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  • Ice!!!!!

    Once again we are getting ready to be hit with some winter storms.
    Where I live this isnt rare, but we dont get as much snow/ice nor do we get it that often. So im courious on what some departments do, (maybe alittle different) when they are encountered with snow and ice. Some tips and ideas that help or that dont help. Im sure for alot of you guys this is just another day.
    Fire scenes: A well organized cluster F......
    These are my veiws and opinions.....Im just saying

  • #2
    If it looks like an inmobilizing event, we make sure our traffic control equipment (arrow sign, fold up signs, and cones) are ready, start and check generators, make sure we have plenty of bottled water, check insta chains, etc.

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    • #3
      make sure you have salt on the rig. A 5 gallon bucket of it at least. Necessary if you are doing anything involving stretching lines. Have coal shovels on the rig also, and have them so that they are in easy access for the person making the hydrant. Be sure its a coal shovel, it'll chip through ice and the refrozen crap the plow throws much better than a flimsy snow shovel. They should be easy to grab, so if you lay in the hydrant man can just grab it while he grabs the line.

      If you don't get snow and ice all that often, go find an open parking lot and drive the truck around a bit. Don't get crazy, but just get a feel for how it reacts to the conditions. The rig will probably "push" through tight turns, widening your turning radius, so adjust your driving accordingly. Just remember to go slow and to be gentle when breaking and turning. Don't want to loose traction.

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      • #4
        Well, since we live in Wisconsin we usually just go "Huh, another winter storm." Then we yawn and talk about the idiots who aren't smart enough to stay off the road and the number of accidents we will go to.

        Seriously, we don't do any additional prep for a storm than we do for our normal start of winter prep.

        Generators are checked weekly year round, all the vehicles have cones on board, all the rigs have scoop shovels, most carry bottled water, and all carry oil dry and salt for traction.

        Personally, for the winter, in my bag on the rig I carry extra socks, extra gloves, an extra hood, and a pair of wool lined chopper mitts.
        Crazy, but that's how it goes
        Millions of people living as foes
        Maybe it's not too late
        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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        • #5
          Well depends on the storm, typically if your just talking about the run of the mill snowstorm our trucks are always ready.

          The fun ones are the ice storms that we get out here in New England that coat everything under inches of ice and take out the power for 2-3 days at least.

          We get a lot of calls to pump out basements since most residents are on wells here so with the amount of calls you get doesn't take much to get a crew out for 20+ hours straight. You also have more residents trying to use their fireplaces since power is out so last thing you want is a call for chimney or a worker and your response is already dead tired.

          Keep your manpower fresh and hydrated.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the comments thus far, the last bad ice storm we had in southeast missouri was in 2006. about an inch of ice. We had no power for about 3-4 days in the citys and up to 7+ days in the county areas. Most people were gonna just stay home, until about the second day and reliezed they want to come to our warming center. We were cutting people out of there homes for hours. And we handled the calls i thought very well. but that was the last time we had anything like that. The very accurate weather forcasters are predicting this one to be just as bad if not worse. Its good to hear input from people that are very use to this stuff. Thanks guys
            Fire scenes: A well organized cluster F......
            These are my veiws and opinions.....Im just saying

            Comment


            • #7
              Other than our normal prep, we don't change much until the storm gets here. Depending on how things evolve, we will reduce the calls that we go on (non-injury accidents, slide-offs, etc) and use brush/utility trucks to handled the arcing powerlines and other minor calls. We maintain the normal response for any other calls.

              If we start getting inundated with calls, we'll use OT personnel to man the brush/utility vehicles to run a lot of the investigation calls.

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              • #8
                We do change our running assignments a little during snowstorms. A snow emergency plan get an engine company dispatched with every ambulance call to provide manpower. Most companies run a brush truck or similar on these calls since they are 4 wheel drive and have winches to pull out the ambulance if they get stuck.

                Our department also runs the mini-pumper out first on possible house fires. It's also 4 wheel drive and easier to get up un-plowed driveways. it also carries enough hose to initiate the attack.

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                • #9
                  Ice Storm Preps

                  Carry a five gallon pail of sand on each rig. If you get stuck, you can pour some sand for tractions. Also, on scene, you can pour sand on the ground around the pump panel to have traction for the pump operator.

                  Go slow and easy. The adreneline rush needs to be tamed when responding on ice. That includes driving the POV's from home to the fire hall and then with the trucks responding to the scene.

                  Expect the power to go out. In addition to checking the generators, ensure you have ample flashlights with working batteries.

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                  • #10
                    We will usually put a office size trash bag over the nozzle on the front bumper line. It keeps alot of the sand/salt/crap off the nozzle when running up and down the street. We dont tie it or anything just cover it and re-bungee it down.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Chewy911 View Post
                      Once again we are getting ready to be hit with some winter storms.
                      Where I live this isnt rare, but we dont get as much snow/ice nor do we get it that often. So im courious on what some departments do, (maybe alittle different) when they are encountered with snow and ice. Some tips and ideas that help or that dont help. Im sure for alot of you guys this is just another day.
                      Chewy, insofar as communications, we may consider things such as reducing assignments on local alarms (bells, etc), and/or considering dropping rescue companies (or at least having them proceed rather than respond) to/from surface street auto accidents. Conversely, we may also consider supplementing credible reports of structural fires. During the last cold snap, we sent an additional 1+1 on the initial alarm for credible reports of structural fires...An extra calltaker or two doesn't hurt, either...
                      My opinions only.

                      AGS-SGA 091101

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                      • #12
                        Another item that is often overlooked by those who do not get ice storms often- If you will be having Duty Crews in the station, have you prepared for a long-term stay (24+ hours?????)

                        Have you:
                        -Checked the station generator???

                        -Stocked up on food (that can be cooked on a barbq grill if you have an electric stove or no kitchen at all????

                        -Brought someone's barbeq grill to the station if you don't have a kitchen?? (With plenty of full gas bottles???)

                        -Made sure everyone brings linens if you have a bunk room, or sleeping bags if you do not have a bunkroom???

                        -Did someone bring movies for the DVD player, because the cable TV is going to be knocked out???

                        -Did someone bring a Wii or other game system to keep entertained???
                        "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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                        • #13
                          Make sure all your spare fuel cans for your small tools are topped off, we fill an extra can of diesel just in case we (the gas stations)lose power for a while. We also have a torpedo heater on the service truck.
                          ?

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                          • #14
                            We are not looking forward to the ice here lol..

                            I put some salt on the truck last night and salted the hell out of the pad too.

                            Wish we had a station generator....... Sadly,no money for one.
                            Last edited by Tony4310; 01-31-2011, 12:33 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tony4310 View Post
                              Wish we had a station generator....... Sadly,no money for one.
                              You should be able to get a grant for one. A station Generator is essential equipment for emergency management purposes. Have your higher ups look into a homeland security grant or one of the other grants, I find it hard to believe you wouldnt get one.
                              "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

                              Comment

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