An automotive fire apparatus fleet must be maintained in the highest state of readiness in order to immediately respond to an emergency. The provision of a reliable firefighting apparatus is one of the most important capital assets of a local government. The Technical Committee on Fire Department Apparatus has required that “tires shall be replaced at least every seven (7) years or more frequently…” This requirement was incorporated in a complete rewrite of the 2007 edition of NFPA 1911, and lacks supporting scientific documentation. Due to high capital costs, the decision for replacing fire apparatus tires should be based on an objective decision making process. The required replacement of tires after seven (7) years is placing an undue financial burden on departments and agencies trying to comply with the 1911 requirements. In addition, the waste of natural resources and the need for proper disposal or reprocessing of the tire have an unfavorable effect on the environment.
The goal of this project was to determine if there is evidence that supports a mandatory seven (7) years replacement schedule for Fire Department Apparatus tires, to develop guidance for fire departments regarding the replacement of apparatus tires, and provide recommendations for future revisions of this requirement in NFPA 1911.
The report, "Automotive Fire Apparatus Tire Replacement" authored by Sreenivasan Ranganathan and Minchao Yin with the Fire Protection Research Foundation, is now published and available for download (free as always).