PCL makes bespoke inflation solution for emergency services

Dennis Campion ECFRS Reception Engineer using the bespoke inflation unit

Pneumatic Components (PCL) has developed a unique mobile tyre inflation solution for one of the largest fire and rescue services in the country.

Essex County Fire & Rescue Service (ECFRS) required a solution that would enable its fleet operators to inflate fire engine tyres up to the required psi, often 130psi or above, quickly, safely and efficiently.

Commercial fleets typically return to a single operating centre which has fixed air compressors and piped outlets. Although these ‘fixed’ installations deliver the higher pressures and volumes required for commercial fleets, it is cost prohibitive to install such systems at numerous rural or urban fire stations.

Garage forecourt inflation systems are only suited to cars, and with inflation pressures of 130psi (or higher) on many of ECFRS’s appliances, taking them to petrol stations is not a practical option.

Custom-made mobile hydrovane 240-volt compressor units are another option; however, these are cumbersome, costly, difficult to obtain spares for and present a trip hazard.

ECFRS’s fleet team had already explored using a breathing apparatus (BA) cylinder as a pressure vessel so it approached PCL to see if its capabilities in digital tyre inflation could be utilised to develop a bespoke solution.

PCL and ECFRS worked together to design and develop a prototype device, which features a fully charged BA cylinder connected to a pre-set digital gauge and inflation hose on a mobile unit for maximum manoeuvrability around the appliance bay.

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