not only did the staff at HMA Fire come up with the solution to my concern very quickly, the production manager, Greg Filut, personally came to our station to install the new throttle system. From the design stage to the installation in our truck, I have been nothing short of impressed with HMA Fire. This is a true testament of HMA Fires dedication to customer service and to having the best equipment in the fire service.
In the end, I think the UHP system is the most universal unit available in the fire service today. Its incredible efficiency and absolute ease of operation make it the go to unit for the Cloud Chief Fire Department for any call. I would recommend the UHP system to any department and would be more than happy to demonstrate its ability to anyone.
Cloud Chief Fire Department
315 West Sixth Street
Cordell, Oklahoma 73632
P U T I T T O T H E T E S T