Thread: Rig Checks

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    Default Rig Checks

    In my company, the engine checks seem to have been almost completely forgotten. The members don't realize the importance of knowing what equipment we have, and making sure it's functional. Our current system is mearly 4 checklists that are to be done on our drill nights, that many times are not done, or are done poorly. I've expressed my concerns with the officers of the company, and it doesn't seem to be as much of a priority to them than it is to me. Any ideas of a new proceedure I can bring up, or new means of checking the rigs?

    Thanks,

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    We have vehicle checks every two weeks, with rostered crews. Crew leaders have been known to remove an item from a vehicle and then wait until the missing item is brought to their attention. Or not.

    Last year we had a quiz night for training. The training officer made a list of various items of equipment with a space to write which vehicle and which locker for that item. Each person had a copy to complete. When all were finished we went around the room with each person having to say where the next item lived - if they could. And the arguments! When people disagreed, someone had to go and find it. The sheets were kept by the writer, no marks were given or recorded. It was just that each person found out just how much they knew. Or didn't know. This quiz is going to be a random training occurence with only the training officer knowing when.

    Suggest this maybe. And then the uncaring officers might have a re-think! Having to puzzle out where an item is, during an incident, is very poor. And having said that, an obscure item might have me thinking, and I'm one of the ones that prides hinself on vehicle knowledge - we can't always be right!

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    Quote Originally Posted by volfirie View Post
    We have vehicle checks every two weeks, with rostered crews. Crew leaders have been known to remove an item from a vehicle and then wait until the missing item is brought to their attention. Or not.

    Last year we had a quiz night for training. The training officer made a list of various items of equipment with a space to write which vehicle and which locker for that item. Each person had a copy to complete. When all were finished we went around the room with each person having to say where the next item lived - if they could. And the arguments! When people disagreed, someone had to go and find it. The sheets were kept by the writer, no marks were given or recorded. It was just that each person found out just how much they knew. Or didn't know. This quiz is going to be a random training occurence with only the training officer knowing when.

    Suggest this maybe. And then the uncaring officers might have a re-think! Having to puzzle out where an item is, during an incident, is very poor. And having said that, an obscure item might have me thinking, and I'm one of the ones that prides hinself on vehicle knowledge - we can't always be right!
    Put money on the quiz and then you have something. It seems like we bet on everything here and it makes it more fun.
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    Hah, everything seems to be worth a pop here.

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    I'm not sure what the schedule is for our trucks exactly. Everyday both medic units are checked top to bottom, every piece of equipment and supply. But its something like twice a week for the other trucks.

    As far as I know, they are pretty good about it.

    I have found a thing or two to be missing while checking the trucks, but oh well. It happens.
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    What does it take, 20 minutes to check the rig by yourself? Do it, at work we all do it, or the junior guy. Where I volunteer, I do it when ever I drive by the firehouse. Its amazing that guys think a mask is full just cause it says so on the cylinder. Dont wait for someone else to find out something is wrong if you can do it yourself. It sucks that other member's do not see the importance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by volfirie View Post
    We have vehicle checks every two weeks, with rostered crews. Crew leaders have been known to remove an item from a vehicle and then wait until the missing item is brought to their attention. Or not.
    I have severe reservations about this type of test. Any piece of equipment is on the truck for a reason. Taking one off to prove a point, no matter how insignificant you think the tool is, (we carry a pair of bailing hooks for barn fires, never used them) it is a bad idea. In my humble opinion it ranks up there with disconnecting SCBA hoses. It is something that should never be done.

    As for rig checks we do it at the beginning of every shift. Driver checks the engine and each firefighter checks his SCBA and tools that his riding assignment requires.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lexfd5 View Post
    Taking one off to prove a point, no matter how insignificant you think the tool is, (we carry a pair of bailing hooks for barn fires, never used them) it is a bad idea. In my humble opinion it ranks up there with disconnecting SCBA hoses. It is something that should never be done.
    I'm pretty sure that he means jus tto see if the crew will catch it. I'm sure that they put it back on once the item was determined to be missing or not. (if not, I am sure the crew got a nice lil arse chewing)

    My Dad loves to pull little tricks like that on people. I'm used to it and expect it now!
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    We have 6 teams of 3-5 FFs each. 3 stations, 6 pieces of apparatus. Each team rotates checking each station's rigs, washes the rigs *weather permitting,* and also does housekeeping. Everything is checked on the rigs, from tools/appliances to tire pressure.

    If we see an ugly hose lay, we pull it off and re-lay it.










    It also comes down to pride in what you do and how you do it.
    Put THAT in your pump and flow it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by NismoFire View Post
    ...washes the rigs *weather permitting,*
    We wash our rigs every morning regardless of the weather. It snows quite a bit here too. We also hose the rig down every time we bring it back into the bay.


    To the OP. I would check the rigs as thourough as possible by yourself if you have to. Eventually I would think members would start contributing or feeling bad your in the bay working and they are not. Hopefully you will rub off on them. Actions speak louder than words.

    I will never let another brother work alone.

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    Here we wash the medic unit (only unit staffed during the day) every day at least one time. Usually at the beginning of the shift, but depending on who you are working with, usually at the end as well. If the medic got dirty while on the run we will at least hose it down.
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    All three ambulances are checked twice day for items used most often. Every saturday They are checked for every single item. The engines, ladder and heavy rescue are checked once a week on a rotating schedule. Firest due engine is checked daily.
    Hello. Fire dept.. You light'em, We fight'em!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BKDRAFT View Post
    I would check the rigs as thourough as possible by yourself if you have to. Eventually I would think members would start contributing or feeling bad your in the bay working and they are not.
    Yeah, I got some people to start helping, but the others see me doing it, and feel that because I do it well, I should keep doing it by myself. I really don't mind doing the checks myself, because then I know they are done, and done right, but it's the nights that I'm not there, or am working on a different project that worry me. I once did a check on the reserve engine and found 2 of the 6 Scotts to not be functioning properly, and 1 was missing a mask and regulator. We had a pack with an empty bottle.

    It also comes back to taking care of the tools after a run. Yeah, we're a volunteer department, but that doesn't negate the need to make sure tools are in working order. When the can/O2 tank/Dry Chem/etc is used, it should be second nature to have it replaced or refilled.

    Blah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by picone239 View Post
    Yeah, we're a volunteer department, but that doesn't negate the need to make sure tools are in working order.
    Let me quote that just one more time for emphasis.


    Yeah, we're a volunteer department, but that doesn't negate the need to make sure tools are in working order.

    I have seen alot of volunteer departments treat their equipment very well and be very professional and I have seen alot of vol. departments fit into the sterotype that some have of a bunch of good ol' boys who just hang out at the fire station and dont do much of anything.


    ----------------------------------

    Back in ref. to my posts above.


    We take very good care of our apparatus.

    Our ladder truck is a 1978 Sutphen 85' midmount with a 1250 gpm pump and the thing will out pump our newest engine. We regularly get called to a large neighboring city (260,000 residents, 17 engines, 4 trks, 5 rescues) for fill ins and even to go to fires and I have heard more than one story about how their engines couldnt pump water to us fast enough so our officer told them to go find something else to do while we pumped our own water. Then I guess everyone was complaining about how we were stealing their water.

    I just happened to be touring a dept in the southern part of our state that had the exact same ladder truck as ours, but was a year younger. The thing was HIDEOUS! It was all rusted out, was covered in dust and dirt, looked like it hadnt been washed in three months, large gouges in the paint, seats all torn up, etc. And this was not a dept that was lacking funds or too busy to treat their rig well. They just didnt care.

    Our truck gets TLC and she hasn't failed us yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
    They just didnt care.
    Time's they are a-changin'. I grew up at the firehouse, and still remember the days when people had, what was that word, um, oh yeah, pride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by picone239 View Post

    Time's they are a-changin'. I grew up at the firehouse, and still remember the days when people had, what was that word, um, oh yeah, pride.
    I grew up around the firehouse too so I know what ya mean.


    Some departments still have it.








    Others.................I'm not so sure about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by picone239 View Post
    Yeah, I got some people to start helping, but the others see me doing it, and feel that because I do it well, I should keep doing it by myself. I really don't mind doing the checks myself, because then I know they are done, and done right, but it's the nights that I'm not there, or am working on a different project that worry me. I once did a check on the reserve engine and found 2 of the 6 Scotts to not be functioning properly, and 1 was missing a mask and regulator. We had a pack with an empty bottle.

    It also comes back to taking care of the tools after a run. Yeah, we're a volunteer department, but that doesn't negate the need to make sure tools are in working order. When the can/O2 tank/Dry Chem/etc is used, it should be second nature to have it replaced or refilled.

    Blah.
    Although frusturating I wouldn't get discouraged. You sound like you have a great work ethic where others might be lacking. If you told your company officer there isn't much else you can do. Just continue to work hard and hopefully the others will come around in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by picone239 View Post

    Time's they are a-changin'. I grew up at the firehouse, and still remember the days when people had, what was that word, um, oh yeah, pride.
    I tried taking this pride thing once. I got called a wacker.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
    I'm pretty sure that he means jus tto see if the crew will catch it. I'm sure that they put it back on once the item was determined to be missing or not. (if not, I am sure the crew got a nice lil arse chewing)

    My Dad loves to pull little tricks like that on people. I'm used to it and expect it now!
    Correct. But I can see how I could have been misunderstood. An item would be removed from a truck before the morning roster crew arrived (all volunteer, no station crew), and was right there if a call came through, and would be shown to the crew at the end of the duty.

    As has been mentioned here, part of the 'pride' in being in the service has to revolve around our equipment - without it we're not much use! The act of regular washing of vehicles is part of that. We haven't washed ours properly for over 18 months. Why? Drought, and the law says no washing. But we will take out a bucket of water, and a synthetic chamois, and go over the trucks that way giving them a rinse and wipe dry. Nowhere near as good as a good slathering with soapy water and a decent rinse, but you do what you can do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    What does it take, 20 minutes to check the rig by yourself? Do it, at work we all do it, or the junior guy. Where I volunteer, I do it when ever I drive by the firehouse. Its amazing that guys think a mask is full just cause it says so on the cylinder. Dont wait for someone else to find out something is wrong if you can do it yourself. It sucks that other member's do not see the importance.
    What he said. Just do it.

    Change can only begin with one person.
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    Default Truck Checks

    A very unpopular task in our department which requires alot of push. All rigs get a once over after any run or training session, when everything is checked off it is declared "in service". We also require weekly checks without about a three page checklist of things which include running power equipment, fluid levels, lights, flashlights, radios, SCBA tests, etc. While there is alot of grumbling at times, there have been a few instances where an air bottle was half full, a piece of equipment was missing, or something was found dirty. When somebody says "who did truck checks this week" it creates a situation nobody wants to be in, therefore they get done but of course with some complaining. It is sometimes amazing how long a turn signal can be burned out, people notice, but nobody tells the mechanics or fixes it.

    Another department officer will sometimes remove something or make a problem, I think this is wrong as it may be undiscovered or forgotten, and suddenly you have a need at an incident and can't perform the task.

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    Default Checklist

    I maintain a checklist for our rig. Everything that's on it and where it belongs. Unfortunately I'm the only one that ever uses it and that's about every couple of months.

    The Scott's and the Hurst tool, gets checked weekly and anything that relies on a battery.

    Most items are replaced after each run and we maintain logs for vehicle maintenance.

    It can be life threatening when an item doesn't function or it's missing. So I'll check it, it's my butt out there too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
    Our ladder truck is a 1978 Sutphen 85' midmount with a 1250 gpm pump and the thing will out pump our newest engine.
    Our truck gets TLC and she hasn't failed us yet.
    And this baby has a working Q now to, thanks to some ingeniuous modifications and 7 hours of labor ending at 0300.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireDawgEMT22 View Post
    And this baby has a working Q now to, thanks to some ingeniuous modifications and 7 hours of labor ending at 0300.
    I think that our Q qualifies as a feat of modern engineering.


    I wonder how many people we woke up.........?
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    We have a maintenance crew that takes care of all of the maintenance with the vehicles themselves as well as all the equipment in it. They do maintenance once a week for 3 hours a night. They rotate vehicles so each vehicle gets checked completely at least 3 times a month.

    We also have an after operations check. Each time the vehicle goes out of the station they have to fill this form out. It basically checks all the lights, fluids, etc. like the 32 point check at the local Zippy Lube.


    Like said before, change starts with one person. Maybe once people see you do it, they would be interested in doing it too. Start recruiting help from some newer people to help you do some checks on vehicles and make it into a valuable training for that person. Once that gets around, people will be interested in learning stuff on a one on one basis and you are doing maintenance almost by accident!
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