Articles by Month: September 2011
Congratulations to Robert Sheard! Robert is the September winner of a brand new pair of Fire-Dex leather fire boots.
We had some really witty captions for our Facebook photo contest. Click here to read all the great captions on our Facebook wall. We selected our top 10 favorites, put the names in a boot (of course), and pulled out Robert’s name. Our favorite captions were:
- Rob: Sorry the wife wears the pants…
- Kim: When I find out who stole my Bunker Pants I’ m gonna plant one of these Fire-Dex boots where the sun don’t shine!!!!!!!!
- Montana: Well the budget didn’t include pants. What can I say…
- Mark W: Oh boy, that’s what I get for not wearing Fire-Dex from head to toe!
- Robert: Lady Gaga – you aint got nothing on me.
- Danielle: Now tell me the truth…do these boots make my butt look big??!!
- Will: I’m to SEXY for my pants to sexy for my pants, I’m so sexy.
- Brad: What happens in Fire-Dex Boots…. stays in Fire-Dex Boots!!
- Edward: Fire-dex boots so tuff they make me Chuck Norris approved.
- Mark T: This is my good side, why are you laughing?
Stay tuned to our Facebook page for our more giveaways and updates!
Robert, please email your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether the materials are flammable, toxic or radioactive, firefighters have been called to the scene to address a host of precarious cleanups over the years. Their flame-retardant gear, protective masks and breathing apparatus made them the best candidates for dealing with the unpredictable nature of hazardous chemicals since nobody else knew how to deal with some of these deadly combinations.
Many people believe the first firefighter hazardous materials, or hazmat, cleanup scenarios involved the dangers of gunpowder near fire. As industry evolved, so did hazmat cleanup efforts, but not without some grave sacrifices from the fire department. These incidents paved the road for future hazmat cleanup protocol and safety:
1964: In Marshalls Creek, Pennsylvania, a truck carrying explosives caught on fire. The driver parked the truck on the side of the road without warning placards and ran to call for assistance. Firefighters arrived at the scene to extinguish the flames, but they didn’t realize the truck could explode at any time. As a result, three firefighters and some bystanders were killed during a massive explosion. Since then, warning placards on vehicles carrying hazardous materials have become commonplace.
1970: Large explosions in Crescent City, Illinois, were caused by something most firefighters hadn’t dealt with—Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion (BLEVE). Train cars full of LP gas wrecked and destroyed the local pumping station. As a result, firefighters didn’t have enough water to extinguish the blaze. Despite help from firefighters in neighboring communities, it was difficult to fight the flames. The tank cars that were filled with flammable vapors exploded, and 60 firefighters incurred injuries.
1975: In Manhattan, a telephone switching building for the New York City Telephone Exchange caught on fire. Wires with plastic coatings burned throughout the building, causing a billow of toxic smoke. Firefighters extinguishing the fire weren’t wearing breathing apparatus, and they inhaled doses of the hazardous smoke. Unfortunately, many of the firefighters who helped to extinguish the blaze incurred respiratory problems and cancer, while some even died.
These experiences prompted the establishment of safety protocol and the evolution of more protective equipment to help firefighters successfully tackle similar situations.
Remember the Fire-Dex “Kickin’ It…Summer 2011” boot promotion?
Well, it was such a hit, we’re extending it. So, join our Facebook community and watch for caption contests and other opportunities to enter to win a brand new pair of Fire-Dex leather fire boots. To date, we have awarded three firefighters with these comfortable, athletic fire boots: Brian Berry, Adam Thompson and Chris Anderson.
But wait, there’s more! After all, Fire-Dex IS One Brand Head to Toe. In addition to giving away a pair of boots at the end of the month, we are also giving away a fire helmet in the middle of the month.
Helmets and boots – One Brand Head to Toe
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
When motorized vehicles first appeared at the turn of the last century, it didn’t take long to adapt the technology to fire apparatus. In fact, the earliest motorized vehicles in fire departments were actually runabouts, or standard production model automobiles, assigned to chief officers. It soon became clear that there many advantages to using motorized vehicles, including durability (horses tired when forced to run long distances) and economical (motorized vehicles were less expensive to operate). Nevertheless, some firefighters were reluctant to adopt the new vehicles, remaining loyal to their horse-drawn apparatus. It took many years for the switch to occur nationwide. Here are a few highlights of that time period.
- In 1906, Waterous delivered a motorized pumper, equipped with two gasoline-powered motors, one for propulsion and the other for pumping, to the Radnor Fire Company of Wayne, Pennsylvania.
- In 1906, the city of Springfield, Massachusetts, purchased a Combination Ladder Company squad body constructed on a Knox chassis.
- By the end of 1906, Knox and Combination Ladder Company, originally a manufacturer of horse-drawn apparatus, advertised an assortment of motorized apparatus for fire departments.
- In 1909, the Tea Tray Company manufactured the first triple combination pumper on an American Mors chassis. It included a pump, hose bed and chemical tanks. Prior to this, most had operated as two-piece companies, using both a steamer and a separate hose wagon.
- In 1909, the International Motor Company (now Mack Trucks) delivered a motorized tractor to Allentown, Pennsylvania that may have been the country’s first ladder truck. It was used to power a ladder truck that up until then had been horse-drawn.
- In 1910, American LaFrance manufactured a combination chemical hose wagon for Lenox, Massachusetts.
- In 1911, Ahrens-Fox introduced a motorized pumper with the piston pump located at the front of the vehicle. This was in stark contrast to similar vehicles that stored the pump either under or behind the driver’s seat.
- In 1912, Christie Front Drive Auto Company started to manufacture two-wheel tractors that were used to motorize fleets of horse-drawn steamers, ladder trucks and water towers. This market, which lasted about 10 years, made it possible for fire departments to continue to use their horse-drawn apparatus during the interim time period.
- During the 1920s, the quad came into being. It was a stretched triple combination pumper chassis that also carried ground ladders. This provided an option for fire departments that didn’t need to service high buildings, allowing them to save on the purchase of a ladder truck.
- In 1928, Pirsch introduced the first custom-built enclosed cab fire apparatus for the city of Monroe, Wisconsin. Considered to be ahead of its time, these did not replace open-cab pumpers until the 1950s.
Pictured above is a horse-drawn steam fire engine made in Seneca Falls, New York in 1896 from the American Museum of Natural History website.
Allen Rom is the Senior Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast states of VA, NC, SC, GA and FL. He also handles most of the export business for Fire-Dex. Most people, who know Fire-Dex, know Allen Rom. He can be seen visiting current dealers, calling directly on Fire Departments and attending trade shows and conferences.
We recently interviewed Allen and received many lively responses! Enjoy and the next time you see Allen at your firehouse, tradeshow or dealer, be sure to say hi. He likes chatting with anyone associated with the fire world.
What is your best advice to Fire-Dex clients?
“Learn about the different materials and features and options Fire-Dex offers. Don’t accept what some dealer keeps in stock for some city 200 miles away. Buy what’s right for your department.”
How is Fire-Dex better than their competitors?
- Construction. Gear is put together very well. Lockstitch sewing, double-felled double needled seams, etc.
- Options. 90% of the gear that leaves Fire-Dex is built for a specific fire department. They get to select materials, closures, pockets, reinforcements and most importantly sizes that are right for them and their department.
- Ease of doing business. Our people are approachable, responsible and, most importantly, available.
- Fun. We have fun doing business and that is reflected in our dealer base. Without a strong – successful – happy dealer base, we are nowhere.
Tell us 3 things people don’t know about you.
- I had a scholarship offer to play football at Kenyon College.
- I am a huge fan of James Bond, all action movies and Howard Stern. My honeymoon was in Jamaica, We went to Ian Fleming‘s home, GoldenEye.
- I had the second lead in high school music. I know, you can laugh now. J
What are your hobbies and interests?
- Anything with the family.
- Movies and TV: Entourage. Rescue Me. This Old House.
- Driving rental cars.