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Parades and Wet downs

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  • Parades and Wet downs

    just wondering what everyone (paid or
    volunteer) does for parades and wetdowns. our town limits us to one piece of apparatus per event (we have three engines one ladder and 1 rescue). the town next to us sends their entire fleet (three engines one ladder 1 support and chief vehicle)
    9/11/01 forever in our hearts

  • #2
    We occasionally take our engine, which is basically a second-line supply piece, to parades out of the area, which require it to be out of service. The ladder never goes to any such function requiring it to be out of service, as it is the only aerial coverage for the municipalities within our mutual aid agreement. Taking the squirt would be extremely rare (and hasn't been done in years), as it is our primary structural attack piece. There are two exceptions to this:

    1. The event is somewhere within or immediately adjacent to our mutual aid area anyway, and the apparatus can remain in service with the expectation of acceptable response time.

    2. LODD in our station.

    As for dumping the entire fleet, I'll state this opinion as a fact, because I think it is:

    There is absolutely NO justification or excuse for taking a department's entire firefighting fleet out of service and leaving your area unprotected to go to a parade, wet down or similar event. Ever. Period. The same applies to taking so much apparatus that it significantly decreases coverage. If you have one station, send a rig, if you have two or more stations, let them take turns sending a rig, or something.

    Remember...If the area is so saturated with other fire departments that it can do without your department's entire fleet for the day just so that you can go play, then it can do without your entire fleet every day. In that case, close, become a parade club, or something.

    Just to get this out of the way:

    No, I'm not sorry. No, I'm not apologizing to those of you who do this (and I know you're out there because I've had this argument before here in the forums). In this specific case on this specific issue, you're wrong, I'm right, and that's all there is to say about it.

    [ 08-01-2001: Message edited by: Bob Snyder ]


    • #3
      One Engine is OK if you have three or more.
      Or if the parade is close to your town here if you had a call the time would be the same as if you were coming from home. BUT that's It. To leave your town unprotected a no-no.

      As Far as WET DOWNS, Most Departments stoped having them. TOO many firemen getting hurt and equipment damaged...

      Just Have a Bar-B-Q

      Don't get me wrong I am the first one in line at the beer keg. But keep some ff's and equipment in town in chase you get a call...

      I Know, 26 year Vet. of fire service...
      I have been there and done that, got the tee shirt...broken nose, hose gotaway from probie. go figger...

      Have Fun but stay safe...


      • #4
        been in 20 years, what is a "wet down"?


        • #5
          hey sny, ever hear of standby's? I don't think that in todays day and age w/ lawsuits, allstate ittis', and in$urance rate$, that a chief / department would be stupid enough to strip their entire fleet for fun and games. They should (HOPEFULLY) be leaving back a crew, or enough guys, or even have another department standby for them while they have their fun and games.

          In my area, it's more of a 'invite only' thing. If your (company / dept.) invited, you go, or don't go, whatever. There is no standard.
          May God bless all the people and families who have lost
          their lives on 9-11-01, to those also lost on Flight 587, and to the rescuers who responded to both.

          "I'm not saying it's right, i'm just saying (the way it is)."

          FDNY-EMS - Still New York's Best!

          e-mail always accepted @
          [email protected]


          • #6
            to GO4IT

            A Wet down...

            It's what they do up north east mostly. But some Fire Dept's outside them damm Yankee's do it Too.

            When you get a new fire truck, you have a party and invite other fire dept's over to see your new TOY, Then somebody gets a hose and starts shotting water, and the water fight starts. Good Clean Fun. till somebody gets hurt and they do...


            • #7
              We put the entire fleet( 3pumps, 1 ladder, 1 rescue, 1 tanker, 1 support vehicle and rescue boat, and a snow machine!) in the parade in our city but the rigs are never out of service. We have never attended a parade in another town. Why not? Don't know , never been asked to I guess. We don't have wetdowns up here in the great white north but in our dept. we have a "probie party". When the rookies have gone through there 8weeks of training we have a party and a hose coupling contest. Thats the contest where the vets get to show the probies how to hook up and flow the wet stuff! We usually kick their butts


              • #8
                We only allow Fire Dept. vehicles in parades if it is in our city or next to our city. If the parade is in our city, since it is fairly small, any and all vehicles can be included. If it is outside, only one or two vehicles can participate. One exception is an engine and our brush rig(2 newest vehilces) are allowed once a year to a town to the east, Wisconsin Rapids, WI (about an hour away) for their annual Silent Night Parade for fallen firefighters. We operate out of one station with 3 engines so we can spare one. If we need one or more, there is always mutual aid.

                We also have a 1928 Model A Ford fire truck that is used for parades all over and that can go as far as the members want to take it.

                As far as a "wet down", I have seen this done but never knew what it was called. We do not do this. Our last new engine the Chief got to back it into the station.(he's a little rusty) We had a little show and tell with refreshments and members of other depts and the public came to see the new "toy".

                Take care and keep your powder dry
                Lt.Jason Knecht
                Altoona Fire Rescue
                Altoona, WI
                Jason Knecht
                Township Fire Dept., Inc.
                Eau Claire, WI

                IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
                EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!


                • #9
                  Ya...I've seen entire fleets at a wetdown. Not that safe if you ask me. One should be enough. We have lots of wetdowns by me, and every department does it's own thing.
                  Just my views of things.
                  Stay Safe!


                  • #10
                    >> hey sny, ever hear of standby's?

                    Yup. Absolutely necessary tool used to spread remaining coverage when apparatus is committed on an emergency incident, or in the event of a death in the "family" (I hate to be so blunt, but there you go). Using them to cover so that you can take an entire department fleet to a party somewhere out of range of your area is an abuse of this.

                    >> I don't think that in todays day and age w/ lawsuits, allstate ittis', and in$urance rate$, that a chief / department would be stupid enough to strip their entire fleet for fun and games.

                    You'd think that you'd be right about this. Sadly, you're wrong...they're oput there, and one will reply to this sooner or later, telling us how it "builds morale", "fosters pride", it's a "long-standing tradition", or some such rationalization.

                    >> They should (HOPEFULLY) be leaving back a crew, or enough guys

                    Yes, they should.

                    People wonder why we have image problems in the volly service...here's a reason, right in front of our eyes.


                    • #11
                      Forget about taking apparatus out of service for parades and wetdowns.... What about useing the departments arial to change light bulbs at the city ball field or using a pumper to fill the country club swimming pool. The worst part is that these request come down from the city adminstration in city hall.
                      Fireman Phil of the Show Me State


                      • #12
                        Back east, where we had parades, we'd normally take a few pieces and leave the rest with standby crews. Occassionally we'd take most or all of the trucks, or not have enough people left in town to man the remaining trucks. In that case, we would have a few companies from other towns come in and standby for us. We'd do the same thing if we had a department function (like the dept dinner or something).
                        There would always be sufficient manpower and equipment to cover the town.


                        • #13
                          firman phil

                          that's OK it's what I would call,,, A good will call just like a cat in a tree...

                          and we call, changing light bulbs on the town x-mass tree a High elevation electrial hazard drill... Pump out the country club pool??? that would be yearly pump test, requierd by NFPA...and if you use hose that NFPA 1962 for hose testing...

                          Just remember when it's hot outside the firefighter's get then PT in the country club pool... and that a water rescue drill

                          It might be BS but you can learn at the same time... also try some probies up the ladder.


                          • #14
                            Hey Snyder, stop beating around the bush and tell us how you really feel.


                            • #15
                              Personally I think that some people are making a mountain out of a mole hill on this issue... Especially in a volunteer department, parades and department functions are vital and very important to the overall moral of the group.

                              My town has three all volunteer departments. Each department is about 2 or 3 miles from the other. If one department is running an open house for public relations, a parade, or something of that nature then one of the other two departments can cover the district.

                              - Turk II


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