FAMA Forum: Apparatus Maintenance and Safety

BY SAM MASSA

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The fire apparatus manufacturing industry is rapidly evolving. The trucks of today are more powerful and more precise and have more sophisticated electrical and mechanical systems than the trucks of years past.

As trucks continue to evolve, the specification, purchasing, and maintenance processes do as well. It is important for agencies of any size to fully understand the items written in a spec and be able to articulate why they have chosen the things they have.

For the past 30 years, the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA), in partnership with the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA), has held the Fire Apparatus Safety and Maintenance Conference. The 2020 conference is January 12-15 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. The event is designed to act as a forum for apparatus fleet managers, technicians, and spec writers to get together with the brightest minds of the industry and talk shop. If your agency buys one truck every 20 years or 20 trucks every year, there’s something for you at the event.

In addition to specification writing, the FDSOA has partnered with the EVT Certification Commission to host a test site as part of the conference. Testing will be held from 1:00 to 5:00 PM on January 12, 2020. Registration for EVT testing must occur 16 days before the test.

This 2020 conference will feature presentations from leading industry figures as well as apparatus and equipment manufacturers to provide attendees with a wide range of factual data. Breakout sessions and networking events provide forums for sharing personal experiences with your peers.

The breakout sessions for the 2020 conference include the following:

Clean Cab Concept—What’s Right for You

“Clean Cab” sounds simple, but it is not the same for every department. Departments around the country are coming up with what it means for them. In this session, we review what some departments are doing and present a plan for determining what’s right for you.


Electrical System Maintenance

Your vehicle’s electrical system is its brain and nervous system. Keeping it in top shape is essential to dependability. Attend this session to learn tips and recommendations for prudent electrical system practices and preventive maintenance.


Emergency Warning Device Automation

The advancement of smart devices is migrating into the world of warning lights and sirens. Analog adjustment and dip switch settings are making way for fully programmable systems. Attend this session to learn about the work that is being done in this field.


Fire Apparatus Weight Management

Apparatus are expected to carry a lot of equipment, and they usually carry more over time. Certain apparatus types are more susceptible to overloading than others. Attend this session to learn the essentials of apparatus spec’ing for weight management.


Future Driving Technology Applied to Emergency Vehicles

New automobiles are rapidly adapting new technology to improve driving safety. This session will review these and future technologies and how they may apply to emergency vehicles of the future.


Idle Reduction

Idle reduction technology is becoming ever more popular in many departments, both as a means of saving fuel and for saving the environment. Learn about the latest methods employed to reduce the amount of time the big diesel engine in an apparatus is running.


Multiplexing Electronics

Multiplex electronics, to some, is black box technology that can’t be repaired by anyone other than a factory tech. Attend this class to dispel the myth and learn practical methods of troubleshooting electrical faults in a multiplexed apparatus.


Pump Controls Layouts

Pump controls come in many styles and configurations. Attend this session for a tour of the many ways apparatus manufacturers and fire departments have found to configure their pump controls. Discuss the pros and cons of each and leave with a better idea of how you may want to configure your next apparatus.


Urban Apparatus Design

Getting around in downtown infrastructure is only one of the unique challenges of designing apparatus for use in urban environments. Attend this session for a survey of available apparatus and how they can be configured to better serve the urban fire department.


Wildland Apparatus Design

Climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of wildfires every year. Personnel and equipment are being deployed and shared between counties, states, and even regions of the country in response to the increasing need. Is your fleet prepared for the challenge? Attend this session for a discussion of wildland apparatus types and how they can be used to respond to the changing challenges.

For more information about the 31st Fire Apparatus Safety and Maintenance Conference, brought to you in partnership between the FDSOA and FAMA, or to register for the event, visit www.fdsoa.org.

FAMA is committed to the manufacture and sale of safe, efficient emergency response vehicles and equipment. FAMA urges fire departments to evaluate the full range of safety features offered by its member companies. More information is available at www.fama.org.


SAM MASSA is the president and chief technologist for HiViz LED Lighting, a manufacturer of specialty scene lighting equipment with a primary focus on the fire and emergency services market. He is a North Carolina firefighter; an emergency medical technician; and a representative for FAMA on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus, technical committee.

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