The Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) is comprised of fire apparatus manufacturers and apparatus component manufacturers continually striving to build safer apparatus for our mutual customers—the fire and emergency services heroes.
FAMA promotes safety and education for our first responders through many avenues. As technology continues to evolve and new threats to the safety and health of our first responders are discovered, FAMA member companies work hand in hand with our customers to continually improve emergency apparatus while embracing these changes.
As I write this article, my fire department is in the middle of specifying our next engine as part of our planned replacement cycle. The mission of the next engine is much different than its predecessor. It will be a rescue pumper. As a busy volunteer department, we have seen many changes since the purchase of our last pumper—reduced personnel available, increased coverage area with shared response territories, additional and new styles of rescue tools, and much more. We are more aware of the dangers we face such as carcinogens and operating on roadways, to name only two. What has changed in apparatus design that we can take advantage of to keep us safer and healthier? Where can an apparatus committee find out about the latest and greatest in apparatus design and component offerings as we move through the specification stage?
FAMA can help you get answers to those questions. The FAMA Buyer’s Guides are available, free of charge, at www.fama.org. Just look in the Fire Service Resources, Resource Library section to find Buyer’s Guides on various types of apparatus, systems, and components. If you haven’t looked lately, several new guides have been added, several have been updated, and more are being developed. You’ll also find other resources such as white papers and informative articles. Some of the newer Buyer’s Guides pertain to Occupant Protection; Warning Lights Night Mode; Tires; Suspensions; HVAC; Electronic Pressure Governors; and Stepping, Standing, and Walking Surfaces.
As apparatus committees discuss various aspects of their next purchase, the Buyer’s Guides can help them understand some of the newer technologies of manufacturers in general terms. The Buyer’s Guides are written in a nonbiased manner, not promoting one manufacturer or another, to present the various options that may be available. It is up to the apparatus purchaser to obtain details about specific manufacturers’ offerings.
We don’t plan to have a breathing air system on our new rescue pumper, but if your next rig will have an onboard system, then the Mobile Breathing Air Systems Buyer’s Guide is full of great information on what choices are available and areas to understand as you go through the specifying process.
Maintaining an apparatus throughout its demanding life cycle is critical. Eliminating or reducing downtime is key to keeping the fleet safely in service. Did you know you can specify certain options that provide longer life to various components and systems on the apparatus? Ensuring access to critical components to reduce service time should be done as part of the specification, not as an afterthought. The Specifying for Maintenance Buyer’s Guide has some real gems that can make your mechanic’s life easier, make systems more robust, reduce downtime, and increase the overall return on your apparatus investment.
Is your department considering an aerial device for the first time? The marketplace offers so many options that it can be overwhelming. Read the Aerial Apparatus Buyer’s Guide to understand many areas related to adding an aerial device to your fleet. The topics are not limited to just the apparatus but cover considerations to response areas, local infrastructure, fire station considerations, and more.
More Buyer’s Guides are in process and will be added to the Resource Library. FAMA’s Technical Committee and Subcommittees are made up of FAMA member company representatives who are subject matter experts and who continue to add useful information to the Buyer’s Guides and other areas of the Resource Library. These resources can be found at www.fama.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.
Doug Miller is the co-chair of the FAMA Technical Committee. He also served many years as chair of the FAMA Pump and Plumbing Technical Subcommittee. He joined the fire service in 1975 and is a life member of Center Township (IN) Fire Rescue, after serving 35-plus years as an active member from probie to chief positions. He is on the apparatus specification committee. Miller works for Task Force Tips LLC in Valparaiso, Indiana, and has served in many capacities over his 30-year career.