New technology — and advancements to existing technology — floods the fire service year after year. While many of these tools are great, it is important to realize that these items, just like any other piece of equipment, can fail or malfunction. Electronic backup cameras are no exception.
Initially, drivers need to familiarize themselves with the working parameters of the camera. Depending on the manufacturer, they need to know what each line and/or dot that displays on the cab screen represents regarding distances when backing up. They also need to know what the different audible alerts represent when an object has come too close or side traffic is detected.
Since teaching fire service hydraulics to aspiring driver engineers a few years ago, several new trends have emerged in departments across the country. One of these is that drivers only need to memorize the pressures on their preset fire lines on their assigned truck and not calculate hydraulics equations for any given line/nozzle on the fly (in their head) for exams or working at fires.