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.

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Everyone agrees safety first. That’s what NFPA does, but their just standards, not mandatory. Bottom line, as usual is money, and no one knows exactly what these new regs will cost, 20 grand may mean you can’t afford to put hose on it, lets look at a few.

Diesel exhaust is an EPA thing and mandatory, we have no control here, but if you have a wildland truck and it decides to regenerate while you are in a field of tall grass, you got another fire to fight.

Chevron striping I like, and if you don’t run MVA’s on a high speed interstate, you probably won’t understand. We have it specked in our new truck.

Rollover design requirements, this can be proven on paper in a good MFG design dept, along with in service weight, which BTW has been a standard for years, all trucks GVW should be calculated with water+equipment+personal. Tires are a no-brainer, and if they are not right leads to the next line. What most of these regs will do is weed out the equipment suppliers that sideline in trucks, and there are several. This is also a good thing and should only increase the paperwork and be a minimal cost.

Speed, the cause of more accidents then anything else. I also agree with this one but; speed now is limited to 68, new is to be 62, OK, we have both and its no big deal other then it pisses you off when everyone passes you in route, yes even with lights and sirens going. Speed is computer controlled and easily changed with a laptop. I would like to see some data here, excessive speed is a major problem, but my guess would be in town and cornering where 68 to 62 won’t make a difference.

You can no longer don SCBA’s while in route or wear a helmet, hence the need to lock it down. Larger bright colored seatbelts plus a loud warning device, for the most part already done, well at least in commercial trucks, just add some sensors to the seats. The bright colored belts intrigue me, easier to spot?? With the warning device, why?? Maybe so the cops can spot and issues tickets??

Now the 2 that I think are a waste of money, and they are not cheep. Single point air monitor, anyone been around one of these, a maintenance nightmare, and why? So someone doesn’t have to check tire pressure. I know large tires, especially duels, are a pain to check/air, so how about single point fill on the rears, buy them at any truck stop for about 20 bucks. Can anyone tell me DOT recommendation for pre-trip tire check? You could use a hammer, point here; check the frickin tires from time to time.

And last the “black box” this seems to be a big ticket item, and there are mixed feelings here. I don’t see any thing related to safety. Liability yes, but any good investigator will tell you in 30min, what happened. This info is already there and stored in the BCM/ECM, its just not crash proof, actually fire would be about the only think that would destroy it. This ones got insurance company wrote all over it, will it save on your premium, no, but I got an idea, lets make them pay for it, wait a minute, that will increase you premium.
I think the orange seat belt straps are so we won't get them confused with SCBA straps. Gotta make everything Firefighter proof!
Maybe I am interpreting this "data recorder" differently so can someone clarify it? 1901says that the information should be downloadable within a 48 hr loop. Now does that mean WE can download it & study it @ anytime OR will it only be used as information in an accident?

I didn't see anything that says we can't don SCBA enroute. Where did I miss that? I did see the helmet storage & the sinage deal about not wearing them while the vehicle is moving.

Some of the items addressed in 1901 are things we already do. Some FDs already use the tire pressure monitoring systems. We have discussed it in my department but haven't acted on it yet.
We carry AEDs, vest, cones & flares already.
Maybe it is just me but, everytime I get in an apparatus I have to adjust the seat & the mirrors. Electric mirrors are much easier to adjust.
We already use heat shields, not everybody of course but some already have that equipment. We used to take ours off in summer but now they have made them harder to remove. (We had 1 vehicle that the tires on 1side kept wearing out - the exhaust came out right beside the tire so it kept getting rather warm.)
The step/compartment lights are pretty much a standard thing.
The manufacturer certification and documentation that 1901 requires shouldn't be much of an issue for us as it will be for the mfgs.

I'm not completely onboard with all of the retroreflective marking devices yet but basically that is a matter of aesthetics, but I if it works like a fire truck and looks (somewhat) like a fire truck, it MUST BE a fire truck. :)
Jenny;

I’m not sure if anyone knows how, where or who will handle the box yet. Since its truck functions I would think it’s the truck mfg, or at least that is what the apparatus mfg would like. Within the truck chassis the technology is already there, through the engine control module and the body control module and some info is stored, just not all and in a 48hr loop, this looks to me like a program deal, plus they will have to make it crash proof. As far as info retrieval, currently it takes a special reader, basically a hand held computer, prices range from $100-$3000 and generally can’t be purchased till the vehicle is 2 years old, prior to that it’s the dealers baby. In a black box scenario, I’m not sure if that’s been though of yet, as far as us using the info for say TRAINING.
Somewhere amongst the many meetings I go to I heard/read about the SCBA thing, I think it’s already a standard, maybe I’m wrong, someone will surely point this out.
I’m going to have to disagree with you on stripping being just aesthetics, this one is good. When you are on a well traveled interstate you need all the help you can get. For some reason people, dumb people, just can’t see, or chose to ignore flashing lights. We have got to find a way to slow these people down. Everything being done is a step in the right direction, but in my opinion not enough. Maybe mandatory license suspension will work, but this is a discussion for a different thread.
If you find the documentation about the SCBA please pass it along. It doesn't seem to make sense since we have installed all the SCBA seating in the trucks. But then again, as I said, I had a friend paralyzed because he was wearing SCBA when the truck wrecked. In my estimation a better solution would be to have the SCBA stationed in front of the fire fighter so they could grab it as they got out of the vehicle & don it then. For years (in some of our apparatus yet) the crew has to get out of the truck & open a door to grab an air pack. How much time does that actually take? One of our trucks had them at the right height to just pack into it. I'd like to see someone do that our one of our Pierce engines now. The doors are so high that I have to jump out of the way after opening them & cannot close them myself because I can't reach them when they are up. I am NOT that short. There are several of the men who have the same problem. We learned from this rig that "high sides" are not a really good option although it does give us more storage.

As far as the retroreflective striping goes, I know we need a lot of it on the vehicles and on us when we are working @ an accident. What I meant was that I am not sure how much difference a chevron will make compared to what we have now. I also noticed that they have decided the striping should be particular colors. THAT I am happy about!! Our new apparatus has a black reflective stripe. It looks cool & it does show up well but I don't think it is as shockingly bright as other colors. I have seen the blue as well that doesn't REFLECT as well as green or yellow or orange. The chevrons will be on the back of the apparatus. I suppose having them at a 45 degree angle will make them look like arrows. I have seen a few state trucks with LED lights flashing across the back too. (Shhhh I shouldn't have said that, someone might pick that up & make it standard). I know they frown on shutting down an interstate when there is an acident but THAT would make emergency service workers a lot safer. They do that often in WV. Placing apparatus between the accident & traffic is a good safety measure but often isn't an option. We recently purchased battery operated reflectors to use instead of flares. They don't have to be replaced.

We can take measure upon measure to make US safer but you are right, until penalties for speeding in an accident zone are stiffer it will continue to happen. People go to sleep @ the wheel, or are busy gawking trying to see what is going on & not paying attention to where they are going, talking on their cell phone, they get irritated because we are slowing them down Or they think it is OK for them to go through even though there is a fire fighter standing there with all kinds of reflective material on, cones, a light & a stop sign telling them to stop or reroute. It seems no matter how we try to control it, you just can't stop stupid.
Actually Jen its “you can’t fix stupid” LOL There is a product called, I think, dots that is used for the strips, little ½” round reflective stickers you self install, I wouldn’t want to pay someone to put these on, but you really don’t notice them up close, but get back 10’ and WOW they standout, even in daylight.
As for the SCBA thing, I was hoping that someone else would chime in to confirm or deny, I only remember being told. We have 1 truck with compartment brackets; we have also specked on our new truck since it’s only a reg cab. I prefer these as I like the overhead donning method anyways.
Another one of my ideas for the stupid driver is to carry a paint ball gun for vehicle identification.
Do NFPA and EPA standards add to the cost of a new piece of equipment? Most certainly.
But so does advertising, hospitality rooms, expos, wages and benefits for company employees, licensing with regulatory agencies (UL, etc.), material costs; well, you get the picture.
But notice what I listed first. When you go to a conference where apparatus is on display, what would you suppose a company pays for that privilege? And that “fee” that they pay is driven by the people who represent US!
So, in effect, we are causing some of the increase. But that’s OK; because they also give away some neat stuff that we also pay for somewhere down the line. It all costs money.
Now; I belong to the American Society of Safety Engineers. They discuss NFPA standards from time to time. My membership can usually get me NFPA standards free of charge. That’s funny; huh? My take on that is: if NFPA wants us to be more user friendly with their standards, then maybe they should offer them for FREE instead of charging for them. They are a wealth of knowledge, but a department on a shoe string budget isn’t going to pay to join NFPA.
And anyone buying a new truck should get a lifetime membership to NFPA free with the truck purchase. Someone get back to me on that.
As I said, I have been directly involved with risk management for the past 15 years; that is to say that it is how I earn my salary. I regard Safety as the “good guy”. Of course, the guy going deaf because he doesn’t like wearing hearing protection isn’t going to like you much, but I digress.
My point is that I am all for adding for the personal protections of a person; in our case, firefighters. But many of the regs isn’t designed to protect us from us, but us from THEM. “THEM” would be our adoring public. The lights, sirens, reflective striping, hi visible paint schemes, traffic cones, vests, hand held lights, signage; that is all there to protect US from THEM.
I realize that we are having vehicle crashes and hopefully, we will see the breakdown of at fault vs not at fault of our drivers. I just know that we seem to be having a lot more of them. FDNY just had another one involving two of their rigs at an intersection less than a week ago.
Maybe it wouldn’t cost us on the front end, if we did more on the back end, like: don’t let just any schmoe drive the truck. With others lives in that cab at stake, I would want the guy behind the wheel to have a CDL and not a note from Mom saying that Johnny has her permission to drive big trucks.
I’m not going to beat up NFPA. There are plenty of items on the list of a truck that would save a department money. Start with the chrome wheels. SCBA stowage. Two tone paint. Light bars. Deck guns. Roll up doors. Bumper mounted monitors. Top mount/side mount pump controls. All wheel drive. Chrome anything. Anything beyond Class A pumper requirements on inlet/outlet. Storz vs threaded. And many more.
We complain about NFPA adding cost, but we don’t blink an eye at putting a bumper mounted, cab controlled nozzle on the truck because we “need” it. Yes; we are going to buy it, because I see a benefit to it. Just like I see a benefit to some/many safety regulations. Call it “tough love”.
But it comes at a price.
And so does that “free” hat you get at the conference.
There, trainer. Now you have my thoughts. I hate paying $300 grand for a new truck, but at least we aren’t going to the taxpayers like yourself-yes, I know; firefighters are taxpayers, too-and asking for another 80 cents. And not for the foreseeable future. We’ll just keep sneaking it up without referendum and watch what we spend.
We won’t be flush with cash, but we won’t be broke either.
Good discussion.
How did chevron become the name for striping? I thought they were a gas station.
TCSS.
Art
Everyone:
Go to your trucks right now and come back here and tell me how many "missiles" you have in the rider sections of your cabs. From SCBA, their masks, flashlights, portable radios, clipboards, whatever is thrown on the dash.
Take a good look.
The whole idea of stowing everything or fastening it into place is so that it doesn't beat you to death if you roll over or doesn't become a missile if you stop suddenly.
They make car restraints for pets, for God's sake. Now; I love my dog, but if we are willing to restrain our pets...
TCSS.
Art
I’m not whining because I’m a taxpayer, I’m whining as a fiscally responsible firefighter. I don’t think we went overboard on what we specked…welll… the remote control turret gun…OK maybe, but I can’t wait till the next NW parade. Let’s not even mention paint. I figure the new hats we will get cost us about $10000 a piece.
I don’t remember where I heard about the SCBA in route ban, but the explanation made sense. The only thing you should do in that seat is buckle-up, and he wasn’t talking about the pack. He also stated that most FF don, and then buckle.
I just went looking for an answer I'd posted here. Then realised I hadn't posted because we're not subject to NFPA. Our own Standards people may well look at what comes out of NFPA, in fact they'd be stupid not to, but we have national standards of our own which are just that. Standards. If you don't comply you can be in deep canine excreta.

Anyway. The reason I'm posting after all, is because of a couple of comments about (SC)BA, and how to stow it. Ours is in lockers (compartments to a lot of you) on the side of the truck. Arrive on scene, undo seatbelt, get out, don BA. Look at the building while donning the BA, you'd be surprised what you can pick up in that minute or so. Height at which the sets are stowed? Fine for me at about 5'8". But we also have some of our 4WD Tankers (not bulk water carriers, structural/wildfire firefighting vehicles) fitted with BA. Those are high! So the mountings are designed so that as you pull on them to swing them out of the locker, they also swing down (spring supported) to a managable height. Cunning idea.
if NFPA wants us to be more user friendly with their standards, then maybe they should offer them for FREE instead of charging for themif NFPA wants us to be more user friendly with their standards, then maybe they should offer them for FREE instead of charging for them

AMEN!! I think more people would actually READ NFPA standards if they could afford to get them in their hands.

I am wondering since NFPA wants the retroreflective striping on the back of the truck to be chevrons placed @ 45 degree angles from the center if anyone knows the particular reason for it. The only reason I can think of is that it will allow more reflective material to be on the back.

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