We are a volunteer department with no paid maintenance position.  We had a maintenance officer be he resigned the other day.  The department set up a truck check program a while back to make sure the rigs are ready to go.  The second part to the truck check is for firefighters to not only to ensure proper operation of the trucks but to inventory the equipment and make sure the tools work.  The program was designed to keep the trucks ready and keep firefighters up to speed on the equipment.  We have ten apparatus in the station so it can get overwhelming sometimes.  My question is how have other departments dealt with the problem of keeping trucks ready to go and firefighters up to speed on equipment?  Our current system of having a pair of firefighters using an inventory sheet check one truck for a three month rotation is just barely working.  A lot of the time the members wont do the check and the same five or six guys end up doing it anyway.  We are thinking about starting a discipline system to make sure the work is done.  How do the rest of you keep your stuff rolling and what works best for you? 


Jim Conrad 

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We have no program...

Its disgusting I know, especially since I come from 2 bigger departments that REQUIRED monthly truck checks and ASSIGNED crews of 5-8 members to each truck and EXPECTED them to check it top to bottom front to back soup to nuts, take everything with a motor off the truck, start it, check fluids and hoses and connections, clean and lube it, and put it back, and file the inventory sheet with everyones signature on it.  You better hope you didnt "Pencil Whip" the form and not actually do the check, because officers would go around and grab any member at random and tell them "Go get me the PPV fan from the rescue, you have 3 minutes to retrieve it, set it up and start it."  Or..."Go get the roof vent saw and start it, you got 2 minutes"  Or..."Go get me a union rake and explain 3 uses for it, you got a minute"

When I was Lieutenant of my second department, we had truck check nights with the same idea, assigned crews for each truck for the month.  I would arrive at the station early and remove a piece of equipment or tool from each truck and hide it in the storage room.  If they filled out the inventory sheet and checked it off as being there they caught hell and had to clean the entire truck inside and out.

I am going to institute the same policy here at my current department, but I am trying to go slow and do things one thing at a time...Im working on getting the dept caught up on current equipment and decent trucks first, then training, then the SOG changes.

Have to go slow so we dont get a big shock to the system and make them all quit...

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