Don't miss this FREE opportunity to learn about the latest technologies from leading manufacturers within the fire service.  Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment magazine will host its second annual online conference and expo on January 16th & 17th, 2013.  You can access this FREE event from the comfort of your home computer or tablet device (iPad, etc.).  A complete list of exhibitors and speakers will be available soon!


On January 16th and 17th, 2013, a virtual online environment will be open to attendees around the world. The event is free for all attendees and will focus on informative fire apparatus conference sessions, as well as a virtual environment in which attendees and participating exhibitors can directly interact.

Fire Apparatus Online 2013 Schedule

Wednesday January 16, 2013

10:00 EST                              Show Opens

11:00-11:30 EST                     Rod Carringer, TFT, Keynote
                                                If the same people do the same things the same way, expect
                                                the same results. Are you happy with your results?

12:00-12:50 EST                     Spartan (Pat Patton)
                                                Spartan Advanced Protection System (APS): The New
                                                Definition of Chassis Safety

2:00-2:50 EST                        Ferrara (Paul Christiansen)
                                               The Importance of NFPA 1901 Compliance

4:00-4:50 EST                        Sutphen (David Stonitsch)
                                               So you need a new fire truck...  The process of specing and
                                               purchasing new apparatus.

Thursday January 17, 2013

10:00 EST                               Show Opens

11:00-11:30 EST                     Mike Wilbur, Keynote
                                                National Seat Belt Update

12:00-12:50 EST                     Akron Brass (Peter Luhrs, Jeff Benson)
                                                Apparatus Electrical Technology and the Future of

2:00-2:50 EST                         Pierce (Steve Crothers, Jimm Walsh)
                                                The Well-Choreographed Tiller Operation

4:00-4:50 EST                         MSA (Shane Bray)

Course Descriptions

National Seat Belt Update
Lieutenant Michael Wilbur, Fire Department of New York

Students will learn how to properly and safely ride on fire apparatus. An update on a seven-year firefighter study aimed at improved seating and the use of seat belts will be presented. A new state-of-the-art firefighter seat belt system that was developed through the project will be discussed.

The Well-Choreographed Tiller Operation

Steve Crothers, Seattle (WA) Fire Department; Jimm Walsh, Winter Park (FL) Fire Department

Tillers are some of the most exciting apparatus to watch, but a smooth, safe, effective tiller operation requires an immense amount of training and coordination. Bringing your firefighters to a high skill level can be a significant challenge. Tractor-drawn aerials are extremely unique pieces of apparatus that requires formal training; the days of “on-the-job training” should be the way of the past. This presentation identifies the principles, concepts and dynamics of driving and tillering a tractor-drawn aerial and will prepare attendees to overcome the common pitfalls that tractor-drawn aerial operators encounter. Attendees will also have the opportunity to view unique perspectives that illustrate superior and standard tractor-drawn aerial fundamentals.

So you need a new fire truck...  The process of specing and purchasing new apparatus.

David Stonitsch, South Florida Emergency Vehicles

Specing and purchasing a new fire truck is a extremely important task.  It can also be a daunting one.  Although we can’t write the spec for you, we can walk you through some important steps in the process and hopefully make it a little easier on you in the future.  During  this class we will review the budget process, forming a committee, timelines, finding the right manufacturer, cost of apparatus, and much more.

“If the same people do the same things the same way, expect the same results. Are you happy with your results?”
Rod Carringer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Task Force Tips

Innovation often comes from the fringes. An idea, an improvement, or even a new way of doing things is often the result of some unfulfilled or unrecognized need. Just as it is critical to the success of any manufacturing company, innovation is equally important to us as emergency responders as we seek alternatives for providing expanding services with limited resources. I want to share how the parallels of running a successful business and providing lifesaving assistance have so many action in common.

Spartan Advanced Protection System (APS): The New Definition of Chassis Safety
Pat Patton, Regional Sales Manager, Spartan Chassis

The Spartan Advanced Protection System (APS)--launched in August 2012--has quickly been established as the new definition for firefighter safety when moving to/from the scene. This APS class will provide an overview of the system including the five “Industry First” innovations.

Apparatus Electrical Technology and the Future of Connectivity
Peter Luhrs, Director of Multiplex Solutions, Weldon, a division of Akron Brass; and Jeff Benson, Global Product Manager for Monitors, Akron Brass Company

Today’s emergency vehicle electrical system can be conceived as complex, and with advances in electronic innovations, this seems to be increasing even more on the apparatus of tomorrow.  You may be asking yourself where is this all going and what will my next apparatus look like in five years?  How will all these various electrical systems function harmoniously?  The instructors, with more than 50 years of fire service and vehicle electronic experience, will be answering these questions. They will cover the basics from where we have been to the vision of where we’ll be tomorrow with advances in apparatus electrical technology and the future of emergency vehicle connectivity.

The Importance of NFPA 1901 Compliance
Paul Christiansen -Marketing Director and Aerial Sales Manager, Ferrara Fire Apparatus

Learn why adherence to and knowledge of the nationally recognized standard for fire apparatus is important, not only to your fire department, but to anyone who purchases or specifies a fire truck.


Michael Wilbur has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 38 years; he has spent 30 of those years with the Fire Department of New York, where he is a lieutenant assigned to Ladder Company 27 in the Bronx. Previously, he served on Ladder Company 56 and on the FDNY apparatus purchasing committee. He guided the FDNY chauffeurs school through state certification. He has been published in fire service publications, served on the IFSTA validation committees for the Apparatus Operator and Aerial Operator manuals, and on the U.S.  Fire Administration committees on Safe Operation of Fire Tankers and Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative. He is nationally recognized in the areas of emergency vehicle operations, apparatus placement, and apparatus purchasing.

Rod Carringer is vice president of sales and marketing for Task Force Tips and serves as lead instructor for TFT University and as a member of the company’s Strategic Planning and New Product Development teams. He is a life member, past chief, and currently captain and training officer for the Center Township (IN) Volunteer Fire Department.

Pat Patton started at Spartan Chassis seven years ago. His career in the emergency response industry began in 1997. Prior to that, he was active in his local volunteer fire department. While working for the fire service, he worked in sales for a local Ohio dealer selling loose equipment on a part-time basis and then moved into a full-time sales position where he was responsible for both truck and equipment sales.

Peter Luhrs, Director of Multiplex Solutions at Weldon a division of Akron Brass, has worked with apparatus builders worldwide, implementing the latest in vehicle multiplexing technology in a wide range of applications.  He has more than 20 year of advanced vehicle electronics experience and multiple patents to his name.

Jeff Benson
, Global Product Manager for Monitors, Akron Brass Company, has worked in the industry for more than 30 years.  He is a second-generation firefighter and a lieutenant with the Cardington (OH) Fire Department in Ohio.  He is a graduate of DeVry University in electrical engineering.

Steve Crothers has 17 years experience in the fire service. Thirteen of those years have been in the Seattle (WA) Fire Department, where he is assigned as a lieutenant on Ladder 9. Previously he served as a training officer where he was responsible for design, development and delivery of driver training curriculum. He is a Washington State Emergency Vehicle Incident Prevention Instructor and Tractor Drawn Aerial Instructor. He led the development of the Seattle Fire Department’s tiller program and has taught at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) and conducted tiller training with fire departments in the United States and Canada. Recently he was selected as the Officer of the Year for his department. Steve also cofounded the “Raleigh/Seattle Accident Prevention” video.

Jimm Walsh,
a division chief with the Winter Park (FL) Fire Department and owner/webmaster of, has lectured around the nation on various subjects including leadership and truck company operations. He has also taught at many large conferences including FDIC. Jimm has a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Central Florida, has been credentialed as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO) by the Center for Public Safety Excellence and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program. He is also a rescue squad officer on an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team (FL-TF-4) and is a planning section chief and co-chair of the State of Florida Region Five Incident Management Team.

Shane Bray is the Product Manager for Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus at Mine Safety Appliance Company (MSA).  He has been employed by MSA for 26 years, holding positions of increasing responsibility in Sales and Marketing in Canada and the United States. Shane has intimate knowledge of NFPA and the standards development process, representing MSA for a period of six years on NFPA Standard 1971 “Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting “ and NFPA Standard  1851 “Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting.” Shane has a Bachelor of Science from Lakehead University and a MBA from Duquense University.

Paul Christiansen is the Marketing Director and Aerial Sales Manager for Ferrara Fire Apparatus. A former volunteer firefighter, Paul has been involved in the fire apparatus industry since 1987, working in field sales, product management, new product development and marketing.




Rod Carringer - TFT (Keynote)

Pat Patton - Spartan

Paul Christiansen - Ferrara

Mike Wilbur - Keynote

Peter Luhrs - Akron Brass

Jeff Benson - Akron Brass

Steve Crothers - Pierce

Jimm Walsh - Pierce

Shane Bray - MSA

David Stonitsch - Sutphen