By Bob Albano

Bob is the Fire & Rescue Business Unit Sales Manager for Hendrickson. He has been in the industry for 11 years and focuses specifically on working with fire apparatus manufactures to ensure that Hendrickson products are designed to meet the demands of the Fire & Rescue market. He also has the responsibility of working with dealers, federal, state, and local departments nationwide to assure that the correct suspensions are specified to meet the unique needs of each department.

Air-ride suspensions have steadily increased in popularity in nearly all segments of the trucking industry. Approximately 75 percent of the trailers manufactured today and almost all highway tractors use air-ride suspensions.  Air has even proliferated into the specialty segments of the trucking industry. It is not uncommon to find air-ride suspensions on heavy-duty vehicles that Continue reading

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By Grady North

Grady has more than 40 years of experience in fire apparatus manufacturing. He served as a volunteer firefighter for more than 20 years. He is a past president of the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) and currently serves as chairman of the Meeting planning committee. Grady also serves as corporate director for the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA). He is currently a product manager at E-ONE.

It’s no secret that fire apparatus are becoming more multifunctional as budgets and personnel allocations decline—combining rescue trucks with pumpers (rescue-pumpers) or pumpers with aerials (quints). However, one area that is often overlooked is the increasing amount of equipment that is carried on the apparatus and the effect this has on vehicle weight. Additional Weight Continue reading

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By Roger Lackore

Roger is the vice president of product development for Smeal Fire Apparatus. He has a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and a master of science degree in engineering management. He is licensed as a professional engineer and a certified safety professional with 32 years of experience in the heavy vehicle industry.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) apparatus committee has published NFPA 1911, Standard for the Inspection, Maintenance, Testing,and Retirement of In-Service Emergency Vehicles (2017 ed.), which took effect in January. Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) member companies worked on the apparatus committee both as association members and as individual company representatives. While we all work Continue reading

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By Roger Lackore

Roger is the vice president of product Development for Smeal Fire Apparatus. He holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and a master of science degree in engineering management. He is licensed as a professional engineer and a certified safety professional with 32 years of experience in the heavy vehicle industry.

So many times in life we are forced to pick the “least of all evils.” So, it is nice when we at the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) can discuss a topic where you can choose the best from a list of “all goods.” This is the case when it comes to selecting an auxiliary Continue reading

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By Wesley D. Chestnut

Wes is the product safety and compliance manager for Spartan Motors, Inc. He provides regulatory oversight for all of Spartan. He works closely with federal agencies and other associations to promote the safety of various types of motor vehicles.

For many years, fire trucks have been predominantly some shade of red in color with flashing lights, bells, whistles, and sirens. At face value, it’s arguable that fire trucks haven’t changed. However, as most member companies of Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) can attest, these vehicles have indeed advanced technologically because of innovations; changes in Continue reading

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By Roger Lackore

Vice President, Product Development, for Smeal Fire Apparatus, Roger holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and a master of science degree in engineering management. He is licensed as a professional engineer and a certified safety professional with 32 years of experience in the heavy vehicle industry.

The Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) has a goal to advance and protect the interests of the fire and emergency services community. While not everyone in the fire service will agree on what those best interests are, we can all agree that good decision making begins and ends with good data. For that reason, FAMA Continue reading

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By Sam Massa

Sam is the president and chief technologist for HiViz LED Lighting, a manufacturer of specialty scene lighting equipment with a primary focus on the fire and emergency services market. He is a North Carolina firefighter, an emergency medical technician and a community contributor/active participant who provided public comments from the scene lighting industry to the NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus, technical committee during the 2016 revision process.

In recent years, the types of components plugged into fire apparatus electrical systems have changed significantly. Modern electronics have enhanced first responders’ ability to accomplish the tasks at hand quickly and effectively. Some Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) member companies build apparatus, while others make the generators that produce the power, and still others make the lighting and equipment that consume that power. As technology becomes more sophisticated, it is important that all those who manufacture the components work together to ensure coordination, and that the firefighters who use the equipment recognize potential conflicts in equipment loads.

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By Paul C. Darley

Paul is chairman, CEO and president of W.S. Darley & Co. He is a past president of the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) and served on the board of directors of Fire and Emergency Manufacturers and Services Association (FEMSA). He has visited fire services in more than 80 countries. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance from Marquette University and a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

“Big Data” is a term used a lot these days. It basically describes the large volume of data—both structured and unstructured—that inundate us on a day-to-day basis. But, it’s not the amount of data that’s important; it’s what organizations do with the data that matters. In the business world, big data can be analyzed for patterns and insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves. In our world of firefighting, big data can be used to save lives and property, while making fire departments more operationally efficient.

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By Tom Mettler

Tom is Director of Engineering for Waterous Company and is a member of the FAMA Tech Committee and the Pump and Plumbing Subcommittee. He is also a member of the NFPA Fire Department Apparatus Committee and served as the Pump Task Group Chair for the 2016 revision of NFPA 1901 and 1906 standards.

While the name Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) might imply the membership is limited to fire truck builders, a majority of the membership consists of companies who make the wide variety of components that are attached to the firetrucks. All the major fire pump manufacturers are members, and we participate significantly in FAMA’s work with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) technical committees. In this article, we will describe recent changes in pump testing and how they impact fire apparatus performance.

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By Roger Lackore

Roger is the vice president of product development for Smeal Fire Apparatus. He has a bachelor’s degree in science for mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in science for engineering management. He is licensed as a professional engineer and a certified safety professional with 31 years of experience in the heavy vehicle industry.

In this day of electronic media, there are many ways to learn and sharpen your skills without ever leaving the station. There are videos, blogs, Webinars, and Google searches just to name a few. So, why bother sending your fire department staff to a live symposium when the alternatives are easier on department budgets? At the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA), we feel that there is still a great advantage to getting out of the box and being able to meet face to face, ask questions, shake hands, and learn from each other. This is the reason our member companies dedicate time and energy each year, partnering with the Fire Department Safety Officer Association (FDSOA) to bring you the Annual Fire Apparatus Maintenance and Specification Symposium.

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