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Thread: Water and coolers on rigs..how does your dept keep it fresh?

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    Default Water and coolers on rigs..how does your dept keep it fresh?

    I'm in a small volunteer dept with a low call volume. Most of our rigs have coolers, and some even have water (bottled). Problem is, the trucks are not run every day like they would be on a busy dept and most of this stuff just goes bad. Keeping ice in the coolers is not really possible, and the water seems to go out of date (yeah - some of it really does have a date..)

    What has your dept done to alleviate this? I'm just trying to come up with a way to keep the water fresh, so we have it on scene when needed. I hate to throw out bottles of water, but these rigs are in non air conditioned station bays and the water is cooking. -You know the whole plastic bottle in a hot car..not good for you type stuff.

    The only thing I can think of is having some person that is auxiliary or not busy leave the scene and drive to some store to buy water..but that isn't always possible when you need the water right away on a working fire.

    Any ideas?

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    We keep bottle water on our rigs and someone grabs a cooler from the station and fills it with ice when it looks like we are going to be on a call for a while. Short of that I guess you'll have to get use to drinking warm/hot water. Hey at least its wet.
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    Have someone donate an ice box and locate it near the rigs with the water in the cooler already to grab

    And rotate the water

    Or a rehab team set up??? And that is all they do

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    We put a dorm-style fridge on our heavy rescue hooked to a transfer switch, so it stays running as long as the rig in plugged in while in the bays, and it also runs off the generator on the scene. We keep about 20-25 bottled waters in it which are generally cool (not cold) after an incident.

    The rig goes out about 3x a week if that gives you some idea on our call volume...
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    We put a dorm-style fridge on our heavy rescue hooked to a transfer switch, so it stays running as long as the rig in plugged in while in the bays, and it also runs off the generator on the scene....
    We have same setup on our rescue engine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    We put a dorm-style fridge on our heavy rescue hooked to a transfer switch, so it stays running as long as the rig in plugged in while in the bays, and it also runs off the generator on the scene. We keep about 20-25 bottled waters in it which are generally cool (not cold) after an incident.

    The rig goes out about 3x a week if that gives you some idea on our call volume...
    I mutual aid with a crew that does the same thing. I love when they hand those suckers out on scene.

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    Get a Pelican Cooler. Once everything inside it is cold, you'll only need to refill it with ice about once a week. That's what we run on our Air Unit. We got the 95 quart model, holds over 80 twenty ounce ice water bottles, plus a boat load of ice. We also have the dorm-style fridge on it, wired to the shoreline. It's filled with Gatorade.
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    We don't worry about cold. Wet is good enough.

    There's usually a case or two on the engine and the brush truck. Occasionally somebody leaves a "new" bottle or two in the tanker, but that's usually accidental.

    We don't go out a lot, but it's enough to keep the stock more or less rotated.

    There is water in an old fridge in the station, too.
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    Dorm style fridge onboard stocked with bottled water. Cheap investment to keep your men hydrated and happy.
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    We have 3 gallon igloo coolers on all of our apparatus.

    We use a small mixing bowl and create a giant ice cube which we put in with the water.

    Every 3 days we switch out the water. It is a part of our apparatus checks.

    If we have an incident where the water is used, we switch out the water following the incident.

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    We've got a couple of the round coolers we leave at the back of the station next to the ice machine. We leave some bottled water and gatorade/powerade in the coolers. When we go out on a call, we dump ice in the cooler and put it on the rig before we leave.

    Bottled water last about a year, but we were given some canned water by a local beverage distributor that apparently lasts forever as long as the aluminum can isn't punctured. Doesn't taste as good as the bottled stuff, but it is water.

    Someone took a picture of one of us drinking a can at a fire scene a couple of years back, and unfortunately the firefighter's thumb was near the top of the can and obscured the large block print "DRINKING WATER". We were accused briefly of drinking while firefighting, as the can in all other ways resembled the beverages being distributed.

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    We carry bottled water. Its warm, but its wet. Also, consider stocking some powdered Gatorade. They come in different flavors and can be mixed in the water bottles.

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    You can also coodinate with your EMS to maintain a stock of bottled water, ice, and coolers, that they can bring out if they are on standby or doing rehab. Maybe you could arrange to have a used or donated fridge that they could store it in for you.

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    Another older thread updated. Bear with me. One of the acting Firefigher or dedicated promoted Engineers jobs was to frequently dismount, scrub, clean and refill that yellow big water jug can carried on the weed burners. We had a space in the kitchen refrigerator where a two gallon plastic water jug would freeze up with fresh tap water.

    Then the frozen water jug was placed inside the aforementioned yellow water container. The water container held about 5 gallons if memory serves. The ice kept the fresh water cool for about 12 hours. We had multiple 2 gallon gallon jugs freezing up. This worked quite well. Our grass fire drinking water was kept fresh and very cool.

    This was way before any dedicated Rehab company existed. We also tended to keep some fresh water in the cab of the engines. The ladder trucks never saw a grass fire, but they carried some fresh water. At structure fires we just used engine pumped water to drink or hose our selfs off with since it came from the city water mains.

    Hope this helps. Long ago and far away. Central Valley CA. About 1972 to about 1978. HB of CJ (old coot)

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    We have a dorm sized fridge on out rescue engine. Water never stays around long enough to get old.
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