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  • #61
    I used 1/8" until I had to get inside the end and I couldn't find my stubby gas lense in 1/8, so I had to drop down to 3/32.

    Only way I could fit the tig torch and filler in there.

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    • #62
      Dernit, that's a 1950s box.

      I was hoping you had a 1901 box.

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      • #63
        The really old ones are in the museum. These were the last to come down, so they were probably upgraded a time or three.

        I just tracked down one of the gamewell wall gongs, I'm working on getting some pictures sent to me. It was inconspicuously mounted on the wall of one of the old stations that used to run horses (yes, still in service...not the horses, the stations).

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        • #64
          Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
          The really old ones are in the museum. These were the last to come down, so they were probably upgraded a time or three.

          I just tracked down one of the gamewell wall gongs, I'm working on getting some pictures sent to me. It was inconspicuously mounted on the wall of one of the old stations that used to run horses (yes, still in service...not the horses, the stations).
          You're lucky. Here retiring Chiefs got ped mounted boxes as retirement gifts, so the best went to collect dust in garages till the widow scrapped it. Changeover to Radio boxes sent much of the rest to scrap. I got some to rebuild and sold them. Worst part was a couple politician's kids got summer jobs hauling in boxes and applying Sledgomatics to them. Jigsaw puzzles can be so much fun.
          Into the 60s Rochester built all their own pumpers from B Macks so the truck shop was well equipped. Boxes and scrap peds went on the scrap pile. When the stash of good boxes went to ZERO, the fecal matter hit the fan, WHAT were retiring Chief's going to get for retirement? They got downgraded to boxes. Retiring Chief of Equipment raised the roof, and I sold most of what I had rebuilt, and got access to the secret stash of iron somebody saved just in case some old box needed replacing. Chief of Equipment got his Pedestal mounted box delivered to his living room.

          Wall gongs have always been megabux around here. Oddly most evaporated as horse houses closed down and companies moved to new houses. I did manage to luck into a pile of gongs in the former Delco plant and put some work into dismounting them in the days before battery tools. Sent some off for brass plating and had a buddy who specialized in reproduction antiques. Made money on that selling them to antique dealers.

          Rochester had 3 iron foundries and 5 soft metal foundries in the 60s, along with a few pattern shops so it was possible to get pretty much anything cast. All the trucks and cars carried cast bronze medallions that weighed about 20 pounds each. Those became retirement gifts for officers. The doors got stick on decals for some politician's cost cutting program, and some genius ordered all the patterns dumpstered. They went to somebody's wood stove. The dumpster program ended suddenly when the Mayor saw a mob of drunk firemen in a downtown park wearing turnout gear. Chief of Equipment got chewed for throwing the old turnouts in the dumpster when the dust settled. When he walked into the Mayor's office for Episode 2 with rumors of days off on the grapevine he carried a copy of Department Disposal Procedure specifying exactly how surplus equipment was to be shed. He left with a fist full of $20s to go buy turnouts from winos.

          Today Rochester is back to medallions on truck doors, aluminum CNC routed that somebody thinks look like the originals.

          Only boxes left in town are radio boxes, and they're all 8 channel masters. Progress SUX.


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          • #65
            Sometimes, progress does suck. I agree completely, not seeing the changes you have either. When I first got on the job, all of our engines had the traditional bell on the bumper. Nobody really used them, except for when a group of kids came into the station. Those things had been moved from apparatus to apparatus as they were upgraded. No telling how old the bell was on my first engine company's apparatus. Then, all of a sudden, the new engines didn't get the old bells anymore. What the ****? Where did the bells go? Nobody knew, but the ASSisstant chief said we weren't spending taxpayer money on "silly" bells anymore. Silly bells? Ever heard of something called "tradition" for crying out loud?! Change for the sake of change is what I say. Maybe when he was a probie his mean old captain made him polish that bell. Oh the horror. I took great pride in polishing our bell and didn't need my captain to tell me to do it, I did it right after I checked my equipment and cleaned the station. I even bought the brass-o to do it.

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            • #66
              Missing bells is nothing. I've been on the trail of a missing 5hp Sterling house siren for 6 years that disappeared in the night from a house it lived on top of since the 1930s. Really annoys me when people grin at me and tell me it could only have come down with a crane given I installed and serviced Sterlings for a few years, and I know a ladder truck can pick one. Of course I counter annoy by lighting the one off that lives in my front yard every now and again. Whoever liberated the one from the house sure can't wind it up since it's a 3Ø motor.
              For over 50 years that siren cranked at Noon via the Tone system Civil Defense paid for, and I can't tell when it's Noon now. No need for sirens any more in the time of 800mhz digital radio. OK, where's my figital 800 mxz radio? How will people be alerted when a hurricane is coming, to say nothing of a Russian bomber coming across Canada? I trally don't care if it annoyed new neighbors, why did they move next to a firehouse if they dislike sirens?

              Vol Department West of me rescued their original bell from the top of the hose tower when the town burned in the 60s. It sat at ground level in front of the new house for 49 years till it moved to the front of the new house. If you know how to put a rope on the bellcrank you can still make noise with it.

              BTW, aged out steel SCBA bottles make a nice pair of bells.

              Did you get a rope when you came on the job?

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              • #67
                There was one of the deputy chiefs that made the probies wear the rope. Fortunately, he wasn't MY deputy chief.

                Now we make probies wear green helmets. I actually kind of hate it.

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                • #68
                  Academy Chief in the 60s near put a price on my head for teaching the incoming kids to properly mouse the ends of their ropes with marlin and dip them in varnish. He and most of the Department couldn't splice rope to save their lives. He was perfectly happy watching the kids wander around with black tape on the ends. Monday morning the whole class has moused ropes. Instructors were in on it and didnknonuttin. Wednesday he cut the ends off the ropes and supervised tapeing. Next Monday he looks over the drill floor and sees almost all ropes with backsplices on the ends. First Chief to take a vacation in the middle of training. Chief of Equipment took training over till he got back from vacation.
                  My hands were sore for a week from teaching backsplice to 60 newbies.

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                  • #69
                    We like to throw the word "liability" around like it makes us feel safe. We had to put a new halyard on my ground ladder the other day and my district chief was confused about how make the loop at the end of the rope for the anchor point. I told him I'd splice it in. He says "oh no, too much liability in doing that." After learning my lesson about "just handling things", I told him I'd take it to the shop and have the shop guys do it, to which he agreed was a good choice, and left to go about his day doing whothehellknows what. I love our shop guys, but last week they brought another company's ladder out to me so I could slice a loop in the new halyard on that ladder for them. Then I proceeded to teach my young backend man how to splice a loop in the end of the ladder halyard. Seems we're forgetting this is a dangerous job and liability is something we accept when we have the skills to do so. Or maybe since he was kind of a crappy fireman he merely assumes the rest of us are as well. That's pretty harsh, I take that back....I'm not going to take a $750k apparatus across town, out of service and out of district, for a problem that I can fix in 5 minutes or take 10 minutes to teach it to a young fireman and have him complete the repair. Silly chief, mind your own business and let the men handle theirs.

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                    • #70
                      There was once a sign Officers are proof of the Peter Principle, Chiefs are appointed from Officers.
                      It hung for several years from the stage rigging of the Academy stage until the new building went up.
                      All kinds of noise from Chiefs when the demolition people asked where they wanted the sign stored.

                      One of my favorite things to watch is a fight over conference tables. Inventory sticker clearly says Property of City. Nothing more intelligent than 2 Lts fighting over "My conference table" in front of a class of newbies.

                      "backend man"- you running a hinged ladder truck?

                      How about appointing a Chief from the Mayor's friends and then learning State Law mandates she must be a qualified foreman to be a Chief? All those tailored uniforms and she has to go to Basic Fireman School for 6 months, out of town, on full pay + motel bills. Funny part was Mollie turned out to be a good admin Chief who said No to a lot of toys Old Boys wanted.

                      You ain't spodakno how to splice a loop in the end of a rope, you spoda order the proper length of ladder rope/replacement after you complete the school on measuring ladder ropes.

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                      • #71
                        You nailed. But most kids these days have never heard of the Peter principle. It might offend someone, so it's not discussed anymore. How non-inclusive of you anyway? Sheesh.

                        A backend man is our slang here for a grade I fireman; I guess because they used to ride the tailboard. The official title is P-H-L....pike, hose & ladderman. Best job on the engine, without a doubt.

                        We haven't had a tiller here for many years. We should, but we'd rather spend our money on Quints and CAFS that make no sense to anyone, including the ISO.

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                        • #72
                          I try to begin all presentations by informing the audience if they are offended to look at it as a learning opportunity. Bein an old guy I just might employ words they haven't learned yet. I got the educational opportunity to become a back seat driver on a Ward-LaFrance 75 in 1962 and learned a lot fast beginning with the driver would get where he wanted to go with or without me. He didn't realize the farm kid picked up on the exhaust note on the first ride around the plaza and watched the Professional to learn when the tiller could and couldn't steer. Fun couple hours that day, and I learned even with the driver giving me all the help he could I couldn't pull up next to the tractor.

                          City went the Midi/Quint route in the 80s, manpower reduction. Even made Chiefs drive their own cars, and some found the assignments. Actually it was part of a plan to stick the cost to County taxpayers, and kill sufficient firemen to convert the City to a Vol operation just like the County was back then. City even brought in a Chief to accomplish the murders. He ordered Monitors onto 4 story with 30 firemen inside the building. Oddly, nobody heard him!

                          Good to learn you guys are still playing Texas Snow Job down there. Vol company here back in the 70s bought a Jeep with a Sudz generator on the back that could back up to a house and fill a 1500sf house with sudz in 90 seconds. Magnificent machine it was too. Never did learn what happened to that Jeep, but I got a hunch Insurance Carriers bought it to minimize rebuild costs.

                          The best job on an engine is between steering wheel and seat. Hose haulin is hard work and it gets worse when water is added. Even when safety straps got assed to tailboards they were still a minimal step up from running boards. Rigs were moving way too fast by then to run alongside anyhow.
                          I think most of the new MEGA-Bux pumpers here are now Sudz capable at the touch of a keypad. The new radios may even be able to command the computer that runs the engine but I'm not sure. I'd have to ask a politician.

                          The kids might not know who Dr Peter was, but they sure labor in a system he documented. Society is fortunate the kids accepted standing in line and waiting for instructions as Edward Bernays predicted. I've read Bernays; I laugh a lot. I go to less meetings too.

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                          • #73
                            It's a whole different world, even when from when I started. They actually sent us "older" captains to a class to help us communicate better with the Millennial generation. The talking head from HR couldn't understand my unwillness to send an email to a two day old fireman to explain to him what I want done around the firehouse. I don't really care if that's how "they" communicate. I **** sure can't send them an email to headlong into the back window of a house where the old man is saying his wife is when their house is about to fall victim to a federal pacific breaker panel. I'm trying to do better though. I really am. But you should see the anxiety on these kids' faces when they get assigned to my house, sits down in my office and I take his cell phone from him and put it in my desk drawer. I started that after a probie answered his cell phone while we were working in the back of a Med unit. I asked him if was important. When he replied "nah"....I lost my everlovin mind. I don't think kid ever had his backside chewed off before. Welcome to the real world, kid. This is the world I work in and I don't think it's going back.

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                            • #74
                              Milemeter thinkers are potty training failures. Their parents ain't a lot better.
                              Kid who pumps my septic tank is a truckie with 25 under his lid, and a lot of savvy. Driver slot on his crew was about to come open, and he was told he wasn't being considered cause he couldn't drive a truck. Guess what he drove to work next shift? He was counciled by the BC for improving the neighborhood. Next shift he came in with his backhoe on the trailer behind his dump truck. BC TEXTED him. Seems junior firemen were annoyed with a man who spends his money on his retirement plan. IAFF jumped in pointing out there is no regulation about personal vehicles. PC people were so upset he got moved to a newer house. Less runs per shift.
                              Another kid I know works a busy house and loves it. He is known for cautioning young kids about how easy it is to fall down stairs in smoke.

                              RFD had a 3rd floor collapse with 2 FFs trapped in the collapse. Good part was both were extracted quick since it was 4 blocks from a major house with Rescue crew. OK, you know that's gonna be a Press Conference. The Chief Mouthbreather (hand picked munchkin) stands yapping about how wonderful it was the LT called a Mayday immediately while he was trapped rather than trying self extraction and going macho. 35 year LT says "I relied on my training" when they asked him to speak.

                              People know better than to answer or even have sound coming from their device around me.

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                              • #75
                                Hey Ryan, you got this flippin box installed and functioning yet, or are you dragging it out till retirement?

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