Improving the Health & Safety of all Emergency Responders

FDSOA Apparatus Specification and Maintenance Symposium Turns 30

10/09/2017
FAMA Forum By Sam Massa

A seasoned executive from a leading fire apparatus manufacturer once said, “Fire apparatus are like snowflakes and fingerprints. They are all extremely unique, and even with sister trucks, no two are ever exactly identical.”

These rigs often have more than 100,000 individual components, and many of them are specifically called out by the apparatus spec committee prior to sending out for bid. Good, bad, or otherwise, the apparatus is built to the spec provided. The decisions regarding configuration of the rig ultimately lie in the hands of the spec authors.

Is it realistic to expect that every committee of firefighters tasked with putting together a spec can effectively argue for or against a given component or configuration? Do firefighters understand the legal ramifications of the specifications they write? Without a tremendous amount of time and travel meeting with each component category’s subject matter expert, it’s not likely.

For 30 years this January, the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) has been working tirelessly to give apparatus committees and other firefighters a nonbrand-specific forum to ask questions. The goal is to allow the attendees to learn from multiple subject matter experts in one location and delve deep into the topics that come up in a committee meeting and often are difficult to answer without an expert on hand. In partnership with the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA), on January 15-17, 2018, the FDSOA will be hosting fire departments all over North America for the 30th Annual Apparatus Specifications and Maintenance Symposium. The event will be held at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

This event is the only conference dedicated to providing a better understanding of fire apparatus and ambulances to the emergency services industry. Presentations from leading industry figures, as well as apparatus and equipment manufacturers, provide the attendee with a wide range of factual data. Breakout sessions and networking events provide a forum for sharing personal experiences with peers. Combined, the resources at this event can be used to form a better educated conclusion when writing specs, which ultimately can help keep your crews safe while answering calls for service.

This year’s sessions and speakers include the following: “Legal Issues Regarding Apparatus Design” by Brad Pinsky, attorney and chief; “Our Fire Department’s New Motto: “ ‘Good Enough Is Good Enough’ ” by Gary Briese, executive director of the Colorado State Fire Chiefs; “Apparatus Safety” by Bruce Varner; and “Investigating Apparatus Crashes” by Gordon Routley, chief of the Montreal Fire Department.

FAMA member companies will provide lessons on the following topics:

Read full article and topic listing here