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The purpose of the Fire Mechanics Section is to promote standardization of fire apparatus and equipment preventative maintenance, improve safety standards and practices, promote workshops, conferences, and seminars related to the purposes of this Section, and to promote cost savings through standardization of building and equipment purchasing and maintenance.

RECENT FIRE MECHANIC NEWS

Posted: Dec 28, 2015

Rurally Speaking: Apparatus and Equipment Meets Leadership, Pride, Discipline, and Spaghetti Sauce

By Carl J. Haddon

As many of you know, I encourage readers to reach out to me with products and information that I can write about, and that we hopefully can all learn something from. The other day, a Brother sent me a video of a rural residential structure fire call that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

By all accounts, the fire was nothing remarkable: no down victims, no firefighter Mayday—a real snoozer room and contents fire. That is, until it consumed the entire home with outfitted firefighters watching it burn from outside.

The responding department had a relatively late model engine, lots of hose, and a properly flowing hydrant across the street from the house on fire. The firefighters appeared to be appropriately attired in full turnout gear. Most, if not all, had self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and face pieces affixed to their faces. There were two white helmets who I presumed were chiefs of some sort, at least one red helmet signifying a captain or two, and a number of yellow firefighter helmets in attendance. The video showed what appeared to be an adequate amount of fire hose deployed on to the lawn.

The home was a total loss because the firefighters couldn’t get water from the engine to the fire for almost 15 minutes. It is not for me to speculate whether or not they knew how to get water from the truck to the fire or if the problem was mechanical failure in nature. Regardless, this was an epic failure at all levels.

I share this with you without the intent of embarrassing the souls that responded to this fire, or trying to play Monday morning quarterback. Unfortunately as I travel rural America each year, I learn that this is not an uncommon occurrence! This situation is diametrically opposed to one where the department has old trucks, minimal equipment, no hydrants, and operates on a shoestring budget. This particular department, like many others across the United States and abroad, had or has the fire apparatus and equipment required to do the job. Seeing this incident unfold on the screen led to many questions. However at the end of the day, for me, it all came down to a matter of leadership, pride, and discipline.

Leadership
In this situation, did the leaders lead with the global best interest of their crew, the homeowner, and their community in mind? Does this department train all of its personnel (more than one hour once a month) to know how to pump their fire truck? Do they have a plan B, and do they train on that? Mutual aid units were on this scene but not deployed. I’d be curious to see what the after action report on this call looked like. Not wanting to second guess the incident commander, assuming there was one, lots of questions come to mind that go way beyond what happened or didn’t happen on scene. Does this department train with its mutual aid departments,so that they are all familiar with each other’s fire apparatus and equipment? Does this department actively seek continuing education for its line officers and chief officers? Good leaders surround themselves with good, competent, and well trained firefighters. Good leaders ensure that their staffs are well trained and competent as well as being outfitted and properly equipped. The best of equipment and the finest of fire trucks are worthless if the bosses don’t make sure the crews know how to use them.

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Posted: Dec 28, 2015

Edmeston (NY) Fire Department Chooses Toyne to Build Fire Truck

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By Alan M. Petrillo

The Edmeston (NY) Fire Department was in the market for a top-mount pumper to replace a similar unit that had served its useful life and needed to be retired. While Edmeston firefighters wanted to duplicate the older vehicle, they still had some tweaks they wanted to make to the new pumper to make it more user-friendly.

Art Klingler, Edmeston's chief, says the truck committee found a local sales representative to work with in Dick Shakerly of Shakerly Fire Truck Sales. "We developed the specs and sent them out to a total of seven manufacturers," Klingler says. "In the end, the only bidder was Toyne, which was fine because we had seen some of their pumpers and had researched the company."

Klingler notes that the department's previous top-mount pumper had a 1,250-gpm pump on it and a 1,500-gallon water tank. "The old pumper had a Newton dump on it, but we didn't use it very much so we eliminated it on the new pumper," he points out. "We changed the pump to a 1,500-gpm model, kept the water tank at 1,500 gallons, and added a foam system, foam tank, and a hydraulic ladder rack."

Shakerly says the new top-mount Toyne pumper is built on a Freightliner M2 four-door cab and chassis with seating for five firefighters and is powered by a Cummins ISL 350-hp diesel engine,and an Allison 3000 EVS automatic transmission. The 1,500-gpm pump is a Hale QFlow, and the water tank is made by UPF. The pumper has a 25-gallon Class A foam tank and a FoamPro 2002 foam system. Cost of the pumper was $350,000, he says.

"Another change we made from our old pumper was the FoamPro system and the foam tank," Klingler says. "Previously we had used an eductor system, but this new system allows us to have foam capability at all of our six discharges." The pumper has two 1¾-inch crosslays, one 2½-inch crosslay, a one-inch booster reel, and two dead lays that can be connected to two 2½-inch discharges at the rear of the vehicle.

Edmeston's protection district is largely rural, covering 91 square miles, the towns of Edmeston and Burlington, and a population of approximately 3,600 where it provides fire suppression, rescue, and emergency medical services (EMS) response. It operates out of one station with 48 volunteer firefighters.

"We have a lot of hills and tight roads in our district, so we kept the water tank size down to 1,500 gallons so the truck could be on a single rear axle to be more maneuverable," Klingler notes. "Because of the hills, we went with the 350-hp engine. We also added a Jacob's brake and chose not to have an onboard generator because the Fire Research Co

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Posted: Dec 25, 2015

VIDEO: Parade of Decorated Fire Trucks

This Fire Truck Parade took place in Langford BC.

    MORE APPARATUS CHRISTMAS PHOTOS >>

MORE FIRE APPARATUS ARTICLES>>

To submit your own photo, go to our Photo Submission Form.

 

 

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Posted: Dec 25, 2015

VIDEO: Decorated Aerial Fire Truck Synchronized to Holiday Music

To prepare this fire truck, it takes approximately 350 hours and 10,000 lights. It is is outfitted for this community's annual Festival of Lights parade.

    MORE APPARATUS CHRISTMAS PHOTOS >>

MORE FIRE APPARATUS ARTICLES>>

To submit your own photo, go to our Photo Submission Form.

 

 

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Upcoming Events

Fire Mechanics Section Board

Chair

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Chair

Elliot Courage
North Whatcom Fire & Rescue
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Vice Chair

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Vice Chair

Mike Smith 
Pierce County Fire District #5
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Secretary

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Secretary

Justin Claibourn
Central Pierce Fire & Rescue 
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Director #1

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #1

Loren Angiono 
City of Lynnwood
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Director #2

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #2

Paul Spencer 
Fire Fleet Maintenance LLC
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Director #3

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #3

Larry Elliott
Olympia Fire Department
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Director #4

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #4

Doug Jones
City of Redmond
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Director #6

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #6

Brett Annear
Kitsap County Fire District 18
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Director #5

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #5

Jay Jacks
Camano Island Fire & Rescue
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Legislative Representative

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Legislative Representative

TBD
TBD
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Immediate Past Chair

Posted: Oct 20, 2015

Immediate Past Chair

Brian Fortner
Graham Fire & Rescue

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