Monday, July 25, 2016

Maintaining Operational Readiness

By: Captain John Emmons
       Fire Station 31-A Shift

There is more to a career firefighter's day than responding to emergencies. We also have to maintain our apparatus and equipment to ensure they are ready and will operate when needed the most.

For example, every three months, we complete a detailed maintenance of the ladder on our ladder truck here at Rockville Fire Station 31. This is actually completed on all ladder trucks in the county.

To be done properly, a detailed and lengthy process is required. The first step is to remove the old grease from the ladder. Over time and use, it loses its ability to lubricate and protect the ladder as it is extended and retracted. It is imperative to get off all the old.

The next step is to wash the ladder. A wash brush does not do a very good job so we wash it by hand with a rag, soap and water. After the ladder is dry, it's time to apply a thin coat of fresh, clean grease. The entire process takes several hours and is necessary to keep the ladder operating safely and properly.

Below are some photos from our quarterly aerial cleaning and lubrication we recently competed at station 31.

photo of firefighters performing maintenance on ladder trucks ladder

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