FDNY/DCAS RFP issued for prototype apparatus

May 25, 2020
As far as design, there is no 1 size fits all here in the US. Ive sat on the spec committee for my dept for just about every truck we have and learned a lot about trucks in general from the different makers. Most departments want or need multiple options to deploy handling. The mantra here is wet stuff goes on the red stuff, and we go home.
Every municipality in the US has different needs which in turn dictates what style of truck they require. Some dept maybe ground ladder heavy because of their area while others may be more of a squad or do it all style. Another big driver is water tank size. Tanks up to 1500 gallons is not uncommon. Which eats up compartment space. Another big thing is pump size. Average in the US I'd say is prob in the 1500 gpm range. Though 2000s are becoming more popular. This also dictates what size engine and transmission the unit will have. We also have a National group called NFPA or Nation Fire Protection Agency. ( or No Free Publications Anywhere) They have there hands in every aspect of firefighting, inspections, equipment, testing etc. Theres a vast library of rules they have for anything and everything. And this will play into US trucks.

I looked at Rosenbauers site looking for more info on the electric engine. Keeping in mind its still a new concept, I noticed a few glaring discrepancies between that unit and say a comparable Sutphen or E-One both of which I've driven and operated. This would apply to any major manufacturers.
1 it has more marketing specs then anything else. Shows some genreal specs but not much in the way of sizes. Just about every manufacturer will say x amount of compartment space, options available, pump options, like side mount vs top mount etc. Heights and dimensions were missing also. The growing trend is to get the hosebeds down lower to prevent injuries when deploying lines. This truck didn't have much or at least the one download I could find.

This truck is listed to carry up to 750 gallons of water. A lot of depts I know of require 1000 or more.

Another 1 is pump size up to 1750 gpms. 2000 is becoming more standard.

I can't find anything on heights and sizes but the layout of the hosebed eats a lot of real estate. Looking at the truck you lose a significant amount of storage on the sides. This could be significant for some departments.
The amount of hose capacity Is another thing. My engines carry between 1200 and 1500 feet of 5 inch supply. The RTX capacity is on 1000.
Alot of this probably is a trade off as a standard unit has plenty ty of options s in the hp dept, where the RTX has sever limitations due to being battery powered.
Looking at the exploded diagram, the aux engine to charge the batteries is over the back axle, which not only eats more.real estate, but I don't even want to think about trying to get to it to work on it.
Maybe eventually, some of these things will get worked out, but if I were specing a truck right now, and this came up from a vendor, I'd probably pass on it. At least for now.
Thank you for your detailed response! That's great to learn and much appreciated!

First of all, I would like to clarify that I certainly do not think that the RT should be the new standard fire truck that everyone has to use.
The cost of the vehicle alone, which is currently more than twice that of a standard vehicle, justifies if then only the use in fire departments that go to well over 1000 calls a year.

One can certainly say and recognize that the RT was first designed for the European market and has now been adapted as RTX for the North American market. But as you write, you do many things significantly different than we do. (Putting the wet stuff on the red stuff is also our mantra).
In addition, the gap between urban cities and the vast unsettled countryside in the U.S. and Canada is much wider than in Europe, especially this aspect should always be kept in mind when talking about the design of fire trucks.

Speaking for Germany, we have a standards committee, in some respects certainly similar to the NFPA, which makes a lot of specifications about what a fire truck has to look like and what it has to bring to the scene. We have standardized nine different engine types alone, with water tenders/tankers being an additional group of their own. These are always the minimum requirements, but also with hard limits, especially for weights, which play a major role here. In addition, there are a large number of regional guidelines from the various federal states.
The range goes from vehicles without a water tank, but with a small portable pump, without rescue equipment and a crew of six at 3,5t GVW (7700lbs.) to large rescue engines with a build in pump, water tank of 2000l (530gal), a crew of 9 and a lot of heavy rescue equipment at 16t GVW (35270lbs.).
The RT only comes into play here for the two upper fire truck models, as it is too large for everything else and the costs justify only this, if anything. As you can imagine, the majority of the vehicles is not at the end of the line.

Fire trucks in Germany have in most cases a water tank between 1000 and 2000 liters of water (about 265 to 530 gallons) and a pump capacity of 2000l/min (530gal/min). Of course, the performance requirements are quite different when I quadruple the pump capacity.

Because of the much smaller pump, our supply hose is also much narrower. Here, the standard for all vehicles calls for 14 lengths of 3 inch at 65 feet. (roughly 950 feet of 3 inches) In most cases, these are then distributed on a mobile reel at the rear or carried as roll hose.

At the end of the day we all have the same goal to get the fire out and to help people, but on the way to the goal there are some major differences.

You guys have the advantage that your fire truck suppliers can build customized chassis, there as we in Europe currently only use commercial chassis. This will be a big disadvantage in the not to far future, as we already start to struggle to build fire trucks on modern truck chassis with modern exhaust systems and which will be an even bigger problem with the change to electric truck chassis. As they don't fit the criteria for fire trucks and it will be impossible to build fire trucks in weight limits.