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  1. #1
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    Default Apparatus Types & Station Locations (Question)

    So, as some are familiar (if you've seen my posts), I'm hoping to join the local Volunteer FD in the town I'll be moving to in northern New Jersey (Rutherford). This is when I (hopefully) go to college there.

    According to their website (http://www.rutherfordfire.org) - their department consists of a ladder truck, three 'engines', a rescue unit and a "special services unit". All of these can be seen by going to their webste above and clicking on the three firehouse pictures (under the "Stations and Apparatus" link).

    My question for you is - what do you prefer to work on? I'm curious about any reasons you've got, whether it's that you were simply assigned to it, you chose it for some reason (the specific mission; "cool" factor, etc.) or whatever.

    I'd also like to get some input as to the specific missions of each type of unit. I've read the stuff online - but I'm hoping to get a bit more from different firefighters, as well.

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    Forum Member pfdcadet's Avatar
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    Ladders are pretty fun IMO, but I like to be on the Engines when I can. Around where I'm at, (and I'm pretty sure in most areas) Engines make a lot more runs then ladders.


    Everyones different though, you'll get a better feel for it once your around the rigs.

  3. #3
    Piney Power PineyPower's Avatar
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    Well, my company doesn't have any ladders/aerials so we don't operate on any of them and if we do it's rare with our mutual aid company in our township. We have an engine, an engine/pumper, a special technical rescue unit, and 2 brush units.

    For my company, each unit has its ups and downs. With the engine, it's an open cab (it was built in the late 80's/early 90's before the NFPA changed their rule to closed cab) so you get to feel the air and hear everything going on so that kind of pumps you up a little. It's also our first due unit to just about everything so getting to ride that means you made first truck and are going to be doing something if you're not canceled beforehand. We have a few hand lines, a few hundred feet of 5 inch hose, a bunch of equipment for hydrants, nozzles, water directionals, and so on, and a portable deluge that you can either control from on top of the engine or take down and use on the ground.

    With our technical rescue unit, it has everything from lights to extrication equipment. This truck went to "Ground Zero" on 9-11 so it has some special history behind it. It has all of our rescue equipment on it with an air hose, electrical hose, and so on. It's a very useful tool for a bunch of different scenarios and situations so there's a lot of learning to do, but it can also be useful and fun to some people.

    With our engine/pumper, it has a lot of good things on it. It's a closed cab (2005 Seagrave), with a ton of 5 inch hose, several hand lines, trash line on the front bumper, water and foam tanks, portable deluge, a bunch of tools for various things, extrication equipment, and so on. This truck is apart of Ocean County's (in NJ) Forest Fire Task force and is used for structural protection in forest fires.

    We have 2 different brush trucks. One's a 1957 Rio 6x6 Military Brush Truck (also referred to as a deuce and a half) and the other one's a 1984 GMC 3500 4x4 Brush Truck. Both are fun to ride on. Our deuce and a half has drafting capabilities (as does our two engines) so that's good if we're ever caught in the woods by a water source and need water. We can fill other trucks up or use it right there. It has 5 hand lines on it so it can put out a decent amount of water. Our smaller brush truck can get through woods a lot better and is plenty of fun to ride on for search and rescue or brush/forest fires.

    In the end, you'll have to find your own niche in order to figure out what you enjoy the most and what you are most proficient at. I'm at a volunteer fire company so we're required to take part in all of the units and different tasks.
    Pinewald Pioneer Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 Sta. 20
    "Piney Power"

    Berkeley Emergency Response Team (B.E.R.T./Haz-Mat/WMD/CBRNE) Station 85
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey 08721

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Usually in a volunteer department, unless you have in station crews and assigned vehicles, you are on the truck that is leaving next. Because you cannot tell who is going to show up until you see them run through the door, you cannot count on every vehicle going.

    In a full time department, or at least with a staff and assignments, you can seperate between engine, truck, squad, etc. assignments. Personally, I like the truck but will take anything I can get really. My days of riding on an engine or a truck are pretty much over now due to responding in my own vehicle.
    Jason Knecht
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    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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  5. #5
    Forum Member johnny46's Avatar
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    I think everyone on here has a pretty apparent answer:

    On my *** in front of a computer.

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    Thanks for the input everyone. Now that I think of it - it would make more sense to me in a VFD that you're simply on the next truck out.

  7. #7
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixCadet View Post
    Thanks for the input everyone. Now that I think of it - it would make more sense to me in a VFD that you're simply on the next truck out.
    Some of those towns do have a different station for the different pieces. Not sure of Rutherford.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  8. #8
    Piney Power PineyPower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Some of those towns do have a different station for the different pieces. Not sure of Rutherford.
    Yeah, we have a total of 5 stations throughout our township with 3 fire companies operating them. Depending on the location (and sometimes what the incident is) different stations will respond.
    Pinewald Pioneer Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 Sta. 20
    "Piney Power"

    Berkeley Emergency Response Team (B.E.R.T./Haz-Mat/WMD/CBRNE) Station 85
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey 08721

  9. #9
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefuss View Post
    I'm a ladder guy, and around here there are only half as many ladders as engines. That works out a nice little equation of TWICE as much work than the engine co's.
    Your math is flawed.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  10. #10
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Ladder work in my city is also a bit more independant, most FNGs should go to engines to get used to the work, learn the job, and to appreciate what a good ladderman does
    Why do truckies cut holes in roofs?

    To see what the real firefighters are doing!

    How do you make a truckie happy?

    Tell him he gets to go in and break s***!

    Just kidding.. I really love you knuckle dragging Neanderthals!

    But it dosent really matter to me, engine, ladder, squad whatever, its all part of the best job out there. Thats a fact
    Amen, Bro, Amen!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  11. #11
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Four house dept.5 Engines,1 tank truck,1 High pressure Forestry(serves as 2nd tanker)1 Haz mat,1 Ladder,and one Reel truck(3000' 5" LDH). Chances are pretty good you're gonna learn some Engine work.Ladder is specialty and only a few REALLY like it. T.C.

  12. #12
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefuss View Post
    Hey Memphis... 61 engine companies, 29 ladder companies. What doesn't make sense? My station has 6 perimeter ENGINE companies, but only 3 perimeter LADDER companies. Depending where, we are first due in 7 engine company locals. (including our own) We are second due in 9. So we have a more likely chance to get MORE work than an engine in our area. And we do...
    Similarly, we have 57 engines and 28. I would bet money that your department, like mine however, dispatches more engine companies to fires than trucks. So on the face of it it would appear that fewer trucks would equal more work, but it is not necessarily the case - and certainly not twice as much when you consider that everytime you go to a fire on your truck, so do 3 or 4 engine companies. It may work out to your favor on your single truck company, but it cannot sustain job wide because of the 3 or 4:1 engine to truck dispatch ratio. I will agree that you have a greater chance to be first due truck, but there are 2nd and 3rd due engines when there are no more trucks coming.

    As stated, your math is flawed but I wasn't trying to **** in your Wheaties.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  13. #13
    Forum Member len1582's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Your math is flawed.
    You're saying this to a truckie?
    How much friction loss is there with an axe???..

  14. #14
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by len1582 View Post
    You're saying this to a truckie?
    How much friction loss is there with an axe???..
    I don't have the exact figure, but it's more than a saw!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber KevinFFVFD's Avatar
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    Depends on the type of calls the units respond to. On my department we only have engines, so thats a no brainer. However the city department inside the county we operate has 7 engines, a 135' ladder, 95 foot platform, and a light rescue. If I had to choose there I would request to be on the rescue because they go to EVERYTHING. All of the EMS and fire calls they go to, so they run a lot. I would rather be out running calls and busy than sitting around the station doing nothing.

  16. #16
    Forum Member len1582's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    I don't have the exact figure, but it's more than a saw!
    Very good.

  17. #17
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    That looks like a great department to be a part of...lots of members and good equipment...much better than my volunteering experience.

  18. #18
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Talking Uhhhh............

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixCadet View Post
    My question for you is - what do you prefer to work on? I'm curious about any reasons you've got, whether it's that you were simply assigned to it, you chose it for some reason (the specific mission; "cool" factor, etc.) or whatever.

    I'd also like to get some input as to the specific missions of each type of unit. I've read the stuff online - but I'm hoping to get a bit more from different firefighters, as well.

    Thanks!

    Rescue Company. Easy Choice, hands down. Why? when everybody else is getting whipped, we're just getting started. There are a lot of Fun reasons: No Hose to rack, No Ladders to take down, The Rig draws a crowd, We're Bigger, Louder, Faster, and Women fight over us.........

    May I help the next in line Please??..........
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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  19. #19
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Rescue Company. Easy Choice, hands down. Why? when everybody else is getting whipped, we're just getting started. There are a lot of Fun reasons: No Hose to rack, No Ladders to take down, The Rig draws a crowd, We're Bigger, Louder, Faster, and Women fight over us.........

    May I help the next in line Please??..........
    Took the words right outta my mouth Harve!
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Rescue Company. Easy Choice, hands down. Why? when everybody else is getting whipped, we're just getting started. There are a lot of Fun reasons: No Hose to rack, No Ladders to take down, The Rig draws a crowd, We're Bigger, Louder, Faster, and Women fight over us.........

    May I help the next in line Please??..........
    Have fun talking to the crowd with your shiny box, I'll be inside with my company.

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