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Rescue pumper vs. Straight Rescue

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  • Rescue pumper vs. Straight Rescue

    My department runs a rescue-pumper for MVA's. We are in the process of specking out a new straight rescue. We have 3 class A pumpers and don't really have a need for the 3rd pumper.(Quint,pumper-tanker,pumper-rescue) Besides one having a pump and water what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the two?

    One big problem with the P/R was it didn't have enough room to carry all of our rescue equipment.

    One other quick point I would like to make. I read or saw some were that according to NIFRS that less than 2% of MVA's in the USA have some kind of fire. And don't quote me on this but I believe Ron Moore said in an article in Firehouse that a 20lb. dry chemical ext. is more than enough vs. pulling a handline. I see both sides of the discussion I'm just trying to get a feel of what other departments have tried and have success with and what hasn't work. Before we spend 300,000 + dollars on a piece of equipment that we are going to have to keep for 20 yrs. Call it research. But I think that everyone is in agreement that some type of pumper needs to be at the accident wether it is through mutual aid or a R/P.

    [ 10-22-2001: Message edited by: j. schmidt ]
    "You can't volunteer to be a doctor on the weekends"

  • #2
    A heavy rescue should carry tools that no other unit carries. The rig should also be staffed with the best of the best, experts in rescue. If your heavy rescue mirrors a regular truck co than you are just another fire co.

    If you don't have the men or equipment to properly staff a heavy rescue then a rescue pumper may serve you better. In a disaster or just realy running you have the ability to put out fires.

    You may also consider a "service ladder co" that has everything that a truck has except for the main.

    [ 10-21-2001: Message edited by: ADSN/WFLD ]


    • #3
      We have a mini-pump we run 1st out on mva's, on it we have jaws, cribbing, tools, and it is also our medical truck. It is followed out with our squad. [5 man ]. An entrapment also brings our 2000 gal. main pumper.

      Stay Safe


      • #4
        We run a medium rescue. No water, no pump. Just rescue tools, hazmat supplies, and lighting for the most part. For us, it works out well. It rolls 2nd after the BLS ambulance on all MVA's unless it is reported to involve fire. In that case, our 3000 gal pumper-tanker responds, which has a portable hurst generator w/ a combi tool and O-cutters. Since, like many other volunteer companies, staffing is somewhat questionable at times, if we need an engine in addition to the rescue truck, it is easy to get one from a M/A company. So basically...if you have the help from surrounding dept's, go w/ the straight rescue...if you won't get the M/A engine, then get a rescue pumper.
        Eric Nowaczyk
        East Whiteland Fire Co.
        1st EMS Lt.

        These thoughts are mine and in no way reflect those of the fire/EMS agencies with which I am affiliated.


        • #5
          Just a qick Point of view, We run a rescue pumper, one the carries a 32 innch spreader a 60 inch ram, a combi tool a 32 ton set of air bags, 3 reciprocating Saws, an Air chisel a ton and half and a 3 ton come-along 3 Hi-lift jacks and various other hand tools, along with Cribbing, spare air-bottles, a fixed and portable generator, flood light smoke ejecotrs gas powered Disc and chain saws, some Basic rope rescue and enough ground ladders to qualify us for a Ladder truck, there is also a 500 gallon tank for water and 20 gallon foam tank a 1000 GPM pump and a 5 man cab. all this gives us the ability and flexibility to initially handle the vast majority of rescue calls we respond on, Espcially with Low manpower this assures us of repsonding with the correct vehicle first to an MVA, that is when we arive on the scene we can deal with any challenge short of a Hazmat that we run on, so enles you intend to have a BLS ( Block Long Squad) that can handle all things and will cost you a ton-o-money and cannot fight fire- no water no pump, then go ahead, I propose to the ideal solution if you have more that what a well designed Rescue pumper can carry. It is a two piece rescue company where the rescue pumper can handle 90% of what you get with a smaller inexpensive cargo type vehicle that can bring the bulky stuff that takes care of the other 10%
          Just my Humble opinion
          Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
          Carl D. Avery


          • #6
            I am going to have to respectfully disagree with some of the other posts here. I am a firm believer in the RESCUE COMPANY, ENGINE COMPANY, TRUCK COMPANY. The rescue pumper may work in some areas of the country or smaller departments that have to try to accomplish more with less. (I sound like the Uncle Sam.) The purpose as stated earlier of a RESCUE SQUAD is specialized. If you want to carry all the cool toys and do cool stuff that is the piece to have. Truckies break stuff and the engine companies get it all wet. The training that must be done for a true RS is very long and can be difficult at times.
            Now if you want to pack a vehicle full of toys and gadgits then a RS is your answer. A nice 18-22 foot box on a Pierce chassis would do you real well. If you feel like you need more stuff than you will ever know what to do with then go to a dual rear axle like Walkersville, Md bought. (Great looking Pierce there guys!!) Don't get me wrong here they need that piece, but someone out in lets say Amboy, Ca. would not. The cost of one of these things, shall we say "fully stocked", will be half a million dollars compared to a rescue engine of about $300K give or take a little here and there for both. The amount of weight you put on the RE will be less than what you can put on the RS. A RS is your tool box. A RE is your tool drawer.

            I hope we have helped you a little here and not added to much fuel to the fire. Good luck.


            • #7
              For MVAs our first unit out the door is our Rescue. By tradditional means, it is considered a light rescue. It's a Ford E-350 with a 14 foot walk in cargo box. The cargo box was outfitted with custom cabinets on the side and roll up doors for generators etc. on the outside. It carries Jaws, Cribbing, Spin Board, Power Tools, Generators, Basic Water Rescue Equipment, Medical Equipment, 3 SCBAs, etc etc.

              Our Responce to any and all MVAs is the rescue first, our rescue pumper second (FL70, 1050 hale, 500 gal. water, foam), then our 'rapid attack' unit. This unit is like a squad, it seats 5, but it also has a slide in package (150 gal of water, 150gpm pump, foam). Between the three units we have about 10 members on scene.

              Like I said, the rescue leaves first. The Resuce/pumper is about 30 seconds to a minute behind it, with the rapid attack about 1 minute or so after that.

              ALL members are trained as Firefighters, First Responders, and Accident Techs. EHS is run by the province and is separate from the FDs (their own halls and staff).
              "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."


              • #8
                We`ve got two engines, a rescue, and a truck in our department. Our first due engine never responds to MVA`s, our second due engine is equipt with a smaller HURST tool, full BLS medical stuff, and cribbing etc. Our rescue`s got a lot more tools for extrication, they`re bigger and better. It`s also got air bags, more of the same EMS equipment, etc. If there`s enough guys at the station, we`ll take the engine, and the resuce. If there`s only 3 or 4 guys, we`ll take our engine only, in case there`s fire at the scene.

                Usually if we can`t immediatly roll the rescue, it`ll get going with a minute or so when other guys show up at the station, but we can still handle most accidents with just the engine. We`ll be replacing that engine soon, and we`ll get much better extracation equipment, and make it our first due engine, etc.


                • #9
                  I agree with pwc606. You have either a Rescue, an Engine, or a Truck. My department currently is awaiting delivery of a KME Heavy Rescue to replace a 1971 Marion Heavy Rescue. And we carry as much as we can, 2 sets of Lukas tools, 3 sets of air bags, cribbing, HazMat, Medical/MCI supplies, etc. The Rescue/Pumper issue started to come up but was quickly ended. One of the main issues looked at when it came to the Rescue Squad vs. Rescue/Pumper was a neighboring department that has a Pumper/Tanker. It seems that at almost every fire they end up committing their Pumper/Tanker as a Pumper and have to call M/A for a Tanker. The same can be said for a Rescue/Pumper. I would much rather have a seperate company that could leave the scene of one incident if it had to in a matter of moments as opposed to a Pumper that would have to disconnect handlines for another call. Yes, we would use M/A but you always have to think of the worst case situation.
                  Stay Safe.
                  Firefighting... the only REAL job for us crazy ones

                  Never forget our fallen brothers


                  • #10
                    Going back to the original post, I think research into what's 'best' for any given department has to consider more than just the vehicle. I would agree with many in this thread that having an engine at an MVA (especially one that requires the services of a rescue truck) is a very prudent thing. A rescue/engine can be very versatile, but can't substitute for a well-equipped heavy rescue truck simply because of space.

                    Things like available personnel can figure into what kind of apparatus you should consider; can you staff both an engine and rescue for initial response, or are you generally short-handed? Lots of people around, I'd go for two separate pieces - can't adequately staff them both, either run a rescue/engine, or run a rescue only with mutual aid for backup.

                    Do you respond to all MVA's, just MVA's w/injuries, or only reported entrapments? Do you provide EMS, or is it handled separately? If you run to most or all MVA's in your area automatically, a rescue/pumper may be a good choice as it allows you to handle the majority of problems encountered at an accident, and still head off to fire related incidents and be able to mount an initial attack quickly. If you only get notified when there is an entrapment, I'd want the full-blown rescue truck to insure you have the necessary tools and a separate engine to handle hazards and provide fire protection.

                    Most of the posts center on vehicle rescue; if you have a lot of non-MVA type rescues, a set of step-chocks and a combi-tool on a pumper aren't going to be much use. Depending on what types of rescues you are likely to deal with, you might need hydraulic jacks, trench and collapse shoring, low and high pressure air bags, concrete breaching equipment, acetylene or exothermic torches, rope & technical rescue gear, confined space equipment, atmospheric monitoring devices, water rescue gear... the list goes on. If these types of rescues are likely, a dedicated heavy rescue is the way to go. Most of the equipment listed above is used in situations with little or no need for fire suppression equipment. And if you do get into a really hairy rescue, your personnel can work the rescue, and you can always call for a mutual aid engine if needed.

                    As for what works for us - we're a suburban combination department that responds to all MVA's with unknown or reported injuries, and occasional nasty entrapments, trench rescues, stuck elevators, and construction accidents. We have two rescue/engines (step-chocks, combi-tools, sawzalls, and first-responder EMS equipment), two stuctural engines, a quint, a rescue truck, and a collapse rescue trailer. We run a rescue/engine to all MVA's, unless we're advised of entrapment or unstable vehicles, in which case the rescue truck and a rescue/engine respond. For high angle or technical rescues, the rescue truck and quint are due. For elevators, just the rescue. For trench or collapse, the rescue and the trailer. An engine usually comes to everything too, but mostly for manpower and support. Hope this helps! Stay safe.
                    R.A. Ricciuti
                    Mt. Lebanon Fire Department


                    • #11
                      I'd have to agree with FF Ricciuti on this...there is a bigger picture than just the rig. Case in point from our own 3-company mutual aid district...

                      The rescue company in the agreement used to run two engines and a fully-loaded heavy rescue. On extrication calls, technical rescue incidents, etc., the rescue ran first, followed by an engine (and with whatever other apparatus might be coming, if they were going outside of their home territory). When it came time to replace an engine, they took a serious look at what was happening on their calls, and realized that there was no guarantee, especially in the daytime, that they'd get both rigs out or that a company to whom they were providing aid would get out in time to support their rescue operations. At the same time, the 3-way agreement they were in then, and the one they're in now, provided ample apparatus on structure calls (right now, in any of our 3 territories, a structure alarm brings 4 engines, a squirt, a ladder, 2 tanker-pumpers, a rescue and 2 squads).

                      What they chose to do was this: get a rescue-pumper, devoting much of the rig exclusively to rescue equipment. That way, they have a self-contained unit for vehicle extrications and have plenty of apparatus running on structure calls so that they don't miss the engine company equipment they can't carry because of the rescue equipment (actually, they did a good job on specs, so they aren't missing much). At the same time, their heavy rescue is now primarily a technical rescue and support rig, allowing them to respond to these incidents while leaving their vehicle rescue capabilities free (if there's manpower to support that).

                      Overall, that's worked well for them (and us). It might not fit your situation, but you'd have to figure that part out for yourself.


                      • #12
                        In our department we use a rescue pumper,due to costs of the apparatus.We have one compartment on the vechile for the
                        rescue equipment.Our vechile have got a 3000lt tank of water which is enough for a car fire or maybe a heavy truck involved in fire.Because due to our area as well,that it`s big,you can always turn out to structural fire.And another reminder is that you can use a extinguisher but what about the patient with open wounds and trauma fracture`s,it should be taken into consideration.Also you have a lot more water which you can use with foam.Because know you need 2 vechile`s where you only maybe needed one. :


                        • #13
                          We currently run a Rescue/Pumper, and have found that it's a classic case of 10 lbs of S*** in a 5 lb bag. And we really need to fit 20lbs of S***.
                          My Dept. does fire/rescue and EMS in suburban NY. We cover approx. 10 miles of a busy interstate, and some of the local roads in our district are simply overused by drivers-in-need-of-additional-training. So we see a fair number of bad wrecks. As rescue technology has improved (along with our training), we have added additional equipment, and our RP is about to burst at the seams. Which is why we are currently specing out a new Rescue (see my next post).
                          That being said, there have been times when it sure was nice to pull up on a scene and have enough water and hose to douse the car and the brush fire it caused, while a couple of guys started to set up for the necessary extrication.
                          It's a tough call, especially since all of our manpower can be stretched pretty thin at times.


                          • #14
                            I strongly beleive that pumpers should only be carruying stabilisation equipment and hand tools for rapid intervention use until a rescue appliance arrives.

                            Leave the rescue to the trucks that are equipped and manned for it.

                            Rescue needs to be segregated from all other calls in terms of training, staffing, equipment, response protocols, etc due to the nature of calls.


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