Madison company sends small but powerful fire unit to the Super Bowl

2014-01-30T12:05:00Z Madison company sends small but powerful fire unit to the Super BowlBARRY ADAMS | Wisconsin State Journal | badams@madison.com | 608-252-6148 madison.com

MetLife Stadium in New Jersey is surrounded this week by tents and fences, and come Sunday, will have thousands of people milling around the Meadowlands Sports Complex for the Super Bowl.

But a grease fire in a hospitality tent or a car fire in the parking lot would be a nightmare for most fire trucks to access. That’s why a Madison company has sent one of its specialized pieces of firefighting equipment to the Meadowlands Fire Department.

HMA Fire, on Madison’s Far West Side, specializes in making high-pressure fire-suppression systems that use significantly less water than most. And, because the T6 unit it has deployed to the Super Bowl is on a six-wheel Polaris Ranger, it can more easily maneuver the cramped and crowded confines around, and if need be, inside the stadium.

“It gives us some good exposure,” said Bill Carroll, HMA’s general manager. “It allows us to show that our product is a very viable product when it comes to events or even nature when you have to get into tight spots but still have the capability of putting out a lot of fire.”

The T6 unit, which can range in price from $30,000 to $50,000 and includes the Polaris Ranger, can hold 100 gallons of water, runs at a minimum of 1,200 pounds per square inch and uses only 10 to 20 gallons per minute, Carroll said.

A low-pressure system, common on most fire trucks, runs at 100 to 150 PSI and can use 100 to 125 gallons of water a minute.

HMA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Middleton-based Orbital Technologies Corp., which worked with the U.S. Air Force for more than 10 years to develop the high- pressure systems.

HMA was spun off from Orbitec in 2011.

HMA, with offices and a manufacturing facility at 1212 Fourier Drive, employs four people and also makes a brush truck unit and sells a system that can be retrofitted to other pickup trucks or firefighting vehicles.

The T6 is a demonstration model but the hope for Carroll, who worked for a fire truck manufacturer and knew people in New Jersey, is that the Meadowlands Fire Department ultimately buys the unit.

The Meadowlands Fire Department is a full-time paid department that serves MetLife Stadium, Meadowlands RaceTrack, and surrounding roadways, according to its Facebook page.

“It’s knowing the right people and having the connections but also having the right product,” Carroll said. “The market is tremendous once we get the acceptance.

“It’s going to start with people who don’t have a lot of water supply.”

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