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Thread: Rig Day - Anyone do this?

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    Default Rig Day - Anyone do this?

    Recently hired as fire chief. (Small volunteer department in southeastern AZ. 30ish members on the roster, only 5-10 show up.) Our firefighters only meet 2 nights a month, and I'd like to use those nights for training. Does anyone's department have a rig day or a day they tear into their apparatus and make sure all the equipment/supplies are there and they are operational? Or does anyone have suggestions as to how I might start one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by duncanfire325 View Post
    Recently hired as fire chief. (Small volunteer department in southeastern AZ. 30ish members on the roster, only 5-10 show up.) Our firefighters only meet 2 nights a month, and I'd like to use those nights for training. Does anyone's department have a rig day or a day they tear into their apparatus and make sure all the equipment/supplies are there and they are operational? Or does anyone have suggestions as to how I might start one?
    We run monthly apparatus checks before our monthly business meeting.

    Frankly, I would think recruitment, or finding out why 20-25 of your so called "members" aren't showing up might be a higher priority, at least initially.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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    Quote Originally Posted by duncanfire325 View Post
    Recently hired as fire chief. (Small volunteer department in southeastern AZ. 30ish members on the roster, only 5-10 show up.) Our firefighters only meet 2 nights a month, and I'd like to use those nights for training. Does anyone's department have a rig day or a day they tear into their apparatus and make sure all the equipment/supplies are there and they are operational? Or does anyone have suggestions as to how I might start one?
    Many years ago I had a friend on a Southern California paid department. One day of the week they had compartment day. All of the compartment equipment was removed, inspected/tested and the compartments cleaned. Another day was chassis day. Members were on creepers under the truck inspecting, cleaning as needed, reporting any problems. Another day was cab day. Another day was aerial day.
    You get my drift. Their 20 year old equipment looked almost brand new.
    Was a paid department, but maybe you can start a tradition of once a week with the vollys.
    Good luck
    RangerJake72 likes this.

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    Finding myself a little concerned that a guy hired to be Fire Chief has to ask for help on how to start a rig check night....
    "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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    Thank you all for your feedback! Bones: I wanted to see what folks around the country were doing to see if they dedicate a day/night especially to check their equipment or if they have it integrated as part of their regularly scheduled meeting/training nights.

    I do admit we've got a long ways to go, being the only certified firefighter in the department, and the only one who really cares about training, maintenance, etc. and the youngest fire chief the department has seen. But in my two months as fire chief I have cleared a few spots on the roster and seen some new members come in as well. And yes I know this is starting to get off the topic of apparatus checks, but hope it might have explained a little as to why I was looking for some help. Not starting from scratch, but close. Thank you all again.

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    Duncan: We do all of our business, drills & maintenance on Monday Nights. (been mondays since 1900) We run fire drills on the 4th Monday, Rescue drills on the 1st Monday, Regular business meetings on the 3rd Monday. This leaves the 2nd and 5th (if it happens for maintenance) Engineers work on rigs, officers check equipment, Station Capt's check hose (testing) and clean stations. Seems to work well enough for us. Occasionally the 5th Monday is used to clean and maintain the training tower.

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    Well its been 2 months since I asked for the advise regarding having a rig night. Here's what I came up with:

    We already met on the 2nd and 4th Monday nights for training. We have started meeting on the 1st and 3rd Monday nights for rig night. It has been beneficial and is a good way for your members to become more familiar with each piece of apparatus. It has also allowed us to keep the fire station cleaner and equipment checked and ready to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Finding myself a little concerned that a guy hired to be Fire Chief has to ask for help on how to start a rig check night....
    I have to agree with Bones -- you are not asking for pointers to improve your way, you are on a anonymous internet forum asking how to do a very basic task from people who have never laid eyes on your department and equipment. If you are a CHIEF -become a leader.
    ?

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    Well I appreciate your concern, and I have no trouble leading my crew. I was looking for information, not chastisement.
    Last edited by duncanfire325; 11-23-2013 at 09:51 PM.

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    Our VFD does about the same thing. Business meeting the 1st Thursday night, training on 3rd Thursday night, and truck night on the 1st Monday night of each month. Truck night trucks get checked over top to bottom, equipment checked over and cleaned as needed, and trucks washed. Of course we also make a point after each call to service the truck over and clean it as needed so it is ready for the next call in the same condition it started in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duncanfire325 View Post
    Well I appreciate your concern, and I have no trouble leading my crew. I was looking for information, not chastisement.
    Chief,

    I like the idea of a rig day versus the way we currently do it at one of my VFDs. The time is really too short before our business meeting to do a thorough job.

    Good luck.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
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    Chief,
    On my previous department we ran our practices/meetings on the 1st & 3rd Mondays. We used this time for exactly that, practice and meeting. My department had about the same number of members as yours. What we did was form 4 crews (battalions, platoons) each crew with a Captain and Lieutenant and 5 to 6 fire fighters. Each crew was responsible for doing equipment and truck checks once during an "on call" week that the crew was assigned to. The crew would assemble around 7pm on a Thursday night (not on a practice night) and using a truck check list (which included the inventory of equipment on the truck) we would go through every truck. We would check the equipment on each truck to be sure every piece was in good working order. The entire chassis was checked over as well including a 10 minute road test. About the only thing we would not do is flood the pumps and flow water.
    Now I don't know how many apparatus your department runs, but we had 6 apparatus. It would take about 1hr to 1 1/2 hr to do this truck check with one member checking an apparatus. Each crew would have to do this once every fours weeks on a rotating schedule with the other crews. If a member of the on call crew had time during the day to check a truck then they would go in and do a truck check and leave the filled in check sheet on the board at the hall letting the rest of the crew know that truck was done. By doing it this way each truck was checked every week. By assembling each crew once a month for this short period of time it also built a good team atmosphere as well.
    Just another way of doing things. Cheers.
    duncanfire325 likes this.
    Keep it real!

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    My department does weekly rig checks. As some guys said above it is good for everyone to know the rig inside and out. Also doing it weekly ensures that everything on the rig is maintained properly.

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    If you have a call where more people show up than needed, any extra personnel on station should be checking trucks. You should have a priority list that shows what needs to be checked and how often. You could also give someone drill credit for coming in and checking trucks on their own time if they can't make a meeting. That gets them involved and accomplishes the tasks as well.

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    Weekly here.

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    Back in the day, training was first and third Thursdays, officers met on second Thursdays. When there was a fifth Thursday, it was a maintenance meeting.
    Any time a truck responded to a call, the operator was responsible (with assistance of who ever was riding with them or standing around when they returned to the station) for checking SCBA, re-fuel, checking oil, making sure equipment was in place, small equipment had fuel, oil, etc. If it was dirty and time just wasn't right to wash the truck (hard to get people to wash a truck at 0300 hrs on a Wednesday morning) we'd let it go.
    Maintenance meetings was when everything but hose came off the truck, equipment inspected and cleaned, compartments and cab cleaned, every fluid from engine oil to pump transfer case to rear end checked, engine oil changed on a schedule, and a good wash job. We would divide the group up and hit every truck hard for 2 - 3 hours and get a lot done. If we had a driver/operator in training on a particular truck, they got to do most of this under the supervision of a senior member who knew all the secrets of that particular truck. This system worked well until we became a paid department.
    While we were all volunteer, most Sunday afternoons were an unofficial vehicle maintenance day. We would start washing the trucks, and by the time the day was done, all the trucks and POVs (and occasionally some cars of the pretty young ladies who would drop in to say hi) were standing tall and shiny.
    I kinda miss those days.

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