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Water Delivery Support Unit: It's for the Big One

Paul Shapiro

This article features an older engine that was converted from a standard pumper to a big flow support unit. It purchased for $10,000 and went from there. The total investment turned out to be a little less than ¼ of what a new unit would have cost. The unit used for this project is a 1985 American La France.

The following list shows how it is designed and equipped as it relates to this project before the transformation to super pumper.

Engine: L-10 Cummins Diesel

Pump: American La France Twin Flow Two Stage 1250 GPM Pump

Intakes: Two 6" side intakes, one on each side of the pump

Discharges: Six 2-1/2"

Booster tank: 500 gallons

Hosebed: Dimensions 6’ wide 8’ long 3’high

This unit was purchased with no equipment. Before we get into the actual specifications of the W.D.S. unit let’s see what its capabilities are.


The purpose of the W.D.S. unit is to provide support in the following fireground water delivery operations.

- A rapid deployment for supplemental large volume water delivery from distant water sources to fires requiring large volumes of water
- Provide a means for delivering multiple streams on the fireground or one 2,000 GPM stream from a fixed monitor