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The Next Generation Vehicle
The Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV) is the newest addition to the Air Force crash response fleet. Sheppard Air Force Base firefighter, Carl Lamb, operates the ultra high pressure turret mounted on the front of the bumper on 12 July 2012. (US Air Force Danny Webb)
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The Next Generation Vehicle

Posted 7/18/2012   Updated 7/27/2012 Email story   Print story


by Danny Webb
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

7/18/2012 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- 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 crash response vehicle but can also be used for other fire fighting situations. The RIV has a lot of potential for fighting wildland fires due to its pump and roll capability. Another feature of the truck is its two, 200-foot. hand lines that allow firefighters to go inside an aircraft to perform interior firefighting and rescue operations. It also has extendable LED floodlights that can light up the scene.

The technologically advanced UHP turret is mounted on the front bumper and is operated by a joystick inside the cab. The UHP 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 drive around objects necessary to get to the fire.

"The theory is increasing the surface area with water by itself is incredibly 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," Ray Tritt, pump and foam system test technician 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 are reluctant because they are used to their big trucks that have 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 fire-fighting agent 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 fire 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 fire fighting capability out of it compared to 1,000 gallons." Mounsey said.

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