Roberts Field, Redmond Municipal Airport
Oshkosh Airport Products Group has delivered and placed into service a new generation Striker® aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicle to Roberts Field, Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM) in Redmond, Ore., U.S.A. This new generation Striker 6 x 6 ARFF vehicle is the first production model of the prototype unit that was unveiled in the spring of 2010.
RDM is the fourth largest commercial service airport in the state, serving all of Central Oregon. It is owned and operated by the City of Redmond for the tri-county region. The airport daily offers approximately 46 arriving and departing flights to and from Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Mesa, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle. RDM also serves air cargo and general aviation traffic, including extensive corporate and business travel.
Officials from Redmond Fire and Rescue were closely involved in the entire final inspection and delivery process of their new Striker. “Prior to taking delivery, we conducted a final inspection at the Oshkosh manufacturing campus,” explains Dave Pickhardt, Redmond Fire and Rescue Department deputy fire chief. “The trip was an excellent opportunity to spend hours going over our new Striker, from top to bottom. We were able to meet the engineers who developed the vehicle. And that gave us the opportunity to put faces with the names of those we’d been working with as our Striker was developed.”
While at the Oshkosh manufacturing campus, Pickhardt toured a number of facilities. “We visited the testing and development center, and watched as vehicles and their components – such as suspensions, engines, and firefighting systems – were put through rigorous testing,” says Pickhardt. “We toured the manufacturing facilities and watched as other new generation Strikers were going down the assembly line. That was a fascinating experience.”
After the new generation Striker arrived in its new Redmond home, a trainer from Oshkosh Airport Products was on hand to assist with operator and technician training and support. “An expert from Oshkosh provided comprehensive technical training with our maintenance team as well as operational training with our ARFF firefighters,” recalls Pickhardt.
THE NEW STRIKER’S IMPACT
The new Striker has already made a big difference to Pickhardt and his team. “The new Striker immediately made a significant and positive impact on our emergency response capabilities,” he states. “For example, the TAK-4 independent suspension and Oshkosh rear steer system provide a giant leap forward in ride quality and maneuverability. And because RDM is a single-operator airport, having all controls easily accessible from the operator’s seat is a huge advantage. The central driving position, forward looking infrared (FLIR) system and backup camera provide our operators with excellent visibility under the toughest conditions.”
The Striker 6 x 6 features an all wheel drive axle configuration with Oshkosh TAK-4® all wheel independent suspension, and offers a smooth ride and excellent off road capabilities with a side slope stability of at least 30-degrees. The 700HP, Tier 4i/Euro 5 emissions compliant turbo charged engine is mated to a 7-speed electronic automatic transmission for smooth power delivery and a top speed greater than 70 mph (113 km/h).
A structural firefighting system includes crosslay discharges. The RDM vehicle is outfitted with a high volume, low attack bumper turret. “I spent a lot of time reviewing and evaluating the low attack bumper turret,” states Pickhardt. “This feature alone, with its high flow and dry chemical capabilities, is a big plus.”
The walk-in engine and power pack area, with doors on each side of the engine compartment, simplifies regular maintenance. In addition, there’s a single, easy to access area where all filters and fluid checks are available. “I’m not a mechanic,” adds Pickhardt, “but I can see that the easy access will be a huge bonus for our mechanics who are responsible for vehicle maintenance. And the automatic lube system will also reduce regular maintenance.”
RDM REVIEW: TWO THUMBS UP
What is the bottom line around Roberts Field now that the vehicle is in service? “The new Striker is easy to operate, outstanding to drive, and its firefighting systems are very smooth,” observes Chief Pickhardt. “I’ve driven it, pumped it, and crawled all over the new vehicle, and the overall design is excellent.”