When Is It Time for a New Apparatus?
As has often been said before, reliability is one of the most important aspects of fighting a fire. Making sure that all of your equipment is running properly increases the safety and effectiveness of effective and efficient firefighting. One way to confirm that your equipment is reliable is to check the functionality of your apparatus.
Many fire departments are using apparatuses that are either out of date, or partially ineffective. The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) recommends that apparatuses older than 15 years should be put on reserve status and upgraded. This means that if your department is using an apparatus that was purchased before 1999, it needs to be upgraded as soon as possible. In addition to this guideline, the NFPA also states that any apparatus model older than 1991 will be missing a number of safety enhancements, ranging from improved emergency lights to non-slip surfaces.
If your apparatus has been deemed ineffective or out of date, it’s time to buy a new one. New apparatuses and tankers have a number of new safety and performance options in comparison to older models. When buying a new apparatus, there are usually two options: Buying and leasing. For a long-term investment, buying outright is usually the smarter option. It will be expensive up front, but you avoid the monthly payments and, ultimately, purchasing outright is either just as expensive or even less expensive than leasing. Leasing is a great option if you can’t afford to purchase an apparatus in full up front. It’s not uncommon to lease an apparatus due to their cost. To make your lease as efficient as possible, it’s best to make the largest payments you can afford. Smaller payments will build up over time and take a longer time to pay off if you eventually decide to purchase the apparatus outright.
Effective equipment is a luxury, but a necessity. While many apparatuses are in perfect working condition, it takes just one malfunctioning system to cause a problem. So be sure to evaluate any apparatuses and explore all options available to you when it’s time to make that change.
Headquartered just outside of Atlanta in Jasper, GA, Southern Fire Service & Sales, Inc.is the Nation’s #1 Builder of Custom Fire Apparatus. We continue to provide every customer with the best products, service, and support in the industry.