Airport rolls out new foam firefighting vehicle

The Bob Hope Airport put into service on Monday a firefighting vehicle that’s the first of its kind in the country because it delivers more concentrated foam to knock down fuel-related aircraft fires, officials said.

The vehicle is equipped with a compressed-air foam system that uses less water than systems now deployed at other airports in the United States, officials said.

The higher concentration of foam allows the substance to adhere better to burning surfaces, which are typically more volatile when they involve aircraft carrying heavy fuel loads.

The vehicle cost $619,519, but a federal grant covered about 80% of the bill, said airport spokesman Victor Gill.

The remainder of the cost was covered by revenues generated from a $4.50 facility charge levied on each passenger departing the airport, he said.

The vehicle’s air-compressed system cost an additional $23,712, paid for by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, which owns the airfield. Officials are to be reimbursed through passenger facility charges, pending an application and approval by the Federal Aviation Administration, he added.

The new vehicle, built by Rosenbauer-America, has a 150-foot stream range that allows it to extinguish hard-to-reach fires, airport officials said.

Its controls are designed so that one driver can operate the vehicle and its foam system. The vehicle also has its own fire-protection system, which lets it move through burning fuel and clear rescue paths.

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