By Mark van der Feyst
Certain fire calls that we respond to will have nothing showing when arriving on scene. This is when an investigation will take place to determine the exact cause of the call or to rule out any problem. While waiting for the investigation to unfold, the apparatus operator can place the pump in gear to reduce the time needed if a charged hose line is required.
With the pump in gear, the operator can open the tank to pump valve as well as the tank fill valve to recirculate the water inside the pump. This will remove the possibility of overheating the pump and causing complete pump failure. By doing this ahead of time, the pump operator becomes more effective and gives them the upper hand with deploying a hand line quicker and easier. This is also good practice for the pump operators to refine their skills. As easy as it may be, putting the pump in gear can be forgotten when there is a real fire showing on arrival.