Mayor Mark A. Smith announced that the Bayonne Fire Department has unveiled a new 4,000 gallon foam tender at no cost to the taxpayers. It will serve as a mechanism of rapid delivery and deployment of firefighting foam to petro-chemical emergencies. The new foam truck was introduced at a ceremony at the City Hall Fire House on Friday, June 6.
The foam tender was purchased with a $685,000 Port Security Grant from the Department of Homeland Security. Firefighting foam is a specialized agent that is used for the suppression of most flammable liquid fires. Foam is normally used to extinguish hydrocarbon fires (involving, for example, heating oil, diesel, kerosene, gasoline), and polar solvent fires (involving, for example, alcohol, esters, keytones). Foam extinguishes by blanketing, suffocating, cooling, and preventing vapor rise.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mayor Smith said the City’s acquisition of the foam tender demonstrated his Administration’s “commitment to safety.” He cited the foam truck as an example of Bayonne’s “significant investment in public safety” manpower and equipment during the last five years.
Public Safety Director Jason O’Donnell said, “This kind of foam tender is critical to have in an industrial area. It will enable us to respond more rapidly to any fires that might develop in the petro-chemical industry.”
Fire Chief Gregory Rogers explained that the foam tender would make the Fire Department’s response to petro-chemical fires “much easier, quicker, and more efficient.” Up till now, Rogers said, the Bayonne Fire Department has carried approximately forty 55-gallon drums of foam concentrate that must be painstakingly handled by the barrel, and drafted by pickup tubes, which is a manpower-intensive operation. By contrast, a foam tender provides delivery of 4,000 gallons of concentrate to an incident, and can be pumped directly to a truck for quick high-capacity application.
The foam tender came with 4,000gals of AR-AFFF Concentrate (Alcohol Resistant – Aqueous Film Forming Foam). When mixed with water, this product is capable of producing 400,000 gallons of foam solution used for extinguishing alcohol- and hydrocarbon-based fires, Rogers said.
Chief Rogers thanked Mayor Smith and Public Safety Director Jason O’Donnell for supporting the acquisition of the foam tender. Rogers credited Fire Captain Robert Kleczynski and Battalion Chief William Bartos for their successful work on the Port Security Grant for the foam tender from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The foam truck’s manufacturer, Sparta/ERV, is sending a representative to Bayonne to help train firefighters in the use of the apparatus. The foam tender was custom-made for the Bayonne Fire Department by Sparta/ERV in South Dakota, and took nearly a year to build.
City Council President Terry Ruane and Third Ward Council Member Ray Greaves represented the City Council at the ceremony.