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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 am volunteer firefighter with over 20 years’ experience on a department in a rural area. In reviewing the comparison between walking a fire line and utilizing the exterior fire attack position, the fire attack position holds every advantage. Safety being of the utmost importance gives all of the obvious advantages to the fire attack position. The firefighter is further away from the fire, heat, and smoke, thus making him/her less susceptible to burns, heat exhaustion, or smoke inhalation. Using the fire attack position the firefighter is not subject to walking into dangerous obstacles such as downed power lines, holes, tree limbs, or any other unknown hazards. The firefighter is not as likely to become fatigued and suffer the physical dangers of falling down, becoming entangled, or being struck by another truck. The firefighter secured into the exterior attack position with roll over protection is indeed far more protected than a firefighter walking the fire grounds.


    Aside from the safety advantages of using the exterior fire attack position, the tactical advantages are just as great. The fire truck can maneuver into a more favorable position for attacking the flames. The fire truck can rapidly and with ease move toward the head or the rear of the fire. The firefighter in the exterior fire attack position can see all the way around the truck and easily communicate with the driver. The firefighter can select from a choice of charged lines to operate, and is often able to increase or decrease pump pressure thus creating the desired GPM for the fire. The ease, speed, and much greater effectiveness of the fire attack position makes walking the fire line an unnecessary risk. With lives and property on the line, every second counts. The NFPA 1500 committee needs to address this situation and implement whatever measures necessary to provide every fire department with the known advantages of the exterior fire attack position.

    Gary Ummel Jr., HFD Captain

  • I'm a big proponent of having the firefighters on the truck and not on the ground. I personally had the experience of stepping into a deep hole during a fire a few years back, which could have been more serious that it was. I believe that the NFPA is correct in their rule for all firefighters to be belted in and inside of an enclosed cab, while the apparatus is in motion, but this is for pumpers and tankers only in my opinion. The biggest problem that I feel is that the people who serve on these committees that develop the standards that we use in the daily operations of the fire department are by some who have never pulled a heavy redline through thick brush and grass on a 100 degree day in East Texas.Hope this help to get them to make the right decision.

    Billy Gillam, Certification Coordinator / Training Officer
    Douglass VFD
    Douglass, TX

  • In my 53 years (so far) of fire service, I have seen two changes, at least in the world of open dialog in field firefighting. We went from buckets and gunnysacks to walking with heavy rubber one inch booster line. From that point there has been little tactical dialog until now. In reality there has been change to riding grass rigs and using the remote cab operated nozzles which not all departments can afford when you consider many have bake sales for equipment.


    The unseen Elephant in the room is the crisis of finding young rural firefighters as rural areas lose population. It only stands to reason the field fires are more prevalent in rural areas. Thus, the manpower available are getting older and possibly not in the greatest of physical shape. You take what you can get. Field fires also are most prevalent in hot, dry weather. We cannot ask firefighters to carry a line a mile or two in hundred degree weather to put out a field fire, many of which come back green in the spring. Let us not forget the risk/reward factor.


    Having a safe firefighting position (at least we don’t straddle front end pumps anymore) with less physical exertion has become a “must”. That “must” needs to become a standard.

    Kenneth E. Leu, Fire Chief
    Harper VFD
    Harper, KS

  • Currently our department has the capability with two apparatus to pump and roll with a firefighter safely buckled into a harness and protected by a rollover protection system. This system, created by Blanchat Manufacturing, was researched by our department and compared to many other systems and we believe it is the safest on the market and have seen its use as essential on the Urban interface and Wildfire scene.


    Firefighter safety is always first with our department, period. This style of rollover protection gives our department the capability to fight fire with the precision and effectiveness of a firefighter at the controls of the nozzle nestled safely in a protective enclosure. Our department views this as an advantage over the use of a monitor because of precision and conservation of water. This system also allows for the firefighter to be evacuated from the hazards of the fire scene in an expedient manner without the possibility of being hit by the apparatus while keeping the fatigue factor low for our personnel. With wireless communication capability included, it also provides a wider, more efficient view of the scene by the firefighter while the driver can concentrate on safe driving practices. We plan on adding additional apparatus of this configuration as our community grows and our Urban Interface fires increase. They have been essential to our firefighting needs and are under heavy demand by our mutual aid departments because of their safety and effectiveness.

    Stewart D. Bryan, Fire Chief
    City of Greenwood Fire Department
    Greenwood, AR
  • 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


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