1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Walk In or Walk Around Rescue Bodies

    I am a Firefighter on a small NH Fire Rescue Department, we currently run a Pickup body rescue truck...in the future (unsure of distance) we would like to purchase a new Heavy Rescue. We are looking at the differences between the walk through/walk around body styles. Please share your expiriences with these types of trucks. We are leaning toward walk through to assist with the cold weather rehab issue...any help would be appreciated.

    Also could you let me know what has worked for you as far as equipping the apparatus goes as well. Thanks


  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Personnally speaking, A walk-thru rescue body is the way to go. As you stated protecting yourselves from the climatic conditions and rehab is one reason. There are other multiple reasons to go with the walkthru design - A incident command post & the ability to carry more manpower are just a couple of them.

    I have worked with both with the walkthru design and the walk-around.

    The walk around design did not carry the necessary manpower we needed when we responded to mutual requests. We still have a service in the area that responds its 'Heavy Rescue' to mutual aid requests ( a walk around) and can only send two guys with the truck ( This is not near even manpower for a complicated rescue operation ).

    I'd say, personally, Walk-Thru design hands down.

    Firefighter/Paramedic in Northwest Pennsylvain... Stay Safe

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    A good start is to decide what services that you want to provide. If you plan on providing for auto-extrication only and minimal haz-mat mitigation, etc, then you may not even need a "heavy rescue" I do agree with the previous post, however...walk throughs are nice, especially if they're heated or air-conditioned and used for rehab and/or command post. Now if you plan on making yourself a "true" heavy rescue, meaning auto-extrication, hazmat, scuba, rope rescue, confined space, or a mixture of some and the other, then you need to first look at the equipment you will need and how to store it. The USFA has a free book available on their website (I think it's USFA.org) about how to equip and train a rescue team, and it gives the minimum amount of equipment needed for first responder/awareness, operations, and technical rescue teams. Excellent resource. I AM NOT A SAULSBURY SALESMAN!!! But I do know that they have a program that helps you spec the truck around the tools you have, their usage, and how to store them properly...take a look at them. As far as creature comforts, find out what your firefighters want. If they don't mind sitting outside in the cold, then so be it, you'll save some money....but I bet they'd like a large A/C/HEATed cab if they sat in one!!!

    My department has what I call a "light rescue" in a medium rescue's body...everyone on the dept but me calls it a heavy rescue...the reason? It's a 4-door Navistar with a 20 foot Non walk in box and a Jaws of Life with some Hi-Dry...no other true rescue capabilities. I refuse to call it a rescue until the board lets me train my people to staff it as a true rescue and equip it like one, too...ok, off my soapbox now...Good luck to you.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest



    If you need to carry people, get a six to ten man cab! Leave the body for carrying equipment.

    As for command posts, they're nice, but you don't need one in every rescue. Rarely are incidents large enough to need one, and when they are, you should have a regional resource you can call on. The place for your commanders are outside where they can see the incident.

    We run a small Heavy Rescue, 18,000lb gvw, would have been nice to go to 24,000lb but that 18 was the CDL cut off in CT at the time. But it still has two Hurst Tool sets, 15kw generator, air bags, 6 SCBAs, more dunnage than most rescues of any size I've seen, tons of EMS equipment (i.e. 14 backboards, 3 trauma kits, etc), bunch of fire extingushers, and just about anything else we're apt to need. It's on a UD cab forward chassis that has a tighter turning radius than the prior F350 based rescue.


  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have a walk in rescue with seating for a driver, officer, and 6 firefighters. There's plenty of room in the rear to get dressed on the way to calls, as well as to exit the apparatus, wearing scba and carrying the tools needed for the job. I've seen some cavernous raised roof, 10 man cabs that would have just as much room, especially if you sit three across from three. The advantage of the walk-in is that you can do this without stretching your wheelbase. The walk in allows for you to maximise the amount of compartment space within arms reach of the firefighter (inside or outside), as opposed to the large hard to access areas down the centerline of a walk-around rescue. That being said, if you take a look at squads demo'd by mfrs., you can certainly find that area put to good use.
    Another adv. of a walk in is that you could get it on a very durable commercial chassis.
    Though I generally favor walk in squads, i've seen well thought out designs of both types. Also, it is generally more enjoyable to ride in a cab, with lots of windows and forward facing seats than it is to ride on the bench in the back of a walk-in.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We run a Spartan 10 man cab with an 18' RD Murray SS body, wheelbase is just under 200". When we were looking, we were upgrading from a pumper that carried vehicle rescue equipment, a truck that carried high angle stuff and a pick up with haz mat equipment. We liked the walk around for the ability to keep the whole crew up front and customize the box to carry all of our equipment. We now have everything on one truck and have the ability to suit the crew up in SCBA or even ice suits in the cab. A big thing to look out for with the walk around is wasting space in the middle of the truck where the walk in space would normally be, we had to do quite a bit of planning to make sure we used every inch we had available

  7. #7
    chf jstano
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our dept cuurently runs an 18' Saulsbury walk-in, on it's second chassis(1997 chevy). The unit serves all our needs very well:generator,cascade,scba,forcible entry,etc. The additional benefit of the walk-in is especially noted in the winter months. Here in northern New York I'm sure our winters are comparable to yours( sub-zero days and feet of snow).We have room to spare to warm our people. This was a very important part of the decision to purchase this type of vehicle originally.( We have even added a cabinet for the cofeepot,tea, and hot chocolate with all the fixin's.) You need to weigh all the factors carefully because whatever you buy it will be parked in your station for a long time to come. Hope this has been some help.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    For equipment needs try the Technical program development manual free from USFA. The appendix gives a very thorough listing of equipment for light, medium and heavy resqs...See the address under tools in Specialized rescue forum. Sorry I couldn't get it to link from here.

    [This message has been edited by resqb (edited October 05, 1999).]

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Both body styles have there good points and bad points. Our department went thru this debate on our truck committee less than a year ago. Our current rescue is a Spartan Gladiator LFD 24" raised roof with an E-One 18' walk-in body. We don't allow anyone to ride in the rear and have seating for 6 in the cab plus the driver and officer. We are planning a switch to a 18-22' non-walkin on a similar chassis in the future. We are also not getting a PTO pump and 300 gallon water tank which we now have on our current rig. The walk in body is nice to have for rehab and I would strongly recommend it for your area. We have also used it in other situations but felt it and the pump/tank took away to much needed storage space for tools and equipment. Both of our pumpers have enclosed cabs and we also have a 1985 GMC 4 door 1 ton 4x4 /utility-support unit and an 1980 Ford E350 Van ambulance that we converted into a fire police and canteen unit. It all depends on what you want the unit to do and your operation and local area. I hoped this has helped you and if I can help you more feel free to contact or email me. Thanks FGN.

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