I am looking into the inefficiencies of using fire apparatus' as primary response vehicles in urban settings.

 Here survey with questions on this topic that will help me greatly

Inefficiencies such as

  • Energy consumption
  • Using such a large vehicle for simple calls that do not require their full potential
  • Issues with maneuvering such a large vehicle through traffic and small streets
  • Overall driving performance related to response times. (current apparatus’ are slow and handle poorly

 

I am looking for input from anybody that may have something to say on this

 

Here are some primer questions to get conversation going

  1. Where do you see room for improvement in current fire apparatus’?
  2. What are the most commonly used tools and features of the emergency response vehicles you use?
  3. Can you identify recent trends in the market place? (newer features / benefits) …. How have they been accepted?
  4. What limitations do you see in current emergency response vehicles?
  5. What aspects of your emergency response vehicle could be made more "streamlined"?
  6. What are typical risks involved in using an emergency response vehicle?  Are there any repetitive injury risks?
  7. Would a smaller vehicle be more effective for primary response calls?

 

Here survey with questions on this topic that will help me greatly

 

Thanks

Jesse

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Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

I guess I'll have to be that guy who comments on his own post.

Just to get the ball rolling

Would a small 2-4 person vehicle specifically designed for primary response, that would be able to respond quicker, be more energy efficient and safer for the occupants in a collision be more effective than using a Pumper?

Keep in mind this is for primary response to non fire emergencies

By doing so, you are taking a small crew with you.  This means you will need to get a second vehicle out, such as a utility truck, or pick up truck to take additional personnel so you can do something when you get there.  Now you're using twice the fuel.  Using a small unit to block traffic is not safe, as a pumper or larger rescue is easier to see, and provides more scene protection. (Not to mention the ability to carry more tools)  You also lose the water you may need at the scene.  As for protecting the occupants of that vehicle, as long as they're properly belted, your larger pieces of apparatus should win in any collision.  My dept doesn't respond to any urban areas.  The closest we have is a few small towns with 200 - 500 people and we run a full size engine and a heavy rescue everywhere in our area and surrounding areas with no problem.

   You must also take into consideration that the situation can change rapidly either while ib route or once you arrive. Then take into account that most 911 callers are not in a calm state of mind. 

    Case in point. We responded to a vehicle that had.." crashed into a post."... The post was fencing in front of a residence. The car went into the home and was on fire. 

   I have also responded to vehicle accidents with fire involvement. 

  Here we respond a Engine and a Ambulance to a basic car crash. If we get reports of entrapment or the dispatch receives multiple calls, indicating a serious PI(Personnel Injury). Dispatch will Dispatch a Extrication Task Force. This gets, the initial first two Pieces. plus.  Squad,Truck,Heavy Rescue,Battalion Chief, EDO and a Safety Chief.

You also have to remember that units in the urban setting often go from call to call without ever getting back to quarters. It is necessary to have everything you need for any type of response (within reason) each time you go out the door. This includes both staffing and equipment. In heavy urban traffic there is little difference in  the speed attained between a full size rig or a pickup truck. Neither one is going anywhere real fast. Blind corners dictate slowing/stopping at every corner even if traffic allows some measure of speed. Throw in the bicyclists and pedestrians and you don't want to go too fast anyway. Sometimes the visibility and intimidation factor of a large rig are a bonus.



captnjak said:

You also have to remember that units in the urban setting often go from call to call without ever getting back to quarters. It is necessary to have everything you need for any type of response (within reason) each time you go out the door. This includes both staffing and equipment. In heavy urban traffic there is little difference in  the speed attained between a full size rig or a pickup truck. Neither one is going anywhere real fast. Blind corners dictate slowing/stopping at every corner even if traffic allows some measure of speed. Throw in the bicyclists and pedestrians and you don't want to go too fast anyway. Sometimes the visibility and intimidation factor of a large rig are a bonus.


Good Points Capt.

The idea is that this vehicle would be responding to the emergencies that wouldn’t need a full crew and the full functionality of an apparatus. Such as medical calls, which make up a large part of the calls firefighters respond to.

Two small vehicles does not necessarily mean twice the fuel of a large pumper, they would be smaller vehicles with smaller engines. It is possible that they would use more fuel, but it wouldn’t be every emergency that they would both be taken to.

Thank you for bringing up the traffic blocking that is something I should consider.

A larger vehicle does not always mean it is safer. For example, a Smart car (http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/smart/fortwo-2-door-hatc...) has an almost equivalent safety rating to a Ford F-150 Pickup (http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/ford/f-150-crew-cab-pick...). Accidents on the way to and from the scenes of an emergency are the second leading cause of deaths to fire fighters (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3503424/) . Fire trucks aren’t very well thought out when it comes to crash safety. A lot of them may not have airbags and most fire fighters do not wear their seats belts because of the hassle of putting them on while wearing an SCBA. This may not be true for apparatus’ with commercial cabs but your typical custom made fire truck has no real crumple zone, which it very important for creating a safer vehicle in an accident.



Larry Penatzer said:

By doing so, you are taking a small crew with you.  This means you will need to get a second vehicle out, such as a utility truck, or pick up truck to take additional personnel so you can do something when you get there.  Now you're using twice the fuel.  Using a small unit to block traffic is not safe, as a pumper or larger rescue is easier to see, and provides more scene protection. (Not to mention the ability to carry more tools)  You also lose the water you may need at the scene.  As for protecting the occupants of that vehicle, as long as they're properly belted, your larger pieces of apparatus should win in any collision.  My dept doesn't respond to any urban areas.  The closest we have is a few small towns with 200 - 500 people and we run a full size engine and a heavy rescue everywhere in our area and surrounding areas with no problem.

Thanks for your response

This type of accident would certainly require an engine, but for the calls that simply require firefighters to quickly go to a scene where there is a medical emergency that has no risk of a fire. In the event that the severity of a situation increases more units need to be brought in anyways. I see having a small vehicle that can get there quicker to prepare and assess the scene is a bonus.


55 TRUCK said:

   You must also take into consideration that the situation can change rapidly either while ib route or once you arrive. Then take into account that most 911 callers are not in a calm state of mind. 

    Case in point. We responded to a vehicle that had.." crashed into a post."... The post was fencing in front of a residence. The car went into the home and was on fire. 

   I have also responded to vehicle accidents with fire involvement. 

  Here we respond a Engine and a Ambulance to a basic car crash. If we get reports of entrapment or the dispatch receives multiple calls, indicating a serious PI(Personnel Injury). Dispatch will Dispatch a Extrication Task Force. This gets, the initial first two Pieces. plus.  Squad,Truck,Heavy Rescue,Battalion Chief, EDO and a Safety Chief.

Thank you very much for your reply

I’m glad you brought this up, how often would you say that you would be going to multiple calls before returning to the station? And How many large fires would you encounter in your average week?

I do agree with you on the issues with pedestrians and cyclist they will always cause a slowdown to the speed an apparatus can respond.

Though with getting through traffic a smaller vehicle will still be able to get through smaller spaces and be much more maneuverable for weaving through traffic and making tight turns. And even though a small vehicle may not be able to keep up with the amount and equipment needed to respond to an emergency it will still be able to get there faster and get a head start on assessing the scene and helping wherever it can.



captnjak said:

You also have to remember that units in the urban setting often go from call to call without ever getting back to quarters. It is necessary to have everything you need for any type of response (within reason) each time you go out the door. This includes both staffing and equipment. In heavy urban traffic there is little difference in  the speed attained between a full size rig or a pickup truck. Neither one is going anywhere real fast. Blind corners dictate slowing/stopping at every corner even if traffic allows some measure of speed. Throw in the bicyclists and pedestrians and you don't want to go too fast anyway. Sometimes the visibility and intimidation factor of a large rig are a bonus.



Jesse Sanderson said:

Thank you very much for your reply

I’m glad you brought this up, how often would you say that you would be going to multiple calls before returning to the station? And How many large fires would you encounter in your average week?

I do agree with you on the issues with pedestrians and cyclist they will always cause a slowdown to the speed an apparatus can respond.

Though with getting through traffic a smaller vehicle will still be able to get through smaller spaces and be much more maneuverable for weaving through traffic and making tight turns. And even though a small vehicle may not be able to keep up with the amount and equipment needed to respond to an emergency it will still be able to get there faster and get a head start on assessing the scene and helping wherever it can.



captnjak said:

You also have to remember that units in the urban setting often go from call to call without ever getting back to quarters. It is necessary to have everything you need for any type of response (within reason) each time you go out the door. This includes both staffing and equipment. In heavy urban traffic there is little difference in  the speed attained between a full size rig or a pickup truck. Neither one is going anywhere real fast. Blind corners dictate slowing/stopping at every corner even if traffic allows some measure of speed. Throw in the bicyclists and pedestrians and you don't want to go too fast anyway. Sometimes the visibility and intimidation factor of a large rig are a bonus.

It is very common in the urban environment (at least mine) to go from run to run without returning to quarters. 

The number of fires per week is meaningless. The important factor is that the NEXT fire could come at any time. At that point every second counts.

In heavy city traffic a smaller rig won't be significantly faster in response than a large rig. You appear to simply not accept this and I'm not sure why. Maybe we define urban differently. My department is as urban as it gets. 

Did you make up your mind as the the answers before you posted the questions? 


Sorry I guess I am having a hard time understanding why a small vehicle wouldn't be faster than a large rig in traffic, sure it might not be significantly faster, but in the event of an emergency every second counts. When it comes to life or death every second is pretty significant. My thinking it that if it is narrower it could get through smaller gaps between cars, if it is shorter it can make smaller turns and it it is lighter it will be able to brake and accelerate quicker.

I myself am not a firefighter, I am a student working on a research assignment for school and I am simply trying to gain an understanding of what an urban firefighter deals with on a weekly basis. I am in no way trying to say firefighters aren't already doing their best. but from the research I have done I believe that there is certain equipment and tools used by firefighters that could be optimized to make you job easier and more effective.

I have great respect for what you do and couldn't thank you enough for the service you provide.



captnjak said:



Jesse Sanderson said:

Thank you very much for your reply

I’m glad you brought this up, how often would you say that you would be going to multiple calls before returning to the station? And How many large fires would you encounter in your average week?

I do agree with you on the issues with pedestrians and cyclist they will always cause a slowdown to the speed an apparatus can respond.

Though with getting through traffic a smaller vehicle will still be able to get through smaller spaces and be much more maneuverable for weaving through traffic and making tight turns. And even though a small vehicle may not be able to keep up with the amount and equipment needed to respond to an emergency it will still be able to get there faster and get a head start on assessing the scene and helping wherever it can.



captnjak said:

You also have to remember that units in the urban setting often go from call to call without ever getting back to quarters. It is necessary to have everything you need for any type of response (within reason) each time you go out the door. This includes both staffing and equipment. In heavy urban traffic there is little difference in  the speed attained between a full size rig or a pickup truck. Neither one is going anywhere real fast. Blind corners dictate slowing/stopping at every corner even if traffic allows some measure of speed. Throw in the bicyclists and pedestrians and you don't want to go too fast anyway. Sometimes the visibility and intimidation factor of a large rig are a bonus.

It is very common in the urban environment (at least mine) to go from run to run without returning to quarters. 

The number of fires per week is meaningless. The important factor is that the NEXT fire could come at any time. At that point every second counts.

In heavy city traffic a smaller rig won't be significantly faster in response than a large rig. You appear to simply not accept this and I'm not sure why. Maybe we define urban differently. My department is as urban as it gets. 

Did you make up your mind as the the answers before you posted the questions? 



Jesse Sanderson said:


Sorry I guess I am having a hard time understanding why a small vehicle wouldn't be faster than a large rig in traffic, sure it might not be significantly faster, but in the event of an emergency every second counts. When it comes to life or death every second is pretty significant. My thinking it that if it is narrower it could get through smaller gaps between cars, if it is shorter it can make smaller turns and it it is lighter it will be able to brake and accelerate quicker.

I myself am not a firefighter, I am a student working on a research assignment for school and I am simply trying to gain an understanding of what an urban firefighter deals with on a weekly basis. I am in no way trying to say firefighters aren't already doing their best. but from the research I have done I believe that there is certain equipment and tools used by firefighters that could be optimized to make you job easier and more effective.

I have great respect for what you do and couldn't thank you enough for the service you provide.



captnjak said:



Jesse Sanderson said:

Thank you very much for your reply

I’m glad you brought this up, how often would you say that you would be going to multiple calls before returning to the station? And How many large fires would you encounter in your average week?

I do agree with you on the issues with pedestrians and cyclist they will always cause a slowdown to the speed an apparatus can respond.

Though with getting through traffic a smaller vehicle will still be able to get through smaller spaces and be much more maneuverable for weaving through traffic and making tight turns. And even though a small vehicle may not be able to keep up with the amount and equipment needed to respond to an emergency it will still be able to get there faster and get a head start on assessing the scene and helping wherever it can.



captnjak said:

You also have to remember that units in the urban setting often go from call to call without ever getting back to quarters. It is necessary to have everything you need for any type of response (within reason) each time you go out the door. This includes both staffing and equipment. In heavy urban traffic there is little difference in  the speed attained between a full size rig or a pickup truck. Neither one is going anywhere real fast. Blind corners dictate slowing/stopping at every corner even if traffic allows some measure of speed. Throw in the bicyclists and pedestrians and you don't want to go too fast anyway. Sometimes the visibility and intimidation factor of a large rig are a bonus.

It is very common in the urban environment (at least mine) to go from run to run without returning to quarters. 

The number of fires per week is meaningless. The important factor is that the NEXT fire could come at any time. At that point every second counts.

In heavy city traffic a smaller rig won't be significantly faster in response than a large rig. You appear to simply not accept this and I'm not sure why. Maybe we define urban differently. My department is as urban as it gets. 

Did you make up your mind as the the answers before you posted the questions? 

________________________________________

You also need to factor in the financial aspects of your plan. The smaller rig would not replace the larger rig you still need for firefighting. So the smaller rig is now in addition to the large rig. You would also need larger firehouses to store the multiple rigs. Or more firehouses. Even if the money was there (it isn't) you would have to find space. Space is at a premium in the urban setting. 

Don't you think the city managers and fire chiefs have at some point already considered and rejected what you propose?

I worked in Tucson and spent a couple years on a pickup truck (we were both EMT-Bs), responding to low-acuity calls. This cut down on the number of times we sent a 4-person Engine or Ladder to a call that didn't require medics on an ambulance, but also didn't require 4 people.... or a fire suppression vehicle that they came with. It was a bummer of a job, but the carrot that was given to those of us on the "Alpha" Trucks, was that we were able to respond to all fire calls in our Battalion, so we saw more fire than many of the engine crews. =) Our pickup was outfitted with appropriate EMS gear, a compliment of extinguishers, and our turnout gear, as well as a basic set of tools for B&E (Irons, Slim-jim, tool box...). 

The department did have a "Ladder Tender" for every Ladder Truck that they had in service. These smaller rigs, still had a compliment of ground ladders and gear/tools, but were used to respond to EMS calls, to save wear/tear on the larger, more expensive Aerials. 

I have seen both Fire Suppression & EMS Motorcycles, mainly in Europe, and would JUMP at the chance to work that kind of a gig!  =)  Talk about a quick first response! 

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