Clean the doghouse
By Mark van der Feyst
Having an obstructed view hinders the fire apparatus driver's ability to safely navigate through traffic by not being able to fully see other vehicles, road obstructions and other hazards. One area that can be a huge obstruction is inside the cab of the apparatus on top of the engine.
This area is commonly referred to as the doghouse as it covers the diesel engine. On top of the doghouse, we often place a small book shelf to house important binders or books that are needed by the officer. This small book shelf can take up a lot of room.
Accompanying the book shelf will be gear, helmets and other items that are being carried by the members. The piling up of gear around and on top of the doghouse will block the driver's view of the passenger-side mirror and parts of the passenger window. If you are the driver and find that clutter on the doghouse is obstructing your view, mention it to your officer so he or she can ensure the area is clear.