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A Pierce Manufacturing Rescue Pumper from Turkey Creek shown with the storage doors open and emergency lighting displayed at duskFire departments nationwide are facing tough challenges. From budget cuts to increased population density, and a staggering growth in emergency response calls, fire departments are tasked with providing the community with an essential service with fewer resources and more efficiency.

Departments are adapting to these challenges by investing in more strategic approaches to emergency response, firefighting and staffing and meeting missions with the right type of trucks and the right tools in hand.

The versatility of multipurpose vehicles designed with a diverse array of missions in mind helps fire departments serve their communities successfully amidst an ever-evolving emergency landscape. Below, learn how firefighting calls are changing and how to equip your fire department with more versatile multipurpose vehicles with advancements in storage.

What is a Rescue Pumper?

The body compartments of a red rescue pumper are opened to show the pump panel and impressive storage capabilities.Rescue pumper fire trucks are a versatile vehicle option for fire departments because they are both a rescue truck and a pumper truck in one. The vehicles are equipped with all of the tools and strategic compartments fire departments select to appropriately manage rescue and emergency scenes, including accidents, hazmat, water rescue and emergency medical service calls (EMS). While at the same time, the vehicle features all of the traditional pumper’s capabilities, including pump, tank, ladder, hose, nozzles and more.

A rescue pumper is inherently designed to be versatile and highly functional for fire departments who face several emergency situations. The ability to function across both emergency response scenarios and structural fires means rescue pumpers can be the primary response vehicle.

Take a look at recent new delivery rescue pumper configurations.

Changing Rescue Landscape

The back end of rescue pumper is pictured with yellow and orange reflective striping and a lowered ladder.The added versatility of a rescue pumper is increasingly important as fire departments face changes in daily calls. Recent data is showing trends in not only the types of emergencies firefighters face, but also how fire departments are choosing to equip their teams.

  • Increased medical EMS calls. According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) data, the growing majority of calls to fire departments are requests for medical aid.
  • Demand for more equipment and versatile storage. As fire departments notice the shift in emergency calls, they are looking for fire trucks with more storage options.
  • Vehicle consolidation. Fire departments are trying to manage the safety of community residents and manage budgets. In doing so, they are looking to consolidate vehicles and the combination of attributes in a rescue pumper makes it an attractive choice.
  • Multipurpose vehicles. Rescue pumper trucks fulfill two critical needs for fire departments: the ability to carry extra equipment and meet the unique needs of a number of emergency situations, and the ability to arrive at a fire ground with water and equipment to attack a structure fire.

Having a versatile truck as a primary response vehicle in a fire department fleet helps manage initial arrival and response. It ensures firefighters are prepared no matter how the emergency scene unfolds.

How is a Rescue Pumper Apparatus Configured?

Rescue pumpers are intended to match the missions of a fire department. They are configured with an understanding of the types of calls a fire department receives and preferred on-the-scene methods of response. Sales representatives and fire truck committee members discuss each section of a fire truck to determine the mission and tools each compartment will support.

Dedicated compartments are structured to support, for example, vehicle extrication, EMS calls, stabilization, water rescue or hazmat.

The installation of equipment, shelves, trays and tool boards match the critical needs of an emergency scene so firefighters can obtain the right tools for every job.

Every tool and piece of equipment is strategically placed on the apparatus based on the fire department's expressed needs.

Why is this important?

Strategic storage means that fire departments are well prepared regardless of the emergency situation.

Pierce rescue pumpers are the vehicles designed to provide this storage with several unique features.

  • Full-depth compartments, with 26-inches of usable space from floor to ceiling, can be designed with a specific mission in mind.
  • Large, full length hatch compartments on the top of the apparatus can hold additional equipment that is used less frequently.
  • Flexible body designs to meet the storage requirements of a department.
  • To reduce firefighter exposure to carcinogens, the SCBA’s can be stored outside of the cab in isolated compartments, and dedicated areas can be provided to store soiled turnout gear on the trip back to the station.

Pierce Manufacturing Heavy-Duty Rescue Pumper

The dual-purpose Heavy-Duty Rescue Pumper (HDRP) is built for fire departments that require large compartments that can be configured for essential equipment. The HDRP provides strategic storage built to support fire departments' unique needs and water tank capacity to support fire suppression.

This walk-around video highlights the unique features of the heavy-duty rescue pumper.

Here are a few select features of the heavy-duty rescue pumper.

  • Heavy Duty construction with 3/16” compartment floors.
  • Height / Full Depth compartments with 800 lb rating.
  • Clean Interiors with no obstructions, protecting wiring and the rollup doors.
  • Multiple body lengths to meet the specific storage needs to the fire department.
  • Compartment storage of up to 500 cubic feet (depending on body size).
  • Underbody substructure designed for heavy loads – compartments do not hang off the body.
  • Water tanks are available in 500, 750 or 1000 gallons with low hosebeds for safer access.
  • Ladder storage in the water tank with full depth compartments to maintain storage capacity.
  • Long tool storage is packaged behind the rollup door spool to maximize space utilization.
  • Fender panels optimized for storage of SCBAs, air bottles, extinguishers and oil dry hoppers.
  • Full-length hatch compartments on the top of the truck can be used for additional storage.
A fully equipped heavy-duty rescue pumper sits on a black tarmac.

Some of the unique design features of the 171” rescue pumper body package, include:

  • Full Height / Full Depth compartments with 800 lb rating.
  • Up to 1000 gallons of water with low hosebeds for safer access.
  • Ladder storage in the water tank with full depth compartments to maintain storage capacity.
  • Ladder Storage can be vertical or horizontal based on customer preference.
  • Fender panels optimized for storage of SCBAs, air bottles, extinguishers and oil dry hoppers.

Pierce has multiple options when it comes to a rescue pumper. The Pierce PUC continues to be a popular choice to meet the challenges of the rescue pumper body package:

  • Maximized storage space available in multiple body lengths.
  • Full Height / Full Depth compartments with 800 lb rating.
  • 26” Deep body compartments and up to 500 cubic feet of storage.
  • Clean Interiors with no obstructions, protecting wiring and the rollup doors.
  • Multiple ladder storage options to meet the specific needs of the department.
  • Fender panels optimized for storage of SCBAs, air bottles, extinguishers and oil dry hoppers.
Whether a fire department is concerned about overall vehicle length or height, water capacity or storage capabilities, a rescue pumper, heavy-duty rescue pumper or a PUC can be configured to meet a combination of needs.

Learn more about the heavy-duty rescue pumper or see a selection of heavy-duty rescue pumpers in our new deliveries gallery.

What types of storage options do you value most on your fire truck?


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Topics: Products

About Pierce Manufacturing
Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation [NYSE: OSK] business, is the leading North American manufacturer of custom fire apparatus. Products include custom and commercial pumpers, aerials, rescue trucks, wildland trucks, mini pumpers, and homeland security apparatus. In addition, Pierce designs its own foam systems and was the first company to introduce frontal airbags and the Side Roll Protection system to fire apparatus. To learn more about Pierce, visit

About Oshkosh Corporation

At Oshkosh (NYSE: OSK), we make innovative, mission-critical equipment to help everyday heroes advance communities around the world. Headquartered in Wisconsin, Oshkosh Corporation employs approximately 17,000 team members worldwide, all united behind a common purpose: to make a difference in people’s lives. Oshkosh products can be found in more than 150 countries under the brands of JLG®, Hinowa, Power Towers, Pierce®, MAXIMETAL, Oshkosh® Defense, McNeilus®, IMT®, Jerr-Dan®, Frontline™ Communications, Oshkosh® Airport Products, Oshkosh AeroTech™ and Pratt Miller. For more information, visit

®, ™ All brand names referred to in this news release are trademarks of Oshkosh Corporation or its subsidiary companies.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains statements that the Company believes to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s future financial position, business strategy, targets, projected sales, costs, earnings, capital expenditures, debt levels and cash flows, and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. When used in this news release, words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “should,” “project” or “plan” or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company’s control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include the Company's ability to successfully integrate the AeroTech acquisition and to realize the anticipated benefits associated with the same; the risks associated with international operations and sales, including compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act;  the Company’s ability to comply with complex laws and regulations applicable to U.S. government contractors; cybersecurity risks and costs of defending against, mitigating and responding to data security threats and breaches impacting the Company; the Company’s ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate other acquisitions and to realize the anticipated benefits associated with the same; and risks related to the Company’s ability to successfully execute on its strategic road map and meet its long-term financial goals. Additional information concerning these and other factors is contained in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release. The Company assumes no obligation, and disclaims any obligation, to update information contained in this news release. Investors should be aware that the Company may not update such information until the Company’s next quarterly earnings conference call, if at all.

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