1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question First Responder Vehicles

    I have a question about how many departments have first responders on thier departmentsand what type of vehicle that you have. The reason why I am asking is because I am looking to get some opinions about a truck purchase that I am thinking about recomending. What we have now is a FMC 1000 GPM pumper with room for two. The thing about this truck is that is was built in the early 70's and it has seen better days. But it is our most used truck. It rolls first on medical calls, MVA's, HAZMAT and brush fires. The thing that I am considering is a 4-door pick-up truck with a tool box on the back for all the medical supplies. No pump and no large amounts of water or firefighting agents. It would be used to roll on all medical calls because it wuld be easier to get going and less bulky in the fact that our current vehicle takes forever to get up to speed. The smaller truck would pick up speed faster and I think that it could improve our medical response response time. If we have a MVA's then if a pumper is needed then one of the people can drive the pumper to the scene. This will reduce the wear and tear on the pumper by not sending it to every medical call and by rolling the pick-upwe can get the medical help to the scene faster and have a better opinion about us by the community.

    Any help on this matter would be great.

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The department I'm with has 2 1980-something Chevy Caprice retired cop cars converted to first responder/utility vehicles. BLS bag and O2, a tool kit, ax, halligan, fire extinguisher, and assorted "stuff" (jumper cables, tiedowns, rags, etc.) in the trunk. Other than the extinguisher, no real suppression capabilities.

    They're used for departmental errands, as upgrade cars to upgrade our ambo to a medic crew or an engine to full crew, to ferry manpower, as a first responder car when there's no engine driver, or as a car to take for medic assists in order to keep a $300,000 engine in service.

    They've got pretty good pickup, are pretty nimble, but show their signs of wear. We've yet to figure out how to open the back doors from the inside on one of them (darn police car feature), and there are some fluid leaks, squeaky belts, etc. Some say the warning lights and siren are worth more than the car itself, and they're probably right. Still, the cars do the job.

    Also, we're getting a new special unit, a Ford F450 4-door crew cab with a custom rescue box on the back that will carry tools, backboards, some rescue stuff, spill absorbant, etc. Basically a huge rolling toolbox. We hope to have it in service by December, but it's not likely it will roll on first responder duties. We'll have to see what the SOPs are when it gets in.

    Peace, and stay safe!

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Here we have a 4X4 surburban. It responds to Medicals and rolls as a support unit with man power. All our trucks are 2 man. So the surburban usually rolls on just about everything. It carries of course medical equipment, also extra back boards, "C" collars, and other stuff. It has came in handy many of times going out into the middle of nowhere to get to a house in the mud (even the medic unit couldnt get to), get personel out to a brush fire where most trucks couldnt get to and we had to fight by hand . Hope this helps!

    This is my opinion only and not of my department

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Check out www.attackone.com, we bought 3 rescue pickups through them and may be what you are looking for or at least for some other ideas. They are F550 crew cabs and they do carry agent but that is for us. They have huge tool box beds that include a transverse compartment for backboards. All the other compartments carry misc. tools and EMS bags and Hurst equipment. I think they work great for first responders or manpower rigs. Adapt them to however you see fit.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    It depends on the call. Medical calls our Squad goes out. It is an F-350 4door with a compartment cap and a jerry board. It has medical supplies and basic fire/rescue equipment. MVAs get the Heavy Rescue truck and an Engine. Fire calls get everything.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have a late 70's one ton pick up with a tool compartment bed. Works well, manuverable and carries lots of equipment. It has a small pump and tank but we don't use them anymore. If the call is an MVA we roll our engine, it has most all the EMS stuff plus water and rescue tools.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    As a EMS/Rescue agency we operate with two first response/command vehicles. The first is a 1991 Suburban 4x4. This now operates as an off-road rescue vehicle as well as first response. It carries basic first aid and medical supplies, multiple radios, winch, jumpers, splints, collars, stretcher, defib, etc. Our newest unit is a 2001 Excursion 4x4. Only officers operate this unit. It has everything that the "Burb" has except the winch (unfortunately). It also has a light tower, command board and 6 mobile radios in the rear. These vehicles are great for transporting crews between calls, running errands (the burb), operating as FRU, towing our marine units and rehab trailer, and accessing patients in remote/off-road areas. The Excursion can be found below.
    Our heavy rescue (Volvo FE) is on the apparatus showcase's main page for 2000.
    Rescue http://www.firehouse.com/hotshots/ap...hitehouse.html
    FRU Excursion http://www.firehouse.com/hotshots/ap...hitehouse.html

    [This message has been edited by Jhaney22 (edited 03-11-2001).]

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Buying new, I'm partial to Pickups w/caps.

    Simply put...less expensive than an SUV!
    Base prices:
    Expedition 4x4 -- $34,000
    F150 2 door 4x4 -- $21,000
    F150 2 door 4x4 -- $31,000

    What is seen often in my area is a department will buy a used Suburban from state surplus for a very good price...and they usually where just people movers so there isn't much wear & tear like a used state pickup. Once they've run it a few years and show the town fathers there is a need for it...then it's replaced by a new truck.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our department purchased a Ford F-550 Chasis in Oklahoma for about $30k, then sent it to Commercial Body in San Antonio, Texas and had a utility-style bed put on for about $5k. The result is a truck that moves fast, corners well, has 5 compartments on each side, a large center compartment with 2 doors from the rear and 2 full-length shelves. The truck carries all of our medical equipment, Hurst tools, technical rescue gear, and basic haz-mat supplies. the biggest plus to going with this type box on the back is all the room. The same could be done with a 4-door cab.

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Wow, my first post

    We use an 87 4x4 chevy pickup (our brush truck) with a full reading utility body on, it has a skid unit, 150 gallon tank, generator, work lights etc. We use it primarily for first response on medical calls and MVAs, it doesn't roll for structures though

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