September 7, 2021
I recently had the opportunity to hang on to a First Out machine that was delayed in delivery. So I got together with the great team at Falkus Media and I asked them to make a short video about the machine and its features.
If you live or work in a wildland or interface zone, this machine is really worth a look. It is specially designed to get into hard to reach areas and work conservatively. I put it in terms of resource management;
– The foremost important resource that anyone has is manpower. Hauling heavy hose and tools through the bush can burn out anyone in minutes. We use smaller diameter hose with a coating that slides over logs and snags, with the added benefit of being able to fit more length on the reel. The reel itself has a powered retract with remote so you aren’t burning energy reloading hose for redeployments, you don’t even have to walk back to the truck to roll it in. The high pressure stream can move leaves and needles, not to say you can throw your shovel away but it is surprising how quickly a person can wash in a fire guard with very little effort.
This unit has centralized, labeled controls that are intuitively easy to use. Being able to run the machine with minimal training is important in the event you’re not around to run it yourself.
– The second most important resource is time. We all know how quickly a lightning strike turns into a serious issue. Because it’s built small for a pickup truck with an extra long hose reel the 1st Out has the best chance of reaching the site and hitting the fire before it grows into a real problem. Deployment is quick; turn the key, load the pressure, grab the hose and run. And if you’re dealing with multiple hotspots, the 1st Out can wrap-up and redeploy in about the same amount of time.
– The final important resource is water. I feel there is a balance to be found between the usefulness of pressure for conserving water and the need to put agua on the flames. Traditional centrifugal pumps do anything from 20-200GPM at 50-150 PSI, loads of BTU killing water but lacking punch, and not great for water conservation. Most UHP units feature triplex pumps putting out 3-8GPM at 2000-3500PSI, The pressure is good, but I think they are overdoing it, after all you do have to put some water on the fire. The diaphragm pump we use does 14GPM at 400PSI. I think it’s a bit of a goldilocks zone for the application. It also allows for good operation of the suction venturi, which can grab shallow dirty surface water and put it straight into the tank where it can get filtered, not through the pump, which is another important water consideration.
It’s easy to see a lot of thought and planning goes into the design of a good machine and we did our level best to incorporate all the best features of a wildland unit into ours.
Have a watch!