Cold Weather Operations – Some random thoughts

I probably should have put this one out earlier but with a bunch of serious fires here in Massachusetts and Rhode Island lately, and the single digit temperatures, I thought I would get it out now.

* Always, always circulate water in the pump during cold weather operations. Don’t forget quint apparatus either!

* Sand and speeding dri can be used at the front doors and entry points of working fires to prevent members from taking a tumble.

* Keep nozzles flowing to avoid freeze-ups

* Notify the water department so that hydrants that have been used can be drained down, or have anti freeze added.

* Dress in layers whenever you can. I never heard anyone complain about an extra pair of wool socks.

* Camping supply hand Warner’s and foot Warner’s can be used. (Don’t tell the crew they will call you sissy names, but at least you will be warm!)

* If hose and equipment is badly frozen, contact your local towing company and they will assist you with a flat bed so you are not twisting, folding and compressing hose and items that might cause damage.

* Chauffeurs should be extremely conscious of battery maintenance in the extreme cold. Also depending how cold the temps are tire pressures can fluctuate considerably.

* Check for excessive condensation in air brake systems and air ride suspension systems on ambulances.

* Keep your SCBA regulator inside your coat whenever you can due to condensation buildup during use, and temperature change from inside to out.

* Consider a plan for taking care of residents affected by the fire, keep them out of the elements when you can.

* Consider additional alarms sooner. Things will freeze, men will operate slower, and conditions dictate more manpower.

* Remember in single digit temperatures, smoke color may be lighter due to frozen water vapor, and may move slower, and this could affect size up and your initial read of the situation.

* Make sure hydrants, dry hydrants and water holes are cleared out as early as possible.

* Make sure access to boat ramps and ponds are cleared and not ignored, so you have access for ice rescues.

There are tons of these, so feel free to send along any others to info@petelamb.com

Stay safe…….and Stay Warm!

( This post is not intended for our readers in the warmer climates and does not apply to friends I have on the job I’m Florida who tell me it’s cold when it is 45 degrees either!)

Pete Lamb @ Copyright 2012
For information contact pete@petelamb.com