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Cold weather tips.

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  • Cold weather tips.

    Just a little tip for cold weather, if you have short sections of LDH in open side wells on the truck, load them so that the couplings are facing downward on both ends. Leaving them facing upwards, they can accumulate water in the section, which can freeze solid. If you don't happen to catch this, you could end up with an ice jam blocking your water supply into the pump. As well as ice, during the year you could also accumulate leaves, dirt, debris, etc, that may make it through the pump, but foul your nozzles.

  • #2
    good points --we get a lot of 33 degree rain -that 30 minutes into the incident is 28 degree freezing rain -and 2 hours later low 20s. Also I have seen ball valves(playpipes wyes etc) left in the closed position retain enough water to freeze in transit.
    ?

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    • #3
      going to add a few more "tips" even though I am from a "southern" state. I have a large ziplock on the engine with spare gloves (jersey/and rubber) I also keep a 2nd set of structural gloves handy -a tee shirt-bandana-stocking cap --hand warmers-and candy -- on the engine we have a good quality squirt bottle of de-icer -extra ice melt and cat litter - road flares-and a military shovel . We also bought some Harbor freight movers blankets to hand out if needed.
      ?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
        good points --we get a lot of 33 degree rain -that 30 minutes into the incident is 28 degree freezing rain -and 2 hours later low 20s. Also I have seen ball valves(playpipes wyes etc) left in the closed position retain enough water to freeze in transit.
        We had that problem on our brush truck with the tank fill valve - had two freeze up and split. Ended up with a check valve in the line to keep the tank water from coming back to the valve.

        We've been dealing with sub-zero temperatures for the past several weeks. Despite a move to traffic cones and electronic flares for traffic control, some regular fusees are a good thing to have. I've seen the waterway in a 2.5" coupling reduced to <1.5" by ice. Getting such couplings apart can be a real challenge without some heat.

        There was just a post on the SPAAMFAA FB page of what happened when a fellow forgot to drain the front suction on his vintage truck.

        The mover's blankets are a great idea, and so are tarps. Either can help keep wind out from under a truck when it's well below freezing. I've worked fires where I watched the gauges (actually the tubing feeding them) on the top mount pump panel freeze up, one by one, across the pump panel.


        Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

        Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
          going to add a few more "tips" even though I am from a "southern" state. I have a large ziplock on the engine with spare gloves (jersey/and rubber) I also keep a 2nd set of structural gloves handy -a tee shirt-bandana-stocking cap --hand warmers-and candy -- on the engine we have a good quality squirt bottle of de-icer -extra ice melt and cat litter - road flares-and a military shovel . We also bought some Harbor freight movers blankets to hand out if needed.
          You covered alot of things, especially, the spare gloves. Soaking/frozen gloves need replacing with dry ones. I would also add extra hoods.
          Those "hand warmer packets" that you can activate and place in your gloves, boots, etc. are helpful to stock, too. As for a shovel, a large scoop shovel to shovel out a fire hydrant is needed, too.

          On the topic of safety, make sure no one runs. Only walk, since it is icy. Extra hands to help EMS move patients, since it is slippery walking. Ladders will become icy from spraying water. SCBA's will freeze up in extreme cold, too. Expect them to malfunction from the cold.

          As for operations, never shutoff a nozzle completely. Leave the nozzle partially open to move some water through it. You do not want to shut it off completely or you will have frozen hose lines in sub-zero weather. Have tire chains for your apparatus? Install them. Drive fire apparatus to road and weather conditions, not adrenaline.

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          • #6
            Propane torch in the engineers compartment to thaw fittings

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            • #7
              Our VFD doesn't take that many runs, so we typically put RV antifreeze in the pump to prevent freezing. It's non-toxic, so there's no problem of poisoning animals.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dfelix22000us View Post
                Propane torch in the engineers compartment to thaw fittings
                One of the self-igniter variety, so you can't lose the striker... We carried one on our trailer pump (static water source) inside a piece of 4" PVC with a screw cap on one end.
                Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                Comment

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