Air Force Featured Stories

Holloman firefighters get state-of-the-art rapid intervention vehicle

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Aaron Montoya
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
When fires engulf aircraft on the flight line, Holloman's firefighters remain vigilant to respond. In the worst of circumstances, they are relied upon to mitigate and control a variety of crisis scenarios within a moment's notice.

Holloman firefighters relentlessly train to be the best, most efficient fire response team in the Air Force and with a recent addition to their fleet, they will be.

Recently, Holloman received a new P-34 Rapid Intervention Vehicle that is part of a new class of fire fighting apparatus being rolled out Air Force wide. The RIV costs three times less than a traditional fire engine or airfield crash truck, and is designed as a multipurpose vehicle, from the ground up.

Capable of carrying up to 500 gallons of firefighting agent and equipped with a revolutionary ultra high-pressure centrifugal pump, the RIV can deliver 60 gallons per minute at 1,350 pounds per square inch which allows the firefighters to engage the fire more quickly and stay in the fight longer without being resupplied or connected to an outside water source.

"The RIV is faster, more maneuverable, and you use less water on the scene," said Senior Airman Andrew Freyhof, a firefighter with the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron. "Less water means less damage to the scene."

The P-34 is equipped with central controls, which allow the driver to control the pump and the turret immediately upon arrival of the scene.

"It has crew positions for three [firefighters], but it can be operated by just the driver because of the central controls," said Freyhof. "The driver never leaves the driver's seat, which means a faster response time and is safer for the driver."

Like traditional fire engines, the RIV is equipped with two side-mounted, 200-foot hand lines that are capable of outputting 15 gallons of agent per minute. This allows the firefighters to transition between knocking down the external flames and fighting an internal structure fire without additional equipment.

The benefits of the P-34 doesn't stop at its firefighting performance. Due to it's smaller size and efficient design, the P-34 costs significantly less to produce, is easier to maintain and is more maneuverable than the previous larger units. Once fully fielded Air Force wide, the RIV procurement is projected to save the Air Force $84 million dollars over the life of the vehicles.

"With its water and foam systems, it can get into a scene first and knock down the fire, or provide a rescue path into a fire," said Holloman assistant fire chief Todd McGowin. "The RIV allows us to be more versatile and use a single, more efficient vehicle, for multiple responses."