standards and design-fire engines

for the comfort of the fire truck
Municipalities have cook books for those interested in adding to City infrastructure. How to make a ramp, how to build a curb, how to make a fire engine cozy.

Some Cities include in the cook books specifications for green infrastructure. How to plant a tree in an urban environment and obtain its ecosystem services, how to build a road that won’t hurt the river, how to infiltrate rainwater into the ground near where it falls.
Search your City’s standards manual for the words green, narrow, sustainable, pervious, woonerf…

Author: WmX

I stumbled off the track to success in 1968, started chasing shadows that summer. Since then, In addition to farm-laborer and newspaper photographer my occupational incarnations include dishwasher, janitor, retail photo clerk, plumber, HVAC repairman, auto mechanic, CAT scan technologist, computer worker and politico (whatever it takes to buy a camera.) I am on the road to understanding black and white photography.

1 thought on “standards and design-fire engines”

  1. 5. Is the Fire Department currently, or have they previously, looked into the
    purchase of trucks that could possibly be more compatible with conditions
    created by a higher density urban designed city environment, such as narrower
    streets and/or taller buildings? Please explain the Fire department’s logic of
    which apparatus to purchase – showing why a larger piece of equipment may, or
    may not, be more appropriate.

    Yes we have, from the standpoint of continuously looking to see what’s currently
    available. However, the size of the trucks are dictated more by the equipment that
    we’re required to carry by national standards (National Fire Protection Association –
    N.F.P.A.), what we’ve found we need to carry based on local needs, and Federal
    regulation. Some examples are water tank size (we carry 500 gallons of water,
    adequate for only about 2 ½ minutes of firefighting), an assortment of ladders, and an
    assortment of hose sizes (including 1000’ of 4” supply hose). Fuel spills require the
    use of absorbents (and additional storage space to carry them), as opposed to flushing
    them down drains. A recently completed Insurance Services Organization (I.S.O.)
    review required us to provide inventories of all Fire Department pumpers and ladder
    trucks to insure that they met N.F.P.A. standards – I.S.O. reviews are used to
    establish fire insurance rates for the community.
    Safety and environmental standards, to a certain extent, have affected sizes over the
    years – all personnel are required to be seated and belted and must be in fully
    enclosed cabs, instead of standing on the back steps and sides or riding in open cabs
    like we did up until the 1980’s. Over the past 5 years, E.P.A. standards for diesel
    engines have caused most manufacturers to widen cabs of fire apparatus out to 100”.
    The trucks we use (both engines and ladder trucks) are the same as those used in the
    urban environments of all U.S. cities (Boston, for example, has sections known for its
    narrow streets). European apparatus, on the other hand, may be smaller but do not
    meet U.S. standards and can’t carry the same amounts of equipment.
    The Department’s most recently ordered apparatus do have shorter wheelbases, which
    improves the turning radius. One additional note, in order to go to smaller
    apparatus we would have to add additional resources, including specialized apparatus
    and hiring more personnel in order to get an effective firefighting force on the scene
    of a fire or other emergency. Neither of which, as the Fire Department can see, are
    changes supported by current City budget trends. It is also important to understand
    that street widths are regulated by code, not by the size of the fire apparatus,
    providing space for other vehicles to yield the right-of–way as well as providing
    needed space for operational issues like hose deployment, tool and equipment access,
    aerial ladder outrigger placement and safe operating areas for firefighters. Any
    further reduction in street widths and apparatus access will have an adverse impact on
    the Department’s lifesaving and firefighting effectiveness resulting in greater loss of
    life and property damage.

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