Running the pump at a fire is NOT an easy thing to do and let us always remember to thank and offer respect to our engineers for keeping us safe inside. My dept. has 29 members right now, of all 29, FOUR can pump water from our engine. Yes, i said four!!! Kinda scary isnt it??? I am not one of those four but I'm tryin my hardest right now to learn that thing but its very confusing. In anycase, my question is how many guys do you have on your dept. and how many of them can actually run the pump. I dont mean just charge a line and spray some water ( I can do that now), I mean pulling water from the hydrant, drafting from a porta-tank or pond, pumping through multiple lines, circulating the water, all that good stuff
No offense T.J. but I would thing a good firefighter would want to learn and become proficient at every function on your department. Even if operating the pump is not the most "glamorous or heroic" job, there is always the; what are you going to do when factor.
We don't have anything like the North American concept of an 'engineer'. Pump operation is just another subject in our training, everyone goes through it. Some get more practice at incidents than others, that's the main difference.
Our first level of training involves learning basic pump operation on our Tankers (a structure/wildfire attack vehicle , you might call it a large 'brush' truck), this includes draughting from a static supply. Then there's Advanced Pump Operations needed for operating a Pumper. Our Pumpers have much simpler control panels than the ones I see mostly on this forum - much simpler. (I have pictures of ours in my area, have a look and see if you'd like to operate one like it!) As has been said though, training alone doesn't make a 'good' pump operator. Training and practice. Then more practice, and more again.
out of our dept. we have 6 that can run the pump, we have 4 that can actually run the pump from hydrant, to drafting and use of multiple lines and circulating the pump. all of our chief officers must know how to run the pump and thats all the good stuff.
One of the first things you have to learn at our dept is the pumps. If you don't have essentials you can't be entering so the pump panel is a good place to be plus command knows you're not in danger.. Everyone must know how to pump and draft but it takes time and alot of training to get this done and you can't just point and tell someone how to operate pump you have to feel the pump running , we have one on one water battles with our neighbors and if you want to stay dry you better not have to second guess what to do and this also puts pressure on the operator. BE SAFE!!
All of the officers are required to know how to run the pumps on all the rigs. As for the firefighters it is there choice. At our main station that would be 8 that are required and as for volunteers we have 7 more. Having said that it is still usually the same 2 or 3 that do most of it. We have to be at our best the guys at the end of the hose depend on us. I think if they don't want to then they should not be forced to because they might do a half a** job and get some hurt. We want their mind on the water supply not what they would rather be doing. we have to be with the district 18 months before we can become an engineer