• PIERCE MANUFACTURING, an Oshkosh Corporation company, recently marked its 30th year of building custom chassis. “During Pierce’s 99-year history, we’ve built over 51,000 fire trucks and we have 30 years of custom chassis experience,” said Jim Johnson, Oshkosh Corporation executive vice president and president, Fire & Emergency. “That accumulated knowledge enhances every truck we build. Meeting the needs of firefighters is Pierce’s number one priority, and this is the guiding principal in all that we do-from product innovation to customer service.”
• HALE presented its 2012 Safe Firefighter of the Year Award to Hal Doughty, deputy chief of operations of the Durango (CO) Fire & Rescue, at FDIC 2012. The program recognizes firefighters who carry out the 16 Life Safety Initiatives outlined in the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s (NFFF) “Courage to Be Safe” campaign. For his commitment to the 16 Life Safety Initiatives and his history of implementing safety initiatives in the department’s policies and procedures, Doughty received a $5,000 award and a Hale portable pump of his choice for Durango Fire & Rescue.
• STREAMLIGHT®, INC. donated $17,000 to the NFFF using proceeds from sales of the company’s Red Nano Light®. Streamlight earmarks $1.00 from the sale of each keychain light to the NFFF. The company also announced the renewal of its “Bronze Helmet” sponsorship of NFFF with a contribution of $10,000. Both donations will assist the nonprofit organization in commemorating the lives of firefighters who have died in the line of duty and supporting their families and coworkers.
FAMA Technical Committee Meets at FDIC 2012
INDIANAPOLIS, IN-At the 2012 Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC), the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association’s (FAMA) Technical Committee held one of its two meetings for 2012. The agenda included several industry and FAMA updates, as well as naming the 2012 Chairman’s Award winner.
Industry Updates: First up for updates on industry issues was David Durstine’s report on National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus and 1906, Standard for Wildland Fire Apparatus. The revision cycles for both standards have been moved to coincide with each other. The next edition for both standards will be 2016.
Roger Lackore called on members to participate in a committee to develop common warning signage for fire apparatus. He reported that there is now a subcommittee for NFPA 170, Standard for Fire Safety and Emergency Symbols, and he suggested that it allow FAMA to take on the project. Lackore invited any interested FAMA members to participate and hoped to schedule a meeting soon.
Ron Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), updated the group on the Foundation’s Vulnerability Assessment Program and anthropometric studies being conducted to gather data on the size of today’s firefighters.
The four-phase Vulnerability Assessment Program is in its third stage, and Siarnicki reports that it should be ready for beta testing in 2013. This program will help departments identify the gap between their resources and the risks they are asked to address as emergency response entities in an attempt to reduce firefighter fatalities.
Siarnicki introduced two representatives from Total Contact, who reported on some of the data their company has gleaned from scanning firefighters both in and out of turnout gear to determine their sizes and how they relate to apparatus design. Some data of interest to apparatus manufacturers and departments include step height requirements, egress/ingress handle reach measurements, as well as size data that can be used to determine how wide seats in apparatus should be.
FAMA Surveys Report: Jeff Hupke, co-chair of the FAMA Education Committee, reported on two surveys FAMA conducted: one of the industry and one of FAMA/Fire and Emergency Manufacturers and Services Association (FEMSA) members.
He reported that optimism is increasing among fire departments. In 2010, 37 percent of those surveyed indicated they were planning to make a major purchase. In 2011, that number jumped to 57 percent. The survey also revealed that departments are finding it necessary to look beyond grants as sources of funding. In 2010, 70 percent reported they were getting some sort of funding from grants, but that number dropped to 47 percent in 2011.
The FAMA/FEMSA survey revealed that as an industry, manufacturers are optimistic. Projecting ahead three years, FAMA/FEMSA members reported that they predict better lead times, increased capacity, increases in revenue, and increased hiring.
Chairman’s Award: The general business part of the technical committee ended with the presentation of the Chairman’s Award. The award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the technical committee. This year’s recipient was Jack McLoughlin, president of Fire Research Corporation. McLoughlin has been involved with FAMA’s technical committee for more than 30 years, has led the statistics committee for many years, and is FAMA’s representative to the NFPA ambulance committee. In true Jack McLoughlin style, he accepted his award by saying, “Thank you. That’s it.”
-Chris Mc Loone