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Fire Apparatus Tips

  • Angle the truck

    This will force motorists to go around the scene or to stop all together if needed.

  • Winter apparatus prep

    It is important to have fire trucks ready to respond in every type of weather.

  • Tighten tire lug nuts

    Over time and with much driving, lug nuts can become loose; they need to be tight at all times to ensure safe operation.

  • Apparatus inspection stickers

    When inspecting an apparatus, verify the commercial inspection sticker that certifies that the apparatus has had its annual mechanical inspection.

  • Inspect the inside rear tires

    The inside tires on the rear axle are often overlooked during apparatus checks. One concern is large rocks becoming wedged between the two tires. another is that it is easy to miss when the inside tire has gone flat.

  • Know the aerial's scrub area

    Take a moment during a training night or day to measure the bedded length of the aerial ladder and then figure out how best to accurately gauge that distance needed when arriving at a building.

  • Test aerial back-up and override controls

    There are many safety systems in place in aerial devices that are essential to the operation of it. However, there are times when they may need to be circumvented.

  • Walk the aerial

    Walking the aerial ladder involves walking on top of it to the end and then walking under it back to conduct a visual and physical check of other components.

  • Drive to the conditions

    When weather conditions change, we need to drive to the conditions — slowing down is a start.

  • Keep an eye on traffic

    It is our responsibility to control the work space to produce a safe working environment. This includes using the fire apparatus as a blocker.

  • Pass on the left

    If you are navigating the fire apparatus around vehicles on the road and go around them on the right because of convenience, there is a good chance that a collision can occur.

  • Secure in-cab items

    No matter what the item is, it needs to be secured so that it does not become a projectile.

  • Clean the doghouse

    One area that can be a huge obstruction is inside the cab of the apparatus on top of the engine.

  • Rolling the hose

    When the hose is repacked, it tends to be full of air, which causes the hose to not sit flat in the hose bed. Often it will form into a banana-like shape in the hose bed. A way to alleviate this is to roll the hose.

  • Put the pump in gear

    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.

  • Safe driving and centers of gravity

    How many times have we heard of a fire apparatus crash that was caused when the driver drifted off the right side of the road, attempted to bring the vehicle back onto the road, overcorrected and then caused the vehicle to roll over...

  • Checking your vehicles are not overweight

    Most districts have some type of scrap or junk yard that has a certified vehicle scale...

  • How to handle hydroplane situations

    Should you find yourself in a hydroplane situation, research has shown that you should take a firm grip of the steering wheel, take your foot off the accelerator and do not touch the brakes...

  • Lead by example

    The first step in being an effective leader is to look at yourself, get to know your strengths and weaknesses, and understand them...

  • Fuel-saving measures

    The Morning Star Fire Department in Garland County, which is mostly volunteer, has implemented some fuel-saving measures...

  • Driving safety

    Driving is one of the most hazardous tasks that we perform when assigned to fires

  • Driving safety

    Driving is one of the most hazardous tasks that we perform when assigned to fires. Vehicle operators need to recognize their own poor driving habits and strive to develop proper defensive driving techniques...

  • Wildland vehicle entrapment

    If you find yourself in a fire entrapment situation where a shelter deployment is not possible, using a vehicle for refuge may be an option.

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