The Future of Apparatus - Part 3

Do you see the industry becoming more assembly-line oriented or utilizing more custom designs? Ferrara: An apparatus manufacturer will need to do both. The assembly-line units will enable them to provide lower-cost units to budget restricted...


To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with Firehouse. Already have an account? Login

Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.

OR

Complete the registration form.

Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required

Pierce: The recent introduction of multiplex wiring systems will revolutionize fire apparatus operation. As users learn its capabilities, a whole new development cycle will begin. It will allow a higher degree of safe aerial operation. It will also allow for better distribution of vehicle operation information around the apparatus and reduce confusion on complicated trucks. Troubleshooting of electrical failures will be easier with improved diagnostics.

Saulsbury: As stated earlier, the use of the pumper/rescue has increased greatly. One trend that we are seeing an increase in is the rear-mounted pump. This design can adapt to both the city and rural requirements. The city departments can design a smaller, more maneuverable design without compromising storage space for equipment. The rural departments can design a unit for use of more storage space and more specialized equipment without having to increase the dimensional sizes of a midship pumper design.

American LaFrance: American LaFrance is committed to applying its full technological and customer support resources to help the fire and emergency services meet today's and tomorrow's challenges. Safety is an issue that we will not compromise and, in fact, plan to revolutionize. Our commitment to cab testing and the transfer of safety, comfort and performance advancements from our heavy truck experience will continue into the 21st century.

Hackney: The evolution of the fire apparatus we see in America today, whether it be a pumper, aerial or rescue, is the result of ideas posed by the fire department, the end user. Very few innovations can actually be attributed to a manufacturer. They were ideas that were requested by the fire department on that new apparatus that the manufacturer determined to be a good idea. Thus, that manufacturer incorporated it into the next truck, his competitor saw it and incorporated into his design, and so forth. A smart manufacturer is one who listens and responds.

Smeal: Departments need to decide what is really necessary on the apparatus that they are purchasing. Too often, departments want to put 10 pounds of sugar in a five-pound bag. Another area is ergonomics. This is the "catchword" of the '90s but it will be the design change of the new millennium. Increased insurance costs and the rising number of worker's comp claims will demand that manufacturers design and build apparatus in an ergonomic fashion that is operator friendly.

KME: Fire department personnel should always look at the specific needs for their future apparatus acquisitions and go to at least one trade show to look at all of the new technology available to address these needs. Also, talk to apparatus manufactures to discuss and package your departments specific requirements into a functional and practical configuration. Finally, if you keep hearing that what you want cannot be done, stop by the KME booth and look me up.