Volunteer fire departments from across the state benefited from a pump maintenance course offered this summer by the Emergency Services Training Institute’s (ESTI) Annual Texas Fire Training Schools. The course teaches firefighters how to properly maintain their pumps to keep their Engines in service for many years.
Jesse Lozano, a retired firefighter from Georgetown, Texas, and a guest instructor for 30 years, said that this class provides the knowledge all firefighters need to ensure that they can serve their communities well by keeping their fire engines up to code with continuous maintenance.
Before the annual schools begin, ESTI sends letters to all state volunteer fire stations looking for fire apparatus in need of repair. Once a department accepts the invitation, they send firefighters from their area to TEEX with an engine.
During the week-long school, firefighters learn proper maintenance while working on pumpers and the pump simulators, bringing them to a standard operating condition. As well as the hands-on maintenance students learn, they may elect to work on pump simulators that can be torn down and put back together.
The labor is free. However, the departments must pay for any replacement parts their pumper needs. During the 74th Annual Municipal Texas Fire Training School, four Engines were brought in for pump service. One was turned away because the repair parts cost was more than what the old apparatus was worth.
While most fire Engines come to the course with pump problems, Lozano says that every truck needs a good motor to pull the power.
“You can’t pump water with a poor motor,” he said. “Without a good motor the pump is useless.”
ESTI instructors worked on fire equipment dating from 1972 and 1978 during this annual school.
“With the proper maintenance, these pumps can see another 15 to 20 years worth of use,” said Lozano.