It's always nice to know what or how other operators do things around the pump.  Be it mandated through SOP's, SOG's, personal preference or just because someone else said that we always do it this way.


Tank to pump.  Open or closed?

Tank refill / re-cerculate.  Open or closed?

Hydrant operations?

When operating from a hydrant tank to pump open or closed?

Preference on which side LDH enters the pump.  (Drivers, Passengers, Back, or Front)



Or any other pump little tid bit that you would like to add.  If you could please state why for what you do, it might make more sense to others.

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Replies to This Discussion

I'm with Alex, keep the tank to pump open. We are a rural department and usually use a tanker shuttle. If the tanker goes dry before the other engineer shuts down I still have pressure. Happened about a month ago. Other engineer set his pump and wandered off. I still had 1100 gallons until the next tanker hooked up. Also keep the tank fill cracked.

If we are using the porta tank we hook a section of 1 3/4 to a discharge and drop it in the tank as a recirculator.
I will answer two of your questions with one answer:

Tank to pump. Open or Closed? (Open)
When operating froma hydrant tank to pump open or closed? (Open)

I used to operate with the Tank to Pump only open until I got an external water source. I had an incident where my supply line got ruptured, while crews were inside. By the Grace of God, they were exiting due to low air, and the next team had not entered yet. It could have caused a couple of lives or injuries.

I then decided to operate with tank to pump open, so if my water supply was interrupted, the crews had water to exit. I set my initial pressure with tank water, once a source is secured, I adjust pressure with relief valve.

Tank Refill/recirculate: I keep the refill open about 1/4 to 1/2 depending on operations. I start with it 1/2 until my tank is refilled, then drop it to 1/4

Hydrant Ops, when possible. Sometimes drop tank or relay.

Preference is driver side LDH, although it is on both sides. We also have 2.5" on each side and a direct fill in the rear.
Let me see how many feathers I ruffle...

Who uses wheel chocks when the apparatus is parked either pumping or not pumping?

Reason I say this is due to the principal of air brakes, if they fail the brakes stay locked up. Say if you're pumping, the air brakes are activated by the driver before putting it in pump from road. I did hear of a situation where a apparatus some how didn't have it's air brakes applied and when the driver throttled the governor on the pump, the apparatus jumped over the wheel chocks. Some damage was done to the apparatus when it got stopped by a pole or something.

Wheel chocks sound like a great concept when you're on a slope but I don't see the sense when on level ground. When I was based at a naval air station, fire department there didn't use wheel chocks unless on a elevated surface. Just something to think about.
No ruffled feathers brother… just the hair on the back of my neck. I can’t even count the number of times in my career I have seen or heard of a new firefighter hop out of a fire engine without the spring brakes applied. If the engine is on a hill they figure it out quickly, if the vehicle is on a flat road it sometimes takes a long time before they figure it out.
On a fire or drill, when I run by a fire engine with a pump operator in a panic not being able to make water I can figure out the problem in seconds. If the ground lights aren’t on its telling me the park brakes are not applied. If the center pump panel (or green lights) are not on then the pump tranny has not been shifted to pump or the transmission placed in pump gear.
Of any vehicle out there on the roads, I think a fire engine needs wheel chocks more than any. Ask any old timer, we’ve either seen it or done it.

Prince George's County, MD when responding from the station the tank is always open this allows water for the initial attack when water supply obtained [Hydrant/pumper] the tank to pump is left open until the tank is full then closed.
Tim, we use wheel chocks when ever the rig is stopped, whether on a hill or flat, just a little added safety in case the brake button gets hit by mistake , yes have driven over the chocks from forgetting to pick them up after the call lol
No ruffled feathers here either.

Standard Operating Guideline states that when the truck is started and outside the bay, it shall have the wheels chocked.

Exception is when the driver has not exited the apparatus.
Tank to pump. Open or closed?
Tank refill / re-cerculate. Open or closed?

I leave my tank to pump closed, I have no reason to have it open unless we are pumping water. So many of our calls are non fire calls that I leave all valves and controls closed.

Hydrant operations?
When operating from a hydrant tank to pump open or closed?
Preference on which side LDH enters the pump. (Drivers, Passengers, Back, or Front)

When operating from a hydrant I have usually used some tank water first. I always refill my tank after I make the hydrant buy opening my tank fill valve about a quarter of the way. I always make sure my tank remains full after the hydrant is made just in case we loose our water supply, I have a back up to get my guys out safe.

My LDH enters on the drivers side 99% of the time but I can use the officers side if I choose to.

We keep all of ours closed,, when I get out with the pump in gear I already have pressure 50 lbs. at idle, pull tank suction turn up the throttle and I am flowing water. Now when drawing water from a source lake, port. pond I'm like a few others I lean against it and feel the flow of water in it, we have no hydrants and very rarely do water rely. 


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