There should never be a point that we are settling for “good enough.” The goal should always to be to pursue a better, more efficient means of performing the tasks required of our profession; this is what moves the fire service forward in the right direction. We are tradesmen who are tasked with making life and death decisions, and mediocrity has to be removed from our stations.
When I am not at my career job, I work for a volunteer department that runs out of two stations. While it is not large in terms of personnel or territory, I regularly find myself at more “jobs” with the volunteer department than when I am working the career gig. It is at the volley department that we run a quint ladder with a severely handicapped front-bumper line. I say this because the dimensions of the hose tray are tiny. For years, it was simply accepted that the only option was to flat load 100′ of 1 3/4″ hose. Not only was this putting unnecessary stress on the hose line due to the number of folds, it would also get hung up as the hose was deployed from deeper into the hose tray. I figured there had to be another way to do it.
It normally took approximately 16 seconds to fully deploy a flat load from the bumper of the quint.
The solution came in the form of donut-rolling the hose instead of using a flat load. The hose deployed in shorter distance with less effort, protected the hose and the nozzle better, and simply looked more organized as well. What I am not saying is that the load we chose needs to be used right now by every department in the world; what I am saying is that by taking the time to scrutinize even the littlest of details, such as a bumper load, our department is better able to serve others.
Changing the hose load reduced deployment time down to around 6 seconds. This cut the time down by more than half of what we had previously thought was acceptable.
Be an agent of change, when it is needed. Dive into the little things because even they can carry huge impact. Always strive to serve well!
I am not here for me. I am here for we; we are here for them.” -Anchorage (AK) Fire Department