2016 NFPA 1906 Compliant Exterior Fire Attack Position
The NFPA 1906 committee voted to include the Exterior Fire Attack Position which complies with the roll-over and crush requirements of SAE J1194 (an agricultural tractor standard) in the 2016 edition.
Blanchat originated the Exterior Fire Attack Position called the BATROPS (Blanchat Apparatus Transverse Roll-Over Protection System) over 26 years ago. This BATROPS position was redesigned in 2010 to comply with the roll-over and crush protection requirements of SAE J1194 in two Fire Attack Operational Areas (described below). Blanchat met and exceeded all of these requirements with its design, and took it one step farther with a side impact test which simulates a vehicle collision. See graphics below.
While there are many versions of the Exterior Fire Attack Position on the market, Blanchat is the ORIGINAL and the ONLY system which has complied with SAE J1194 since 2010. Blanchat's unrelenting focus on SAFETY and TACTICAL advantages continues to improve the BATROPS area with features such as the Blanchat Restraint System, which is designed to keep the firefighter safe inside the Fire Attack Operational Area during an impact, roll-over or collision.
The BATROPS is the safest and most user-friendly Exterior Fire Attack Position available to fine fuel firefighters.
Blanchat is currently working with the NFPA 1500 committee to have the Exterior Fire Attack Position recognized in the 2018 edition as a safer method of fighting fast-moving fine fuel fires.
BATROPS & Saddle Gate
Directly aft of the chassis cab, the BATROPS (Blanchat Apparatus Transverse Roll-Over Protection System) is a transverse crosswalk which includes two Fire Attack Operational Areas that follow SAE International Surface Vehicle Standard #J1194 for roll-over protective structures. (This is the same standard used for agricultural tractors.) Layout of the BATROPS transverse crosswalk shown below.
The BATROPS roll-over protection structure is built from steel as required to meet SAE J1194 side impact and crush standards for roll-over and impact protection in the two Fire Attack Operational Areas.
Blanchat is the only manufacturer that follows SAE J1194 for roll-over and impact protection in an exterior Fire Attack Position.
- Greg Blanchat
The Fire Attack Operational Areas
Two 79" high Fire Attack Operational Areas are on either side of the transverse crosswalk. These areas are to be used only while the apparatus is in actual "fire attack" operations "on scene". These areas are designed to allow standing while the vehicle is moving under 15 MPH. The occupants must be harnessed and belted during apparatus movement in these areas. The areas shall not be used during transport mode or traveling to or from a fire scene. All occupants must be seated and belted within the cab during such modes.
The two 79" high Fire Attack Operational Areas have a working area approximately 30" wide (front to back) x 21.5" deep (left to right). The areas also function as steps and will accommodate bunker-geared firefighters with transverse passageway to either side of the apparatus and the Pump Control Operational Area.
The two Fire Attack Operational Areas on each side of the transverse walkway have floor areas constructed of "Grip Strut" safety grating for slip resistance. Aluminum tread plate "kick panels" are installed on the vertical walls in these areas to minimize paint scratches. Applicable warning placards are installed in both the Fire Attack Operational Areas and within view of the vehicle driver.
The Pump Control Operational Area
A Pump Control Operational Area is located between the two 79" high Fire Attack Operational Areas as part of the transverse walkway behind the cab. This area does not follow the requirements of SAE International Surface Vehicle Standard #J1194 for roll-over protective structures. This area is not to be occupied while the apparatus is in motion. This area can be occupied when the apparatus is stationary in "fire attack" operations "on scene".
The Pump Control Operational Area has a working area of approximately 30" wide (front to back) x 44" deep (left to right). The area is raised approximately 20" from the Fire Attack Operational Areas to allow 360 degree visibility. This area will accomodate bunker-geared firefighters with access to the top mount pump control panel. All pump controls are located in the top mount pump panel which is positioned such that it does not obstruct movement within the transverse walkway.
The Pump Control Operational Area has a floor constructed of "Grip Strut" safety grating for slip resistance. Applicable warning placards are installed in the Pump Control Operational Area to warn the operator that this area does not meet SAE J1194 and should not be occupied while the apparatus is in motion.
The Saddle Gates
Two "saddle" gates designed to saddle the firefighter's upper torso are installed on either side of the BATROPS transverse walkway. The steel gates are constructed of an outside rail with five formed continuous bends creating a curved inward saddling bar. Minimum height of the top bar of the gates is 50 inches from the Fire Attack Operational Area floor. The gates swing inward, toward the center of the walkway.
Each opening in the gate is 12 inches high to allow for full 90 degree whipline motion through the gate when the firefighter is in the seated position.
These gates are specifically designed to prevent outward swing in the event of latch failure or "gate stop" breakage. The gates have positive locking latches, easily operated by a gloved hand or booted foot.
The gates are powder-coated safety yellow.
The BATROPS Fire Attack Operational Areas were designed using computer finite element analysis (FEA) to simulate the stresses applied during side impact or roll-over.
Primary Side Load during Roll-Over: 124,000 in-lb energy absorbed
Crush Load during Roll-Over: 75,000 lbs applied
Side Impact: 30,000 lbs applied