The 2009 version of NFPA 1901is going to mandate chevrons on the rear of apparatus, like they do in Europe. I think it's a great idea who's time has finally come. I'm sure many FF's and civilian's lives will be saved by this. We need to be visible out there. Some F.D's have been doing this for a while, (see the JPG below). What do you think?

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"The chevrons are designed to be part of a total apparatus safety package - improved warning lights, rear arrow stick lights, improved scene lighting, better warning light positioning on the apparatus, and etc. If those things prevent even one LODD at a highway incident, they're worth it." - Ben Waller

Amen, Ben! It's a shame some of our brothers just don't get it.

Stay safe!
A lot of our runs are OVER ten miles.Ever follow a chevroned rig? Particularly at night with all your warning lights on? NOT much fun. I'm betting the % of crashes the chevrons PREVENT will be so low as to be non contributory to our safety.Time will tell. T.C.
As much as I dislike the look of them, it will save lives and therefor I am all for it. they really do improve the visibility of the apparatus.
When that happens on our scenes, law enforcement is usually quick to catch up with them and take care of the problem. Its unfortunate that not all can be prevented.
Gotta say this is one subject that I'm not that well informed about, they certainly get my attention and I know when we were purchasing our new rig we were told it wasn't really a color issue as much as a contrast problem. Breaking up the color and pattern of a vehicle outline ,we were told ,was the primary aim of these chevrons. My two cents worth on the subject if they work I'm all for it.
I think its a good idea, however i also know that no matter what we do, we alone CAN NOT fix stupid. People traveling in cars DO NOT care weather we have chevrons and very bright color clothing on, in big trucks with lights all over it looking like an airport runway. Fact is as long as there is traffic on the roads then there will be those of us who get hurt helping others. My deptartment had a close call a while back on I-64, 2 teenagers felt as though they shouldnt have to wait sitting in a construction zone where there was also another accident we were working, they sped up, hit the shoulder, lost control, managed to serpentine between to state trooper cars and smash the back of our rescue truck, now seriously would chevrons have stopped this from happening? Dont get me wrong i am all for ANYTHING that will save/protect us, i just think NFPA (not for practical application) should make it optional, not mandatory.

You are right, nothing will "fix Stupid." Chevrons on apparatus aren't aimed at fixing stupid, those will continue to occur until we can stop renegade vehicles away from the apparatus with barriers of some type.

What chevrons fix is distracted and inattentive drivers by creating a pattern which attracts the human eye in spite of the owner of said eye. Yellow/Red Chevrons naturally attract the attention of drivers due to the pattern and color contrast, even when they are trying to ignore strobes, and other lights. It's using psychology to help keep us safer.

Right now is the least effective time for apparatus chevrons because the average Americans doesn't know that they are on the backs of Fire Engines and even when they see it, may not register it as an immovable object and react accordingly. There really needs to be a public education plan to tell people that if you're heading towards red and yellow chevrons and you're not stopping, you're going to crash...and it ain't moving.

It seems to me that everything the NFPA publishes is for practical application. you may not like every evolutionary change in the the standards, but they occur for a reason. If it weren't for NFPA standards, we wouldn't have SCBA (which some people still seem to think are just seat decorations required by NFPA) or frankly many of the thousands of things you use everyday on the job. Full Turnouts instead of 3/4 boots and a rubber coat and adjustable stream nozzles are just a couple.

In ten years it'll be hard to remember a time when apparatus didn't have chevrons and someone will be complaining about the next change.


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