sides so it doesn’t drip on the equipment
in the compartment.
There are many compartment modifications available to help organize your
equipment. They include the following:
• Adjustable compartment shelves.
• Adjustable slide-out shelves (usually
• Roll-out, tilt-down trays.
• Heavy, floor-mounted, roll-out trays
(usually 500-pound capacity).
• Vertical compartment dividers.
• Horizontal compartment dividers.
• Heavy, roll-out trays that transverse the body and roll out in either
• Adjustable, vertical tool boards.
• Swing-out tool boards to divide high
• Rolled hose racks.
• Fire extinguisher racks.
Usually, if you can think of it, the manufacturers can fabricate it!
Power equipment racks are extremely
efficient for storing ladders, pike poles,
suction hose, and more. Some of the basic requirements are a means to keep the
rack stowed while on the road, interlock
to the parking brake, controls located so
the moving rack is visible to the operator,
and flashing lights on the ends of the
deployed rack. Most ladder racks keep
the ladders over the top of the hosebed;
some racks store the ladders high up over
the side compartments and lower them
to a manageable level for removal when
The equipment requirements in the
standard state that for each SCBA on the
apparatus, a spare breathing air cylinder
must be carried. A very handy location
to store spare cylinders is in wheel-well
compartments. Other locations include
cylinder tubes and boxes stored in
compartments. The requirements are
for the storage tubes to have a rubber or
plastic bottom surface so the cylinder is
not damaged. Horizontal storage needs
to be designed so the cylinder doesn’t
accidentally slide out and hit or rub on
the compartment door.
Steps and standing and walking
surfaces have requirements as well. The
slip resistance for interior and exterior
walking surfaces is identified. It is up to
the manufacturer to ensure that it is in
compliance. One word of caution: Try to
avoid stepping surfaces that are too ag-
gressive. There have been reports of knee
injuries from the foot surface not being
able to pivot when climbing.
The distance from the ground to the
first step should not exceed 24 inches.
If it does, auxiliary steps should be
installed. The distance to other steps
should not exceed 18 inches, and the
horizontal offset for steps such as folding
steps at the rear of the apparatus should
not exceed 18 inches. Many purchasers
specify steps under body compartments
so personnel can reach equipment on
Platforms and access ladders need to
have a minimum of eight inches from the
leading edge to any obstruction below.
Many purchasers specify a fold-out
ladder to reach the top of the apparatus,
which provides a better climbing angle
than a straight ladder. Another common
method of reaching the top of rescue
trucks involves the installation of steps
at the rear center of the body. Some
manufacturers get creative and install
compartments under the rear steps.
Handrails must be installed on the
outside of the cab and crew cab doors
as well as any location where steps are
provided for climbing. Exterior handrails must be slip resistant, be one to 15⁄ 8
inches in diameter, and have two inches
of hand clearance. A good test when
inspecting an apparatus is to climb the
steps and reach for the handrails. If you
find yourself reaching and nothing is
there, time for a handrail! Remember to
maintain three points of contact: two
hands and one foot or two feet and one
hand at all times.
All exterior surfaces that are not plated
and stainless steel should be thoroughly
cleaned, prepared, and painted. The
standard does not specify a color. That
selection is totally up to the purchaser—
as long as it is red! (Just kidding!)
A minimum four-inch-wide reflective
stripe must cover at least 50 percent
of the sides of the body (excluding the
pump panel), 50 percent of the cab, and
25 percent of the front. There are many
stripe configurations. Some are wider
than four inches, some have spacing
between the stripes, and some have jogs
that are attractive. Just like the apparatus color, no special color is required for
the side and front reflective striping.
The rear of the apparatus is required
to have alternating red/yellow, red/fluorescent yellow, or red/fluorescent yellow/
green six-inch stripes in a chevron
pattern. The rear reflective striping must
cover a minimum of 50 percent of the
rear-facing vertical surface. I have seen
many apparatus with chevron stripes
of other colors. Exercise caution when
making such a choice.
The hose storage area in the body is
described as with the bottom designed
to prevent water accumulation and to
allow venting. This is not a walking
surface, so it doesn’t have to meet slip
resistance measurements. The interior
must be smooth, without projections
that might snag the hose. Some purchasers specify stainless-steel plate or
natural sanded finish on the inside of the
hosebed to prevent paint damage.
One thing that was removed from the
standard a while ago is the requirement
for a hosebed minimum length. It used
to be a minimum of 60 inches long, but
now it only states 40 cu. ft. It is up to
the specifier to tell the manufacturer
the hose load required on the apparatus. That will dictate the amount of
cubic feet of space necessary and the
number of adjustable hosebed dividers
required. If the hosebed is high and a
cross bar is in place, you risk removing
it forcefully with the couplings of a
large-diameter hose (LDH) supply line!
Do your research to be sure that your
hose load comfortably fits in the apparatus being supplied.
Hosebed covers are not required in the
standard, but a positive means to prevent
( 25) A minimum four-inch reflective stripe must
cover 50 percent of the body length, 50 percent
of the cab length, and 25 percent of the front
width. This unit uses reflective markings for the
unit number and logo, increasing visibility over
other types of lettering.