Everything in Its Place: Securing Equipment in Apparatus Compartments

Al Petrillo looks at how apparatus makers work with fire departments to carefully plan where equipment will be located and how it will be fixed in place in compartments.
Long gone are the days of carrying saws, hand tools, hydraulic tools, and other equipment loose in apparatus compartments.

Apparatus makers work with fire departments to carefully plan where equipment will be located and how it will be fixed in place in compartments with an assortment of fasteners, hooks, straps, and other fixtures.

Ryan Glover, marketing director for Ziamatic Corp., says his company has a wide variety of products for securing equipment in various locations on fire apparatus. He notes that Ziamatic’s Sure-Grip tool mounting, available in sizes from three-quarters of an inch to two inches, allows tools to be mounted either horizontally or vertically on the walls of compartments or in cabs, or on tool boards.

“We also offer two kinds of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) holders that are molded plastic trays with either a tie-down strap or a neck mounting,” Glover notes. “In addition, we make a saw blade holder to hold spare circular saw blades that can be post mounted onto a compartment sidewall or horizontally on the underside of the shelf.”

 Ziamatic Corp. makes the Sure-Grip tool mount in sizes from ¾ inch to 2 inches. (Photo courtesy of Ziamatic Corp.)

 Performance Advantage Company makes the IronsLok-HD bracket that has positive locking with a high-strength lock strap designed for larger irons. (Photo courtesy of Performance Advantage Company.)

 GearGrid has five stainless-steel tool holder options to use on its tool grids, including this ax head holder. (Photo courtesy of GearGrid.)

Glover says Ziamatic also makes a universal deck mount for positive-pressure ventilation (PPV) and other exhaust fans, a multiple hydraulic extrication tool holder, vertical hard suction mountings, and electric cord and adapter holders.

“We recently updated our line of single, double, and gallon premix container holders,” he says, “and make a stackable scene light bracket that secures multiple stacked scene lights with a flexible draw strap that gently but firmly presses the scene light against a back plate, preventing shifting and tilting during transport.”

Greg Young, vice president of sales and operations for Performance Advantage Company (PAC), says PAC makes a large variety of tool mounting fixtures.

“We have the 1004 HandleLok, which is a positive locking bracket that goes on the handle of hand tools,” Young says, “and our original ToolLok is still very popular with fire departments. We also offer solutions for mounting full SCBA air packs and bottles in compartments, and we also have a bracket for both 30- and 60-minute air bottles that has glides where the bottles don’t touch metal, so the bracket doesn’t wear the cylinder.”

Tom Trzepacz, product training salesman for PAC, says PAC makes a lot of different pockets for quart and gallon premix fuel containers. “We have both single and triple wall mounts for quart containers and also one for two quarts of fuel and one quart of oil that mounts to the floor,” Trzepacz notes. “We also have pockets for single and triple aerosol cans, for oxygen tanks, and fire extinguishers.”

 Sensible Products outfitted this Chippewa Township (OH) Fire Department pumper with water flow mounts and tool mounts on its ChanL PanL. (Photo courtesy of Sensible Products.)

 OnScene Solutions offers mounting solutions as shown here on its vertical slide-out trays. (Photo courtesy of OnScene Solutions.)

PAC also has an assortment of kits for heavy rescue equipment like cutters, spreaders, and rams.

Trzepacz points out that PAC makes a variety of different hook mountings, including a new line of Mini hooks and Mini locks. “These are for lightweight equipment that’s too small for larger brackets, like wands, flashlights, elevator keys, and small hand tools,” he says. “They are friction locks and come in 1⁄2- and 3⁄4-inch sizes.”

PAC also makes two saw mounts—one for a rescue or K12 saw with a positive locking bracket and another for a vent saw or any saw with a depth gauge, which secures over the depth gauge, he adds.

Clay Horst, general manager of OnScene Solutions, says his company has several hook-and-loop fastener options for securing equipment, along with the Fire Buckle, an aluminum and brass buckle that can be released with a gloved hand.

“Our hook-and-loop fastener nylon strap features a blue pull tab and reflective strip, is fully adjustable, and weatherproof and chemical resistant,” Horst says. “Our cargo strap releases with the swipe of a gloved hand but stays secure, even if the buckle leans up against other cargo.”

Phil McLean, president of Sensible Products Inc., says his company started in business in 1985 making holders for large-diameter hose (LDH) and smaller-diameter couplings before branching out into a wide variety of equipment-mounting solutions.

“We encourage fire departments to think about grouping tools for their different disciplines and how they will be used,” McLean notes.

Sensible Products makes the proprietary ChanL PanL and clips as well as mountings for bolt cutters, SCBA packs and cylinders, extinguishers, gate valves, hand tools, nozzles, storage boxes, safety cans, saws, spanners, and oxygen cylinders.

“Last year, we did 55 fire trucks where we totally outfitted them with tools and equipment,” McLean observes.

Jeff Anderson, sales manager for GearGrid, says GearGrid makes adjustable stainless-steel tool holders that are used in conjunction with GearGrid tool grids that allow users to configure and maximize storage space in the way they choose.

“We have five stainless-steel tool holder options to choose from,” Anderson points out, “an ax head holder, pickhead ax holder, maul head holder, D-Handle holder, and secure tool holder. They are designed to hold the handles and heads of hand tools and can be stationed anywhere on our tool grid.”


ALAN M. PETRILLO is a Tucson, Arizona-based journalist, the author of three novels and five nonfiction books, and a member of the Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment Editorial Advisory Board. He served 22 years with the Verdoy (NY) Fire Department, including in the position of chief.

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