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  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Arizona
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    481

    Default Cold Weather Ops

    I've just got 1 year on, so excuse me if this has been covered before. The weather forcast is for snow in our mountains (yes, it snows in Northern Arizona), so my question:
    Who has any hints for cold weather operations? Both equipment and personal types, please. I know we have some members from North Pole, Alaska, and my winter would be like their summer (but no mosqueitos), so give me a hand guys.
    Thanks


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    121

    Default

    Make sure pumps are drained

    All members have the gear squared away

    Never completely close a nozzle if it is below freezing.
    This could get you a few hundred freet of popsicle in
    a wrapper

    Most Importantly ...... Drive safely & Arrive Safely
    Remember,

    If you don't respond.....who will

    IACOJ EMS Bureau Member
    IACOJ Member

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber CFD Hazards's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Cranston, RI, USA
    Posts
    381

    Default

    1. Don't drain pumps unless you are told to do so. Here in New England, we haven't received much snow in the last two years but the winter still gets very cold. I have not heard of any departments in this area that drain the pumps. If you keep the booster line in the tank fill at the top of the rig and crack the line open, the water will circulate and keep from freezing. Of course, do not park the rig outside for long periods of time if you plan on shutting it down and not circulating water.
    2. Always keep a line that is not being used cracked open.
    3. Slow down when driving and moving about.
    4. For personal use, fill a small gym bag with extra socks, firefighting gloves, hood and shirt and keep it on the rig with you. The drier you can be the better!

    I'm sure others will have ideas to help but this should be a start. Here's hoping for a warmer than usual winter with little to no snow.

  4. #4
    Senior Member shammrock54's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    445

    Default

    Bring bunker pants inside (if you keep them in your car) w/ heavy socks inside. Have job shirt and winter hat close @ hand. Also if your going have the pump on scene and its not involved in pump ops put the tank to circulate to prevent freezeing. Make sure you have a mallet to help w/ iced over or stuck valves, caps, and appliances. dry and/or wipe water off masks so that if there outside they dont ice up.
    Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
    New England FOOL
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

  5. #5
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    2,513

    Default

    Keep a good pair of spare socks (wool is nice and warm) either on the rig or in a zip-lock bag in a bunker pocket. Spare gloves are nice also....
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    121

    Default

    Here in Nebraska unless you have someway to circulate water enroute to a call all depts (that I know of) drain the pump.

    Some vehicles with either a separate engine to run pump or PTO driven can recirculate

    I have seen and heard of departments freezing up pumps going to and/or from a call if they do not do this.

    Extra socks & gloves are a must also

    If necessary keeps chains for the vehicles handy.
    Remember,

    If you don't respond.....who will

    IACOJ EMS Bureau Member
    IACOJ Member

  7. #7
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    At the Helm
    Posts
    1,174

    Default To Drain or Not to Drain, that is the question...

    There are 4 factors to pumps freezing...
    1)Starting temp of truck
    2)Outside air temp
    3)Run time from station to scene
    4)Aux heating for pump

    If it is very cold or you runs are very long you run the risk of freezing your pump. A heat pan (we use exhaust heat up here) will delay freezing. If you keep you truck in a warm barn it is possible you'll run all winter with a full pump and never have a problem, but forget, just once, to circulate your pump once you get on scene!! POP

    Here's the golden truth...
    If you leave your pump full you'll have an extra bit of water and less hassel after each call.
    If you drain your pump you'll have less water but you'll never freeze a pump that way.

    More important than draining the pump is draining your pipes. Since the pipes and water will have less mass (read stored heat) and more surface area per volume, it will freeze quicker than the pump.

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    North East Wi. USA
    Posts
    260

    Default

    We keep our pumps here wet without much trouble - Although the front mount is Dry. All have heat pans and auxilary heaters. Some other points

    - Keep water moving
    - Grease or vasoline on the threads of caps, plugs and appliances
    - carry a plumbers ( auto lighting type)tourch to thaw what ever you forgot to drain.
    - Extra socks and gloves

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Madison, WI USA
    Posts
    38

    Default

    I run on two deparments here in Wisconsin. On one, the SOP is to run dry in Winter. On the other, the SOP is wet. I personally like the wet pump because then the seals don't dry out. This is really important for places that don't run much. If there is two to three weeks between calls, that's along time for seals to sit dry. Both Departments have the heat pans/shields. The department that runs the wet pumps also has a pump comp heater on the new engine. It is a heater core w/ fan that blows hot air in the pump comp during the run. I'm working on changing the SOP's at the dry pump dept. but I am trying to convince the most difficult person I know of the change, my father. He taught me pumps and engine ops, but I don't like a dry pump. Oh well, i'll keep working on it. Take it for what it's worth.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Madison, WI USA
    Posts
    38

    Default

    I forgot one other thing. We also keep a spray bottle of anti-freeze on the trucks. We use it as a preventative in all the caps during winter, and it works well for unfreezing couplings too.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Northern NY
    Posts
    211

    Post Keep warm

    Take the extra minute to dress warm IN LAYERS before you head out the door.A good set of thermal underwear that wicks sweat away from the body is nice also.As others have said, an extra pair of socks,gloves(I prefer mittens because it keeps the fingers together),and a knit touque for your head which is where most of a body's heat loss occurs. A warm,dry FF is a happy one.
    Make yourself well aware of the signs of hypothermia,for your benefit and your crew's.Know how to treat it!
    We generally don't drain our pumps and have never had a problem.Temps in the winter in my neck of the woods can reach a sustained -10 to -25.Make sure the diesel fuel is winter grade and the trucks' tanks are full. Does not take much to gel in those kind of temps.
    Hope this is of some help. STAY SAFE and WARM!!!!

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