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  1. #1
    Forum Member EngineCO38's Avatar
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    Default Truck Companies as Heavy Rescue Co's? Opinions and suggestions

    Alright, so the question finally came up before our association the other night. It was a cluster to say the least, all the old timers crying foul from the back as the new guys tried to embrace the possible change.

    The idea (If all the pieces fall into place), retire our 1988 Ford C Heavy Rescue and put all its equipment onto our new (If the town approves the purchase) 1994 E-One 110' aerial ladder. The idea came about after it was realized our 99% volunteer Department was having trouble staffing the amount of equipment we have. That coupled with rising repair costs on the old rescue, and rising insurance costs to boot. It was suggested we mold the two companies into one. And reduce our fleet by one truck to save money.

    This caused quite the uproar from the back of the room, where the old timers cited the poor driving abilities of the younger crowd as their main argument against the change. They also argued that such a large truck (A single axle with a wheel base similar to that of our first due engine) wouldn't be practical out on the interstate, especially when it's snowing and icy. It's "too big" to be used on the Interstate (A two lane Highway)

    The arguments were not brushed under the table and in part I agree with some of what they had to say. But I still feel its a positive step for the future of the Department. My question lies here, from those with Departments that run your aerial device 1st due for MVA's (Or MVC's if thats what you call them) What are the pro's and con's you've encountered. Are the trucks indeed just "too big" for this role? Does it pose any added risk while driving to an from calls?

    Opinions and advice from those that can help would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    AJ
    Opinions expressed by myself here are just that, mine. And not that of ANY organization or service I am affiliated with.


  2. #2
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    Altho i can't give you a direct answer id thought id give u the heads up. There is a three page article in the June 2010 magazine of FIRE RESCUE. The oklahoma City Fire Dept did EXACTLY what you guys are planning on doing. They merged their ladder companies and rescue companies into one single unit (on the ladder) now called Rescue-Ladders. The article talks about the pros and cons of this. Perhaps talk to someone from that dept on more information on what your looking for on the question.

  3. #3
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
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    Before looking for a single axle 110' ladder, I would have said BS. Good thing I checked first.

    All of our trucks/ladders have all the tools needed for a MVA extrication's. Man power is the 4 on board the rig, as well as the 2 on the med unit, if needed.

    Yes, the rig is big. But the storage of tools and equipment available on one rig has more pluses than minuses. If driver education is needed, then so be it. Having an aerial as a first due for MVA's is not a bad thing, and does nothing to change how you go to the call or coming back from it.

    FM1
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    My question for you is- What is a "Heavy Rescue" as you are using the term.....

    Would this be a ladder truck with a set of extrication tools and some other minor extrication equipment??? I rather suspect this is what you are thinking.

    Or would this be a ladder truck with all of the prescribed tools/equipment on board to make it a HEAVY RESCUE??? Because if you want it to carry everything needed to be both an (effective!) ladder AND heavy rescue company, a single rear axle is not going to cut it.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    I agree with FWD....what are you calling a heavy rescue?

    I have Holmatro duo pump, spreader, ram, cutter, cribbing, 4 struts, sawzalls and other hand tools...on my engine. Is that a heavy rescue?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  6. #6
    Forum Member HuntPA's Avatar
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    We do not, nor do any of our neighboring departments, have an arial device, so take my input with a grain of salt (or single malt, whichever you prefer). If the issue of maintenance on the 1988 is a determining factor in the choice to eliminate it, how will the extra run volume of the arial add to the maintenance of that vehicle? If the ratio of runs is similar to ours, there will be 2 to 3 times as many runs for vehicle accidents as fires. That is a lot more use and wear on the most expensive apparatus in the department.

    Also, I don't understand the issue of staffing. If you can't get the rescue to the accident, how will you be getting the ladder there? If it is a fire, does it take more than 1 person to drive the rescue to the scene so that all of the tools are there?

    Again, I cannot say for sure which is the better option as we do not have the same situation, I am just pointing out that the main reason for eliminating the rescue may be turned around on you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    I agree with FWD....what are you calling a heavy rescue?

    I have Holmatro duo pump, spreader, ram, cutter, cribbing, 4 struts, sawzalls and other hand tools...on my engine. Is that a heavy rescue?
    Another thing to consider is the need for a safety line. Does the truck have a pump or will you have to roll an engine with it?

  8. #8
    Forum Member EngineCO38's Avatar
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    Okay lots to answer, starting with FDW. Our Heavy Rescue carries a little bit of everything, two sets of cutters and spreaders. A combi tool and mini pump, struts and a ram. Cribbing, chains, ropes and scene lighting. Confined space ventilation equipment, air bags, spare SCBA cylinders and a compliment of ALS medical supplies. Plus an assortment of hand and power tools.

    After doing a considerable amount of research and measuring. We have determined the new Ladder would be able to carry all of our existing Truck Co. equipment and still effectively fit our equipment from the Heavy Rescue. Its also been suggested that the combi-tool be placed on the 1st due Engine which will piggy back the Ladder.

    Fitting everything and doing it right the first time we're not too terribly concerned about, as we know AN Engine will always be behind the Ladder (We have two Engine companies and a Pumper/Tanker, any of which can follow the Ladder) And when all else fails, mutual aid is our friend. What this boils down too, is a fleet reducing measure. Where my concerns were was how well this system was working for other Departments. If the size of the truck itself caused issues. And if I could find the statistics, if more accidents occur with Ladder type apparatus then with something like a heavy rescue or engine.
    Opinions expressed by myself here are just that, mine. And not that of ANY organization or service I am affiliated with.

  9. #9
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EngineCO38
    What this boils down too, is a fleet reducing measure. Where my concerns were was how well this system was working for other Departments. If the size of the truck itself caused issues. And if I could find the statistics, if more accidents occur with Ladder type apparatus then with something like a heavy rescue or engine.
    All of our aerials are carrying what you described, and then some. They don't carry any air bags, but could if they wanted to.

    Most of my aerials are E-One HP100's, and they do an excellent job at what they do. I've never heard of an issue to where the aerial was handicapped to make it to the scene. As well, the size issue has never been a problem. There hasn't been an issue concerning accidents making a run. All rigs are fair game to the general public as targets. In fact, one of our Rescue's has been hit more than all of our aerials combined.

    Our response area consists of homes on narrow streets, as well as 5 lanes on I-80. All have been conquered by our aerials and their equipment.

    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."

  10. #10
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    Default Rescue - Aerials

    This is an interesting and good discussion. I would cation you on checking the weight of your new purchase. A single axle aerial was not designed to carry aerial equipment AND the equipment off a heavy rescue. I think your going to find you have weight problems loading all the typical equipment on. Fire Mech is talking about tandem axle aerials in his situation.
    And loading a lot of equipment on, make sure the auxillary braking system is fuctioning at its proper level or you'll be buying brake shoes on a regular basis.

  11. #11
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    I agree with FWD....what are you calling a heavy rescue?
    Do you mean it's not a "heavy rescue" just because it's big and weighs a lot?!?
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  12. #12
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Thanojon mentioned OKC, you could also check with Denver, as they're using the tower/rescue concept.

    At work, we run both tower ladders and heavy rescues. Until 2002, we didn't run any HR's at all, and all extrication was being done off our 5 tower ladders. Then in 2002, we purchased three HR's, and configured them to be "tower ladders without ladders" and added HM response capability to them. We didn't remove any of the equipment from the TL's when the HR's went in service. The only thing that changed was some dispatch and response protocols.

    Our towers are all 100' rear-mount Pierces, no pump or tank. We're able to carry hydraulic tools, electric and gas pumps, cribbing, medium and high pressure airbags, and rescue struts, along with the normal truck company stuff you'd expect. An extrication assignment gets two special service companies (2 each of either towers or rescues).

    We do have the luxury of our technical rescue team's tractor-trailer carrying a lot of the seldom-used equipment such as confined space, ropes & rigging, collapse rescue, trench rescue, etc...therefore, the special service companies don't have to be loaded quite as heavy.

    As for the "its too big" argument, when we're working any of the three interstates we protect, having that ladder on scene sure is nice. Even if it's not being used as the primary blocking vehicle, it still helps protect the scene. I doubt that your new E-One will somehow grow in the rain and snow, so if works well in your response area during normal weather, it shouldn't be a problem in inclimate weather. Just make sure you have a good driver's training program in place!

    Departments are using ladders for rescue-style capabilities all over the US. As long as plenty of planning goes into the process (axle weights, layout, ease of access, etc), your department should be okay.
    Last edited by BoxAlarm187; 10-08-2010 at 05:40 PM.
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  13. #13
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    I do not like rescue compartments on aerial devices. The high sides limit you to where you can depress the ladder. Case in point, we were called to a man in tree rescue with our heavy rescue, the 100' rear mount tower ladder had to nose in to the scene when they lowered the basket to the ground it would not depress because of the high side compartments. You spend $750,000+ on a aerial truck and then cant use it when you really need it. As for high angle and confined space how often do you use it.
    You could split the load. Run a rescue engine out on MVA's with some HRT's cribbing and struts. and carry the rest of your tactical rescue equipment on the ladder. You are going to respond the engine anyway for the fire protection.

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