1. #1
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    Default Walk-in or walk-around: that's the question!!!

    Hello everyone. I work for the Quebec City fire department, in Canada. We are planning to purchase a new rescue and haz-mat rig. I have a few questions that maybe some of you may help answer.

    First, some important facts: we cover an area of 543 km2 and have close to 2500 runs a year. We have very severe winter conditions (sometimes,
    - 40C and a lot of snow) We do fires ( ladder duties) and haz-mat. We carry a variety of tools and haz-mat equipment.

    Here are my questions:

    What are the pros and cons of getting a walk-in type versus a walk-around type truck?

    Does anyone have heard about lack of watertightness, air infiltration, cool infiltration between the crew cab and the body? ( we want to get a custom chassis so the cab of the truck will be a cab-over type)

    Does the seal between the cab and the body loose tightness after some time?

    Did you ever worked with a walk-in type and changed to a walk-around type or vice-versa? Why? Did you liked the change?

    We want to install our work station for research on haz-mat products in the crew cab. We have a portable PC and some research books. All of our gaz detectors will be in the cab in cabinets. We also want to have seating for 4 people with 911 seats in the rear end of the cab. What do you thinks of this idea? Do you prefer a research station in the aisle of the walk-in or in the cab if you have a walk-around type?

    If you would have to choose between both type, wich one would you prefer and why?

    Any other constructive comments would be welcomed.

    Thanks a lot for your help. We don't have a lot of experience with custom chassis rescue truck in Quebec so our rig will be a first!!!

    Thanks again!

    Eric from Q.C.F.D. , Canada

  2. #2
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    Default Walk In Vs Walk Around

    There seems to be IMHO more Partial Walkin (Forward Section Of Body) for Hazmat applications for varying reasons such as having the tech work station and the specialized equipment located close at hand and protected.

    If your going with a custom cab I'd suggest a LFD (Long 4 Door) 20-24" Raised Roof so that you have more room for crew and for having a work station while responding and the tech can be facing forward at a desk while enroute and the other (I assume D & O and 2 in the rear) FF can be in a forward facing SCBA or non SCBA seat also. By having the partial walkin it can be accessed from the crew area to have your delicate equipment in their chargers etc.

    There isn't an issue with the seal between the cab and the body depending on the builder but I'm sure any reputable builder would ensure a proper seal and it would be a floating seal to allow for cab/body movement.

    Make sure you figure out what and where you want to carry the equipment from the high tech hazmat stuff to the firefighting equipment. You can then have exterior access to all the main body compartments from the outside as there isn't any reason to have to carry it from the inside of the body.

    Edmonton just got a new SVI Trucks Dangerous Goods (Hazmat) Vehicle that is a Spartan Gladiator ELFD (Extra Long) 3 Door 24" Raised Roof Cab with no crew door on the LH side for the work station with a 24 ft. body that is walk through with access from the crew area and two (2) RH side doors with the forward one being into the tech storage area and the rear being for entry into the "Donning Room" that has a LH side slideout for suiting up in the cold winter conditions. It has full upper inside storage as well as outside access rollup doors and has a "lot of equipment and features and is what I'd call a "war wagon" compared to the school bus with add on body they had before.
    It also has a 30 ft. Camera Mast, Command Light, Satellite Communications as this truck runs the entire northern half of Alberta from Red Deer to the BC/Sask border.

    Calgary just got 2 Custom Partial Walkin Hazmats on Spartan LFD 20" Raised Roof Cabs that again have the work station in the crew area as well as the forward body area and a full walk through with the exterior access roll-up door compartments and it suits their purpose as they handle all of southern Alberta from Red Deer.

    Another configuration is Vancouver which is getting 2 SVI Hazmats with the same cab as Calgary but with a LH Forward Body Slide Out for the Hazmat Tech workstations and a walk through interior upper storage and exterior rollup compartments.

    Check out svitrucks.com and you'll see the Edmonton & Calgary trucks on their website.

    Hope this helps and if you need any more information email me aerialguy1@hotmail.com

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    eric587- Take a look at this FDNY HazMat currently being built by Ferrara Fire Apparatus: http://www.ferrarafire.com/apparatus...ion/index.html This sounds similar to the chassis you may be looking for. Please check us out at: www.ewfac.com or give us a call Toll-Free at 1-866-843-1075 we can help.

  4. #4
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    Come on guys...155 views and only two replies....

    I need your help, i nedd your input!

    Thanks again....

    Eric Q.C.F.D.

  5. #5
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    Only recommendation I have is that should you have a walk-in section, let it be a work area/command post only. Do not do equipment storage in the walk in area, as many of the walk-ins you see have. This is KILLER when you have to constantly climb up, and then back down fetching equipment! I have trained at training incidents with other depts that have a walk in, and this absolutely was the pits, having to climb in and out getting equipment. We have a walk-around for our first out rescue, and I would not trade the walk-around for anything. A neighboring dept has a walk-in with a Command post type area in the back, and itís never used. What you get should depend on what your department needs and wants, not what we tell you to get.
    Service is the rent you pay for having space on earth.

  6. #6
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    we just went from a walk in van for a rescue to a rescue engine with outside compartments. Its nice being able to access things without climbing in and out of the truck.

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    Default Combo unit

    Okay...several options...some meet your needs, some may not.

    first questions: material perference: SS or aluminum, formed or extrusion

    E-ONE custom chassis cab...long cab, three door. Custom command area in the back of the cab with non scba riding positions. should be able to fit four.

    body: non walkin body only: what equipment do you plan to carry? do you need a cascade system? A fill station? Reels (electric, hydraulic, air?).

    Or
    Body: a walkin section in the front with a walk through to the cab (how much module do you want), a non walkin section in the rear? Again, how much equipment do you need. Do you have an overall length issue? Can you do a tandem axle?

    all of the above is done by E-ONE. I have seen a truck for Mobile AL that does exactly what is described above. Call E-ONE for help. There are in Florida somewhere. Plan delivery for next winter!

    Personally....I would go with some type of combo unit. I have been to Quebec City in the winter (on business). Lots of fun, but it really was not fun walking from bar to bar in January!!!!

    Best of luck....Rock

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    Hey Eric, take a trip down I89 Southbound into Vermont, and stop in South Burlington. Brand new heavy rescue exactly as you're describing your concept.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
    FTM-PTB


    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

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    My department had an older '90's model ford light rescue that was a walk-around but had a benchseat with a door on each side in the front part of the box. The rescue looked like an ambulance but no pt. compartment.

    We then switched to a '96? Ferrera/Interntional Walk-In rescue. Most of the heavy equipment such as the Jaws and tools are located in compartments on the outside but if you walk inside there is a bench seat for 2 people, and it doubles as a command post. We also keep our airbags in this area as they do not fit in the other compartments. We also keep some miscellaneous items in some cabinets in here such as blankets and some drinking water.

    Here is the link to our rescue
    Firefighter/EMT-B
    IACOJ

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    If your actually going to use it as a command or desk usage then I'd consider what FDNY is getting with ferrara. But for the truck company assist you will lose alot of space with a walk in. With a non-walk in you can use the back transverse to store a myriad of ground ladders and the sides for both saw and other rescue tools.

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    Definitely the walk-in. With your research station idea, the cab will not offer the best work space, and in winter weather, you want a heated, stand-up environment to get dressed in. and walk-ins still offer lots of sace in the outside compartments.
    My department has a 1978 salbury walk-in with a two-man cab. the cab sucks but the back area is awesome, we store spare air packs in the back and there is transport seating for eight. the desk area doubles as a command post, and there is more than enough space in the side compartments.
    to see photos of Rescue-2 go to www.farmingtonfd.com and click on photos>apparatus photos.

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    I beleive that if a department is committed to having a HazMat Team the rig should not be multi purpose but if the QCFD does you need to plan this rig carefully. First of all the office/research area in the rear part of the cab is an excellent idea. It works well. Put all your instruments there as well. If your team does any level A or B entries you need at least a partial walk-in. Nothing worse than trying to get dressed outside. The research area and the dressing area need to be seperate so put the dressing area in the front section of the body with a door joining the two. The seal is not an issue if done by a good builder. Put your suits, gloves, boots, scba and anything you need for an entry inside the walk-in. Any heavy HazMat equipment should go in outside lockers. Chlorine kits, plug and patch kits etc. Don't plan for today. Try to picture where your team will be in 10 yrs and build for that.
    As for the rescue equipment what does that involve? Maybe make the back half of the rig the rescue. Extrication equipment off the back, spare bottle storage, cribbing, airbags and any ladder co equipment(hopefully not actual ladders) you need to carry in outside lockers. You may need at least a 20ft body on this thing. Maybe more. Design the lockers to fit the equipment going in them. Good luck and have fun with it. Apparatus design and construction is a fascinating aspect of the fire service.

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    Considering the length of time spent on hazmat incidents, consider placing a porta potty in there. Our hazmat rig has a small walk in area behind the 2 man cab with a research desk, and there is a small closet with a sliding door and a camping toilet.

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    I have to agree with Lance. IMHO noting beats the walk-in for big city, busy rescues. When dealing with incidents such as SCUBA, Haz-Mat and other preperation intensive operations, it is certainly a luxury to have that space to gear up, even en route (I know that bothers some of you). There are plenty of cities in the Northeast that do it this way if you are looking for layouts, and combine the bad weather and hefty specialized call volume, and I would bet it will pay off! I think of walk-ins as the true "tool box on wheels" while a walk-in rescue can be much more versatile. Also probably wouldn't hurt to have a WARM rehab area during the ice festival time of the year (or do I have my Canadian cities mixed up???)

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    Ok..thanks a lot for all of your comments...helps a lot...any new ideas???

    Eric

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    I only know of one way and thats riding the back. We purchased a piece in the early 90's that had both options. After 1 month of being ordered to ride the front cab, a new Captain came in with many years served in the Rescue Squad and put mask brackets in the back and the other cab went unused for the entire life of the that Squad Wagon except for Congressional staffers and other riders.

    One thing that can be an asset or a hinderance with having a walk in rear: when a Brother goes down either in quarters or on the scene and there is no ambo around you can take care of your own. The down side to this was being sent to medicals and transporting in times when all of the transport units were tied up or hiding etc. The practiced has stopped for several reasons.

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