S mar t
“What is great for us is that the articulating
55-foot design allows firefighters to go up
and over for fire attack and rescue opera-
tions,” Wilson says. “Parapets, electrical
lines, and antennas don’t get in the way of
The Snorkel is lightweight enough that
it can be mounted on a single axle, short
wheelbase chassis, providing maneuverabil-
ity to go up driveways, back down alleys,
and work around cul-de-sacs for better
placement. It also has A frame; narrow
spread jacks of only 11 feet, nine inches;
and a low overall travel height of 11 feet,
The vehicle is also an ALS-equipped
paramedic engine with medical equipment
and extended front bumper with Hurst
tool equipment. It also has standard engine
company fittings, saws, forcible entry tools,
and a 10-k W Harrison hydraulic generator.
The Snorkel carries 400 feet of four-inch
large-diameter hose, 600 feet of three-inch
hose, two 200 foot lengths of 1¾-inch
attack lines, and 200 feet of 2½-inch skid
“It was great dealing with Smeal/LTC,”
Wilson says. “They really did due diligence on any problems that came up with
the build and corrected them as soon as
The FFPD did its homework on its
newly designed Snorkel. Members took an
older concept; modernized the operations
to adapt; and now have a highly maneuverable, compact aerial that suits their
response district’s needs.
They looked at their response district and
designed for practicality, ease of operation,
and safety for their firefighters, taking into
account the types of structures and tight
streets and building a multipurpose aerial for less
cost than a larger type ladder platform.
Maybe this might not be the right combination
for your department, but thinking outside the box
and saving money should be two of your main areas
Bob Vaccaro has more than 40 years of fire service experience.
He is a former chief of the Deer Park (NY) Fire Department.
Vaccaro has also worked for the Insurance Services Office, the
New York Fire Patrol, and several major commercial insurance
companies as a senior loss-control consultant. He is a life
member of the IAFC.
To read more from Bob Vaccaro,
The Frankfort Fire Protection District was
formed in 1962 to provide fire protection
to the residents. Today, the district serves
approximately 47,000 people over 42 square
miles and is a full-time career department
with 64 members who staff five fire stations
serving the Village of Frankfort, Frankfort
Township, Green Garden Township, and a portion of the village of Mokena.