Single Engine Air Tanker (SEAT) aircraft based in Oregon at the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) hangar at Ontario Municipal Airport now have a new weapon that will speed up their turn time on loading retardant and getting them back in the fight.

A new loading system from Perimeter Solutions LP does away with the previous method of holding pre mixed retardant in large tanks via their new method of loading the aircraft which mixes water and retardant on the go, blending the products as it is being loaded. This process saves valuable time for ground crews who now no longer need to worry about how much pre mixed retardant is on hand as multiple aircraft continue to reload during aerial firefighting operations.

The new process allows for two side by side tanks, one, a ten-thousand gallon water tank that sits beside a twelve-thousand gallon retardant tank. From there, the products are mixed in a “blender” unit before being dispatched via hose into the aircraft after being checked for consistency.

The previous process of loading a SEAT aircraft took anywhere up to ten minutes per load. The new system takes 3-4 minutes to fill a SEAT aircraft and have them back in the game in as little as 5 minutes if it is just a retardant fill needed.

Due to the retardant’s chemical makeup, a third tank is used by the crews at the Ontario BLM facility to catch the load runoff and waste water that is hosed from the tarmac after fire operations. The waste water gathered in this tank is then collected to be disposed of at a waste water treatment facility that is equipped to take care of the kind of waste water generated by fire operations.

Perimeter Solutions LP manufactures the industry used Phos-Check retardant product among other fire retardant related products for commercial and residential firefighting.

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