Photos Courtesy of YKM

The paradox of the insurance policy...you pay for something you hope you never need. The concept is a part of life, especially where safety and protecting life are concerned.  If you manage an airport where an accident or disaster can cost dozens of lives, you want the best insurance money can buy.

Yakima Air Terminal-McAllister Field (YKM) has a new "policy" if you will and it's a monster- both in size and price tag.   The news release from the City of Yakima doesn't mention a name but since the new rig is called an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting  apparatus, I guess we could call it ARF.  You know, like the sound a dog makes.

The stats, equipment and capability are impressive The City says the purchase price is $760,898, with another $208,000 invested in equipment like hoses, nozzles, first aid kits, radios, data terminals and firefighter Personal Protective Equipment suits.  The running total on all that $968.898 but our tax dollars weren't part of the purchase process.

No local tax dollars or City of Yakima general fund dollars were used to acquire the apparatus and the additional items,” said Airport Director Rob Peterson. “A grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) covered 90 percent of the total cost. The remaining 10 percent was funded through the Passenger Facility Charge program.”

Like I said it's a monster with monster sized capabilities.

  • A vehicle gross weight of 54,800 lbs., with the capability to carry up to 1,500 gallons of water/Aqueous Film Forming Foam and 450 lbs. of dry chemical to combat fires.
  • It has Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera to identify small internal fires while having the capability to produce 750 gallons of water per minute.
  • FAA safety standards highlight this apparatus is capable of carrying rescue and firefighting equipment adequate to help combat fires on large aircraft such as a Boeing 737.

In emergencies timing is everything, so the FAA recommends cities replace these types of fire fighting vehicles on a regular basis so that airport challenges are confronted  within three minutes time.  Now when Fire Station #94 gets the call ,ARF will answer...and it's a monster!