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OT... any Fire Fighters in our community?

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Hi fellas... from a conversation with RAFLou, I was inspired to ask...


Are any of you active/retired Firemen?


I am active duty volunteer, and a member of West Islip FD: Truck Company 4 : H,L & Heavy Rescue (Hurst).


If you are, post where and what... I would like to trade patches if you would like to. :)


All the best,



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I'm a full-time fireman. My department is like 95% volunteer but I'm one of the few paid guys. But on my days off, I'm a volunteer, so I really never have a day off unless I leave town.


The official name of my department is Fire Protection District #1 of West Feliciana Parish, but we call ourselves WFFD. We cover all of West Feliciana Parish except the town of St. Francisville (population ~1500, the only incorporated town in the parish) and the Angola State Penitentiary (22,000 acres, ~5000 inmates). Both of those places have their own fire departments but we have automatic aid with them so I've fought many fires in both places. All told, WFFD's 1st-in area is 432 square miles, pretty much all rural, with about 8500 people spread over it.


To cover this, we have a maximum of 2 paid people on duty at any given time, so rely on volunteers for the vast bulk of our manpower. We have 9 stations. The main one is on the north outskirts of St. Francisville, the other 8 are scattered about the parish near various hamlets where the houses and trailers are a bit closer together than elsewhere. Most of these stations have a set of 1987 FMC pumper (1000gpm, 750 gallons) and tanker (300gpm, 1500 gallons) on Ford F800 chassis, although in the last few years we've gotten a few newer and bigger pumpers at a couple of them. Also, 2 of these stations have rescue trucks on Ford Super Duty chassis. The main station has our latest and greatest trucks: A 2011 Ferrara MVP rescue-pumper (2000gpm, 1000 gallons, heavy rescue stuff), and a 2011 Ferrara super tanker on a KW chassis (1500gpm, 2500 gallons). The MVP is our 1 and only custom cab. We don't have any aerial trucks, although St. Francisville has a telesquirt we can borrow.


When I'm on the clock, I go to 2 of the outlying stations per day and check all the stuff there, then base at the main station. On the volunteer side of things, I'm the captain (our word for supreme warlord) of the outlying station in the unincorporated hamlet of Wakefield. I own a 2008 Ferrara pumper (1250gpm, 1000 gallons) on a KW chassis, a 1999 rescue truck, one of the old FMC tankers, and have a spare 1897 pumper stashed in my extra bay in reserve. I have 8 volunteer troops, half of whom are the wives and daughters of my other troops :).



This is my own personal pumper at the Wakefield station. You can see what our patch looks like on the door.






This is me leaning on our new MVP shortly after its delivery:





This is our new super tanker:






And this is me investigating a possible arson fire at a restaurant. This was back around Thanksgiving. Actually, we'd done the investigation enough to call in the fire marshals. They're looking at it right now. You can see their flashlight beams by the corner of the building in the background there, where the suspicious burn mark is on the outside of the wall. Fire started at 2345, this pic was taken about 0530. And the Hell of it was, during overhaul, we couldn't find a single intact beer :blink:











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Damn it OvS, look what you've done. I've had all this OT fireman stuff bottled up and now you've pulled the plug on it. As you know, firemen like nothing more (after doing something particularly gallant for a damsel in distress and hooking up with them afterwards) than showing off their toys. But I figure it's for recruting. After all, 3 out of 4 US firemen are volunteers, so if this thread convinces just 1 more nutjob to join our ranks, it's a service to humanity. It's either that or prison for most of us. Seriously :drinks:.


As such, I've taken the liberty of expounding on some fireman stuff for potential recruits. If you look closely at some of my pics, you'll see a section on the side of the truck just behind the cab with all sorts knobs and dials. That's the control panel for the pump. Now admittedly, this looks as complicated as a cathedral organ, such as might stymie even JS Bach. But fear not. Firemen by and large are entirely paleolithic, brute-force-and-ignorance guys and in recent years pump control panels have begun to take that into account. When I came up, being a pump operator was a sort of mystic thing. You were the witchdoctor of the tribe, possessing arcane knowledge handed down in secret by previous shamans. But that was just hype to breed egos. Seriously, back then, all you did was open the hose valve and turn up the throttle until you could see about 1 finger of air between the nozzleman's boots and the ground, then back off about 1/4 turn. Of course, there was this tedious relief valve you had to set, too, depending on how many hoses you had in action, but that was even simpler. Nowadays, things have been reduced to an even lower common denominator. On my truck, you just push the "Preset" button on the throttle panel (see pic below--it's the green one) and some computer in the truck takes care of the throttle and relief. It doesn't care how many hoses you have going, it'll keep them all at the right pressure so the nozzlemen are just barely touching the ground. The pump operator doesn't even have to see them. In fact, he can walk away and use a hose himself, which is of course why we all got in the business.


So here's a close-up of my engine's pump panel, with legend. See, all the valves have their gauges right next to them, as if you'd ever look at them. Even newer trucks color-code everything to make it even plainer. This is a far cry from our 1987 pumpers, which were a bit voodoo.




See? Nothing to it.




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