Houston Airports and Houston Fire Department Working Together to Protect Passengers at IAH

June 25, 2024

Houston Airports invested $4.6 million from its Airport Improvement Fund to purchase four new, state-of-the-art Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) trucks for the Houston Fire Department.
ARFF trucks are specialized firefighting vehicles specifically designed for the unique challenges of responding to aircraft emergencies. These powerful vehicles carry 3,000 gallons of water, 400 gallons of foam, 450 pounds of Purple K dry-chemical and 460 pounds of Halotron, all which can be used to extinguish fires and rescue passengers and crew in the event of an airplane incident.

"The safety of passengers and crew at Bush Airport is our top priority," said Steve Runge, Director of Operations for Houston Airports. "These new ARFF trucks represent a significant investment in the latest firefighting technology, ensuring the Houston Fire Department has the resources it needs to respond swiftly and effectively to any aircraft emergency while utilizing eco-friendly foam."

The four new ARFF trucks, designated AR-7, AR-16, AR-17 and AR-18, will be deployed at HFD Stations 99 and 92, strategically located to meet the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) proximity requirements for fire stations servicing major airports. This ensures a rapid response time in the event of an emergency at Bush Airport.

The new ARFF trucks are replacing a fleet purchased by Houston Airports in 2006 and are equipped with several advanced features, including:

•    Synthetic Fluorine-Free Foam: This innovative firefighting foam extinguishes fires while minimizing environmental impact.
•    High-Capacity Water Pumps: These pumps allow firefighters to deliver up to 1,200 gallons of water per minute.
•    Specialized Rescue Equipment: The trucks carry specialized equipment for rescuing passengers and crew from crashed aircraft.

"These new ARFF trucks are a significant upgrade for the Houston Fire Department," said Ronald Krusleski, Senior Captain and ARFF Coordinator for the Houston Fire Department. "The technology and truck performances are improved, and the newly added Rosenbauer Re-Circulation Air Scrubber System in the cab of each ARFF truck reduces a firefighter’s exposure to carcinogenic toxins as they drive the apparatus. From the health of the firefighters to protecting people and property at Bush Airport, we appreciate this investment by Houston Airports.”

Two trucks are already in service at HFD Station 99. All four trucks are expected to be operational by August. Three Houston Fire Department stations service Bush Airport: 96, 92 and 54.