We are starting to spec a new pumper and are considering location for the pump panel. All of our previous pump panels are located in the traditional drivers side. We are considering top mount or even a rear side mount. What are your experiences with different pump panel locations? Looking for any input that may help.
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Thread: Pump Panels
06-15-2001, 07:52 PM #1CaptKup4Firehouse.com Guest
06-15-2001, 08:15 PM #2gah74Firehouse.com Guest
There are good and bad things about all of them. Most of our engines have the panel in the traditional spot, however, our engines stationed near the highway have top mount pump panels. The idea behind this was to get the driver off the highway when pumping. That's good and all, but most of their runs on the highway are MVA's w/ no fire anyway.
At structure fires, the top mounts are good for visibility, but it always seems like you're climbing up and down the engine to hook hoses up...then opening up another line...bringing a fan to the door...etc... So it tends to slow things down and increase the risk of a slip and fall accident. ...but if a hose breaks you are probably safer up high than down next to the intake.
My personal preference is for the traditional placement of the pump panel, but like everything else in the fire service, some of the other firefighter's swear by something else and really like the top mounts.
06-16-2001, 09:23 AM #3BFD847Firehouse.com Guest
Our newest pumpers are a rescue style with rear mount pump panel. I also agree there are pros and cons for all. However we have been very happy with these. Procedure for structure fires is to make a three sided aproach parking just past the structure. This makes the structure viewable by the pump operator. You are further away from the engine reducing engine noise. For highway use I feel it is better because you can position your truck and angle the pump panel further from on coming traffic.
We thought some about the top mount and I have used one. Very good visability. But as already mentioned much up and down. Also took away much needed space.
06-16-2001, 05:04 PM #4ChiefDogFirehouse.com Guest
On our newest engine we decided to put the panel at the normal left side position. However, we did not put any discharges at that location. Safety issue that came up at a visist of another department when we were looking around for ideas. They had had a fitting fail and take the operator in the chest. Overnight stay in the hospital, missed time from work.... We also only have the suction at this location. LDH intake is on the opposite side of the truck. We found that in most cases we used the preconnects or pulled off the back. So we put more discharges on the rear and none at the panel.
Just something to think about... may or may not work for your situation(s).
06-16-2001, 10:47 PM #5rcw5303Firehouse.com Guest
Our truck has the panel in the normal spot (left front). When we were looking for this truck we wanted a top mount panel for the visibility. We had a real problem with parking the pumper on the fire ground so that the pump operator could see the fire. So why did we go with the normal spot for our pump panel? Rear Suction!! We are a farming community with 99% of the houses way off the road. The answer to our placement problems is to aim the front of the truck at the fire. We set up the drop tanks at the back of the pumper. For us this has worked very well.
Hope this helps.
06-18-2001, 12:58 PM #6Fire/Rescue43Firehouse.com Guest
Our departments first and second due engines both have top mount pump panels. Our second out engine is 12 years old so we've been using top mount for 12 years now and have found they can be a blessing and a curse.
The good points, visability everyone who has replied has hit that one, operator safety you are away from the discharges and hoses. I was witness to an elbow failure it was thankfully on the rear of the engine but we found the missing part over 1000' from the appratus. User friendly, pressure gauges are above the valve levers, when flowing several lines its an easy right to left scan to check them all. The valve levers used on most top mounts are easier to open and close slowly.
Bad points, the climbing up and down, even with man saver bars and lots of grab bars you have to watch when getting up and down, I slipped off the deck while getting down, not fun! If the appratus is equipped with a pre-piped deluge gun, depending on the wind and nozzle choice you get drenched. It also makes the appratus longer than one equipped with a traditional pump panel. If the appratus is equipped with a high raised roof or a high hose bed it cuts down on front and rear visability.
Top, Side, Rear, Front they all have there good and bad points which one will works best is a matter of looking at where you respond and how your department responds along with past and present experience added in.
06-18-2001, 01:14 PM #7ddvfdFirehouse.com Guest
our newest engine has a top mount control panel, and we find it to be alot better because for one, u can see both sides of the truck, with the side mount its impossible to see over without walking around or being confident in what is hooked where, etc. with the top mount u can see both sides, as as for climbing up and down to hook hoses, its worth it to have the visibility of the top mount controls.
06-18-2001, 01:34 PM #8spotthedalmationFirehouse.com Guest
I believe it's Hartford, Conn... But I saw in an issue of Firehouse in the past, a truck with the traditional side mount controls, but with redundant controls... on either side of the truck. With electronic valves, this may be the way to go -- shorter length, and you can place the operator on the safer side of the truck dependent on the situation.
We have top mount controls on our trucks... Good visibility, a lot of up and down, and added truck length... it does make for easier loading of the cross lays though, and generally a lower overall height.
06-18-2001, 06:13 PM #9CaptKup4Firehouse.com Guest
Thanks for all your input. Spotteddalmation, our department absolutely refuses to use electric valves. But, it's a good thought. One of our older engineers volunteers with a department that uses top mounts and loves them, so we might be trying one. Anyone hear of top mounts that are enclosed in a raised roof cab? One of our guys suggested it, but I haven't heard of one. Any additional info or help would be appreciated.
On a side note: My prayers go out to the families of the fallen brothers from FDNY. I hope we can all take some of their courage for ourselves.
And, what kind of idiot stores full propane tanks in the basement?
06-18-2001, 06:38 PM #10M1NFDFirehouse.com Guest
I am on a department with both. We are on the coast of New England in a rural area and see our share of spaghetti in streets and cold weather, but as far as the operational plusses and minuses, a top mount FAR outweighs a side pump panel!
06-18-2001, 06:58 PM #11Kelly ToolFirehouse.com Guest
CaptKupt4, I have heard and seen a top mount pump with an inclosed cab, it is different but the cheif likes it. I believe they got it from a place in Canada. I will see what other info i get. In our dept, we have traditional left side mount and a rear mount pump. All intakes and discharges on the rear mount come out the sides just around the side of the rear side, so the pump operator doesn't have to go far to hook up supply lines.
Put the wet stuff on the red stuff
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Steve Kelly Jr.
06-19-2001, 07:36 PM #12BLACKSHEEP-1Firehouse.com Guest
We have top mounts on our department, however there ara some problems with them. One is all of the climbing up and down, another is everybody leaves tools in the cross walk everytime they come back to the truck, the driver made a great target during our riots a few years ago and lastly, and I don't think anyone has mentioned it, is that it makes the wheelbase of the vehicle just that much longer. The good side is that you can see both sides of the truck from the panel, the driver can operate the deck gun from there and, and this is probably the best part, the driver is out of traffic. I have looked at some other departments engines, one has both the panel and the intakes on the rear I sort of liked it because the driver could still see both sides of the vehicle, but the hose was pretty high up and it didn't have much of a rear step for access. The other problem I saw was that if this truck was ever rearended at a scene the operators in deep doo-doo. Another vehicle I looked at had the panel on the driver's side in the rear compartment, the intakes and discharges fed off the rear and it had crosslays as well. The driver could still see both sides by just looking around the corner. The dept that had the truck did say they had a problem with the body and frame cracking due to the location of the pump though, something you might keep in mind. It's funny someone mentioned an enclosed panel down here in FL it never occurred to me someone might want to stay warm, could you get one of those with A/C!!-Good luck on your specs.
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