Experiments with Fire Bikes – Do they work?

Credit Wikipedia

Here’s something you may not have heard of before – fire bikes.

As strange as it sounds, some fire departments around the world utilize motorcycles in the fire department for various reasons, some even being equipped with firefighting gear, including fire extinguishers, water jets, and first aid materials.

The purpose of bikes owned and operated by fire departments are different in just about every case. Some of the ways they are used is:

  • To fight fires – Some bikes are actually equipped with small fire fighting equipment like foam, hoses, water jets, or fire extinguishers. They can be used to start fighting a fire, or to put out a very small fire.
  • To get to the fire faster – During times of congestion, a motorcycle will get to a distress call faster than a huge fire truck. They can assess the situation and start helping those people who need help and letting the fire engine know what to expect when they arrive.
  • Safety awareness campaigns – Many forces use their motorcycles to run safety awareness campaigns to ensure people are riding properly, wearing the right helmet, and obeying the laws. These are usually done in conjunction with the police department, and can be week-long events, month-long events, ongoing campaigns, or done in parades.

Who uses fire bikes?

There are a number of departments around the world that use these bikes to assist in their fire fighting and rescue jobs.

  • Here are examples of countries that use them:
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Denmark
  • Hong Kong
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • UK (Around Liverpool, they have been tested fairly extensively for various purposes, and the area serves as an experiment that may be replicated across the country)
  • US (Did you know that LA did a trial run in 2012 with fire bikes to help cut down response time during congestion?)

Now, it’s typical for these places to literally only have a couple of fire bikes, so they’re really not extensively used, but as you can see, there is a wide variety of places that use them.

That’s why it’s hard to tell how well they work. The Merseyside experiment (Liverpool, UK), has been ongoing for a number of years now, and it is as if they have not yet reached a conclusion. They have used the bikes for just about all of the things we outlined above that the motorcycles can be used for, but so far there hasn’t been much uptake in the rest of the country.

Nothing seems to have come from the LA experiment, either.

So, while the idea is certainly interesting, it is fair to say that motorcycles are not well-equipped to be in the business of fighting fires, even if it is just for rapid response. Once the rider arrives, there is very little they can do, and it is likely a very stressful situation as they may be witnessing a burning building and can do absolutely nothing to start putting it out.

Finally, let’s remember that no matter what we are doing in regards to bike riding, we always must be vigilant, utilize the proper safety gear, get the best motorcycle helmet you can find, and assume defensive driving tactics, because the car will always come away with less damage than you, even if it’s not your fault.

The Firefighting Application Process

Fire-fighting is a rewarding career and even mere volunteers will tell you that they would not exchange the experience for anything else. If you are earnestly pursuing a career or job in fire-fighting then please scan through the following information.

Firefighting Application Process

The Application Process For Becoming A Firefighter

Typically, when a fire department is looking for new recruits they will advertise vacant positions on career opportunity websites and in newspapers. Some are looking for new employees every couple of years or on a yearly basis. The potential fire-fighting prospects should first, genuinely weigh their skills and qualifications against those of the firefighting job requirements before they fill out and render an application.

Application Process

The actual application process will include: an application form, a short listing of applicants as well as a physical evaluation and skills test. The first test that is ordinarily provided is an agility examination. The (CPAT) or Candidate Physical Ability Test is an effective exam that is used to assess a candidate’s physical abilities in performing job tasks related to fire-fighting. It is very physically intense and requires an applicant to use their mental and physical abilities as well as balance.

The (CPAT) includes eight events that must be completed in 10 minutes and 20 seconds. The events include: stair climbing, hose dragging, equipment carrying, ladder raising, forcible entries, searches, rescue dragging and ceiling breaches and pulling.

Next Exam – Written Segment

If you meet the specific requirements in the previous test then the next exam is for the written segment. This test will examine the candidate’s abilities to learn and execute a fire-fighter’s job. It will ascertain one’s capacity to read, comprehend and apply new content, reasoning skills, basic level mathematics, spatial and mechanical ability as well as judging how one reacts in situations. The passing score will be determined by the community or city and the candidate will be informed accordingly.

Again, if the written exam has been successfully completed then the oral panel examination may commence. Fortunately for this test, no prior knowledge of fire-fighting is essentially required. Commonly a passing score for the test is 50% or thereabouts. Any fire-fighting candidate who can pass all of these tests will then be placed onto an eligibility list that can last up to two years.

More Requirements

Most, if not all fire departments will require that you have a high school graduate or equivalent certificate, a valid State motor license and a clean driving record. A thorough criminal record search will be undertaken before any appointments are arranged. You will need to make sure you’ve done a good job constructing the perfect firefighting resume as well. The hopefuls who are chosen from the list will more than likely be interviewed by the Board of Fire Commissions or associated titles depending on one’s location.

Fire Wood 101

Are you looking to save a little money this winter by using fire wood? Heating your home with fire wood instead of oil can be a great way to cut down your energy bills as well as help out the environment.

 

Since burning wood does not require the environmentally hazardous extraction and refining processes that oil requires, you can take comfort knowing that you are choosing a more sustainable energy source. Plus, wood costs a lot less and has a more stable price, so you won’t have to deal with the obscene price hikes that oils sees.

 

However, it is very important to follow the proper handling, storage and safety procedures for fire wood. If you plan on heating your house with fire wood this winter, read below to see our important safety tips.Fire Wood

 

Storage

 

You can either cut down the trees and split the fire wood yourself, or purchase already cut logs or even portions of split wood. “Split” wood usually refers to wood that has been cut up so that you can easily place it in the stove. It is usually sold in “quarts,” which is about four feet by four feet.

 

That’s quite a lot of wood! You will need a cool, dry place to store the wood until you’re ready to burn it. Some people opt to keep the wood outside and covered with a tarp to keep the moisture out, while others store wood in the basement or the garage.

 

Either way, you will need to try to find a way to store the wood so it doesn’t get damp and rot. Rotting wood will never burn well, and your plan to save money over the winter will be ruined. Therefore, store wood in a neat stack with small spaces in between so that the air can get in and dry the individual pieces out. You’ll also want to devote some extra time to stacking the wood so that it doesn’t fall down. If the pile tips over, rot can still set in and destroy your hard work. It also looks unsightly!

 

Keeping the Stove Safe

 

Additionally, you’ll want to find a way to keep your stove or burning unit safe. Never store the fire wood too close to the stove because if a stray spark catches the dry pile of wood, your home can easily go up in flames. Instead, store the pile of wood in a separate room or even outside.

 

Additionally, you’ll need to make sure the stove is carefully separated from small children and pets. Put up a fence around the stove, made of metal or other non-flammable material so that no one can accidentally get too close to the stove and suffer a burn. This fence will also keep flammable material, such as stray paper or other such substance, from drifting onto the hot stove.

 

Other Safety Concerns

 

If you’re planning on burning fire wood, make sure your house is also equipped with working smoke detectors and a clean, functional chimney. If needed, schedule a chimney cleaning by a professional in order to remove any debris from the chimney, which can also be a fire hazard. Test your smoke detectors regularly to ensure that they are working properly, and also consider installing a home security system that will notify the fire department at the first sign of trouble. While saving money with fire wood is good, it always pays to remember safety first!

The ABCs of Fire Extinguishers and Other Home Safety Tips

Are you a homeowner who is as prepared as can be for any emergency or disaster that may befall your home? While many of us consider ourselves prepared, at least minimally, that won’t cut it. In the event of a fire, earthquake or other emergency, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible in order to protect all that you own and all that you have built.

 

One great way to be prepared is to have a fire extinguisher on hand. A fire extinguisher will be able to put out small fires that would otherwise spread and consume your entire house. Read on to learn more about fire extinguishers, fire extinguisher ratings and how they can help you.

 

The ABCs of Fire Extinguisher Codesfire extinguisher ratings

 

A fire extinguisher is a special kind of safety equipment that is designed to swiftly reduce fires by blowing pressurized air onto the flames. There are several types of fire extinguishers, organized by codes, that are meant to handle different types of fires. These codes are known as the ABCs of fire extinguisher ratings.

 Class A

The first code, Class A, refers to a fire extinguisher that will put out fires started by trash, paper or wood. This is the most basic type of fire extinguisher and uses the chemical monoammonium phosphate, which will smother fires started by any of these materials.

 Class B

The second, Class B, will work against fires started by liquids, like cooking oils, gasoline, paint, and kerosene. This type of fire extinguisher will use two chemicals, monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate to put out the fire. While the first chemical will smother the fire, the second will also create a chemical reaction that will extinguish the flames.

 Class C

The third code, Class C, will extinguish electrical fires. Using the same chemicals as Class B fire extinguishers, this extinguisher uses more concentrated levels because electrical fires can spread much faster because of the energy being conducted through the faulty wiring.

 

These different classes of fire extinguishers also come with sub-categories depending on the strength of the fire they are meant to put out. These sub-categories are identified by numbers next to the code.

 

Therefore, you should consider carefully what kind of fire extinguisher you would like for your home. For example, do you have a home office with lots of computers and other electronics? It may be wise to invest in a class C fire extinguisher to keep near this room, while a Class B or Class A extinguisher may be more useful to have near the kitchen, where fires started by cooking oil or burning wood may be more likely to happen.

 

Other Safety Tips

 

Aside from having a fire extinguisher, it is also important to take other steps to ensure the safety of the home and everyone in it. For example, you can consider investing in other safety equipment such as an emergency escape ladder, a home security system and a smothering blanket to cover small fires.

 

You should also make sure to have the correct number of smoke detectors for your home – experts recommend one for each room of the house. Test the batteries regularly and make sure to replace them if necessary. These smoke detectors will alert you if there is a small fire, which will allow you the necessary time to put it out before it gets out of control!  Learn more about the use of quick clot on our site as a quick measure in the event of an emergency.

How to Buy a Good Pair of Fire Boots

By Sally Smith

Are you starting out as a firefighter and are getting ready to buy your first pair of fire boots? Having the right gear is very important, but in no area is this more true than your feet!

 

While you may think of your feet only as an afterthought as you go out to our assignments, they’re actually your number one ally. Don’t believe me? Try carrying a victim out of a building when you have blisters on the backs of both ankles. Then you’ll want to do just about anything to take the pain away. Additionally, since you wear boots to work and your feet sweat, you’re at risk for Athlete’s Foot, Jungle Foot, Foot Fungus, ingrown toenails and other unpleasant and painful conditions.Fire boots

 

Additionally, if you’re wearing improper gear, you can also be at risk for other injuries on the job. For example, if you’re wearing ill-fitting boots, you’re more at risk for a sprained ankle or even a broken bone. Not only will that get you taken off duty for recovery, but you could end up stuck in a burning building and unable to escape due to your injury. That is definitely a nightmare situation for any firefighter!

 

With all that in mind, one of your main priorities should be taking care of your feet by choosing the right brand for you. Read on to learn more about how to choose the perfect pair of boots to keep your feet safe and comfortable while you’re out, you know, saving lives.

 

Consider Going Custom

 

Since your fire boots are going to be your lifeline to better performance on your shift, you’ll want to make sure you get the best pair you can find. Brands vary by material, size and quality, and not all sizes fit all (pun intended!). If possible, you can consider going with a brand that lets you submit your foot measurements and material preferences and order the perfect pair of boots for your feet. While custom-made boots may cost a bit more, remember that if you invest in a perfect pair you’ll be able to keep them longer. Boots that fit better won’t need to be replaced as often.

 

Great Brands to Try On for Size

 

Most firefighters overwhelmingly recommend White’s Smokejumper boots. Running at $400, these boots are a worthy investment. However, don’t be afraid to check out other brands, like Under Armor, Magnum, Rocky and Smith and Wesson. Remember to make sure to try on your fire boots before actually settling on making a purchase.

 

Once you have your perfect pair of boots, keep them looking swell by polishing them regularly. This will also prevent against any damage or wear and tear that will diminish their quality.

 

Don’t Forget Socks!

After you have your ideal pair of fire boots, don’t forget to find the ideal pair of socks. Ill-fitting socks can give you painful blisters, even in the most comfortable custom-made boot.

 

Experts recommend wearing two pairs of socks made of natural fibers. One great brand is Smartwool, which is designed to keep your feet protected and warm while not being too scratchy. You can also layer them easily without having them bunch up or rub you the wrong way.

Become a Volunteer Firefighter

 

Are you looking for a thrilling way to contribute to your community in your spare time? Serving as a volunteer firefighter can be a rewarding, fulfilling way to serve your community. You can serve in a band of comrades, help keep the community safe and even save lives.

 

However, being a volunteer firefighter is a really big commitment. It will require training, stamina and long nights on call. If you are thinking about becoming a volunteer firefighter, here are some things to think about.

 

Are you of age?volunteer firefighter

 

Fire departments have a minimum age requirement to serve with them. This will vary depending on which department you want to work with, but generally you have to be a legal adult, which means over 21 years old. Some departments may require you to be even older. However, some departments have a “junior firefighter” program, where you can ride along in the fire truck and observe.

 

Are you in good physical condition?

 

Volunteer fire departments have tough physical condition requirements. You will have to pass a series of tests that will look at strength and stamina. The job also requires you to be physically fit, able to lift heavy things, climb a latter and move quickly.

 

How much free time do you have?

 

Since this is a volunteer position, there won’t be any payment. However, you may be able to get a tax refund or reimbursement for expenses on the job. There is also a minimum hourly requirement, sometimes upwards of twenty hours per week or more, but this will depend on a number of factors, such as your area, the number of volunteers and the rules of the department.

 

Can I become a career firefighter after volunteering?

 

Actually, if you are looking to build a career as a firefighter, then volunteering is a great place to start. You can work toward passing all of the tests, get training on the job, and rack up some experience. You’ll also be able to build contacts within the firefighting community who will be able to inform you if there is a full-time staff position.

 

Becoming a Volunteer Firefighter: The Next Steps

 

If you feel that volunteering as a firefighter is right for you, then your first step is to contact your local fire department. Since each department is different, you will need to directly ask about the rules and requirements for volunteers.

 

The next step is to get in shape. Learn about the requirements for your fitness test and train accordingly. Go on regular runs, do strength exercises, or even work with a personal trainer to make sure you reach the objectives. You may also have to work to shed a few extra pounds if you’re over the weight limit.

 

Once you have scheduled and passed your fitness test, you will need to begin your training. All volunteer firefighters have to complete 110 hours of NFPA certification. You may also need additional training, depending on your department. Some volunteer firefighters also opt to get EMT certification along with their NFPA certification, so that they can assist in a medical emergency. When you have finished your training and passed your exams, you can get fitted for gear, get your personal radio, and get ready to start saving lives!

Mastering the Ten Codes

By Sally Smith

Are you new to the world of firefighting? Firefighters are some of the most indispensable community members. Not only do they save lives on a regular basis, but they are also responsible for keeping our property and communities safe from fire hazards.

 

If you are looking to join this noble profession, then one thing you will need to learn is the firefighter codes, also known as the ten codes. These are verbal instructions given from a dispatcher over a radio and signify important information you will need to do your job. Read on to learn more about firefighter codes and some tips on how to learn them.

 

Ten Codes for FirefightersFirefighter codes

 

Here are the ten codes that firefighters need to know. As you can see, there are many of them that are meant to cover a wide variety of different commands and reports. The commands are verbal and are expressed as “ten-” followed by the corresponding number.

 

  • 10-0 Caution
  • 10-1 Unable to copy — change location
  • 10-2 Signal good
  • 10-3 Stop transmitting
  • 10-4 Acknowledgement (OK)
  • 10-5 Relay
  • 10-6 Busy — stand by unless urgent
  • 10-7 Out of service
  • 10-8 In service
  • 10-18 Quickly
  • 10-19 Return to …
  • 10-20 Location
  • 10-21 Call … by telephone
  • 10-22 Disregard
  • 10-23 Arrived at scene
  • 10-24 Assignment completed
  • 10-33 Emergency
  • 10-39 Urgent — use light, siren
  • 10-40 Silent run — no light, siren
  • 10-41 Beginning tour of duty
  • 10-42 Ending tour of duty
  • 10-43 Information
  • 10-50 Accident (fatal, personal injury, property damage)
  • 10-51 Wrecker needed
  • 10-52 Ambulance needed
  • 10-60 Squad in vicinity
  • 10-61 Isolate self for message
  • 10-62 Reply to message
  • 10-63 Prepare to make written copy
  • 10-64 Message for local delivery
  • 10-65 Net message assignment
  • 10-66 Message cancellation
  • 10-67 Clear for net message
  • 10-68 Dispatch information
  • 10-69 Message received
  • 10-70 Fire
  • 10-71 Advise nature of fire
  • 10-72 Report progress on fire
  • 10-73 Smoke report
  • 10-74 Negative
  • 10-75 In contact with …
  • 10-76 En route …
  • 10-77 ETA (estimated time of arrival)
  • 10-78 Need assistance
  • 10-79 Notify coroner
  • 10-84 If meeting … advise ETA
  • 10-85 Delayed due to …
  • 10-86 Officer/operator on duty
  • 10-87 Pick up/distribute checks
  • 10-88 Present telephone number of …
  • 10-97 Check (test) signal

 

Tips on how to learn the firefighter codes

 

These codes are very important because they give firefighters and other emergency personnel a way to communicate efficiently. Each code explains exactly what’s happening without going into detail and wasting valuable time.

Find the Firefighter Code of Ethics here.

 

Therefore, it is very important that you learn these codes too if you want to be a firefighter. While it may look like a lot, these firefighter codes aren’t that difficult to remember if you practice. If needed, you can quiz yourself using flashcards or get a friend to help read from a list and ask you the correct responses. You can also try writing them down as a way to study, as research has shown that writing something down will help embed it in your memory. Reviewing the codes before going to sleep each night will help too.

 

Regardless of how you learn them, mastering these firefighter codes will help take you one step closer to your career as a firefighter.