Spartan Leap-frogs the Competition in Firefighter Safety

One might think that a firefighter's biggest risk takes place inside of a burning building. Truth is, traffic deaths are the second leading cause of firefighter deaths in the United States. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) Firefighter Fatality Reports indicate that many firefighters and other emergency responders have died while on duty from crashes involving emergency vehicles responding to and returning from fires and other emergencies. These reports indicate that since 1984, between 10 to 20 percent of firefighter fatalities in any given year are from these types of incidents, which is why Spartan's new Advanced Protection System (APS) is such an important and much needed step in Fire Apparatus safety.

Spartan has teamed up with Takata Corporation, the world's leading automotive safety supplier (and winner of Ford Motor Company's prestigious "Gold" World of Excellence Award for Automotive Electronics Excellence, not to mention General Motors Global Supplier of the Year for 2011) to construct the Spartan APS system. The Spartan Advanced Protection System (APS) is an unequaled occupant restraint system developed specifically for Emergency Response vehicles. APS includes additional airbag positions, supersized side curtain airbags, advanced seat belts and outboard sensors that enable an intelligent restraint control module. APS provides best-in-class protection against frontal impact, rollover, side impact and occupant ejection.

Spartan is industry first in advanced Seat Belts with Pyrotechnic Pretensioner in Retractor, which works with the locking mechanism to move the passenger into the optimum crash position in his or her seat, affording the occupant 25% more protection against “Seat Belt Syndrome” upon impact. Seat Belt Syndrome refers to injuries caused by the use of a seat belt in a crash, and injuries of these kind are often caused when the force of an accident presses too firmly against the occupant, resulting in fractures, dislocated limbs, or bruises. Exceptionally tight belts (due to automatic locking mechanisms built into the restraint system) may even press firmly enough to rupture internal organs. Spartan's advanced technology provides the seatbelt with enough "give" to allow the occupant's body to resist this inertia by 25%, significantly decreasing the chance of this type of injury to the occupant.

Side-impact passenger vehicle crashes are often severe. They account for 28 percent of all fatalities, the majority of which involve a brain injury. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the new standards advocating that side curtain air bags are expected to save 311 lives and prevent 361 serious injuries, especially brain injuries, each year. Spartan's added measure to safety is their industry-first installation of outboard sensors built into their chassis. These sensors are located in critical areas around the perimeter of the cab for deployment of airbags during side impact, rollover and frontal impact events. Upon deployment, Spartan's airbags provide the occupants maximum coverage- in fact, 300% more coverage in the front and 700% more coverage than the competition in the rear.

The dramatic advancement of Spartan's side curtain airbags over any other manufacturer's design is another industry first, which makes it considerably safer to prevent occupant ejection. According to the NHTSA, 64 percent of rollover deaths involve partial or complete ejection from the vehicle. Side airbags can block a person from being ejected through a vehicle's windows. With airbags that are 7X the size of the competition's, Spartan's airbags successfully reduce the incidence of occupant ejection during rollover crashes, decreasing the chance of rollover deaths from occupant ejection.

Spartan takes protection to a whole new standard with their driver and officer air bags. Driver and officer knee air bags, not seen in any other competitor's system, lock the lower body into place, providing protection against contact or deceleration induced injuries. Other safety systems fall short of the added protection Spartan provides for the drivers knees, avoiding accident injury that could result in soft tissue knee damage, years of discomfort and impeded mobility. The steering wheel mounted driver air bag protects the driver's head and chest from impacting the steering wheel, instrument panel, windshield, or other hardware. When it comes to a serious accident in the midst of an emergency, safety is not an option. That's why Spartan made this top of the line safety system standard in all their Chassis. For anyone looking to purchase a new vehicle for their fire department, their first priority should be the best possible safety of their firefighters: because the risks are too great, the stakes are too high and the results are too tragic. For more information on Spartan's Advanced Protection System, visit

About Spartan Chassis

Spartan Chassis is a leader in the design and production of the most powerful and reliable emergency response cabs and chassis on the market. The Spartan Force™, Metro Star®, Metro Star® RT, and Gladiator® are all purpose-built for the emergency response industry and offer varying degrees of customization allowing fire departments to meet their specific needs.