My family and I recently took a trip to Houston and Galveston Beach. Well, like most firefighters, I like to stop in and see the local firefighters and to talk a little shop and to see what they have in the way of equipment.
We didn’t get to a Galveston station, but we did stop by Houston FD Station 8 in downtown Houston.
First, let me say that the men that were on duty that day were very nice and treated my family and me very well. My kids, being used to the firehouse setting, ran crazy and were all over the trucks; with adult supervision of course. Thanks to all of the guys on that day, you know who you are.
No matter where I go, I always learn something new and interesting about that particular department. Whether it be about the house we are visiting, the equipment, operations or historical information, each place has it’s own story and way of doing things.
This picture shows a two person pike pole that HFD has mounted to the front of this engine. It was explained that it is used on buildings that have some very “tough” walls, like double plaster and lathe that back up to each other. This pole allows two firefighters on each side to double the force of the pole. I had never seen one of these and was very interesting.
Firefighters, as we know, are all very creative in one way or another. The next picture shows a hood that HFD wears. I had never seen one of these either, but a HFD firefighter came up with this concept and is now produced by gear manufacturers. It is a hood that is made of the same material as the coat and pants. It is lined the same and is quite a bit thicker than the traditional nomex hood.
They didn’t seem to mind the hoods too much and indicated that it really keeps the heat off of your ears. They also explained and were aware of the ability to get deeper into buildings and the associated hazards when we are so well insulated.
Another piece of equipment they have is an old reserve pumper that has been converted into a ceremonial truck. This truck is used only for funerals and the honor guard mans this vehicle along with an SUV that accompanies it.
This truck is designed to hold a casket and the pall bearers. As you can see, they have placed axes on each side and is a very attractive apparatus. They use this for LODD, active that pass away off duty and for retirees. It is a great tribute to our fallen Brothers and Sisters.
The trip was fantastic and I can’t say enough about the guys who spent the time to talk to us and show us around. If you ever get to Houston, stop in and see the men at the 8′s.
Stay safe and take care.