Truckies in da house!

Ladder 1 inside 13

Our house was full of “truckies” tonight. For all my “non-firefighting” readers, a “truckie” is a term we use to describe a Brother or Sister who is assigned to a “Ladder” or “Truck” Company.

Depending on your geographical location, there are many different names for a Ladder Truck. You may hear them called such things as an  Aerial, a Ladder, a Truck, a Hook and Ladder , a TOWER or maybe even a Quint . These “labels” only partially describe the rig and get nowhere close to defining the members on board.

You see, much like a Heavy Rescue and different from an Engine (pumper); a Ladder Truck is a huge rolling tool box! It’s more than just a rig with a 100′ aerial attached to it’s top. It’s a VITAL piece of equipment on most any emergency scene. With that said, the rig by itself is worthless without a well trained and disciplined crew.

On the fire ground, a Truck Company is typically responsible for assignments such as Forcible Entry, Search and Rescue, Ventilation, Utility Control, Salvage and Overhaul. In my Department, our “Ladder Trucks” are also responsible for Vehicle Extrication and carry the “jaws of life”. Obviously, these rigs carry a wide variety of tools and equipment. on Face Book HERE

E13 with chains onThe reason we had a house full of “Truckies” tonight was because they were trading in their regular ride (100′ Pierce tiller) for a reserve piece (121′ straight rear mount) that we house here at “Lucky #13”. You’ll never guess why so I’ll just tell ya …. it was because it’s gonna snow!

Yep, it’s not all about milk and bread at the firehouse when the forecast is for 1′ or more of heavy, wet snow…. it’s about snow chains.

Ladder 1 is equipped with “OnSpot” (link) chains however, they do not work in deep snow. That means that we have to use traditional type chains in these conditions but guess what?? They wont fit!

Yea… the clearance between the tire and wheel well trim is not enough to allow for chains so the boys decided to park their pride and joy and trade her out for a 1991 reserve piece during the big storm.

Ladder 1 changing out at Station 13They had equipment scattered EVERYWHERE!

Everything had to be moved over …. or at least as much as would fit …LOL.

We pulled our rig out so that we could get both Ladder Trucks inside during the switch over. I have to admit that it was pretty cool having em both in the house at the same time.

This house actually had a Ladder assigned here at one time. Several years back, they reassigned what was then Ladder #9 to Station #13 to allow for a Medic Unit to be placed in service at #9. I was actually assigned to Ladder #13 for about a year when I was promoted to 1st Lieutenant.

Since that time, Stations #5 and #9 have been closed and consolidated into a new “Super” station. The Ladder was moved from here and relocated at the “new” Station #5 where it’s currently assigned with an Engine, Medic and Battalion. Confusing… I know.

I actually rode another Ladder of ours just last week while working a tour for a Brother on B-shift. You can read about that ride in the link below …

Read “Firehouse vs. Fire Station”

Ladder 1 K-sawSo anyway, we gave the Truckies a little help switching everything over.

Allowing us to help was a big step for these boys …. Truckies are not very trusting (especially of Engine men) and they like to think (or at least feel like) they do all the work. They were more than a little nervous about us getting to not only see but to also touch some of their fancy equipment. They watched us like a hawk … LOL!

I do have to say that I wanted to give their new Stihl TS410 (link) a try. I even thought about striking up a conversation about their choice of blades and asking why it wasn’t a Tempest VentMaster Diamond Cutoff (link) or a WartHog (link) but I thought better of it. You can’t talk to a truckie without a lot of grunting and hand signals plus, there was a funny odor around one of them so I didn’t want to get too close…. LMAO.

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Ladder 1

All kidding aside, our “Truckies” are some great firemen. We like to call em “Bulls” because that’s how they come in a fire scene. These boys get the job done. Hell …. all we (Engine Companies) have to do is put out the fire! LOL

They did make one big mistake tonight by leaving the keys in Ladder 1. Depending on what we catch, we just may take the ol tiller on our next run! She is a beautiful rig and what I call a “real” ladder truck (because it “swivels in the middle”).

So anyway, we’re getting prepared for the big blizzard that’s headed our way. The snow is supposed to start in the morning and last through Thursday. I hope all of you are getting ready too (and I’m not talking about milk and bread).  In case you somehow missed it, I’ll add a link to a previous post concerning winter weather operations….I’m back on duty Thursday and will see ya then ….

Read “Cold Weather Tips” HERE

Stay SAFE and in House!

Captain Wines