Another Unusual Question. What Do The More Rural Firefighters Use For Trucks To Carry Gear To The Scene?

Ok, you inner-city firefighters just overlook this thread because I know you all put gear on before you leave the station. But for those of us in rural areas, showing up to fires at different times this seems to be important based on what I see from most local departments. Our current "gear carrier"/rehab unit is a 1973 Chevrolet school bus. It carries all of our turnout gear, helmets, gloves, boots in our own individual lockers. Also carries our mobile cascade, some saws, back boards, lots of extra drinking water, and our extra air packs/tanks that don't fit our our rescue pumpers. We carry all of our turnout gear on this bus because we don't all leave from the station and probably 95% of the time someone comes to the scene in their own vehicle after all the trucks have left the station. I am asking the rural guys on here for pictures of what you use for this purpose. We are looking at updating to something shorter than a 60 passenger bus because of space issues and I would love input from you guys.



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We are a rural department and you go to the station and put on your gear and get a truck. Or you go to the station and if all the trucks are gone you get your gear and come in your own car. Only a couple of use carry our gear with us.

I like to see guys go to the station because if everyone goes to the scene who is bringing the rigs?


 But if you want something smaller we are going to be selling our rescue shortly. You can go my to wall and

and look at it. It is a 91 chevy van or bread truck.

Thanks for the reply Derek! I saw your gear lockers on your pictures too. Those look pretty nice and they look like they could be reasonably priced. Right now, our goal is just to get guys into gear when on scene. We have had an issue with guys wearing their gear period, let alone picking it up and taking it to scene with them. I would love to get something really small for a rehab truck and tool carrier, basically a rescue style truck and keep the gear behind that truck since we are completely out of room.

Brent, please post photos of your bus. Interesting concept.

We are a semi-rural department, but everyone must come to the station first.

Is your bus the first out? Or an engine?

Which came first - The chicken or the egg? (sorry, couldn't resist -- Easter joke)

Norm, I'll have to take some pictures of the beast. It's actually usually the third truck out. Honestly, one of the biggest reasons we're looking at getting something different is because we got new overhead doors on the station and it seems only a few of us can back it into the station without slamming the side of the bus into the doors. :)

We have been shooting for the #1 and #2 pumper out first, then the bus, then the tanker(tender). We have that new little quick attack brush truck rig that will be thrown in there soon as it finally gets put into service, but we see no reason to roll that on structure fires so it will more than likely be the 5th truck out on structures, or the first out on brush fires. Our first responders in town (a separate volunteer organization) also roll their ambulance on structure fires and MVA's, but our organization has nothing to do with that besides sharing space.

It seems that the small fire departments around here about 60% put gear on a bus or bread truck looking rig and 40% hang gear in station.

Based on the replies so far I'm leaning towards a small rescue truck with a crew compartment of some kind for rehab and hanging the gear in the station. (Both options have been discussed in our meetings and I'm always looking for what other departments are doing.) We're just in the pre-planning stages of purchase anyway.

         Brent, I hate to be the one to tell you this. In our department you show up on a scene with out gear on and your butt is off the scene. To much liability to be messing around with. No PPE No getting dirty!  Its that simple. I do not want to have to make that phone call saying Mrs. Jones your husband is at the hospital being treated for 3rd degree burns because he was fighting a fire with out is PPE on and we didn't make him. Talk about a law suite! If this is true We have had an issue with guys wearing their gear period,let alone picking it up and taking it to scene with them. You have bigger problems then just the bus or the question you asked.

      I normally would not say this on here, but I'm going to so try not to get upset. Your Chiefs  need to get their heads out of their butts and start doing the job they were elected or appointed to do. And that is to try to make sure everyone goes home after every call all in one piece. So far your department may be getting lucky; but you keep letting people run around on a scene without proper PPE on it will come back to bite you guys in the @%#! 

The problem with that is not only does it make your Chiefs and officers and department look bad. It is a black eye for the whole fire service. I realize there are departments out in the world that can not afford proper PPE and tools but what I'm reading here that is not the cause of your department. To me this is just poor leadership and not caring for the people you are asking to get in harms way. Which to me is just plan bull. No reason for it. Sorry to go off on you but there are some things that make my blood boil and guys not in turn out gear is one of those things. I wish you luck on finding what you need and Put on your gear always and stay safe.   



Awesome. Adapt and overcome.

But now I'm picturing an engine crew arriving on scene of a working structure fire without any PPE for those first few minutes.

Did the practice of everyone keeping their gear in their cars not work for you guys?

our county has four depts. in it.  Our more rural depts. keep their gear on the engines in turnout bags.  I cant remember what they don't have on their trucks that we have giving them the space for all of those bags.  I am assuming that the firefighters that go to the station grab their gear off the bus before getting into the engine, is that right?  If they go to the scene and wait for PPE I can see Derek's point.  How many are on your dept.?  I am having a hard time thinking of a truck any smaller than the one you have that would carry all of that gear!  Maybe something like a panel van or  smaller bus.  Jeez, it sounds like a mobile fire station.  Our furthest  first due area from the station is 60 miles.  So I could see the value of a mobile cascade, probably would not be much house left to save when we got there though! 

We keep our gear at the station and don it before getting on the truck. We do not allow POV response without the Chief's approval (there are two guys on our Dept. that live way out in the District, they are allowed to keep their gear with them and respond POV as long as they don't have to go past the station to get there). In the event all the rigs are gone upon a member's arrival at the station they will gear up and catch a ride on a tanker that's heading back out after filling up or call the Chief on the radio to see what he wants them to do. We never thought it looked very good for guy to show up on scene not in PPE and for them to have to take the time to don it on-scene.

In my second department back in the early 90's they had a panel van they used as a utility truck.  It carried a rack full of turnout coats with gloves and hoods, 3/4 hip boots, and helmets.  They didnt provide you with personal gear then, you got to the station or the scene and grabbed the coat, boots and helmet from the van.  It also carried our rakes and shovels, spare air bottles, generator, portable pump, reel cords, porta-power, and some cribbing.

Today though we all have personal gear, I keep ,mine in the trunk of my car but thats because I am officer and will go to the scene first to do a size-up.  Some guys keep theirs in gear bags in their vehicles as well because they live far away from the station and usually miss the trucks.  Others keep their gear on racks in the station, or on the trucks ready to go.

We have a walk in rescue truck with hydraulic reel, air reel, generator with a cord reel and power station, portable light stands, portable generators, Amkus Rescue Tools (cutter and spreader with 3 rams), pull out drawers under the truck that stow our cribbing, cascade unit, spare bottles, RIT Pack, hand tools, portable radios, flashlights, TIC, 4-gas meter, air-tools with air bags, salvage covers and our extra fire police stuff.

Sorry it took me so long to get these on here Norm. It's actually not a bad looking rig. Just a little long and difficult to drive with the small V8 and 5 speed manual transmission. I put a picture of the inside as well.

Sorry it took me so long to get these posted Norm. Here's the outside and inside view.

Click on the link and see what we use....its the big white van. Hauls our turnout gear, JAWS, cascade system. Works great, especially during the day when members respond from all over. Our van will be at the scene, so they just show up at scene, and all your gear is there.!__apparatus

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