Step #1: Planning
Fire apparatus are custom vehicles designed for the community that is purchasing them. Many different factors come into play, including manpower, type of calls, roads and bridges and the equipment that the departments needs.
The planning process includes researching what vehicles and systems are available and designing these issues into the specifications or "spec's". The specs are often 100 to 150 page detailed designs for what the department is looking for.
Financial planning includes justifying the need, setting a budget and making sure money is available from the budget, bonding, grants or other sources. Once the specs and financial work is completed a packet is sent to potential builders, who will competitively bid for the project.
The bids are evaluated and an award is made based on both the price and the ability for the vendor to deliver what was specified. A preconstruction meeting is held with the manufacturer’s engineers. This is to make sure that both parties are absolutely on the same page design wise. When the chassis is completed an inspection is made and then a final inspection and testing is done before the city accepts the vehicle.
Step #2: Framing the Body Support
After the design is finalized and approved. the body is built. In the case of the 2009 SVI / Spartan Rescue 4 (shown here), stainless steel is being cut, formed and welded.
Step #3: Body Sidewalls
The compartments are being formed. The wheels are from a dolly that is used to move the body around the factory.
Step #4: Body Painting
The body is prepared for painting. Because New Rochelle uses stainless steel we do not paint inside of the compartments. This saves paint and preparation time plus the cost. We also know the paint inside the compartments tends to get scrapped off by our tools and equipment.
Step #5: Building the Chassis
Rescue 4 was manufactured by SVI in Loveland, Colorado. They subcontracted the chassis to the Spartan Chassis Company in Charlotte, Michigan. SVI was responsible for insuring everything Spartan delivers met our specifications.
NRFD mechanic can be seen in the background performing an inspection of the engine.
Step #6: Building the Chassis II
Spartan forms the Frame Rails and then adds commercially available truck components; axles, engine, exhaust system, electrical and the cab (which they manufacture). This picture shows Rescue 4 nearing the end of the chassis assembly line.
After the chassis is completed, it was driven from Michigan to Colorado.
Step #7: Chassis Arrival at SVI
As the body work is finished, the chassis is inspected and prepared to accept the body.
Step #8: Finishing the Compartments
Assorted roll out trays, shelves and hose rollers (for hydraulic and pneumatic rescue tools) are installed.
Step #9: Front Bumper
The Front Bumper is detailed with hydraulic reels, hose rollers and a cover. This picture was taken after the body had been mounted on the chassis.
Step #10: Final Inspection
The cab is tilted up so the NRFD Master Mechanic (see legs in front of the wheels) can inspect the engine and other mechanical systems. The inspection process required more than 24 hours on the factory floor.
Step #11: Ready to go
Factory work is completed. Vehicle is made ready to drive to New Rochelle. In this picture the light tower and crane have been raised out of the roof. Another 2 hard months of work by the vendor, the NRFD shop and members of the fire department were needed before the new Rescue 4 could be placed in service.