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The fire truck push-in ceremony is a time-honored tradition in the fire service. Celebrating the arrival of a new unit has been a source of pride for fire departments across North America for over a century. In recent years, the push-in ceremony has gained popularity, particularly in smaller communities. Because fire trucks are a sizable purchase for small communities, a push-in ceremony is a means to bring the community together to see their tax dollars well-spent at a formal event.


History of the Push-In Ceremony

Early hand-drawn fire engines, ladder wagons, hose carts, and other apparatus of the 17th century had to be pushed back into the station by hand after every call. The horse-drawn steam engines that followed in the 18th century could be backed up. However, having to control the [...]

Every fire truck is the product of many parts brought together and assembled by the manufacturer. Typically your fire truck manufacturer will build the body and plumb and wire the unit, but the chassis, pump, valves, lights, and electrical components are all purchased from outside suppliers. At this time, every single one of Metalfab’s suppliers is facing challenges somewhere in the supply chain, resulting in possible delays to completion and delivery on nearly all of our units. Increased demand and the need to find alternative supply chain sources as a result of these delays are also driving up parts prices and impacting the cost of producing custom fire apparatus in the interim.

The greatest challenge we are currently facing in the supply chain is linked to semiconductors, computer chips and other small [...]

The Sounds of Fire Safety: Fire Truck Style

The theme for Fire Prevention Week in Canada this year is “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.” In recognition of this important annual event, our team here at Metalfab has decided to spotlight the new sounds of fire safety fire truck style. In this article, we’re going to explore the various audible warnings to look out for on new fire trucks. If you are approaching the time to upgrade one or more of your fire trucks, we also invite you to take this opportunity to consider the sounds of fire safety your department would like to include on your next unit.

Today, there are a variety of audible warnings associated with fire trucks. The most common audible warnings on current NFPA-compliant units are electronic sirens, mechanical sirens, deep tone sirens, and air horns. The latest standard in audible warning systems is designed to bring you the highest [...]

The snow season is coming, which means it’s time to winterize your fire truck fleet. If you haven’t yet put a winter preparation plan in place for your fire trucks, let this serve as a reminder to do it sooner rather than later. As we all know, the weather can turn on a dime. To help get your department ready for the change to colder weather, we’ve put together some information on winter traction device options for your fire trucks this season.

Winter traction devices come in two primary categories: traditional chains and automatic traction chains. The best choice for your units will vary depending on where your department is located. If you are in an area that receives heavy snowfall throughout the winter months, traditional snow chains are likely the better choice for [...]

When you are building a custom fire truck, you have to make a lot of decisions around the structure of the body. First, you have a variety of materials to choose from, including aluminum, stainless steel, polypropylene, and even carbon fiber. You also need to decide whether to go with a formed body or an extruded body.

Each body type has benefits, but at Metalfab, we exclusively build extruded aluminum bodies. In this article, we’re going to explore the differences between the two main body types and let you know why we think extruded is the way to go for your next custom fire truck.

Comparing Body Types

Formed fire truck bodies are typically made from classic stainless steel. Building a formed body usually requires a modular approach where panels are bolted together. The bent flat plate is used to form the body with either the subframe or the chassis frame used as a foundation. [...]

This past month, Metalfab’s Business Development Manager, Ryan Stacey, and Paul Maynard of the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association (CVFSA) had the honor of presenting the fifth annual Jim Hayter Memorial Scholarship to one very deserving local student. As an enthusiastic contributor to her school community and bold advocate for gender equality and mental health, the winner, we’re sure you’ll agree, was the perfect choice. Today, we’d like to share a little bit about the late Jim Hayter, the scholarship, and the praiseworthy winner.

Remembering Jim Hayter

Having served for 44 years—including 15 years as Fire Chief—with the Alvinston (Ontario) Fire Department, Jim Hayter was passionate about his fire service. He spoke with great respect and admiration for his crew and their work. Being Fire Chief wasn’t only a passion for him, it was also a great source of pride.

Ryan met Chief Hayter while [...]

Manager of Mechanical Services Keith MacDonald has been with St. John’s Regional Fire Department for 8 years. Behind the scenes, Keith facilitates the day-to-day maintenance, commissioning, acquisition, and disposal of the department’s fire apparatus and sets out long-term maintenance and planning strategies for the department’s maintenance division. The St. John’s Regional maintenance division comprises Keith and two other certified emergency vehicle technicians.

Keith comes from a trades family and was always interested in taking his expertise to the next level by maintaining and designing apparatus. After he completed his automotive engineering and technology course 20 years ago, Keith entered the mining industry and then later honed those skill sets when he came to work for St. John’s Regional. He’s grateful to now have the opportunity to put pen to paper and procure the apparatus [...]

Necessities spawn innovation. Fire departments are facing some major hurdles, including:

  • Improving the safety of their first responders
  • Constant battles to improve operation and fireground efficiencies
  • Securing an experienced pool of candidates
  • Allocating resources amid restricted budgets

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, budgets have become a deeper concern than ever before. Either funding had to be diverted for Covid-19 mitigation or revenue was reduced due to social distancing restrictions, impacting tax revenue supporting fire department budgets. In this article, we will walk through several ways to mitigate these issues.

When budgeting for and specifying an apparatus that will last ten years or more, it is important to address the critical items facing your department with the technology available today.



Multiplexing to Combat Common Electrical Issues

The [...]

Metalfab now a proud partner of the Maritime Junior Hockey League









Truro, N.S. (July 14, 2021) – The Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL) is pleased to announce the addition of leading Canadian fire truck manufacturer Metalfab Ltd. as a league sponsor. Located in Centreville, N.B., Metalfab Ltd. has serviced many fire departments and municipalities throughout Canada for over 50 years. That includes many fire departments in and around the league’s twelve communities.

“It’s always exciting [...]

The Apparatus Floor

Summer Edition

We are pleased to announce that the summer edition of our Quarterly Magazine, The Apparatus Floor, is now available online.

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