When seconds count: A proper outfitted rescue vehicle is a must.

Written by Leonard D'Orlando,

When it comes to fire and rescue drivers every second counts. These individuals need all the help they can get for quick operations. The drivers rely on proper information and equipment to do their job in a safe and effective manner. They are looked up to as heroes of their community, therefore it is necessary that they have the proper tools and vehicles at their disposal.

Today’s technology:

Fortunately, with today’s technology rescue drivers can easily hold to their hero status thanks to advances in dispatch, navigation, and vehicle equipment. For drivers who are volunteers having proper equipment is even more critical as many have other professions and may not be at the fire/rescue house when a call comes in.

The vehicle build:

Perhaps your rescue company is in the build process or has taken delivery of a new or refurbished vehicle. For the rescue driver it is critical that the ambulance or rescue apparatus have the proper specifications and functionality for them to accomplish their goals. Ease of access in and out of the vehicle needs to be a top priority as well as proper fitment of this rescue truck in the fire house. When traveling high visibility paint, lights, and sirens help to establish vehicle presence. While inside the cab headsets and navigation help to provide better coordination for the journey.

The operating environment:

Additionally, the rescue vehicle should be outfitted in a way that makes sense for the environment that it will operate in. For instance, vehicles in areas with hilly terrain should have the proper engine and transmission combination to account for this. When it comes to inclement weather it should not be a factor to impede a rescue driver’s progress. Therefore, tire choice, design, and compound that produce the proper amount of friction to provide traction are essential. Also, devices that provide additional traction when the tires have reached their limits are critical as well.

Traction on snow and ice:

There are several devices that provide traction on snow and ice, and all have their time and place. Some rescue trucks may have the ability to be upfitted with 4X4. Four-wheel drive is beneficial in snow, but may not aid in all braking situations, especially on ice. Conventional chains can be effective in deep, heavy snow and may aid in braking. However, it is important that these chains be properly put on before travel and taken off immediately in areas where roads are clear. Onspot automatic snow chains are also an alternative. Similar to 4X4 they offer the driver on the go convenience as the chains deploy at the flip of a switch, there is no need for the driver to exit the vehicle. The auto chains are also very effective on hard pack snow and ice and snow up to six inches making them the go to for traction in most situations. In many cases, for the ultimate in all around traction and braking it may come down to a combination of proper tires and traction devices that are most beneficial.  Learn more about traction devices here:


 Comparing different ways of overcoming slippery road conditions

Rescue Driving Winter equipment Snow chain Slippery Roads 4x4 or Onspot Automatic Snow Chains Fire Truck onspot Rescue Vehicles traction driver safety Response Time 4x4 snow chains 4WD Black ice Ambulance

Leonard D'Orlando

About Leonard D'Orlando

Leonard has six years with Onspot Automatic Tire Chains in North America. Four years as a field technician on the East Coast and two years as a Regional Sales Manager. During the four years as a field technician Leonard provided install and maintenance training to dealers. Leonard also performed fleet reviews for customers and provided technical service support. An alumnus from the University of Maine, Leonard graduated with a B.A. in English and a concentration in Education. Leonard also attended Texas State Technical College where he earned an associate’s degree in automotive mechanics.


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