Wireless Remote Controls Bring Benefits to Fire Trucks
Wireless remote controls can help improve the work of municipal fire departments and their crews, with US-based E-One, an industry leader in the engineering, manufacturing and delivery of fire trucks, now integrating them into its Advanced Aerial Control System (AACS) to show its customers the possibilities available to them.
Wireless aerial controls are an entirely new add-in for E-One, which has partnered with HBC-radiomatic, a leader in radio remote control systems, to bring the functionality to its trucks. This sees HBC-radiomatic’s spectrum B bellybox transmitter along with FSE 727 receiver integrated into E-One’s AACS.
AACS is a proprietary, high-end aerial device control system, built using the best hardware on the market to deliver more information and functionality to the operator, including all the vital stats from the truck. The spectrum B bellybox transmitter is a high-performing control for cranes and machines with LCD. Available with up to three joysticks or eight HBC linear levers, many individual configurations are available featuring push buttons, toggle switches, rotary switches and other operating elements. FSE 727 is a compact receiver for mobile applications.
Chip Goodson, engineering leader, Aerials, E-One, said: “We have added wireless to broaden our product line, and chose HBC-radiomatic for its capabilities and everything that it can do. They provided us with a system to our specification based on the spectrum box.” This includes a customised layout, where the position of switches with the required functions has been carefully considered to create a user-friendly interface.
Brett Schneider, regional sales manager, HBC-radiomatic Inc., said: “When we first presented E-One with our portfolio of wireless control units, they were impressed with the level of customisation that we could offer, as well as the added safety options and features available.”
HBC-radiomatic has strong experience supplying systems to diverse firefighting applications, from automatic water guns to electronically controlled foam mixture. Through high-performance transmission technology and sophisticated electronics, most machine functions can now be controlled from a single and handy control device, and thanks to its wireless control devices, operators are completely mobile at all times. They can freely move within the working area and operate the equipment from a safe location with a good overview of the situation. At the same time, the Stop switch is always at hand, allowing for a quick stop of machine functions in emergencies without any loss of time.
“As this technology becomes more and more accepted in the market, we look to expand upon our current offerings to them and add additional safety features such as live video feedback to the remote—giving the operator a better visual of the situation,” added Schneider.
“Those who work in this sector are risking their lives to save others daily,” he continued. “Allowing operators to have the ability to control equipment from a safer distance and better vantage point offers many benefits from a safety and efficiency standpoint. As such, we feel that this could benefit operators for other types of firefighting tools and equipment as well.
“Obviously, this market can be a very harsh, brutal environment. As such, it is important that the men and women in uniform, who are risking their lives to save others, are using safe, reliable equipment that can handle such extreme environments. HBC-radiomatic is dedicated to the in-house development and manufacturing of the safest, most rugged and dependable wireless control systems on the market. This dedication by HBC-radiomatic allows us to meet these challenges, head-on.”
E-One confirmed that, by using wireless remote controls, fire truck operators can carry out their duties with new freedom, as they are no longer tethered to the truck and can position themselves in the best location to spot the ladder when positioning it next to a window or building’s edge. They can also more easily combine multiple duties, allowing rural fire departments with limited manpower to maximise the capabilities of their crews.
For Schneider, knowing that HBC-radiomatic is helping to keep operators safe and away from potentially dangerous situations so that they can, in-turn, save others, “absolutely makes our job more rewarding.”
With trucks featuring wireless radio controls now out operating in the field, and positive feedback from customers, Goodson concluded: “We’re very satisfied with the products we have received and hope it takes a good foothold as we look to let firefighters do more.”