I would like to get some recommendations on operating fire apparatus in cold weather.  Freeze-ups get expensive and no-one likes having apparatus out of service.  Please provide your recommendation for enroute, on-scene, and on standby. 


Thanks in advance!


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I work in nice cozy Georgia so the winters aren't so bad, but I have heard some horror stories. As for preparation we drain our pumps, and we also carry extra salt for bad spots and what not. We also drain some water from our tankers cause if they are filled to capacity they will slosh water out onto the roads if you round a corner. This one I do know about first hand, I was riding in a second due engine to an electrical fire and there wasn't any ice on the roads (they had been salted and the snow and ice had melted a couple days before), but it was still an exceptionally cold day. Sure enough the tanker took a corner and sloshed a couple of gallons on the road. Not 5 minutes later we come through and found that spot which had already frozen over, and our truck lost some traction (all I can say is I came really close to having to buy new underwears).

Two more facts is carry personal little hand heaters type things (the ones you shake) and they will help inside your gloves if your working for an extended period of time. Also put a small propane torch or similar type torch in the truck. My dad used to tell a story whenever it snowed, that one fire a long time ago, he spent over an hour under an old engine with a propane torch trying to thaw out the pump before they could put water on the fire.
If not pumping water and just standing by, put the rig in pump so the water circulates. We always keep our tank to pump valves open. But we also try and work them once a week.
Cold weather you should always have your water circulating. We also drain all the water out of our pumps when not in use.
all weather you should have water circulating so you dont overheat the pump.
Being from MN cold is a fact of life. We have a recirculation valve that returns water to on board tank. We also have a stainless belly pan that surrounds pump with removable covers. Inside belly pan are two school bus heaters plumbed into radiator line with 12 volt switches to turn off/on(ON all winter) Hope this helps. Pan and heaters were factory installed, check with manufacturer. We(knock on wood) have never had any trouble with freeze up at truck. Keep nozzles cracked to prevent hose troubles. Good luck, Shane

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