WFC News

Posted: Mar 18, 2019

Glick Fire Equipment Opens New Service Center and Expands Mobile Service Fleet

APPLETON, WI—Pierce Manufacturing Inc. announced that its authorized dealer in Pennsylvania, Glick Fire Equipment, opened a new service center in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, and expanded its mobile service fleet to a total of 18 units. Each mobile service truck is fully-stocked and led by a knowledgeable technician dedicated to emergency, routine, and maintenance service calls across Pennsylvania. In response to increased fire apparatus sales and service requests in Montgomery County and the surrounding communities, the Hatfield Service Center opened in late 2018.

“Fire departments are more confident purchasing apparatus when there is convenient access to service centers and mobile units that can handle all of their service needs,” said Chris Witkowski, Operations Manager for Glick Fire Equipment. “The new service center and expanded mobile fleet throughout the state helps streamline our operation and improves access to specialized technicians and parts. Initial reception from our customers has been fantastic.” 

All Glick Fire Equipment service centers are staffed by factory-trained technicians and offer 24-hour emergency parts and service, accident repair and refurbishment, preventive maintenance, custom equipment mounting, NFPA upgrades, annual inspections, pump testing facilities, and more. Glick mobile service trucks are equipped to provide all service offerings except for inspections, with work completed at the department or a location of choice.

“The commitment the Glick Fire Equipment team has shown in their efforts to serve Pierce customers in Pennsylvania is admirable,” said  David Harrison, vice president of aftermarket, Pierce Manufacturing. “Opening the Hatfield Service Center and expanding the mobile service fleet is a testament to Glick’s dedication. Providing these additional resources will help further extend the lifespan of Pierce fire apparatus and support the critical work of those in fire service.” 

With the addition of the new service center and mobile units, Glick Fire Equipment now operates a total of four service centers, two full-service paint and body shops, and a sizeable mobile service fleet totaling 18 units. In addition to expanded service offerings, Glick Fire Equipment technicians are the first in the nation to become certified for Pierce® Ascendant® welding.

For more information about Pierce Manufacturing and the Glick Fire Equipment service center and mobile unit expansion, visit

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Posted: Mar 18, 2019

Rurally Speaking—MVAs: To Stretch or not to Stretch

By Carl J. Haddon

When you arrive at the scene of an MVA, is it your department’s SOP to stretch and charge a line? Perhaps a better question would be, do you ever deploy and charge a line at the scene of an accident? Beyond the matter of departmental SOPs, why or why wouldn’t you use this tactic?

This is not by any means a “rural” set of questions or issue. I’ve recently asked fellow firefighters/officers this same set of questions from departments of all shapes, sizes, and locations. The most common answer I’ve received is: “It’s our SOP, we should, but most often we don’t.”

I can certainly see an argument for both sides. Simple intersection T-bone, non injury, “nothing burger,” why stretch? Rurally speaking, a vehicle dodging an elk on a two-lane highway, swerves, overcorrects and rolls the vehicle. If there are no obvious signs of fire and no fuel leakage, why would I want to deploy a line and block the entire highway if I don’t have to? Allow me to add a new wrinkle to your thought process.

Vehicles have changed dramatically. The addition of Class D (combustible) metals and Lithium Ion batteries will (or should) make you rethink whether or not to stretch that line at the site of a crash. If for no other reason, you might want to consider doing it for your crew’s personal safety.

A typical highway vehicle that is five to 10 years old on the road today contains an average of 35 pounds of combustible metal (mostly magnesium). By this time next year, in 2020, the average vehicle sold around the country/world will contain an average of 300 pounds of various combustible metals. By the way, have you had the unforgettable experience of trying to extinguish 300 pounds of burning, white hot metal that explodes when you hit it with water? Granted, the number of vehicles that spontaneously burst into a full blown Class D fire is pretty nonexistent. However, there is a new-ish fuse, or accelerant, for this mass of combustible metals found in today’s new hybrid and electric vehicles. It is known as the Lithium Ion battery.

Lithium Ion batteries catch fire because of a process called “thermal runaway.” Thermal runaway is usually (but not exclusively) caused by one of two things: a malfunction of the charging system or physical damage (i.e. accidents). I won’t bore you with a lot of the science, however it is important to know where these batteries are located and how they burn. My personal/professional experiences with burning Lithium Ion batteries is that they sound like a small jet engine and resemble a small erupting volcano. Lithium Ion batteries have many cells. When they ignite, they spew molten copper and aluminum (great for turnout gear); they look like a blow torch; they off gas hydrogen, which makes for secondary flash fires; and the smoke produced (preignition through overhaul) by burning Lithium Ion batteries is wicked toxic.

Lithium Ion batteries are generally located beneath the floor in the rear seat area, or in older models they are “L” shaped, and basically conform to the shape of the back seat. Many hybrids will have a small gas tank located directly behind the vertical portion of the battery in the trunk area (just to make the firefight easier). European testing on these vehicle-sized Lithium Ion batteries shows that (if you can get to them) it takes an average of 3,000 gallons of water to be able to knock one of these batteries (to reduce the auto ignition temperature). It is not uncommon for it to take 45 minutes to fight one of these car fires with the Lithium Ion battery going off. Additionally, it is also not uncommon to have reignition some 48 hours later because of ongoing thermal runaway.

If trying to get to a burning Lithiu

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Posted: Mar 18, 2019

One dead in 2-alarm apartment fire in Seattle neighborhood

A person was found dead after a fire broke out in an apartment complex east of the International District early Monday morning. The fire started at about 12:30 a.m. in the 1400 block of E. Yesler Way, and when crews arrived, they could see flames coming from one of the upper floors of the four-story complex.
- PUB DATE: 3/18/2019 2:06:47 AM - SOURCE: KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000
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Posted: Mar 18, 2019

New Hampshire fire chief fires back on city’s Safe Station

The city’s fire chief is firing back after an alderman announced on social media over the weekend his intent to make a motion this week to shut down the Safe Station program. On Friday, Alderman at Large Joe Kelly Levasseur posted a message on his personal Facebook page, stating that 61 percent of those accessing Safe Stations in Manchester “are from somewhere else.
- PUB DATE: 3/18/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Union Leader
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Posted: Mar 18, 2019

Stretch of I-15 dedicated to fallen California firefighter Cory Iverson

A swath of Interstate 15 that runs through Escondido was dedicated Saturday in honor of Cory Iverson, a North County Cal Fire firefighter who died battling the Thomas Fire in 2017. “Corey Iverson is a hometown hero,” said California Assemblymember Marie Waldron, who started the effort to get the freeway naming approved by the Legislature.
- PUB DATE: 3/18/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The San Diego Union Tribune - Metered Site
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