Drive to the conditions


By Mark van der Feyst

Weather patterns can change at a moment's notice and our driving patterns need to change along with that as well. Driving a fire apparatus is much different than driving a small car or pick-up truck. The added weight of the vehicle increases the distance and time required to come to a complete stop.

The braking systems on a fire apparatus are mostly air operated and behave in a different manner than do hydraulic brakes. The center of gravity is also higher, allowing the fire apparatus to overturn easier when turning too fast or swerving to avoid another vehicle.

When weather conditions change, we need to drive to the conditions — slowing down is a start. Driving too fast in weather that is rainy, freezing, windy or snowy can lead to problems. Taking our time will allow for a safe arrival and make our operational efforts all that more effective. 

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