Apparatus Symposium—NFPA 1901/1906 Revision Highlights

Attendees at the 28th Annual FDSOA Apparatus Specification and Maintenance Symposium got to learn about a few of the changes to the NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus (2016 ed.) and NFPA 1906, Standard for Wildland Fire Apparatus (2016, ed.). Doug Kelley, KME Wildland Product Manager, presented.

Although he did not touch on every single change to the two standards, Kelley highlighted a few from each relevant to the apparatus operators, line officers, and fleet managers present. 

On the administrative side, the two documents are now structured the same so that the same chapter and paragraph numbers in each standard cover the same subject matter, making the two standards sister publications essentially. Kelley also reminded the group the revision cycles for both standards were aligned several years ago as well.

Some highlights from NFPA 1901:

  • If a department wants its trucks to exceed NFPA 1901 minimum requirements, the department has to tell the manufacturer as the purchaser. Make sure the department has it in the spec.
  • The apparatus manufacturer must provide familiarization and demonstration at the time of delivery on a number of specified items. The qualifications of the representative conducting the training must be provided in writing. This is not driver training.
  • Only one set of manuals is required to be delivered with the vehicle.
  • The Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) Safety Guide has been added to the list of items to be supplied with the apparatus.
  • Test criteria for measuring light levels has been added. Dividers, such as hosebed dividers, that might block the light are allowed to be removed during the testing.
  • The standard now specifies the maximum length and location of the seat belt stalk.
  • For vehicles with GVRWs of less than 19,500, the seat belt webbing color requirement does not apply.
  • The standard strengthened test standards for SCBA restraings in the cab.
  • Tiller cabs now to meet requirements of SAE J2422.
  • Designated walking areas: requirements for designating standing/walking surfaces on the upper areas of the apparatus will now require a one-inch yellow stripe indicating these areas as walking areas.
  • Pump water engine cooler removed—not required to have auxiliary engine cooler.
  • Aerial operating capacity label: rated capacity must be provided on a label or on an electronic display.
  • Aerial platform railing must withstand force of 225 lbf.
  • Aerial platform gates must withstand 1,000 lbf at the weakest point, and doors must stay shut.
  • Aerial platform fall protection: one anchor point for every 250 pounds of load rating. These must be clearly labeled and rated for 450 pounds minimum.

Some highlights from NFPA 1906:

  • Applies specifically for trucks supporting wildland fire suppression. Applies to vehicles with a minimum GVRW of 10,001.
  • Defines the difference between a wildland fire pump and fire pump. Any pump larger than 250 gpm is a fire pump and must meet NFPA 1901.
  • Defines a wildland crew carrier—design and performance, including structural integrity, seat design, escape, etc.
  • Personnel weight allowance increased to 250 pounds per seating position.
  • Onboard pump-and-roll firefighting: seated and belted position located behind cab, roll cage mostly enclosed, communication with driver, speed limit while occupied of 10 mph—placarded. The seating position must be behind the cab. Kelley noted that NFPA 1500 still does not allow anyone to ride on the vehicle outside the cab. The NFPA 1500 committee is reviewing whether to change this.

Kelly noted that the next revision for NFPA 1901 and 1906 is 2020 and public input is from now until June 2018.

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