Compartment Corner: Orlando (FL) Fire Department’s 2021 Sutphen, Engine 11

Fire Apparatus Magazine | March 15, 2022
By: Mike Ciampo

The city of Orlando is known for its amusement parks and attractions, so many don’t see the daily acts performed by the city’s bravest: the fire department. Beyond running the typical daily calls that many departments run, they also operate in the parks on technical rescue calls and to assist the park’s response teams with emergency medical incidents. Although those technical rescue incidents are low frequency, runs to the park can increase due to the warm weather.

An increase in medical calls can be the norm for many units. Across the city, large neighborhoods and commercial complexes exist and need fire and EMS protection. A good distance from all the attractions, on the east side of the city, is where you’ll find Engine Company 11. It’s housed with Tower 11, Rescue 11, and District Chief 4. They provided protection to numerous single-family-dwelling neighborhoods and have more than 100 garden apartments and commercial buildings in their district. The firehouse does its share of running and work, and it has earned the nickname of “The Beast of the East”.

Engine Company 11 recently received a 2021 Sutphen heavy-duty custom Monarch pumper. The cab is a five-person, 62-inch, extended tilt-cab with a 10-inch raised roof. It’s painted in the department’s color scheme—black over red. The black paint also encompasses the upper portion of the apparatus body over the roll-up compartments. Running along the base of the cab and around the entire body of the apparatus is red, black, and gold reflective striping for apparatus visibility in the periods of reduced lighting.

The front cab door signage is the department’s Maltese Cross with the ISO Class One running through the center of it. On the crew cab doors, the company patch is proudly displayed. The logo portrays the cartoon character Yosemite Sam with a nozzle in one hand and an axe in the other. Also on the crew cab doors is signage that states: “Outstanding Service Since 1885”. The front of the cab sports a LED brow light to illuminate the incident scene. In addition, the front grill has a unique feature: “Orlando” is laser-cut into the stainless steel grill, giving it a nice appearance.

The rig is powered by a Cummins L9 450hp diesel engine with an Allison Gen5-EVS 3000 automatic transmission. The department went with a Hendrickson Steering Max 45° and a 176-inch wheelbase, enabling the engine to be ready for urban duty and maneuver in tight spaces, such as the garden apartment complexes located throughout the city. The pump is a Hale Qmax 1,500-gpm single-stage pump with a pre-piped deluge gun.

The body is a different style compared to the previous purchases of Sutphen apparatus the department has received. It has a lower hose bed, measuring 60 inches from the ground to the base of the bed. This enables firefighters to pull attack lines without having to stand up on the rear step, thus reducing the chances of a slip or fall injury. Most of the attack lines come off the rear of the apparatus, there are four rear discharges with three having 1 ¾-inch lines and one 2 ½-inch attack line.

The rig is somewhat unique in that it has no cross-lay hose lines—there’s compartment space in that area. The hose bed also allows for storage of 1,000 feet of four-inch supply line and 500 feet of three-inch hose. There is also a quick-release safety net that keeps the hose from falling off when the vehicle is in motion and enables a firefighter to release it while standing on the ground. The other hose line area is located on the front bumper trough where a trash line can be stored. On the officer’s side of the bumper, it has a five-inch elbow intake mounted on it. The front bumper also sports a safety chevron design with reflective striping and company designation.

The apparatus body has high-side roll-up compartments on the engineer’s side. On the officer’s side, there are shorter compartments which also have roll-up doors. The roll-up compartment doors on the exterior of the body are made by Amdor. Stored above the officer’s low side compartments is the engine’s complement of portable ladders. The engine’s ladder package is made up of Alco-Lite ladders with a 24-foot extension ladder (PEL-24), 14-foot roof ladder (PRL-14), and a 10-foot folding ladder. They are lowered by an electric/hydraulic ladder rack to a height where it makes removal easier for firefighters. There’s also a long storage trough for the company’s high-rise hose packs mounted above these compartments. There are quick-release buckles on the securing straps to speed up the process of removing these hose bundles.

The rear step compartment does not have a roll-up door; it has standard-hinged doors. In this rear compartment the company stores its foam containers, foam nozzle, and the foam eductor. The rear of the apparatus also has the DOT safety chevrons adhered to it for scene safety.

In the rear compartment on the engineer’s side, the unit carries a variety of hand tools for forcible entry, its set of irons, 36-inch bolt cutter, cable cutter, and sledgehammer. On the upper tray the Stryker stair chair for medical runs is stored. On the base of the compartment the Elkhart Brass Ram XD is stored with a straight tip on it, the fog tip is secured in a bracket to the left of the portable monitor. Traffic cones are also stored inside this compartment to help provide additional scene safety. In the rear compartment on the officer’s side, the unit stores all its emergency medical equipment.

Engine 11 will surely see its share of running and work on the east side of the city. Its Sutphen pumper will make the workload much easier and safer for all the firefighters during their responses.


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