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Building a Rescue App./ Team from an existing engine. I need some ideas!!

I work for a meduim city, with a mid sized department. We are a career department serving ~ 19,000 citizens. We have 3 stations, 3 engines (KME pumpers), and 1 - 95' truck (KME). We have been asked by our Chief to begin to refurb a 1995 750 gal KME engine to make it a rescue for our city. We have developed a committee to tackle a lot of the questions and desicions we will be facing. This is where I need your help. Any help, suggestions, or how your department does it will be very useful. Some of the topics we will be tackling are:

- What tools to equip the rescue with
- What will be the SOP for crew on the fireground
- What to call the apparatus
- What training should each FF have

These are just to name a few. Any other suggestions or what has worked for your department will be gladely accepted. I will check back periodically and answer all questions or provide more detail if possible. Thank you in advance, and I look forward to the interesting conversations.

Jeff Miles
Nicholasville Fire Department

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Hi Jeff
If I read the question right it sounds like what we did with basically the same manpower stations and etc. What we house on ours is a set of jaws, air bags, cribbing, alot of spare bottles, all of our rope and harness, stokes basket, tripod for confined space. We also carry all of our cold water rescue equipment on it, mustang suites ropes etc. Misc. tool boxes, hand tools irons axes, pike pols, etc,generator portable lighting, water can extinguishers (co2 and dry chem) porta power. and we also double it up as the fire investigation unit so it halls all of those tools as well (those of course are locked away in the cupboards) I would recommend for training, on this apparatus Confined space, rope rescue, water rescue, auto extrication, at least a hazmat tech, FAST training and possible ladder co ops. I guess it depends mostly however what you encounter that you feel you need a specialty team in that area if your in the "sticks" I might recommend wild land search and wild land firefighting as well. To be honest with you our truck mostly goes to fire investigations or is used for company drills. It is probably one of our least used resources, but it is their if we need it and I guess thats what matters. Hope this helped
Take care
Great info Shawn. Thank you for your input.
Hello Jeff.

Personally I would set the rig up like a Squad company in New York City, a compartment for each scenario(Confined space, rope, ventilation, engine, extrication, hazmat). First I would equip the rig with extrication tools, cribbing, saws, stokes and the basic truck equipment. Training wise I would start with extrication, confined space, and rope gear, possibly hazmat. I would then determine what your city has as far as rescue prone activities or areas. If you have a river, or lake in the city, water rescue training and equipment might be good to throw on the rig. Running the rig as engine, in its first due area, and as a rescue out side of the first due area, on structural calls maybe the way to go. If you have the manpower, a 6 man rig might work well. You could break the crew in to two and have engine and truck capabilities, or engine/truck and RIC capability. Training is going to be the biggest issue I believe, because each specialize rescue demands lengthy training exercises. Determine which scenarios are most common or possible and start there and then you can expand later on.

Good luck with the rig.

Stay Safe Brother.
-Jeff, call it a Rescue or a Squad... whatever you want. Just don't call it an engine.
-To that end, when doing the referb I would suggest removing the pump and the plumbing. I know several communities that have done this.
-Removing the pump adds a tremendous amount of space for storage of equipment. Furthermore, it helps cement the mindset in all members, including those not assigned to the Rescue, that the company is intended to address and mitigate the non routine incident.
-As to training I would suggest contacting a company such as ROCO which specializes in certified training with respect to heavy technical rescue training including ropes, high angle, confined space etc... The training must address the non routine fire calls such as high hazard rescues (nursing homes, hotels...) as well advanced vehicle extrication and especially RIT training.
-Equipment should include a full compliment of Hurst extrication equipment, several ropes i various sizes with class 3 harnesses, several sized to fit over bunker gear. Rigging equipment including mechanical advantage, larger scba's, specialized cutting torches, thermal imaging cameras.... The list of equipment is based on specific community needs and should only be commensurate to the training of the company.
-Drop me a line if you would like some assistance with establishing SOP's.
I like and agree with your ideas. We begin today with a sort of "informational" meeting. We are going to try and get everyone on the same page and figure out the scope of the company. I would like to keep in touch and bounce some ideas off of you when your available. Also, some help creating SOP's would be extremely helpful. I'll keep you up to date on the progress. It may take awhile though, you know how quick the government moves. Thanks again for the ideas. Stay safe.
Drop me a line anytime Jeff

Jeff Miles said:
I like and agree with your ideas. We begin today with a sort of "informational" meeting. We are going to try and get everyone on the same page and figure out the scope of the company. I would like to keep in touch and bounce some ideas off of you when your available. Also, some help creating SOP's would be extremely helpful. I'll keep you up to date on the progress. It may take awhile though, you know how quick the government moves. Thanks again for the ideas. Stay safe.
Hey Jeff,

"Building" is the key word to what you are trying to achieve. The first is to do a needs assesment of your community and the geographics that make it up. The second is to determine the manpower available (if vol.) that will operate on the unit when called. For each discipline you are to train in, you should buy the equipment for that discipline and train to be proficient so you stay focused. Then move to the next and so on. Operating as a Squad is a more versatile way if a heavy rescue is not needed with a larger savings for equipment and training. As a past Captain of an Eng Co. that took an Eng Co and built it to a Squad Level, it takes time, Equipment, Lots of training, and commitment of all, to see it through and reap the rewards of everyones efforts when you go on a job. Check out the photo's of our apparatus on my members page and you can see for yourself. We cover confined space, EMS, Tec.Rope Rescue, RIT, Ice and Cold water rescue, Light extracation,(heavy rescue next town 1/2 mile away), County LDH Pipeline Task force as well as Engine Co operations. The fruits of your time and labor will be COMMITMENT !!! Good luck and Train,Train,Train !!!!

Hey Jeff,

Here's a few more ideas. You did not mention if you run EMS too. If so, you'll need to make sure your hydraulic tool needs are covered on this rig if you're other units do not. The other guys left you some good tips for a squad operation vs a full out rescue. Don't rush into it but get everyone's ideas, make an expandable plan and stick together with your crew. Things to consider;

Is this unit a spare piece to run first line if the newer rigs are OOS for repairs? If so, you may have to strip the squad to run with your first due equipment. That takes your dedicated squad out of the picture plus now you have gear and tools all over the place in the firehouse. If you can dedicate this unit as a squad type unit, do you have enough compartment space for all your gear? if not, plan on modifying the body for larger compartments or changing to a newer body. But that all costs extra coin to do and it might reduce the other tools and gear you could purchase with the same funds used to retrofit the older truck.

Don't rule out looking for a good used truck to fit your needs. You may find that you can get a decent piece with low hours/mileage to get your feet wet before you really spec out your "dream" piece in the future. Make sure you can dedicate manpower too. If not, you may have to run this as a 2 piece team with the crew you have until the responses get high enough for this unit to stand alone. It has worked elsewhere with good results. Good luck.


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