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Elkhart Cuts High-Rise Fire Response Time By More Than Half With HEROPipe™ System

Elkhart Brass cuts high-rise fire response time by more than half with the HEROPipe™ (Highrise Emergency Response Offensive) System. The world’s first lightweight, safe and simple, floor-below, high-rise master stream system can contain a high-rise fire within the first 30 minutes, saving lives and reducing property loss by 90%.

According to a study conducted by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), between 2005 and 2009, fire departments respond to an average of 15,700 structure fires in high-rise buildings annually.

Average annual losses:

  • 53 civilian fire deaths
  • 546 civilian fire injuries
  • $235m in direct property damage

"The HEROPipe provides not only firefighters with a low-risk high-rise firefighting tool, but offers building owners and operational managers increased safety for their occupants and property," said Mike Wielgat, CFD firefighter, HEROPipe inventor and Elkhart Brass product director. "The HEROPipe can be provided onsite at high-rise properties to ensure firefighters have an effective tool to protect occupants, property and themselves."

High-rise fires present incredible challenges for firefighters while threatening the safety of civilians and firefighters alike. Fires located above a high-rise’s 12th floor are out of reach of ladder companies and aerial streams, limiting an exterior attack, and requiring firefighters to battle the fire either directly or from an adjacent building if possible.

Challenges of high-rise fires:

  • Fire out of reach of ladder trucks and aerial streams
  • Operations limited to interior hallways
  • More difficult to contain and control the fire
  • Temperatures well above limits of protective equipment
  • Fire can double every ten seconds
  • Radio communication compromised

Designed specifically for fires that ladder companies cannot reach, the HEROPipe system can battle a blaze by accurately delivering a high volume of water at the point of attack from the floor below in a matter of minutes, keeping firefighters safe while reducing property damage.

"The HEROPipe provides a whole new option to get water where it’s needed in a high-rise fire," said Battalion Chief Michael Fox, Special Operations, Chicago Fire Department.

Tactical advantages of HEROPipe:

  • Attack fires from the safety from the floor below
  • Operational in minutes – set up in as little as three minutes with a two-man team
  • Lightweight for easy mobility and deployment
  • No tools required
  • Minimum training required
  • Set-up on a window sill or on the floor edge on a curtain wall construction
  • Designed to transport in elevators, or can be carried up stairs
  • View the attack from below with optional thermal image capabilities
  • Capable of operating unmanned in WMD or collapse threats
  • Battery operations up to 1.5 hours
  • Introduce foam, chemical, or biological neutralizing agents from below

"The HEROPipe system provides our first responders with a vital and effective tool toward their effort to protect the lives and property of New York City," said Deputy Assistant Chief Jack Mooney, Chief of the Fire Academy, Fire Department of New York.

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