NFPA Reviews Apparatus Standards

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is currently reviewing NFPA 1901: Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus, 1999 Edition, for possible action by the standards committee in July of 2003. Actions on the standard could suggest older trucks should face safety upgrades or be replaced.

NFPA 1901 provides the requirements for new automotive fire apparatus that is designed for structural fire fighting or for supporting associated fire department operations. This important standard covers everything from pumpers to aerial fire apparatus to special service apparatus, such as rescue vehicles and haz-mat vehicles. New chapters in the 1999 edition cover requirements for quints and mobile foam apparatus.

Carl Peterson, Staff Liaison Fire Department Apparatus Committee and Assistant Director Public Fire Protection Division, NFPA said that a review committee began work last summer. They published proposals in a draft document for public review and comment.

An early November meeting considered the comments they got back and they further modified the draft document. Some of those comments suggested they add some appendix material to discuss upgrades since l991, to suggest that apparatus older then 1979 be considered for either replacement, or updating to the safety features of more recent standards.

The results of member balloting on suggested changes to NFPA 1901 will be brought to the membership at a May 2003 meeting and could be adopted by the standards committee in July.

Peterson said changes could and probably will be made to what is currently out there.