By Chris Mc Loone
I’ll be honest, I’m spoiled. I go to FDIC International every year, and I consider it the best conference and exhibition. That being said, though, Interschutz is a whole other ball game.The enormous size of the exhibition floor makes it a whole different animal.
It’s interesting to walk around Interschutz to take a look at the layouts and designs of apparatus designed for an entirely different area of the world. Here, rear-mounted pumps are the norm, and it is amazing to see how much equipment can be packed into an apparatus that might be twice the size if originating from the states.
A few days into the show, I’m noticing a few things.
First, I saw an awful lot of nonthreaded hose couplings on apparatus here—even on hose used for attack lines. That’s a differentiation from the States in that most of the nonthreaded couplings we use are for large-diameter hose. Also, as I said above, there is a lot of equipment packed into these trucks. I saw a couple of rescue trucks that had as much equipment on a single axle as we sometimes pack into a tandem-axle rescue truck—and at several fewer feet (length).
That is not to say that vehicles designed for European response areas are ahead of the United States. It really just means that these apparatus are designed for different applications. Having said that, there is plenty to borrow from the designs of European fire apparatus when it comes to equipment storage and mounting. There are always ideas to borrow. We’ve learned a lot through the years from European designs. One item that Rod Carringer, chief marketing officer at Task Force Tips, mentioned to me is the roll-up door. This was something that European apparatus used for years, but eventually gained traction in the United States.
This is my first Interschutz, so basically I’m in awe of the size of this show. I’m looking forward to getting to more of the equipment areas soon.
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