JAN 2017

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systems and rescue-style, full-depth body compartments have all had an impact on the vehicles size and in service weight. Additionally, engine emission standards required all manufacturers to redesign their custom cabs to accommodate larger cooling packages and exhaust after treat- ment components, all of which impact the space available for personnel and interior equipment storage. A visit to any local fire apparatus and equipment show may reinforce the nota- tion that a moderate wheelbase engine outfitted with a rescue/engine body, 1,000-gallon water tank, generator, light tower and the latest foam system technol- ogy will work for your department. But just because the apparatus will fit into the available space in the station does not mean that it will perform well within the response district. An increasing number of apparatus accidents are caused by over- sized units that, while meeting all require- ments of NFPA 1901 standards, display performance that is compromised by its weight and size, as well as the driver's ability to operate the unit under all road and weather conditions. Safety and performance Apparatus safety and performance should be at the forefront of any discussions regarding the vehicle's overall design. When considering a new apparatus, par- ticularly a combination unit like a rescue/ engine or quint, the committee should have similar size and weight apparatus brought to the community to validate the vehicle's capabilities. The committee should identify five places where each unit should be taken as part of the validating process. This should include station bay space, maneuverability within streets, cul-de-sacs, bridges and complexes with access concerns. Many communities have adopted minimum building setback Request information at e-inquiry requirements, including green space land- scaping that impacts apparatus positioning and often limits access to more than one side of the structure. Above all, the appa- ratus must be designed to meet the depart- ment's mission and provide the required years of reliable front-line service. Fire apparatus acquisition and fleet replacement need to be a deliberate process and one that is planned out in advance. Unfortunately, many depart- ments find themselves operating with an aged fleet with reliance on spare or reserve apparatus to provide fire and emergency services. The complexity of chassis electrical systems along with other components all have an impact on pre- ventive maintenance and inspection costs over the vehicle's life cycle. Maintenance access and components with a strong track The committee should identify five places where each unit should be taken as part of the validating process. The Inventor of the Aluminum Fire Ladder 1.800.948.7750 Five generations, dedicated to serving firefighters! Contact us today to see how we can fulfill your fire ladder needs. January 2017 l Firehouse l 37

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