1. #1
    fireman phil
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry Your Thoughts on Redneck F.D.'s that throw NFPA out the door

    The rural fire department that serves our area has decided that it would be cheaper to build a homemade tanker from scratch. They are throwing the NFPA standards out the door. I understand that we all face the lack of the all mighty dollar, but this dept. could over the years afford a new properly manufactured fire apparatus. I have a hard time accepting this mentality. Thanks, just had to vent

    Yours in the fire service

    Fireman Phil of the Show Me State

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hey Phil,

    What do you think of guys who identify where they live and themselves and come on the forums and call their own fire department a bunch of Red Necks? Man I'll bet you are gonna be popular when anyone of them reads that!!

    How about following the proper chain of command with your concerns? Talk to the Chief, the fire board, town or city government, where your concerns may actually be heard and you may have some influence. Point out the liability issues, the safety issues, long term cost versus benefit in building a non-compliant rig.

    I don't agree with what you say your FD is planning to do, but, I also don't agree with your tactics either.

    Take care and stay safe,


  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Maybe building a tanker in house isn't the best thing to do, but instead of posting your complaint on the web. You should do like FyredUp stated, chain of command or how about work with them to help assure the tanker is right. Everyone can stand outside and point the finger.
    The department I'm on operates a fleet of soon to be 12 trucks and we are totally vol. Out of the 12, we have only 2 that meet the current NFPA standards. All meet the previous standards. My question to Phil is, should we replace the entire fleet everytime NFPA changes the standard? Oh, out of the 12, we build 4 of them in house and each truck meet the standard for rescue vehicles. So it can be done.

  4. #4
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest


    >> The rural fire department that serves our area has decided that it would be cheaper to build a homemade tanker from scratch.

    Good for them!! I've always admired the companies that find ways to do alot with very little. We've done a few alterations to our rigs in-house instead of paying top dollar to outside vendors. I'm all for rolling up your sleeves and geting the job done.

    >> They are throwing the NFPA standards out the door.

    Which ones?? Let's face it...there are NFPA standards that have led to definite improvements in the way we work, both in terms of safety and effectiveness, and then there are NFPA standards that are roughly akin to planning for recovery from tidal waves in Kansas...they could happen, but really...

    What I'm saying is this...if they're putting together a tanker that can't deliver usable gallonage, is overweight and a danger on the road, or something like that, then there's a problem. If they've failed to put strobe heads amidships, or don't have that amber rotator in the back, or don't have those cutsie little ground level lights below the cab doors, or (gasp) dared to put air horns or siren speakers on the roof, or something silly like that, then you're making a big deal out of nothing.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I think its great your guys are going to do it on their own. Lets face it, tankers can be pretty simple if they have to. Also, tankers are never going to be fast, so warning systems aren't that important if the driver is being safe shuttling water. The only NFPA thing I wouldn't forget about is the tank baffles. The water really should be in 50 gallon compartments inside the tank.

    Good Luck

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    WOW!! I didn't know that the FDNY would be considered a Redneck FD. Their engine companies are not NFPA compliant, No ladders.

    NFPA is a guideline, Not a Bible.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I think FiremanPhil was referring to the department where he resides, not the one he is on. In that case, it is not the Chain of Command he needs to follow, he needs to speak with his elected officials that have administrative control over that deaprtment.

    Now, with that said, I see NOTHING wrong with building your own rigs. We have a department near me that has built everything they have except for their squad (and they used to build them too). My department has a tanker that we basically have built from scratch. We are striving for NFPA compliance which really is not that hard to do. As long as the department is attempting to meet the "intent" of the standard, I wouldn't worry too much.

    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    But FFE, they are guidelines that define weight distribution and baffling recommendations to keep water as still as possible. In KY within the past 6 months there have been two killed and one severely injured over tanker accidents. I know that one of the tankers was locally built. Not that the tanker had any defects in design but it wasn't third party tested (the almighty requirement of NFPA).

    I kinda wonder, everyone says that NFPA is a guideline, how many areas have adopted
    NFPA 1? If you expect everyone else to abide by guidelines that have been adopted to protect everyone else and to make your job easier, how can we not be made to abide by a guideline to protect us?

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Wait a second here folks. I am not opposed to building a tanker locally or even in house.

    Standards or not, why would anyone put a fire tanker on the road today without baffles? Or with inadequate brakes, or power, or warning lights, or audible warning devices, or overloaded? Why would you want to expose your firefighters to that dangerous set of circumstances.

    If you are going to build a tanker....do it right or you are just wasting taxpayer money in the long run. Something built half way will be nothing but a long term drain on resources as well as being dangerous.

    Whether you want to admit it or not, NFPA is out there and lawyers know it. The fact that FDNY does not carry ladders on all of its pumpers(I'm taking your word for this because I honestly don't know) does not endanger FF's while enroute to a fire or inherently make the apparatus unsafe. Do I agree with leaving them off the engines. Not really, but, to compare that to this department's attempt to build an essentially non-NFPA compliant tanker seems absurd to me. How do you compare no ladder to no standards at all?

    Just my 2 cents worth,

    Take care and stay safe,


  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    as far as the sfety issue i can remember a department i was a cadet with decided to build their own tatical when the did they the local motor carrier came out after it was done and made them make a bunch of changes to make the vehicle road worthy and safe maybe thats what this deparment needs to do in this case unless they a building from prints or along those same lines

    be safe
    stay cool

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    It is absurd to try and put FDNY not having ladders on there pumpers in the same conversation as the benifits of NFPA.
    For those that really don,t know, FDNY does not need them as the run fully manned ladder co.s as well as fully manned engine co.s. There first alarm assignment is at least 4 and 3 with 5 men on the engine and 6 on the truck.they show upwith more manning and apparatus than most of us have in the entire town, plus mutual aid.Unlike most of us they are fortunate and operate like we all should if we HAD MINIMUM MANNING STANDARDS , Ala NFPA 1710. Ladder co.s do what they are supposed to do ladder and truck work no split jobs ergo engines don,t need ladders. need another ladder special call 2or 3 more truck co.s and last in most of NY the ground ladders carried on pumpers are really not too effective, They can do more with there aerials and tower ladders than most of us can do with a forest of ground ladders.
    Lets focus on the 1710, getting it passed and try to work with for our benefit.
    Everybody under the sun for the most part,paid and volunteer, is complaining about lack of manpower. Here is the oppurtunity, exploit it. Police get billions of dollars for manning and equiptment, it is time the fire service forces the goverments to treat us equally.It costs to much you say , well let come up with the solution, readjust the portions of the pie, maybe its time to knockthe schools and teachers down a few pegs.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    "Standards or not, why would anyone put a fire tanker on the road today without baffles? Or with inadequate brakes, or power, or warning lights, or audible warning devices, or overloaded? Why would you want to expose your firefighters to that dangerous set of circumstances."

    Because it really stinks to be standing next to a burning house after the 500 gallons of water in the pumper runs out while you wait for a mutual aid tanker. The area where I live is predominantly rural. Most of the small vollie depts are running a 20-40 year old pumper as first response and whatever they can throw together for tankers and brush units. Some of the rigs are pretty well built, others are kind of scary. The reality is though, these guys can't afford a $100,000 tanker (or even a $25,000 one for that matter). Simply put, becuse these guys are dedicated they would try to fight a fire with a bathtub full of water strapped to a pickup truck if it came to that. Should they have to make the choice between a non NFPA tanker and no tanker? Probably not, but the reality is they don't have one heck of a lot of a choice right now.
    Of course, some city guy will say "well, if you can't do it right, you shouldn't do it at all" That's beatiful! If they don't do it, then who? None of the "city" departments can pick up the slack (the "paid" department 15 miles away, last I heard was rolling on working fires with 3 firefighters manning an engine and a truck (the other two guys on shift provide "coverage" for the town)). The county provides some resources, but citizens here aren't exactly receptive to the kind of taxes it would take to provide real help.
    Rural firefighters aren't stupid or reckless, they're just in a lousy situation.
    Anyway, enough of my rant.

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    For those of you that can't read, the original topcic of this thread was:

    "Your thoughts on Redneck FD's that throw NFPA out the door"

    If you think all FD's follow every NFPA standard, you are living in a world of fantasy.
    This is for the guy in Cranford, whether FDNY engines need ladders or not because of manning, They still aren't NFPA 1901 compliant. Bottom Line.
    As far as the lack of baffles and swash partions, I'm sure that the DOT won't let them get away with something like that. They are a much higher authority then the NFPA.
    And if people think that 1710 is going to get you more people hired on your FD, you need to wake up. Once again it's a standard, NOT LAW. What it does do is open up the door for towns to regionalize or consolidate. Is that what we want?

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    DonRobbie -

    Can they afford the members lives or the lawsuits when one of these tankers crashes? How many LODD do we see for tanker accidents yearly? I know it sounds unfeeling, but if you don't have the funds to do the basics correctly (ie. protect your members) you shouldn't be out there. If people want to live in rural areas and pay no taxes, thats their business, they are on their own and they accepted that fact when they moved there. The sad fact is that most people think nothing of the FD till the first time they call 911.

  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Don Robbie,

    First of all I started out on a little rural fire department and I am still there. With old equipment and a tanker that was to say the least a disaster. BUT...we went to our board and made our case and got the tanker replaced. Right away? Heck no, we suffered with that embarassment for years, but we wouldn't settle for less than an NFPA approved pumper tanker for a replacement. So I've been there. The difference is we wouldn't accept no for answer and we wouldn't give up.

    We are right now trying to get a new pumper, and understanding our villages finances we are running fund raisers and seeking out grants and donations to try to help fund it. Do I like doing fund raisers? No, but given the alternative of not receiving enough funding all the time I do it anyway.

    My whole point was simply this...why set yourself up for a potential disaster with a tanker that doesn't meet the accepted standard? Perhaps you need to take the issue right to the public if the fire board or town board or whatever is refusing you. But be aware you had better have solid justification for the new truck if you do. Because they are going to want to know.

    By the way....how many tankers that meet NFPA can you buy for the cost of one wrongful death suit?

    Take care and stay safe,

    (Also a big city FF)

  16. #16
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Just a quick reply.
    Actually our dept is very fortunate. We run a hydranted area and actually have nice equipment now. Most of the dept's in our area are in a bad situation, though.
    I've been in that spot myself, before and I have a lot of sympathy for those guys. At a different dept, I've had the fun experience of pushing the "front line" pumper out of the house so that the "backup" (which conveniently enough, will start) can roll on a working fire.
    I've ridden in a tanker that was made by strapping a 1000 gallon tank to a flatbed truck (go sloooow around the corners).
    Do I want to go back to that versus riding in the crewcab on a fully functional, safe rig, not a chance! But I remember what it was like to be in that spot (and when we call for mutual aid its the guys down the road with the 65 Mack for a first due, or the ones down the next road with one pumper (a 50s Dodge) who will come running every time).
    By the way, just a quickie, I think the world would be a better place if water supply tankers all had their sirens removed, painted high visibily green with lots of reflective striping and amber lights and labeled "county water department" (thats whose job your doing) and driven as a non emergency vehicle.

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