The new regulations for diesel engine emissions have many changes and terminology that can be quite confusing. DPF, DEF, Regeneration - what does it all mean? Fire departments need to know. When a new apparatus is purchased, this type of information is in the chassis manual for your particular truck.
These changes have been put in place to reduce the amount of “black soot” we commonly see out of diesel exhausts. The US has taken the initiative to lower emissions below those in Europe and Japan. I remember the old days when the diesels were two-stroke. There was plenty of acceleration and power, but also lots of black-colored exhaust. Then four-stroke diesels started appearing. We lost some performance, but this was enhanced with turbocharging.
How quickly can your crew set up a foam operation? For this article, I am talking about trucks (standard pumpers) that have foam containers and a foam eductor attached to a discharge gate. I am not talking about trucks that have foam piped into their systems.
With that said, you still need to drill and exercise your system on a regular basis — whatever system that may be. You will do more harm than good if you just let it sit and never do anything, expecting it to work when needed.
All fire departments should perform some sort of routine fire apparatus checks to ensure readiness. This includes the daily, weekly, monthly, and periodic preventive maintenance (PM) checks. PM checks are usually done by the emergency vehicle technician (EVT) and will take the apparatus out of service for a day or two. However, the PM check and the in-station checks should support each other. If done thoroughly and competently, the in-station checks can reduce the downtime of a PM.
Every apparatus needs the tires changed, the chassis lubed, the oil changed, and numerous other tasks that cannot always be done in the station. Most departments have to go outside their system to get these bigger jobs done—something that’s not cheap but necessary. But, too many of them wait for the PM checks to take care of all (or most) maintenance issues at once.
Fire departments — and the firefighters that operate them — are pillars of the community. People come by the station to vote, install child safety seats, have their blood pressure taken, check out all the cool equipment and a whole host of other things.
I still remember when children would take their bikes to my fire station to have the on-duty crew fix a broken chain or repair a flat tire. We are public servants who have the duty and honor of leaving a positive impression on the communities we serve.