1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    Then after you increase the height of the cab by 8-10 inches most people put in the specs that the body must meet the height of the cab.
    At the VFD, we're actually doing the opposite, although it's unusual. We're putting on the raised roof to match the height of the body. We don't WANT a body that big, but with some future anticipated apparatus changes that will be occurring, we're having to stuff more things onto the engine company than we have in the past.

    I think so many of the previous posters have brought up the points that surround why rigs today have gotten so much larger. I think a lot of times, we look at a new delivery with a 163" WB, 500 gallon tank, FDNY-style hosebed, and say to ourselves, "now THAT'S a fire engine!!" However, we look at another one with a higher hosebed, 750 (or 1000) gallon tank, highside compartments, etc, and say "what are those bozo's thinking?" when they might have spec'd and purchased the perfect rig for their given response district and call types.

    The new engine we're about to buy at home is going to go to about 10x more auto accidents (lots and lots of overturned vehicles out this way) then fires. Heck, we probably have to lay a line on a call less than 10x a year. While we haven't ignored it's primary role as a first-end suppression piece, a little-bit-higher hosebed isn't the end of the world for us, although it might not be quite as nimble as some of the inner-city rigs out there.
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    I'm not a fan of raised roofs either. If you can't be slightly hunched over going from the jump seat to the door, you need to stop complaining.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    The new engine we're about to buy at home is going to go to about 10x more auto accidents (lots and lots of overturned vehicles out this way) then fires. Heck, we probably have to lay a line on a call less than 10x a year. While we haven't ignored it's primary role as a first-end suppression piece, a little-bit-higher hosebed isn't the end of the world for us, although it might not be quite as nimble as some of the inner-city rigs out there.
    We are very much in the same boat. We run a 1800 gal side mount pumper tanker out of the north station because water is scarce out there. But that truck runs 10x the mva runs as it does structure fires.

    We run a 1000 gal mid mount out of the south and it makes 15x as many MVAs as fires. Correction, it sits on the highway and we get gobs of car fires as well.

    We have stuck with commercial chassis up to now, but with an interstate and several expected industrial expansions, we will be looking for a larger cab to meet our needs.
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    re: raised roof apparatus

    Quote Originally Posted by donethat View Post
    Exactly! You nailed it! It only encourages members to stand up during a response.
    Honestly, being in a department with both raised roof's and normal roof's, this sounds like an internal "culture" issue.

    All our ALF Engines, Telesquirts, the mid-mount tower and reserve squads are all raised roofs. No one has been "encouraged" to stand up in them at all.
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    The main reason is, the mission has changed. The fire department is now being asked to do more (EMS, techincal rescue, etc.) with less (less manpower = less apparatus going to one scene). We also have new technology that is more or less expected to be on an apparatus, that we didn't have, or maybe weren't relying on as much, in the 60s, 70s, or 80s (SCBA and the support equipment they require come to mind).

    However, I think apparatus growth has hit a breaking point. The trucks are now as wide, tall, and long as they can be and still fit on the road. We will have to start being more selective on what equipment we will carry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnVBFD View Post
    re: raised roof apparatus



    Honestly, being in a department with both raised roof's and normal roof's, this sounds like an internal "culture" issue.

    All our ALF Engines, Telesquirts, the mid-mount tower and reserve squads are all raised roofs. No one has been "encouraged" to stand up in them at all.
    I'll second that John. Coming from a department that has the same scenario, some raised roofs and some standard roofs, no one has ever stood in a cab while enroute to a call.

    -First, the minute they get back to the station there would be a serious butt chewing from the OIC.

    -Second, get enough taliking too's and write-ups come next.

    -Third, no one I know has any desire to stand up in the cab of a moving apparatus, why would anyone for that matter?

    Just my $0.02 worth though. If a department has an issue with personnel standing up in the cab of a moving apparatus becuase they bought raised cabs, well, that sounds like a discipline issue to me. Firefighters need to have discipline just as military personnel have discipline. Otherwise, that's how preventable incidents happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFWALT View Post
    I've been wondering about this one for a while now. Aside from multipurpose rigs (rescue engines/engine tankers, etc), why are apparatus getting larger? I understand that the options you chose will potentially affect the size of the apparatus. I understand that an extended front bumper adds length, I understand that a top mount pump panel adds 24+ inches. For the sake of this discussion we are talking about suppression engines.
    Do you think the increase in size is related to safety requirements (such as enclosed cabs)? Do you think the increase is due to technology? What other theories do you have?
    I think back to our 1972 Mack CF 1250 gpm pumper or consider our 1983 Sutphen 1500 gpm pumper. Both these apparatus are relatively short (< 30') and the Mack is double short (< 9' OAH). Then I think about our relatively newer apparatus, regardless of custom or commercial (obviously the custom is shorter) they are longer and taller, even with the same size tank and basic equipment. They just sit higher. I'm thinking about a 1,500 midship pump, 600 gallon tank, 30 gallon foam, (2) 200' 1 3/4" preconnects, generator and a hose bed capable of 1,500' 5" LDH and 1,000' 3". Any builder can build a short apparatus but usually you are giving something up to get the short length and low height. I'm not looking to debate builders but instead the industry.
    What are your views?
    Cabs are a substantial piece of it. When I started in the mid 80's, engines from the 70's/early 80's had a typical canopy style cab that could seat 4, 5 I guess if you put three up front. 10-15 years later as enclosed cabs became the norm, my department was buying 8-10 man enclosed cabs. I'm sure a 1970's 4/5 man canopy style was far shorter (and lighter) than a modern enclosed cab with seating from 8 on up. Tanks were typically 500 gallon back then (even a few 300 gallon commerical units I remember) and that has grown in my experience to 750-1000 gallons. Compartment space has also grown as well. Pump size has increased from 1000-1250 to 1500-2000 with larger pump box space.

    Engines have gotten to big in my opinion, but I think a short 6 man cab with a 1250 pump, 750 tank and reasonable compartment space can be built in a reasonable size and is a good fit for a urban/suburban district with hydrants from my experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rico64 View Post
    Cabs are a substantial piece of it. When I started in the mid 80's, engines from the 70's/early 80's had a typical canopy style cab that could seat 4, 5 I guess if you put three up front. 10-15 years later as enclosed cabs became the norm, my department was buying 8-10 man enclosed cabs. I'm sure a 1970's 4/5 man canopy style was far shorter (and lighter) than a modern enclosed cab with seating from 8 on up. Tanks were typically 500 gallon back then (even a few 300 gallon commerical units I remember) and that has grown in my experience to 750-1000 gallons. Compartment space has also grown as well. Pump size has increased from 1000-1250 to 1500-2000 with larger pump box space.

    Engines have gotten to big in my opinion, but I think a short 6 man cab with a 1250 pump, 750 tank and reasonable compartment space can be built in a reasonable size and is a good fit for a urban/suburban district with hydrants from my experience.
    I was under the impression that a 1250 pump and a 1500 pump were the same pump housing. Just a difference in plumping. So wounldn't the size be the same?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFD21C View Post
    I was under the impression that a 1250 pump and a 1500 pump were the same pump housing. Just a difference in plumping. So wounldn't the size be the same?
    The standard midship pumps are the same from Waterous and Hale, and presumably Darley. The difference in the plumbing frequently is the reason for the need for more pump house space. But end suction pumps, where they are used, are changing things.

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    Default Pump Size

    Hale and Waterous both have two midship pump sizes. The smaller is rated from 750 - 1250 gpm. and the larger model is rated from 1,250 - 2,000 gpm. depending on engine horsepower and number of discharges.

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    With Hale pumps...

    Small case is the Q-Flo 750 to 1250 gpm, Large case is the Q-Max, 1000-2250
    gpm in the midship split drive pumps.. Q-Max requires higher HP engines than the Q-Flo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firesarge69 View Post
    In my area we were tasked with having to search for missing persons using a radio frequency device. Not that it is that busy but it was something the cops did not want to deal with.
    If you've got a Civil Air Patrol (The Air Force Auxiliary) unit in the area you might want to talk to them. They're already trained to use radio direction finding to locate missing airplanes (both from the air and on the ground) and ground search and rescue and would probably love to get involved with that sort of mission. Drawback is, of course, that they are volunteers and response times may be spotty. Also, activation is slightly more complicated than just calling a guy on the phone, but isn't that big a deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by don120 View Post
    With Hale pumps...

    Small case is the Q-Flo 750 to 1250 gpm, Large case is the Q-Max, 1000-2250
    gpm in the midship split drive pumps.. Q-Max requires higher HP engines than the Q-Flo.
    Not always true. You can get a small case Hale DSD pedestal style pump rated up to 1,500 gpm, but the comparable pedestal from Waterous only goes to 1,250. I know, the two styles are different animals...
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    Good stuff here (yes, I know I'm a little late to the party).

    Short of a full blown rescue-engine, most of the compartments specified today are way under-utilized. Tell me it's "space for the future", but I see plenty of rigs from 15 years ago that have yet to push their compartmentation limits. Most departments would rather spend $30K+ on a bigger body (and every component that must be up-sized because of that) than spend $10K and some extra man hours creatively planning and executing custom equipment mounting jobs that make effective use of available space.

    This problem is further exacerbated by departments one-upping the neighbors (even sub-consciously) and manufacturers offering the larger bodies and higher hosebeds as their standard configurations - you have to ask specially for a short body and a low hosebed! Why isn't that standard, and you can get bigger from there if you have to? By all means, if you need a larger tank, more hose, more ladders, more compartment space - buy the size body you need. But don't carelessly spec a larger body just so you can toss equipment into it.

    Size has crept up so much without us noticing, it has just become accepted.

    Six-man extended cabs are the norm, even though most departments are lucky to run out the door with 3-4.

    Speedlays add 12"+ to the length of the pump house, instead of simpler, shorter solutions. The pump house by itself has crept up to 48-54", instead of a reasonable 44".

    Top-mount pumps are commonplace, in the name of operator safety, despite the fact that other design and procedural options could easily be safer.

    Through-the-tank ladders and suction hose push the hosebed up and the body longer, even if the space outboard of the tank isn't utilized.

    Full-height-full-depth compartments are specified to carry "all the extra equipment we need to carry today"; yet how much space does a gas meter, a TIC, a 1st-in EMS bag, a backboard, and a bag of speedy-dry take up?

    I'm not against large apparatus - I'm just against apparatus that's larger than it needs to be. Start with a DCFD engine company and carefully consider every extra inch from there.

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