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Friday, July 12, 2013

Station Life: Brush 1

Most fire apparatus you see on the road are much bigger than you average car or truck.  They are built this way to carry all of the tools and water needed to perform necessary tasks on the fire ground.  There are times, however, where having a smaller, more agile apparatus proves beneficial.  Brentwood Fire and Rescue Brush 1 is a heavy duty pick-up with a water tank, pump and specialized equipment for extinguishing grass and brush fires.  As you can imagine, a full sized fire engine would be less than ideal for climbing the hills of Middle Tennessee, so smaller trucks equipped with 4wd are ideal to reach these isolated areas.

Brush 1 resides at Station 4 and is operated by a firefighter from E4 in the event of a brush or grass fire.

Brush 1 is set up with four wheel drive, a heavy duty skid plate and a winch for times when access to a fire is difficult.

This integrated hose reel is one of the most important pieces of equipment on Brush 1. 200 feet of hose sits on top of a 250 gallon water tank.  The hose is wrapped on an electrically controlled reel that allows it to be quickly deployed and operated by one firefighter.

The pump panel, located at the tailgate of the truck for easy access, controls the hose pressure and foam proportioner.

The black handle in this picture is the primer for the pump.  Because Brush 1 often operates off the roadway firefighters may have to suction water out of a stream, retention pond, or even a pool to refill the water tank. The manual handle is much more rugged than the electrical motor typically found on fire apparatus.  

The blue object in this picture is special hard hose that is used for drafting.  As mentioned before firefighters may have to refill Brush 1’s tank with water from a variety of sources; this capability allows Brush 1 to be a self-sufficient piece of equipment when fire hydrants are not available.

These are three different types of fire suppression equipment located on Brush 1.  The hose on the left is from the hose reel, the hose in the middle can be connected straight one of the pump discharges and the object on the right is a water pack.  A firefighter would fill the water pack with water, place it on their back and then use the simple discharge system(much like a super soaker water gun) to extinguish small fires or hotspots.

Pictured here is the equipment bag that carries the different hose appliances for Brush 1.  The equipment bag carries different hose fittings and reducers along with some different nozzles.  The yellow nozzle in the picture is used for foam application.  Two water discharges are also visible in this picture, located to the right of the pump control panel.

To increase the efficiency of the water Brush 1 carries, this apparatus is also equipped with a 30 gallon foam tank and 3 buckets of additional foam.  Foam allows the water to soak deeper into larger burning materials, allowing faster extinguishment.

Every square inch of bed space on Brush 1 is filled with specialized equipment

Brush 1 carries several specialized wildland firefighting tools.  The tool on the left is called a Pulaski tool.  The Pulaski tool is used for chopping wood as well as creating a fire break.  The tool in the middle is commonly called a fire rake.  This tool allows a firefighter to easily move light fuels (i.e. Small sticks or leaves) to create a firebreak.  The McLeod tool is located on the right.  The McLeod tool is a combination of a rake and a hoe.  

Brush 1 in its natural habitat!