For Pricing Or More Information Please Contact Us At:
Coil-Lok P/N #1021
;Extension Cords ;Hydraulic Hose ;Pike Poles
;Multiple “D” Handled Tools ;Chains
;Tow Lines ;Coiled Cables
FAMA FORUM ROGER LACKORE
NFPA 1901 and
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1901, Standard for
Automotive Fire Apparatus, and NFPA 1906, Standard for Wildland
Fire Apparatus, are the guiding documents for apparatus design.
As such, Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’
Association (FAMA) member companies
take a very active interest in their content.
Changes made to these documents by the
NFPA Apparatus Committee can have significant impact on safety, performance, and
cost. The committee, comprising fire chiefs,
industry experts, and manufacturers, has
been working on revisions over the past
few years, and the new versions will take
effect on apparatus contracted for delivery
after January 1, 2016. In contrast to the 2009
standards updates, the document revisions
this time around do not involve dramatic
impacts to apparatus design. Here are some
highlights included in the 2016 revisions.
Ultra High Pressure
The use of ultra high pressure in fire
suppression has been promoted by the
United States Air Force over the past few
years. Having recognized that this tech-
nique has been gaining popularity in certain
applications, the committee defined pump
discharge pressures up to 500 pounds per
square inch (psi) as “Normal Pressure,”
between 500 and 1,100 psi as “High Pressure,”
and over 1,100 psi as “Ultra High Pressure
(UHP).” A new chapter has been added to
establish the minimum requirements of a
UHP pumping system.
New Apparatus Familiarization
Safety Sign Standardization
Originally prompted by Chief Thomas
Wood of the Boca Raton (FL) Fire
Department, the FAMA technical commit-
tee developed a series of standardized safety
signs covering the common hazards of fire
apparatus operation. Wood felt that firefight-
ers were better served by having consistency
in the safety messages between apparatus—
even if they came from different manufac-
turers. Many of the FAMA signs have been
added as requirements in the standards,
ensuring that safety messages on future
apparatus will be consistent across all man-
ufacturers’ products. The complete set of
FAMA safety signs can be viewed and downloaded
from the resource tab at www.FAMA.org.
FAMA Safety Guide
Another FAMA initiative was creating
the FAMA Fire Apparatus Safety Guide. This
guide, now in its second revision, covers
safe practices common to all fire apparatus
and is a great resource for safety-conscious
fire departments. A copy of the FAMA Fire
Apparatus Safety Guide will be required to
accompany every new apparatus delivery.
Fire departments may purchase extra copies
of the guide at www.FAMA.org.
Seat Belt Stalk Length
The ease with which firefighters can
buckle their seat belts continued to be a
topic of discussion at committee meetings.
One means of making it easier to buckle the
belt is to increase the height of the buckle
stalk. A higher stalk is easier to reach, but
a stalk that is too high reduces the effectiveness of the belt in a crash. After studying the science, the committee established
a maximum buckle stalk length that it feels
will improve reachability without compromising performance.
Tiller Cab Integrity
In 2009, NFPA 1901 was revised to mandate cab integrity criteria for large apparatus. The new revision extends the criteria to
tractor-drawn apparatus cabs, providing a
similar level of protection for tiller drivers
as is mandated for the occupants up front.
Stepping, Standing, and
The committee spent considerable
time considering ways to improve safety for firefighters climbing and walking on
the apparatus. In addition to a few minor
adjustments to step requirements, the main
change is a requirement to more clearly designate walking surfaces on top of the apparatus. Just as most factory floors include
yellow lines to indicate where to walk to
stay clear of hazards, new apparatus will
include lines of a contrasting color to designate where firefighters should walk.
Pressure-relieving caps were introduced
about 10 years ago, and they have gained
in popularity. These caps have grooves
cut in the female threads that allow any
trapped pressure to escape before the cap
is spun off. The committee recognized this
feature as a relatively inexpensive way to
improve safety and felt these caps should
be mandated as a standard for all discharge connections.
Strength requirements for aerial platform handrails and gates have been established. This may drive some noticeable
design changes to the traditional platform
apparatus basket. Requirements for ladder
belt attachments and attachment strength
also have been added.
A section has been added to define minimum standards for the strength and performance of powered masts used for elevating
scene lights, antennas, or video cameras.
All masts will need to withstand a 50-mph
wind without the aid of guy wires with a
125 percent safety factor.
A task force within the committee created a new chapter establishing criteria
for crew carriers used primarily for transporting wildland firefighters. Mandated
criteria include structural integrity of the
body as well as requirements for seating,
doors, compartmentation, and miscellaneous equipment.
OnBoard Pump-and-Roll Firefighting
Another major change to the wildland standard is the addition of an
onboard pump-and-roll firefighting position. This optional feature is intended to
allow departments in the fine-fuels flat-land regions to spray water from the
back of the apparatus while being surrounded by a protective structure. For
more details, see the FAMA Forum article in the February 2015 Fire Apparatus &
While NFPA 1906 was just revised
in 2012, it will have been seven years
between revisions of NFPA 1901. The committee purposely delayed the 1901 revisions to shift both standards onto the
same cycle. While this method makes for
longer meetings, it allows the apparatus
committee to ensure that the 1901 and
1906 standards are consistent and that
changes are synchronized. FAMA member company representatives were active
during the revision process and will continue to support the fire industry through
involvement in the NFPA process in
FAMA is committed to the manufacture and sale of safe, efficient emergency
response vehicles and equipment. FAMA
urges fire departments to evaluate the full
range of safety features offered by its member companies.
ROGER LACKORE is the director of
product safety for Oshkosh Corporation. He
has a bachelor of science degree in mechanical
engineering and a master’s degree in engineering
management. He is licensed as a professional
engineer and a certified safety professional.
Lackore has 27 years of design experience in the
heavy vehicle industry.