changes or conditions to the pumping system. The
operator no longer needs to focus on pump pressure,
feathering valves, and selecting water sources—the
truck does it all. The operator can focus on the CREW!
S.A.M. is connected to the same electronic network
that has always been on fire trucks, and it talks to this
network to make the same changes a real person would
if he were standing at the pump panel. This means that
fire apparatus manufacturers get to install components
that they are familiar with; the mechanical components
on the truck will not change at all! S.A.M. is programmed to open and close valves, set the pressure for
the pressure governor, select intakes for water supply,
and alert the crew if there are any problems. S.A.M.
monitors all aspects of the pump operation constantly
so that you don’t have to. The operator has a tablet that
he can carry around the scene so he is always in touch
with S.A.M. The black box interfaces with the pump
valves. It’s an all-digital system.
This next generation of fire apparatus will change
the definition of a truck operator. It allows the opera-
tor to control and monitor the truck from anywhere
on the scene. This will allow the operator to set the
pressure and continue focusing on the crew and not
how the truck is operating. Should any issues arise
with the system or the water supply, S.A.M. will deal
with it and notify the operator immediately. The
operator and crew can work side by side. When it’s
time to flow water, the operator can speak to the crew
directly while standing next to them and not have to
speak over the radio. A simple press of a button and
the truck will deliver the requested pressure. Addi-
tional benefits of the system include the following:
• The operator can move freely about the scene
performing manual tasks. This will provide a
perceived increase in staffing.
• The operator can now focus on the crew and not
the operation of the components of a fire pump.
• During road incidents, the operator can pump
from a protected location at all times.
• Increased visibility for the operator at all types of
incidents. The operator will no longer be stuck
behind the pump panel with no view of the scene.
• Decreased radio traffic between the operator and
crew as it pertains to water flow.
• Fewer mistakes from less experienced operators.
• Operate accessories remotely using a single
• Steady pressures, less water hammer, and less pressure dumping when pumping multiple lines.
SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY
What I like about this concept and technology is
that it doesn’t eliminate the engineer or motor pump
operator on the engine. He still has to know the
operation of the vehicle and how to pump the engine
manually. What’s also nice is that the controller will
tell you in plain language if anything is wrong so you
can correct it.
Since April, one of the units has been installed
on St. Louis Engine 10 and has been working well.
Cerrano hopes to interest the various fire apparatus
manufacturers to have the product installed as an
option sometime in the next year. As Cerrano states,
after receiving multiple patents for this design he
hopes the design will bring both safety and efficiency
on the fireground.
I think this new concept will take off and is
definitely thinking out of the box for pump control. I
am planning to follow this new design to see how it
plays out in the future.
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.
Above: S.A.M. tablet
for remote operation.
Left: S.A.M. pump