1. #1
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    Smile Apparatus Visibilty...are we defeating safety?

    Despite all of the striping, reflective tape and emergency lighting I have noticed an alarming trend with new apparatus today.
    Ever since roll up doors have become popular the majority of fire departments are ordering their apparatus unpainted. no matter what the color. This makes the vehicles much less visible, especially from the side especially at intersections. Aluminum is a neutral color and virtually invisible, even with a background, like buildings. Also, the white reflective tape used on a colored background isn't visible on aluminum during the daylight.
    Even the manufacturers are promoting this no color in their ads. When a truck is ordered with hinged traditional doors they are always painted.
    I feel this is an issue that needs to be explored and discussed. The common answer I hear is that it costs more to paint them. What! Don't you think you are paying for the hinged doors to be painted.
    Another common answer is that roll up doors scratch the paint.Give me a break! There isn't a firetruck in the world that doesn't have scratches on it...no matter what kind of doors.
    Let's stop being hypocrites about safety and visibility. Vehicle color and the contrasting markings play a major role in what is seen by other drivers. Just take a look at side pictures of new apparatus and see how most of them blend in or disappear into the background, at least from the cab back.
    If you are going to order new apparatus without painted roll ups, at least have the reflective tape on the doors be a contrasting color, such as red (or your apparatus color).

  2. #2
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    You tried to make this point last january, and then commented on the " hornets nest" you stirred up with your baseless comments about non-painted doors and the safety risk they pose.

    Are you bored? Trying to stir up another mess maybe?

    If you are truly trying to make a valid point stop making idiotic comments like how aluminum is "virtually invisible". That and the fiction-filled ranting takes away your credibility.

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    Post Visibilty !!

    You can paint your apparatus " RED , WHITE , & BLUE " it would not make that much difference, to the dumb drivers on the roads today. You can blow the air horns, run the Q2 siren and they still won't move out of the way of a emergency vehicle.

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    You tried to make this point last january,
    I thought it sounded a little familiar.

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    I actually looked at the date on this thread to see if someone was just posting a late response to old thread. Nope, same baseless argument, months later.

    Come to think of it, I thought I saw a DeLorean pass me on the road the other day, but I might have been mistaken. It was nearly invisible!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    I... I thought I saw a DeLorean pass me on the road the other day, ...!

    You need to pedal harder.

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    Our call volume was MUCH less in the past, and our prior painted hinged door pumper from the station I run from had been hit twice. Our squad, painted doors, hit at least once.

    Our newest rigs, four of them, have all unpainted roll up doors, and the last two have very little paint on the body. None have been hit. The only damage to each has been due to minor stupidity by the drivers of the rig. Plus, we have chevrons on the rear of the newest two, but GASP! - they're not yellow and red, but red and white. I hope they continue working for us.

    I understand you may feel passionately about this, but I'm just not convinced its an issue with reflective striping and the emergency lighting available to us today.

    I will digress however and say we have colored striping that isn't white on the two newest bodies, as well as reflective material in the lower rub rails.
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    Default Apparatus color scheme...are our operators becoming unintelligent?

    Quote Originally Posted by npfd801 View Post
    Our newest rigs, four of them, have all unpainted roll up doors, and the last two have very little paint on the body. None have been hit. The only damage to each has been due to minor stupidity by the drivers of the rig. Plus, we have chevrons on the rear of the newest two, but GASP! - they're not yellow and red, but red and white. I hope they continue working for us.
    Ah ha! So there we have it unpainted aluminum actually increases stupidity of apparatus operators instead of adding a stealth quality to other drivers!

    Come to think of it I've never seen a report of an apparatus involved collision that included cause: unpainted compartment doors and white reflective striping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jta911hc View Post
    Despite all of the striping, reflective tape and emergency lighting I have noticed an alarming trend with new apparatus today.
    Ever since roll up doors have become popular the majority of fire departments are ordering their apparatus unpainted. no matter what the color. This makes the vehicles much less visible, especially from the side especially at intersections. Aluminum is a neutral color and virtually invisible, even with a background, like buildings. Also, the white reflective tape used on a colored background isn't visible on aluminum during the daylight.
    Even the manufacturers are promoting this no color in their ads. When a truck is ordered with hinged traditional doors they are always painted.
    I feel this is an issue that needs to be explored and discussed. The common answer I hear is that it costs more to paint them. What! Don't you think you are paying for the hinged doors to be painted.
    Another common answer is that roll up doors scratch the paint.Give me a break! There isn't a firetruck in the world that doesn't have scratches on it...no matter what kind of doors.
    Let's stop being hypocrites about safety and visibility. Vehicle color and the contrasting markings play a major role in what is seen by other drivers. Just take a look at side pictures of new apparatus and see how most of them blend in or disappear into the background, at least from the cab back.
    If you are going to order new apparatus without painted roll ups, at least have the reflective tape on the doors be a contrasting color, such as red (or your apparatus color).
    Look at the picture of my volly FD's rig. How about that for contrasting colors? We have tons of warning lights and frankly if you can't see the lights the color of the rig don't mean nothing, not a thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    I actually looked at the date on this thread to see if someone was just posting a late response to old thread. Nope, same baseless argument, months later.
    +1

    I thought I was really getting old there for a moment.
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    The "average"truck today has enough lights(regular&emergency)to allow it to be seen from a distance of over two miles and you're worried about PAINT? Sorry,doesn't carry any weight with me(and we HAVE painted roll-ups).You can't make the do-do's see so use your cones or whatever else you have for early warning devices and get used to it. T.C.

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    So let me get this straight, Once the cab goes by drivers assume it is safe to proceed and run into the back of the truck because it has unpainted roll up doors?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MurphysFireKC View Post
    So let me get this straight, Once the cab goes by drivers assume it is safe to proceed and run into the back of the truck because it has unpainted roll up doors?
    Yes, the common term for it is ""Voluntary" Attention Deficit Disorder" (thanks CE11 for the better term)

    Note: Not commenting on the people who have this for real and are getting medical help for it... Just the people who are talking on their cell phone, reading the paper, eating a sandwich and worrying about personal grooming while driving their 3000 lbs deadly weapon. These are choices not medical issues.
    Last edited by ChiefDog; 07-14-2008 at 03:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefDog View Post
    Yes, the common term for it is "Adult Attention Deficit Disorder"

    Note: Not commenting on the people who have this for real and are getting medical help for it... Just the people who are talking on their cell phone, reading the paper, eating a sandwich and worrying about personal grooming while driving their 3000 lbs deadly weapon. These are choices not medical issues.
    Maybe "Voluntary Attention Deficit Disorder?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by jta911hc View Post
    Despite all of the striping, reflective tape and emergency lighting I have noticed an alarming trend with new apparatus today.
    Ever since roll up doors have become popular the majority of fire departments are ordering their apparatus unpainted. no matter what the color. This makes the vehicles much less visible, especially from the side especially at intersections. Aluminum is a neutral color and virtually invisible, even with a background, like buildings. Also, the white reflective tape used on a colored background isn't visible on aluminum during the daylight.
    Even the manufacturers are promoting this no color in their ads. When a truck is ordered with hinged traditional doors they are always painted.
    I feel this is an issue that needs to be explored and discussed. The common answer I hear is that it costs more to paint them. What! Don't you think you are paying for the hinged doors to be painted.
    Another common answer is that roll up doors scratch the paint.Give me a break! There isn't a firetruck in the world that doesn't have scratches on it...no matter what kind of doors.
    Let's stop being hypocrites about safety and visibility. Vehicle color and the contrasting markings play a major role in what is seen by other drivers. Just take a look at side pictures of new apparatus and see how most of them blend in or disappear into the background, at least from the cab back.
    If you are going to order new apparatus without painted roll ups, at least have the reflective tape on the doors be a contrasting color, such as red (or your apparatus color).
    The really sad thing about this is that this guy probably sits on the NFPA 1901 committee...and this will be another useless standard in a couple years.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I'm not a big fan of the unpainted aluminum black hole theory either. How many times have you guys seen the driver staring straight at you when they whizz by? "Hey Martha, why in the world is that big red truck that says Fire Department on the side of those rather dashing aluminum doors with his lights flashing and that big chrome noise maker on the front running full blast pulling out in front of me? Don't those guys know that I'm in a hurry?"

    I don't discount the idea that drivers are not noticing our vehicles as readily, I think that's a fact. It would be interesting to see if there's a connection with the rate of apparatus incidents and the population's use of cell phones and/or texting. This may be a more telling group of statistics. I'd have to say that the majority of the time I came closer to someone than I wanted to it involved the front half of my cab.

    Ya know... we could learn a lot from the "how not to drive a fire truck" thread. When you drive as fast as they do, it doesn't matter how the back half of your truck is painted!
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    Maybe "Voluntary Attention Deficit Disorder?"
    Yes, that is a better description.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fokker416 View Post
    How many times have you guys seen the driver staring straight at you when they whizz by? "Hey Martha, why in the world is that big red truck that says Fire Department on the side of those rather dashing aluminum doors with his lights flashing and that big chrome noise maker on the front running full blast pulling out in front of me? Don't those guys know that I'm in a hurry?"

    When did you visit my Town? We have multiple times a year that "attentive drivers" drive by the fire station ahead signs, see the big red truck sitting in the driveway making all kinds of noise and flashing lights and look at the apparatus as if to say, "How dare you slow me down, I should not have to nor will I yield to emergency vehicles.... " You have to wonder, if you can't see and react to a big red truck how are you going to react to a kid running out into the street for a ball???

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    I still think the original poster is a paint salesman !!!!!

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    Lets think about this for a second. Fire trucks come in all different colors. In fact, I don't seem to recall any standard for the color of fire trucks. Doesn't Chicago have black trucks? Therefore it would seem to me that the color of the truck and the doors has nothing to do with the visibility of the truck when in a blocking position. It is the reflective striping, chevrons, and lights that accomplish that. Therefore, if the color of the truck has no bearing on anything, why would it all of a sudden matter what color the stupid door is?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MurphysFireKC View Post
    So let me get this straight, Once the cab goes by drivers assume it is safe to proceed and run into the back of the truck because it has unpainted roll up doors?
    What you're not thinking about is the age-old problem with unpainted windows and windshields. In the past, the painted doors have made up for them, but now we've got an issue that we're going to have to address as well.

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    I can see it already.... A new stupid NFPA regulation that says all rollup doors must be painted.
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    Halligan,Five cleansing breaths and two oo-saabs,that oughta help,hehe T.C .

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    Quote Originally Posted by jta911hc View Post
    Aluminum is a neutral color and virtually invisible, even with a background, like buildings.
    Aluminum is pretty close to the color of a silver vehicle,but you don't see junkyards filling up with silver cars.

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    Did anyone else notice this guy's letter in Fire Apparatus magazine this month?
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