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  1. #1
    Forum Member rschultzjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Help? Heavy Rescue or Rescue Pumper

    I am a member of a truck committee and we have been working on spec'ing a new "Heavy Rescue" to replace our two "Light Duty Rescues". We have worked on this for a little over a year and have received four bids back.

    Now a few of the committee members think we are going in the wrong direction. They feel that its gonna be hard to justify to the taxpayers that we are spending 340,000 dollars on a large tool box.

    So now we have been asked to take a few days and think this over and consider moving from a Heavy Rescue to a Rescue Pumper. I can see the advantages to both sides of the picture and not exactly sure what way I think I should go.

    What style do you use? What are the pros and cons?

    Thank you in advance for any help you can give me!

  2. #2
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Memphis, TN - USA


    What anyone else does doesn't matter. Ultimately, only you or your committee can answer the questions that need to be answered.

    Are you a paid or volunteer department?

    What can you staff? Will staffing a rescue with no water mean that an engine will get left behind or unable to respond?

    Do you have and operate truck companies - not necessarily the same thing you know.

    How will you utilize a rescue?

    Would another engine better serve the department and community?
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.

    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Brunswick, MD


    I agree with Memphis, YOUR COMPANY has to make he decision.

    If you are doing mostly Auto Extracation then the Rescue Engine should work fine.

    If you are using your Rescue (Squad here in the Northeast) for other uses besides Auto Extraction your carring equipment for Confine Space, High Angle, Trench, Water Rescue, and Machinery. Are you putting a Cascade System on this new truck? You are going to have to decide how big your willing to go with this new truck without being over-weight. As well as deciding what is trully needed to be carried.

    What equipment does your mutural aid companies have, to help support you, if you don't have it? How long will it take to get there once requested? How much are those companies counting on YOUR mutural aid to them?

    Personally, Each peice of equipment needs to be dedicated. On AUTO ACCIDENTS (especially interstate highways) the engine company is your blocking unit as well as having a line off for protection (100' behind the accident) the squad is the extraction piece, Just behind or just in-front of the accident. On other rescue calls, each unit would be parked equally away from the incident. For this you can use the engine company crews as go-fers, while the squad crews concentrate on the rescue.

    I have been involved in both types of units and each has its own purpose. Its just what will work for you and how you want to use it.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    You're talking about two completely different beasts when you talk about HR's and RP's. Their roles are different, capabilities are different, and of course, amount of equipment they can carry are vastly different.

    What does your community need? What does your department need? If you already have enough pumpers, is one more really going to benefit you? If you need a pumper, can you settle with making it a RP, which will carry no more than two-thirds of the equipment that a HR would?

    Remember that we buy apparatus to last us for many, many years. If you settle on the RP, will it have enough room on it to expand as your needs change over the next two decades?

    Not to be a nay-sayer, but these are questions that probably should have been answered before the spec process started.

    What are y'all leaning towards, and why?

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Bear in mind that a good quality rescue pumper will probably cost more than $340000, and if you want to carry all the tools one would find on a true rescue, you may have to invest in a utility type vehicle to carry those less used tools or possibly the cascade system, as those things take up a lot of room.

    Out of curiosity, what do you have now?

  6. #6
    Forum Member rschultzjr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005


    I understand that it is something that our committee will have to finally decide but I was looking for some pros and cons.

    We currently use a
    1985 International 4400 (I think) 4x4
    10.5 ft rear box, 250 gallons of water with a 750 GMP front mount pump
    This unit was not designed for carrying our rescue/jaws equipment

    1997 Ford E-350 (glorified ambulance)
    Carries 5 FF's, cascade, stokes, ice rescue, basic first aid supplies and
    other miscellanous equipment.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Pa Wilds

    Default Evaluating future apparatus needs

    As an “Old School” member of a fairly modern fire company, I will attempt to lay out my view of a logical procedure for evaluating your problem.

    First, gather the data from the past 12 year period (mid life span of an apparatus) of calls where your rescue services were used. Divide this time span into 3 blocks of four (4) years each. Next evaluate every incident as to the general type of service provided. Examples might be: (Vehicle Extrication, Building Collapse, Ditch cave-in, Industrial Accident, Firefighter Entrapment, Cascade needed, Etc.) This will allow you to analyze the type and frequency of service provided.

    Now after collecting the data it will be possible to project future services.
    Example: Vehicle extrication data might show: Block 1 (12 to 8 years ago) = 10 calls -- Block 2 = 14 calls - Block 3 = 20 calls

    You might reasonably estimate that in the future (Next 4 years) – (28 calls); 4 to 8 years out - (38 calls) and 8 to 12 years out - (50 calls) This will be the design point for your rescue at the midpoint of its useful life.

    Along with this evaluation, you should also determine what services will be available from Mutual Aid and what degree of service you are unable to provide. This procedure should allow you to make an estimate of future calls that will be answered by your company. The design of your rig(s) should address how you will handle these future emergencies.

    We cover an area of 102 sq. mi. with mutual aid 15 minutes to 30 minutes away. (7 mi. south, 20 mi. east) In designing our hydraulic rescue tool package it was determined that we needed two sets (cutters, spreaders and jacks) PTO powered off the rig plus a portable gas power unit for use in remote areas without truck access (industry & forestry accidents)
    We typically answer 1 to 2 calls per year for industrial or forestry accidents where heavy hydraulic lifting equipment is needed in remote locations. So, the addition of a remote power unit is essential. We might have relied upon mutual aid to provide this, but response time prevents this from being an acceptable solution. On the flip side of this analysis, we do not carry a mobile cascade unit. Our entire FD operates with about 50 spare air bottles, and relies upon mutual aid to bring a mobile cascade unit to the scene of major fires.

    I know that some people will find a technical analysis of capability -vs- anticipated calls revolting, but triage is necessary everywhere when limited assets are in conflict with actual conditions. You must decide what sorts of services you will not be able to provide.

    I hope this will help in assessing your future needs and in the design of new apparatus.

    Kuh Shise

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