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  1. #1
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    Default Front bumper operations on wildland fires

    Front bumper operations on wildland fires

    I am looking to find any information, ideas, sogís, comments or suggestions in reference to having firefighters ride on the front bumper of an apparatus during wildland operations. Some of the departments in our area utilize larger brush trucks (F-750 for example) and have a large front bumper equipped with a whip line that is used for fire attack. Any info or experiences, good or bad, would be greatly appreciated. Our department is looking into purchasing a larger brush truck and wanted to gain more knowledge on the issue of firefighters riding on the front of the apparatus.

    Thanks for your help.


  2. #2
    Forum Member PattyV's Avatar
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    Never seen it done and not too sure i want to see it done. If you have something go wrong like terrain slippige or even failure of brakes, it could end real badly for the blokes on the front.
    Suppose it saves their legs a bit though.
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    You either ride in the cab, or you walk. Riding on any bumper, or on the sides is NOT acceptable.

    What happens if your truck rolls over? No guarentees that the person won't get hurt when they are ejected from the bumper, or worse, land under the vehicle itself.

    Get a hose long enough that can be operated by a seatbelted member from the passenger's seat. An extra few feet of redline, or whatever hose you're using won't make a difference.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Please Please! Dont do this!!! DO NOT MAKE IT SOP!!!

    You are just asking to get somebody hurt/killed and you arse in a LOT of hot water!

    Look at this thread please!

    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...threadid=71996
    -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
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    There was a firefighter killed in Texas last year or the year before that was riding on the seat mounted on the front bumper. The brush truck was hit by another vehicle and it rolled.

    Years ago I used to ride in this position. I hated it. One reason should sum it up nicely: MESQUITE TREES.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
    IACOJ Attack

    Experts built the Titanic, amateurs built the Ark.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber mtnfireguy's Avatar
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    It is very similar to placing a hot dog on a stick and placing it in the fire....

    If the truck stalls or the driver is not on the ball the poor guy on the front can be placed right into the fire.


    As others have already said.. in the cab, or walking.
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
    "Everybody Goes Home"

    IACOJ 2003

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    I agree with the other responses.

    BAD IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Not only a bad idea in the best of circumstances but think about the habits that will be formed and used under limited visibility and questionable terrain situations.

    If you're going to write an SOP concerning this activity I would concentrate on banning the activity and ensure fire fighters stay to the side, out from in front, or at least within view while ground guiding and fighting fire.

    Good Luck

  8. #8
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    Can not disagree with the safety aspect of this...it is not safe. However, I think that you will find many fire departments in the plains states have these. My department runs three trucks with front racks and they work well. You may want to look at a body style that puts the firefighter behind the cab or use a remote control bummper turent. Unruh Fire or Weis Fire have some nice ideas on thier websites.

    Yes, there are new trucks in my area that have come with front bumper racks. The biggest reason they are still used is "old schoolers" purchasing rigs and many departments do not have the money to do remote turents.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by RyanEMVFD
    Years ago I used to ride in this position. I hated it. One reason should sum it up nicely: MESQUITE TREES.
    Well that sounds like a good reason for revenge via grilling :-D I bet that fire smelled really good......

  10. #10
    Forum Member PattyV's Avatar
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    I cant think of one instance where this style would be of any use what so ever if you wanted to stay alive. Surely this would/could only be used if you were flanking a fire, and why cant you just walk behind the truck and do this? But even for this tactic, you would be wasting way too much water.
    You guys must have completely different tactics to us.
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

  11. #11
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    As others have said "ride in the cab or walk."

    It doesn't cost a lot of money to set up for grass/prairie fires.

    First set up a short line for use by the passenger. Make sure it is not long enough to drag on the ground when the vehicle is moving. There have been arm and shoulder injuries caused by the vehicle running over the line.

    Second install spray bars. These can be made from 1/2" or 3/4" pipe with a pipe cap on the end. Cut a slot in the cap to get the spray pattern. Use hose from the pump to the spray bars with valves inside the cab to control them. 1/4 turn valves work well. We use three spray heads (left, center, right). You can also use electric valves but they are a bit pricey.

    If you are using a bigger chassis such as an F-750, C-70 etc., check with a local contractor on the spray bar set-up they use on their water trucks.

    You may have to construct a manifold out of rectangular thick wall tubing to supply the various discharges.

    Depts in ag areas probably have most of the parts already in the station "shop" or at the members farms.

    Stay Safe
    IACOJ
    Last edited by Rayr49; 07-25-2005 at 08:34 AM.

  12. #12
    Forum Member JackTee09's Avatar
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    Having never served in a department where wildfire of any significant size was ever a problem I can't comment on tactics.

    However the idea of putting someone on the bumper of a piece of apparatus seems to me much more dangerous than the way we used to ride on the back.

    Just curious - does the USFS use vehicles configured in this manner or is it local departments?
    Jacktee

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  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JackTee09
    Having never served in a department where wildfire of any significant size was ever a problem I can't comment on tactics.

    However the idea of putting someone on the bumper of a piece of apparatus seems to me much more dangerous than the way we used to ride on the back.

    Just curious - does the USFS use vehicles configured in this manner or is it local departments?
    Any state of Fed agency will cook your goose if you are trying to ride on the outside of an apparatus!!!

    BIG BIG NO NO!!!!

    Nevada BLM does a lot of pump and roll, they have firefox monitor guns on the front bumper.

    Remote control monitor guns can be pricy, 5000-6000$. But hey, its worth it. Think of it as a piece of PPE. You spend nearly that much on a SCBA to protect yourself, why not on a piece of equipment that can save your life and actualy protect more then one FF at once!

    Or if you are handy in the shop and dont want to spend more then 500-1000 then check out project 58.

    http://www.roscommonequipmentcenter.com/

    http://www.roscommonequipmentcenter....cts/rec58u.pdf

    We built one of these, seems to work pretty good.

    We got rid of the twist in the upper pipe and just put on a OPW 1" swivle, the same item used on 1" fuel lines at gas station pumps.

    We also went with larger actuators with a LOT more power, 110 pounds of push pull force, got them off ebay. They are intended to open close car doors remotely. Like for a hot rod fancy car or something.

    -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.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Make this your goal.

    Nevada BLM 6x6 ATC trucks with 2500 gallons and front bumper monitor guns.

    -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.

  15. #15
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    Default Not a good idea...risk management factor

    Just remember...its a brush fire.....not worth a life. I have seen it done and i actually have done it....and i also hated it

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber SamsonFCDES's Avatar
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    Default Re: Not a good idea...risk management factor

    Originally posted by firegod101
    Just remember...its a brush fire.....not worth a life. I have seen it done and i actually have done it....and i also hated it
    Yeah, its not a good way to do things...

    Bad.



    Good.

    -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.

  17. #17
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    Sure are alot of BLM fans out there. As for a Gov. agency hanging you for riding on exterior of truck during wildland operations, Iguess someone should tell that Forestry guy.

    Bottom line.....firefighting is dangerous! I would rather be on the back of a brush truck when the wind changes suddenly, than to have to try and run. Here in the plains, there is not a great concern of rolling a vehicle ( due to the very flat terrain).

    We don't fight brush fires head on, we just flank them. Truck exterior is a good way to perform these operations. But by all means check with your governing body and see how they feel about it before you go and throw a rack on the front of your new brush truck.

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