Fire Engineer… A whole new world.

Airport Crashrig. Yet another type of engine!

Airport Crashrig. Yet another type of engine!

We have nearly completed half of Fire Engineer school here in Chicago and it’s been a lot to learn for me and my fellow students.  Everyday we are learning new terms, math and everything it takes to do the job.  As a firefighter you take the Engineer for granted when your at a fire because all he has to do is drive you there, send the water and be first in the food line for meals.  Easy peasy.  Well maybe not always.  Seems the engineer has a few things to do before he sends the water. If your relieving (Assigned to a district instead of a specific firehouse.  Lot’s of travel.) like I’ll be doing for a while the first thing he’ll need to do is know what kind of rig your on and what kind of hoses, pipes and other stuff that particular engine company carries. Then when the bell rings…  What’s the best route to  to the fire?  After arriving on scene does he has a fire hydrant or is he sending tank water?  If sending tank water he only has 500 gallons so how long will that last on a hose spewing out 150 gallons per minute?  Where can he acquire a water source while he is on tank water?  Is the fire hydrant frozen (a very common occurrence this winter) is another engine gonna need to feed him water and so on…  Some of these things he’ll have the officers help with but once the officer heads into the fire he is on his own.  Gives one a new appreciation for what they do. Hopefully I learn me a thing or two before the class is through.  Because without water at a fire things can turn bad quickly.

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