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Thread: Gear Grid 24" TOG wall lockers -- couple of questions if you use them

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    Question Gear Grid 24" TOG wall lockers -- couple of questions if you use them

    I'm a citizen doing research for new FD station: They have listed 24" Gear Grid lockers for TOG storage -- I've seen website but for anyone using them: Do they have enough room to store two sets of turnout gear or only one or one plus some parts of second? We're being told that they need two lockers per FF because they have two sets -but- I now highly suspect that many carry 2nd set in POV since we have lots of call-backs in our 22 FF dept with 6/5 per shift.
    At $400 per unit, those extra lockers add up to a fair amt as well as the extra SF in bldg for them. We currently have some wood "locker" cabinets for gear but I don't have measurements to compare size.

    Thanks for any advice!


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    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    You can get two sets in one, it's cramped but it can be done. However, they are designed for one set and here's a good reason. If you put a wet or damp set in there, they won't get enough airflow to dry out properly. If a guy has two pair of boots, they will not fit side by side with the drops over them. Also, you should account for wildland gear, Haz mat gear, USAR gear if you have any of those specialty items.
    I have two racks as does everyone else, with one special boy who has bled over to a third. I keep my Haz mat gear, spare turnouts, and wildland gear in one rack(all in bags). The second rack is for my in service gear. Works out well.
    I'd say, if you've got the dough, buy the second rack for them. IMHO.
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    I concur with Brother Snowball.

    My gear locker for my per diem gig at the Massachusetts Fire Academy is the 24" Gear Grid. Even with the one set of turnouts I have there, storage is tight. Buy the second rack, if the department adds personnel you will already have the expansion space.
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    Thanks guys for the feedback!

    A couple of us just found it highly suspicious when original specs called for a total of 40 lockers for 24 (4 full shifts of 6) + 6 call FF + a couple for admin + a few for possible 7th FF per shift expansion and now we need 48 just for the 24 regulars (of which we only have 22 due to retirements)..what happened to the call/admin/expansion? Hummm...

    Like I said, I'm not sure what size the current wood lockers are but I know there's no more than about 25-30 or so...I didn't count them last fall at open house.

    And IF they now carry 2nd set in POV for callbacks, not sure why they wouldnt continue to do so in future.

    Gonzo -- but if we add FF's, then some will not have two lockers so that creates inequity so what then? There's no room to add more lockers.

    BTW, I could see having some other shelving or such to hold just gear bags in same area which would be lower cost -and- we will have a place to hang wet gear separately.
    Last edited by J_Hallgren; 06-01-2013 at 09:43 AM.

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Gonzo -- but if we add FF's, then some will not have two lockers so that creates inequity so what then? There's no room to add more lockers.
    This is the prime reason that when you build a brand new firehouse or add on to an existing one, be sure to build it with the future in mind. Paying a little more to make extra room now is cheaper than adding on later!
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    DC Gonzo -- it's a new station on same site as old -- but -- first plan of 24K SF at $9.5M failed by 2/3 vote as "TOO BIG - TOO $$$" abou 18 mths ago so now we have 2nd architect with revised plan of 20K SF at $11M so there will be really NO room for expansion, esp for lockers -- however -- any expansion is planned via a substation in my part of town that we also hope to get in maybe 5-10-15 yrs so limiting hdqtrs SF now helps that arguement -- to big a hdqtrs means no chance for a substation.

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hallgren View Post
    DC Gonzo -- it's a new station on same site as old -- but -- first plan of 24K SF at $9.5M failed by 2/3 vote as "TOO BIG - TOO $$$" abou 18 mths ago so now we have 2nd architect with revised plan of 20K SF at $11M so there will be really NO room for expansion, esp for lockers -- however -- any expansion is planned via a substation in my part of town that we also hope to get in maybe 5-10-15 yrs so limiting hdqtrs SF now helps that arguement -- to big a hdqtrs means no chance for a substation.
    This proves my point. By not approving the 1st plan and waiting.. they are paying more for less!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    This proves my point. By not approving the 1st plan and waiting.. they are paying more for less!
    True -- but -- we're also finding that original plan/estimate had some fairly major ommisions in terms of site work, relocation costs, fixtures/equip. etc. so not all is due to cost escalation -- and we have some concerns that prior estimate also underpriced some cost per SF even at that time.

    However, all who've reviewed new plans say it's much better in terms of traffic flow and usage -- more straight line from 1st floor "dorm" vs convoluted path from 2nd flr "dorm", etc. -- and some what we as citizens saw as "want" not "need" has been trimmed (you don't need a 18'Hx18'W bay slot for a 15' Zodiac boat -- a 12'Hx12W' aux one will do fine) or things that were oversized have been adjusted (like mechanical, etc)...it'll still be more than double our current 60 yr old station in SF.

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    Upd/Addendum: Stopped by the station today while in town -- asked Captain about how they do 2nd set TOG now -- said they all have in POV -- but -- the new NFPA stds that will begin July(?) say you shouldn't do so due to toxins so they will have to change their SOP and go to to station first to pick up -- not sure what effect that may have on response time but could be an issue, though it helps explain why 2nd lockers were wanted now maybe.

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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    See photo of standard gear lockers. Two sets can be inserted in same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    See photo of standard gear lockers. Two sets can be inserted in same.
    Thx for that pix! I'm not that familar with who's who - are those Gear Grid or Ready Rack(?) ones? Gear Grid std lockers are 16" wide, i think it was and their Jumbo's were 24" - both 20" deep -- which size are in pix?
    So that's from your dept/station, I take it, and you have no space issues with two sets in one? I realize ideal is one set for better ventilation but IF any wet ones are kept elsewhere until dry, that should be less of an issue.

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    My company is currently temporary assigned to the station that is pictured. The gear racks are nice. Before we moved in each member had two racks. However with two companies in the station now each member has one. Each member has two sets of turn out gear. For us two sets in one locker works. However the 2nd set is not kept with boots in them. They are hung on a regular coat hanger like you would hang a suit. You could not get two sets with boots in them. Two helmets would not fit on the top shelf with out stacking them. They are probably the 24 inch ones. I cannot say for sure since I have not measured them. I personally would opt for the larger number of gear racks. As has been stated before you never know when growth will occur build it with the future in mind. For example that station that captain old timer has pictured was designed for one company. It has been opened for about a year now. My station is being rebuilt as we speak. We are relocated to the new station during the rebuild. Since the station was designed well no modifications had to be made to house the addtional 15 ffs. One the other hand the rescue company that I normally share quarters with was moved to a older house and several modifications had to be made to house the additional 21 Ffs in that house.

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    We have the 24" Gear Grid lockers at my VFD, and although two sets of gear COULD be stored in them, it would be very tight. As RFD21C said, the main issue would be what to do with the second set of boot/pants combination, as this eats up a significant portion of the width of the locker is taken up by the boots and pants.

    One of the things that we wish we'd put more planning into during the construction of our new station in 2011 was the location of the wall-mounted HVAC controls, exhaust fan controls, CO monitors and other similar items in the bays. When we were installing the lockers towards the end of the construction period, we discovered that we didn't have space on the wall for 5 of them because of these other wall-mounted accessories. Luckily, we have a large mezzanine where we could mount the extras and use them for storage of extra gear, etc.

    I can get some photos if it would help...
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    We have the 24" Gear Grid lockers at my VFD, and although two sets of gear COULD be stored in them, it would be very tight. As RFD21C said, the main issue would be what to do with the second set of boot/pants combination, as this eats up a significant portion of the width of the locker is taken up by the boots and pants.
    Forgive my lack of knowledge on this but would the second set need to be 'assembled' in terms of boot/pants? Are they attached in some way or as RFD21C wrote, if pants were hung up vs draped, would that help? I guess it depends on how much time it would take to make it ready-to-wear and how often it may occur...and boot storage is still an issue...would another shelf help?

    We're currently planning to have TOG lockers under mezzanine in what would otherwise be center bay of multi-bay station so it's also a pass-thru to engine bays..so..doubt there would be any thing on walls there interfering.


    I can get some photos if it would help...
    Not at this point -- your desc has helped so far.

    Based on what y'all have written thus far, which has been quite helpful , I'm still wondering if some racks/shelves that could hold 2nd set in gear bags would be not only cheaper than $400 per GG locker but take less SF as well...I've not seen how big a gear bag with a full TOG set is but am guessing it may fit into a 2' x 2' x 2' cube space or close to that? I'm excluding helmet as that might be able to be hung somewhere on hook like our existing wood lockers have.

    Because in a 24" x 20" floor space, you can only have on GG locker -but- you could get at least 3 or 4 cubes as above in a bit more space...even if it were only two, that would reduce floor space by 50% for second sets.

    Addendum: AFAIK, we don't have any wildland gear -- if we do, not sure where it's stored now...don't know about hazmat gear but suspect it may be elsewhere (we have some specialty trailers)...
    Last edited by J_Hallgren; 06-03-2013 at 02:09 AM.

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    Our old gear storage was a cube that was about what u described. It would fit but it was crammed in the cube. Drying it was next to impossible. My department is issued two sets we do not so call back. Each firefighter swaps the gear monthly or earlier it get nasty wet or what not. One thing to keep in mind a set of full turn out gear can run $3000. Keeping it crammed in a cubical would be akin to taking your suit at home and putting it in a drawer. The air cannot circulate around it which can lead to mildew and mold. Even if you cut the number of gear racks by half you will save peanuts when compared to the total cost of the station. The most you could save is less than 1% of the 11m construction estimate. If you are trying to cut cost to male the budget work it is one thing. However if you are going line by line to reduce the tax burden. The gear racks are going to cost less the a penny per $100 tax assessment. In construction you are going to pay either way on the front end or the back end. It is usually cheaper to pay on the front end

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    Whether 2 sets of DRY gear will fit in a locker or not isn't really the big question to ask. The big question to ask is after a fire, when your gear is wet, or after you wash your gear and it is wet, where do you hang it to dry? You can't hang it to dry in a locker cramped with another set of gear because you can't open it up enough to dry. So if you don't have adequate room in the locker room for gear to dry the firefighters fall back on the old standby of hanging it anywhere and everywhere around the apparatus bay to dry. Which in my opinion is inefficient and looks like crap.

    I have often wondered why in most new firehouses, during the design phase there isn't more thought put into a place for drying gear. Heck, all it would need to be is a room the size of a closet with adequate airflow, or even with a small heater in it to allow heated air to circulate around the gear to dry it faster and more efficiently. There are also a miriad of commercial dryers on the market for turnout gear. Yes, they take up space, and yes it adds to the cost, but properly maintained turn out gear has a much longer life than gear that isn't washed or dried properly.

    I am curious as to why citizens are designing the firehouse. It would seem to me that the firefighters using the space would be far more in touch with what the needs would be than those not working in the fire department. The one comment I would add to your square foot storage area for the boat is let's say you design that area specifically to fit only that boat. What happens if in 5 or 10 years that boat is no longer adequate and they need a bigger boat? Where do they put it? The point is when you plan a firehouse you have to look at life expectancy of the building, which is usually 20-40 years and you need to plan for the future, not what is current, but what the needs are projected to be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Whether 2 sets of DRY gear will fit in a locker or not isn't really the big question to ask. The big question to ask is after a fire, when your gear is wet, or after you wash your gear and it is wet, where do you hang it to dry? You can't hang it to dry in a locker cramped with another set of gear because you can't open it up enough to dry. So if you don't have adequate room in the locker room for gear to dry the firefighters fall back on the old standby of hanging it anywhere and everywhere around the apparatus bay to dry. Which in my opinion is inefficient and looks like crap.
    Understood -- but as currently designed, these lockers will only be used for dry gear...specs show hanging rods in room with washer/dryer/extractor for this purpose.

    We also have around 40 true fire calls per year so it's more likely they will get wet on EMS call from rain/snow.

    My point is that if we need to relocate 2nd gear sets from POV's using gear bags due to new NFPA, why can't we simply provide sheving/cubes to store them? A gear bag in trunk of a POV doesn't get much air circulation, it would seem.

    I have often wondered why in most new firehouses, during the design phase there isn't more thought put into a place for drying gear. Heck, all it would need to be is a room the size of a closet with adequate airflow, or even with a small heater in it to allow heated air to circulate around the gear to dry it faster and more efficiently. There are also a miriad of commercial dryers on the market for turnout gear. Yes, they take up space, and yes it adds to the cost, but properly maintained turn out gear has a much longer life than gear that isn't washed or dried properly.
    Agreed - and - we have in specs a commercial heated TOG drying cabinet in addition to rods as above! Because that is one single equipment expense and not SF + lockers. If they want to cut that drying cabinet, then that (to me) would force the requirement for more places to properly hang wet gear, be it GG lockers or other places.

    I am curious as to why citizens are designing the firehouse. It would seem to me that the firefighters using the space would be far more in touch with what the needs would be than those not working in the fire department. The one comment I would add to your square foot storage area for the boat is let's say you design that area specifically to fit only that boat. What happens if in 5 or 10 years that boat is no longer adequate and they need a bigger boat? Where do they put it? The point is when you plan a firehouse you have to look at life expectancy of the building, which is usually 20-40 years and you need to plan for the future, not what is current, but what the needs are projected to be.
    We're not designing it really -- we're reviewing plans and working revisions to try and make sure it will be kept under control so it has some chance of getting approved by voters. The prior plan went thru same process and was much more influenced by FD and that failed by 2/3 vote as stated.

    We presently have that 15' Zodiac on trailer (taking up about 6-7' width so having 18' wide spot for it seems overkill) and I don't see that boat size increasing because the larger boats are handled by the harbormaster and we also have Coast Guard station in town with their boats so FD just needs a small one to get in ponds, shallow areas and such. Also, as I think I wrote, we hope to get a substation in 10-15 yrs so that will free up at least 2 large bay slots.
    Last edited by J_Hallgren; 06-03-2013 at 03:38 PM.

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    We also have around 40 true fire calls per year so it's more likely they will get wet on EMS call from rain/snow.
    Which community is this being built in?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Which community is this being built in?
    It's a town on Cape Cod MA -> Chatham

    There are obviously a quite nbr of other calls where they would get TOG wet -- but that would be most likely caused by nature - I think annual runs is around 2700 total.
    Last edited by J_Hallgren; 06-03-2013 at 08:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Hallgren View Post
    It's a town on Cape Cod MA -> Chatham

    There are obviously a quite nbr of other calls where they would get TOG wet -- but that would be most likely caused by nature - I think annual runs is around 2700 total.
    Take a ride over to Harwich and see what they did with locker space at their fairly new HQ station.
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 06-03-2013 at 08:49 PM.
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