When positioning the metal file box to hold manuals and books, we always debated facing it toward the driver or officer for easy access. We always opted for the officer. The driver has enough to do operating the truck, while the crews in the back are donning their gear and SCBAs among other tasks.
Every department has their own preferences about what to carry. This is usually based on their first-alarm territory. These are some of the items we would carry in the "storage" box located in front of the officer on the dashboard:
In metal file box, specifically made for books and manuals, we would include the following:
Each crew has their own way of configuring the cab. Many departments incorporate roll-up storage boxes inside the crew area. I feel there needs to be as much clear visual access as possible to the outside for all crew members. It allows situational awareness about events outside and upon arrival, plus it helps to keep all eyes on the road and surroundings without being blocked by interior obstructions.
Practically everyone includes in the cab the following items not mentioned above:
One of the important item checks during my daily routine was to assure all the map/dome lights worked inside the cab. Most apparatus manufacturers include a flexible post reading/map light mounted on the dash in front of the officer.
Some of these lights, whether located by the officer, driver or crew, even have a red cover filter that can change the light from white/clear to red. This is also important because it prevents night blindness that can be caused by the brighter white/clear lighting.
In conclusion, make sure all items in the library stay updated with the latest and greatest edition to assure compliance with recent developments that may change operations. Also, make sure to secure all items to prevent them from flying around in the cab if an accident occurs.
This article was written for & published by MultiBriefs.