Apparatus Symposium

FROM THE FDSOA Richard Marinucci

For fire departments to respond to emergencies, they must have reliable vehicles designed for the service they are going to deliver.

These can be engines whose primary responsibility is to deliver water, trucks for truck company functions, ambulances for emergency medical services, and specialty vehicles for the ever-increasing variety of calls. The cost of any vehicle is great, and every organization needs to get the best that it can within budget. The apparatus are also getting more complex, and understanding all the aspects requires great research and continual education to stay on top of things.

This is where the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) annual Apparatus Symposium can offer a great resource to departments looking to purchase apparatus and develop their maintenance programs. This year’s symposium is special in that it is the 30th anniversary of the event. It was originally organized to provide a unique venue where manufacturers, mechanics, fleet managers, and apparatus committees could gather and discuss the wide variety of issues related to trucks. Over the past 30 years, the FDSOA has not wavered from this goal. This is not an event designed to “kick tires” but to have more in-depth discussions surrounding the ins and outs of apparatus. This is a gathering of experts in the field and those who want to learn more so they deliver the best in their communities.

Certainly, there is much to be learned through research, but the opportunity to interact in person provides an added level of education. Besides the official programs, there is ample time to network and discuss informally the various issues of interest. The FDSOA partners with the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) and Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment to deliver this training and educational opportunity. It will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona, beginning with preconference sessions on Sunday, January 14, 2018. The official conference begins the next day with the keynote presentation and general session. There is a variety of workshops to address as many topics as possible.

The symposium ends on Wednesday with a joint keynote that serves as the closing of the conference and opening of the FDSOA Annual Safety Forum.

The 30th Annual Apparatus Symposium is a proven event that provides specific information to the fire service, including material for fleet managers, apparatus committees, mechanics, and anyone else involved in apparatus who wants to gain insight from experts in the field. This will help in getting reliable vehicles that best serve the community. Another benefit is the opportunity to learn ways to save money through increased knowledge. There will be opportunities to talk to many people who will share information on potential cost savings that will not affect reliability. Organizations and individuals will benefit by learning more about their trade. Visit for more information. You can also contact the FDSOA if you have any other questions. We hope to see you in Scottsdale, Arizona.

RICHARD MARINUCCI is the executive director of the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA). He retired as chief of the Farmington Hills (MI) Fire Department in 2008, a position he had held since 1984. He is a Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment and Fire Engineering editorial advisory board member, a past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), and past chairman of the Commission on Chief Fire Officer Designation. In 1999, he served as acting chief operating officer of the U.S. Fire Administration for seven months. He has a master’s degree and three bachelor’s degrees in fire science and administration and has taught extensively.

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