New High-Tech Fire Trucks

The Air Force intends to buy at least 207 P-34 Rapid Intervention Vehicles, new 500-gallon fire trucks expected to enter production in late September. “This will be the first firefighting vehicle in the US Air Force to use new ultra-high-pressure firefighting technology,” said Jim Podolske of the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency. The RIV, built by Pierce Manufacturing of Bradenton, Fla., is based on a modified Ford F550 chassis. It will carry three firefighters and their equipment. It features a bumper-mounted UHP turret pump capable of discharging 60 gallons of firefighting agent per minute at 1,350 psi, making it a more effective firefighting tool than older trucks. The RIVs, costing less than $160,000 each, will replace legacy P-19 trucks. Every installation will receive at least one P-34, while fighter bases and larger bases will receive multiple units. Tyndall AFB, Fla., will receive the first one. (Tyndall report by John Burt)