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  • Handheld radio for the Engineer

    I currently work on a four man engine where we have two handheld radios. One radio goes to the officer and the other goes to one of the jumpseat firefighters. Our SOP's state that once water supply is established and lines are charged with the appropriate pressures, we will perform tasks such as laddering the building and any other necessary tasks to assist interior crews. If I am not at the pump panel and something would go wrong, I won't know because I don't have a radio to communicate with. I am looking for information that will help me justify a requirement of having a handheld radio for the engineer on each apparatus.

  • #2
    If you look at a good portion of the NIOSH reports after LODDs, many of them point to each firefighter on the fireground having a portable radio. Some places will issue one or two per crew, but what happens if the crew is somehow separated and one of the FFs without the radio is lost/injured and can't call for help...... Yes, they can still use their PASS, but it is nowhere near as effective as having a radio to call for command.
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

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    • #3
      All of our vehicles have a wireless headset the engineer uses. This allows him to move around the vehicle freely.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by malana1 View Post
        All of our vehicles have a wireless headset the engineer uses. This allows him to move around the vehicle freely.
        Very interesting. Care to share with us what brand and how well it performs?
        What if the hokey pokey IS what it's all about?

        Apparatus Operator
        Salem Fire Department
        IAFF Local 314

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        • #5
          Originally posted by malana1 View Post
          All of our vehicles have a wireless headset the engineer uses. This allows him to move around the vehicle freely.
          And like the OP said: that's fine as long as he's around the unit. If his duties involve anything other than standing at the pump panel, he's SOL.

          I'm with those who say HTs for everyone, but realistically that costs money a department may not have. Besides, such justifications are usually an uphill battle, because there's always more reasons "not to" than to just knuckle up and do it.
          My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

          IACOJ--West Coast PITA

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          • #6
            Right now I have both engines and the tanker setup with a portable for each seat and a portable with a headset for the driver/engineer/pump operator/whatever name this week. The rescue has one for each seat and the driver. Brush truck has one for both of the seats.

            So yea, I guess we were blessed enough to get this by the town board of finance.
            Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by grains View Post
              Very interesting. Care to share with us what brand and how well it performs?
              We have a Motorola HT-1000 with a David Clark headset for the operator. I have found that it works very well! We also have a remote head on the truck mounted radio at the pump panel with another headset on it.....but most choose the portable because it gives you alot more freedom than the corded headset does on the pump panel.

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              • #8
                Thanks for all the information. I will look through the NIOSH reports, but I think I will need more than that for justification. I belong to a fire department that will make purchases as long as you can justify the purchase. We do have headsets for the engineers, but our SOP's state that while we are pumping we have to leave the pump panel to perform other tasks. The wireless headsets are a great idea, but they don't have the reach that is needed when we have to leave the apparatus, therefore making communication impossible. Does anyone have any more justification to support requiring each apparatus to have a handheld radio for their engineer?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by EngineC02 View Post
                  I currently work on a four man engine where we have two handheld radios. One radio goes to the officer and the other goes to one of the jumpseat firefighters. Our SOP's state that once water supply is established and lines are charged with the appropriate pressures, we will perform tasks such as laddering the building and any other necessary tasks to assist interior crews. If I am not at the pump panel and something would go wrong, I won't know because I don't have a radio to communicate with. I am looking for information that will help me justify a requirement of having a handheld radio for the engineer on each apparatus.
                  Seems to me that if your SOG's require you to do other duties besides being the engineer /pump operator, this would be all the justification needed. What happens if the nozzle crew needs a line shut down or a hose blows? who's going to work the panel if your off laddering the roof?

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                  • #10
                    I agree with you 100% islandfire03. I just hope the decision makers agree as well.

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                    • #11
                      Portable Radios For Engineers

                      If they didn't give me a radio and I was the engineer, I would go buy one myself from ebay if I had to. I take my and my crews safety seriously.

                      Bummer

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                      • #12
                        Just wondering....

                        Even in this day and age of minimum staffing and limited man power, I question the wisdom and safety of having the engineer of the attack engine more than a few steps from the pump panel. Too much can go wrong in a split second to assign the "working engine's" operator much out of arms reach of the panel. The engineers of the "nonworking" engines (2nd and 3rd due) I can see having assignments of other fireground activities, but not the one "pumping the fire" as we call it here. IMHO and for what it's worth, some command officer needs to rethink that one.
                        Pray for the dead, fight like hell for the living! - Mother Jones

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nmfire View Post
                          Right now I have both engines and the tanker setup with a portable for each seat and a portable with a headset for the driver/engineer/pump operator/whatever name this week. The rescue has one for each seat and the driver. Brush truck has one for both of the seats.

                          So yea, I guess we were blessed enough to get this by the town board of finance.
                          We are set up just like nmfire.
                          IACOJ - Senior Jake

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                          • #14
                            A hand held is a MUST for the Driver. Many departments, like mine, are severarly understaffed. The days of the driver only standing by the truck are long gone. We need to set up PPV, throw Egress ladders to the second floor, place tools in staging. change airbottles, ect.

                            Oh ya. I have two portables. My personal one I keep in my coat for the few times I get to play nozzle jockey. And the other one is assigned to my engine. It has a removable headset which is great for fire scenes. It give me the ability to complete the other tasks on the fire ground without missing valuable information like "WE NEED MORE PRESSURE".

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by herbroberson View Post
                              Even in this day and age of minimum staffing and limited man power, I question the wisdom and safety of having the engineer of the attack engine more than a few steps from the pump panel. Too much can go wrong in a split second to assign the "working engine's" operator much out of arms reach of the panel. The engineers of the "nonworking" engines (2nd and 3rd due) I can see having assignments of other fireground activities, but not the one "pumping the fire" as we call it here. IMHO and for what it's worth, some command officer needs to rethink that one.
                              Souds great on paper. All I need is more help and I would be glad to give up those other jobs!

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