Press release, January 15, 2020

ARFF flagship vehicle celebrates anniversary

  • Rosenbauer delivers the 2,000th PANTHER to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Florida
  • The new high-end airport fire truck significantly surpasses NFPA and FAA requirements
  • Traditional push-back ceremony during handover of the anniversary vehicle

Two brand new Rosenbauer PANTHER 6x6 HRET were put into service on January 13, at Broward County’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in an event featuring a traditional push-back ceremony*. In the future, these vehicles will act as the flagships of the airport fire brigade. The performance, safety, and ergonomics of the high-end devices exceed the requirements of the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) and FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). This makes the PANTHER at FLL one of the best Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicles in the world.

* Push-back ceremonies are a tribute to the fire services dating back over a hundred years ago, when the "fire engines" were still horse-drawn, and had to be pushed backwards into the fire stations by crews after an operation. Today, colleagues, family members and the people these vehicles are designed to protect, come to watch new fire trucks being celebrated into service.

Outstanding performance
The PANTHER is the premier class among Rosenbauer fire engines, an ARFF with outstanding performance values executed with a breathtaking design. The PANTHER 6x6, which is the variant in use at FLL, is powered by a 700 hp Volvo Penta D-16 engine (Tier IV final), which accelerates the 39-ton vehicle from 0 to 80 km/h in less than 34 seconds and allows it to achieve a top speed of 115 km/h. The all-wheel chassis, together with a low center of gravity and its proven rigid axle system, give the PANTHER unmatched stability and safe driving characteristics. The crew is optimally protected during the drive by the certified cabin, which is crash-tested according to ECE R29-3 requirements.

Fully integrated firefighting equipment
The extinguishing technology is at the heart of the PANTHER and has been the core competence of the Rosenbauer Group for more than a century. The vehicles for FLL provide a system output of 7,950 l/min, whereby the water and foam admixture can be simultaneously discharged. The fully integrated extinguishing technology includes two high-performance turrets, one of which is mounted on the extinguishing arm (HRET - High Reach Extendable Turret), and the other on the front of the vehicle (HVLA - High Volume Low Attack Turret). Up to 4,550 l/min of extinguishing agent (water or water/foam mixture) can be applied via the HRET and/or HVLA monitors. Throw reaches from both monitors of approx. 85 m enable firefighters to work from a safe distance while covering the entire length of any aircraft fuselage. The extinguishing arm can be raised up to 16.5 m and enables targeted firefighting from an elevated position. 

The extinguishing arm is also equipped with a piercing tool, the spike of which can be pushed through the shell of the aircraft in order to deliver extinguishing agents to an aircraft's interior cabin or cargo compartments. For self-protection, such as when jet fuel may flow beneath the vehicle, it is equipped with under truck nozzles that allow the operator to apply a foam blanet under the truck.

Four extinguishing agents on board
The PANTHER at FLL has 12,000 l of water, 1,500 l of foaming agent, and 250 kg each of extinguishing powder and extinguishing gas (Halotron) on board. Powder and either water or a water/foam mixture can be applied simultaneously via a twin-agent hose reel or the HVLA bumper turret. The extinguishing gas (Halotron) is either applied via its own rapid attack unit (including reel) or via the piercing tool located at the tip of the extinguishing arm.

Optimal ease of use
All of the PANTHER's firefighting equipment can be controlled from the cabin. The displays and controls in the cockpit are ergonomically optimized and arranged so that they can be operated and viewed by both the driver and the front passenger. The extinguishing arms and the turrets are controlled by means of joysticks, which record the movements of the human hand very precisely and transmit them in an equally precise and targeted manner.

Anniversary with history
Rosenbauer has been building airport fire engines with several thousand liters of extinguishing agent and sophisticated high-performance firefighting technology on board since the 1950s. With the arrival of jumbo jets in the 1970s, the vehicles got even bigger, and with the PANTHER series, which came onto the market in the early 1990s, they became even more sophisticated, agile, and faster. 

Since 1998, Rosenbauer has been manufacturing the PANTHER at two locations; at the group headquarters in Austria, and at Rosenbauer Minnesota in Wyoming, MN. Around a fifth of the total production volume is now in operation at airports across North America. PANTHER are currently based at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Houston Airport System, Halifax Stanfield and Toronto Pearson International Airports in Canada.

The two major airports in the Miami, FL metropolitan region also depend on Rosenbauer and the PANTHER in particular. At Miami International Airport (45 million passengers in 2018), Miami Dade Fire Rescue operates an ARFF fleet of PANTHER. At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), where 36 million passengers visited in 2018, the Broward County Sheriff's Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services now uses three PANTHER 6x6 (all with HRET), including this anniversary vehicle. With over 350 daily departures, FLL is one of the fastest growing major airports in the United States.

Consistent series
The PANTHER series includes vehicles on 2-, 3-, and 4-axle chassis with permanent all-wheel drive, engine outputs between 700 and 1250 hp, and tank capacities of 6,000 to 19,000 liters. The flagship of Rosenbauer's firefighting vehicles has conquered no less than 94 countries since its introduction, with the PANTHER thus far in service in the greatest numbers in Germany, the US, China, Japan, India, and Australia.

In connection with this press release, the following media material is at your disposal:
PDF press article pdf pdf