1. #1
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    Question Storing k-12 and Saws with no fuel???

    Alright, somebody help me out here. I got blasted by my chief and got no support what so ever from my other officers.

    We recently put in place our new aerial platform. We have brand new 2 chain saws and a k-12 equivalent (Huskavaria). The tools were placed on the truck without ever being fueled or even tested to see if they work (let alone no in-service training on the tools themselves).

    The saws were placed on the truck un-fueled and I was told they did not need to be tested because "they are new and should have been tested from the factory". After arguing my reasons with one of the line guys who I guess started this notion after the manufacture supposedly told him to store the tools empty to avoid varnishing, I exercise a little rank and went ahead and fueled and tested the saws. Of course they worked fine, only furthering his point in his and the chiefs head. One point of me testing was that I discovered that the tools were not oiled (chain lube), did not have any lube on the truck and there was no fill funnel for either fluid. I could just see us either getting the roof and someone no checking the tools or filling the gas and assuming the saw had lube seizing the chain.

    I was told our actual action plan is that if we need the saws we are going to fill them when get on scene...and I guess empty them out sometime later.

    As a side point, beyond not having critical rescue tools ready immediately, unless I am mistaken, that is far more likely to cause varnishing as the slight coating of gas will evaporate quickly when drained repeatedly and leave behind a varnishing residue. In my opinion, if the fuel we are using is varnishing, either we need to get some fuel stabilizer or start getting better gas from a commercial station instead of city pumps. Supposedly we have had issues with a saw not starting on scene. I think the solution is to better enforce maintenance, not to leave saws empty and not prepared for deployment.

    Someone tell me if I am completely off base wanting to have these tools ready to go right off the truck???? Does anybody else run with tools sitting dry on a truck?

    For Reference we run just under a 800 calls last year with about 200 being fires. We perform regular truck checks every Thursday where tools are to be started.]

    I hate to not be supportive of operational procedures being an officer at my department, but this is just not making any operational sense. I have run ladder companies out on the east coast for a few years and we would have been the laughing stock of the state if we ever pulled this. I feel I have an obligation to ensure that any crew I am going to be commanding on the aerial is prepared, and this just seem to be circumventing that effort.
    Last edited by cjennings; 04-05-2005 at 04:13 PM.
    [FONT=Garamond]Asst. Chief Chris Jennings

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    all tools must be ready for use when put on a vehicle...that means full of gas and oil...if you have a problem with the gas turning to varnish then you arent checking your equipment enough....

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    I hate to not be supportive of operational procedures being an officer at my department,

    No, it's a non-operational plan. Someone has experienced recto-cranial inversion.

    Fire department equipment should be kept ready to use. You shouldn't be taking time to fill it, and goodness knows under what conditions (torrential rain storm on a dark night?) you're trying to fill it in a hurry. And then surer than **** someone will put the straight gas into the two-cycle engine while rushing 'cause there is smoke & flames!

    Run the saws once a month, keep the gas rotating through. The "varnishing" issue is associated with long term storage (and frankly I've never seen it with my personal equipment...don't know why I see it other places!)

    Even at that, I've occassionaly found saws we haven't started in a long time that could knock out an elephant when you open the gas cap...some fresh gas and we're back in business.
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    Originally posted by firewally1966
    ...if you have a problem with the gas turning to varnish then you arent checking your equipment enough....
    exactly
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    Ask if they want to leave the truck fuel tanks mostly empty, you can stop for fuel on the way. Ask if they want to leave SCBA bottles empty, you can fill them when needed.

    Better yet, don't ask, you may not want to hear the answers.
    "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?

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    Your chief and officers need a smack upside the head. Don't worry, you're right.
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    Wow stupidity lives. I HATE fueling saws with a passion so it's just what I would want to be doing in a rush when I actually needed the darn thing.

    Emergency tools should be ready to go at any given time. They should be maintained, adjusted, tested, REPEAT! All our power equipment is run a minimum of 1 time per week for testing purposes regardless of whether they were used on a run or not earlier in the week.

    As for the varnishing argument, how exactly were they factory tested??? With invisible fuel? It's my understanding that it is not the fuel in the tank that is the issue with varnishing it is the coating of fuel left in the carb, etc that will gum up on you. First off, go back to paragraph 2 for a solution. Second, the only time that happens to me is my snowblower after it sits from March to December. If your fd's power equipment is sitting idle without any sort of maintenance or testing for 8 months, you have a different problem you need to address.

    BTW.... do you keep fuel in your rigs?? What if you don't get a call, I mean what a waste to keep the BRT filled with diesel for nothing!

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    You're right.

    Here's another point for your corner. Did anybody think to check the manuals on these saws? They all probably have a recommended burn-in period.

    We've got a Husky demolition saw and if I remember correctly the burn in procedure calls for you to run a three tanks of fuel through it before you place it in service.

    Oh, and one more thing - that Husky is a very nice saw...

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    The saws are actually Ventmasters (modified husky tools) just to clairify.

    To further my point...

    Stihl Break in instructions...

    They specifically state to run full throttle off load for the first 3 tanks to bed in the parts. The saws will not make full power until after the first 5-15 tank fillings.

    According to Huskavana tech support the power heads we use require no special breakin, they are set to go out of the box. Huskavana deals are encouraged to start the saws and set the carbs with a tach prior to turning them over to the customer.

    note. I am not sure if ventmaster performs this or not, I have not gotten an update from them.

    and here is Ventmasters statement right from their website FAQs...
    Can I use a gas stabilizer in the Ventmaster fire rescue saw?
    The Tempest VentMaster is equipped with the 372XP Husqvarna power head. If the recommended Husqvarna XP 50:1 oil is used, it has a gas stabilizer in the mixture that increases storage time up to 120 days. Additional stabilizers should not be used
    Last edited by cjennings; 04-21-2005 at 06:53 PM.
    [FONT=Garamond]Asst. Chief Chris Jennings

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    is stihl the manufacturer of one of your units? if so, bring that manual to the chief and try to convince him that way.

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    Ok, since I own a small engine repair shop I can probably shed some light on the subject. Use a good quality gas additive and good quality fuel and you'll never have a problem. If the saw isn't used a lot, pour out the gas every 6 months or so and fill up with fresh gas. Then run it for a few minutes to get the old gas burnt out of the carb. The only time we see problems with stale gas is when the equipment is stored over a year, in high temp areas or in direct sunlight.
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    I did bring all this infromation to the Chief as detailed above and he shrugged and refused to consider any change.
    [FONT=Garamond]Asst. Chief Chris Jennings

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    We run all fuel driven equipment once a week on training night and any levels that need topping up are done straight afterward. Do you keep all you equipment unfuelled? What about extrication equipment?
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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    That is the other part of my arguement, why is that we store all the other tools full. Heck, our rescue tools get less use.

    I am concerned that with a mix, that the guys could make a simple mistake and grab a tool like they would off any other truck and not check the tool thinking it should be set to go like any other truck.

    Also, with the ladder we have being such a resource for the county as a whole, we are already being appraoched for many mutual aid calls, what happens when another crew from another department is sent over to grab a tool from the truck, lets face it, piliging and crew swapping happens at times.

    I don't get how anybody can make this arguement against this...
    [FONT=Garamond]Asst. Chief Chris Jennings

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    Lt Jennings I feel sorry for you as your Chief is a lane brain .....we have multiple saws, Stihl, VentMaster, Cutters Edge. The saws are ran at least once a week for a minumum of 30 mins, and then after cooling down refueled so they are ready to go when they are needed. I am sorry you are stuck in the twilight zone my friend ..........if he wont listen to Arhaney........ who will he listen to ? What is ho going to do @ o'dark hundred when someone is trapped and you gotta stop and make the saw ready ? Thumbs up to Bones and FFtrainer.........
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    I have to agree with the others on this subject. All equipment must be ready for use at any given time. It seems idotic to me that someone in the emergency service sector would not listen to or understand the problems related to the burden placed on responders at the scene an emergency incident.

    Question: Does the police department respond to see if an actual emergency exist before "allowing" the fire department to respond? This follows the same mind set in theory, does it not?

    I feel for you and your attempts to educate the administration of your department. Hopefully all will be worked out and they will see the proper method for storing such equipment on the apparatus.

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    Default Re: Storing k-12 and Saws with no fuel???

    Originally posted by cjennings
    I was told our actual action plan is that if we need the saws we are going to fill them when get on scene...and I guess empty them out sometime later.
    This would never happen in my County because nobody would even think of this ridiculous practice, but if a truck company had to delay going to the roof because they arrived to my fire scene with empty saws (on purpose), not only would they be sent home immediatly, but they would be taken off of our box alarm and never be called again!

    Then, I would make sure the engine guys inside knew exactly who caused the opening to be delayed!
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    Default Re: Re: Storing k-12 and Saws with no fuel???

    Originally posted by SIGNAL99COM


    This would never happen in my County because nobody would even think of this ridiculous practice, but if a truck company had to delay going to the roof because they arrived to my fire scene with empty saws (on purpose), not only would they be sent home immediatly, but they would be taken off of our box alarm and never be called again!

    Then, I would make sure the engine guys inside knew exactly who caused the opening to be delayed!
    No kidding. What the he** are these people thinking
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    Ignorance is curable I hear...
    You appear to have something far more dangerous brewing at your station.
    An uneducable command staff is scary indeed.
    Something other than logic and life safety is steering his mouth.
    Last edited by permaprobie; 04-06-2005 at 01:07 PM.

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    OK I just have to ask this

    Did you guys at least put fuel in the ne ladder truck?
    You need only two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the duct tape.

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    If the chief is worried about the fuel varnishing in the tank, is he not worried that it will do the same in the gas can? Maybe the motion of the truck will keep it agitated enough to prevent varnishing - thats why all fuel cans are only half full. This would prevent varnishing in the fuel cans. Maybe if you only put a half tank of gas in the equipment? (tongue in cheek sarcasm)

    Fill all equipment and gas cans - mix and mark each container to prevent a 50:1 mix going into a 25:1 tool.

    Stick to your guns. Run against him in your next election 'cuz you are probably not alone and he may have other hairbrained ideas tucked away.

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    All of our tools are kept fueled and ready to go, with the exception of the ones on our state-owned Office of Emergency Services engine. OES requires us to keep all tools on that rig "dry", because they do sit long periods of time unused. Also, since this rig primarily only responses to wildland incidents, there's usually plenty of time in staging to fuel up the tools.

    All the other tools are kept fueled and run every weekend (10 minutes or so) by the duty crew. We don't use any extra stabilizer, and we've never had any problems with fuel condition.
    Chris Gaylord
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    Thanks for the support guys.

    We officially have a new full time chief starting in 2 weeks. He is from the Tri-State (Or tri-point maybe) area south of Chicago. He was the ***. Chief there for years, is now retired and is now coming out to be our first of many full time members. We are growing quickly being a connecting suburb North Des Moines and this is a needed change from our strictly paid on call status.

    We had an opportunity to meet him the other day; I think he is going to do a lot of good for our department. I think he was walking softly knowing this is a huge shift for the department as a whole and some rebuilding is in order. I got a strong sense that he has a pretty progressive view of the fire service as a whole. One thing for sure, we are going to have to kick up a level to meet his expectations I would guess.

    I ran out east for a while, huge difference in how the departments are run, I don't want to bash on any of the guys at the house, we have some great ones, but there is just a huge difference. I guess most of that comes from always being in 'friendly' competition with the other stations and a much higher call volume. There is simply a different type of pride I will call it out there. I am sure that is true of any high population area departments. Lords knows I have sure slacked off from how I use to perform and act out there, I think I have forgotten most of what use to be routine. My point of this is statement is that I hope our new chief is going to bring and enforce some of that competetive enthusiam.

    Anyways, my current chief really is a great guy, especially outside the dept, he will always give you hand. Just when it comes to policies like this and his little friends network of inexperienced firefighter giving advice... ahhhh. No one person knows it all, but at least some of us like to ask those that have done it before for some help instead of reinventing the wheel. Running a busy metro department you learn a lot about truck work pretty quick or you are simply going to be missing the truck……..a lot. Things had a way of working themselves out back east. Things are different out here and granted that means some different skills and experience is needed, but some things just should not change. Being ready to respond and perform at a moments notice is suppose to be the hallmark of the Fire Service, anything less is a disrespect to all our brothern who have ever joined in protecting our communities.
    Last edited by cjennings; 04-12-2005 at 04:04 PM.
    [FONT=Garamond]Asst. Chief Chris Jennings

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    What I see happening here is: The first time you need to use one of the saws someone will fill it up when they arrive, do there job and put it back on the Truck when they get back to the station they will not empty the fuel and now the saw has fuel in it problem solved.
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    Yup, that was my intent of putting fuel in the saws to test them. As the training officer it is simple, I am just going to make sure we pull them and use them for something evey time we are the station.

    Sooner or later people will relize the futility of such a procedure.

    Last I checked no one has emptied the saws as yet....
    [FONT=Garamond]Asst. Chief Chris Jennings

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