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NY fire dept. adds vehicle exhaust removal system for firefighter & EMT health


The North Tonawanda Fire Department is a combination department for 101 years. With 38 career and 60 volunteer firefighters, The North Tonawanda Fire Dept. covers 10 square miles bordered by the Niagra River and Erie Canal.

  • Population served: 32,000 with 10,000 homes
  • Stations: 1 aerial, 3 pumpers, 1 light rescue, 1 command car, inflatable zodiac
  • Specialty Teams: fire investigation, hazardous materials, technical rescue, dive rescue and swiftwater

The challenge

Before installing a Plymovent vehicle exhaust removal system, the North Tonawanda Fire Department in New York had an exhaust extraction system from a different manufacturer. According to Chief John Lapham, the previous system had design flaws, and would not release, causing the product to be damaged and unusable. With this ineffective system in place, it was causing more damage than good to both the firefighters and the station. “You could see soot on the electronic equipment during station clean-up,” says Chief Lapham. “It was a red flag, and we needed to do something about it.”

This was an imperative action particularly since the World Health Organization recently published a press release stating that diesel engine exhaust is classified as carcinogenic to humans, with an increased risk for lung cancer.

The solution

Advanced technology from Plymovent has proven its worth to the North Tonawanda Fire Department. All stations have since installed the code compliant, Plymovent Magnetic Grabber® system to improve fire station air quality and reduce cancer causing airborne toxins, creating a healthier work environment for all.

Stations now have a minimum of two hose drops to allow for reserve apparatus storage and the fire headquarters has been set up with four drops. Additionally, the mechanic’s shop was fitted with the Magnetic Grabber® system for service on all fire equipment. The combination of track and rails in the stations reduces exposure to hazardous exhaust fumes. Plymovent at-source exhaust removal systems are installed with an ergonomic Safety Disconnect Handle, ensuring a safe disconnect from the system should it be necessary.

Also equipped in the stations are fully automatic, Plymovent manufactured, UL & AMCA certified fans and control boxes which operate the exhaust system in the most efficient way.

Full warranty and service is provided by Air Cleaning Systems, Inc., the local Plymovent dealer for the North Tonawanda Fire Department.

Main benefits

  • Health Minimizes exposure to the dangers of diesel exhaust.
  • Cleaner Work Environment Greatly reduced soot deposits throughout firefighter gear and the stations.
  • Saves Money Reducing investment in air handling equipment and total energy consumption.
  • Ease of Use System connection from a full standing position and automatic controlled release.
  • Code Compliant UL and AMCA certified products.
  • Safety Built-in features consistent with other fire equipment.


“Our experience, the product, and the installer Air Cleaning Systems, Inc., have been nothing less than exemplary. Installation was quick and efficient. Service has always met our expectations and there is always someone available to resolve the very few issues that may have arose. Durability of the product, especially with the harsh weather of Western New York, has stood over both time and conditions.” 

Quote by: John Lapham, Chief at North Tonawanda Fire Department

Product list

(Total between 5 stations)

North Tonawanda Fire Department

"We can tell in the daily cleaning duties as there is no soot build up. It has made for a healthier work environment for all our personnel."

John Lapham
Chief at North Tonawanda Fire Department

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