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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Default Apparatus with Rescue tools?

    I was reading one of the other forums and it was mentioned that several places put their extrication tools on their Ladder's. I was wondering if anyone has any reasons why this is done.

    It seems that for the most part there are three options for which apparatus to put the tools on:
    1) Dedicated Rescue - put all extrication equipment, including tools on a single apparatus. I can see why this would be done as there is certainly enough equipment/cribbing/etc to fill up a medium/heavy duty chassis. It also brings up the question, what is done if water is needed on scene.
    2) Engine - making it a "Rescue Engine" - This also has advantages, both from a manpower and utilization point of view. Now a single apparatus can both suppress and extract at a rescue scene.
    3) Ladder - While forcible entry is typically "truck-work", I don't really see a benefit to putting tools on a ladder. It seems like there is very little use for a ladder at an MVA other then to transport the tools. I'd think it would be much harder to maneuver and place the truck given its size then other, smaller, apparatus.

    Of the three, a gross generalization seems to be that a lot of smaller, rural/suburban departments use #1 or #2 while bigger city department's do #3. Is department size/geographic layout have a lot to do with this?

    I'm not trying to throw stones at the way any department sets up their stuff. I'm just trying to understand the advantages/disadvantages of one approach versus another. Also, I tried searching to see if this had been discussed previously but Search doesn't seem to be working.

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    Forum Member len1582's Avatar
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    We have a complete set of extrication equipment on our rescue. One ladder company in each battalion and a squad company has a jaws,spreader,and rams. On an entrapment a chief, an engine, rescue and the ladder in that area with tools is sent. Sometimes it's just popping open a door and the ladder can take care of it if they get in first. During rush hour there can be a considerable delay getting across the city. Also, if the rescue was the only apparatus with extrication tools and they were at another call it can cause a considerable delay as the "golden hour" ticks away. As far as " very little use for a ladder at a MVA other than to transport tools", have you ever been working on an extrication and almost get hit by some ********* driving by trying to see what's going on??? Flares and cones don't work. A big truck blocking the road does work. Use the truck as a barrier between you and them.
    As far as apparatus size what size rescue are you thinking of. Ours is 36ft.
    You mentioned for an engine it can perform two functions. What's your manpower? We have 1 Captain and 3 FF's with the driver at the pump pannel so for us it would never work. Ladders are the same 1 and 3, with the rescue 1 and 4.
    Putting extrication equipment on a ladder brings more than one set of tools to an accident in case there's a mechanical problem. Maybe it's a multi car accident with several people needing to be cut out. You now have two teams working simultaniously instead of waiting for the tool to be passed around. Even if only one tool is needed there's extra manpower who understands extrication(cut the car away from the person, don't try to yank them away from the sharp metal) to assist.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Engines bring water.
    Trucks bring tools.

    Biggest reason I see tools on trucks is as said above, manpower. 1 engine, in most cases, won't have enough people to use the tools and have the water in place.
    "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?

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    So "All of the above" is a valid decision when traffic and location are the primary motivation. Put tools on everyone and the first one to successfully fight through traffic goes in service.

    I think crew safety is vital no matter what piece is used, though I can certainly see your point that a ladder makes a bigger "blocker".

    I hadn't thought of manpower from that point of view before. In your case you've got the manpower and need a way to get 'em on scene so you might as well give them the tools to do the job when they get there. I was kinda picturing it from the other way around: If there are 5 guys on the engine and they're by themselves for 10 minutes until the next due gets there they should have all the tools they need whether it's water, tools, or both.

  5. #5
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9
    1) Dedicated Rescue - put all extrication equipment, including tools on a single apparatus. I can see why this would be done as there is certainly enough equipment/cribbing/etc to fill up a medium/heavy duty chassis. It also brings up the question, what is done if water is needed on scene.
    that's what I prefer. keep all your rescue tools on one truck. this way if you get a rescue call, you have the rescue company, which is specially trained in rescue operations, performing the job, with the tools they are familiar with.
    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9
    2) Engine - making it a "Rescue Engine" - This also has advantages, both from a manpower and utilization point of view. Now a single apparatus can both suppress and extract at a rescue scene.
    yes, but keep in mind, fo you have the manpower to do it all? basic MVC with entrapment, you need a driver/operator, officer to supervise the operation, primary tool operator, backup tool operator, cribbing/stablization, and if your lucky a gopher to get all the other equipment you might need. now, how many departments (paid or volunteer) respond with enough guys to do all those jobs as well as stretch and charge a line? and that's not even including dealing with vehicle hazards (glass removal, leaking fluids, etc).
    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9
    3) Ladder - While forcible entry is typically "truck-work", I don't really see a benefit to putting tools on a ladder. It seems like there is very little use for a ladder at an MVA other then to transport the tools. I'd think it would be much harder to maneuver and place the truck given its size then other, smaller, apparatus.
    a bigger truck also means a bigger buffer between traffic and the men and women who are working at the scene. also, truck companies and rescue companies have similar jobs on a fire scene, and most of your rescue company guys came from truck companies. also remember, a truck is often used as a walking toolbox. they have the equipment needed.
    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9
    Of the three, a gross generalization seems to be that a lot of smaller, rural/suburban departments use #1 or #2 while bigger city department's do #3. Is department size/geographic layout have a lot to do with this?
    yes it does, but your generalization is inaccurate. instead of big cities, think urban cities. off the top of my head, I know that Camden Fire Department and Newark Fire Department (both from NJ) operate Heavy Rescue Units. Ditto for Syracuse NY. More local to me, New Brunswick Fire Department has a heavy rescue, but they staff it with two guys off their ladder company. so if they get a pin job, both the rescue and ladder respond.
    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9
    I'm not trying to throw stones at the way any department sets up their stuff. I'm just trying to understand the advantages/disadvantages of one approach versus another. Also, I tried searching to see if this had been discussed previously but Search doesn't seem to be working.

    Thanks!
    Also keep in mind, certain areas have more than one group responsible for extrication. in NYC you have the NYPD ESU, in Jersey City, you have the Jersey City ESU, and in Newark, you have the University Hospital EMS Heavy Rescue. and that's not even including the police ESUs on Long island.

    Personally, I have the idea of having one heavy rescue for a region, with a full compliment of tool, suplimented by every engine in a first due area have a limited supply of tools (ie, a combi tool and step chocks). This way the engines (which are usually closer as there are more of them spread out accross an area compared to rescues) can begin work on freeing the victim, as well as pull the charged line, and then turn the scene over to the rescue company when they arrive.

    also, in my mind, any pin job gets a two company response, usually an engine company for fire supression and vehicle hazards and a rescue company for patient care and extrication. you can combine them onto one unit, but it's better to have more manpower and use two seperate appartuses.

    but that's just my opinion.
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  6. #6
    Forum Member JonnytheTurk's Avatar
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    The way we work it in Ireland is that every single Motor we have is outfitted exactly the same and has all the nessesary equipment needed for any call...the only disadvantage being that we can only carry so much hose and so much water.....so it has its ups and downs...

    Every Motor carries full rescue tools, Cutters, Spreaders, Ram, Consaw, Airbags etc etc...then on the oposit side of the truck we got our hose bay...10 lengths of 70mm hose and 4 of 45mm with a tank of 500 gallons, as well as that we carry 4 Hazmat suits, 8 different types of rescue rope and shackles....as well as all that we call 4 SCBA sets ready with 6 spares in the back....crew are 1 officer, 1 driver and 3 in the back

    It means that at every call we go to, no matter who gets there first they have the rigth equipment on scene straigth away....but in adition to that we have got the dedicated Emergency Tenders (Rescue Trucks)
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  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Don't you mean 1892.7 liters?

    Back on track, I like the idea of laying out all apparatus the same way. I know it's been discussed on these forums before along with the pros and cons.

  8. #8
    Forum Member len1582's Avatar
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    the first one to successfully fight through traffic goes in service.
    Sometimes during rush hour traffic jams that's exactly the way it is.
    Dr... you didn't mention the Port Authority PD at the Lincoln Tunnel in Weehawken and also the Holland Tunnel in Jersey city.
    If you put all your tools on one truck I feel it's like putting all your eggs in one basket. That's just me.

  9. #9
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Our rescue and extrication equipment is carried on our rescue engine
    Rescue Engine 790 - http://www.rossfordfire.com/790.html

    We have a KINMAN tool on our ALS Engine
    ALS Engine 794- http://www.rossfordfire.com/790.html

    This used to roll as our heavy rescue but now is used for water/ice rescue, hazmat and other spec ops gear.
    Squad 792- http://www.rossfordfire.com/792.html
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  10. #10
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    My preference is the rescue equipment on the heavy rescue. Many departents (mine included) can't or don't properly staff a heavy rescue. You need a minimum of 4 to allow the officer to be an officer and get some things done.
    The truck is the next most logical choice for the tools. Many rescue tools can also be used on the fireground for truck work.
    The engine is the last choice because if it is a MVC a line should be on the ground, charged and manned, so you quickly loose personel to operate the equipment.

  11. #11
    Forum Member RES81CUE's Avatar
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    My department has just started running our extrication equipment on our Engine now calling it a Rescue Engine. We did this for a couple of reasons but mainly so we had fire suppression and rescue all together. Like most volunteer fire departments manpower is always a problem so this helps when it comes to getting the rigs on the scene. We are a small community with most of our roads one way in and one way out. So there have been many times when we have a good entrapment MVA the road is blocked and some of our personnel can not get to the station for a 2nd out apparatus. So by making sure we have our basic equipment there (Rescue Engine) a few personnel can assist while just arriving with POV. And I might add we have a Heavy Rescue on automatic aid for reported MVA w/ entrapment. If we have plenty of man power and it is minor or no entrapment the Heavy Rescue is cancelled enroute.

  12. #12
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up We Do, and We Don't..........

    In our part of the world, Trucks do not carry extracation gear, Squads do. (a "Squad" is a Heavy Rescue) As do Rescue Engines. We run 13 Heavy Rescues and 3 Rescue Engines in our county, and there are Twenty Two Ladder Trucks, and Eighty Six Engines. These, along with 12 ALS and Forty One BLS Ambulances, run out of Forty Five stations. County is 430 Square Miles, Population 850,000. Staffing varies, with Career crews usually at Four people, while Volunteers can be as much as the apparatus will hold. (We have 8 on the Squad, 8 on the Rescue Engine, 6 on the Fire Engine) We operate a Heavy Rescue, and have since 1992, and, as of today (5-22-06) we also operate a Rescue Engine that is equipped to match the Heavy Rescue, item for item. Also, as of this time, we no longer operate a Tower Ladder. Although I readily agree that we should be blocking the road (and we do, every call) I'm just not really impressed with the idea of a Ladder Truck out on the highway. Normally, the Squad doesn't block the road either, we use Engines for that, since the Attack lines off the Engine are a lot longer than the Hurst hoses. Our Multi Lane each way, Divided, Expressways Get an Engine and a BLS Ambulance each way, a Squad, and if entrapment is reported, an ALS Ambulance, EMS supervisor, and a Chief are added. Plenty of people, plenty of tools. Works good for us.
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  13. #13
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Departments in my area put the extrication equipment on aerials and squads (heavy rescue), The main reason is we run ALS engines here, so the engine crews are busy with patient care on MVCs and not available for cutting. Its also one of the reasons we run quints, so that a hose line for safety can be put in-service when cutting.

    My department uses a quint as the primary extrication rig with our squad as back-up. Also of note, if a squad is the primary for a call, another engine is dispatched to handle safety (ie: hose line).
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  14. #14
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    San Antonio sends 1 Engine, 1 Truck and 1 Enhanced Truck or the Heavy Rescue for all pin jobs and rollover accidents. The Engine company is primarily for fire control/patient care. All the Truck companies in the city carry cutters, spreaders and rams. There is also 1 Enhanced Truck company located in each quadrant of the city that has more specialized rescue equipment (paratech struts, high lift airbags etc) and training. The Heavy Rescue is run by the Technical Rescue Team downtown and responds citywide whenever/wherever needed.

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    First of all ...No trucks at all here in the rural areas. The only departments with trucks are the two cities, and to be tbest of my knowledge neither one of them have tools on thier trucks.

    As for us, we operate one heavy rescue with a full compliment of tools and airbags out of our Central Station, which is manned by one career firefighter from 5PM to 8AM. There are 3 paid firefighters daytime M-F 8-5 and 2 on weekend days, same hours. That rig also carries our high angle and water rescue gear, as well as a cascade system for fireground ops. It usually rolls with a full crew at all times as there are generally 3-4 volunteers either hanging at the station or doing overnight ride-outs. That station sits roughly in the middle of the southern end of our district .. about 5 miles from either of the interstate on ramps and about 15-17 miles from the northern end of our response area.

    We also run 2 engines with a combi tool, recip saw and cribbing. These 2 engines both are stationed at all-vollie stations (one station houses 2 vollie live-ins in a trailer at the station) about a half-mile from the eastern and western on-ramps of the interstate. These trucks serve as a first response to the interstate and will both roll on any interstate MVA so that we cover both directions of travel with a tool. The heavy rescue is assigned to go the direction the MVA was reported, which is often wrong. These 2 stations also sit on the 2 main roads to the northern end of our district (we have 2 stations north of them with engines w/out tools), and serve as rescue vehicles to that part of the district if the heavy is unavailable or delayed. This is a recent change in our operation, as in the past we operated a light rescue vehicle, also housed at Central, as the backup rescue. About a year ago we moved that tool to an engine, purchased another tool, a recip saw and cribbing for each of the two rescue engines. So far the new approach has worked well, as there has been several occasions where a rescue engine has arrived first and started working (primarily on the interstate), as well as 3 occasions where the heavy was committed elsewhere and the rescue engine worked alone.

    Personally i like the idea of a dedicated heavy, but our district is over 120 miles in size, which has dictated this approach. As I stated in another post, the idea of putting tools on a ldder makes no sense, primarily due to it's size.
    But each department has to do what works for them.

  16. #16
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    Default Three words....

    .....Insurance Services Organization!

    For Service/Ladder Companies hydraulic or pneumatic tools recieve credit for other required equipment. You don't get this ISO credit for carring them on an engine.

    Check out the equivalencies table at www.isomitigation.com

    The Moblie FD carries extrication tools on ladder companies. A pin would get a ladder company for extrication. MFD does operate any heavy rescues other than USAR team (that I know of).

    In my area a lot of departments have gone to carring extrication tools on engines to reduce the need for responding multiple apparatus with limited manpower. We still run all service companies with extrication tools. Pins for us get an engine and at least one service company (we have two). We have been discussing equiping one engine with a combi tool for quick jobs, but we'll see.
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    We have them on both, but we got more truck companies than we have rescue squads.

  18. #18
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    We have a full set of extracation equipment on all of our fire apparatus (even reserve apparatus). Engine, truck it does not matter. In addition we have available from neighboring cities a heavy and light rescue available in the event that the job cannot be completed by on scene resources. Since we have started a freeway management system we are getting at least 2 fire units (either engines or truck/engine) on all TC's we can get the job completed faster and better.
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    Forum Member Chauffeur6's Avatar
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    Our dept is a mixed bag. We have a heavy rescue fully outfitted at one station, a pumper-rescue with a very good compliment of tools at another station, and a pumper with a bare bones setup at our third station. We don't have the tools on our ladders because one ladder is at the same station as the heavy rescue, so that would be duplication, and the other ladder is at the same station as the pumper-rescue, which was specifically designed and outfitted to handle rescue functions. The bare bones setup at the third station is intended as a means to get some extrication started while waiting for either of the two apparatus to arrive.

    One benefit to having a pumper-rescue or rescue-pumper I didn't see mentioned is that while you may not have the manpower to operate the line and the tool simultaneously, at least if you roll up on an entrapment where the vehicle is on fire, you can handle the primary life threatening hazard first THEN perform extrication.

  20. #20
    Forum Member nyckftbl's Avatar
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    Our trucks carry basic extrication equipment (Rams, cutters, and spreaders, air bags, etc) because there are 112? Truck companies, and only 5 Rescues. Our squads also carry tools, but there are only 7 of them as well. Our engines are set up to do their job, stretching a line for either protection or to put out a fire. If we had to wait for the Rescue to get there, it would look kind of silly having 5 guys from the truck standing around doing nothing.
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