If you see a fire engine parked on a street with no one around, it could be there while a firefighter is running an errand during a shift.
Or a fire engine sitting outside the fire department idling could be waiting for a firefighter who’s going to run an errand.
Lieutenant Lawrence Stella, on duty before Christmas, was going to do just that in one of the department’s vehicles.
Lots of people ask him about that, he said.
Taking the fire engine means that firefighter is ready to go if he gets a call about a blaze because he can go straight to the location, he added.
Otherwise the firefighter would need to drive his vehicle all the way back to the fire hall and then get in the fire engine and go to the fire, he said.
That would take a lot of time that’s better spent going to a blaze as fast as possible.
And when the fire engine is backed into the fire hall, a long wide hose hanging from the ceiling by the door is taken and its open end put over the exhaust pipe to collect the fumes and take them straight out of the building.
Otherwise, it’s been found that the carbon monoxide from the exhaust will stay in the building and rise to the ceiling, above which is the second floor where the firefighters live when on duty, and they will end up inhaling it.
Lung cancer is an issue for firefighters so the exhaust hose ensures the level they are exposed to is kept to a minimum.