Can you design a better fire truck? Pierce Manufacturing, a global leader in custom fire truck and equipment manufacturing, challenged us to answer that very question. The Thinklabs research staff responded by going deep into the field, traveling the country and stopping at every fire department we ran across to ask, "What do you want in a fire truck?" The results of our ethnographic research, combined with data and insights from Pierce’s own marketing team, uncovered many issues that permeated the fire truck category.
Fire fighters identified mobility inside and outside of the vehicle, organization of equipment, safety, and ease of use as key areas of concern, the lack of which provided constant obstacles when using the current engines in their service. To start, we gave the Pierce Velocity more room in the cabin. Fire fighters now had increased headroom, legroom, and more open floor space to accommodate large suits and equipment. Multiple integrated compartments gave firefighters a central location to keep their books, beverages, manuals and radios. This eliminated makeshift organizational solutions some departments had haphazardly crafted. The doors handles on the Velocity were redesigned to allow hands with thick gloves to open them quickly and easily, and the doors themselves were made wider than any other fire truck on the market to allow for safe ingress and egress.
Through our combined research, Pierce and Thinklabs we were able to create a truck that takes the fire fighter into consideration and is designed for their use, not the other way around.
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