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NFPA MUST recognize the Exterior Fire Attack Position

Blanchat is currently working with the NFPA 1906 and 1500 committees to have the Exterior Fire Attack Position recognized in future versions of these standards as a safer method of fighting fast-moving fine fuel fires.


UPDATE: The Exterior Fire Attack Position has passed the 1906 committee and will be included in the 2016 NFPA 1906 standard! Additionally, the NFPA 1500 committee is just beginning to review possible revisions to the NFPA 1500 standard. What the NFPA 1500 committee needs most is to hear from you! Visit the NFPA 1500 page below to learn how you can submit your comments and recommendations.


NFPA 1906 info


NFPA 1500 info


Blanchat has been leading the charge to have the NFPA recognize the Exterior Fire Attack Position and has even been featured on the local news during one of the burn demonstrations with NFPA committee members. Featured news clip below.


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Go to the news page

The NFPA needs your input!

The NFPA 1500 committee needs to hear your input on why the Exterior Fire Attack Position is important in fine fuel areas! Unfortunately, you must do this via the NFPA website with a unique user name and password. We have created a step by step set of instructions to complete this process.


Input must be submitted by the deadline 5/16/2016.


Download instructions

Apparatus with an Exterior Fire Attack Position Currently on the Market

These pictures were taken at the TEEX Municipal Vendor Show in College Station, TX. All but two of these trucks have positions behind the cab. One truck has a position on the front bumper and one at the rear of the truck.


Current Manufacturers of an Exterior Fire Attack Position


Skeeter Brush Trucks (Kirby, Texas)





Wildfire Truck & Equipment Sales (Alvarado, TX)




Neel Fire (Waco, TX)



Midwest Fire (Luverne, MN)




Hays Fire & Rescue (Hays, KS)



Deep South Fire Trucks (Seminary, MS)



Emergency Fire Equipment (Mayfield, KS)



Maintainer Custom Bodies (Rock Rapids, IA)



Chief Fire & Safety (Chickasha, OK)



Danko Emergency Equipment (Snyder, NE)





Unruh Fire (Sedgwick, KS)




Weis Fire & Safety (Salina, KS)




1st Due (Bartlett, KS)



AMI-Fire Equipment (Brenham, TX)




Daco Fire Equipment (Fort Worth, TX)



Steele Fire Apparatus (Haskell, TX)




Turnkey Industries (Magnolia, TX)



Westex Fire (West, TX)



1st Attack (Waterloo, IN)



Metro Fire (Houston, TX)



Kyrish Government Group (Killeen, Texas)



Crow Construction (Cashion, OK)



J&J Custom Fire (Red Rock, OK)







Company Two Fire Apparatus (Varnville, SC)



Southeast Apparatus (Corbin, KY)



Pierce (Appleton, WI)



Cooper Creek Mfg (Loyal, OK)




Heiman Fire Equipment (Sioux Falls, SD)



Blanchat Manufacturing (Harper, KS)




If Blanchat is building 40 trucks per year with an exterior fire attack position, how many total trucks are being sold in North America with 29+ manufacturers selling the exterior fire attack position on their apparatus?


How many of these new exterior fire attack positions are sufficiently safe in the event of an impact or roll-over?

- Greg Blanchat


Abilene, TX roll-over

What Fine Fuel Firefighters Say

  • I agree that a change needs to be made. As a volunteer fire fighter it is not ideal to walk beside a truck. There are many risk factors to that if the smoke is heavy enough the fire fighter walking could be seriously injured by the driver a long with many other possibilities. I believe a roll cage added to a wildland apparatus is entirely the way to go. It will be safer and faster to allow this change. Please understand when you are out there putting your life on the line anything to limit accidents should be considered.

    Tyler Schrant
    Oklahoma Volunteer FF
  • I believe that many departments need an NFPA compliant exterior riding space built into new apparatuses. As a former Deputy Chief of a rural fire department that specialized in rugged terrain wildland firefighting, I have significant firsthand experience dealing with various tactics and strategies in suppressing natural cover / vegitation fires. There are two main reasons why I support this. First, is because it increases effectiveness of the fire attack. Many times, when a crew has to cover long distances on a fire line that may have sparse fuel or spot fires, the most efficient way to cover the ground and hit the hot spots is with a firefighter in an exterior riding position on the truck, spraying water while being chauffeured by a driver. Doing this task on foot results in reduced effectiveness, possible breakovers (due to the extended time needs) and increased firefighter exhaustion. Secondly, NFPA should develop a guideline on this because if manufacturers don't have the option of building an NFPA compliant exterior "attack seat" in newer rigs, that won't stop firefighters from doing what they've done for decades; riding on the tailgate of brush trucks or kneeling in the pickup bed. Since firefighters are going to ride in truck beds to accomplish their jobs, it would behoove NFPA to authorize a safe, well designed riding location for them in order to improve on-scene safety.

    Chase D. Waggoner, Chief
    Girard FD
    Girard, KS

  • I am writing on behalf of the issue of exterior fire attack position currently being reviewed by the NFPA 1500 committee. Being the wife of a 20+ year volunteer firefighter in a rural, agricultural community, I believe this apparatus should be an essential part of ALL fire departments. I have seen firsthand the affects of fatigue and injury from walking fire lines for long hours on a grassland fire can take on a firefighter. In the plains of Kansas, wheat field and wildland fires are very common. Knowing that my husband, as well as my good friends, are in a safe position while fighting these fires is a huge relief.


    I have read all of the benefits that the exterior fire attack position offers, and encourage all voting members of the NFPA 1500 committee to say “YES” to this addition to fire fighting vehicles. Anything to keep my husband, and thousands more like him safe, is very important.


    Thank you for your time and I appreciate your serious consideration in this matter.

    Shannon Ummel, Wife of Vol. FF

  • I've got a great helmet cam video of a fast attack from this position.


    The following video shows a fast attack on the south end of a grass fire in butler county ks. These fires are common in our area and when driven by the wind can run quite fast. One structure was endangered and the fireground was split by a fence. One duplicate grass truck was north of the fence with the endangered home and this unit was the south. With two firefighters per grass rig, the fire was controled in a quarter of the time it would of taken walking alongside the rig.



    Bruce Lemaire
    Rose Hill, KS
  • I read your article in The Nebraska Firefighter with much interest, and agree with almost all of your statements. I have nearly 25 years expirience fighting fine fuel fires using 4WD pickups. I have never heard of an accident with personal injury to FF working of the back of a rig. My Department and most of the Mutual Aid Depts in this area operate in this manner. We also all share strict rules about FF duties while operating in moving grass rigs. We have tried using the behind the cab position (and still use a rig setup that way) but found it difficult to spray water more directly to the rear. Our SOPS state that the FFs at the rear dictate the speed of the rig and never exceed 20 mph (15 mph during suppression).

    Donn Guge, Capt. FVFD


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