Posted by: Scott Coppersmith, Tony Spearman
Agua Dulce - A Hollywood stunt man says he's got a new way to help fight brush fires... a specially-designed tanker truck that blasts water and retardant ahead of oncoming flames.
The Velocity Fire Force tanker is the brainchild of George Sack.
The concept is simple... a truck-mounted "shotgun" nozzle sprays fire retardant or water to be laid down as a barrier up to 200 feet away to stop the spread of flames.
The idea's to supplement... not replace... the efforts of firefighters. In particular, it would help those who drop water and fire retardant from the air.
George Sack, Velocity Fire Force:
We're looking at a system that I think would be another tool in regards to supressing forest fires. That's what it boils down to. "
We invited firefighters from Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange Counties to watch a demonstration on some open hillside in Agua Dulce.
They did... and said they were open-minded about the possibilities, but had some questions.
Batallion Chief Patrick Antrim, Orange County Fire Authority:
"How much it costs to do it how quickly you can do it... and what's the availability of vehicles in the area?"
Batallion Chief Dave Thies, Los Angeles County Fire:
"The wind is an issue and when you have wind on a fire, you're looking at spotting up to a mile."
Captain Ron Oatman, Ventura County Fire:
"Really, we would have to see it work in a fire to see it tested."
Sack's got a lot riding on this... about 5 years of his life and he says about a million dollars.
George Sack, Velocity Fire Force:
"I've been working on this for many moons. We seem like we're in the nucleus of all the fires here. Would hope it could be used to help out."
Sack says he's offered his services as a subcontractor to fire departments, but there haven't been any takers so far.
He's hoping to change their minds... to help save lives and property... and to make a little money.