Tag Archives: engineer

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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A new chapter for this writer.

View form the basketMany of you regular readers know that while I’m not rocking out as a Poochamungas or performing my stay at home dad duties I am a full time firefighter for the City of Chicago. Well nearly 18 years of service I managed to get myself promoted to Fire Engineer.  What does this mean? Well I used to be assigned to a Truck Company known as Tower Ladder 21. A Tower Ladder is a truck company with a big ladder on the truck with an additional basket hanging over the front of the rig. This is especially used to put water on bigger fires along with the usual truck duties of search and rescue, ventilation and overhaul.  Different from the Engine Tower LadderCompany who carries the hose and puts water on the fire. There is a lot of friendly rivalry between these two entities in the firehouse but it takes both working in tandem to get the job done.  After finishing training I shall become the driver of that Engine sending water through that hose to the firefighters putting out the blaze.  It’s one of the most critical jobs on any fire department because without water you ain’t putting out the fire.  To get the job the department sends you back to school for a few weeks, 8 hours a day, forty hours a week. Who knew an 8 hour day couldEngines in the shop. be longer than a 24 hour shift?  I write this because the blog may be a bit quieter in the next few weeks as I shift my attention to learning again after a long hiatus from schooling. We shall still  be here a couple times a week talking about the kindie world, music and other things that peak my interest. I have a few more songs to discuss and maybe a thing or to about Engineer school.  Thanks for reading and see you here next week.  I’ve included our song Big Red if you have anymore questions about the Engine or Truck.

Big Red