What kind of drills is your dept doing for the engine crews?

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Driver and pump operator training... what kind of "program" do you have set up? in your area? For the volunteers out there, how much back round/experiance do you expect that you need tohave before you begin driving and pump op training?

In many rural or volunteer areas getting a rig on the road seems to be an issue, and often getting guys behind the wheel maybe too early seems to happen... I firmly believe that wwhile training can begin, a person needs to BE a firefighter first so they can fully grasp the whole picture....

It seems these days a lot of the younger guys just want the cushy part without the work that goes behind it I believe you have to have a working knowledge ofwhat goes on within tobest understand how to do the drivers job.. so give me your thoughts on this. concept ,,,
since each department and response area is differant, each answer would be as well, But Using your members and your hose packs in your district is the best way YOU can drill... Nothing can be better.... whether You have ALL preconnected attack lines or Not, WE tend to get into a rut.. the 150' 200' 250' does the job 99.7 % of the time.. so
we dont concern outselves past that point... is commonly heard, then when you come up short , the screaming for More line and a bunch of guys running around turns the senerio around and into a mess... Plan and train for this senerio and when it happens hopefully your crew will be able to manage in simple professional manner... Simple things can sure make your life easy.... an example of this.. On our brand of hose one side has two red stripes woven into the jacket, as we pack the hose back on, we alternate the striped side up to down to up, to down.... etc... so when the hose is bedded its easy to tell exactly how much hose is packed on ( 5 stripes + 5 whites = 10 lengths) this makes it simple for the officers and Drivers to know whats on board what needs to be replaced but also makes it simple when the officer say Hey Snotnosed Rookie go get 100 feet of "X" and bring it up here to the 3rd floor to attach to the line you already have stretched, seeing the white and stripes Youknow eachis50 so you will need one of each, You can grab one and one and throw it on your shoulder, pull it enough to break it and go... next time your messing around see what Your hose offers for "identifiers" so that You can work smart too...
Water supply, depending on your area can be as simple as a forward lay in from a hydrant or reverse lay to a hydrant (after dropping the equiptment you'll need at the scene ) to as complex as a multi jurastictional Mutual aid water shuttle tanker operation... I came up in a suburban area in southern New England In one of my two organizations we had a 1000/1000 gallon "tank", two pumps with 1000, 750/ 500 g because we had a residential neighborhood with poor water suply , while the other district was 2/3's unhydranted and had one 1000/500 gal pump and two 750 x 750 with front mounts district sto the north and northeast each had 2300 gallon tankers, and typical response/travel time would be about 15 to 20 minutes...
On a monthly Basis, one drill night would be a regional Mutual aid type drill using a school or nursing home facility that was in an unhydranted area and the idea was to establish a water supply and maintain constant flow to at least two master streams... usually to Ladder pipes... and whatever else beyond that we could do, Keep in mind depending on the location, getting a folding tank on scene to use at the scene was a 10 to 15 minute operation at least... Our area didnt use Dry Hydrants because they felt Debris and growth of vegetation would overtake the intakes too quickly.... One dill night I was assigned OUr then brand new Hahn Pump 1250/500 and I "volunteered" to set things up alone, since these drills had become known in advance that everyone was nearly sitting in the rigs with gear on waiting to turnout...lol... The assigned water source was a pond and I would have to address clearing snow and cutting through 10 inches of ice with an axe since "wecanceled the truck" , dismount and hook up 3 lengths of hard sleeve and strainer , attach them to the front suction and guide the strainer into the ice, Draft and set up 4 stations each with 2 3inch lines so that I could have any manner of 4 rigs in theprocess of filling, breaking, coming in, hooking up to keep the tanker shuttle moving I accomplished this task, and recieved my first empty rig, he attached his lines and Ibegan filling his tank as the second pulled in and began hooking up, I had one length left to stretch and actually his "helper" stretched that line from my pump to the 4th tanker just asnumber 2 was breaking down... point is In a rural area manpower is an issue working smart is a nesessity training for the what ifs/worse case senerios are important
We had a 4 story fire escape at what was formerly a school for autistic and hearing impaired kids in our district and Lemme tell you using that escape was some of the best training on stretching in you could have as you advanced itwas likely that ifyoudidnt take the exact precaution or your backup guy didnt do the right thing the butts WOULD always snag and get caught up, sure it proved frustrating and a pain, BUt also taught the guys how best to work it so thatit would'ntget hung up at all.. doing hose stretchs like this Might not be Your bread and butter stuff if you live in rural 1 story, but all the more reason to do it and stay in practice so when it happens You can do it
Geez Jim, you've been talking about a lot of great stuff but apparently nobody's around to listen.

Anyways, I've resurrected what we call a "quick attack" drill. It's been pretty popular and helps both new and old pump ops brush up on procedures. Here's what we do:

The goal is to drive the truck from the apparatus bay out onto the apron, put the pump in gear and charge a preconnected line. I time the operator to see how long it takes for a stream to be developed. I will suddenly say GO and the operator will:

Open the overhead door, disconnect shore lines, etc.
Get into the cab, buckle seat belt, start engine, turn on emergency lights
Pull apparatus out, stop at designated spot, apply parking brake, place pump in gear, exit truck
Chock wheels, pull hose, prime pump, develop discharge pressure, charge line.

We use 2-person crews so the passenger will usually chock the wheels while the PO is putting the pump in gear, then pull the preconnect. The preconnect is just one length of 1 3/4 on top of the usual crosslay bed so we don't disturb the truck's state of readiness.

So the crews can get experience in pump operation under the gun so to speak; also pulling off and reloading the preconnect; and get used to clicking their seat belts when getting in the truck. We can even use the Juniors as nozzle nuts for practice.

Everyone seems to love this evolution, particularly the competitive angle.

Oh yeah, I had the longest time of the first night we did this. I went first just to show them what was expected. The only thing I forgot was to put the pump in gear... oh well.

A little humility now and again never hurt anyone.
Yeah Joe Ialways get the feeling I am boring everyone to death...lol I have a few threads Someone started and I feel like I took em over, adding stuff, and of the 3000 members I have like 200 or the 202 posts ..lol
Back to basics is important No matter your "venue" The last few nights at work, we have been able to take the company off and do some Real pump training, with an engineers test coming up, we have 3 ofus on the shift taking the test and usually have 2 or 3 off duty guys taking the test show up.. last night we did 200' 1 3/4, 250' 1 3/4 , 250' 2 1/2 , 100' 3" with a stinger... set it up change over from tank to the hydrant refill maintain pressure variations etc etc... Nothing difficult but Not typical for"us" But having cutmy teeth on Monday night drills usually drafting and pumping a few handlines and ladder pipe, deck gun.. having doing Mostly single or double handlines for years and even not pmping but being Company officer forso many years has slowed me down a bit, Like I said m having set up a tanker shuttle alone in winter in a set time, and doing out test like senerios I feel like a fish outta water..lol BUtThe other guys are scared because they just dont have any "real experiance" like me.... I busted my Pump cherry during the blizzard of 1978 whe we hada chimney fire in a 230 year old cape, during the energy crisis eeveryone wnted to burn wood but didnt realize Unlined 200 yo chimneys usually have issues .. This day with blizzard conditions I responded and ended up driving a '73 Maxim 1000gpm 1000 gallon Pumpertanker downtown in 2nd gearmostof the way downth hill to the scene, arrived and had 2 guys t strtch in ,the attic was ripping and I had to hand stretch back 150 feet to find the hydrant frozen..... Time to "pull it outta your Posterior" mode
I did we saved the house and the secondengine ever actually responded as well, allowing me the luxery of an extra 500 galons if the hydrant ad'nt usted loose...lol Phew !! Have your JR officers get the Jr.s on the lines to actually "stretchand work the lines as if theywere crawling down the hallway add a fun element forthem Realisms!!!
Good stuff here, if I make myself sit down and do it, I will add some stuff we've done. Right now, I'm just reading...a lot
I agree with you 100% Getting the truck there is the easy part, anybody could do it. Now getting it there and giving me what I need out of it with out me doing it for you is another. When I turned 21 I found my calling and became the most active driver. I had three years at the other end of the hose before I was old enough to start driving, so I knew what was going on at the other end without seeing it. For 14 years I was always behind the wheel or at the panel which in turn I earned the nickname Chauffeur. I continued furthering my Knowledge with all sorts of training. What better pump operator is there than one that is on the same page as the guys inside and has the knowledge to know what they are going through without being there with them.

I now have been an Assistant Chief for over a year now and I only drove to one call since in office and I enjoy the position but honestly miss being the Chauffeur. And will and have been teaching other what it takes to be an operator worth their weight.
This is some great stuff your posting here I was hoping to get a great disscusion like this going, lets keep it going. It's great that experance guys are sharing their knowledge and experances with us and letting us gain from their knowledge, and I would like to say Thank-you for doing this.
I know I have posted before this before, Maybe here maybe not...The brand of Hose we use has two red stripes on one side, BY training the guys when packing to alternate white,stripe, white, stripe You can easily tell how much hose is either in the crosslay, the preconnect, or dead lay... Making it easy for the nozzle guy to grab 50 and go, or 150 and go... How many times realisticly have you had to do the add a length drill? something you should practice during drill time... when the nozzleman Calls back for more line, lets try to make it second nature for anyone to grab the "ball by the horns" so to speak, typically the kinkman or last guy in on the line, to run back to the rig grab and break a length or two and get it to the nozzle to add on asap like it was during a real incident Get it through the guys heads that the "magic hose fairy" isnt going to blink and make the hose longer... teach them to grab the butt and folds till they find the next butt to break, tecah em to tell the pump op when he comes over to get in the way to tell em adding 50 to the first line in , the 150 , 200 or whatever /however you ID your lines, he needs to know because stuff coming off the rig is his gig , and he might have to up the throttle a hair...and know he'll be getting a call to shut something down inna minute, for justa minute .. thisway He can be alert to what is going on inside and not gawking at the residents in they're short nighties...when you pack hose One man in the bed standing flakes the hose hand overhand into the bed the "fold" guy makes each fold and holds it with one hand and pulls slack up to save the bed mans back a little make connections on the ground 4 guys working smart are better the the endless 14 guys standing behind the rig each hand over handing it intoa heep at the guy in front of thems feet spare guys are better used to drain and stretch and lineup lengths if theycan't pack something else ie:we got the crosslays you guys start on the supply line .. too many cooks spoil the soup the comradarie is great, but....

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