State of the art technology to fight fires could be five times more effective and save lives

Willoughby Hills Fire considering new technology for their Engine

Willoughby Hills Fire demonstrates high-tech firefighting equipment

WILLOUGHBY HILLS, Ohio (WOIO) - State of the art technology is being put to the test by a local fire department.

The hope is that the new firefighting tool could help save lives.

Just down the hill from the Willoughby Hills Fire Department, a side by side comparison of traditional firefighting equipment and the new age tools were on display as nine junk cars were in the lot prepared to be set on fire, two at a time.

Bales of hay and other items were put inside the cars to help them burn a little faster.

Willoughby Hills Fire Chief Robert Gandee tells 19 News the new technology is “an ultra high pressure water system.”

“They use it for fighting fires,” Chief Gandee said. “Essentially it’s using a very high pressure, around 1200 psi, and what happens is through the nozzle that’s used through the system it’s created an ultra fine mist that allows the heat from fires to be absorbed more readily. It makes it up to fives times more effective.”

Chief Gandee says this is something his department wanted to try out first and see if it would enhance the department’s extinguishment times and overall effectiveness on fires.

“We’re looking at using this on some of our vehicles fires, wildfires, and even airport crash fire protection since we’re in close proximity to Cuyahoga County Airport,” Chief Gandee said.

The technology would only use about 20 to 30 gallons of water as compared to 100 gallons or more on a car fire, and that’s extremely beneficial if the fire is on a freeway where hydrants are not available.

But the technology is also about safety.

“So the idea is getting us off the freeway quicker, and hit the fire quicker especially if someone is in danger,” Chief Gandee tells 19 News.

The technology is through PyroUHP and is called PyroBlitz. It was developed by the Air Force and is currently being used by 750 departments across the country, but none in Ohio.

Doug Eno who is the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Company says it also cuts down on cancer causing agents, and the technology can be used on smaller trucks, like those similar to the size of those often used by battalion chiefs.

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