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  1. #1
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    Default Need help with becoming an A/O

    Hi, I am a probationary firefighter with only 2 months left! My problem is that my department does rotating shifts so one tour you are riding backwards and the next you are the engineer or apparatus operator. I have no experience with being an engineer and have really struggled on this. I study constantly and get as much hands on time as i can but with being busy hands on time is few and far between.

    My main problem is with catching a hydrant and doing a change over in time. When that is my only task I can do it no problem with a 2.5 inch line flowing, but then they will throw in other tasks to throw me off and I cant do the change over in time before I run out of water. Does anyone have any tips or tricks to help me cut off time during this process. Thank you so much for any help that you can give me.


  2. #2
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    You need to approach your Company Officer behind closed doors, and advise him that you do not feel confident as a D/O yet. It is his responsibility to ensure that you are trained to your Department's standards (whether that means training you on shift and in-house, or referring you back to the Training Division, or by other means necessary. If you don't feel confident, then there is a problem. I don't want to second guess him, but from the sounds of it, you don't have enough wheel time.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  3. #3
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    Well I actually do feel very confident with all of my pump calculations and the actual act of pumping. Once I get everything going it is not a problem, but I just need to get faster. For example yesterday I was pumping and was trying to get the pump pressure to the exact psi. I was then told by a senior firefighter that it is not nessasary at first to have it exact. Just do a approx. pump pressure and then as soon as you get a water supply, go back and fine tune your pressures. Those are the things that i am talking about.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber JHR1985's Avatar
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    it just takes time and practice before you feel comfortable.

    Take some time out of each day to spend training on it
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

    "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

  5. #5
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    ^^ thanks. I have been and I also spoke to my captian on the side and told him that I wanted to continue training and working hard to fine tune the technique. The good news is that I have been getting better! Let me tell you that I have so much more respect for engineers now! Thanks everyone.

  6. #6
    Forum Member PhillyRube's Avatar
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    Rule of thumb...crank the throttle till the nozzleman begins screaming thenback it off 15.....heheheh

  7. #7
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    If this hasn't happened, you should be driving out on the district when you guys go out for whatever reason. You should also be driving back from any call as well.

    The Officer could hold a live drill, whereas the company goes out to a park area or now that schools are out to a school parking lot and you drive around the lot using the lot markings. Also make a hydrant and lay of one line. Pump into that line using different hydraulic formulas as it really don't' make too much difference unless you have a flow meter and rely on that. The hose line and nozzle will never know the difference.

    If your standard first line off the engine, say is, a 1-3/4 inch line, 150 feet with that "X" nozzle attached, there would be a set pump discharge pressure [PDP] for that line. Let's say it is 150 PSI. If you have a trash line you could pump into that using that nozzle or a different size, say a 2-1/2 inch line with a 1-1/8 inch sold tip. That would give you another line to charge and set a different PDP for that, from the first line.

    A good Officer will help you get the experience as well as the other members of the company as they will now have another operator in the rotation.
    Study the apparatus you are assigned to. Study that pump panel and learn it until you can identify everything on it blindfolded. Make drawing of it or take a photo so while off duty you can see the panel sitting at home and this will also help you learn it.

    Hey when I came on the job there were three main gauges on the pump panel. A Compound, Master and Tachometer. Everything was pumped using the Master Gauge!!


    Once you charged the second line it was basically guess work and experience that came into play.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  8. #8
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    It sounds like you know what your problem areas are, you just have to work on them.

    What are the "tasks" they are throwing in to throw you off? IMO, if you are flowing water to fight fire, your priority is water, then whatever else needs to be done. On a fire scene, unless that task is directly related to life safety, it will wait until you have a water source obtained.

    How much water are they coming off flowing, and how much time do you have to get your plug? Are you pulling up right next to it or having to hand jack hose back to one? All of this comes into play when talking about how to tweak this process.

    Echoing the others, practice is what will get you where you need to be.
    Career Firefighter
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    -Professional in Either Role-

    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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