1. #1

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    May 2009
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    Default Another use for tankers/water tenders

    After a recent large multi-agency wildfire, a common problem once again arose. We had trucks from multiple agencies spread out over a large area, and within those trucks were the EMT's and Paramedics from the various volunteer dept's, along with their equipment. On several occasions firefighters were in need of medical attention,most commonly either oxygen or eye flushing, but the only equipment was either tied up on units engaged in fire operations, and the Command Post was a bit of a drive. Also, the ambulances were out on other calls, and the med-birds were not flying due to wind conditions. After thinking about the problem, it occurred to me that there is one unit that is usually centrally located across the various fire zones..the tanker. The solution? Fully equip the tankers with medical equipment...and I mean fully. Backboards, burn kits, eye flush kits, multiple O2 tanks...the works (we are fortunate enough at our station to have a 4 door cab tanker). Usually there is either a medic manning the tanker, or close enough to assist if needed. This allows medical supplies to be more centrally located when the need for them arises.

  2. #2
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    In my part of the world, tankers carry a lot of water, and the tools necessary to convey that water to other apparatus, and nothing else. Also, our tankers are generally in near-constant movement into and out of the scene.

    If you've got a significant incident requiring a large committment of personnel and equipment, why not just make an additional request or two for companies to be assigned to rehab or EMS?

    Sounds more like a command problem than and equipment problem. For that matter, call for a company for manpower, and use the medical supplies off of the trucks that are already there.

    I get what you're saying, but the resources are already there--sounds like they just are being used effectively.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  3. #3
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    In our volunteer department, every unit carries and AED(Hospital Donation) and a small general first aid bag. Our rescue/carry-all unit does carry more items such as back boards and such, but we try not to tie it up on these type of calls. We have started dispatching EMS to large wildland fires(grass fires in this area) and stage them at each drop tank staging area. Our command post is usually at one of these staging areas and at that location is our rehab area where sandwiches and drinks and EMS is setup. Now on that note there is a larger paid department one county over that equips their tanker almost like a full blown engine: 6man cab with 4 personell, ladders, drop tank, cross-lays, supply line, 2500 gallons, 1250gpm and full medical supplies you would find on a typical rescue engine. Its a little big for a county tanker for me.
    Puttin the wet stuff on the red stuff!

  4. #4
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    kd5ili i see what you are saying and like it. Granted i am in a different region, i think the same idea can apply. 2 or 3 people per tender, at least one EMT trained and a good Jump-set. I also think that the IMS program out of region 1 and 6 is awesome too, but that is larger fires.

    It might work it, might not, IA is always crazy and full of Little Problems, you may not get that Tender period.
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

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