Chevrons, Chevrons everywhere!


The NFPA 1901 STANDARD FOR AUTOMOTIVE FIRE APPARATUS, (2009 edition) covers the requirement for reflective chevron striping on fire apparatus. It specifies the amount of reflective striping as well as the colors of retroreflective material to be used.

After this standard was adopted and fire apparatus began showing increase striping, particularly the Chevron striping on the rear of the apparatus, ambulance services began to adopt the new standards voluntarily and it soon became apparent that the new striping was not just safer, particularly on major high-speed highways, but popular with EMS providers.

While at FDIC Conference, I took notice of a lt of striping on ambulances and rescue trucks so I thought I would share some images and the key aspects of the graphics requirements of the NFPA 1901�Standard For Automotive Fire Apparatus,(2009 Edition)

The NFPA 1901 section identification numbers precede each description in case you want to look them up in the NFPA standard:

14.1.6 Any door of the apparatus designed to allow persons to enter or exit the apparatus shall have at least 96in.2 of retroreflective material affixed to the inside of the door. A retroreflective strip(s) shall be affixed to at least 50 percent of the cab and body length on each side, excluding the pump panel areas, and at least 25 percent of the width of the front of the apparatus. The stripe or combination of stripes shall be a minimum of 4 in. in total width. The 4 in wide stripe or combination of stripes shall be permitted to be interrupted by abjects (i.e., receptacles, cracks between slats in roll up doors) provided the full stripe is seen as conspicuous when approaching the apparatus. graphic design shall be permitted to replace all or part of the required striping material if the design or combination thereof covers at least the same perimeter length(s) required by At least 50 percent of the rear facing vertical surfaces, visible from the rear of the apparatus, excluding any pump panel areas not covered by a door, shall be equipped with retroreflective striping in a chevron pattern slopping downward and away from the centerline of the vehicle at an angle of 45 degrees. Each strip in the chevron shall be a single color alternating between red and either yellow, fluorescent yellow, or fluorescent yellow-green. Each strip shall be 6 in. in width. All retroreflective materials required by and shall conform to the requirements of the ASTM D 4956, Standard Specification for Retroreflective Sheeting for Traffic Control, Section 6.1.1 for type I Sheeting. retroreflective materials used to satisfy the requirements of that are colors not listed in ASTM D 4956, Section 6.1.1, shall have a minimum coefficient of retroreflection of 10 with observation angle of 0.2 degrees and entrance angle of -4 degrees. yellow and fluorescent yellow- green retroreflective materials used to meet the requirements of shall conform to the minimum requirements specified for yellow Type I Sheeting in ASTM D 4956, Section 6.1.1 Any printed or processed retroreflective film construction used to meet the requirements of and shall conform to the standards required of an integral colored film as specified in ASTM D 4956, Section 6.1.1.

19.18.11 Where the design of the aerial device incorporates a knuckle, the knuckle shall be as follows: (1) equipped with position lights or continuously illuminated by boom lights.� (2) Painted with reflective paint or provided with retroreflective striping All Stabilizers that protrude beyond the body of the apparatus shall be striped or painted with retroreflective material so as to indicate a hazard or obstruction


1 Comment

  • Leonardo Ferrazzi says:

    The rear chevron (but only at corners and white/red in colour) was common in France since the ’60s for police vans, then the British ‘Battenburg’ specification for police vehicles introduced the red/fluorescent yellow chevron for the rear part. The Battenburg chevron is not 45° but has to be drawn on vehicle geometry. In the meanwhile French firebrigades turned to white/red chevron design for the rear (complete surface) of emergency vehicles. After 2004 Pourny report (in 2003 some 12 firefighters were killed at road traffic accident scene by passing cars) the chevron turned to fluorescent yellow/red.

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