By William C. Peters
NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Appa-ratus, has undergone its routine, four-year cycle update. After many long meetings held by the committee and individual task groups considering every recommended modification submitted by the public, the revised document was acted on at the NFPA Technical Meeting in May and issued by the Standards Council on July 18, 2003, with an effective date of August 7, 2003. In the administrative section, it states that the standard shall apply to all new fire apparatus that are 10,000 pounds or greater in gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) designed for use under emergency conditions to transport personnel and equipment and to support the suppression of fires and mitigation of other hazardous situations contracted for on or after January 1, 2004.
In simple terms, the standard was approved for use on August 7, 2003, if both the purchaser and contractor agree but will apply to all purchases beginning on January 1, 2004. Wildland fire apparatus are covered by a different standard—NFPA 1906, Standard for Wildland Fire Apparatus.
This edition does not contain “earth-shattering” changes like the enclosed cabs and aerial requirements of the 1991 edition or the warning lights in the 1996 version but can be considered more of a refinement of an already good document.
As a member of the committee, I am often asked, “What are the manufacturers putting in the standard this time?” While the manufacturers certainly express their opinions in committee functions, the fire service also has an equal voice.
The voting members of the committee are made up of equal proportions of manufacturers, users, and experts. The fire service should also be aware that there are dozens and dozens of nonvoting members who work tirelessly on the various task groups. These groups such as Safety, Chassis, Aerial, Pump, and Electrical discuss public comments that pertain to their area of concern and make recommendations to the committee as a whole.
All of the meetings are open to the public, and anyone present who has a question or comment will be heard. If you are interested in fire apparatus, or have a certain expertise, the group would love to put you to work! By the way, be prepared to pay your own expenses, because no one on the committee or task groups is compensated or reimbursed for their time, expenses, and participation.
People who are accustomed to using NFPA 1901 will notice that there are some new chapters in the body of the text, and the additional material included in the rear of the document has been renamed from Appendix A, Appendix B, and so on to Annex A, Annex B, and so on.
The definitions previously included in Chapter 1, Administration, now stand alone as Chapter 3, Definitions. Reference Publications (which are part of the requirements of the standard) have been moved from Chapter 25 in the previous version to Chapter 2 in the new edition. The insertion and moving of these chapters have caused a renumbering of all of the following chapters. The only other chapter title change is for Chapter 18, Industrial Pumps and Associated Equipment, covering pumps with a minimum rated capacity of 3,000 gpm, which are generally used on industrial fire apparatus. This was previously Chapter 16, Water Transfer Pump and Associated Equipment, which was eliminated.
The following is an overview of the significant changes, listed by chapter. Obviously, every word and every editorial change are not covered here. My recommendation for anyone involved in apparatus purchasing is to obtain the standard and review it extensively.
Chapter 1, Administration
Chapter 1 now identifies the application of the standard to fire apparatus with a 10,000 pound or greater GVWR. Previously, the identity of a fire apparatus was contained only in the definitions section. In addition, it indicates that the standard uses inch-pound units followed by equivalent metric units.
Chapter 2, Reference Publications
Several new reference publications have been included. The portions of these reference documents quoted within the standard are considered part of the requirements.
Chapter 3, Definitions
A few definitions were added, and a few were deleted or changed. Added were definitions of Fixed Power Source, Miscellaneous Equipment, Miscellaneous Equipment Allowance, Power Source. Ramp Breakover Angle, Removable Winch, SCBA Fill Hose and SCBA Fill Station, and Synthetic Breathing Air.
One deleted definition was Aerial Ladder Platform (which is now contained in Elevated Platform). Other deleted definitions were Cable; Generator Fixed & Generator Portable; and Listed, which was used to describe certain equipment such as electrical devices.
Chapter 4, General Requirements
One change is that now third-party testing must be performed by a certification organization accredited for testing systems on fire apparatus. The certification organization cannot be owned or controlled by the manufacturer, must be primarily engaged in certification work, and shall not have a monetary interest in the product’s ultimate profitability. This sets a benchmark for the protection of the apparatus purchaser.
The list of documentation required on delivery has grown extensively. One item (that most manufacturers have not been providing routinely) is a certification of slip resistance of all stepping, standing, and walking surfaces. In addition, the contractor shall provide extensive documentation for the entire apparatus and each major operating system or component. This should help the purchaser when there is a component failure or a problem that needs diagnosis.
Chapter 5, Pumper Fire Apparatus
The basics are the same except for a few minor equipment changes. The requirement for a long-handle connection on a soft suction was eliminated. A separate gated swivel intake connection is now required only if the pump does not have a gated suction inlet installed. The requirement for two double male and two double female adapter fittings was reduced to one of each if the apparatus is equipped with supply hose with sexless couplings. The requirement for two additional wheel chocks if an aerial device is installed was removed.
Chapter 6, Initial Attack Fire Apparatus
Chapter 7, Mobile Water Supply Fire Apparatus
All the changes in Chapter 5 apply to the initial attack and water supply units except for the additional chocks for an aerial device installation.
Chapter 8, Aerial Fire Apparatus
Chapter 9, Quint Fire Apparatus
On aerials with a pump and quints, a gated swivel intake connection is required only if the pump does not have a mounted gated suction. The requirement for two double male and two double female fittings was reduced to one of each if the apparatus has sexless supply hose. The requirement for four wheel chocks has been changed to two with a performance requirement included.
Chapter 10, Special Service Fire Apparatus
The only change in this chapter is that previously, if the apparatus was equipped with a pump and a soft suction hose is provided, the soft suction hose shall be equipped with a long-handle hydrant connection. Now, it just has to be compatible with local hydrant outlet connections.
Chapter 11, Mobile Foam Fire Apparatus
The requirement that a mobile foam apparatus have a fire pump rated at a minimum of 750 gpm has been modified to include a 750-gpm fire pump or an industrial supply pump meeting the requirements of Chapter 18. The same changes that apply to a pumper also apply to mobile foam apparatus, including adapters and hydrant connections.
Chapter 12, Chassis and Vehicle Components
The chart that dictates the miscellaneous equipment weight allowance the manufacturer must allow for each type of apparatus has a couple of important changes.
Previously, all pumpers required an allocation of 2,000 pounds for loose equipment. With the increased use of rescue pumpers with larger locker-style compartments, apparatus were being overloaded. To help prevent this, if a pumper has 250 cubic feet or more of compartment space, an allowance of 2,500 pounds of loose equipment must now be made.
In the 1999 edition of 1901, the maximum allowance for special service apparatus was 3,000 pounds for vehicles with a GVWR of 20,000 pounds and up. This was not nearly enough for the large heavy rescue apparatus being built. The require-ments for special service apparatus are in the box on this page.
The manufacturer shall install in a location visible to the driver a high-visibility plate showing the height, length, and GVWR of the apparatus. This should help the operator determine if it is safe to proceed when low overpass or minimal bridge weight warning signs are posted.
Two important items were added to the previously required lubrication plate in the cab: the front and rear cold tire pressure. Correct tire pressure is critical for the proper and safe handling of the apparatus.
The previous edition of 1901 required an ember separator on the engine air intake, but it did not set any standard for design or performance. It was found that several apparatus (especially commercial chassis) did not sufficiently block embers from entering the engine air intake, causing catastrophic fires that disabled the apparatus during pumping operations. The new standard now indicates that particulate matter larger than .039 inch in diameter not be able to pass through the ember separator and enter the engine air filter.
Chapter 13, Low Voltage Electrical Systems and Warning Devices
As I said earlier, most of the changes in the standard were included to address problems surfacing in the field. An example of this is, with the overwhelming use of the tilt cab, firefighters were sometimes left with dead batteries and no way to reach them with the cab down. The standard now requires a means of jump starting the engine without lifting the cab of the apparatus if the batteries are not accessible.
Warning light requirements are based on the size of an apparatus. Each unit previously was classified as a “large apparatus” (a length of 22 feet or more) or a “small” apparatus (less than 22 feet). This defining measurement has now been changed to 25 feet, so large apparatus are 25 feet and over and small are under 25 feet.
Interior lighting in cab and crew cab compartments has been increased from 1 foot-candle to 2 foot-candles, to add an element of safety.
Lighting compartments more than 4 cubic feet in size is still required, but the standard now indicates that ladder tunnels, pike pole storage tubes, and so on are not required to have compartment lighting. Also included is the requirement that lights be arranged or protected to minimize accidental breakage.
A hazard warning light is still required to warn the driver if items such as equipment racks or light towers are deployed and the parking brake is released. The standard now exempts manually raised pole lights of less than 5 feet from having to be attached to the warning system.
Chapter 14, Driving and Crew Areas
There are several important safety-related changes in this chapter. One addresses the use of seat belts. Originally, the committee was entertaining a suggestion that all of the seat belts must be wired to a warning device as in the family automobile. Many felt that it was just another expensive electrical device to go bad or that the firefighters would buckle the belts and sit on them to silence the alarm. Most felt that the officer in command of the vehicle should be responsible to see that the members are seated and belted before ordering the apparatus to move. The question was then raised, How can the officer distinguish the apparatus seat belts from SCBA straps, portable radio straps, handlight straps, and so on? The new standard now requires the seat belt webbing to be bright red to make it extremely visible. In addition, to make it more convenient to attach the seat belt, the buckle receiver must be mounted on a rigid or semirigid stalk so that the buckle remains accessible.
Another minor addition is that any seating position not intended for use while the vehicle is in motion (such as in a command center) must be labeled accordingly.
Reflective striping has been required on the outside perimeter of the apparatus since 1991. A new requirement in the update is that all driving and crew compartment doors must now have at least 96 square inches of reflective material attached inside the door so that oncoming traffic will be able to see the open door. Some departments have installed actual stop signs inside the cab doors. The shape or color of the reflective material is not defined, only the amount of surface that must be covered.
Seat heights were the object of long discussions in the safety task group, with several experts from the seat manufacturers offering opinions to deal with firefighters’ striking their heads on the cab ceiling while responding. The head height is now more clearly defined: For suspension seats with independent height adjustment, the minimum vertical dimension shall be 37 inches, measured with the height adjustment in its lowest position and the suspension inflated to the upper limit of travel. For nonsuspension seats, the minimum vertical dimension shall be 35 inches with the seat at its lowest position.
SCBA mounting in the cab was another big issue with the committee. Straps or other collision restraining devices have been required for years in the standard, but obviously the big problem is the “human factor.” The firefighters would snap the cylinder into the spring clips but not attach the safety restraint device, and the SCBA would be ejected and become a deadly missile in the cab during a crash. The original proposal was to require a mechanical, European style, clam-shell holder to grasp the cylinder and hold it in place. Most felt that it would be expensive and cumbersome in the tightly packed cabs. Finally, it was decided that if the SCBA could not be held in place (with the spring clips), the firefighter would have to attach the strap to hold it in place when it was not in use! That is the essential requirement of the standard now.
Finally, any interior area of the apparatus that firefighters are expected to occupy (command cab, rescue body, and so on) must have two means of escape.
Chapter 15, Body, Compartments and Equipment Mounting
The slip resistance of all steps and standing and walking surfaces was more clearly identified, including the testing criteria. In addition, the manufacturers must certify at delivery that all steps and surfaces are compliant.
With the popularity of portable winches and rope anchor points using trailer-style receivers mounted around the body, the committee decided to include some guidance as to requirements for mounting and using this equipment. Receivers or anchors for use with removable winch anchors are to be designed with a 1.5:1 safety factor. If the receiver is installed for use with wire rope, a 5:1 safety factor shall be provided. A label must be placed near each receiver stating the maximum winch loading the receiver can support.
Chapter 16, Fire Pump and Associated Equipment
There were a few adjustments to the pump chapter. The wording on the valved intake warning plate was changed from “Death or injury might occur if the inlet is supplied by a pressurized source” to “Death or injury might occur if proper operating procedures are not followed.” (Note: This description is not a direct quote but rather the basic definition of the warning plate’s purpose. The exact wording is contained in the standard.)
The committee decided that since a valved intake on a pump needs a bleeder to relieve the air in the line, the addition of a valved appliance, such as a piston intake valve, also needs a 3/4-inch air bleeder.
Automatic pressure relief devices on intakes must now be adjustable from 90 to 185 psi.
If the pump is equipped with one or more nonvalved intakes larger than 31/2 inches, an adjustable automatic pressure relief device must be installed on the pump to bleed off excess pressure from a hose connected to the pump intake.
The performance requirement for pressure control systems was expanded to cover a range of 70 to 300 psi net pump pressure. Previously, the pressure control system needed to control from 100 to 300 psi.
Conditions of electrical systems during pump tests were more clearly defined. If the vehicle is equipped with a fixed power source driven by the same engine that drives the fire pump, it shall be running at a minimum of 50 percent of its rated capacity during the test. A fixed power source is any line voltage power source except a portable generator.
The following items are permitted to be turned off during the pump test: aerial hydraulic pump, foam pump, hydraulically driven equipment other than hydraulically driven generators, winch, windshield wipers, four-way hazard lights, and compressed air foam system compressor.
Chapter 17, Auxiliary Pump and Associated Equipment
Pump performance for auxiliary pumps is now to be rated either high pressure or medium pressure.
High-pressure auxiliary pumps shall provide a minimum of 66 gpm at 600 psi discharge pressure for each high-pressure hose reel connected to it that can be operated simultaneously.
A medium-pressure auxiliary pump shall have one of the following capacities: 30 gpm, 50 gpm, 90 gpm, 120 gpm, 250 gpm, or 350 gpm. In addition, it shall pump its rated capacity as follows:
- 100% capacity @ 150 psi.
- 70% capacity @ 200 psi.
- 50% capacity @ 250 psi discharge pressure.
These ratings shall be obtained while pumping from the apparatus water tank.
Chapter 18, Industrial Supply Pump and Associated Equipment
This whole chapter is new. Large industrial supply pumps are usually found on mobile foam apparatus used in industrial applications. The following is a brief overview of the basic requirements:
- Minimum capacity of 3,000 gpm @ 100 psi.
- Pump system capabilities
—100% rated capacity @ 100 psi.
—70% rated capacity @150 psi.
—50% rated capacity @ 200 psi.
Most of the remaining requirements regarding suctions, discharges, instrumentation, and testing mirror the fire pump chapter.
Chapter 19, Water Tanks
Only one small addition was included in this chapter: If the sump at the bottom of the tank is used for the tank-to-pump line connection, the design shall prevent sludge or debris from entering the pump.
Chapter 20, Aerial Devices
The rung spacing was changed from a firm 14 inches to a minimum of 11.75 to a maximum of 14 inches. The top rails on the ladder shall be a minimum of 12 inches high, excluding the outermost two rungs of the outermost fly section. This was changed to allow a tapered tip for enhanced rescue capabilities.
The description of the old-style “ladder locks” and associated equipment has been deleted. Requirements for maintenance access for rollers, pulleys, guides, slide pads, and bearings are contained to expedite repair and replacement.
Where wire rope or chains are used to extend the ladder sections, the system must be redundant with a minimum of two ropes or chains used.
For the first time, the standard indicates that a power-operated turntable and the description of the nozzle rotation etc. for water towers pertain to towers of 3,500 gpm or less. Industrial-type towers rated more than 3,500 gpm do not have to meet these requirements.
Another first is addressing the European style of the aerial operator’s position. Previously, the standard only mentioned that a 42-inch-high railing be able to withstand 225 pounds from any point, with deformation to be provided at the turntable. The standard now also includes requirements for when the operator’s position is equipped with a seat. The seat armrest or a railing must also be provided to withstand the same force.
Aerial devices are now permitted to have a 75,000 candlepower spotlight or a floodlight to observe the effects of the ladder pipe or monitor the nozzle stream.
Finally, a flow test must now be conducted on every apparatus manufactured to determine that the water system is capable of 1,000 gpm at 100 psi nozzle pressure with the aerial device at full elevation and extension. This can no longer be a blanket “design test” covering the engineering of the waterway but must be certified on each individual vehicle.
Chapter 21, Foam Proportioning Systems
Now the purchaser must specify the range of water flows and pressures, proportioning rates, types of concentrate, and brand and viscosity of concentrate when ordering a foam system. This was done to give the manufacturer the information needed to properly design and engineer a system to meet the purchaser’s needs.
The size of the foam tank and pressure vessel drain lines was increased from 1/2 inch to 1 inch.
The foam-proportioning accuracy for systems designed to produce foam solutions of less than 1% shall proportion concentrate to an accuracy of 0 to +40 percent. The previous accuracy requirement was +/- 20%.
A whole new Certification and Documentation section is required, certifying the following:
- The system is installed in compliance with the foam equipment manufacturer’s and purchaser’s specifications.
- The foam system has been calibrated and tested to meet the specifications.
- The accuracy of the system meets the standard.
I can tell you for a fact that many apparatus with intricate foam systems leave the factory without any testing whatsoever.
Chapter 22, Compressed Air Foam Systems
One interesting item was added that will make you ask, Where was this before? Two copies of an operations and maintenance manual that includes a complete diagram of the system, operating instructions, the system rating, and details outlining all recommended maintenance procedures must be supplied with the apparatus on delivery.
Chapter 23, Line Voltage Electrical Systems
In the stability descriptions, the standard now requires the power source to provide alternating current at 60 Hz +/-3 Hz. Previously, the deviation allowed was +/-5 cycles (Hz). Also, the maximum voltage supplied to portable equipment shall not exceed 275 volts to ground. This is up 25 volts from 250 in the previous standard.
If a power take-off (PTO) generator is located under the body or chassis, the installation must include a shield to deflect road spray from splashing directly on the generator.
The power source manufacturer must now declare the continuous duty rating for the power source when installed on a fire apparatus being operated at 120° air intake temperature.
The required instrumentation has changed a bit in this edition. Previously, for generators rated under 8 kW, only a “power on” light was required. Over 8 kW, a full monitoring panel had to be provided. The new standard requires the following:
- For less than 3 kW, a “power on” indicator is to be provided.
- From 3 kW but less than 8 kW, a voltmeter shall be provided.
- For 8 kW and up, the following instrumentation is needed:
—Current meters for each ungrounded leg.
—Frequency (Hz) meter.
—Power source hourmeter.
Unless the generator is always engaged, a “Generator Engaged” indicator is required in the driving compartment to indicate that the generator shift has been successfully completed.
Under the hydraulically driven generators chapter, there is a requirement that if the apparatus is equipped with a fire pump that is driven by the chassis engine, the generator must be capable of output at idle.
Several new requirements for fixed auxiliary engine generators are contained in the new standard:
- Generators 8 kW and over must be equipped with a high-temperature and low oil pressure automatic shutdown system.
- Generators installed in compartments requiring the compartment doors to be open during operations must be equipped with a compartment door interlock system or a high-temperature alarm.
- Generators installed in compartments on slide-out trays and designated for operation in the slide-out position must have an interlock or high-temperature alarm.
- Permanently installed generators shall have easily accessible engine oil drain provisions or piping to a remote location for oil changing.
- Generators located away or remote from the main operator’s area must have a remote operating panel with required instrumentation and start and stop controls.
- Systems that use the vehicle’s low voltage electrical system to supply line voltage, such as invertors, are now required to show that the alternator and/or battery system is adequate to provide power for a continuous operation for a minimum of two hours at full output. Another requirement is that this type of system cannot cannot be shed by a load management system during the two-hour test.
If manually operated floodlights are not operable from the ground, access steps and handrails must be provided to allow the operator to reach the light.
The procedure for conducting a Dielectric Voltage Test is now outlined in the standard. Other tests such as light towers, floodlights, and portable generators shall be operated at their full rating or capacity for 30 minutes to ensure proper operation.
The testing of the fixed power source shall be witnessed and the results of the tests certified by an independent third-party certification agency.
Chapter 24, Command and Communications
There are just a few minor “housekeeping” additions here, reminding us that the handrails and the steps, floors, and walking surfaces must meet the slip resistance requirements outlined in Chapter 15.
Chapter 25, Air System
The air operator’s panel containing gauges, instruments, valves, and so on must now be lighted in compliance with Chapter 4.
A very important addition is the requirement that the manufacturer provide training and instruction in the operation of compressor/ purification systems installed on new apparatus. This must include the following:
- System familiarization.
- Complete review of system and safety features.
- A review of all operation, service, and maintenance documentation.
- Hands-on familiarization with the safe operation of the fill station; air management panel, including actual SCBA filling; air reel operations; and other pertinent operations of the system.
If the system includes a purification system, the training shall also include the following:
- A review of the compressor purification system operations and maintenance.
- Procedures to change purification cartridges.
- Hands-on training in the safe operation of the compressor and purification system.
The fire department is supposed to designate one or two individuals to be the focal points for all breathing air systems training and equipment instruction.
The revised standard now indicates that the chassis air brake system shall NOT be used for emergency use applications such as airbags, tools, air reels, and other rescue applications. This is something I have told apparatus specifiers for years, as the air compressor on the apparatus does not have enough capacity to sustain such an operation. It CAN, however, still be used for nonemergency applications such as filling tires as long as there is a pressure protection valve on the system.
Chapter 26, Winches
A few changes were made to keep up with technology. The previous minimum capacity of 6,000 pounds for a winch was removed. It now states that the winch should be designed for the “intended use.” Also reduced was the amount of wire rope needed—from 100 feet to 75 feet minimum.
Removable electric winches temporarily attached to the apparatus by a trailer hitch receiver are now addressed, including the electrical power requirements for their use.
Finally, hydraulically driven winches that use engine power have a few new requirements. An “OK to Operate Winch” indicator must be provided to show that the winch is engaged, the transmission is in the proper gear, and the parking brake is applied. Also, an interlock system must be provided to prevent the advancement of the engine speed at the winch panel unless the vehicle is in the “OK to Operate Winch” mode.
There are a few new Annexes that contain valuable resources for the fire apparatus purchaser. Annex B, which previously provided only the “Apparatus Purchasing Specifications Form,” has been expanded to include a “Fire Apparatus Delivery Inspection Form” and an “As Delivered Weight Analysis Calculation Worksheet.” The first form guides the inspector through the NFPA 1901 compliance issues by paragraph and topic, with a brief description of the requirement and a “Pass/Fail/NA” check-off column. The second form allows the inspector to estimate the in-service axle loads by factoring the number of personnel, hose load, and equipment load. Properly completing this form will help ensure that the apparatus will not become overloaded when you are back in the station and load the hose and equipment onboard.
Much work was done on Annex C, “Worksheet for Determining Equipment Weight on Fire Apparatus.” Most items of loose equipment are listed with their approximate dimensions and weight. By completing the quantity and totaling the weight, the purchaser can get a pretty good idea if the standard equipment weight allowance will suffice or if he will have to specify a greater axle carrying capacity.
NOTE: A valuable on-line, downloadable spreadsheet similar to this equipment list is available at the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers Association (FAMA) Web site (www.FAMA.org). This can really speed up the process by automatically calculating the weight when the user inserts the quantity value of each item.
One of the most controversial items included in the standard is Annex D, “Guidelines for First Line and Reserve Apparatus.” Essentially, it takes into consideration all of the operational and safety changes that have evolved over the past 24 years of updates in the apparatus standard and recommends that apparatus built to meet the 1979 or 1985 editions of NFPA 1901 should be placed in reserve status and upgraded to incorporate as many of the post-1991 features as possible and that apparatus not built to NFPA standards or manufactured prior to 1979 (24 years old) should be considered for upgrading or replacement. Some took this as a personal attack and condemnation of older fire apparatus. The true purpose of this section is to give the chief who is desperately trying to justify a new apparatus for the safety of his personnel a place to go as a reference. Annex items are not requirements of the standard, only recommendations.
AN INVOLVED BUT REWARDING PROCESS
The standards-making process is a very long, involved, and expensive project for the members of the committee and the task group volunteers; but, by the same token, it is very rewarding to go through the standard and realize that the problems the fire service brought to our attention have been addressed for the betterment of the fire service in general.
As always, I urge you to GET INVOLVED! Even if you are not in a position to attend the meetings, every NFPA standard has a form in the rear for submitting your ideas and recommending changes. Every single public comment is logged in and addressed by the committee. It will be four years until the next revision is published, so give it some thought; you have time!
WILLIAM C. PETERS is a 28-year veteran of the Jersey City (NJ) Fire Department and has served the past 16 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 and Sixth Editions (Fire Engineering); the video Factory Inspections of New Fire Apparatus (Fire En-gineering, 1998); and numerous apparatus-related articles. He is an advisory board member of Fire Engineering and the FDIC and lectures on apparatus purchase and safety issues. Contact him on the Web at FireApparatusConsulting.com.