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Morning Checks

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  • #16
    Personal accountability. Saws don't need to be started every day but it gives each crew member a 3/10 chance to practice it. We may use the saw once every other month or so but when that time comes, we better be competent enough for quick and efficient action. Unfortunately we tend to spend 99% of the time starting it, failing to realize 99% of its use is in cutting but we do our best to, at a minimum, discuss and practice the proper way of operating on a roof or whatever the case may be. Murphy's law still applies, espicially on the fireground, but if anything malfunctions then the person who checked it is usually the first interrogated. Of course, if your only saw breaks then use the only one that'll always start, the axe.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey


    • #17
      Originally posted by FireFuss
      When I'm driving or in a position to use a saw, I make sure either I start and run them, or watch as someone else does.

      I've personally started a chainsaw, let it run 3 or 4 minutes. Topped off the fuel, checked the bar oil and put it away with my Captn watching me. Later the same shift we made a 1st in dwelling and guess what. Saw would not start. Less than 5 hours after checking it. I looked at him like "I CHECKED IT, WTF" and he just shrugged his shoulders and said, "schitt happens..."

      Had I not checked the saw, and it didn't start. It would have been my reputation on the line.

      Luckily, we always bring two saws, so I just ended up using the warthog (that I also checked that evening).

      So me personally, I checked saws at the beginning of every shift, daywork AND nightwork. I could care less if the saw started at 0700, im checking it again at 1700.

      And like many have said, don't just start it, rev it and cut it off. Let it warm up, run the rpms up for a minute and then let it idle for a few minutes.

      my $.02
      Sounds like you need to upgrade your saws to a more reliable one. What brand are you using. In my experience, Stihl's seem to be very reliable.


      • #18
        Originally posted by johnsb View Post
        Sounds like you need to upgrade your saws to a more reliable one. What brand are you using. In my experience, Stihl's seem to be very reliable.
        Heavily used tools often break, no matter who makes them.

        Who in the world wouldn't check the apparatus daily and run the pumps, hoses, nozzles, and/or ladders? Always put into pump or fly the main at the beginning of the shift. Although we don't fully check the hose and nozzles daily, but we do ensure they work and all moving parts move freely. Water, fuel, and oil level is checked as well as extinguishers. It doesn't take long, and if we do anything at work it should be to ensure the fire truck is ready for action.


        • #19
          Making sure our tools are in ready position is just as important as making sure your airpack or firefighters are ready to go. Tool manufacturers don't make tools for us, they make tools for the trades who run them several hours a day 5 days a week so starting a saw and running it till it is warm will not hurt it.
          We use a synthetic oil called OPTI 2 and it has worked great with no problems with our stuff.


          • #20
            Originally posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
            We switched to "Tru-Fuel"....seems to work great, very little exhaust too.
            I don't recall the name of the stuff we switched to - that might be it. We had issues with our Holmatro power units. We start our small engines once a week, and most of us let them run a few minutes to warm up. But we weren't 'exercising' the Holmatro engines correctly. We learned, from the factory rep, that you have to put them under load in order for an internal valve in the engine to open, and if you don't do that it will gum up. The result of that is that when you need the power, such as on an extrication, the engine bogs and the tool doesn't function. It sounds counter to what we always were taught, but you're supposed to open the spreaders/ram/whatever all the way, and let the engine rev up to apply full power to the tool. Then close it and again let it rev up and apply full force. Between that procedure and the new fuel, our Holmatro tools are supposed to be good to go.

            The chain saws, fans, etc. still get regular gasoline, and so far have worked well, as long as you keep a fresh spark plug in it.
            IAFF 1176


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