APPARATUS POINTS TO PONDER

BY WILLIAM C. PETERS

These photographs offer a number of points to ponder. I’ll give you a few, in no particular order of importance, to stimulate your thinking about apparatus features.

REFLECTIVE STRIPING

NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus (2003), indicates the following: A reflective stripe(s) shall be affixed to the perimeter of the apparatus. A stripe or combination of stripes shall be a minimum of four inches in total width and cover 50 percent of each side, 50 percent of the rear width, and 25 percent of the front width. Reflective graphic designs shall be permitted to replace all or part of the required striping if the design or combination covers at least the same perimeter length(s) required.


(1) This bold chevron stripe on the bumper meets the requirements of the standard. Sometimes the bumper must be used, especially with the large grille required on most modern apparatus. (Photos 1-8 by author; photos 9-19 by Ron Jeffers.)

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2) This commercial apparatus required the use of a smooth plate for the application of the four-inch stripe.

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(3) On this smaller commercial chassis, two inches of black reflective stripe is applied to the bumper and two inches above the grille to meet the four-inch total requirement. The black reflective strip blends in with the black bumper during the day but is very visible at night.

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(4) This commercial chassis required a smooth plate with a three-inch strip to be mounted below the one-inch strip that was applied below the grille.

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5) The rear of this apparatus had a plate with a four-inch red reflective stripe applied to the rear bumper. If the graphics design above were reflective, it would have reduced some of the requirement.

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6) The two small reflective panels on the rear of this apparatus do not meet the standard. Additional striping or a reflective graphics design can be applied to the roll-up compartment door to complete the installation.

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In most cases, the sides and rear of the apparatus provide enough flat area to affix a compliant reflective stripe. Sometimes this might require a smooth plate to be affixed, especially when the rear of the apparatus is covered with tread plate.

WILLIAM C. PETERS retired after 28 years with the Jersey City (NJ) Fire Department, having served his last 17 years as battalion chief/supervisor of apparatus, with the responsibility of purchasing and maintaining the apparatus fleet. He served as a voting member of the NFPA 1901 apparatus committee for several years, representing apparatus users. He is the author of Fire Apparatus Purchasing Handbook (Fire Engineering 1994); two chapters on apparatus in The Fire Chief’s Handbook, Fifth and Sixth Editions (Fire Engineering, 1995); the instructional video Factory Inspections of New Fire Apparatus (Fire Engineering, 1998); and numerous apparatus-related articles. He is an advisory board member of Fire Engineering and the FDIC and lectures extensively on apparatus purchase and safety issues. Peters can be contacted through his Web site FireApparatusConsulting.com.

Apparatus Points to Ponder

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BY WILLIAM.C. PETERS


(1) The tip of this aerial ladder provides multiple functions for the user. In addition to the remote-controlled ladder pipe, there are line voltage flood lighting, 12-volt spotlights, and a 21/2-inch gated discharge at-tached to the waterway. Although having a hoseline discharge available from the tip of an aerial might be helpful during overhaul, firefighters must be cautioned against making the aerial ladder a very expensive standpipe. The aerial should remain available for rescue or roof access, if needed. (Photos by Ron Jeffers.)


(2) Carrying standpipe packs in the small compartments on an engine can present a chal-lenge. These simple tray and spring holders store the standpipe packs out of the way but readily accessible for quick use.


(3, 4) Often when specifying apparatus, departments overlook void spaces for equipment storage. These apparatus make good use of such areas without taking up valuable compartment space.

(5) This apparatus has a vertical exhaust stack behind the treadplate enclosure. It is very important to consider this option when specifying breathing air and haz-mat units, around which personnel will be working at ground level for long periods of time filling air cylinders or donning protective suits.

(6) In keeping with the ever-expanding role of the fire service, this pumper has transport capabilities for EMS response.

WILLIAM C. PETERS is a 27-year veteran of the Jersey City (NJ) Fire Department and has served the past 15 years as apparatus supervisor, with responsibility for purchasing and maintaining the apparatus fleet. He is a voting member of the NFPA 1901 Apparatus Committee, representing apparatus users. Peters is the author of Fire Apparatus Purchasing Handbook (Fire Engineering, 1994); two chapters on apparatus in The Fire Chief’s Handbook, Fifth Edition (Fire Engineering, 1995); the instructional video Factory Inspections of New Fire Apparatus (Fire Engineering, 1998); and numerous apparatus-related articles. He is an advisory board member of Fire Engineering and the FDIC and lectures extensively on apparatus purchase and safety issues.