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New high pressure engine increases capability to fight high rise fires

This engine can generate the needed pump pressure to deliver required flow into high-rise buildings’ fire protection systems.

By: Paige Hubbard 

HOUSTON – The Houston Fire Department now has a brand new “high pressure” fire engine.  Engine 8 was formally accepted June 26. The engine was placed in-service July 2nd.  Engine 8 is similar to other HFD engines in that it can be used at all the same fire incidents: car fires, trash fires, house, apartment, warehouse, and mid-rise fires. Where it differs is that it is also a “high-pressure engine”. This engine can generate the needed pump pressure to deliver the required flow into high-rise buildings’ fire protection systems.  It does this by having an additional auxiliary pump with double the pressure of a standard pump. Without the auxiliary pump, providing water to the top many Downtown Houston buildings would require using multiple engines. Because Engine 8 is a specialized engine it required firefighters to receive extra training before placing the unit in service to prevent operational or mechanical issues. This new fire apparatus is part of a multi-million dollar investment to update HFD’s fleet approved by Mayor Sylvester Turner and City Council.

“In the last 2 years, we have doubled the number of annual apparatus purchases and replaced approximately 26 frontline engine and aerial apparatus and approximately 30 frontline ambulances.  This new high-pressure engine is a welcomed and much-needed replacement unit and is part of a multi-million dollar investment to update HFD’s fleet approved by Mayor Sylvester Turner and City Council,” said Sam Peña, Fire Chief.

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