1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Viroqua, WI

    Cool Help selecting apparatus

    Been given the task of possibly starting first responders out of our volunteer fd. We have a private ambulance service that is willing to pay for the training..we need to come up with a truck and the equipment. Wondering what people out there use (suburban, step van, engine)? What works well?

    Thanks, have a meeting next monday and am trying to piece it all together.

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Baltimore, MD


    There are couple questions that come to mind.
    First what is your Budget?
    Second what do you want the vehicle to do?( Just a first responder or brush unit , incident comand, ect)
    What do you currently have in station?

    My current department uses a Suburban for a first responder / Medic assit vehicle. It is cheaper and easier than running the engine out on every call.

    I also know of several depatments that have Pick-ups with crew cabs and utilty bodies that serve as the brush truck using a skid unit, the general run about for supplies and first responder. And just for fun they add a plow to clear the parking lots at the station.

    And finally the cheapest is the old police car with equipment in the trunk. They work great for a department on a budget but watch out low miles does not mean anything these cars sit and idle all day. If you plan on a large number of runs maybe a new sedan or if snow is an issue a good used 4x4.

    Good luck
    Last edited by 3genff; 02-14-2002 at 05:23 PM.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Fyrtrks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999

    Lightbulb First Responder Unit

    Lt. Tryg

    You must first determine what you are going to do with your new unit. It sounds like you are just going to use it for EMS and as EMS unit with an Engine and/or Heavy Rescue at an MVA. The SUV is an okay idea but you must remember that the access to your equipment is limited. The cabinet from a 2002 may not fit into a different model year with interior changes. The SUV conversions do not always allow for storage of simple things like backboards without modifying the truck or the board and it is harder to cool/heat the interior of these units. I can suggest several ways in which you can save money and many ideas for a new unit.

    As I have posted in the past I am in apparatus sales and I don't belive in advertising on the forums.

    I will be happy to share my ideas with you.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    South Central, PA, USA



    I think you have to look at the total picture like;
    1. Dept's budget
    2. # of EMS calls it will run
    3. Increased insurance costs
    4. Increased vehicle training
    5. Increased maintenance costs

    I don't know what other type vehicles you have in your fleet, but it may benefit your dept to look at equipping an existing vehicle to handle these types of calls.
    These views/ opinions are my own and not those of my employer/ department.

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 1998


    What level of EMS are you going to provide? We are a first responder(BLS) with a private service doing the transports. We set up three different rigs (operate out of a single station)for medical use.
    Rig #1 is a light duty 4 x 4 rescue (walk-in) with the AED, Pulse-ox and jump kit with backboard. It rolls on all calls.

    Rig # 2 is a 1250 GPM engine with jump kit and backboards, no AED or Pulse-OX. It rolls on MVAs.

    Rig # 3 is a 4 x 4 brush set up the same as rig # 2. It rolls on MVAs when roads are slippery or the incident is off road in an area the engine cannot get to.

    BLS will not require the amount of storage space that a higher lever will. Most of your existing apparatus is readily adaptible.

    Good luck on your program.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2001

    Thumbs up

    Lt.Tryg, congrats on expanding your services. My department uses Suburbans and Engines as backup. I don't like Suburbans personally, I think if your trying to keep costs down make room on a engine and save money by not buying another vehicle. Most Engines are replaced because they become obsolete, not from high mileage on the odometer.

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    n.e. wisconsin

    Thumbs up first responder rig

    Lt. Tryg,
    I am a member of a first responder group in Door County, Wi. Our group was started as part of a county wide program in the early eighties, I joined in '87, I think. We started out with no vehicle at first, but after a few years, the group had a Ford van donated by GTE.
    They painted it, and built shelving and a bench seat in back and wired it. Fundraisers were held, more equipment accumulated, and before you knew it, we had a gas generator stored next to the oxygen, bad news. We then bought a used type 3 ambulance. More space, more stuff. We are lucky enough to have great support from our county EMS. town board, and residents. To have a first responder program, all the state requires is a small list of bls gear, all of which can be carried in the persons own vehicle or any fire apparatus. But, if your municipality and members want to provide a higher level of service, not nessesarily from the medical skills standpoint, but suppling the equipment to facilitate patient access or specialized transport, a specialized rig is the way to go. We have a trailer hitch on our rig to tow our 6X6, snowmobile, or rescue boat. We also carry water/ice rescue gear, slope rescue gear, and a bunch of other stuff. It also makes a good rehab area for hot or cold days at an incident.
    Bottom line is, find out how much the people interested in the program want to get into, what your municipality will allow you to undertake, including any preventive maintenance. and go for it. If you want to just do the minimum, a kit in each person's car and a radio and pager are all you need. But if your lucky like we are, (and I hope you are), go for more. It's a great feeling being able to perform a task, like imobilizing a pt. with multiple severe injuries, far off the beaten path, using equipment that the skeptics swore was a waste of money and would never get used.

  8. #8
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Oak Grove, KY


    My department is currently responding on medical calls with a 2002 Ford F-550 mini pumper. We use to respond with one of our front line pumpers, but this was wearing it out.

    We have since went to a 24 hour/7 day a week EMS service, so our medical response(fire dept side) is only to assist our ambulance when needed, when they are out of service or town and on vehicle accidents.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register