Known by a variety of acronyms such as RIV (Rapid Intervention Vehicle), QRV (Quick Response Vehicle), and Combined Agent Vehicle (CAV), fire departments sometimes have requirements for commercial chassis trucks (Ford, GMC/Chevrolet, RAM, etc.) with aircraft rescue and firefighting applications at civilian airports and military airbases. These may have a 100, 300, or 500 US gallon water tank and associated foam concentrate tank (or premix) with a properly sized dry chemical (potassium bicarbonate or “Purple-K”) system as well.
Often found in use at General Aviation, FAA Index A and sometimes FAA Index B airports, they may also be utilized in parallel with major Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting (ARFF) vehicles even at larger index civilian airports. As with any vehicle or mobile asset in use at an airport, what happens when one of these trucks is out of service for maintenance, major repair or service, or even a potential commercial chassis OEM recall? After all, the airport requires continuous protection by these units to properly sustain flight operations.
One option is to rent a secondary market or used ARFF vehicle that can be placed promptly into service. An initial challenge could be locating an existing or pre-owned commercial chassis RIV, QRV, or CAV to rent expeditiously and have in service within approximately 48 hours. There are not typically many of these units available in the secondary marketplace so having or finding one for availability could be immediately problematic. However, there is another path to consider!
If not already familiar, the historical US military P-19 ARFF is a configuration that has been in their (i.e. United States Air Force) fleets for decades. For military applications, the P-19 is a relatively smaller ARFF vehicle in order to be air transportable on a Lockheed Hercules C130 cargo aircraft. In spite of the reduced size, it still carries 1000 gallons of water, 100 gallons of foam concentrate, and has a dry chemical system as well. Built on a 4×4 custom ARFF cab and chassis, the P-19 definitely meets acceleration and mobility requirements for civilian airports. Most (if not nearly all) of the used P-19 units were built on an Oshkosh cab/chassis and still can be readily serviced and even refurbished today.
So, a used P-19 ARFF that is available today exceeds the requirements of a conventional RIV or CAV on a commercial chassis and may actually make economic sense when considering a rental path rather than a new unit purchase with associated production lead times. First and foremost, the used P-19 ARFF will at least provide the required fire protection to continue operations.
Where do you find a pre-owned and fully serviced P-19 ARFF that is ready to rent?
With several units in their fleet, one primary source is Company Two (https://www.companytwofire.com/) located in South Carolina. Typically with at least one or two pre-owned P-19 ARFF units to deploy for rentals, they should be the first source to call. Of course, with the Company Two fleet, other used ARFF vehicle configurations are also available for rental including 4×4 units with 1500 gallon water tank and 6×6 rigs with 3000 gallon water tanks.
Outside the above option with Company Two, other potential sources for used ARFF vehicles that may be rented include Fire Trucks Unlimited (https://www.firetrucksunlimited.com/) in Nevada and Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus (www.firetruckmall.com) in Alabama.
Consider the possibilities beyond the conventional when a rapid intervention vehicle is needed at your airport.