Department Installs Metal Hose Covers For Lifetime Use
A lifetime hose bed cover has been installed by the Tukwila, Wash., Fire Department. Before, the inclement weather of the Pacific Northwest accelerated the deterioration of traditional fiber covers and required replacements about every four years. The new cover also is better at keeping out moisture and dirt.
Under the direction of Lt. Loren McFarland, the departments’ maintenance officer, the apparatus hose beds were fitted with 3/16-inch aluminum diamond plate. Two pieces were used so either side of the hose bed could be reached separately. Each half was fitted with a stainless steel piano hinge for rust control and strength. The hinges were bolted to the side of the hose bed with cadmium-plated bolts.
On top of each hose bed divider, an aluminum “U” channel was installed to catch any water or debris falling through where the two covers joined. The exact size of each cover piece for any apparatus would vary with the length of the hose bed and width from the sides to the center of the “U” channel.
Finally, handles for lifting each section were attached at front and rear. Safety chains were also attached on the bottom to prevent the doors from opening too far.
The hose bed cover doubles as a secure elevated observation platform for overseeing emergency operations and training exercises. It also keeps out contaminating chemicals, falling glass and flying brands. It discourages mildew growth and will not snag if equipment is dropped on it.
Savings of over $2300 are estimated from this modification during the lifetime of each apparatus. Greater savings are possible if the covers are installed at the time the apparatus is built.