Based on a number of incidents reported by IAFF affiliates involving the ALL-STEER system manufactured on Pierce fire apparatus, in July 2004, the IAFF requested that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigate this equipment and initiate a formal government involved recall.

NHTSA contacted all IAFF locals involved and addressed the issue with Pierce Manufacturing. Due to the strong efforts of the IAFF, NHTSA and especially Natick, MA Local 1707, Pierce Manufacturing has now issued a formal vehicle recall for Pierce 2002-2004 models with custom chassis. Pierce has identified 64 potentially affected vehicles.

IAFF Local 1707 President Danny Hartwell led the town of Natick battle with Pierce Manufacturing and was able to get the town refunded $648,773 for the quint truck it had purchased. The quint, equipped with Pierce’s All-Steer System, was involved in an accident in February 2004. The quint sat in a repair shop for months after the incident when the ALL-STEER system self-engaged while responding to a call, turning the rear-end of the truck into a tree. At that time, Pierce investigators ruled out mechanical problems and determined human error was not to blame. Local 1707 and the Natick Fire Department insisted it was equipment failure.

“All of our collective hard work paid off, and we were able to keep the truck off the streets of Natick, says Hartwell. “The IAFF’s involvement ensured that this safety issue was addressed for all IAFF affiliates.”

Speaking on behalf of the more than 267,000 IAFF members, General President Harold Schaitberger said, “I strongly believe this is a win-win for all parties involved. The town of Natick has been fully refunded for apparatus that was not safe for our brothers and sisters or the people they protect, and now all other apparatus in use today are being recalled.”

Any IAFF affiliate that has experienced similar problems should document the incidents in writing and forward the information to the IAFF Department of Occupational Health and Safety at [email protected] or fax to (202) 737-8418.

To view a copy of the Pierce Manufacturing recall notice, click here.