1. #1
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    SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Jul 2003

    Default FD Man and Machine Strenght?

    I would like to get a feel, to compaire and contrast, the strenght levels of rural FDs (metro are welcome to) in relation to the:

    1 Size of their Coverage Area
    2 Population Desnity
    3 Fuel Types/Terrain/Calls
    4 Hazards and disaster potential
    5 Location (Western/Eastern US, Austrailia, Canada, etc...)

    I would like to get a feel for where your strenght levels are at right now and where you would like them to be in about 5 years.

    Metro departments feel free to chime in although your numbers are going to be very high in comparison, especialy if you consider square mileage covered!


    We recently came up with a 5 year plan to bring our "firepower" up to a higher level to address our districts needs. I am curious as to what your thinking is as to what is realy needed for various fire districts as far as manpower and machinery.

    I will start out with the fire district I live in.

    1 730 Square Miles
    2 About 1 person per square mile, about 700 total
    3 Rolling Sage Prairy, some stands of pine, buts up against national forest/BLM land. Huge wildfire potential
    4 Large Natural gas pipleines and curde oil lines, extensive oil field. Puts us in critical infrastucture.
    5 Eastern Montana

    Current Manpower is 28, one full company. There has been talk of opening up a second company based withing the city limits to allow for expansion up to about 32-36. There is some rule limiting the number at 28 because of voly retirement and insrance reasons or some BS.


    2005 apparatus strenght

    1000/1000 Class A pumper (Well worn out, plumbing all shot)
    4400 Water Tender (Not GVW Legal)
    1200 Water Tender (Not GVW Legal)
    800 Gallon CAFS Wildland Heavy (Recently reworked, good unit)
    2 Type 5 Wildland Engines (500 Gallon tank on F550)
    6 Type 6 Wlldland Engines of various quality (200-400 gallon, some not GVW Legal)
    1 Type 3 Wildland Engine (500/500) backup for Class A/CAFS unit, POS

    I helped ths district board work up a plan to replace some of these units over the next 5 years.

    Grant apps are/will be going out for a new rural pumper/tanker to replace the Class A.

    The Water tender is to be replaced this year with a legal 3000 gallon tender.

    In 2 years the 1200 gallon tender will hopefully be replaced with a 2000 gallon tender.

    The 6 type 6 brush trucks well be replaced over time with the standard design Type 5 units.

    Projected 2010 strenght

    35-40 members
    2500/1500 Rural Pumper Tanker (Foam Dragon)
    3000/1000 Water Tender
    2000/1000 Water Tender
    800/ 250 CAFS Wildland Heavy
    500/ 125 8xType 5 Wildland Engines
    500/ 500 Type 3 Engine Reserve Unit (This may not stay around that long)

    We also plan to place 2 quick fill depots to the north and south of the district so that there are 3 places to rapidly fill for water shuttle.

    We are looking to improve the apparatus overall for safety and for general maintenace/upkeep. Keeping some of the old stuff running is no longer cost effective. We are also trying to keep up with the rapid oil industry expansion and the crazy wildland fire seasons we have been having.

    We run all structure, wildland, and industrial fires for the district. The District next door handles the rescue/extrication. There is a county wide ambulance service seperate from us.

    Needless to say we dont have a lot of structure fires...we would run out of structure realy fast if we did! We have about 5-10 residential/shop/barn fires a year.

    The wildfire season can be a crazy thing in MT. We can have between 25-75 lightning caused fires a season. Some of these can get realy realy huge and last for up to a month. Needless to say that if we dont catch it in the intial attack stage (about the first 48 hours) then its going to evolve into an extended attack fire with DNRC/BLM/USFS stepping in.

    We have a good number of vehicle fires mostly from the Agriculture and Oil industries, around 10 a year of various types. These range from old farm machinery going up from mechanical failure to big tanker trucks loaded will all sorts of hot burning goodies/hazmat goodies.

    We do get called out on all MVAs to assist the other district. All of our guys are trained to some extent for rescue buts its not a primmary mission for us. About 10 calls a year in home district.

    Similar thing with the EMS. We get called out on ocasion to assist the ambulance in lifting big'uns and in other neccessary situations, about 5 times a year.

    Manpower is going to be the most difficult issue right now. We simply dont have a whole lot of people around here. We think we can scrape up another 10 or so volies, but we are at the same time going to be having some guys retire.

    Thanks to some changes in the way the oil production taxes are levied we can possibly manage the apparatus updating with the exception of the Pumper Tanker which we are saving pennies for and applying for grants for. We have operates on happy thoughts and begging before, but the next few years should play out much differently the before as long as the price of oil stays high which is likely.

    We are not forseeing a major residential or population development trend right now, only minor growth, but that can change if the economic environment brought on by the oil industry keeps momentum going.

    Compaired to many places in MT we are growing very slowly.


    I hope to see if we are in the right strenght range in comparison to similar districts or even non similar districts.

    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Rescue101's Avatar
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    Jun 2001
    Bridgton,Me USA


    50 sq miles,4000+- year round upwards of 12,000 in the summer.90 personnel on payroll,6 Engines all 1000/1000 or greater,1 hazmat truck and trailer,1 Reel truck with 4000'LDH plus relay valves,1 2500 gal tanker,one 6x6 5T brush truck,1 100' stick(ladder)1 22' Airboat(7 lakes and ponds in town)Mixed response area including everything from industrial to merchantile,residential,woods,fuel dumps,propane farms,junkyards,and enough other to keep life interesting.Average is usually a call a day.8 chief officers,and 12 captains.Plus the Hazmat and dive teams are regional responders so if it's "good" we go.4 stations,one located in Village center,one North end,one South end,and one in the West district.Average time from activation to Engine/truck in road: 3-4 minutes.We've got everthing from flat ground(not much)to mountains/hills(plenty).And the lightning seems to prefer higher to lower,go figure.That's it in a nutshell,T.C.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Rescue2947's Avatar
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    Sep 2004


    1 Size of their Coverage Area
    10 miles x15 miles.

    2 Population Desnity
    Around 9,000 permenant and 15,000 peak summer months.

    3 Fuel Types/Terrain/Calls
    Large diameter Natural gas lines, Crude oil lines etc. Terrain is mostly flat, Calls we average about 300 , 400 a year.

    4 Hazards and disaster potential
    A 27-billion-gallon water reservoir -- 2.5 miles long, a mile wide, and 110 feet deep -- sits along U.S. 31, hidden by a steep, grassy hillside. Owned jointly by Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison -- and operated by Consumers Energy -- the Pumped Storage plant can generate enough electricity to serve a city of 1.4 million people.

    Customers throughout Michigan use energy generated by the facility. Because its six turbines can begin generating within a few minutes, the plant can respond quickly to daily, weekly and seasonal changes in energy demands.

    The plant operates very simply. At night, when demand is low, the facility's six reversible turbines pump water 363 feet uphill from Lake Michigan. The water is pumped through six large pipes, or "penstocks," to an 842-acre reservoir. During the day, when demand is high, the reservoir releases water to flow downhill through the penstocks. The flowing water turns turbines in the powerhouse to make electricity.

    Each of the six penstocks is 1,300 feet long and large enough for an 18-wheel semi-truck to drive through. The plant's turbines are rated at 433,000 horsepower, more than an aircraft carrier engine.

    5 Location (Western/Eastern US,
    Austrailia, Canada, etc...)
    Eastern US, Michigan

    We Currently have a roster of 22 members, all part paid volunteers.

    We run 15% fires 30% Car accidents 50% medicals and 5% misc.

    Our apparatus consists of the following
    1 Engine 1000/1000 E-One
    1 Pumper Tanker 1000/1500 Marion
    1 75ft Ladder (stick)E-One
    1 Brush unit Chevy 1-ton
    1 Medial unit Jeep
    Brush truck is the oldest at 1980's and all other apparatus is 1990 to 2002. Ladder bring the newest.

    We have formed a (WMCFA) Fire Authority. Which consists of 2 county and 1 city fire department. In the authority mutual aid is shared with numerus other apparatus to assist.

    Our Station covers 50/50 commercial and residential. Average out time is less than 5 min's.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Jul 2003


    Thanks guys.

    I am not surprised as we are so very rural, but you seem much more focused on the metro side of things.

    Of course, no surprised.

    We have such a focus on widlfire that our "metro" side of things suffers.
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Syracuse, NY, USA


    1)Our fire district is approximatly 15 square miles. We are on automatic mutual aid to 4 other fire districts so that increases are covage area dramaticly.

    2)The Population is 3000 or so.

    3) Terrain is all uphill. We average around 300 calls per year. All our apperatous is diesel except the squad.

    4)Disaster potential is small. All we have in our district and the districts we give aid to is a natural gas pipeline. However we are downwind from 2 nuke plants. Nothing can be done there but pray

    5) Eastern US Smack dab in the middle of NY

    We have around 30 active members. However during the day we are real short. We are lucky if we get 4 or 5 to show up for car accident or a fire if it's before 5pm.

    Our apparatus is as follows
    1989 International Tanker 1500 gallons
    1990 International Chassis Rescue Refurbished 2 yrs ago. Forget who made the body
    1994 E-One Engine with 1000 gallon tank seats 3
    2000 Pierce Engine with 1000 gallon tank and foam (one of only 3 in the county with foam not including the city) seats 6
    2004 Ford Explorer used as a squad seats 3
    2004 6x4 off road rig made by cub cadet

    All our rigs carry basic medical supply's along with AED's. The cheifs and all medical personal have dept supplyed AED's in there POV's.

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