Daniel Engelhardt, Product Manager at LUKAS Hydraulics
Why does vehicle equipment change depending on the individual fire department?
As far as the hydraulic rescue equipment is concerned, we see above all great differences in the configurations in relation to the individual areas of application. A fire department that services a large section of highway with high speeds and a lot of truck traffic chooses tools that are suitable for heavy rescue. A city fire department, where accidents occur at lower speeds and without truck involvement, tends to choose smaller, lighter and more mobile equipment.
How crucial is vehicle equipment?
In our opinion, the most important aspects are the reliability of the tools, ease of use and versatility.
What types of equipment might you find on a search and rescue vehicle?
I think it depends very much on the area of application.
A water rescue vehicle has a specifically quite different load than a vehicle intended for mountain rescue. We try to cover as many areas as possible with our tools. The manufacturers have to rethink here and, due to the increasing complexity of the application scenarios, develop their tools into multifunctional devices that can be used in almost all areas.
Is it easier to have battery powered equipment stored on vehicles?
Battery technology has developed rapidly in recent years, also due to the immense investments in the automotive industry.
Almost all equipment on vehicles is now offered with battery technology. The reasons for this are significantly higher mobility, weight savings on the vehicle and immediate operational capability without major preparation.
What are the top three necessary equipment items you may find on any vehicle?
For us, of course, hydraulic cutters, spreaders and rams.
But seriously, I don’t think you can distinguish between necessary and less necessary when it comes to equipment. The equipment that is important is that which helps to save lives at the decisive moment.
In your opinion what is the most useful piece of equipment and why?
As mentioned in the question above, I believe that a classification into necessity and usability does not do justice to any tool on the vehicle.
I think it will be important for equipment to be usable for as many applications as possible, for manufacturers to move away from developing one trick ponies and to incorporate the complexity of the vehicles’ applications into their development.
How has technology changed vehicle equipment over recent years?
Advancing battery technology in particular has helped manufacturers optimize their product ranges in recent years.
It will be exciting to see how the tools will change with the help of rechargeable batteries as a constant source of energy, also in terms of networkability and becoming smart.
To read more exclusive features and latest news please see our February issue here.
Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, International Fire Buyer
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922