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  • Number of SCBA's

    We’ve got a 1987 Mack/Pierce pumper that quite a few members worked very hard on to get back into shape. We thought we had the truck looking outstanding so we took it to a parade expecting to pick up a nice trophy. We took a few very minor hits that are to be expected. The killer was one major hit that we think we should have never received. The Delaware Valley Judges Association hit us for a missing air pack and spare bottle. They said that we needed to have 4 SCBA’s onboard each with a spare bottle. I understand that the current NFPA 1901 states that you must have a minimum of 4 SCBA’s onboard but isn’t this a requirement for new trucks? Our truck is a 16 year old 2 (two) man cab; you can not squeeze more than 2 firefighters in it. We’ve got 3 SCBA’s and 3 spare bottles onboard which from my understanding met the NFPA requirements when it was built. To further complicate the issue there simply isn’t any room to mount another SCBA and spare bottle. The NFPA 1901 standard states “1.4 Retroactivity. This standard shall not be applied retroactively” so wouldn’t that mean that out truck is exempt from this new requirement and it only applied to new apparatus?

    Does anyone have a copy of a previous NFPA 1901 version that states there must be a minimum of 1 SCBA per seat with a minimum of two or three?

    We’d appreciate any information anyone could supply on this issue.

  • #2
    Was this parade for antique fire apparatus or older trucks that are still in servie?

    If it was for antiques, what a buncha jerks for dinging you for that, if not and this still is in service, have you looked at mounting inside a compartment somewhere?

    Comment


    • #3
      It was a “normal” parade with the “normal” categories. It’s interesting that you bring up the antique subject since we had a problem there as well. We ran a 1954 Mack pumper in this parade and pulled second place. The first place truck was from the hosting company and was a 1979, or at least the door plate said 1979. If my math is correct 1979 until 2003 is 24 years old. The parade rules state that antiques must be over 25 years old so the rig shouldn’t have been in the antique category to begin with. When we confronted the assistant chief of the hosting company about the discrepancy he pulled the registration out which showed it to be a 1978. I’m assuming that the chassis was a 1978 and the body was put on and the apparatus was sold in 1979. What year does that make it? In addition the pumper was refurbished only a year ago and is still an active piece in the parade hosting company. How can a 1954 compete with a truck that was refurbished only a year ago and is 25 years it’s junior?

      Back to the original question….
      The judges actually told me to pull everything off of the pumper that is not required by the NFPA and stick another SCBA on it. If we pulled everything off that wasn’t required we’d have plenty of space for another SCBA but isn’t that defeating the point? Sure, we could yank out rope, ventilation fans, chimney kit, flares, foam, foam nozzle, spare LDH, oil dry, chain saw, most of our fittings, shovels, cords, fuel cans, bolt cutters, tools, etc. and find space to mount a SCBA to meet the current NFPA requirements and make the judges happy. However, if we’re at a local parade and there is an emergency in our response area that we need to respond too we’re probably going to be lacking the necessary tools to get the job done.

      What I’m looking for is a version of the NFPA that would have applied to our truck when it was built. I’ve been searching the internet all night and from what I’ve found the version that would have applied is the 1985 version.

      If the 1985 version does not require 4 SCBA’s then we simply do not need them in this piece so we can run to any event just as we’d run to an emergency call. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't know the exact wording 1901, but my take on thier comments is that they are picking on one of the spots where the NFPA guidelines don't mesh. Obviously if you're following the new RIT or 2-in 2-out guidelines, you cannot operate this engine effectively without 4 SCBA on board regardless of how many people it seats. In the real world, you cannot get around this guideline simply because the engine was not equipped for the 4th pack.

        Technically, if they are judging based on 1901 alone, you are probably right in your interpretation. Since this is still an active engine however, I would also consider this engine inadequately equipped for structural fires. The 4 th SCBA could be utilized by a FF responding in a POV or another apparatus (i.e. tanker).
        Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

        IACOJ

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        • #5
          Thanks for the reply mcaldwell, it is appreciated……

          I follow your RIT comment and technically you are correct. With only a two man cab (and many departments still run them) you couldn’t attack a fire and still maintain 2 in 2 out. However, we have two pumpers in our station and for a structure fire they both run. The rig in question is a 1987 2 man cab with 3 SCBA’s and the other is a 1995 3 man cab with 4 SCBA’s. So on the average structure call with only 2 pumpers rolling we have 5 men and 7 SCBA’s. In reality the average structure fire gets a response from both pumpers and our ladder. The ladder has an 8 man cab with 5 SCBA seats and 4 SCBA’s mounted as spares. So therefore on any structure call you can count on 13 men and 16 SCBA’s.

          If we look deeper then we have to realize that with only a two man cab there are only 2 firefighters on scene so it doesn’t matter if you have 25 SCBA’s available since there isn’t anyone to don them. Our firefighters do NOT respond to the scene via POV as stipulated in our SOP’s. ALL firefighters (other than the Chief) are required to respond to the station, not to the scene due to limited resources and accountability issues.

          I do respect your view and in all respects you are correct, there MAY be a firefighter on scene that in route to the station needs to pass the fire scene. If he does stop to render assistance before the apparatus arrives it would be nice if there was a SCBA for him to don to assist. However, his gear is at the station so without his gear he is useless with a SCBA anyhow so what have we really gained? Furthermore, NFPA recommendations for “initial attack fire apparatus” only require 2 SCBA’s onboard so what are you going to do as an initial attack apparatus if you can’t maintain 2 in 2 out?

          So yes, in a perfect world all pumpers would be at least 4 man cabs to meet the 2 in 2 out rule on arrival. In reality there are many older apparatus still active that are only 2 man cabs. I’m quite sure that the 1985 version of the NFPA recommendations only requires 2 or 3 SCBA’s not the 4 that the current version requires.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Number of SCBA's

            Originally posted by LtTurk
            We’ve got a 1987 Mack/Pierce pumper that quite a few members worked very hard on to get back into shape....

            Does anyone have a copy of a previous NFPA 1901 version that states there must be a minimum of 1 SCBA per seat with a minimum of two or three?

            We’d appreciate any information anyone could supply on this issue.
            Part of the issue could be how much renovation you did. I believe that NFPA 1901 applies to old rigs that have undergone a certain % of rework. If you brought a number of areas up to current NFPA standards, they may have expected the rest of the vehicle to meet the standards.
            My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

            Comment


            • #7
              Unfortunately, you would held to the current standards, not the 1980's version when the truck was built. That is one of the killers about the standards, just because it was Ok 20 years ago does not mean it's Ok anymore. If it's a truck that is still in-service, it needs to be brought to the current standards, as much as possible.
              "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

              Comment


              • #8
                LT Turk wrote:
                So yes, in a perfect world all pumpers would be at least 4 man cabs to meet the 2 in 2 out rule on arrival. In reality there are many older apparatus still active that are only 2 man cabs.
                ------------------------
                In our perfect world we have learned that 4 man cabs don't work for us. Our newer trucks are 2 man cabs. We tried 4 man cabs but went back to 2 man. The added length of the truck made it difficult to manuver down the many narrow streets and driveways in our district and we never had the manpower available to fill every seat anyway. While every pumper has a full set of SCBA, 4 packs and 4 spare bottles, we almost always roll the truck out with one man on board. If there are 3 firefighters at the station when the call comes in then 3 trucks rool. In our combination department the vollies carry their bunker gear in their POVs and respond directly to the scene. If they pass a station enroute and see a truck parked inside that they are checked to drive then they must pull in and pick up that truck. If 6 firefighters arrive at a scene it is possible you will have 6 trucks there as well, if each one picked up a truck. Our older tankers don't have enough storage to hold the required SCBAs so we just stacked them in the passengers seat and strapped them down (making them one man cabs). NFPA doesn't say where they have to be carried just that we carry them. We don't have any shortage of SCBA. We have about 15 active structial firefighters and about 20 packs. We have everything from old steel 2.2 bottles hanging on old packs with canvis straps and nonintergrated PASS (hate those)to brand new carbon bottles in the latest packs with the intergrated PASS, RIT connection and heads up display(sweet). Our rescue/service truck and one of our tanker/service trucks each carry 4 packs and spare bottles which are the 1 hour type for use on Hazmat or overhaul operations. These were donated by one of the local chemical plants which was changing from Scott to MSA and didn't want to just throw away equiptment when they could donate it to us and get the tax writeoff. In the shed in back of the main station we have about 30 spare 2.2 steel bottles should we need them. Anytime a local facility's fire brigade updates equiptment or disbands then we get the hand me downs. We have SCBA marked with "Willow Glen FB" from the local power plant that downsized. We have some marked "EHCC" from E Hunt Correctional Center after the prison shut down it's fire brigade to cut costs. Even if we run out of room on the trucks we still keep a couple older packs in the storage shed to replace any SCBA sets damaged or destroyed while in service.
                Be Safe,

                Comment


                • #9
                  firemanjb, we haven’t done any renovation to the truck.

                  Bones42, if that were the case then we’d also have to install ABS, a sequential switching device for the warning lights, we’d have to remove the air horns and siren from the roof of the cab, etc. Also, The NFPA 1901 standard states “1.4 Retroactivity. This standard shall not be applied retroactively”. I read that as meaning the 1901 standards apply only to apparatus built after the release date. I believe the NFPA recommends older apparatus be updated to meet the current version of 1901 as much as possible but it is not required.

                  Here’s a picture of the truck during the parade in question:
                  23-2 picture

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What in the hell????.....

                    I guess we judge parades a lot differently here. You cruise thru the parade, the judges look you over as you pass by, from their seats on a reviewing platform (often a flat bed truck). No one looks at (or cares about) how many bottles you carry, or any other equipment issues. How good you look rolling by is all that matters, and that Mack would have won something here. Stay Safe....
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                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I wouldn't make many changes based on what a NJ Judge tells you at a parade. If the rig works for you operationally, leave it that way. If you ever brought a copy of 1901 to a parade and tried to sway a judges mind at the judging area I think he'd find something else to gig ya on anyway. Nice looking rig

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for all of the replies, I do appreciate it.

                        Hwoods, the judges can be extremely picky here. I took the same truck to the same parade last year with the same judges. The guy who judged it last year was extremely helpful. I followed him while he was looking it over and he pointed out each problem and explained what we needed to do to correct it. This year there were 2 different judges looking over the pumpers 10 years and older class. One of the judges was anything but helpful and neither one of them wanted me anywhere near them while they were judging. They finished judging the truck and simply walked away. I had to track them down to verify they were done.

                        While I was tracking these guys down the judge from last year happened to be walking by the truck and took a look at it because he remembered it. When I got back to the truck he tracked me down to tell me how much he liked it this year. Since he saw it the previous year he knew how much work we put into it and was extremely impressed. I honestly believe if he was judging our class this year we’d have pulled out a first place trophy from how happy he was with it.

                        Haligan84, you’re 100% correct and that’s what we’re going to do. Maybe next year we’ll bungee cord a pack to the running board or something just to make them happy.

                        I emailed the NFPA people and got a reply as I was typing this. Here’s what the 1984 1901 standard said: “Four SCBA, positive pressure, NIOSH/MSHA approved, 30 minute or longer rated service life. Four SCBA cylinders, spare to fit current SCBA.”

                        Here's a couple more pics you all may enjoy:

                        23-2 rear quarter
                        The 1954 Mack leading the way

                        People REALLY liked the dalmation on the antique hose bed, he was a HUGE it!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What in the hell????.....

                          Originally posted by hwoods
                          I guess we judge parades a lot differently here. You cruise thru the parade, the judges look you over as you pass by, from their seats on a reviewing platform (often a flat bed truck). No one looks at (or cares about) how many bottles you carry, or any other equipment issues. How good you look rolling by is all that matters, and that Mack would have won something here. Stay Safe....
                          I'm with hwoods on this. Sounds a little silly to me. And, I really wouldn't alter any operational game plans based on what a parade judge is telling, ESPECIALLY if your motivation for doing so is to "do better next year."

                          Strange.
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                          • #14
                            I have looked at this for a few days and I dont want to sound disrespectful but I just dont get this thread at all. Here is like Harvey said, we got by a review stand and are judged by whoever they may be, we never have had an inspection of the vehicle, for equipment etc. There are classes for newest piece, farthest traveled, etc. I also want to say I am not a fan of lime yellow, but that is a darn nice truck. Is that 1.5 inch hose on the reels ? I hope that you take 'em hard next year but I would not alter ops for the sake of a parade.
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                            • #15
                              Weruj1
                              Yep, that’s 1 ¾” on the reels. It’s weird to me how nobody else is going through the very detailed parade inspections that we go through in NJ. Here’s a link to a page listing some of the things they look at New Jersey State Judges.

                              I’ve actually seen these guys on creepers under apparatus! I heard a story about 2 companies in the wildwood parade that were dead even. They both had new trucks that were immaculate to the point they were re-judged 3 times. They finally hit one company for rust in the ash tray so they got the second place trophy.

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