1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Teach pump ops to non-DO's?

    There is some disagreement in our officer ranks as to whether or not we should teach pump ops to our non-driver operators. Everyone in the department is required to learn to drive all apparatus, but some haven't done so yet or are on probation and can't drive yet.

    There's disagreement about if we should go over pump ops with the whole department as a department-wide training. Some people argue that the knowledge could be dangerous for non-drivers who may decide to go do something with a pump panel when they shouldn't touch one. I argue that basic hydraulics and pump operations is something everyone should understand and when they get to learn to drive, they will be ahead of the game as far as pumping goes. I think if someone freelances and touches a pump that they aren't authorized to touch, it's a whole other issue to deal with. What do you all think?

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,685

    Default

    In my department, you aren't allowed to drive an engine without knowing how to pump it.
    "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?

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    In my department, you aren't allowed to drive an engine without knowing how to pump it.

    Thanks, Maybe I should be more clear. We normally teach our DO's how to pump as part of their driver training. I am proposing an overall pump and hydraulics class for the whole department and have opposition from other officers. I think everyone should understand pumping not just DO's.

    I also wonder how well each individual trainer teaches pump ops to their trainees. We don't have a standardized driver training program, we just allow senior members to instruct however they feel appropriate, and then the trainee is tested by one person at the end before they are allowed to respond in any apparatus.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    achief15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Outer Banks, NC
    Posts
    128

    Default

    I would have to side with every firefighter having a minimum understanding of pumps. Anything can happen, and in an emergency you may need that one person to help with the pump, just to get you water, or shut it down. Should anything happen to the D/O on the truck (medical emergency for instance) having another person available could make a huge difference in the incident. Even if you just show them how to engage the pump, get water and flow it may be beneficial. This wonít mean they are qualified operators, just "Plan B". As for formal pump training, I see you are in FLA. Surely there is already a great program available through the local delivery system. And, in no way am I implying any negativity towards your department, but just because a senior member is teaching new D/O's, if he/she is doing something wrong, then the bad habits will continue. In my NC department, we use the VFIS model for our driver training and now the state's pump operator training through the community college, which is our delivery agent. (However not too long ago we did it the same way that you are now) So far it seems to work training-wise.

    So not everyone is a D/O, but almost anyone can get us water if the need arises. Itís helpful in a smaller department like ours.

    Glenn Rainey
    Colington, NC

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    fftrainer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Northern, NJ
    Posts
    889

    Default

    I actually do have a couple of guys that are pump qualified but not driver qualified. Mainly these folks were drivers and no longer feel comfortable driving the newer, larger rigs but they will pump it at a scene and let the younger FF who drove there be available as a pack guy instead.

    Other than that you are pretty much trained on both or none at all and never the reverse. I have no one qualified to drive a rig that isn't pump qualified. Except of course for the ladder which instead you must be aerial qualified. I guess the only exception will be when the new rescue comes in.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    252

    Default

    I plan to train to operate the pump, but not to drive the engine, for my volunteer department. I have one non-functional eye, and thus no depth perception, so driving the big red truck is not for me. But I want to be able to do as much as I possibly can, just in case there is a need for it someday. It seems that in our department at least, our roles are more "fluid" than they may be in a career department, so I can picture a call where we get on scene and the officer in charge feels the person who drove there would be more useful performing a task other than pump ops and if I were trained on the pump we would have more options.
    -------;- "Aaaaa!!"
    Remember - always wear your helmet around one-eyed women with pike poles

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    fireguy919's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    eastern Ohio
    Posts
    952

    Default

    Everyone learns how to pump the truck. With being volunteer you never know who is going to be there. Given an example of what happened to one of our neighboring departments. They have very strict driving requirements. They was toned out for a structure fire. They had 4 guys on station, and one visiting from another department. (The visitor was on their department before but moved to another when he moved.) The guys that was there told him they couldnít drive. His department was automatic mutual aid. (And a lot of times we run if you are close to that station and your station is responding itís k do get on their truck.) So he said I can drive it but he did not know how to pump it. As he was gone from that fd when they got the truck. They told him yeah we know how to pump it. So off they went. Arrived on scene and everyone that knew how to pump the truck had no clue on what they had to do. He was able to figure it out but it did take a few minutes. Next truck on scene had pulled lines and flowing water by that time.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thanks guys, those are great points. I reviewed our SOP's and had thought previously that we had a stipulation in there that noone was to even touch a pump panel without being a DO. I can't find any such language, so that helps me. I agree that some people can stand by a pump panel but not be a driver. Often times an officer has to drive a truck where they would be much better served working on the fireground and not running a pump alone.

    any other opinions are welcome.

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Nevada, TX, U-S-A!!
    Posts
    417

    Default

    The last thing I want when I am inside is for the hose to lose pressure. Well, it's not the LAST thing I want, but close to it. Sure is frustrating to be on the nozzle when there is someone at the pump who doesn't know what they are doing.

    I say train everyone. Never know when you will need it.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,685

    Default

    So what's better? Train everyone a little bit or train some very well?
    "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?

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    So what's better? Train everyone a little bit or train some very well?

    I'm leaning towards the train some very well, and doing a special engineers class for just the DO's and giving the basic safety to everyone. I think things like how to shut down a hoseline in an emergency, or simple things like that. Say, a hoseline blows and the DO is not the nearest one to the pump panel, etc. I want to eventually have a standarized training for all of our DO's on pumping to help eliminate any holes in the individualized training of our senior members when they do driver training with people.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Sturgis, MI. U.S.A.
    Posts
    198

    Question Gezzzz

    Iíve never understood why so many consider running the pump as mysterious rocket science. Itís like you canít run a pump until you first walk across the water. Bull.

    Train everyone to operate everything on the department. Sure, some will do better than others. Make the proficient ones the primary operators. Tell those that do poorly to keep their hands off it. But never disallow someone the chance to learn something new.

    Stay Safe

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    Our paid staff is sent through a complete pump class every couple of years, driver or not. Any of the volunteers who wish to attend are welcome.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 11-28-2005 at 06:42 PM.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    THEFIRENUT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,009

    Default

    I don't think that this is a right or wrong question.

    On one hand, I don't see anything wrong with teaching everyone how to operate the pumps on your engines.

    On the other hand, I do however need to point out that this is an advanced class and probably should not be given to members who are in desperate need of basic classes (PPE, ladders, hoses and such).

    I guess what I am trying to say is that it all depends on the dynamics of your training. If you only have one instructor... then I think everyone could attend whatever is being taught. What I think works for us is having one or two instructors who teach all the basic stuff and having others, who are well versed in certain subjects, teach some more advanced classes.

    Anyway, it may be just that your officers feel threatened by having others learn what they know (you know...the job security thing). Well, I guess that I have rambled enough now and will move on to smaller and less important things. Take care.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by THEFIRENUT
    Anyway, it may be just that your officers feel threatened by having others learn what they know (you know...the job security thing).
    Bingo!

    This will be a tough one to deal with because you'll have to argue the safety/training apect of it, and get no where fast, because the real issue is the driver's and officer's letting go of their 'specialness'. Good luck.

  16. #16
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    103

    Default

    I have been at this endevor for one year and have accomplished quite a bit as far as both in-house and state fire school training. I agree with those that say you should learn the basics of the art of fire fighting before you attempt operating the pumps. My volly fire co has a rule that you must be a certifled pump operator and have emergency vehicle training certificate (EVOC) from the state before you can drive a vehicle or operate the pumps.

    While getting the EVOC is black and white, becoming a "certified pump operator" is not defined and appears to be subjective. I know guys that have EVOC and have taken pumps 1 & 2 (32 hours state training) who are not "certified pump operators" (and hence are not on the drivers list) and "approved drivers" who have have not taken EVOC.

    Last summer I took EVOC (after taking essentials, live burn, FF1 review, ect...) but I have little pump experience. I snuck into the class and passed with aprox. 2 hours of practice with the engine. I have some past experience driving a school bus which helped a lot. A fellow with an equal amount of time in the service as me has pumps 1 but no essentials, no live burn and no FF1 review and he is considered a serious canidate to be a pump operator while I'm considered a probie by some, and pinhead book worm by others.

    Oh well, I had the choice to take the pump ops route with him but I decided early on to be as useful a member of the fire co as possible and this ment getting the basics under my belt, so as much as I want to be given the opportunity to drive and operate pumps when needed, becoming a certified pump operator is way down the list of priorities for me. Having said that, given the size of our small dept I desire to have a least a working knowledge of the pumps.

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    THEFIRENUT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,009

    Default

    Good for you "thomas15". When you are first starting in the Fire Service, you need to be a spong. All the classes that you have taken are great. Keep up the good work, but remember with all your classes, you still need to gain experiance on the job. "Knowing" and "doing" can sometimes be very different. Always remember...be the very best Firefighter that you can be!!!! Take care and stay safe.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Tallahassee, Florida, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FreeBurner
    Bingo!

    This will be a tough one to deal with because you'll have to argue the safety/training apect of it, and get no where fast, because the real issue is the driver's and officer's letting go of their 'specialness'. Good luck.

    Hmm, this is a good point. I can definately see this being part of the issue. Definately NOT an easy thing to deal with, almost not worth it. I do appreciate everyones comments. thanks.

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Swanton Fire Dept. Swanton, Vermont
    Posts
    479

    Default

    What is everyone's #1 goal? Life Safety. After a reasonable amount of time and the basic firefighting is covered everyone should have the ability to learn a little about any apparatus your department has. I am not saying they run it to the biggest fire your department has every had, but the time they are the only one there. Or the guy who can run Command needs to run Command not the pump, or the best SCBA guy on the department is the only "pump operator" there today.... doesn't it make sense to put the best guy for the job in the job as long as all jobs are covered by the a person competent enough to do it safely and not damage the equipment.

  20. #20
    Forum Member
    backsteprescue123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    4,318

    Default

    Where I am at everyone learns to drive and operate all vehicles. Though many cannot/will not drive the platform.

    Heck, even the explorers learn hydraulics/pump operations. We know the basics of how to run our pumps.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

  21. #21
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Memphis Tn,USA-now
    Posts
    5,436

    Default

    I took the pumper ops classes up in Louisville last year and in the time since,have only been able to pump a truck once.I do not think that this means I wasted my department's money and my time.
    Since I gave my notice of taking a leave of absence from the department(for family health reasons),enthusiasm to get me some driving time and get qualled as a driver operator has visibly cooled.
    Still,on that one time,we had a CDL driver who admitted he didn't know jack about that truck a new guy with only his basic hours in and me in the truck.
    We got to the call,a yard fire and the only problem I had was not knowing that the red lights had to be on for the pump panel lights to be on.
    I'd say having non drivers that know how to pump the truck can be an asset.Firefighting is all about having tools and skills that just MIGHT be needed rather than not having a skill that suddenly becomes needed,right?

  22. #22
    Let's talk fire trucks!
    BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,326

    Default

    Wow, this certainly an interesting thread!

    As chief of a rural/suburban station that does ~700 calls/year, I have a different outlook on this. I preach to all of my guys & gals that they need to know all aspects of the job - however, the pumps are not one of the things that we concentrate on. We have a specific training program that potential drivers have to follow.

    We start our folks out on the Suburban (used for EMS calls), then the brush truck, followed by the tanker, heavy rescue, and then the engine. It takes a considerable amount of time to do this, but I need to ensure that in the event of one of my apparatus being involved in a MVA, that I have the training documented and written SOP's to show that the driver had the training he/she requires.

    I can not fathom that everyone on my department would be expected to drive everything we have. I have a tanker driver that makes a majority of the calls, but he does not and will not drive our custom-cab engine. Best darn tanker driver I have though.

    Anyway, back to the idea that everyone should know the basics. Yes, they should. I would not be employed as a recruit school instructor at my career department if I didn't subscribe to this theory (where, incidentally, our driver/pump-operator school is 3 weeks long). However, I think Bones summed it up well: training a few to be great at thier job.

  23. #23
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ROOKIELZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,650

    Default

    In our dept everyone learns the pumps, driver or not. We usually have an assigned pump op but in a pinch just about anyone in our dept can get water to the nozzle. Some of us do it more often than the others but if you need water, someone will get it to you. We have found it is best to assign a specific person per incident and letting other depts run your truck is not necessarily the best route to go.

    "Always Be Prepared."--Not a bad motto for a fire dept and it's members.
    IACOJ
    If you are willing to teach;
    I am willing to learn.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. World Of Fire Report: 07-24-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-27-2005, 09:34 AM
  2. World Of Fire Report: 07-21-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-24-2005, 08:05 AM
  3. World Of Fire Report: 07-17-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-18-2005, 11:30 PM
  4. World Of Fire Report: 05-31-05
    By PaulBrown in forum World of Fire Daily Report
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-01-2005, 07:26 AM
  5. RFP's
    By D Littrell in forum Apparatus Innovation
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-08-2000, 06:36 PM

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