A History of Air Bags in Fire Apparatus

Saving the lives of others can be a very dangerous business, especially for firefighters whose job it is to protect our communities.

In 2012, 81 firefighters died while on duty–18, or one fifth, died while responding to or returning from the scene. To address and reduce deaths in vehicular accidents, many fire chiefs across the nation stress the importance of buckling up. However, many take their firefighters’ safety a step further by specifying supplemental restraint systems (air bags) on their apparatus.

The first commercial air bag systems were offered on some GM cars in the early and mid 1970s. These systems were much larger, heavier, and slower than today’s air bag systems. Read More.

This article originally appeared in Fire Apparatus & Emergency Equipment, June, 2014.