1. #26
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    As so many have stated, all of us need to get out there and drive the equipment, even those of us who are "million milers." My favorite analogy is baseball players. They're being paid megabucks to play the game, much of which is throwing and catching baseballs. They know perfectly well how to throw and catch baseballs. But what do you see them doing between innings, when they take the field and are waiting for the batter? Or what do you see them doing after so many plays? Answer - throwing baseballs and catching them to and from each other. You mean they need practice? Answer - I don't care how much you do it, proficiency at your skills, whatever they are, is maintained by doing it over and over and over. You can't do it too much.

    But how many of us have been around chiefs and/or municipal managers who forbid the apparatus to be moved unless it's for a run or for scheduled training. "You're wasting fuel!" "You're wearing out the equipment!" Think up an excuse, someone will use it.

    The fact is, the best thing you can do for the equipment is run it. The best thing you can do as a driver is drive. The best thing you can do for the pump is pump water. The best thing you can do as a pump operator is pump water. The best thing you can do to know your district is to drive around it. The best thing you can do to know your mutual aid districts are to drive around them.

    We encourage our drivers to come into the station, get into a vehicle and drive it around. Maintain those skills. Throw baseballs.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

  2. #27
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    This month is full of engineer and driver competency stuff for my department. Pump practicals, driving courses, etc. I'm pretty proud of our requirements just to get behind the wheel of any rig, let alone what we expect to get into the bigger stuff with pumps and so forth.

    We don't have the same guy driving the same rigs all of the time, so everyone gets their regular time behind the wheel. Training nights are spent with the folks working towards being a pump operator getting lots of time behind the wheel without any added stresses. We'll even do the musical chairs game where the trainee jumps out of the driver's seat and the engineer comes out of the back seat behind him to go "hot" on runs. (Obviously, when the time comes we let them go lights and sirens with an appropriate person with them in the right front seat. It just doesn't happen overnight.) There's lots of opportunities for the folks learning to pump to do so without putting people at risk on a bona fide scene.

    If anything, I hear the folks here gripe that we spend too much time on driving/pumping/hose testing/EMS/ etc. instead of live fire stuff. Next month when we spend a ton of time on RIT, they'll complain that we don't drive enough.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

  3. #28
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    Thumbs up Apparatus Rollover Accidents

    "COMMON SENSE" how much do we have. At what point do adrenalin and common sense collide and make for a very dangerous situation. Possibly as soon as the tones go off. What type of call is it, wires, barn, mva, rescue,etc. Why do we bust b_ _ ls for wires, auto alarm, property damage accident. All of these any many, many, more should be run under non-emergency conditions. Why do we bust b_ _ ls from the house in our POV'S. So we can catch the piece, or maybe drive the piece. As stated in an earlier post it does no one any good if you roll your POV, or a piece of apparatus. You not only destroy a piece of apparatus,possibly hurt or kill someone, or destroy your POV, but you have caused a distraction from the original call. You will now have other apparatus
    responding to your incident that could have or should have been on the first call. Everyones mind will be on you instead of concentrating on the original call.
    Now think about something else, the cost to you, your insurance company,the community, plus the fact that either you, your fire company, or the municipality will be without a vehicle. You could possibly have a new car within two weeks, but how long will it take your company or municipality to replace your apparatus ( six months, a year or longer), plus if your cash strapped dept is under insured where will they come up with the extra money to replace your piece. Case in point a local dept had there $400,000 plus ladder truck rolled last summer, it took over a year to get a new one, at a cost of $650,000,identical specs as their wrecked one. Luckily they had replacement cost insurance so it did not cost anything extra, however the community was without a ladder truck for over a year.
    Another case in point a local dept crashed their squad into a pov, due to loss of brakes. They paid for a rental car and gave the owners of the pov cash to get back home.After all claims were settled the dept though all was over. Guess what it was not. Two years later the Fire Chief went to get a loan for a new pov for himself and found out that he had a lein against his home due to a suit filed by the original pov owners, and the insurance never notified him or the fire dept, What a surprise. So now remember when you jump into a vehicle of any kind take it easy, no matter what, the lives you save may be yours, your families, or fellow brothers and sisters. Your injury or death will affect many, many, people for a long, long time." BE CAREFUL AND SAFE, AND DRIVE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT ".

  4. #29
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    Default Seat Belts Save Illinois Firefighters

    11-30-2007:

    At approximately 7 a.m. on Nov. 26, Limestown Township volunteers were dispatched to a single-vehicle roll-over traffic crash. While en route to this alarm, Limestown Township Engine 4 left the road way after sliding on an ice-covered bridge.

    The apparatus rolled over one time, and came to rest on its wheels. Two occupants in the apparatus were both wearing seat belts, and received only minor injuries in the crash. The apparatus itself sustained heavy damage, especially to the body. The cab and crew compartments remained relatively intact.
    Firehouse story and photos here: - >

    http://cms.firehouse.com/web/online/...hters/45$57291
    "we learn from history...that we do not learn from history"

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