Aim: The article points out the principles of classification, labelling and division of vehicles used in operations carried out by fire protection units, especially State Fire Service units.
Introduction: The article discusses classification, labelling and division of vehicles that are used in operations carried out by fire protection units. The content basis of the article is a new edition of PN-EN 1846-1:2011 Firefighting and rescue service vehicles. Nomenclature and designation. The new edition of the standard in relation to PN-EN 1846-1:2000 has introduced a significant change regarding vehicle classification in terms of the gross laden mass (GLM). Until now vehicles with a gross laden mass of up to 14 tonnes were classified as medium-sized vehicles. Currently the class of medium-sized vehicles refer to the vehicles of gross laden mass of up to 16 tonnes (GLM). In the article, the authors presented definitions of vehicles used by fire protection units such as: fire vehicle, fire truck, trailer, amphibian, rescue and firefighting vehicle, special rescue and firefighting vehicle, vehicle with mechanical ladder, hydraulic platform, technical rescue vehicle, ambulance, chemical rescue vehicle, command centre vehicle, personnel carrying vehicle, supply vehicle, high rise aerial vehicle, water rescue vehicle, medical support vehicles, airport vehicles taking into consideration vehicle classification – light, medium and super – in relation to the requirements set in the standard of 2011. The article also mentions other special vehicles such as: ecological rescue vehicles, search and rescue vehicles, cranes vehicles, operational vehicles, hose vehicles, lighting vehicles, vehicles with respiratory protection equipment, container carriers, support vehicles, tank vehicles. Among the most commonly used trailers supporting vehicles are: tank trailers / semi-trailers, fire fighting trailers, decontamination trailers, dam oil trailers, oil separators trailers, lighting trailers, hose trailers, water system trailers, engine trailers. Attention is also drawn to the most commonly used containers supported with cars such as: extinguisher containers, command and control containers, hose containers, medical containers, ecological and biological containers, pump containers, flood containers, respiratory protective equipment containers, lighting containers and support containers. Proper and adequate labelling of firefighting vehicles has a huge impact on the purchases carried out by fire protection units, which is also directly reflected in the admittance processes conducted by CNBOP-PIB, described in this article in regard to fire vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers with mounted special equipment and removable containers listed in the annex to the Regulation of the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration of 27.04.2010 amending the Regulation on the list of products used for ensuring public safety or protecting health, life and property, and the principles of issuing the certificates of admittance for use of these products (O. J. no 85, item 553). The authors point out equipping vehicles in accordance with the standards of the General Headquarters of the State Fire Service (PSP) as a form of unification of equipping fire protection units in Poland in terms of their rescue and firefighting activities. The equipment unification system of equipment fire vehicles and other means of transport was introduced in organizational units of the State Fire Service. The aim of this system is to unify, most of all, the types of firefighting vehicles and their minimum required equipment. This system also applies to other modes of transport such as trailers, containers with special equipment, water units, etc. The guidelines contain a set of general rules for the system unification, the rules for creating new standards for equipment or amending existing standards, as well as the rules for official application of the standards by PSP units. The standardization of equipment has been designed as an open system, i.e. it is possible to add new equipment standards, as further annexes to the guidelines. New equipment standards will be developed under the supervision of the Logistics Bureau of PSP in consultation with the National Centre for Rescue Coordination and Civil Protection (KCKRiOL) and the Science and Research for Fire Protection – National Research Institute (CNBOP-PIB).
Conclusions: Classification, labelling and division of vehicles used in firefighting indicated in the article are very complex but at the same time also very precisely defined. When selecting and classifying a vehicle one should pay particular attention to the alphabetic and numeric symbols appearing on the label, due to the fact that the slightest change in terminology may be an expression of willingness to purchase another vehicle than one has planned.
Relevance in practice: Classification of firefighting vehicles and related equipment described in the article will significantly help users define their own needs in terms of the selection of equipment and supplies. Information contained in the article may be helpful in the development of tender specifications and in conducting a standardized form of records of the equipment.
Keywords: vehicle, firefighting vehicle, chemical rescue vehicles marking, classification, division chemical rescue vehicles