Thread: Nervous

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    Default Nervous

    I was told by the Chief the other day I am going to be trained on our new truck driving it and operation the pump. Not sure if this is a good or bad news for me, but any advice? I know how to drive trucks ( Everything from semi's to 24 ft box trucks ). Granted driving a truck with 1000 gallons of water and foam is a bit different and I'll be responsible as the driver for my crews safety while driving.

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    If you can drive those other vehicles you listed, a pumper will be the least of your challenges. Did you drive the tractor trailers and box trucks in a safe and responsible manner? If yes, then just keep doing that.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    No tickets and no accidents!

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    Are you nervous because it's a new truck, or because you havn't driven fire apparatus or emergency vehicles before.

    Either way, some of the same advice applies. Get as much time driving and operating it as possible. Set up cones in the parking lot to manuver around, learn how it turns both forward and backwards and learn where the edges of the vehicle are. Start slow and work up to harder areas. If you have concerns about navigating a particular corner or street, work your way up to it, but be sure to try it out before you have to navigate it in emergency response.

    If you haven't driven emergency vehicles before, maybe start with a smaller vehicle and get used to reading traffic while driving emergency.

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    New because the Chief would kill me if i damaged it and 2 because I've never driven one in an emergency.

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    Just take it slow and easy - and practice, practice practice!.......the first time I drove an engine I was nervous too - it was a new one, and I wasn't even a member of the Dept that owned it!

    Find an EVOC course and take that - I know in NY you spend time behind the wheel in controlled situations - that really helped me out.

    Also remember - it is more important to get to a scene IN ONE PIECE than to have other responders have to come out to pick YOU up! ....... You do no good if you don't make it there.....

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    I know how you feel. We just got a new Heavy Rescue Squad that I am one of the 2nd wave of drivers. I don't want to be the one to put the first ding in it.

    Another piece of advice is not to let anyone pressure you into driving faster than you feel comfortable. An officer or crew members shouldn't be telling you to hurry up, but I know that some do.

    As I stated earlier, if you are new to emergency driving, starting with something smaller might be a good idea of possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony4310 View Post
    No tickets and no accidents!
    That isn't what I asked.

    What I asked was "Did you operate those vehicles in a safe and responsible manner?"

    What you answered was "Did you ever get caught operating in an unsafe and reckless manner."
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    That isn't what I asked.

    What I asked was "Did you operate those vehicles in a safe and responsible manner?"

    What you answered was "Did you ever get caught operating in an unsafe and reckless manner."
    That does fall under your question, actually. So I did answer your question with a yes, I did operate safely and responsibly. Just with detail added.

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    I'd echo the comments of "practice, practice, practice".
    You want to be comfortable around the vehicle, so start with easist thing to do and that is get aquainted with it while its still parked. Crawl all over it, under it. Learn it from top to bottom and front to back. Be completely familiar with where every piece of equipment is on it. Then start out with some short drives and gradually increase your wheel-time. While you may be familiar with your other engines and trucks, each one has its quirks, so get this one's figured out. Practice catching plugs and engaging the pump (if equipped), get used to setting up the outriggers and staging yourself so you can reach where you intend with the aerial (if equipped). Eventually it'll all be second nature.

    Also, as was very well put, don't let the crew or officer force you to drive faster or make poor driving decisions. Keep in mind, its not your emergency, you do no good not getting to the call, so take your time and get everyone back home safe and sound. A good app driver always watches out for his truck, and his crew.

    Nothing stops you from telling them if they don't like the way you're driving to get out and walk. They may just want to watch that first step when they're getting out.

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    Yes practice practice practice. Take it slow and easy until you are more comfortable with driving the truck. Try takeing the truck to a large parking lot and try driveing it around and backing it up . ( Please have a backer) and setting it up along with pumping it. Best training around.

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    Going off your OP, I think you'll do fine driving it. With it being warmer, make some ice cream runs (you buy), and feel what the truck is doing. The more you drive, the better your confidence in it, and you. But with everything else, do not push it into a position you can't get out of. Drive inside your limitations and comfort zone.

    As for running the pump, ask questions until your trainer is blue in the face with answers. Just about anybody can drive to a scene safely. Manning the pump and panel, is different. It is just as dangerous to your guys, if you don't know what you're doing, or seeing, than getting there. Know where everything is, and what everything is, and what it is supposed to do.

    I help train new drivers, and remind older drivers, that they have to use the 2 count rule, going from road to pump operations. That is to count 1, 2, before making each individual move to pump gear, from drive. It works, and you lose nothing in time when the handlines are going out.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    Everything that FIREMECH has posted should be considered "Double in Spades", with some additions. When driving with lights and sirens, this is an automatic free pass for every car on the road to do something stupid. I know most of the little old ladies are trying to do the right thing by getting out of your way, but you must expect things like stopping in front of you with 3/4 of the car blocking your lane. Expect the oncoming lane to stop directly opposite the car in your lane so you need to squeeze an engine (100") between two cars with 99" between them. Multiple lane intersections require these same drivers to make a left turn across traffic directly in front of you to get out of your way. Cross traffic at a light won't know where you are, but they decide to run the light to get out of your way. In short, be absolutely certain that you can stop or change lanes/direction in 1/2 the space you are allowing for your safety circle. Finally, on every intersection that you are crossing, require that your officer call clear before you start through. Two sets of eyes are better than one, so use the right seat to your advantage.

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    I'll throw my agreement in with FM and KS. I will add the word 'clear' is the only word that I will go on. As one of our crews found out 'whoa' and 'go' sound alot alike with the siren and horns a going.

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    Get familiar with the truck, know where the switches are and what they do. Know the proper position for all of the emergency lighting switches. I've seen a few apparatus running down the street, siren screaming away, but not one warning light is on. Also, you don't want to be searching for the wiper switch when you're barreling down the road hot in the rain. Understand that lights and sirens only REQUEST the right of way, not guarantee it. Be aware of not only what is around you, but also if any other units are going to show up along your path. Getting there safely is your only priority. If you hit someone, cause an accident, or get the truck in a position where the wheels are pointed at the sky, you're not going to be of much help to anyone... and you could do prison time if you operate negligently (sp?). Bottom line, be smart, keep the adrenaline in check, and keep your focus where it needs to be.

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    Default Learn pump/fireground operations

    A lot of drivers can get the truck to the scene. The really good drivers shine when they can overcome the challenges of hooking up, supplying good water, and looking ahead to root-out potential issues that will interrupt the flow of water when the adrenaline is pumping. Practice keeping your cool. Your crew members riding with you will respect you if you drive professionally as it sounds like you have done in the past. Good luck. Read articles online about hydraulics, watersupply and anything else you can feed you brain with. I've scratched and dinged a few. It happens.

    Mark

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    You said you have big truck experience. Well then just relax and don't even think of it as a fire truck, its just another big truck you are driving. Its just another truck, well almost this one has a water tank and a few extra people riding along with you. Don't psych yourself out. Once you can handle driving normal, then work on operating the pumps/aerial.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain7 View Post
    A lot of drivers can get the truck to the scene. The really good drivers shine when they can overcome the challenges of hooking up, supplying good water, and looking ahead to root-out potential issues that will interrupt the flow of water when the adrenaline is pumping. Practice keeping your cool. Your crew members riding with you will respect you if you drive professionally as it sounds like you have done in the past. Good luck. Read articles online about hydraulics, watersupply and anything else you can feed you brain with. I've scratched and dinged a few. It happens.

    Mark
    driving is important and can not be understated. do the evoc and drivers training classes.

    however pumping and trouble shooting operations needs big time attention. work on the basic hose drills, laying in, getting attack lines inservice, getting hydrant, reverse outs, non-typical hose lays, relay pumping, drafting, portatank ops (for rural guys).
    remember your duties: KINKS FROM PUMP TO DOOR!!!!!, clear the trays and know which lever to pull, learn friction loss and calcs.

    as once stated: pump operators are like football linemen, you won't get anyone to pay attention to you unless you screw up.
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

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