1. #1
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    Default officer side pump panel

    Has any department run a pumper with the pump panel on the officer side? This came up in a meeting I was at last night. Several firefighters on a department that is specing a new truck are considering it. There reasoning is that under most conditions, it would put the pump operator on a safer side of the pumper, so the pump operator is not standing out in traffic. Their trying to keep the pumper as short as possible so top mount is not really a option. Any thoughts????
    Last edited by volfireman034; 02-23-2011 at 09:04 AM.

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    Talking

    There are many out there.
    Adam has one on their recent Crimson. It's a rear mount with panel on rt rear compartment.

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    The Singerly Fire Company of Elkton, Maryland (Cecil County) was a dedicated American Lafrance buyer for years, from the days of standard officer side panels on 700 Series ALF's. For the longest time they continued to order officer side panels whenever they could, including on an HME/M & W engine and squrt in the late 1990's. I understand that both pieces were sent out for refurb, and came back with driver side panels.

    IMO, it's all in how you place the rig. Turn it inwards towards the wreck if the driver is going to be exposed to traffic. Why spend all that money????
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    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    Has any department run a pumper with the pump panel on the officer side? This came up in a meeting I was at last night. Several firefighters on a department that is specing a new truck are considering it. There reasoning is that under most conditions, it would put the pump operator on a safer side of the pumper, so the pump operator is not standing out in traffic. Their trying to keep the pumper as short as possible so top mount is not really a option. Any thoughts????
    What about a rear mount panel?

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    I suggested rear mount and at the time they hadn't really thought about it but thats on the table now to.

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    American LaFrance and other older makers had them on the right side for years.


    The rear pump panel, in my opinion, would be too close to the hose bed and the operator would have some problems back there.

    E-One however did make a Hush Model at one time putting the engine compartment at the rear. it didn't last long, but left the pump panel was on the drivers side..
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    We had a top mount, while it was a pain in the #$# in regards to the mechanicals of the valve controls, it was awesome for operating.

    You were off the street, high up, easy access (visually and physically) to both sides and you could also work the deck gun.

    Unfortunatly, the bad taste from the problems with linkages and added length to the engine made it unworkable with future engines for us.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Standing out in traffic? I have to assume you are talking about during car fires. And my quick answer would be why is the pump operator standing at the pump panel for a car fire? Charge the line, move to a safe spot. Can't see a reason to have a guy standing there with just 1 line running. What is he doing? Seems like a lot simpler operation than the additional cost of reversing a pump panel.
    "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?

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    We operate two engines with officer's curb side pump panels.

    1. 1995 Spartan / New Lexington on a Spartan GT-1 Chassis. This unit has a rear, motor, rear pump and a rear officer's curb side pump panel.

    2. 2010 Spartan / Darley on a Spartan MetroStar Chassis. This unit has a midship pump with a midship officer's curb side pump panel.

    There are photos of both in this thread: http://www.firehouse.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116108 (PolyBilt Body In Progress)

    Additional information is also available on the FD website:

    http://www.bruinvfd.com/apparatus.htm
    http://www.bruinvfd.com/news.htm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWHVArxU5Xw

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    The only two right-side pump panels I've ever operated were on 700 series ALF, with the American LaFrance pumps (but never at a fire). Seems to be 6 or 1/2 dozen. I do remember these things I didn't like:

    1) Had to run around to other side of truck to pump truck.

    2) Wasn't as convenient to check gauges on the instrument panel.

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    Our latest rescue pumper has a rear mounted pump panel on the driver's side with all electric valve controls, and have no issues with it being in the way. We also have the ability to open the tank to pump and the front pumper preconnect (150'), so on a typical car fire the operator can pump from the driver seat.

    I often wonder, with modern electronic pump panels, why a truck can not be set up to be entirely pumped from the driver seat (ARFF trucks come to mind).

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    There are many out there.
    Adam has one on their recent Crimson. It's a rear mount with panel on rt rear compartment.
    Adam's engine is a Toyne on a Spartan chassis. Panel is on the right side. I don't know if he cares to comment on that or not.

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    City Of Toronto has had the Officer side Pump Panel for the past ten years on their fleet

    these are currently in production, note the pump panel on the officer side

    http://www.crimson-fire.com/delivery.aspx?id=32830

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcwops View Post
    I often wonder, with modern electronic pump panels, why a truck can not be set up to be entirely pumped from the driver seat (ARFF trucks come to mind).
    I'm sure it could... cash is king.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianFyrTrks View Post
    City Of Toronto has had the Officer side Pump Panel for the past ten years on their fleet

    these are currently in production, note the pump panel on the officer side

    http://www.crimson-fire.com/delivery.aspx?id=32830
    Don't they drive on the wrong side of the road, so its no biggie.

    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Has anybody run into any problems having the pump panel on the same side of the truck as the exhaust? On the surface, it would concern me slightly that with a mid mount setup, your pump operator is standing right next to the exhaust.

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    I will comment on our Toyne right/officer side pump panel. This could have be the single largest mistake we made on this truck. It's not a huge issue, but does lead to a few operational problems.

    We couldn't decide which side to go with, as it was suggested that the officers' side was further from the travel lane. Our normal would be to shut down the road all together if the truck was being pumped or equipment is being used out of the compartments (no multi-lane highways). We decided that since we'd set the truck up with the "fire side" on the officer's side and the rescue side being on the driver's side (rescue pumper) the panel would naturally be on the fire side, which also happened to have the most space available.

    The issues:
    1. We had not considered that NFPA requires the exhaust to exit on the opposite side of as the pump panel. This required a move to the driver's side which changes the in station exhaust venting. We now have only one bay this engine can sit in connected to the system, and no ability to connect while in other houses for coverage.

    2. The bigger issue is that we run a lot of EMS back-up runs, assisting the crew with lifting and extra hands on codes, unconscious, serious trauma, etc. This ends up with the engine not blocking the lane most of the time and putting the pump panel close to the snow banks (real issue this winter!) and the curb. The curb problem is that the operator has that pesky 6" trip just behind them all the time. It's real easy to back up and trip or roll your ankle when you're parked within 24" of the curb.

    3. Lastly, is the minor slowing of the operator having to pass to the opposite side of the apparatus to engage the pump when working assists. During winter months the operator engages the pump and throttles up every time he/she exits the engine, but their assigned tools are nearest the cab on their side, forcing them to double back after doing any pump work.

    In the end we'll definitely go to the driver's side on all future panels (we'll never do another top mount) just for the exhaust and curb issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    I suggested rear mount and at the time they hadn't really thought about it but thats on the table now to.
    Ours is a rear mount pump with the right side panel. I'm pretty much against rear panels as they tend to put the operator right in the way of many moving parts. On the side, we afford the operator no hoses to trip over, no ladders being retrieved, not hoses being pulled, etc. Not to mention the rear is the absolute dirtiest part of a vehicle with a constant barrage of road dust/dirt, so any exposed moving parts are that less reliable or easy to operate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoaddoggAK View Post
    Has anybody run into any problems having the pump panel on the same side of the truck as the exhaust? On the surface, it would concern me slightly that with a mid mount setup, your pump operator is standing right next to the exhaust.
    Not an issue as the exhaust is routed to discharge on the driver's side of the vehicles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ejfeicht View Post
    Not an issue as the exhaust is routed to discharge on the driver's side of the vehicles.
    Not sure you can do that now with the new EPA restrictions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoaddoggAK View Post
    Has anybody run into any problems having the pump panel on the same side of the truck as the exhaust? On the surface, it would concern me slightly that with a mid mount setup, your pump operator is standing right next to the exhaust.
    As was noted the exhaust discharges on the opposite side, but the concern in not without note as ours is very close to the wheel chock holders which has resulted in at least one arm hair clearing when one of our operator went to put back a chock and the new high exhaust temp singed him, luckily no burn. I guess that could be a benefit of the driver's side exhaust: no melting Prius's.

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    Most all the controls now are electronic. If you did all electric valves you should be able to put the controls easily anywhere on the truck. I'm for a touch panel on the doghouse for cold weather.

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    I forgot to add that our right side rear mount panel is about as mechanical is you can get today. All valves are short push-pull (1.75" discharges) or handwheels (2.5" or greater discharges). The only electronics are the throttle, the water and foam level gauges and the foam proportioner/meters. We found that with Toyne we could have it our way and have it work well. Not all builders were as willing to work with us on this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RKSmith163 View Post
    Most all the controls now are electronic.
    That may be true where money grows on trees....
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    One issue I haven't seen mentioned: LDH supply lines. Either OSHA or NFPA was requiring no big lines going into the operator's pump panel last I heard. Going with an officer's side panel means your supply lines are always hanging out in the street, where they block access for other rigs and invite slack jawed retreads to run over them. It removes the option of plugging them in curbside, where they're out of the way. Assuming, of course, that the fire is on the right side of the street...

    As far as the exhaust issue goes, why not just get vertical stacks?

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