By Ryan Glover, Marketing, Ziamatic
If asked to grab a K-tool right now, how long would it take for you to find it? Or a can of WD-40? The spare blades for the K-12? And if each of your firefighters in turn were asked, could they find them?
Mounting equipment properly goes beyond firefighter safety or simple compartment cleanliness. Our industry operates on slivers of time. In moments, someone can lose his home, or worse, his life. When the pressure is on, you need a piece of equipment now, not in the time it takes to rummage through a pile of stuff in the rear compartment. It’s certainly not the time you want to hear, “Sorry, Chief. I think we left that at the last job.” Proper mounting means everything is accounted (or knowingly unaccounted) for, removes the guesswork, and makes a difference in the long term.
When laying out the compartments of a new fire apparatus or simply organizing the compartments of an existing one, having a place for everything—a labeled, thought-out, predetermined, and agreed on place—can do wonders for your ability to operate efficiently on the fire scene. Take some time to get it right in a way that works for your department. Perhaps the valves and couplings are secured on that pull-out beside the pump panel, arranged by size, along with a dead blow hammer? Maybe over here the smoke ejector holder and hooks could be strapped to the shelf above the box fans? And, what if the axes and halligans were premarried and secured for a quick grab-and-go? Equipment often used together should be stored together. Mounts can be crafted or purchased for all sorts of specific equipment. When everything has its proper place, you can drill with it this way and teach your crew where to expect to find what they need until everyone is moving like a well-oiled machine.
Plus, losing a piece of equipment is costly—not only the cost of replacement (and fire equipment ain’t cheap!) but the cost of not having the equipment available or being forced to use an inferior backup until that replacement arrives. Having a place for everything allows for quick inspections of each compartment. An empty mount is an alert that something is missing, and being alerted while still at the scene gives you time to track it down. Or, worst case scenario, time to order that replacement before it’s needed again.
Imagine the inside of each compartment like the walls of that workbench in your garage. You can have each tool organized by size and type hanging on its hanger hook, an outline of it painted on the wood behind, or you can have your tools tossed all over, sockets missing, and components tangled. Which would you prefer?
For more information, visit www.ziamatic.com.