Old Fire Engines, Jack Team Work, and Team Triathlon Training

As always with a post, we try to add a training piece you can add to your tackle box.  This time the training piece is going to be quick and first thing then on to a pretty exciting bit of history at the firehouse yesterday followed by a bit of physical fitness.  Get the training piece at least and keep reading for a little extra.  The picture to the left is from the other day when we were searching for walleye again on Lake Erie without great luck.


Jack Team Work

There is two parts to this quick discussion on high lift jacks, innovation and training.  First the innovation,  Andrew Brassard shared some pictures of some high lift jack sleeves he saw in Michigan.  As the story goes…

At a fire in a furniture store in Pontiac a floor collapse happened and a firefighter was trapped inbetween the floor collapse. Firefighters tried to get to him from on top of the floor collapse, but they quickly realized that there is no way of getting to him so they went to the basement.  They could see the firefighter trapped about 7 or 8 feet off the ground under the collapse.  Out of all the lifting tools they had, none were effective at pushing the floor off the down firefighter. The firefighter ended up passing away before they could lift the floor off him.

A couple years later one of the firefighters that was at that job was on another fire at a local handyman’s place in Pontiac.  As they were crawling through the basement trying to put the fire out they saw a sleeve on a jack that was jacking the house up. As soon as the firefighter saw the jack he thought it would have been perfect to push that floor off the firefighter at the LODD a couple years ago. So they built some and started training on them and named them after the local handyman that first made them…. OJ.


Brass made a couple to train with and has had positive insight into the capabilities and uses.  To the left is a picture from the guys using the sleeves in Canada along with a different variation we were playing around with in the shop the other day on the right.  More coming soon on the uses of the sleeves.


Old Fire Engines

We had a pleasant surprise at the firehouse last night when Chief Peter West from the Philomont (VA) FD walked in.  He asked if we wanted to see an old fire engine.  Chief West was on his way to Frankenmuth, Michigan for the summer conference hosted by the Great Lakes Antique Fire Apparatus Association.  He had a 1931 Buffalo on a trailer that was just refurbished.  The original house of call for this engine was in Reading, PA.  Sharp rig!

My first thought when I saw the ladders on this rig was…I bet Captain Wines would like these.  Check out the tradition on his site here.  

Chief West’s reason for stopping in Huron was because he also owns an old Buffalo originally from the Huron Fire Department.  That apparatus is a 1925 Buffalo Larrabee pumper from the Buffalo Machine Company in NY.  It was the first motorized apparatus in HFD history and had a pumping capacity of four hundred gallons per minute.  Here are a few pictures he shared with us of its current condition.

Team Triathlon Training

Fitness is a huge topic of discussion in the fire service these days and rightfully so.  I will be doing the swim leg of the Rev3 1/2 Triathlon at Cedar Point in September, so I have been swimming more than usual.  A couple of us firefighters that are competing in one aspect or another of the event are planning a training swim from Marblehead, OH to Kelley’s Island in Lake Erie on August 14.  It’s a little over a 3 mile swim, so take the ferry over to the island to see if we make it.  In the meantime check out some regular fitness information by the guys at Fire Service Warrior.

Pass it on!