Focus on the engine
By Mark van der Feyst
The fire service has many uses for small engines including powering rescue tools, ventilation fans and scene lights. Starting these small engines should be an easy task, but sometimes it is not. A good way to analyze any problem that may arise when trying to start the small engine is to use the FOCuS method.
The acronym stands for fuel, oil, choke and start, and it is a method developed by District Chief Eric Sault from the Six Nations Fire Department.
Make sure there is enough fuel and that it is the right type of fuel. It may have to be pre-mixed for a two stroke engine. Next make sure there is oil in the reservoir. This is often overlooked and can cause many problems with the operation of the engine. Ensure that the choke is set properly when trying to start. If it is not, it will not start as easily. Lastly, start the engine once the fuel, oil and choke have been inspected and are good to go.