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Thread: Salvage Covers

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    Default Salvage Covers

    How often do you use salvage covers?

    Does everyone do it by the book or does your dept have its own way?

    Just asking because around here most depts just fold them however they want, and I was asked if that was the way I was taught in the academy, it wasnt but I havent used a cover in so long I had to go back to the book and look it up. Is this bad that I forgot something so simple?


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    Forum Member KEEPBACK200FEET's Avatar
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    Most of the time I see them used as a staging area outside the structure for tools.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KEEPBACK200FEET
    Most of the time I see them used as a staging area outside the structure for tools.
    What? What tools need to be "staged" at a job? On a salvage cover no less.

    FTM-PTB

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    Forum Member KEEPBACK200FEET's Avatar
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    Don't ask me why Fred, but I swear I've seen tools such as pike poles, saws, spare bottles that have been filled, and stuff like that staged; especially at larger fires.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firefightermfd1
    How often do you use salvage covers?

    Does everyone do it by the book or does your dept have its own way?

    Just asking because around here most depts just fold them however they want, and I was asked if that was the way I was taught in the academy, it wasnt but I havent used a cover in so long I had to go back to the book and look it up. Is this bad that I forgot something so simple?
    To be used as a "salvage cover", it needs to be folded a certain way. That way when you bring it up and out, it will catch the air underneath it to cover "furniture" with one swift application. We don't use them at my department so I am a bit rusty with the folding process, but I am sure that someone here can come forward with the technique (don't have my Essentials book handy).
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

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    We stage tools on a salvage cover (sometimes) when we are dispatched for a F.A.S.T. response.

    We don't use "official" salvage covers. We get blue or green tarps from our local hardware store. Once they are deployed, they are left on scene for the homeowners. They are cheap enough to replace.

    We do, in our basic FF class, still teach the book method of folding them to the recruits.
    "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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    Yea I was taught how to fold them in ff2 academy but that was over a year ago and I havent had one out since then.

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    Salvage covers?????? Let's see...water, hose, pump... Sorry, don't have or use them. Guess the clean up crew (Ladder Co.) carries those. Right next to their mops and buckets.

    I am going to duck and cover on that one.....

    In reality we also use them to stage our RIT equipment. Kind of a don't touch our equipment area.

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    Salvage is a lost art. I would bet that if you are under 30, you probably haven't ever "thrown" a tarp at a fire.

    Salvage is all about property conservation. It ain't glamorous, but it sure helps with the public relations.

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    We use the cheap, hardware store tarps. They're cheap enough, so if the get left behind or torn, no big deal. We make it a point to use them whenever possible though. The homeowner appreciates it, as well as their insurance company.

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    We carry an assortment of tarps, visqueen, floor runners, and salvage covers on every apparaus. Salvage covers are supposed to be folded "correctly."

    Plastic usually gets left behind on the scene and is almost always left factory-folded because you can never get it a small again without a hydraulic press .

    We, like many other departments, are short-staffed for initial attack, but we usually perform salvage operations as soon as initial search is complete and manpower permits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Salvage is a lost art. I would bet that if you are under 30, you probably haven't ever "thrown" a tarp at a fire.

    Salvage is all about property conservation. It ain't glamorous, but it sure helps with the public relations.
    We put down a whole bunch at our last worker...the homeowner was grateful that we were able to contain the damage to the attic and two rooms on the second floor (we had to open up the two rooms for overhaul, as the fire trasveled along a forced hit air duct in the ceiling). A little water damage on the first floor, but all of the furniture was gathered into the center of the rooms affected and was under salvage covers... and yes, we use the blue poly tarps. Anyone who has been bowled over by the smell of an improperly dried and folded canvas tarp will understand why!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 04-27-2006 at 09:34 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Salvage is a lost art. I would bet that if you are under 30, you probably haven't ever "thrown" a tarp at a fire.

    Salvage is all about property conservation. It ain't glamorous, but it sure helps with the public relations.
    You are correct, George. The art of salvage is dying a quick death. I witnessed good deployment of covers on one of my first fires (I am approaching 30).... Fire in the attic. Covers deployed. Ceiling dropped just as the last of the covers were thrown. With heavy damage to the attic, the homeowners had to rebuild the house. However, they did so with almost all of their original stuff undamaged. I haven't seen textbook deployment in the six years since.

    In the department where I work currently, our problem is almost always due to staffing. We run a single engine company, have little support from our volunteer division during the day and mutual aid support is only one or two additional companies -- which are usually needed for other things when they finally arrive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    Salvage is a lost art. I would bet that if you are under 30, you probably haven't ever "thrown" a tarp at a fire.

    Salvage is all about property conservation. It ain't glamorous, but it sure helps with the public relations.
    28 year old truckie,,,,,ive thrown a few.

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    on our last fire we threw a bunch............but usually manpower negates that. Also I can tell you from FIRSTHAND experience it gets wet and or smoke covered and not immediatley cleaned..................its geting pitched by the insurance co.
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    its geting pitched by the insurance co.
    I used to think that, too. Truth is, they will usually make an attempt to clean anything that was just wet or smoky, as long as they can get a restoration company to the loss w/i 24 hours. You would be surprised how much can actually be salvaged.

    Doesn't work every time, but it works alot.

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    We will usually attempt to cover large furniture before we open ceilings. During overhaul, most of the guys will try to sweep jewelry, small belongings, and pictures into the drawer of a dresser or into a closet before opening up.

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    And don't forget, often what you're trying to salvage isn't necessarily what insurance replaces --

    it's the photo albums, it's the family bible in the bookcase you just threw a cover over, it's the heirloom roll top desk that's been in the family since the 19th century. Far faster to cover them in room, then try to take them outside.

    Like most, the extent to which covers get thrown (yes, we roll them traditionally) depends on available staffing and what the tactical situation is.

    The old "SOP" for our region, dating back to the 50s, was 1st arriving company was fire attack, 2nd company had water supply, and 3rd company was salvage. For a wide variety of reasons, that's basic model has been forgotten.

    ==========
    And I'm kind of liking the blue tarp idea

    We have a variety of canvas, hypalon, and some pretty heavy duty nylon covers. We do have some tarps for haz-mat or roof covering or whatever.

    Having recovered some salvage in freezing weather a week after the fire...**shudders** at the work. Pick your poison...heavy but flexible canvas, or the nylon ones that don't want to be folded and take up an entire pickup bed until they defrost at the station!
    Last edited by Dalmatian190; 04-29-2006 at 05:38 PM.

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    We keep heavy rolled plastic on a rod in most our units with a utility knife hanging. Almost always salvage on workers. We just cut to length, unfold it over the piles, and leave it in place when we leave. Worked well that way for years.

    We also keep a folded 10'X10' or so canvas tarp carry-all with a rope threaded through the edge all the way around to pile on debris during overhaul to haul out. Works well also. Also carry canvas stair runners for less serious calls. Those are pretty much the only re-useables we carry.
    Last edited by fyrmnk; 04-29-2006 at 11:44 PM.
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