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  1. #1
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    Question What is going to happen?

    With the rumors of gas and diesel prices soaring again I began to think about my future career choice and how these prices would affect it. So basically I would like to know what you think your department would do if diesel go so high it was really hurting your city/department financially? Is there any prototype trucks out that run on alternative fuels? Just a thought. Thanks


  2. #2
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    HME just made a demo that runs on CNG. If diesel becomes prohibitively expensive for the fire service we have much bigger problems. We don't consume much fuel compared to other municipal vehicles such as garbage collection, school buses, public transit buses, and plows. It has been and will be a pinch on our budgets, but a lot of other areas will see changes before us.

    Redesigned fire apparatus could probably get better gas mileage, but it would take some big changes. Shrinking the overall size, reducing the size of the booster tank, using lower GPM pumps, but would have an impact on our operations and operational capabilities. On the flip side, fire apparatus don't get that great of gas mileage to begin with so adding a couple mpg would cut fuel consumption significantly.

  3. #3
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    Well its go to know that there are works in progress at least. I was just concerned because my dad works for the state of texas and they have quite a bit a fuel consumption. When fuels went up the first time he said they had to fill up the trucks but some of the operations suffered due to cutbacks to afford the fuel. Im just surprised with all of the smart people in the world a new fuel that is combustable has not been devised or an engine that runs different than a combustion engine. But anyways thanks for the input, I just hope things don't get too bad by the time I pursue being a firefighter. (about a year)

  4. #4
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Most cities, counties, as well as state governments have existing fuel contracts with suppliers. The price they pay is lower than what you or I pay at the pump at the old Fill 'm up station.

    They use so much during that contract period that they get a better price. This is done through competitive bidding.

    There may be a way for fire departments to help out, would be by conserving fuel. Be it diesel or gasoline. The department should enact a fuel reduction plan, by straying in quarters as much as possible and limiting the extra activities on the district as well as in the department.

    Of course training still has to be conducted and the apparatus must go to this along with the members.

    It is a hard call to make about fuel use.

    You can't cut off the pumps and not allow apparatus to keep the tanks topped off.
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  5. #5
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    A lot of departments started doing this inadvertantly when the manpower cuts started hitting. One engine on an automatic fire alarm instead of 2. One or two guys in an SUV to EMS calls instead of an engine. We are and always have been masters of adaptation.

    PD will probably have a bigger issue with high fuel prices. Their cars are running 24/7 normally. Time will tell.

  6. #6
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    Yeah this is all definately true. I am just worry about stuff like this because I fear what will happen to the world when we have expensive fuels due to us all being so dependent. I thank you both again for your input.

  7. #7
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    There are already alternative fuels, soy diesel for one, and ethanol or higher ethanol percentage blended gasoline. Propane and CNG (compressed natural gas) have been fueling vehicles for decades and actually offer more than the use of an alternative fuel. They burn cleaner and allow for longer intervals between oil changes and other engine maintenance.

    The sad fact is until big oil, and the other mega energy companies, decide they are viable, money making alternatives they will never truly be accepted mainstream.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 01-13-2011 at 10:19 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeMZ191 View Post
    A lot of departments started doing this inadvertantly when the manpower cuts started hitting. One engine on an automatic fire alarm instead of 2. One or two guys in an SUV to EMS calls instead of an engine. We are and always have been masters of adaptation.

    PD will probably have a bigger issue with high fuel prices. Their cars are running 24/7 normally. Time will tell.
    How much fuel is saved running an SUV vs. an Engine?

    Does that include the additional EMS equipment on the SUV or do you pull it from the Engine? Add in the overhead costs with running a separate vehicle how much of a savings is it?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexfd5 View Post
    How much fuel is saved running an SUV vs. an Engine?

    Does that include the additional EMS equipment on the SUV or do you pull it from the Engine? Add in the overhead costs with running a separate vehicle how much of a savings is it?
    We run a medical truck whick is a 3/4 ton pickup with a topper on it. Fuel saving was only a part of the reason they made the choice to run one. Fuel usage is 1/3 or less of what the engine would use on the same trip. All of our med supplies are supplied by the ambulance service. We also have a lot of tight lanes that it makes easier for a smaller truck to get down.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rm1524 View Post
    We run a medical truck whick is a 3/4 ton pickup with a topper on it. Fuel saving was only a part of the reason they made the choice to run one. Fuel usage is 1/3 or less of what the engine would use on the same trip. All of our med supplies are supplied by the ambulance service. We also have a lot of tight lanes that it makes easier for a smaller truck to get down.
    Have you recovered the vehicle cost and overhead with the "fuel savings" yet?

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