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    Angry Need some input to motivate members

    Does anyone have any stories about accidents caused by fire equipment/apparatus that failed due to not checking it? I have some members who feel it's not necessary so I want to "motivate" them
    Last edited by doublej986; 10-26-2006 at 04:00 PM.

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    I'm in the same boat you are....guys on my company dont want to check the truck...or just leave the equipment dirty and never put anything back properly...because they feel its the "officers job" to check the truck every week and make sure things are running ok on it....but when theres only 2 officers it gets to be hectic doing it by yourself every week
    Andrew
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    Quote Originally Posted by doublej986
    Does anyone have any stories about accidents caused by fire equipment/apparatus that failed due to not checking it? I have some members who feel it's not necessary so I want to "motivate" them
    Get the leadership on board and then start asking after a call or on a drill night, " Is that truck ready to go get your " insert family member appropriate " out of that MVA/Fire/Flood?" "If it is lets take a look at it right now...." You will see some

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    My FD has duty weekends, we have 3 crews and skip the first weekend of the month, the crews are led by the Asst Chief,Capt.and Lieut. the duty weekends consist of checking all of our trucks and equipment, and this includes operating all of the equipment on the trucks, we have check off sheets made for all trucks that get checked off as well. This seems to work pretty good and usually the crew checks the stuff on sunday mornings and start at 8 and are usually done by 12. We did try to get away from doing this a couple years ago and have a work night on the last monday of the month but that did'nt work out very well. After responding to a few calls and not having equipment without fuel in them or what not is very embarrasing so we opted to go back to the weekends, along with your duty weekend that weekend that your on your also expected to respond to calls also.

    On a side note I'm also making a checkout sheet for putting the equipment back in service like scba's,saws,fans make sure truck fluids are good ( ex going to a fire and the scba is'nt put bac together properly). When you only have a few people putting the truck back together it's sometimes over whelming as we all know and I also am guilty of forgetting some stuff as well. So this hopefully will take care of that problem.

    Where I work we have to check out all equipment coming on at our shift change, as well as the equipment where we're assigned on the truck and this only takes a few minutes to do. Your equipment could be your lifeline and I'd rather spend time checking it and making sure everthing is in working order. Hope this helps! Is Marietta a ft dept? Just wondering. BE SAFE!!

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    One local VFD overcame this problem by hiring one full-time employee whose job it is to do daily basic check-ins on all the units, as well as weeklies (a lot more in-depth--run pumps, generators, lighting, saws, etc), and basic station maintenance, cleaning, and upkeep.
    Seems to work pretty well for them...of course if you don't have the money to create a f/t position...........

    I guess the easiest way to ensure good attitudes towards apparatus and station maintenance and upkeep is to inculcate these values at a "young age"...before they even hit probie status. These values of restocking/resetting units and having them back in-service as soon as possible after arriving back in quarters are something that should be taught, drilled, and enforced in the academies and during the new member's probie period.
    Of course, then it's possible to lean entirely the other direction--the officers and "jakes" screwing around while the probies and rookies are constantly the ones to wash/rack/reload hose, restock/refill BA bottles, restock medical supplies, etc. My way of thinking--getting a unit turned-around and back in-service should be everybody's responsibility. There is absolutely no excuse in my mind for there to be officers, engineers, and senior FFs standing around jacking jaws while two newbies are tasked to reset a whole engine by themselves without supervision. It should be a team effort, for one...for two, there are such things as "teachable moments"--turning a unit around from a call is a perfect example. Senior FFs should be guiding and mentoring newbies in their activities (let them do it, but watch and offer suggestions and be prepared to step in if something goes wrong--otherwise let them figure things out, most are capable), maybe showing a faster/better way to load hose, etc.

    Course that's just my 2, which in the real world amounts to .00132148, but there ya go.

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    Thanks for the input. We have truck check lists we do but getting people to fill them out or even do the checks is hard work. Everyone wants to go to the fire but a small handful will put thr truck back into service. Marietta has a dedpt. 3 stations. My dept is North of Marietta about 5 miles. We cover about 15 square miles and about 13 miles of an interstate, as well as 2 state routes with some heavy traffic. I like the paid employee idea. Dont think it would fly too well with our members though. Who knows, something to keep in mind.
    Last edited by doublej986; 10-27-2006 at 08:44 AM.

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    My old department would have Sunday detail that we'd clean the station and trucks,make sure everything was there,fuelled and in good working order.It came from a retired Chief that wanted to know at least someone was in town and available on Sundays for calls.An officer was always charged with the responsibility to get the papers filled out and organize the run sheets from the previous week.
    A lot of times,the more experienced guys would sit back and let us newbies rummage through the compartments to do the checks(training opportunity)and only bear a hand when the guy was having trouble differentiating a Hallegan from a prybar.
    Obviously,people would notice that there were people in the station and drop in to see where their tax dollars were going so we'd show them around,explain what a volunteer department does,and sometimes recruit a new member for the next training meeting.
    One other incentive was that showing up for the detail counted as a point for the $3.00 per call stipend we'd get twice a year which always got the mercenary ones among us to show up.
    Every once in a while,the local TV station would send a female reporter out to get a story about wildland fires,or fire safety which always got people to the house to do the work.
    Anything that can be used to get people to hang out at the station can work.Let them do minor maintenance on POVs as long as it doesn't block the bays might work.

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    We had a peice of rope tied to a column inside the house that we used to hang up our tarps. We had a run and someone threw the rope up to run under it, and somehow it caught on the ladders on the engine....

    Well as our engineer pulled out, the rope went taught and ripped the roof ladder, 3 fly ladder, AND the hydraulic lift system right off the side of the engine... Oh... and just so you know, it DID make one hell of a racket!!!

    Both ladders were damaged to the point that they are no longer in service, and the lift system has just been replaced. Still waiting on new ladders though.

    Now that is my speculation as to how the rope got there, at that point it seemed pretty plausible, as the events came together. Heck it coulda been aliens...
    Giggity - Giggity!

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    dough--"station day" or "detail day" whatever you want to call it--good idea for getting weeklies done and whatnot, but what about "turning around" after calls?
    The problem, and I totally understand it, is that hey, volunteer department, guys just got back in quarters at 3AM after an 8 hr structure fire, and most of them have to be at work at 8AM... and now it's time to spend another hour or two washing/racking/reloading hose, refilling/replacing BA bottles, cleaning tools, etc. I can honestly see how the laissez-faire mentality develops with regards to apparatus and equipment turn-around.

    *shrugs* There isn't any one easy, fix-all solution to the problem...but part of it is instilling a sense of duty and responsibility from the very beginning--you use it (equipment, apparatus, etc), you put it back in as good as or better condition than you checked it out in.

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    You might find with equipment, especially if you have new warrantied equipment aboard vehicles that if you don't undertake some sort of inspection and testing process, if any equipment were to fail and break that the manufacturers may invalidate the warranty, as preventative measures were not taken to ensure the item operated correctly.

    My service has a monthly/quarterly/six monthly and annual testing system on all equipment carried ensuring every year everything is tested. Some items like BA sets are tested once a week with a full examination and a test wear every month.

    Testing equipment shoulf be an everyday part of the stations routine.
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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    Hey DoubleJ986, just wondering why it wouldn't fly to well with your guys? Would they be offended in the way they would feel like you felt they weren't capeable of doing they're job? I don't like to use the word threaten but just run the idea and say thats what plan your going with, and when they get ****ed, tell them well you guys are not doing the job. Say if you don't want a F/T position around here to perform checks, prove to me we don't need an equipment person. Not sure if that would work but it's just an idea. In addition, you were asking for a story. The only problem we've had is a BA bottle being left half full and none of the harness straps extended, so when that member went to use it they were pretty ****ed. Unfortunatley maybe thats what it'll take.

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    When I took the chief job about 12 yrs. ago we had 2 trucks that might or might not start when you got a call.The dept. gives me $50 a month for making sure they run every time.I used to stop by on my day off and sometimes spend all day fixing something and driving the trucks.There are times they don't get used for a couple of weeks.Now we have a new building with a training room,kitchen and restrooms with 5 trucks in the bay.I can no longer do it by myself so I made a checkoff sheet and at our monthly meeting everything is checked.3 or 4 guys on a truck can check it pretty fast.As far as cleaning the building,washing trucks,mowing and a few other things I have community service people do it for me.Community service people are on probation (criminals) and some have 3 or 4 hundred hrs. to do.I went to the probation officer and signed up as a provider,found some criminals I trust and we are all happy.It works great for me.My building is always clean,mowed and the trucks are clean.The trick is to find trust worthy criminals.

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    We used to be very bad with truck check and what not...Then we got rid of some of the higher ups,got some new blood in the dept and things changed for the better...We do weekly truck checks which involves the fluids,equipment on the truck,running the pumps and what not...Its proven to make life much easier on the dept since we've started doing this

    I'd say if we hadn't of started to do we probably would have ended up with an accident as a result at some point

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    Quote Originally Posted by firemanmikey
    Hey DoubleJ986, just wondering why it wouldn't fly to well with your guys? Would they be offended in the way they would feel like you felt they weren't capeable of doing they're job? I don't like to use the word threaten but just run the idea and say thats what plan your going with, and when they get ****ed, tell them well you guys are not doing the job. Say if you don't want a F/T position around here to perform checks, prove to me we don't need an equipment person. Not sure if that would work but it's just an idea. In addition, you were asking for a story. The only problem we've had is a BA bottle being left half full and none of the harness straps extended, so when that member went to use it they were pretty ****ed. Unfortunatley maybe thats what it'll take.
    Well, firemanmikey, the reason I said the idea wouldn't "fly" with my members is, we have a handful of members that are, well, to say the least, "jealous" of anyone who gets something they dont. We have enough tension and conflict right now over a cell phone and that's between two of my officers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BDVFD784
    When I took the chief job about 12 yrs. ago we had 2 trucks that might or might not start when you got a call.The dept. gives me $50 a month for making sure they run every time.I used to stop by on my day off and sometimes spend all day fixing something and driving the trucks.There are times they don't get used for a couple of weeks.Now we have a new building with a training room,kitchen and restrooms with 5 trucks in the bay.I can no longer do it by myself so I made a checkoff sheet and at our monthly meeting everything is checked.3 or 4 guys on a truck can check it pretty fast.As far as cleaning the building,washing trucks,mowing and a few other things I have community service people do it for me.Community service people are on probation (criminals) and some have 3 or 4 hundred hrs. to do.I went to the probation officer and signed up as a provider,found some criminals I trust and we are all happy.It works great for me.My building is always clean,mowed and the trucks are clean.The trick is to find trust worthy criminals.
    Ok.....let me say this..... I work in a jail as my bread and butter job. There are no trust worthy criminals. If they were trust worthy, they wouldn't be in jail. I don't need them knowing where I live or "hang out". Thanks though for the input.

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    I have several instances of equipment failing in my department (when I say department, we have 430 stations)

    But we range from farmers with 1 brush truck that might see daylight 2 times a year, to stations doing 500 calls a year. My own station has a weekly checklist done before going out to training, and yes we have those that sit around, but they tend to miss out on going out on the trucks at training, and stay behind to clean the toilets and doing paperwork etc. They soon get sick of that and start helping....or leave, which if they don't want to help out, then we really won't miss them.

    There is a state level checklist when it comes to vehicle maintenance, but equipment wise, I can't say I have seen anything.

    As for the fulltime side of it, they have no choice, its done every shift!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pumper8032
    I have several instances of equipment failing in my department (when I say department, we have 430 stations)

    But we range from farmers with 1 brush truck that might see daylight 2 times a year, to stations doing 500 calls a year. My own station has a weekly checklist done before going out to training, and yes we have those that sit around, but they tend to miss out on going out on the trucks at training, and stay behind to clean the toilets and doing paperwork etc. They soon get sick of that and start helping....or leave, which if they don't want to help out, then we really won't miss them.

    There is a state level checklist when it comes to vehicle maintenance, but equipment wise, I can't say I have seen anything.

    As for the fulltime side of it, they have no choice, its done every shift!!

    Where do you live?

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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man
    dough--"station day" or "detail day" whatever you want to call it--good idea for getting weeklies done and whatnot, but what about "turning around" after calls?
    The problem, and I totally understand it, is that hey, volunteer department, guys just got back in quarters at 3AM after an 8 hr structure fire, and most of them have to be at work at 8AM... and now it's time to spend another hour or two washing/racking/reloading hose, refilling/replacing BA bottles, cleaning tools, etc. I can honestly see how the laissez-faire mentality develops with regards to apparatus and equipment turn-around.

    *shrugs* There isn't any one easy, fix-all solution to the problem...but part of it is instilling a sense of duty and responsibility from the very beginning--you use it (equipment, apparatus, etc), you put it back in as good as or better condition than you checked it out in.
    And,the problem with staying to changing hose,refilling air bottles,cleaning used hoses and hanging in the drying tower,sweeping out the dirtcindersgrassdogcrapetc from the cab,examining and cleaning tools,making sure the double dagumm TIC seats in the charging base this time, and all the other sundry jobs required to feed and care for a pumper or ladder is?It's part of the job,no matter if it's part of the shift to get the job done,or something to do before going back to explain to the wife and kiddies or boss why you're late for the birthday/anniversary(bring jewelry)/inlaws/job.Most of us had bosses and families that were understanding about it.
    My old vollie department has hard cases,not axeholes,that wanted the rigs ready to go even at Odarkthirty,and if some guys needed to leave to get up for work,we might gripe about being shorter handed but those that could stay on did and got the work done.
    I'm not saying there aren't some vollie departments that would leave stuff for whenever someone gets "a round tuit",but we never did,nor did the other McCracken County departments we did mutual aid with.We'd each do our own rigs,and then if anything was left over,start helping the other rigs until someone called"Quittin' time".

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    Quote Originally Posted by doublej986
    Where do you live?


    My apologies, I am from Australia, South Australia to be exact, for some reason it doesn't show up in my profile. so feel free to ignore me

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    dough--well see, now my problem is that you're jumping on my tailboard for something I don't even do. Point of fact, but we're a combination dept, and I almost always return to the station with the paid guys and help with turn-around, unless I have to get to work (my employer is not understanding of such things).

    I simply said that I can understand why an all-volly dept would get the "hey, it's 4AM, we'll worry bout it in the evening" attitude. I did not say it was right, just that I understand where it originates from.

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    Cool One way to handle it.....

    Have you tried to check-out the job descriptions for this position? If it states in the J.D. that vehicle or equipment checks are to be done then there is your in...... if not, then check your Departments S.O.G.s or S.O.P.s and use that as ammo.

    Another idea is to lead by example. When you come in, just do your checks and if the other equipment isn't being checked-out then check that out also. After all, it may be your can that will be saved by the equipment. Also, by doing this it shows that the team work aspect is in you, that you are willing to pull some of the slack that your colleagues are allowing to make. Trust me, Management will notice.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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    Dont have an accident, but someone said they checked out the medic and somehow I wound up driving it to the ER with an ALS patient and the belt fell off enroute. We had to call another unit to transport.

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    Many years ago (even before I came in) Army mechanized units did operator maintenance by the numbers. The platoon sgt would open the TM and read check 1, then everybody would do it. When that was finished and everybody was back in front of their track, they would get check 2, etc.

    Naturally, this only works if you have a written document to go from.
    I am a highly trained professional and can find my :: expletive deleted:: with either hand in various light conditions.

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    We do truck checks (work detail) every week and every member of the station rotates through it. It works out that you do it maybe 3-4 times a year. It is great from the perspective that you know what is working and what needs to be repaired and as part of it, they have to check to see if any equipment is missing and they know where stuff is.

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    We assign one person a week to each station to check the trucks.There is a written sheet to go by and mark your findings.They are to check fluids,lights,gauges,water levels,fuel and oil in the small tools(generators,fans,saws and run those,radios,scbas and run the trucks,if the truck is low on fuel go fill it,water level below full then top it off,If the truck hasnt made a call in 3-4 days take it for a drive so all systems get worked out.The person is supposed to do this 3 times a week.I f the truck hasnt moved since you last checked it then you can skip some things since they wont have changed.I cant think of a time we were let down on a call by something breaking but know of many times we have caught problems before they happened on a call.

    After calls everyone goes back to get the trucks ready.Top of water tanks remove empty bottles,lay out hose to dry etc.If it is getting late/early and people to go home for work there is usually one or two off during the day that can back later and finish anything.

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