Martha’s Vineyard Airport has a new fire apparatus called a Global Striker. Made by Oshkosh Airport Products, the Global Striker came with a $696,642 price tag, 90 percent of which was paid for by the federal government, according to Deputy Airport Director Geoff Freeman. Massachusetts contributed 5 percent to the purchase price, and the airport contributed 5 percent, he said.
The Global Striker holds 1,500 gallons of water, 450 pounds of dry chemical, and 210 gallons of class B foam. Cannons on the bumper and roof can each shoot these substances at 750 gallons a minute. Class B foam has become infamous for PFAS, yet is still an FAA requirement. In order to mitigate the environmental damage from the foam, Freeman said, a special ecological system was added to the apparatus for an extra $30,000. The system lets airport firefighters essentially pretend, and dispense water instead of foam for federally mandated training, Freeman said. Foam is only used for an actual fire, he said.
The Global Striker arrived in early September, but still required further outfitting, manufacturer’s training, and in-house training, Freeman said. In-house training is ongoing. The apparatus is expected to enter full service in mid-December. The county airport commission unanimously approved the purchase of the apparatus in December 2018.