The chances of an emergency command vehicle coming with all the bells and whistles that a particular division may need are slim to none. That’s why SUVs and other vehicles are customized and upfitted every day. Here, we’re going to take a closer look at how an emergency command vehicle upfit works.
A Closer Look at Emergency Command Vehicles
What, you may ask, is an emergency command vehicle? Here’s an example: staffed daily by a battalion chief is an emergency command vehicle owned by a city’s fire department. The responsibilities of a person having this type of vehicle (where a fire department is concerned) can be case commander at sizable incidents, ensuring emergency response coverage, managing and scheduling the daily operations of fire crews, and more.
So that the Fire Chief can be in communication with crews and other emergency teams, the vehicle must be equipped with a mobile communications terminal that is state-of-the-art. In case of a disaster, the vehicle must also be capable of containing and storing items that would be pertinent to managing such an incident. (This could include major car accidents, wildfires, fuel spills, and more.)
The Back of the Vehicle
Particularly in the capacity described above, the back of an emergency command vehicle is frequently a type of station, command center, or safe area. This area can include radios, computers, etc. and offers a calm, safe environment for an incident commander to do paperwork and otherwise manage an emergency scene. In some states, for a Master Mutual Aid Plan, it is officially recognized as a command vehicle. To protect the environment, property, and life, these vehicles frequently assist other agencies not only within their city but within surrounding towns as well.
How to UpFit
When upfitting your emergency command vehicle, lighting and power are a hot button. Typical hazard conditions; the need for heating or air conditioning; specific lighting; a power source that may be needed for an exceptional period of time – all of these can come into play.
The purpose of the vehicle will also matter. This can take some serious planning. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Will a workbench or extra seating be required?
- What will be stored in the vehicle?
- As a command center, what will the day-to-day operations consist of?
A timeline will need to be put together. If extensive planning will be required, this should figure into your timeline. It’s not unheard of for anywhere from 2 to 6 months to be required for a typical upfit.
What About Interior Capacity?
When determining your command interior layout, consider interior constraints and capacity. The following should be looked at:
- What is the vehicle’s maximum payload capacity? What sort of security will be needed to protect generators, electrical/radio storage space, accessories, equipment, etc.?
- Will you need additional heating or air conditioning sources?
- How much seating or how many workstations will you need?
- At one particular time, how many people will be contained within the vehicle, and in what capacity (lying down, sitting up)?
There are, of course, other considerations, but this gives you a good place to start.
Mickey Genuine Parts has service centers located throughout the United States. Chances are, there is one conveniently located near you. We can be of assistance with your vehicle upfit. We have many of the parts you need and can service your vehicle if you would like to set up an appointment. Contact us today to see how Mickey can be of assistance to you.