Ergonomics, by definition, is an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely. When applied to firefighting, it becomes the science of designing things, like fire trucks, to keep firefighters their safest and most efficient.

It can be expensive and require additional research, testing, tools, and knowledge to incorporate ergonomics into fire trucks. Because of this, ergonomic design is often overlooked by fire truck manufacturers. But not Metalfab. In fact, we advocate for ergonomics in every fire truck, and that’s why we’re going to tell you five reasons why ergonomic design matters in fire truck manufacturing here.

#1: Safety

Safety is a cornerstone of ergonomics, and preserving firefighter safety should be at the forefront of fire truck manufacturing considerations. As a firefighter, you navigate high-stress environments where split-second decisions can be a matter of life or death. Because it focuses on the placement and design of controls and equipment, ergonomic design plays a pivotal role in mitigating potential risks in these environments.

When we design a fire truck, one of our primary goals is to reduce the likelihood of operator error during critical situations. Clear and intuitive interfaces, well-positioned handles, and easily accessible switches contribute to enhancing operational safety and ensuring that firefighters can respond swiftly and effectively to emergencies.

Furthermore, ergonomic design is integral to minimizing the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. By factoring in proper body mechanics, accessible storage, and easy handling of equipment, ergonomic design contributes significantly to the long-term well-being and physical health of firefighters.

#2: Comfort

The exigencies of firefighting often require firefighters to spend long periods of time inside fire trucks. Recognizing the impact of these conditions on their mental and physical well-being, ergonomic design emphasizes the importance of creating a comfortable working environment. Features such as ergonomically designed seating, adjustable controls, and well-positioned instruments contribute to reducing firefighter fatigue and stress levels.

A comfortable working environment is a strategic imperative for any department. When firefighters are at ease within their workspace, they are better equipped to maintain focus and optimize performance, even in the most challenging situations. This, in turn, translates to greater job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and a more effective firefighting force.

#3: Convenience

Because firefighters operate in dynamic, time-sensitive environments, an intuitive workspace organized for convenience can make a significant difference in response times and overall operational efficiency. Ergonomic design ensures that the layout of controls, switches, and equipment is logical and easy to navigate and—by strategically placing tools and instruments easily within reach—minimizes unnecessary movements, prevents cognitive overload, and allows firefighters to focus solely on the task at hand.

#4: Ease Of Use

Creating an interface that is intuitive and user-friendly is a big part of ergonomic design in fire trucks. That means it needs to be easy to use and ensure that firefighters can navigate and operate the vehicle and its various systems with minimal effort.

The concept of ease of use extends beyond the immediate control interface to the overall design of the fire truck. From ingress and egress to the deployment of equipment, every aspect should be designed to facilitate a seamless and straightforward experience for the firefighter. This not only enhances operational effectiveness but also reduces the likelihood of errors during critical movements.

#5: Adaptability

Firefighters, as you well know, possess a variety of physical characteristics and preferences. Moreover, they routinely don specialized protective gear that can be cumbersome and restrictive. Ergonomic design, when applied correctly, allows for a high degree of customization to accommodate individual needs. Features such as adjustable seats, steering columns, and control placements empower your crew to have their workspace tailored to their specific comfort and operational requirements.

Ergonomics Are Important To Metalfab

At Metalfab, we know how important ergonomics are for your fleet, and we’ll always make a point of getting the ergonomics in your custom fire truck just right. You can rely on us.

If you’re in the market for an ergonomically sound custom fire truck, look no further than your trusted fire truck manufacturer of over 50 years. Our experienced team is reliable, efficient, and attentive to every detail, so you know you’re getting all your bells and whistles at the best price.

Ready to get started? Call us at 800-561-0012 or email Business Development Manager Ryan Stacey at We’ll be waiting to hear from you!