FAMA Fire Service Resources: a Well-Kept Secret

Roger Lackore

The Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) is committed to enhancing the quality of the emergency service community through the manufacture and sale of safe, efficient emergency response vehicles and equipment.

In addition to designing, building, and selling products, our member companies spend a great deal of effort looking for ways to provide useful information to firefighting professionals. As information is only useful when people know it is available, this FAMA Forum will acquaint you with the current content of our online FAMA resource library. Visit our Web site at www.fama.org, and go to the “Resources” tab and the “Fire Service Resources” menu to download any of the following documents.

Fire Apparatus Duty Cycle Survey

This report uses the results from fire chief surveys as well as actual fire apparatus engine data to estimate average fire apparatus duty cycles in terms of road miles, engine hours, pump hours, and aerial hours. Results are subdivided by demographics and apparatus type. Fire chiefs may find this information useful when developing apparatus replacement plans, as they will be able to see where their current apparatus ages fall in relation to other departments with similar demographics.

Firefighter Size and Weight Study

This study provides firefighter measurements in bunker gear. Primarily used by apparatus designers, this information may also be useful to fire departments planning for facilities that must be designed around the smallest and largest firefighter shapes, sizes, and weights. Use this data when planning specifications for apparatus seating and cab capacity or aerial platform capacity.

Fire Apparatus Improvement White Paper

This report details the history of safety features on fire apparatus over the past several decades. A great introduction was written by Jeff Piechura, chief of the Stockton (CA) Fire Department, followed by a detailed spreadsheet of safety features and when they were introduced. The spreadsheet can be downloaded in Microsoft Excel format, can be used as a tool for determining and justifying funding requirements, and can assist forward-thinking fire service administrators in analyzing their departments’ future equipment needs.

Diesel Engine Emissions Impact on Indoor Air Quality-2007

As new diesel engines burn cleaner every year, some chiefs wonder what impact the exhaust emissions have on air quality inside the station garage. The greatest change occurred in 2007 engines with the advent of the diesel particulate filter. This analytical study looks at the various tailpipe pollutants and suggests a method of answering this question.

Graphical Symbols

This document gives the fire and rescue community an option for labeling common controls with a graphical representation of their function. Although FAMA apparatus and equipment manufacturers are not required to use these symbols, this resource can be used by those fire departments wishing to specify industry standard text-free control symbols on their apparatus. This is a living document and has been updated recently with new aerial outrigger control symbols.

Emergency Vehicle Size and Weight Regulation Guideline

Fire apparatus are often larger and heavier than other trucks in their same class. Some states have more stringent requirements than others. This white paper explores the reasons behind typical apparatus axle weights and offers guidelines for truck size and weight-regulating authorities. This is a great resource to review prior to creating your department’s next apparatus spec and should be used in conjunction with a review of local road and bridge infrastructure capacities.

Fire Apparatus Common Safety Signs

Chief Thomas Woods from Boca Raton, Florida, contacted FAMA several years ago with the desire that all his apparatus with common safety hazards should have common warnings. The FAMA Technical Committee got busy and acted on his suggestions. This safety signs catalog addresses common fire apparatus hazards. Although no manufacturer is required to use these signs at present, they will be required by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on apparatus in the future. This resource can be used by those fire departments wishing to specify industry standard safety signs on their apparatus or by safety officers who are auditing their current fleets to ensure they are addressing common hazards during training classes.

Diesel Engine DPF SCR Guidance Document

This guide is intended to help fire service personnel understand the emissions systems on fire apparatus and to provide specific guidance on how to address emissions-related concerns. The issues addressed cover custom-chassis apparatus equipped with either diesel particulate filters (DPFs) or selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment devices.

NFPA 1901 and 1906 Updates

NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus, was significantly revised for 2009. Major new safety features were added as well as a completely new chapter on 1901 trailer specifications. These presentations provide an overview of the most significant changes. More changes to NFPA 1901; NFPA 1906, Standard for Wildland Apparatus; and NFPA 1917, Standard for Automotive Ambulances, are just around the corner, so watch for additional FAMA resources on these topics coming soon.

Fire Apparatus Equipment Weight and Cube Calculator

A major task when specifying your new apparatus is to make sure it can hold and carry all the equipment you want it to. Use this spreadsheet to track the equipment you plan to store on your fire apparatus. It provides estimated weights and volumes for typical pieces of equipment, so you can calculate the total weight of your equipment and determine the total compartment volume needed to store it all. Provide this information to your apparatus manufacturer so that you will be sure to purchase a truck that will hold all your equipment.

Let Us Hear from You

Although these are the main resources currently available, the FAMA Web site is also your stop for other news pertinent to the fire industry. We have a list of additional resources we are working on, but much of our best work has been inspired by fire service professionals. We urge all our friends in the fire service to check out the Web site, make it a favorite, and make your suggestions for improvements. Let us hear from you through our Web site contact tab. FAMA urges fire departments to evaluate the full range of safety features offered by its member companies. Together we can make the industry better and safer for all.

ROGER LACKORE is the director of product safety for Oshkosh Corporation. He has a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in engineering management. He is licensed as a professional engineer and a certified safety professional. Lackore has 27 years of design experience in the heavy vehicle industry.

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