ATL : The Atlanta Newspaper

Vol. 21, No. 23

Thursday, June 8, 1995

Written by: Carey Adams (Staff Writer)

Never fear, the Jaguar is here

The K-15 Jaguar is technically-advanced fire truck designed to contain and extinguish aircraft fires with more speed and precision than standards fire trucks.

Fire equipment demonstration attract attention

Flames and smoke shooting 100 feet the air at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport Friday afternoon drew more attention than airport officials expected.

 

The commotion was merely an Atlanta Fire Department demonstration of new fire equipment.

 

Simulating an airplane fire, Hartsfield displayed its newest, state-of-the-art "crash truck," capable of fighting the most disastrous of fires.

 

The K-15 Jaguar is a technically advanced fire truck, designed to contain and extinguish aircraft fires, with more speed and precision than the standard fire trucks. The Jaguar can reach speed up to 83 miles per hour and go from 0 to 50 in less than 20 seconds, fast for a fire truck.

 

Commonly known as a crash truck, the truck is capable of hauling 1,500 gallons of water and 100 gallons of foam, and can extend its boon nearly 300 feet, three times the length of what other fire trucks can produce.

The truck is also capable of moving the most inclement weather conditions, as the truck has an infrared imaging visual system on board which gives it the ability to see where it is going at all times as well as having a Global Positioning System, which can map and pinpoint any position on the airfield.

 

According to Hartsfield officials, the technologically advanced fire truck makes Hartsfield the most disaster-ready airport in the world.

 

"This puts us above everybody else. It provides a better management for safety," said Charlie Duncan, Hartsfield's fire chief.

 

Duncan said the truck's ability to move at greater speeds than the present fire trucks and its ability to pinpoint the best area contain a fire will reduce the time it takes to reach a scene and save more lives in the event of a plane crash.

 

The truck, which is designed by Colet, a special vehicle design company, also has an "active reactive-interactive" suspension system which allows it to adjust itself to the road and weather conditions to provide better traction.

 

Raffie Colet, vice president of operations of Colet, said it is " the most advanced crash truck in the world" and Ralph Colet, the president of the company and the designer of the truck said the world has never seen anything like it.

 

"It is the most advanced vehicle on Earth of its type and is the most potent fire fighting machine on this Earth," said Colet.

 

Though the truck is considered the most advanced of its kind, Hartsfield firefighters have some work ahead of them. Because of the operator's lack of training on the new equipment, the truck's foaming and water system malfunctioned during the simulation. Because of the error, the truck only displayed half of its power, enlisting the help of the present Hartsfield fire trucks to extinguish the flames during the demonstration.

 

Colet said the truck is not intended to be the only fighting source and is considered to be used to contain fires "until support vehicles arrive."

 

The airport plans to order three more of the $500,000 K-15 Jaguars and four K-40R Jaguars, a larger truck, which is capable of hauling 4,000 gallons of water and foam.

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