American LaFrance to Provide Customized RescueMaster® Special Assignments Unit for the City of Phoenix Police Department

Vehicle Combines SWAT With On-Scene Command

(Ladson, S.C.) American LaFrance will provide the City of Phoenix with a 39-foot, customized RescueMaster® Tactical Command Vehicle, giving the city state-of-the-art communication technology in one centralized vehicle. “The City of Phoenix Police Department was in search of a fully customizable, multifaceted vehicle that would conduct command operations,” said Robert Knapp, Special Assignments Unit Officer of the City of Phoenix Police Department.

The four-door Eagle® cab features a 20-inch raised roof, creating a total of 81 inches of interior working headroom. The body offers in excess of 400 cubic feet of enclosed customized storage space to transport equipment such as rolling bunkers, ballistic shields and other mission specific equipment for tactical operations. A hydraulic generator powers the four air conditioning units, which provide comfort from the Arizona heat.

American LaFrance was one of three of the leading emergency-vehicle producers to be selected in the bidding process to design and manufacture the unit for the City of Phoenix. Knapp stated that he was pleased that the City of Phoenix selected American LaFrance, the company he recommended, because the Phoenix Fire Department relies heavily on American LaFrance equipment.

Communications Technologies Support Negotiations Center

The front of the vehicle, which is the communication and negotiations unit, features state-of-the-art electronics equipment designed to help law enforcement personnel conduct simultaneous communication with multiple agencies -- including those utilizing different radio systems. The customized RescueMaster® Command Center vehicle will also include cameras to provide “real time” transmission of a crisis event so that decision-makers can make rapid, accurate assessments. Further, the vehicle continually receives breaking television news segments and weather forecasts. Accurate monitoring of weather conditions is particularly important in cases when wind direction dictates how hazardous substances will travel through the air.

Special Design Accommodates Four Task-Specific Areas

The 148” long cab contains seating for eight personnel and can be used for an additional meeting room or on-scene rehabilitation. The center of the vehicle contains four work stations allowing for negotiations and command activities. Directly outside of this area is an awning-covered briefing station containing electronic communications equipment for mission-related briefings. The rear portion of the vehicle functions as a conventional walk-in rescue unit, housing protective clothing and gear. Up to 16 people can recuperate and hydrate at a time throughout these areas allowing teams to rotate in shifts during a lengthy crisis.

Delivery of this highly customized vehicle, ordered through American LaFrance, will occur in the fall of 2005.

About American LaFrance:

American LaFrance, a subsidiary of Freightliner LLC, produces and distributes a comprehensive line of fire and emergency apparatuses including chassis, aerials, ambulances, pumpers, rescues, tankers and wildland vehicles.

Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is the largest manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks in North America and a leading manufacturer of Class 3-7 vehicles. Freightliner LLC is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.

Related Press Releases