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

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In my department there are several that can pump water, I have stolen this saying from my dad of whom has over 30 years of pump operating, there are pump operators and there are lever pullers. Some can do the job and then there are some that cant, pumping water is not something that I like to do, running water supply makes me want to sleep if its with a tanker shuttle.
Good P.O's are hard to find.
I was training on the pump again yesterday. I can definatly get water to lines now, pull water from the hydrant, and a few other basic things. It is getting easier but I still feel like there is a long way to go.
my volly fire dept back home we have 30 guys, id say 23 of them could run the pump and be damn proficient at it. but here at my military base fd, were all very good at it. calculating total friction loss, pump pressure loss. and all that stuff.
we have 20 active firefighters on our dept. all of them can get the engine their but i would only trust about 5-6 myself included to run the engine on the scene
Our department has maybe 8-9 active members (myself included). I would say that 6-7 can run the pump, 3 of them are damn good at it. I know just enough about them to be dangerous haha, but in a emergency I will move over in a hurry to let one of the other guys take over.
Our dept has about 20 menmbers and i am proud to say at least 75% of them can run the pump and drive. the outher 25% are new or j.r.
We're a volunteer department, and our rule is if you can't pump the truck you won't be signed off to drive it. Sure getting the truck there is important, but you ain't doin us much good if you can't get the water out!
Coordinated effort, yes. But if your weakest link is the pump operator you will fail faster than almost any other option for weakest link.
We have 4 stations and a roster of about 50 counting about 12 part time guys. We like the rest are batting about .500 on able to pump and I woudl say less than .250 on good pump operators. We have guys that I refer to knob turners and lever pullers before I call them pump operators. Can I figure the friction loss of every device in the department in my head on the fly, of course not, but I can get you pretty close and give you the needed flow on the right line. When trying to evaluate who is a good pump operator here are some things to ask...

How quick can the operator get water to the nozzel?
Can he/she transition quickly from booster tank to hydrant or other pumped supply without the guys inside knowing he switched?
Can the op run multiple lines at once?
Can the op supply other rigs while running multiple lines (providing supply will allow it)?
Can he/she draft?
Is the operator not only capable of these tasks, and know where everything on the rig is at, but are they proficent at the above mentioned tasks? Do they train on these tasks? Would you have no problem going in to "the big one" with this person on the pump?

Out of our roster we have maybe 5 or 6 that would meet these qualifications.

How many guys can with a decent hydrant run a 2 1/2 smooth bore, 3 200' 1 3/4's, and supply a ladder and not break a sweat doing it? You find that and you got a good pump operator and one that will not be the weakest link in the operation.
That is a good idea Nick!!!!! Seriously!!!! We have soooooo many guys that dont even have EVOC training that drive the rig. Pretty much if you are 21, you can drive. Leaves me out because I'm only twenty but I've still driven before during the day when were short on manpower. Pretty much every guy on the dept. thinks that he is the best driver there is and always jump right in that driver seat if there the first one there even if they cant run the pump (or the generator/simulpump on the rescue). I really really like that idea because the problem is that none of these guys want to take the time to train on the pump but they want to drive. I'm gona bring that up at the next meeting. If you wana drive you have to know how to pump. Thanks Nick!!!!!
All good questions Rob... Since I originally posted this, we have implemented some more pump training and introduced a few more guys to it. But it is still nowhere near what we should have. We have plenty of the lever pullers as you call em but again probably only 4 or five that can really operate the pump proficently. As far as the smooth bore goes, um... we dont use em anymore lol and unfortunatly we dont have an airiel. Both are still very good possibilites while at a fire however; because our neigboring dept's still use smooth bores and a few of them have airels. Thanks Rob

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