When you spec a new piece of apparatus you have to look at your first due area. The first due area consists of your primary response area. The main thing you have to look at is weather the residence sits back off of the road or if its close. In example my first due response area in Elizabeth Township we have bridges we cannot get across with an engine or another big piece of apparatus. In conjunction with places that you cannot reach with a big apparatus its is nice to have a light engine or a mini pumper in the works. Once you are done with your first due area you move to your second due area which would consist of the surrounding towns or other area you may respond to. In that case you have to look at weather the piece of apparatus is suitable for the response there as well. Also you have to look at your man power stand point. If you only have an average of 8 Firefighters showing up to a call maybe a rig should be able to fit those 8. It also depends on your SOG/SOPs. You should have a truck commitee set up with a few firefighters, maybe like the chief, assistant or deputy chief, a captain or lieutenant, abd a Firefighter. I personally think its good to have a firefighter on a truck commitee so everyone can see the insight of what it is like in the back of the current apparatus being used. My department is looking into buying a mini pumper and also a Quick Response Truck for EMS runs. You dont need all the bells and whistles if you dont need them. Go with the most basic thing that you can get that will do the job in your response districts. Another thing when specing a new piece of apparatus is the compartment space. The compartment space is a key to making a good piece of apparatus, compartment space is needed for a lot of equipment for various emergencies. The next thing here is about the National Fire Protection Agency or other known as the NFPA, the new NFPA standard for new fire apparatus is there is to be no loose equipment in the passanger compartment of the rig. Maybe think about putting charging docks in the back and front with straps to hold lights and radio equipment in place. Also another suggestion is finding a sucure place for your helmet as you are not supposed to be wearing your helmet while responding to a call. Specing a new piece of fire apparatus takes time it is a long process. Take sealed bids from different manufacturers and try to take the best offer. You have to look at the quality of the piece of apparatus you are specing. If pierce is going to give you a better quality product than what KME will give but KME is cheaper than pierce I would still go with the better quality product. It will never be an over night process, their should be plans and designs drawn up to help better prepare you and see what is a necessity on the rig. Maybe take a few guys and go around your response area to see the problem areas where it is typically hard to get an apparatus. Identify where the buildings and residences are. The tank and pump size is another key factor in specing a new piece of apparatus, do what suits your first due area. Check and see what the most type of incident is you respond to.
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