Inside the Apparatus Industry
Check It Out: Fama.org offers an abundance of apparatus information
Story & Photos by Bob Vaccaro


If you’re anything like me, a fire apparatus junkie who never gets enough chrome, red paint, lights and sirens, you may want to take a look at a neat little Web site, www.fama.org, the Web site for the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers Association (FAMA), a non-profit association composed of 115 member companies that manufacture fire apparatus and their components.

Who should check out this site? Anyone on a truck committee or in the process of writing specs.
First, visit www.fama.org and click on Resource Library. You’ll see a list of main topics, such as Safety Features and Standards, Engine Topics and Tools for Truck Committees.

Here’s what you’ll find …

Click on Safety Features and Standards, and you’ll get information related to advances in apparatus design and standards, the 2009 update of NFPA 1901, new technology, and old apparatus replacement or refurbishment.

The Engine Topics section is a must read for everyone contemplating a 2009 or 2010 apparatus purchase. All of the new requirements are spelled out. If you’re keeping up on this topic, you know that it’s a little confusing (to say the least). Here you’ll find information on diesel exhaust and indoor air quality, natural gas-fueled fire apparatus, the 2007 diesel engine impact on fire apparatus, the 2010 diesel engine impact on fire apparatus, and a 2010 diesel engine roundtable forum based on Navistar, Daimler (Detroit Diesel) and Cummins.

In the Tools for Truck Committees section, you’ll find information related to fire apparatus duty cycles, studies on firefighter size and weight, fire apparatus weight and length exemptions, and a really important fire apparatus equipment weight and cube calculator. If you’re planning an apparatus purchase, you can plan out equipment placement by type and weight and determine the total weight of all of your tools by compartment—a great feature.

Another neat report in the Tools for Truck Committees section is the fire apparatus improvement white paper. This discusses all of the current and past NFPA 1901 standards and changes and their benefits to each area of the apparatus (i.e., body, chassis, aerial, electrical, pump).

If you’re not on information overload by now, you can also peruse NFPA Annex D, which deals with repairing, refurbishing or replacing current apparatus that you own; information about modern fire apparatus and emerging technology; or read up on FAMA’s newsletters.

Fama.org is really a one-stop shopping site for current apparatus information—a site you shouldn’t miss if you’re interested in being informed about the apparatus industry and what you should consider when writing specs. Check it out!

Bob Vaccaro has more than 30 years of fire-service experience. He is a former chief of the Deer Park (N.Y.) Fire Department. Vaccaro has also worked for the Insurance Services Office, The New York Fire Patrol and several major commercial insurance companies as a senior loss-control consultant. Vaccaro is a life member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

Copyright © Elsevier Inc., a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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