1. #1
    SOML
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    Question Nfpa lighting requirements

    We just took took deliverly of a new ambulance and now there is a large debate ongoing within the department. I remember reading something about a new NFPA rule requiring Yellow lights to the rear and not having visible white lights to the front when the vehicle was stopped. Where can i find this information if it is true? No one can seem to find the NFPA updates (how convienient).

  2. #2
    e33
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    NFPA 1901 is the standard for automotive fire apparatus, it does not cover ambulances. I believe the KKK standard is the one which covers ambulances, however, I know nothing about it. Either way they are only recommendations..not gospel or law.

    ------------------
    The opinions and views expressed herin are solely mine and not on the behalf of any department or organization I belong to.



  3. #3
    SOML
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    Looking for info for trucks as well. We are currently looking to buy a new engine..

  4. #4
    raricciuti
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    The lighting requirements for fire apparatus basically address two conditions; moving apparatus (termed "Calling for Right-of-Way") and stopped apparatus (termed "Blocking Right-of-Way"). The intent is to standardize what the lights being displayed mean, reduce amp draw when stopped, and and reduce the chances of accidents. In a nutshell, apparatus lighting is divided in into 4 quadrants labeled A,B,C, & D, with the front being A, right side B, rear C, and left side D. Apparatus calling for the right of way (moving) can display any color lighting any direction except (1) no amber light to the front and (2) no white light to the rear. Apparatus blocking the right of way (stopped) can display any color lighting in any direction except (1) no white light at all and (2) amber must be shown to the rear. More importantly than the NFPA standard (which isn't law) is that you comply with your states' motor vehicle code (which is law!) particularly in regard to colors displayed. Check out Federal Signals website at www.fedsig.com and the Whelen Engineering site at www.whelen.com for customizable lighting packages which meet NFPA standards. Get yourself a copy of NFPA 1901 before you start writing specs - it will provide tons of info.

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    R.A. Ricciuti, Firefighter
    Mt. Lebanon Fire Department
    www.mtlfd.org


  5. #5
    Phred
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    Question

    Mt Lebanon's correct, but SOML is really asking "What standard applies when a KKK compliant Ambulance is owned and operated by a Fire Department whose Apparatus are supposed to comply with the NFPA standards?"

    NFPA suggests that thou shalt not display white to the front after arriving and stopping on-scene; KKK requires white to the front but makes no stipulation about turning off the front white warning lights when stopped on-scene. Which standard applies to the Fire Service Ambulance?? Is it a Fire Apparatus or an Ambulance, or both?

    And while we're on the subject, what opinions and / or standards apply to headlight wig-wag flashers? Have you ever approached a scene at night, as either a responder or a civilian, where traffic is being waved on to pass the scene, and you couldn't see because of an emergency vehicle parked with it's headlight high beam flashers all aglow and blinding you? Sorry to wander off-subject - that's a pet peeve.

  6. #6
    MetalMedic
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    Wink

    Is it a fire apparatus or an ambulance you ask.... you can bet that if someone were injured and the use of the white lights came into question, the NFPA standard would become part of the argument for the plaintiff. If the words "Fire Department" was plastered on the side of the squad, your average jury would have a hard time believing that it wasn't a fire department vehicle....

    Now what was it that Shakespear said about lawyers????

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    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.


    [This message has been edited by MetalMedic (edited February 23, 2000).]

  7. #7
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    To be sure, if common sense were common, we would ALL think to shut off white lights when on scene. They are only for clearing traffic, not marking our vehicles on scene. In a department I previously worked with, there were drivers who wouldn't/couldn't reach across the panel to shut off the headlights and white lights, would just hit the master switch instead.

    I'm not intimately familiar with NFPA 1901 or KKK, but once on scene, I feel the driver should shut down all lights EXCEPT those that mark the length and width of the vehicle (e.g. side and corner lights on the box of the ambulance). Additionally, that's easier on the electronics.

    Again, it should be "common" sense...

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    Rick Reed
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  8. #8
    Sneezy_248
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    KKK-1822 IS THE AMBULANCE SPEC. AS FOR AS PREVENTING ACCIDENT, SEVERAL YEARS AGO THEY SAID THAT YELLOW/LIME GREEN APPARATUS WOULD REDUCE ACCIDENTS, BUT THAT WAS PROVEN WRONG ALSO, FOOD FOR THOUGHT?

  9. #9
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    regardless of who uses it hte ambulance must meet KKK spec., which I believe is a federal thing from the DOT. Fire apparatus are under the NFPA regulations and units are built to that spec, if a FD operates the ambulance and it does not neewd to follow NFPA sa that is for motorized fire apparatus. As to who makes up these idiosychroses I dont know. Again common sense should prevail.
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    Good lord. How much epi did it take to bring this one back from the dead!!

    Federal DOT requirements are only for the OEM Manufacturers. For example, Wheeled Coach must build it too meet or exceed KKK-1182 Specifications. It specifies where lightheads have to be placed and how they must flash. It also usually requies specific power supplies or flashers to do so correctly and within spec. If you've ever seen the Whelen KKK-Spec strobe power supply, you know it is quite the beast.

    What you do with it after you buy it is only regulated by state law. The state laws may or may not specify anything other than colors. It may also mirror the KKK-1822 text. You are free to exceed the minimum requirements it all you want. God help you if you start reading state laws too. Usually, they make little to no sense and contradict themselves five ways to Wednesday. Personally, I think a bare bones KKK-1822 minimum setup is worthless and a little extra on each end makes me a lot more comfortable.

    Another common misconception, NFPA does NOT... I say again DOES NOT require amber lights to the rear of an apparatus. It ALLOWS red or amber to the rear and requires a certain amount of candle power. You get a lot more CP out of an amber lens than a red lens so they often use amber in the mix to meet the CP requirement. You can use all red if you want, you will just need more of them. Using amber has it's own advantages other than CP... poor weather visibility for example. I would put amber on it even if the requirements could be met with just red. Amber is allowed on the rear and sides while moving or on scene. It is allowed in the front ONLY while stationary on scene. These CP issues are generally a non-issue in the front due to the 6 million head light bars and the fact that you can also use white in the front.

    I don't have the links handy, but there are several website that have diagrams of what is required where. Check the various manufactures of ambulances for KKK-1182 and lights for NFPA 1901.
    Last edited by nmfire; 11-02-2003 at 12:19 PM.
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    LOL..........sorry .........I was bored at work and went lurking deeep deep undecover .............."CLEAR" !
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
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    On our new engine the "traffic clearing" lights turn off when you apply the parking brake .
    But this new engine does not have any amber lights in the rrear (unless you count the arrowstick) .

    On our 2002 rescue (ambulance body) it has clear lights on the front when parked and it does not have amber lights in the rear (unless again you count the arrowstick)

    I guess I can sum it up by our ladder no clear emergency lights in the front and one amber rotator and one red in the back

  13. #13
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    NFPA 1901 specifies two different modes...

    Requesting the right of way (Responding) and Blocking the right of way (on scene).

    Usually, the blocking mode takes effect when the parking brake is activated. One can be reasonably sure the truck is not moving down the road with the parking brake on so it makes sense.

    When in the blocking mode, white flashing lights must shut down. This is why those TCL's shut down when you set the parking brake. Some apparatus will have a switch on the control panel labeled something like "Blocking Override". This overrides the blocking mode and enables all the white lights even with the parking brake one. This is nice during the day, for show, or for testing.

    I believe the KKK-1182 ambulance specs DO require an amber light in the upper center. Now all of these are dependent on when the piece was built. If it was built before the specs were written, it doesn't apply.
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  14. #14
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    KKK is a government specification meant to ensure ambulances purchased with federal funding meet a certain level of design and performance.

    If you, as a consumer, buy into their spec, then buy "KKK" ambulances. Of course it is entirely possible to have non-KKK ambulances. I'm having some of the switching changed on our new truck so that it's more of a "emergency lights on/off" setup, versus Master Emergency, Primary/Secondary, and individual control switches.

    Can you vary from KKK? YOU BET. They are minimum "standards" so that when you see KKK-XXX you know what you are buying.

    Along those lines, you can specify non-NFPA compliant apparatus. OOOOOOOH sounds scary, eh? How about a simple thing like changing the rotate controller on your aerial from operating push-pull to side-to-side, so that it actually mimicks the movement of the aerial device? Is that NFPA-compliant? Nope. Can you do it? Yup, as long as everyone understands what is taking place, and you assume the risk for making such a change. Of course if you choose to stray from the industry standards, it's always a good idea to have very good reasons for doing so. And you only go above the standards with respect to safety, obviously. Look at some of the true innovators and you'll see non-NFPA vehicles. Sure, a lot of the stuff is covered by NFPA. While 100% NFPA compliant and 100% KKK compliant trucks are common, you aren't limited to them.

    Again, that said, be careful what you choose to adopt, change, and/or dismisss.
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    Of course, you can do whatever you want with it. Some manufacturers I know will just refuse to build the truck if it doesn't meet the specs. Others don't care. Once you have it in your hands, knock yourself out.

    The one thing most people agree on is that in court, some lawyer will ask why you feel it wasn't neccessary to meet minimum standards....
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  16. #16
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    You might also want to check your state’s motor vehicle codes.

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