OK, what’s your thoughts on NFPA apparatus standards. How far is this going to go? For the most part all are good, but still, there are a few. I personally feel in their goal to make trucks safer, they may be going a bit overboard. I’m going to take a guess here but 90% of all accidents are driver error, so why fix the truck? Before you know it there will be training wheels. I’m just whining because the truck we are about to purchase is 100 grand more then the last one we purchased 8 years ago. Is it any safer? Not that I can tell, there are a few more lights, a warning buzzer or 2, maybe another grab bar or slip plate, but basically the same. Yes I know costs go up annually, and in the last 2 years have made big jumps, but come on. The reason we are buying 2 years ahead of schedule is in 09 new NFPA standards will add an estimated 20 grand. I understand change is needed from time to time but do we need a black box to tell us it was driver error, or hooks for helmets, or single point air for the tires, when is enough enough? I’ll get off my soap box now.
No, don't climb down just yet....we just received the NEW standars for the future.....I hope you take delivery before 2010....after that a chip has to be installed in every truck....it tells whether seat belts are used, it tells rpm's and speed...it tell about brake usage...and every vehicle capable of carrying 1000gals of water has to have a governor installed limiting speed to 62 mph....and we have to put a minimum of 5 cones on EVERY vehicle...24 inches tall with 2 6 inch reflective bands...there is more but that makes my point.....I guess NFPA....does stand for Not For Practical Application....Stay safe keep the faith....Paul
Actually “the chip” is the little black box I mentioned and that is in 09, and I believe it is suppose to be like the airplanes and stand up to a crash. 2010 is when the new EPA tier 4 diesel motor reg’s take place, so add another 10grand.
Over engineering and adding to many electronic gizmos, when all they need is more common sense for the drivers, and not only the drivers of the apparatus but better education for the public on how to drive. The more electrics they place on the rigs the more they can fail and cause out of service time for the departments. As for the puiblic I have seen more people that look like they got thier drivers license out of a cracker jacks box than have earned them, I've seen drivers shrug thier shoulders at us like we were disturbing them while on a call.
"Actually “the chip” is the little black box I mentioned and that is in 09, and I believe it is suppose to be like the airplanes and stand up to a crash"
Why don't they just make the whole truck out of the "black box" material?
Seriously though, I realize that some of these "improvements" add several thousand dollars to an apparatus purchase, but If you look at the big picture you'll see that for the most part they will improve safety. As for the cones and vests and chevrons on the rear of the vehicle, these are because we just can't seem to educate the general public to slow down and use caution when driving near emergency vehicles!
I'm sure there's some oldtimers around who whined when closed cab apparatus were mandated, or when SCBA's came out, or when 3/4 boots were replaced by bunker pants! Bottom line, if these things help me do the job better and help ensure that I'll go home to my family after my shift, then I'm all for them! Stay safe people!
That is so true, the smaller Departments will have a harder time getting thier apparatus replaced, due to the pricing, If they cannot get grants to replace vehicles then they would be forced to use old equipment that could break down at a crucial time.
One effect of these standards will be to drive more departments into buying used equipment; already in our department, over the past decade the average age of apparatus has gone from nine years to 21 years. We're getting ready to order a new engine, which is going to cost us about the same as the telesqurt we bought nine years ago.
Sometimes the advance of laws and technology can be a bad thing as far as trucks go. We have a 1984 mack cf and have had no problems with it. I think they are trying to cram more and more electronics into the new trucks that are really not needed.
We have a neighboring department the bought a new truck and when the are responding to calls the truck will shut off when they go around right hand turns. They have sent it back to be worked on and they have had trouble finding the problem.
Why do the have to switch to electronis gauges the mechanical ones work just fine and as far as a governor on the engine goes ours has one on it already and I think it is set at 65 MPH.
Don't get me wrong I am all for the advancement of safety in fire fighting operations but a vehicle is just a vehicle and it is only as safe as they person operating it.
Governors have been around for years, we have a 69 with it. Not sure when it came about but pretty sure it’s been 68mph for a long time. In today’s trucks this option should not add a dime, throttle is computer controlled, just plug the laptop into the ECM and bingo, 62MPH
I'm not on the apparatus committee at either one of my FD's, but your points are very interesting to me. In my own naivity, I always considered NFPA standards to be good. Now, I see that not all of these standards are really user friendly and they are written by people who believe FD's have a bottomless checkbook. Thanks for the insight.
"there won't be electronic evidence of his driving history"
Don't bet on it. There have been a sort of "black box" on private vehicles for several years. Although they only capture the last 90 sec before a crash, they display the speed, and braking inertia and can be retrieved from the vehicle by law enforcement. Our local traffic investigators can and do download it onto their laptop on scene, esp. in dealing with a fatality.
But I agree that the estimated $8000 - $20,000 price increase will mean many departments will have to continue to use outdated and sometimes unsafe equipment.