Leadership

Pump Operators or Lever Pullers?

Issue 4 and Volume 138.

Pump Operators or Lever Pullers? DEPARTMENTS Volunteers Corner The philosophy of many fire departments is that the necessity of immediate response is so great that almost every member must be an apparatus driver. As a result, many become so with little or no training for the position. Although he may get the apparatus to the scene, the driver does not know how to effectively put the unit into operation. He is merely a “lever puller.” The problems that arise are many and varied. They stem from misunderstanding, ignorance, and a general lack of training. Many of these instant operators have been given the simple rule of thumb: “Little fire, little throttle; big fire, big throttle.” A lever puller often can be identified on approach. With the fire showing, the lever puller proceeds to lay the line faster and faster, using 1,000 feet of hose when 600 feet would have been…

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