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The purpose of the Fire Mechanics Section is to promote standardization of fire apparatus and equipment preventative maintenance, improve safety standards and practices, promote workshops, conferences, and seminars related to the purposes of this Section, and to promote cost savings through standardization of building and equipment purchasing and maintenance.

RECENT FIRE MECHANIC NEWS

Posted: Mar 14, 2016

Front Bumpers Offer Almost Unlimited Customization

At one time, the front bumpers on fire apparatus served the time-honored purpose of being only a bumper. But in today’s fire world, fire departments are choosing front bumpers that range from slim to wide-from carrying a minimal amount of equipment to bumpers that function as additional compartmentation and equipment housing.

Tim Smits, national sales manager for Pierce Manufacturing Inc., says that manufacturers “are pretty much unlimited in what you can do in a front bumper extension. From extrication equipment and hydraulic reels to a booster reel, winches, and trays for preconnects and crosslays, you can put it up there,” he says.

1 The Community (TX) Fire Department had Pierce Manufacturing build a sink into the front bumper of its rehab unit so firefighters could clean up before heading inside the walk-in unit to pick up food or rehydrating liquids. [Photo courtesy of Community (TX) Fire Department.]
1 The Community (TX) Fire Department had Pierce Manufacturing build a sink into the front bumper of its rehab unit so firefighters could clean up before heading inside the walk-in unit to pick up food or rehydrating liquids. [Photo courtesy of Community (TX) Fire Department.]

Dave Rider, director of global product management for Smeal Fire Apparatus, says that because front bumpers lead the way, they are the most customized part of a fire truck and a good use of space. But, bumpers with a lot of equipment in them can be a double-edged sword, Rider notes, especially with the potential for damage if the vehicle is involved in a front-end crash. “Also, the wider you go on a front bumper, the worse the angle of approach gets,” Rider observes. “Thirty inches is probably the widest we can go and still be National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) compliant.” Rider says that the most common element on front bumpers is a two-inch discharge with 1½-inch threads, followed by a front suction along with a trash line. “Rescue bumpers are the third most common type we do, typically with two hydraulic hose reels, a spreader and cutter, or a combi tool.”

Tyler Meekins, sales assistant for 4 Guys Fire Trucks, says 4 Guys has been “seeing a little bit of everything lately in front bumpers. We just had a pumper and a rescue leave with six-inch front bumpers and then built a rescue-pumper for the Portland (CT) Fire Department with two hydraulic reels, a spreader, and cutter set in the width of the 24-inch front bumper, all covered with a diamond plate lid.”

Fort Garry Fire Trucks built this extended front bumper on a chassis carrying an electric cord reel, a hydraulic rescue tool reel, and dual recessed Federal Q2B mechanical sirens. Note the vertical rods at the edges of the bumper that give the driver an idea of where the bumper is when in tight spaces. (Photo courtesy of Fort Garry Fire Trucks
2 Fort Garry Fire Trucks built this extended front bumper on a chassis carrying an electric cord reel, a hydraulic rescue tool reel, and dual recessed Federal Q2B mechanical sirens. Note the vertical rods at the edges of the bumper that give the driver an idea of where the bumper is when in tight spaces. (Photo courtesy of Fort Garry Fire Trucks.)

Mike Watts, national sales manager for Toyne, says that on a commercial pumper, it’s not unusual to use the provided bumper in its original configuration. “The same can be true of a custom ch

Read more
Posted: Mar 14, 2016

Front Bumpers Offer Almost Unlimited Customization

At one time, the front bumpers on fire apparatus served the time-honored purpose of being only a bumper. But in today’s fire world, fire departments are choosing front bumpers that range from slim to wide-from carrying a minimal amount of equipment to bumpers that function as additional compartmentation and equipment housing.

Tim Smits, national sales manager for Pierce Manufacturing Inc., says that manufacturers “are pretty much unlimited in what you can do in a front bumper extension. From extrication equipment and hydraulic reels to a booster reel, winches, and trays for preconnects and crosslays, you can put it up there,” he says.

1 The Community (TX) Fire Department had Pierce Manufacturing build a sink into the front bumper of its rehab unit so firefighters could clean up before heading inside the walk-in unit to pick up food or rehydrating liquids. [Photo courtesy of Community (TX) Fire Department.]
1 The Community (TX) Fire Department had Pierce Manufacturing build a sink into the front bumper of its rehab unit so firefighters could clean up before heading inside the walk-in unit to pick up food or rehydrating liquids. [Photo courtesy of Community (TX) Fire Department.]

Dave Rider, director of global product management for Smeal Fire Apparatus, says that because front bumpers lead the way, they are the most customized part of a fire truck and a good use of space. But, bumpers with a lot of equipment in them can be a double-edged sword, Rider notes, especially with the potential for damage if the vehicle is involved in a front-end crash. “Also, the wider you go on a front bumper, the worse the angle of approach gets,” Rider observes. “Thirty inches is probably the widest we can go and still be National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) compliant.” Rider says that the most common element on front bumpers is a two-inch discharge with 1½-inch threads, followed by a front suction along with a trash line. “Rescue bumpers are the third most common type we do, typically with two hydraulic hose reels, a spreader and cutter, or a combi tool.”

Tyler Meekins, sales assistant for 4 Guys Fire Trucks, says 4 Guys has been “seeing a little bit of everything lately in front bumpers. We just had a pumper and a rescue leave with six-inch front bumpers and then built a rescue-pumper for the Portland (CT) Fire Department with two hydraulic reels, a spreader, and cutter set in the width of the 24-inch front bumper, all covered with a diamond plate lid.”

Fort Garry Fire Trucks built this extended front bumper on a chassis carrying an electric cord reel, a hydraulic rescue tool reel, and dual recessed Federal Q2B mechanical sirens. Note the vertical rods at the edges of the bumper that give the driver an idea of where the bumper is when in tight spaces. (Photo courtesy of Fort Garry Fire Trucks
2 Fort Garry Fire Trucks built this extended front bumper on a chassis carrying an electric cord reel, a hydraulic rescue tool reel, and dual recessed Federal Q2B mechanical sirens. Note the vertical rods at the edges of the bumper that give the driver an idea of where the bumper is when in tight spaces. (Photo courtesy of Fort Garry Fire Trucks.)

Mike Watts, national sales manager for Toyne, says that on a commercial pumper, it’s not unusual to use the provided bumper in its original configuration. “The same can be true of a custom ch

Read more
Posted: Mar 14, 2016

Front Bumpers Offer Almost Unlimited Customization

At one time, the front bumpers on fire apparatus served the time-honored purpose of being only a bumper. But in today’s fire world, fire departments are choosing front bumpers that range from slim to wide-from carrying a minimal amount of equipment to bumpers that function as additional compartmentation and equipment housing.

Tim Smits, national sales manager for Pierce Manufacturing Inc., says that manufacturers “are pretty much unlimited in what you can do in a front bumper extension. From extrication equipment and hydraulic reels to a booster reel, winches, and trays for preconnects and crosslays, you can put it up there,” he says.

1 The Community (TX) Fire Department had Pierce Manufacturing build a sink into the front bumper of its rehab unit so firefighters could clean up before heading inside the walk-in unit to pick up food or rehydrating liquids. [Photo courtesy of Community (TX) Fire Department.]
1 The Community (TX) Fire Department had Pierce Manufacturing build a sink into the front bumper of its rehab unit so firefighters could clean up before heading inside the walk-in unit to pick up food or rehydrating liquids. [Photo courtesy of Community (TX) Fire Department.]

Dave Rider, director of global product management for Smeal Fire Apparatus, says that because front bumpers lead the way, they are the most customized part of a fire truck and a good use of space. But, bumpers with a lot of equipment in them can be a double-edged sword, Rider notes, especially with the potential for damage if the vehicle is involved in a front-end crash. “Also, the wider you go on a front bumper, the worse the angle of approach gets,” Rider observes. “Thirty inches is probably the widest we can go and still be National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) compliant.” Rider says that the most common element on front bumpers is a two-inch discharge with 1½-inch threads, followed by a front suction along with a trash line. “Rescue bumpers are the third most common type we do, typically with two hydraulic hose reels, a spreader and cutter, or a combi tool.”

Tyler Meekins, sales assistant for 4 Guys Fire Trucks, says 4 Guys has been “seeing a little bit of everything lately in front bumpers. We just had a pumper and a rescue leave with six-inch front bumpers and then built a rescue-pumper for the Portland (CT) Fire Department with two hydraulic reels, a spreader, and cutter set in the width of the 24-inch front bumper, all covered with a diamond plate lid.”

Fort Garry Fire Trucks built this extended front bumper on a chassis carrying an electric cord reel, a hydraulic rescue tool reel, and dual recessed Federal Q2B mechanical sirens. Note the vertical rods at the edges of the bumper that give the driver an idea of where the bumper is when in tight spaces. (Photo courtesy of Fort Garry Fire Trucks
2 Fort Garry Fire Trucks built this extended front bumper on a chassis carrying an electric cord reel, a hydraulic rescue tool reel, and dual recessed Federal Q2B mechanical sirens. Note the vertical rods at the edges of the bumper that give the driver an idea of where the bumper is when in tight spaces. (Photo courtesy of Fort Garry Fire Trucks.)

Mike Watts, national sales manager for Toyne, says that on a commercial pumper, it’s not unusual to use the provided bumper in its original configuration. “The same can be true of a custom ch

Read more
Posted: Mar 14, 2016

The Importance of Completing Safety Recalls

By Wesley D. Chestnut

In recent years, motor vehicle manufacturer safety recalls have become ever more common.

However, even with the notifications vehicle owners receive, Internet information, and media attention, completion rates for safety recalls are still surprisingly low. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has promulgated regulations and developed tools for vehicle owners that are intended to help improve recall completion rates, there still remains a large percentage of vehicles that are never remedied. This could mean that there is still a significant number of vehicles being operated on our highways that present a risk to the public.

Recall Frequency Increasing

Safety-related recalls can occur for many reasons. These reasons may include problems associated with the introduction of new technologies, supplier mistakes, quality control problems, or any number of other unexpected causes.

While reasons may vary, the number of safety-related recalls for motor vehicles appears to be on the rise. In 2014, there were just more than 800 separate vehicle recalls involving more than 69 million vehicles. The 2015 number may approach 900 motor vehicle recalls-not including equipment-related safety recalls.

Recall Notifications

When a manufacturer decides a safety defect exists in the vehicles it produces, it must notify the NHTSA and its dealers as well as owners. As of February 2014, envelopes containing a notification of a safety related recall must have a label (photo 1).

The notification must contain certain information that includes a description of the safety-related defect, the safety risk, and what the remedy is. The notification must also identify that the remedy is available at no cost to the vehicle owner. In certain cases, you may receive a notice that indicates a remedy is not yet available but will be at a later date.

Remedy Responsibilities

Vehicle manufacturers are responsible for their vehicles and all original equipment installed on them. This means that even if the safety defect or noncompliance is in an item of equipment on the vehicle that the vehicle manufacturer did not manufacture, it is responsible for notifying owners and providing a remedy.

It is not uncommon in vehicle recalls involving defective or noncomplying original equipment, particularly those involving specialty or commercial vehicle applications, for the vehicle manufacturer and the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to coordinate such that the OEM performs the repairs. This commonly occurs with engines, axles, and commercial chassis.

If You Receive a Recall Notice

When a safety-related recall notification is received, open it immediately and read it completely. Focus on the identified risk or what could happen if the safety defect is not remedied. The identified risk does not mean the condition will happen but that it could happen. The intent of the notification is to prevent the risk from happening. Depending on the nature of the safety-related defect, the notification may state the risk is fire, personal injury, equipment damage, or a crash. If a failure could result because of the safety-related defect, the notification may state that the failure could occur without warning.

Importance of Apparatus Recalls

While getting a safety-related defect remedied in your personal vehicle is very important, getting it remedied on a fire apparatus is critically important. A fire apparatus has multiple purposes that typically involve some type of emergency situation. A safety-related defect may prohibit the apparatus from

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Upcoming Events

Fire Mechanics Section Board

Chair

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Chair

Elliot Courage
North Whatcom Fire & Rescue
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Vice Chair

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Vice Chair

Mike Smith 
Pierce County Fire District #5
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Secretary

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Secretary

Justin Claibourn
Central Pierce Fire & Rescue 
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Director #1

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #1

Loren Angiono 
City of Lynnwood
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Director #2

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #2

Paul Spencer 
Fire Fleet Maintenance LLC
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Director #3

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #3

Larry Elliott
Olympia Fire Department
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Director #4

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #4

Doug Jones
City of Redmond
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Director #6

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #6

Brett Annear
Kitsap County Fire District 18
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Director #5

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #5

Jay Jacks
Camano Island Fire & Rescue
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Legislative Representative

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Legislative Representative

TBD
TBD
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Immediate Past Chair

Posted: Oct 20, 2015

Immediate Past Chair

Brian Fortner
Graham Fire & Rescue

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