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Thread: Pumping details

  1. #1
    Forum Member
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    Feb 1999
    Northern NY

    Question Pumping details

    As the snow begins to thaw and the spring rains start, the inevitable result is cellar flooding.What are your thoughts on pumping details? Does your dept pump cellars or do you consider it a job for a private contractor?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Mar 2000


    You should get once every say, 5 years, free

    Beyond that, we charge until you buy a big enough sump pump & generator to keep it running!

    You always have the odd situation occur that overwhelms a normally dry cellar.

    Even people like me who had a basement that had been dry for 50 years (according to the family, since I ain't *that* old!) do stupid things and have a flooded basement. (Mental note...rooter root the drain pipe from the basement each year from now on!)

    But the fire department's pump aren't a substitute to not repair or maintain your own property.

    First time is an emergency. Second time is planned failure.

  3. #3
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Aug 2000
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!


    My FD pumps cellars. It always seems that we go to the same houses every year for the same problem. These people have the attitude of "that's what my tax dollars are paying for". In a way, it's true, but...

    Two things drive me insane. One is the "hurry over, my cellar is completely flooded" call. You get there and there is about an eighth of an inch puddle in one corner of the cellar area. The other is a call from a rental property. The owner doesn't give a fat rats rump about the flooding condition in the cellar (just get the rent check in on time!) and tells the tenant to call the fire department.

    I'll bet that if we started charging a fee for cellar pumping, the number of cellar pumping calls would drop dramatically.

    PS: it has been suggested that we charge for cellar pumping if the problem occurs on a regular basis. The politicians who have to approve of said fees have always said no... I bet if they had to go out to do cellar pumping, their view on the matter would change
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber jaybird210's Avatar
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    Jun 2000
    911 N. Sycamore St. Yep, that's really our address.

    Exclamation NO

    I say, absolutely not! These pumps are designed and built for pumping at FIRES, from a reliable water source (be it hydrants, fold-a-tanks, whatever). Who knows what s*** you could suck out of a basement (even with a strainer). Call public works. They don't have a pump? Huh, guess you should call a plumber.

    "What are my tax dollars used for?!!?"

    Your tax dollars are used to provide a FIRE DEPARTMENT to respond to EMERGENCIES. These are the same *********s who will rip your head off for not getting to the fire fast enough. "What took you so long!?!!? My house is burning down!!!!!" "Sorry, sir, we were on the other side of town pumping out Mr. Johnson's flooded basement. The Johnson kids are using too much toilet paper again."

    I am happy to serve my community. I will get up in the middle of night for the 86 year old woman who's had abdominal pain for two days. I will leave my dinner to put out the car fire for the guy who was cleaning the valve covers with gasoline.

    Pump cellars? Sure, why not. It'll be an emergency if Mr. Johnson goes down there and gets electrocuted because the outlets were not GFCI, right? THIS COULD SAVE HIS LIFE!!!! While we're at it, let's use the ladder truck to trim Mr. Wilson's trees. They are growing onto his roof. He's a little unsteady on the old ladder, and he could fall and break his neck. THIS COULD SAVE HIS LIFE!!! And the McGillicuddy's have a new pool that needs to be filled. The Crabtree's gutters need cleaning, let's go over there and throw some ladders so Mr. Crabtree can clean 'em.

    Where does it end? You are responsible for maintaining YOUR property. We are an emergency service. If your definition of an emergency is different from mine, Mr. Homeowner, well, maybe you should get up at 2AM with me for this guy having an MI. And shame on the chiefs and city leaders who allow this incredible abuse of PUBLIC services.
    Omnis Cedo Domus


  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Jul 1999
    Flanders, NJ


    We had several chronic problem basements where we were continually going back again and again. We told them we weren't doing it anymore. Their tax dollars do not include non-emergency maintenance of their house. It was kind of like the old Midas Muffler commercial..."YOUR BASEMENT! FIX IT!"

  6. #6
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    Jul 2002


    We do some pumping but we use large as powered portable sump pumps and not our pricy fire pumps.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Dec 1999
    NW Ohio


    as my compatriot Jay so emphatically said............. here we dont do it either........... Jay you ok my brother? LOL
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
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  8. #8
    Forum Member RobbyJR307's Avatar
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    Dec 2002

    Default Yep

    We pump out basements. We use sump pumps and portable pumps. We haven't went to the same house this year yet
    Engine Co 3
    Westmoreland City

    These opinions are mine and mine only nobody eles.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2003


    We don't get called to pump that many basements out, but when we do we go. Our motto is to Protect Life and Property, and that's what we're doing, protecting property. Most of our calls come from elderly people, and I don't mind at all going up if they're in need of some help. After all, that's what we're here for aren't we?
    We also use our portable pumps to pump out basments, and not our trucks.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2002


    We do celler pumping. On each truck we have prosser pumps that we used. Thies year we did alot of celler pumping, 20 celler pumps we pumped out in the Westville/ Woodbury area.
    Rob aka Squinty

    The Fighting Seventy-Third

    Westville Fire Department
    Gloucester County
    New Jersey

  11. #11
    Permanently Removed Kvfcjr's Avatar
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    Jan 2003


    We never do cellar pumping, thogh we have lent oiut a generator to someone on dialasys once

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber ff7134's Avatar
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    Nov 2002

    Default Pumping

    No basement pumping here. Have had people call at 5am to ask if we pump waterbeds!!!
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

    IAFF Local 3900

    IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

    ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats


  13. #13
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
    At the Helm


    We used to pump cellars, but the chief decided it was not our job, so now we respond to "water emergencies" and on occation pump those out. Mostly, we'll pump if the water threatens the furnace or electrical system of a house, otherwise, here's the phone numbers to three local services which will gladly come over and charge you ten times what you should have paid for a decent sump pump.

    OH, and we do not use the big pump, realistically you could not get the hard suction into the basement of most of these houses w/o sinking the truck up to its axles in the mud.
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  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Feb 2000


    We do not have the equipment or training to pump cellars or basements. Our view is like what Jay said, we are an emergency service. That would not be an emergency. We will come and shut off the power or remove any hazard but will not use a very expensive pump for cleaning out someone's basement. Yes we are service oriented but that would be a job for a professional who has the equipment and training. Not to mention the insurance coverage if something goes wrong.

    Keep your head down and your powder dry.
    Lt.Jason Knecht
    Altoona Fire Rescue
    Altoona, WI

  15. #15
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Jan 1999


    Basements don't seem to be a popular option in the south. Most homes feature a slab or crawl space instead. They especially aren't something you'll often find in new construction here. Considering that most homes in my district are 20 years old or younger, basement pumping isn't something we're equipped to handle.

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