Equipment Rehab & Restocking
The post-incident recovery phase also involves returning all equipment and vehicles to pre-incident response readiness. Some of this occurs in-full while still at the emergency scene and some must await return to the fire station. Depending on the extent of use, and/or malfunction or breakage, it may require follow-up by our city Fleet Maintenance personnel or outside vendors.
One example of on-scene rehab is re-filling of the onboard water supply tanks on fire apparatus. This is standard practice and is easily accomplished once the fire is extinguished by using the same hose line that is connected to the fire hydrant. Topping off the fuel tank is another important task that is usually performed on the return trip to the firehouse but for longer incidents may require a delivery by a tanker truck directly to the scene. If fire hose is leaking or damaged, it will be replaced with spare hose from the station supply rack. Self-contained breathing apparatus bottles not topped-off on-site will be refilled from our in-house air supply station.
For EMS incidents, rehab does not occur at the emergency scene but rather at the receiving medical facility and upon return to the firehouse. Personnel will clean and re-stock portable kits with medical gear from the vehicle backup supplies, and then replace the backups from our fire station EMS supply room.
For hazardous materials incidents, depending on the degree of contamination, both equipment and supplies may be left at the scene for a hazardous waste disposal company to collect for proper disposal. We will replace the items upon returning to the station, and have the option to file for reimbursement for accrued costs from the individual or business that is deemed responsible for the hazardous product release. Back at the fire station, our monitoring and detection equipment may require re-calibration.
Cleaning and Decontamination
A cursory decontamination to remove ash, soot, and dirt from tools will usually occur while still at a fire scene. Back at the fire station, a more detailed cleaning may be provided followed by oiling and/or application of a rust preventive prior to returning tools to the truck cabinets. In the case of power tools such as saws, there may be some disassembly required in order to reach internal pockets of accumulated debris and to replace chains and rotary blades.