Lack of Innovation in Fire Apparatus
I left the fire apparatus business quite a few years ago. When I did it was for a variety of reasons. The biggest one being, I have a bit of a conscience about playing fast and loose with people lives for the sake of getting propriatary specification items. But that is not the topic I am discussing.
I guess it really doesn't suprise me to see that very little has changed in apparatus since I left. The reason that doesn't suprise me is that very little had changed for 30 years before I started. Compare a 1960 model car to a 2000 model. Then do the same with a piece of fire apparatus. I am an old car buff (my daily driver is a '67 Porsche), but as much as I love the old ones, I have to admit the new ones are safer, more reliable and just ergonomically a lot better. The same cannot be said for fire apparatus. There have been minor improvements, but for the most part nothing new. You would think that in this area where saving lives is the prime concern, new innovations would be a must, but it isn't.
I have a few ideas why this is the case. One, Fire apparatus companies spend most of their time trying to figure ways to better work the municipal bidding system, not build a better product. Sure you will hear a lot of stories of corruption, bribes and the like, but brand loyalty in the fire service is often a matter of habit. Since this is not a consumer market, little is done to truly make the product better.
You might agree or disagree with me on this, and I hope to see some discussion on it. I would strongly suggest becoming an expert on Fire apparatus construction if you plan to be in the service. A knight is only as good as his horse. And where fire apparatus companies are concerned I have a quote of mine that has often been repeated, "Just because you have been doing it for 40 years, doesn't mean that you are now, or have ever, done it right"
Seeking Firewolf Industries Items!