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I have another idea that may be helpful to apparatus manufacturers and apparatus operators. The apparatus manufacturer should provide a driver's manual. Unlike the owner's manual that is long, technical, confusing and usually locked in the chief's office, the driver's manual would be made available to all persons involved in the light maintenance and the operation of each vehicle. The driver's manual would be well organized, easy to understand and easy to read.
Why would the apparatus manufacturers look positively on this idea? It could save them hundreds or thousands of dollars on warranty work that could be avoided if the drivers had a better understanding of what they were trying to do. It would make the operation of emergency vehicles safer, which would benefit everyone. Anyone from the NFPA 1901 committee interested?
Michael Wilbur, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is an FDNY lieutenant in Ladder Company 27 in the Bronx and a firefighter in the Howells, NY, Fire Department. He is an adjunct instructor at the New York State Academy of Fire Science and the Orange County Fire Training Center. Wilbur has developed and presented emergency vehicle operator courses throughout the country and has consulted on a variety of fire apparatus issues.