1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
    Posts
    4

    Talking San Francisco FD `Rescue Squad`

    Hi Guys,
    Firstly, hello to you people from the UK! Am pretty much a first time user to this site so take it easy on me!
    My names Andy, and i`m a full time Firefighter in Merseyside, England.
    A question though if I may, I recently watched a very interesting programme on TV called `The Bravest` it featured Rescue Squad 2 of the San Francisco FD. I was pretty surprised to see crews riding in the back of the appliance (sorry apparatus!) in the open - in this country the brigade and health & safety people would have a fit if this happened!
    Is this usual practice in the states or would it have been for the benefit of the cameras?

    Take care
    Andy

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    CaptOldTimer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,243

    Unhappy

    In movies and TV shows that is the way those scenes are shown. In the real world, for the most part, that doesn't happen. You have to understand the American Movie makers and the tele show makers.

    Don't beleive what you see in the movies or the tele as the REAL thing.


    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  3. #3
    Permanently Removed
    CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    6,520

    Default The answer...

    Sir- Welcome to the forums. I will answer your question but I
    need to state something first. I will only state some brutal
    facts, but not hammering or insulting the agency you are
    speaking of.

    Ok...


    The fire department you are asking about is very, very
    traditional. From the numerous sources I have, this is very
    common for them. It is just the way they do things there.

    Yes, most safety offices aka OSHA would have a big problem
    with this, but again, it is just the norm. A little over a year
    ago, a member was killed on an apparatus responding to an
    airport emergency. I dont have the facts, but it was in a recent issue of Firehouse Magazine.

    It saddens me to lose a Firefighter this way. I havent heard if
    much has changed. I am ont going to go off on a rant becuase most
    people in here already know how I feel.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 11-23-2004 at 02:40 PM.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    gordoffemt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Greendale, IN, USA
    Posts
    290

    Default Quick correction

    In movies and TV shows that is the way those scenes are shown. In the real world, for the most part, that doesn't happen. You have to understand the American Movie makers and the tele show makers.
    This would be true if, in fact, the TV program "The Bravest" were a dramatization of the American fire service. It is, however, a real life "ride-along," if you will, with real U.S. departments, similar to the TV program "Cops."

    So, my right and honorable friend from the UK (Isn't that how your members of parliament speak to each other? I get bored and watch the BBC sometime.) you were correct to be amazed at the sight of firefighters riding in the open air. This does not happen anywhere near my home, that I know of, nor is it a widely accepted practice in the American fire service. But, as a previous post stated quite accurately, the folks in San Francisco continue to respond in that manner. Good or bad, right or wrong, stupid or reckless, that's the way they do business.

    Welcome aboard! Hope to hear from you again.
    Lt. D. Gordon
    Greendale Fire Department
    Greendale, IN

  5. #5
    dazed and confused
    Resq14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,993

    Default

    I believe that apparatus in question was replaced with a more modern style -- complete with enclosed seats for everyone -- if I recall correctly.
    God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
    Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
    Click this to search FH Forums!

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,682

    Default

    nor is it a widely accepted practice in the American fire service
    anymore.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  7. #7
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
    Posts
    4

    Default Cheers Guys !

    Guys,

    Many thanks for the swiftest of responses! Suitably impressed as it was only 90 minutes ago I posted the question (since then I watched my beloved football team (soccer) Liverpool, crash to defeat in the Champions League :-( !

    I can only pressume that in MOST parts of the USA, you guys ride forward facing? In jolly old England (where we speak posh, have a queen and drink tea from cups and saucers!) we ride two in the front of the cab (driver and OIC) then have four seats in the rear which usually rides two or three guys.

    Just one last thing on the San Francisco FD, one of our guys went on holiday over their last year and claims they still use wooden ladders and leather helmets! I pressume the former is due to the tram tracks?

    Best wishes to all and any questions you have about the UK, feel free to contact

    Andy

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    DennisTheMenace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Washington, DC/Northern Virginia
    Posts
    3,717

    Default Re: Cheers Guys !

    Originally posted by UKAndy2004
    Guys,

    Just one last thing on the San Francisco FD, one of our guys went on holiday over their last year and claims they still use wooden ladders and leather helmets! I pressume the former is due to the tram tracks?

    Best wishes to all and any questions you have about the UK, feel free to contact

    Andy
    Both are kept around for tradition. Although the merits of leather vs plastic helmets has been well debated here.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    Originally posted by UKAndy2004
    I can only pressume that in MOST parts of the USA, you guys ride forward facing? In jolly old England (where we speak posh, have a queen and drink tea from cups and saucers!) we ride two in the front of the cab (driver and OIC) then have four seats in the rear which usually rides two or three guys.

    Just one last thing on the San Francisco FD, one of our guys went on holiday over their last year and claims they still use wooden ladders and leather helmets! I pressume the former is due to the tram tracks?
    Andy, in most apparatus I've seen, it's usually driver/officer, then two seats facing back (directly behind the driver/officer) and two more looking forward (again, in line with the driver/officer), or four seats all facing back.

    and from what I have been told, many west coast depts, especially those in california, still use wooden ladders. the rest of the nation (money permitting) has upgraded to metal ladders, and many traditionalist departments are still using leather helmets or at least leather style helmets.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Here, There, Everywhere
    Posts
    4,191

    Default

    I would hesitate to use the term "upgrade" when discussing movement from Wooden to metal ladders. In fact John Mittendorf offers a complelling argument for wooden being far supperior.

    FTM-PTB

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Since the leather helmets have been thouroughly flogged before now, let me speak in defense of wooden ladders.
    First they are nonconductive, secondly they can withstand direct flame impingement without catastrophic failure.Finally they flex less than aluminum when you climb them. Admittedly they are not perfect and are much heavier but the benefits seem to outweigh the disadvantages.
    SFFD is a top notch department enmeshed in some painful turmoil. But being Old School is not a condemnation and I would work next to an SFFD company anytime.

  12. #12
    Permanently Removed
    CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    6,520

    Default Ugh..

    Wooden ladders? Been using alumimum for around 16 years and
    never had a problem with them. Less mainteance and LIGHTER.

    I can hear it now- "Oh Gee Bou, why does everything have to
    be lighter, progressive, etc..."

    Tell ya what, my current FD uses wooden ladders based solely
    on tradition. And I look around and some guys are getting sore
    and bad backs.

    Do the math? Is your career and family's well being worth
    the tradition of retiring out early because of a f-ed up back?
    God, we keep coming back to this "tradition over everything
    attitude" Thats why we keep having these alcohol incidents
    in the stations/firehouses. Its a way of thinking.

    Go ahead and blow your back out, I will still be riding the
    big red truck.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 11-23-2004 at 06:23 PM.

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    104

    Default

    BOU,
    If you think an Aluminum ladder can't hurt you you're nuts. It just hurts in different ways. We also went to aluminum in the 80's. But the ladders just were not good working platforms.
    If people are getting hurt throwing ladders then maybe you don't have sufficent personnel to handle the throw safely. I don't know your situation well enough to speak in a comparative way. Let's talk more.

  14. #14
    Permanently Removed
    CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    6,520

    Default Um...

    Like I said, I have been throwning alum. ladders for years, no
    problems and never got shocked. My back is good.

    Other guys with the wooden ones, bad backs after years.
    Oh well. It is not a lack of personnel or the way they
    are throeing them. They are just too damn heavy.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 11-23-2004 at 08:11 PM.

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Here, There, Everywhere
    Posts
    4,191

    Default

    Bou,

    I find it interesting you don't like Wooden ladders. Chief Mittendorf, who is also from the most progressive firefighting state has published articles with listing of weights for compareable sizes of portable ladders for aluminum, wood and fiberglass and in reality the wooden ones aren't any heavier than aluminum in most cases and also offer the benefit of less conductivity.

    Both Aluminium and wood were much lighter than compareable fire service fiberglass ladders.

    FTM-PTB

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,098

    Default

    UKAndy, the SFFD rig you are referring to is/was a Seagrave Bullet Nose Rescue. It was the 1950/60's model where the Driver and Officer rode in the cab and the rest of the Crew rode in a walkway style bench where a traditional hosebed would be. I remember seeing that unit in a show about the SFFD a while ago. I heard it was a Reserve Rescue, it looked like a beast to drive.

    I think Wooden Ladders have their place. I read somewhere that the SFFD uses them because of the Street Car Electric lines that run above street level. I do think Aluminum ladders are lighter and much easier to throw if you are understaffed. Remember, the SFFD runs 5-Man Truck Companies. They actually have a 50-Foot wooden extension ladder on all their truck companies too. And yeah, they use 100% Tiller Trucks, Leather Helmets, Long Black Coats and GASP! THREE QUARTER BOOTS WITH NO NOMEX HOODS!

    SFFD is definately the shining star of tradition on the West Coast. LAFD isn't too far behind them using Wooden Ladders as well.

    BOU, I guess if you know how to raise a ground ladder the proper way (CHECKING FOR OVERHEAD OBSTRUCTIONS!) You won't get shocked right?
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

    "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    DennisTheMenace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Washington, DC/Northern Virginia
    Posts
    3,717

    Default

    For a traditional department, what are they doing with Quints?!?!?!?
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  18. #18
    Permanently Removed
    CALFFBOU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    6,520

    Default Response back...

    Originally posted by FFFRED
    Bou,

    I find it interesting you don't like Wooden ladders. Chief Mittendorf, who is also from the most progressive firefighting state has published articles with listing of weights for compareable sizes of portable ladders for aluminum, wood and fiberglass and in reality the wooden ones aren't any heavier than aluminum in most cases and also offer the benefit of less conductivity.

    Both Aluminium and wood were much lighter than compareable
    fire service fiberglass ladders.
    Hey FFFred, I can only draw on my personal experiences.
    I have used alum. ladders for a long time with no problems.
    (Ofcourse I look for over head wires and obstructions.)
    Now I use wooden ladders and see a difference. Just my
    experiences.

    I also admit not working with fiberglass ladders, except the
    smaller, folding ones.

    I do know JM has written some great articles. I just havent
    read them. I have attended one of his classes, but ladders
    were not covered. (RIC/safety class)

    As for the SFFD, I dont work there and only get feedback from
    some sources and what I read.

    -Bou
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 11-24-2004 at 11:11 AM.

  19. #19
    Forum Member
    ThNozzleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Jefferson City, TN
    Posts
    4,334

    Default

    it featured Rescue Squad 2 of the San Francisco FD.
    I believe that very truck was featured in one of the "Emergency!" movies. Kind of interesting.
    http://modena.intergate.ca/personal/pl8s/E!MF33.htm

  20. #20
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    222

    Default

    "And yeah, they use 100% Tiller Trucks, Leather Helmets, Long Black Coats and GASP! THREE QUARTER BOOTS WITH NO NOMEX HOODS!"

    Actually, they're issued plastic helmets, and they went to full bunkers a while ago.

    Right now, there's only one FD left (as far as I know) that still lets the guys have the option of wearing wear wools instead of bunker pants :

    http://www.cityofsacramento.org/fire...y012204_28.jpg

    http://www.cityofsacramento.org/fire...d072003_02.jpg

    http://www.cityofsacramento.org/fire...r061504_43.jpg

    I can already hear some of you yelling at the computer screen- pretty non-progressive, huh? But they also have a FEMA USAR team, the best driver training program in the nation, and an engine spec so nice departments all across the coun try have copied it.

  21. #21
    MembersZone Subscriber
    dmleblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Not the end of the earth but I can see it from here...
    Posts
    2,318

    Default

    First they are nonconductive, secondly they can withstand direct flame impingement without catastrophic failure.
    Must be some of that new non-combustible wood I've been hearing about.....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  22. #22
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    114

    Default

    Right now, there's only one FD left (as far as I know) that still lets the guys have the option of wearing wear wools instead of bunker pants :
    Didn't Chicago switch to bunker pants and then switch back to 3/4's boots if they wanted to?

    Rigin

  23. #23
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Here, There, Everywhere
    Posts
    4,191

    Default

    Chicago still wears 3/4s,

    Boston switched to allowing the members to make the best decision for themselves. Most members base that decision on whether they will be in the Engine or Truck.

    Most of the guys I know in Boston love the new policy.

    FTM-PTB

  24. #24
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Talking Waayyyyyy Out!!

    Originally posted by FFFRED
    Bou,

    I find it interesting you don't like Wooden ladders. Chief Mittendorf, who is also from the most progressive firefighting state FTM-PTB

    Really?? I had no idea Chief Mittendorf is from Maryland.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  25. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber
    npfd801's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Somewhere in Illinois
    Posts
    2,220

    Default

    The Bravest episode in question has the crew riding on an older Ford C rescue as shown in the link below:

    San Fran Rescue 2

    That said, I have no clue if they actually still ride this unit.

    **Not my site, not sure whose it is, but the picture was there**

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