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  • Winter operations

    This question is for you guys to the north. At what temp do you begin to have problems with your apparatus, hose, etc. when the weather gets cold? We are expecting 10 degrees over the next few nights and we really have never operated much at these temps. (O.K. don't laugh too much, thats more like spring time for some of you!)
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    IACOJ
    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
    FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
    1946-2005
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

  • #2
    Most FD's will circulate the water through the pump when the temp drops below freezing by opening the tank to pump and tank fill valves.
    ‎"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

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    • #3
      During FF operations don't shut you nozzles completely off. If you do you could end up with a frozen line or worse.

      It's a bitch repacking hose that is as stiff as a 2X4

      -bob-

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      • #4
        If you have rollup doors,salt and sand gets in there really fouls the door up so it maybe hard to open.

        We also have a spray bottle of full strength anti-freeze in the engineers cabinet. When we are done we give a little spray on the threads and inside the discharge or intake and replace the caps.
        Last edited by stm4710; 12-23-2004, 09:27 PM.
        I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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        • #5
          You know all that water that ends up on the ground around the building/car/whatever was on fire and around the trucks when you remove caps or overfill?? I hope you have a strong tailbone because you will inevitably end up on your rear end at some point.

          the soaking wet outer jacket of the hose will of course be frozen. Drain lines on the pump can freeze. Basicly, any water that isn't moving, expect it to freeze.
          Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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          • #6
            At what temp do you guys start to see the problems?
            Chief
            Wren Volunteer Fire Department
            IACOJ
            Southern Division

            http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

            In Memory of:
            FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
            1946-2005
            "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

            Thanks, LeuitEFDems

            Comment


            • #7
              32'
              I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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              • #8
                Like CaptainGonzo said we circulate our pumps and then also crack open the nozzle to keep water running through the hose so it won't freeze up.
                ______________________________
                IACOJ "Proud to be a Crusty"

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                • #9
                  It is 18 below zero as I type this. Plan on nothing working right that way it wont be as bad as you expected. Don't run wet pumps, know your apparatus and where to start looking if it doesn't work right. Know your flows and pressures at different engine RPM because water pressure gauges may freeze-up. You may see problems with air brakes on the trucks. If you are not running number 1 fuel you may have problems with fuel gelling up, if it falls bellow 40 degrees below zero you may actually have problems with number 1 gelling. Have diesel fuel conditioner, spare fuel filters and filter wrench on board. Primers can give you problems too.

                  We carry propane torches on our trucks to thaw valves or other things that become frozen. Be very careful with heating valves and pump components. Another good heat source for thawing something out is quartz hallogen lights.

                  Have spare clothing available and dress in layers. You may also want to find a pair of leather mittens, the kind that you can put multiple liners in. SCBA's can also give you concern, have heard of regulator freeze-up and manual low pressure alarm freeze-up.

                  Fires during cold weather sucks! Go on vacation!

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                  • #10
                    For practical purposes, freeze-up starts becoming a serious immediate concern after temps go below 20F. Obviously 32F is the starting point if you're talking about extended periods of time outside.

                    We keep all pumps dry in the winter, and then once on scene open the tank-to-pump and pump fill valves, and put the pump in gear to keep the water moving. This is done on all calls where the engine is outside, whether you need the water or not. When the call is complete, we drain the pump again before returning to quarters. When possible, park apparatus so that drained water will not form an unsafe sheet of ice on any roadways.

                    We thaw couplings under the truck's exhaust, but I am sure this is not the smartest thing to do unless you're wearing SCBA. I liked toddman's idea of putting them in front of the halogen work lights, I will bring this up at our next meeting.... not sure how I feel about a blowtorch.

                    I have found that oil-dry ("kitty litter") is a better instantaneous anti-slip solution, since fresh rock salt on ice can be kind of like walking on marbles sometimes. Rock salt is most effective after having had a few hours to melt the ice, but when you need traction *now* and for a short term (medicals?), try it out for yourself and see if it works for you, too.

                    Cold weather also drives home the critical necessity that used SCBAs are *thoroughly* dry after washing before being placed back into service. Ice crystals in your mask are not fun. Wipe a napkin or kleenex damp (not soaked!) with antifreeze on the inside glass (avoid the rubber) of the SCBA mask before donning, and it will help prevent - or at least delay - a glaze from forming inside the glass from your breath and evaporated facial sweat.

                    After the hoses are broken up, keep the nozzles in the heated cab to keep them from freezing up until you return to quarters and reassemble the hose lays. Also, we keep extra sets of attack and supply hose at the station for after freezing fires.... we dump the wet/frozen hose into a pickup truck and then lay it out in the station so it can thaw/melt/drain, the extra hose is put in service until the first set is ready to go - alternating back and forth as needed.

                    Keep lots of chemical hand warmer packs around to slip into gloves and boots. Obviously, keep a spare set of dry clothes at the station, on the rig, or in your gear bag - at the very least dry socks, a sweatshirt and a stocking cap.

                    And oh yeah, DRIVE SLOW!

                    Will post more thoughts if they materialize. Stay safe!
                    Last edited by RLFD14; 12-24-2004, 07:04 PM.
                    You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
                    - - - - - -
                    I A C O J

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                    • #11
                      Good thread; I have learned a few things tonight. Thanks,people

                      I have found that oil-dry ("kitty litter") is a better instantaneous anti-slip solution, since fresh rock salt on ice can be kind of like walking on marbles sometimes
                      Gonna try that one, for sure.

                      Another good heat source for thawing something out is quartz hallogen lights.
                      Does that really work or are you pulling my boot?

                      Wipe a napkin or kleenex damp (not soaked!) with antifreeze on the inside of the SCBA mask before donning, and it will help prevent (or at least delay) a glaze from forming inside the glass from your breath and evaporated facial sweat.
                      --Would antifreeze void the warranty if something happened to the mask?
                      IACOJ
                      If you are willing to teach;
                      I am willing to learn.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ROOKIELZ
                        --Would antifreeze void the warranty if something happened to the mask?
                        That is a VERY good question..... it works for us, but I will have to change my official position on this to "try at your own risk". Auto antifreeze doesn't seem to hurt rubber coolant hoses in cars, but I am no chemist, either. I also failed to specify that you should apply the antifreeze only to the inside glass, not all over.
                        Last edited by RLFD14; 12-24-2004, 01:29 AM.
                        You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
                        - - - - - -
                        I A C O J

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                        • #13
                          We've always had a tub of oil dry and salt mixed for winter use. Works well for when we have to get a person on a cot down a slippery sidewalk or something similar, and the county highway department doesn't seem to mind us "borrowing" their salt.
                          "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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                          • #14
                            The reason I am asking is because I suggested this once and got tromped on HARD. The main message (and a valid one) was never do anything to your mask that may affect it's operation or the warranty. The only thing I could do for the guys once they frosted up was hold them over the truck's defrost system. It was time-consuming and I would like a better system for "the boys."
                            IACOJ
                            If you are willing to teach;
                            I am willing to learn.

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                            • #15
                              Don't wash the truck right after returning to quarters, the water will freeze to all metal body surfaces in sheets. No fun having glaze ice on the diamond plated footholds, and compartment doors and handles frozen shut. Live with the dirt for a few hours, or run hot water through your garden hose if you really can't wait - even then you'd need to run a lot of it to warm up the body above freezing where I live.
                              You only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
                              - - - - - -
                              I A C O J

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