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  • Basic equipment list

    We are a small volunteer department that has been working on a $7,000 a year budget. This amount has been eaten up by insurance, heating, electrical, phone and rent costs. We recently had a tax increase and finally have some money to spend. Our question now is since we have been so limited on what we could do for so long where do we start to upgrade our resources. We have a separate E.M.S. system in our county so we deal with wildland, structure, rescue and hazmat situations. From your experience what are the basic pieces of equipment we need? We can't even think of vehicles but what kind of tools, lengths of hose, equipment etc. would you consider to be a basic level of resources? There are a million things in the catalogues and magazines but what are the essentials? Thanks for your expertise.

  • #2
    Besides the all important need of Turnout gear and SCBA you are basicly gonna need hand tools, nozzles, and hose. Even if you have to go with the bare basics of axe, halligan, and prybar, for hand tools you should have a minimal of these. Each of these tools can be used for several different functions. If it were up to me I would even consider using a maul instead of a regular flat head axe. Im a bigger guy and when I carry the married set its basicly like carrying an axe, halligan, and sledge hammer (there arent too many walls or doors you cannot breach with these tools). As far as nozzles they dont have to be anything special like the saber jets, they can be something along the lines of a tried and tru turbo jet, but make sure you get at least 1 smooth bore. Hose is gonna be your biggest expense, as much as i love 5" it wouldnt do you too much good due to its cost, consider loading your bed with 2 1/2 or 3 inch. That way you can have either supply line or a large attack line. Toss a gated wye on there and you can create a skid load, driveway line, special lay or what ever you choose to call it. And of course a few hundered feet of 1 3/4. As far as rescue goes look into getting a used set of hurst or holmatro. Start with a combi tool and go there. The biggest thing you have to remember is you need to make a little go a long way. Multi tasking is the key word here. As far as hazmat, its gonna be hard for you to do much there, just keep your people away.
    After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

    Official Minister of Philosophy of the IACOJ

    IACOJ Probie Crusty of the year 2003

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    • #3
      You have a big task, cover you PPE requirements and SCBA need. Currently with all the grants going out you might check with near by departments who might be upgrading SCBA or city departments that would have equipment to sell where they have upgraded. With purchasing SCBA if you know of other departments buying try to place your orders together to get a bigger discount, allowing you to stretch your fund futher. Tools, cover your basics haligan, ax, pry bars, 3' pikes, and sheet rock pikes. Standard tool box with hand tools. Chain saw & saw zall. Life safety ropes and rigging equipment dont forget utility ropes. Positive pressure fans. Any hose cover your attack and supply need, dont forget about your appliances, y's, gates, and nozzels. There is always the debate on smooth bore and fog. Foam packs either the around the pump or proto pack. Definiatly look at your departments need and fill the holes first. One way to cover your needs based upon the majority of the type of call you run. These are just my recomendations. Hope it helps.

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