Thread: HELP!

  1. #1
    Romania Guest

    Post HELP!

    Well it finally happened, I am now a driver. I have tried very hard to stay in the backseat for as long as I could (at least at my paid gig). I have some experience in every seat, but my engineering experiece is minimal. Since I have been senticed to this I might as well make the most of it so I am asking a favor.

    To all of you experieced engineers (especially engine company) lets here some advice and tricks that you have learned. I am sure that I am not the only one out here that can benefit from it. Thanks in advanced

    Alan Romania, CEP
    IAFF Local 3449

    My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.

    [This message has been edited by Romania (edited January 25, 2000).]

  2. #2
    mtnfireguy Guest


    The truck won't start if the trannie isn't in neutral

    Never ever forget to set the brake

    Don't forget to close the drains

    Don't feel bad - We have all charged the hose bed at one time or another.

    More as I think of em!!

    Good Luck Alan

  3. #3
    Terry McDonald Guest


    Know every appliance on your engine and what you can do with it. When the command calls for some weird layout, either attack or supply, you won't have to look at them with a dumbfounded expression. A little used piece of equipment on my engine that i have used at numerous fires is a 4.8"male to 5" stortz adaptor. If you have a hydrant 50' away, why go to the back of the rig and wrestle with 100' of 5" hose. use the adaptor to connect the 25' front suction to the 50' pony section of 5" and you have a much simpler, faster, and easier to load up lay. Just know what equipment you have and what you can do with it. Good luck.

  4. #4
    tmr91 Guest


    Being a engineer isn't that bad, it's a great and important position. I agree with mtnfireguy and T.McDonald suggestions. here are a few more:
    Make sure the whole crew has their seat belt on.
    Check to make sure none of your compartment doors are open.
    Learn the in's and out's of running your pump.
    And make sure you get the truck and crew safely to and from call and back to the station. Good luck!

  5. #5
    mtnfireguy Guest


    Oh yea

    Make sure the door is clear of the apparatus before pulling out or backing in.

    And make sure youre clear of the door before hitting the button to close it. If you have the ones on a timer.... pray

  6. #6
    Capt. Zada Guest


    Careful with speed and braking distances. Stay clear, very clear, of the chief's car.
    Keep your pump lubricated. When pumping always use the relief valve and transfer valve of two stage pumps sometime during the operation. It keeps them free and less likely to stick. Only drive a red truck. Be careful and spot the apparatus in a safe location.

  7. #7
    benson911 Guest


    Alan -

    Listen to your truck. When pumping, it will tell you if it's happily pumping along, running out of water or if there is a lot of capacity left.

    Watch your suction guage. ALWAYS leave yourself a reserve. It may not be your butt in there as much anymore, but you can save the butts of those guys if you ALWAYS have some reserve! You CAN NOT put out more water than what's coming in. Know how much you have!

    The last thing you do before you leave a scene is walk all the way around the truck. Look at it like it's a morning check out, everything has a place and everything should be in its place. If somethings awry, find out why. (This is when you find the chocks still in place, the radio on the tailboard and the head saver hanging on the ground instead of on the butt of the ladder.)

    Build a routine. Check your truck out the same way everyday. Be the guy who always finds the stuff missing or broken and get it fixed or replaced. When you arrive on a scene have a mental checklist to complete before you leave the cab...overhead wires clear, brake on, pump switch/handle is in pump, with foot on the brake - put the truck in gear, RELEASE seat belt, then get out, chock wheels, pull tank to pump, recirculate and visually look at which hose was pulled, then charge the line when they tell you, and so on, and so on.

    You are the interior crew's lifeline - be the best friend they ever had. Anticipate the need for lights, cord reels, PPV, another line, tools, etc. You are the supply store on wheels - be a good store manager!

    Good luck on your new adventure - it may look easy, but being the pump operator can be the most tiring, hardest job on the scene if you aren't prepared.

  8. #8
    Lieutenant Gonzo Guest


    Alan, congratulations on the promotion to Engineer. As much as you like the back seat and more of the action, you can't stay there forever!

    You were looking for advice, here's my 2 cents worth....always check out the rig before assuming the responsibility!!! I had a good *** chewing once because I had a brain fart and took the word of the previous driver who said the truck was "all set". It was a long holiday weekend in the summer (4th of July) and I figured that I could do the "real" truck check on my 2nd day on. We ended up having a busy day, and at shift change I looked at the fuel gauage and it just about read zero! The rig was a Mack CF-600 with a 50 gallon fuel tank...the sucker took 46 gallons when I fueled it up at the City yard. It turned out that the previous day and night tours also had busy days, and if it ran out of fuel it would have been my butt on the line. My Captain chewed me out, and I assured him it would never happen again. Now that I am a Lieutenant, I make sure my drivers check the rigs. The buck may get passed upwards, but when it hits the top it turns to crap and crap rolls downhill!

    Take care and be safe...Lt. Gonzo

    [This message has been edited by Lieutenant Gonzo (edited January 26, 2000).]

  9. #9
    FFDisp2827 Guest

    Thumbs up

    Way to Go !!

    It was my first working fire that I drove to, the chief was the officer of the truck. We had a paint booth burning inside a building. The crew went inside with a dry line, all we had was smoke on arrival. The interior crew asked for water, I told them it was on the way...The interior crew asked a second and third time for water....thats when the chief came over and looked at the pump panel and discovered the problem..



    And guess what, I have'nt. Good luck !!


  10. #10
    STBURNE Guest


    As the crew is stretching the line, preset your releif valve. Water has to be flowing to accomplish this, so open your tank fill valve to set your relief valve. Now, when the crew calls for water, all you have to do is charge the line.

  11. #11
    Romania Guest


    Thanks all for you responses. I hope that others can put this knowlege and experience shared here to good use also. I also have to admit that I am enjoying driving some (still need to work on my backing, still kinda slow). Since this position isn't a promotion (my shirt still say firefighter) and I get no increase in pay, I can still ride backwards once in a while if I want (and another drive is on the truck).

    Alan Romania, CEP
    IAFF Local 3449

    My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.

  12. #12
    Cosch Guest


    Congrats on your promotion. On our dept. you have to take a 90 day street test once you're promoted and if you fail you could get bump back to a ff. I took it very seriously, drew out my 1st and 2nd run streets ( little sections at a time) and kept building upon each section. Before I knew it I was drawing the hole map with plugs and without having to go back and check my work. Remember your job is not only to know how to drive but how to get there. By me drawing my 2nd. due area I knew how the first in crews would get there and then I could take the correct route for the best plug. good luck.


    [This message has been edited by Cosch (edited February 06, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by Cosch (edited February 06, 2000).]

  13. #13
    Ray34 Guest


    Always alert your inside crew the 1st sign of trouble, OIC 2nd.

    Always keep your booster tank full when operating from an external supply and never below 1/4 tank with a inside crew.

    Make yourself a check list for trouble shooting from the simplest thing up. such as Is the pump in gear, tranny in gear, drains closed, suction openned...

    Never believe in just one gage and learn the sound of your engine, it will tell you a lot.

    Good luck

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