A portable fire fighting pump increases the water supply pressure for fire suppression systems such as fire sprinklers, standpipes and foam systems. They are used when it is determined by hydraulic calculations that the fire protection water supply will not be able to meet the system hydraulic design requirements. They are also used for long distance hose lays and for pumping up to high elevation areas (to overcome pressure loss caused by the elevation differences).
Fire pumps are designed as centrifugal pumps with an air-cooled engine mounted in a protective frame. They are either transportable and can be used as standalone units, or they are integrated into fire trucks and boats and are driven by the vehicle’s engine. The size, operating data and nozzle connections of the pumps are defined by standards. They are also inspected and approved by fire insurance companies and associations such as VdS Schadensverhutung, Factory Mutual and National Fire Protection Association.
The selection of a portable pump depends on the department’s particular needs, ncluding the potential fire hazard and the availability of an adequate water supply – especially its accessibility. The pumping unit should be able to be easily carried by one or two people over rough terrain and up to the site where the pump is needed. It should be able to operate in a minimum of time after being refilled with water. The size of the pumping unit is also determined by its intended use.