We talk with Oshkosh Corporation about Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting, or ARFF. Oshkosh Corporation builds tough specialty trucks and access equipment, and Oshkosh Airport Products designs and produces ARFF and snow removal vehicles.
Jason Shively is the Director of Engineering at Oshkosh Corporation and Jack Bermingham is a Senior Product Manager. We talk about ARFF vehicles, specifically the Striker line that Oshkosh produces.
These ARFF trucks aren’t your garden variety municipal file trucks. These are 2, 3, and even 4-axle trucks with 700-800 HP coming from an 18-liter diesel engine. Oshkosh doesn’t buy a chassis from somebody and build a body on top of it. These are purpose-built vehicles.
We talk about how fire fighting at the airport is different than at other locations, and that typically firefighters first create a safe exit path for the passengers, then address the aircraft fire. Jason and Jack explain how ARFF trucks must self-contain all the fire suppression materials and have to quickly respond to accidents that may be in difficult, off-tarmac locations.
ARFF trucks utilize a high reach extendable turret (HRET) but the Oshkosh Snozzle® extendable boom can extend up to 65 feet in the air, put water directly into the aircraft engine, and even puncture the aircraft to deliver fire suppression agent to the interior.
Training is important for ARFF firefighters who may encounter traumatized passengers or passengers who are more concerned about their carryon luggage or creating viral videos of an accident.
As for the future of ARFF, we can look forward to advances in vehicle autonomy, connectedness, and electric power for fewer emissions.
ARFF Working Group – The largest professional organization of aviation firefighters and industry experts worldwide.