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Fire Prevention: The Never-Changing Fire Service

By Demetrius A. Kastros When I joined the fire service 41 years ago, the engines were red. Our units were an open cab (no roof) design without seat belts, and the weather conditions determined your “climate control.” The motors were inefficient gas clunkers. Five-speed manual transmissions were common. For parking, the engines were equipped with hydraulic maxi-brakes. Setting these systems was tricky; one wrong step, the brakes locked, freezing the engine in place until a mechanic came to the scene; crawled under the rig; and bled off some hydraulic fluid. There was no hearing protection except your hands. The big Q2 siren was mounted on top of the windshield frame a deafening three feet ...

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