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  1. #1
    Forum Member Smoke20286's Avatar
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    Default Firefighting During Snow Storms

    I'm posting this here in the Canadian Forum because It seems to be picking up here and our neighbour to the south,(for the most part) simply don't understand what real winter weather is. What sort of special procedures do you do during severe storms? Do you use chains? Is municipal snow clearing equipment designated for your use?
    I recall once during a house fire attempting to ventilate through a window shoving my arm and an axe handle out the window and still not breaking the surface of the snow, LOL
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    We are a high alpine Ski Resort Community, and we see snow. We have chains on our truck all winter long because you never know when the storms will come. The new truck is getting auto-chains, but I am still not totally confident that they will work right in super deep snow. We'll see.

    We have a couple of big snow shovels on the wall beside the engine that we can throw on the back when we respond during a storm. You have to expect to dig out the hydrant, then the propane valve, then the sprinkler connection, etc...

    We do have the ability to get at a couple of bobcats from the village if we had to, but the big municipal plows are based 40 mintues away, so they won't help much unless they just happen to be in the area. We do have radio and direct phone contact with the highway maintenance dispatch room, so we can redirect crews to accident sites when necessary.

    Our biggest concern is controlling traffic on our nasty little mountain road when an accident has occured, so we are prepared to close the road on short notice if we are responding down there.

    Aside from that, we have a few procedures to reduce the risk of freeze-ups, and we often have to limit or restrict roof and/or ladder ops if the snow is unstable (3' of snow and ice sliding off a hotel roof can take you off a ladder and kill you).

    Ain't winter great!
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  3. #3
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    our nasty little mountain road
    THAT is a nasty road! And real fun when the visibility is zero!
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  4. #4
    Forum Member Smoke20286's Avatar
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    We have chains on our truck all winter long because you never know when the storms will come.
    I'm a little confused, are your roads snow covered all winter long, here if you use chains anytime other then the height of the storm, and you have to go any distance you run the risk of having them wear away and break, getting tangled between the wheels or worse around the axle
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

  5. #5
    Forum Member Smoke20286's Avatar
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    Do you drain your pumps in cold weather?
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Yes, our roads are snow covered at least 80% of the time from November to April. We have used this set for 15 years, and they are only about 50% worn (just about time for replacement).

    We do drain our pump because we have a front mount, and it will freeze in less than a minute during cold weather responses. Also, we share a hall with the ski hill's snowmaking plant, so if they leave the bay door open for an extended period it will freeze. We have responded a few times in the past to find out the pump or gauges are frozen solid.

    We drain every time now.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  7. #7
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    Talking Gotta love the great frozen north

    Canadian weather eh? lol

    Well, lets see, we have chains for the tires, we have multiple shovels and axes for the snow. We also might employ a farmer with a tractor to help us clear out a path or to raze a structure for us if its a goner. We all carry atleast 3 pairs of gloves plus a lge box of spares in our rescue van and you must leave the hoses running partially to keep them from freezing up and becoming an ice cube when you need water bad. We also have a front mount pump so that must be kept drained. If the weather is particularly cold and nasty, 15 minute shifts are regulated for the on scene men so they dont get too cold or risk having frost bite or worse.

    My personal favorite is when you are taking off your gear and its frozen from the water and cold, have actually had to pry guys out of their gear,lol

    CanadianFirefighter

    Lead, Follow or get the hell outta my way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. #8
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    Hey Smoke,

    ya got to love that nfld weather right :-> anyways as for your ? yes we do have public works equipment at our resources if need be when old man winter hits and we also have chains on our trucks. as for the pumps well we have one pumper which we have to drain but the newer one has a built in pump heater. ( works great ) Hope it helps.

  9. #9
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    Just a little bit of info here to help out anyone.

    For all those that have problems with water freezing in their pipes on the trucks or in their water tanks, try adding some radiator fluid in your tank water and in your windshield washer fluid.

    When you activate your windshield washer, it will take the ice off quickly and will not allow ice to form back right after.

    Also during the summer months, putt 1 cup of liquid dishwashing soap in your tank. This coats and protects your tank and pipes from rusting.

    I know it sounds funny but it really works.

    Be Safe and Be Proud

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    I would be carefull what you stick in your tank, and suggest using RV system anti-freeze, or other stuff that is non-toxic and harmless to the environment. You don't want the city inspector writing you a ticket for the little slick you left on the road after a practice or false alarm.

    Good ideas though. The bloody pump gauge froze up on us again last week (-30 out)
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  11. #11
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    Sorry, that was implied to use non-toxic environment safe anti-freeze. Also when time is of the essence and you’re in the beginning stages of drafting, “Cheat Draft”. For the ones that don’t know what I mean, here is a quick fixes to long winded drafting op’s. You can also use this technique when your primer pump goes out.

    1. Place your hard suction into the pool, river, ocean, etc. Don’t forget the 24” side to side and up and down rule.

    2. Engage your pump.

    3. Open the valve that leads to your hard suction.

    4. Open your tank to pump and flow water down your hard suction.

    5. Depending on you tank capacity, when the gauge reads about ¼ left start to increase your RPM’s and slowly open a discharge until you have the handle pulled all the way outand flowing water out some hose or relay pumping to another truck. This will happen relatively quickly and only takes a few seconds to obtain.

    Wishing all my Canadian Brothers and Sisters in the profession Good luck and Be Safe

  12. #12
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    As far as public works is concerned we get crap all for assistance from them are far as snow removal...our members plow out our station with POV's.....which essentially saves our dept all sorts of money when winter rolls around...We've never had a problem with freezing probably because our hall is nice and toasty during the winter months..Our members clean out around our hydrant systems usually whenever there is a heavy snowfall the next day members will be clearing the snow..And if we get a page for a place we know is gonna be snowcovered and difficult for apparatus to get too usually two officers with plows on POV respond and make a path big enough for trucks.. ...we've also have some p'od residence owners when i a lil bit of lawn has been destroyed...but meh..whatever...


    Stephen
    Capt/MFR
    KVFD

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber ROOKIELZ's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Here's a good one for ya: a few years ago our (then) Mayor was driving by late at night when we were coming back from a call. The trucks were moving ice monuments and we were all ice monsters and more than a tad grumpy. The Mayor pulled over to say "I didn't know that you guys went out in this cold weather." We were flabbergasted!!

    To this day I can't believe someone actually was that stupid!!

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber ROOKIELZ's Avatar
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    Our bloody pump froze I hear you loud and clear on THAT one

  15. #15
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    An oldie but a goodie! There seems to be a number of swearwords hehehe oh well.

    ****

    LIVING IN NEWFOUNDLAND


    DEAR DIARY:

    AUG. 1

    Moved to our new home in Newfoundland. It is so beautiful here. The people are so nice. The city is so picturesque. Can hardly wait to see it covered with snow.

    I LOVE IT HERE



    Sept. 25

    Newfoundland is the most beautiful place on earth. The leaves are turning all different colors. I love the shades of red and orange. Went for a ride through the hills and saw some moose. They are so big and graceful. Certainly they are the most peaceful animals on earth. This must be paradise.

    I LOVE IT HERE.



    Oct. 1

    Moose season is open now. I can't imagine anyone wanting to kill such an elegant creature. The very symbol of peace and tranquility. Hope it will snow soon.

    I LOVE IT HERE.



    DEC. 2

    It snowed last night. Woke up to find everything blanketed in white. It looked like a postcard. Went outside and cleaned snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. We had a snowball fight today (I won). When the snowplow came by we had to shovel the driveway again. What a beautiful place. Mother Nature in perfect harmony.

    I LOVE IT HERE.



    DEC. 12

    More snow last night. I love it. The snowplow did his trick again that rascal. A winter wonderland.

    I LOVE IT HERE.



    DEC. 19

    Snowed again last night. Couldn't get out of the driveway to get to work this time. I'm exhausted from shoveling.

    ****ing Snowplow!



    DEC. 22

    More of that white **** fell last night. I've got blisters on my hands from shoveling. I think the snowplow hides around the corner and waits until I'm done shoveling. That *******!



    DEC. 25

    "White Christmas" my busted ***. Mother ****ing snow. If I ever get my hands on that son-of-a-bitch who drives that snowplow, I swear I will castrate the dumb bastard. Don't know why they don't use more salt on this ****ing ice.



    DEC. 28

    More of the same **** last night. Been inside since Christmas day except for when "Snowplow Harry" comes by. Can't go anywhere. The car is buried in a mountain of white ****. The weatherman says expect another 25 centimeters of this **** tonight. Do you know how many shovels full of snow 25 centimeters is?



    JAN. 1

    Happy ****ing New Year. The weatherman was wrong (AGAIN). We got 50 ****ing centimeters of snow this time. At this rate it won't melt until the 1st of July. The snowplow got stuck down the road and **** for brains had the balls to come to the door and ask to borrow my shovel. I told him I broke 6 shovels already, shoveling out the **** he plowed into my driveway. I broke the 7th

    shovel over his ****ing head.



    JAN. 4

    Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food and on the way back a moose ran out in front of the car and I hit the ****er. Did about $3,000.00 damage to the car. Wish the hunters would have killed them all last

    September.



    MAY 3

    Took the car to the garage in town today. Would you believe the body is rotting away from all the ****ing salt they keep dumping all over the roads. It really looks like a piece of ****.



    MAY 10

    Moved to Florida today. I can't imagine why anyone their right ****ing mind would want to live in the God forsaken Province of Newfoundland.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  16. #16
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    Talking

    Sheri,
    That was ****ing priceless!!!! laughed my self silly

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Classic!

    One of our Lt's is planning on moving out to the maritimes next year. I forwarded this one on to him as a warning.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  18. #18
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Whoops on the timing didn't mean to post this a day or two before they got hit with 10 feet of snow

    Nice to see you signed up at IACOJ finally, Marty.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by captjab
    For all those that have problems with water freezing in their pipes on the trucks or in their water tanks, try adding some radiator fluid in your tank water and in your windshield washer fluid.
    Just wondering how much rad fluid I'd have to add to our 2500 gallon tanker...LOL

  20. #20
    Forum Member LACAPT's Avatar
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    Best thing to use in your tanks year round is a water soluble oil such as ESSO Kutwell 40 or 45. This is an oil that is 100% missable in water is non staining and is an excellent lubricant. All that is required in a 1000 gal. tank is about 2 cupfulls every 2-3 months. It keeps the valves lubricated and helps to keep metal tanks from rusting.

    In the winter after every call weather we flow water or not we take the caps off every outlet and ensure that they are free of any water.

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