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  • Bucket trucks

    Something I've wondered about for some time, so I thought I'd throw it out here.

    Why don't fire departments utilize bucket trucks? With the proliferation of them used by utility companies and telecom guys, there should be plenty of options available.

    I would think they'd come in handy in urban areas, especially, where the close confines of buildings, trees, parked vehicles and whatnot would make it a useful alternative to the big rigs, Or at least an addition.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    Bucket Trucks

    There is a place for bucket trucks in firefighting. It all depends on each FD's needs. Some communities probably could justify having one.

    The problem with using utility or other bucket trucks, is that those pieces of equipment probably are not suited for fire service use. There is probably a NFPA Standard that is used for buckets trucks for the fire service.

    Utility bucket trucks probably have certain standards to adhere to, but firefighting conditions would be harsher on them, than utility use (changing light bulbs on street lights, trimming trees, etc.).

    Alot of consideration needs to be given to a bucket truck, when it comes to weight. Having firefighter(s) in the bucket, weight of a hoseline being used off that bucket, ice and snow buildup during cold weather operations, hoisting for rescue operations and many other factors have to be looked at.

    Essentially, a used utility buckets may not be suitable for firefighting. I know of one city FD that comandeered their power department's bucket truck during a large structure fire. They used the bucket to direct a hoseline off it, to reach the fire. By doing this, the bucket truck was wrecked and that city had to scrap that truck.

    If you want to do some research on fire service bucket trucks, look at the websites of fire apparatus manufacturers. There may be some that manufacture bucket trucks specifically for the fire service.

    Comment


    • #3
      The only use for a utility bucket truck for the fire service is for fire alarm wire work.
      ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
      Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by joemac356 View Post
        Something I've wondered about for some time, so I thought I'd throw it out here.

        Why don't fire departments utilize bucket trucks? With the proliferation of them used by utility companies and telecom guys, there should be plenty of options available.

        I would think they'd come in handy in urban areas, especially, where the close confines of buildings, trees, parked vehicles and whatnot would make it a useful alternative to the big rigs, Or at least an addition.

        Thoughts?
        1. The original "Snorkel" was developed by the Chicago Fire Department under Fire Commissioner Robert Quinn in 1957-1958. The first use of one of the "Snorkels" was at the infamous "Our Lady of Angels" Fire on Dec 1, 1958. He saw city workers using "cherry pickers" and had one adapted for FD use. After a test period, several more were purchased. The original "Snorkel" has been fully restored and is now a part of the Figge Corporation/American Lafrance historical museum collection.

        2. Several were built for the CFD, however it was soon discovered that under continual use in severe conditions, that they were not heavy enough, especially for aerial water delivery and rescue purposes- adding additional weight beyond one person overloaded them. Same goes for modern ones as well.
        Last edited by FWDbuff; 12-18-2010, 12:40 AM.
        "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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        • #5
          Behold the E-One bronto http://www.e-one.com/products/main-line/aerial/bronto
          FF/Paramedic

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TNFF319 View Post
            Behold the most worthless and problematic truck I've ever had the displeasure of working on.
            FTM-PTB-RFB
            IACOJ

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            • #7
              Funny, the Bronto pic showing the suits operating the aerial...neither one has fall protection harness.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
                The only use for a utility bucket truck for the fire service is for fire alarm wire work.
                http://www.borough.emmaus.pa.us/Fire...s-Borough.html

                Emmaus, PA, just outside Allentown, still has a bucket truck used specifically for that reason.
                A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JTFIRE80 View Post
                  http://www.borough.emmaus.pa.us/Fire...s-Borough.html

                  Emmaus, PA, just outside Allentown, still has a bucket truck used specifically for that reason.
                  SHHHHHHHHH! you of all people better be careful talking about buckets.....
                  "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fyrmnk View Post
                    Behold the most worthless and problematic truck I've ever had the displeasure of working on.
                    Second only to it's elderly relative, "The Calavar Firebird."

                    Just ask the Philadelphia Fire Department about the problems they had with theirs....LOL
                    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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                    • #11
                      While the articulated platform (Snorkel) may not have proved to be the be-all-and-end-all, I'd certainly argue that it helped lead to the development of today's towers. And that's not a bad thing.
                      Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                      Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FWDbuff View Post
                        SHHHHHHHHH! you of all people better be careful talking about buckets.....
                        I was not involved with that one bit! On a note, 11 years driving apparatus, and I've had 2 incidents...both of which were backing up, and I had a backup man both times who led me right into the objects!!!
                        A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JTFIRE80 View Post
                          I was not involved with that one bit! On a note, 11 years driving apparatus, and I've had 2 incidents...both of which were backing up, and I had a backup man both times who led me right into the objects!!!
                          You had a bad spotter bud. I'd would have kicked his tail after the second time.
                          Stay Safe and Well Out There....

                          Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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                          • #14
                            I've twice been on scenes where bucket were comandeered for fire suppression.

                            I once rode in a twin bucket with another FF in order to access some soffit and fascia in an area where raising an appropriate ladder would have been extremely problematic.

                            The second time I saw a Genie lift put into service at a rural (very rural) structure fire when the closest aerial unit was out of commission and the next closest was 40-50 miles away.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well...........

                              The biggest difference between a Utility Bucket Truck and a Firefighting Bucket Truck is about $600,00.00..............
                              Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                              In memory of
                              Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                              Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                              IACOJ Budget Analyst

                              I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                              www.gdvfd18.com

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