Saturday, November 15, 2008

Big toys?

When you look at the American fire service, you see lots of apparatus, but is all the apparatus necessary? Big trucks, lots of lights, lots of equipment. With the downturn of the economy, will the fire service take a look at what is essential rather than what they think they need? Where is the proof that the apparatus we are purchasing makes a differnce? Does a $500,000 engine put out a fire any differently than a $200,000 engine?

Where am I going with this? Go out to your bay in the station, and ask yourself - do we have more apparatus than what we need - quantity and quality? What is big enough? What works the best, not what looks the biggest and the best?

It is time for the American fire service to look at the fire apparatus and make changes to become more economically efficient?

Lets hear your thoughts.
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  1. I started in the fire service back in 1969, with the Baltimore County fire dept. Of course I was with the volunteers at that time. And now I'm a paid Captain with a fire dept in Colorado. Over the years I've seen many changes in what we speck as far as engines, ladders, rescues,and all types of other equipment we us in our daily service to the public we are paid to protect. And I must say that sometimes we tend to go over board when it comes to buying equipment for the fire service. We tend to stray from what we really need and go for things that have lots of eye appeal, now don't get me wrong theres nothing like a ladder thats decked out with all the goodies there is to get, but, is it really necessary. Unfortunately its not, but in the long run it's more of a waste then a need. So with things being the way they are today it's time we spend smarter and buy what we need and not what looks good, looks are great but looks don't help us with our job's. And by looks I don't mean dirty trucks compared to clean trucks. So to all out there that really take a hard look at what we are about to face as far as money and spending for any equipment remember, CHROME don't get you home. And tools, lets buy what we need and not what we will never use.

  2. Hi there - I've submitted articles for your site before but would like to inquire about providing a "guest post" for your blog. If you could reply via email that would be most appreciated!

    Samantha Catalano

  3. Being a red-blooded American firefighter and growing up in firehouses where all of these big rigs are pretty much a requirement, I was amazed when I did a six-week stint in Australia at the amount of stuff they can get on those rigs, which are for the most part, pretty small in comparison to ours. They do a great job getting the right equipment on and doing the job efficiently.

    My department is in the process of receiving 10 new engines and they are much smaller (size and weight) than what they are replacing, but they make up for it in efficiency. Now, granted, we are also a department that uses tractor-drawn aerials, but even then, if you look at what our aerials are carrying (and the job expectations for the truck in comparison to our engines), you can see why.


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