The apparatus body should be protected by a heavy-duty rub rail that runs the entire length of the body. This rub rail should be the widest point of the body and extend beyond the fenders and exterior compartment hardware. Rub rails that look great and are highly polished often do not do the job they were intended for and offer little protection to the side of the apparatus body. The rub rail should be spaced away from the body and of a substantial design to protect the body.
Most engine companies are fortunate to be staffed with four personnel to perform all of the required evolutions. The efficient layout of tools and equipment will allow fire personnel to perform their job functions with improved efficiency and increased safety. The number-one goal for all of our operations should be to bring our personnel home, back to the station safely and without harm.
In the next installment of "The Apparatus Architect" we will discuss the business end of the pumper, the supply line and attack line beds, and what can be done to enhance these areas of the engine company.