When putting equipment on fire apparatus, think about the items you may need in a hurry. Place them in a position that they are easily accessed. I know we are proud of the appearance of our trucks. Having items mounted to the sides and bumpers may not look as sexy but remember what the fire departments job is. Take the time to identify tasks that need to be performed upon arrival at the incident. For a motor vehicle accident, the first item is scene size up. Having a pair of binoculars in the cab near the passenger seat makes sense. Once on the scene you will need to secure the traffic. Traffic cones buried in a dunnage container on the top of the truck will increase the time of deployment. Consider placing them on the tail shelf of the truck. You may have noticed utility vehicles keep them easy to get to. After securing the scene you will then move to securing the vehicle. This will likely require cribbing or vehicle stabilization tools. Again, keeping them in a dunnage container will increase the access time. Some of the stabilization tools require assembly. Having them assembled and ready to go will save time.
For fire attack, think of what you most often need upon arrival. Forcible entry tools are a priority. These can be easily mounted near the jump seats. Ventilation equipment is also best when placed low. Hose is one of the most obvious, particularly with a nozzle set for the fire attack option chosen. Whatever the call you would consider your bread and butter variety, have that equipment ready to go.
Upon completion, the department should be able to…
• Discuss common calls your department receives.
• Determine the tools needed for each of the calls you identify.
• Identify a good location for the tools most often used.
• Drill for the common types of calls.
Scott Meinecke is a member of the Sheldon Volunteer Fire Department, Director of Safety for the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, and field staff for the Fire Service Training Bureau. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org