One of the most striking differences between European and United States fire apparatus, besides the size in general, is the way compartments are configured and equipment mounted. Many of the differences are because there are different tactics employed at incidents, but there is always something to learn from taking a look at the way apparatus is designed by other departments. When you think about it, we do it all the time when we look at recent deliveries and emulate what we see on our next trucks.
When Dave Stewardson, Fire Apparatus and Emergency Equipment contributor was in Germany attending Intershutz 2015, he was able to snap some pictures of open fire apparatus compartments before the trucks were moved into the exhibit areas. Here are a few that caught our eye. Pay attention to the different steps in front of the compartments. Some of them create a platform firefighters can use to walk from one end of the truck to the other to retrieve equipment.