I can answer some of these for you.
Edit: 17yrs professional ff in a city of ~400K people.
It looks like you posted the same question a couple days ago with no response...?
LMK if you (or in the spirit of an actual AMA, anyone else does) still need any info.
tl;dr of my thoughts on this project: any wagon or other device is unnecessary, and would be counter-productive
5 yrs here. Your initial attack usually is simply an axe and a hose.
Considering the limited space we work in I don't know how a wagon would work on stairs space wise in case of emergency.
Fire science is going the way of positive pressure ventilation so I think there might be something to improve upon there and/or make the wagon more all terrain for wildfire uses.
Don't know if that helps. Good luck!
Oh boy, this is quite complicated. I'm a firefighter in a metro area with about 15 years of experience. To create a device to travel up and down staircases with any type of load would be extremely difficult and have limited use. I don't think a wheelbarrow type device would work well. Ladders are to large and would not fit. Even if you laid a ladder flat, it would not make the corners in a staircase. An irons set would fit, but they're easy enough to carry. A RIT pack would also fit, but also easy enough carry. A house pack is a segment of house that attaches to the stairwell stand pipe system and its also small enough to carry. I suppose you could put all of that in a device like you're thinking of and have it carry everything. Often times one firefighter is carrying just one, or maybe two of these items while going up stairs. Having these items in hand makes them more manageable when working around other firefighters, or the general public that's evacuating. Getting around corners with a long pike pole or ladder also takes some manipulation of the tool. I honestly think creating better, lightweight tools is the best option. Firefighters will always need to wear their own air bottle on their back. I wouldn't want that anywhere else. In the event of a floor or ceiling collapse, I want that on my body so I have breathing air. I personally wouldn't want that carry in any device. Honestly, I'm not sure what the best option is. Firefighting is labor intensive work. Stay fit, exercise, and train hard to limit your fatigue. I think for now, that'll help more than anything else.
Look up a firefighting high rise pack. It contains typically a length of hose- 100', nozzle, valve and possibly some adaptors.
In buildings with standpipes we carry this up. The fire truck connects to the bottom of the standpipe, we hook up at fire floor level
With the high rise pack. Saves you from having to jump hose up the stairs.
Hypothetically if a machine was doing the lifting, I guess I would take extra air bottles, forcible entry tools, a water can or fire extinguisher, and some extra rolls of hose.
Yesterday for ARMY ROTC we ran up 77 flights of stairs with 75lbs on our back in honor of the firefighters in 9/11.
I gassed out after 50 lol; firefighters, i will always be grateful for your selfless service to our country.
I've served as a firefighter in both urban and rural areas. From the urban perspective, I agree with others here that a device to transport equipment inside of a building, up stairs, etc., would be difficult to use. Having said that, maybe I can give you a few alternative ideas:
As others have said, moving victims remains a big challenge for fire and EMS. We already use a device called a "stair chair" to bring medical patients down stairs, but perhaps that concept could be improved upon.
- As a fire officer, a major concern is always what we call "personnel accountability". Knowing where your crews are (for example, within a building) is a concern, both from a tactical and safety perspective.
- In my current role, I'm largely responsible for wildland firefighting. To me, this is an area of the fire service that is ripe for improvement.
- As an example, wildland firefighters generally don't carry or wear breathing protection, other than some simple filter type "masks" (and frankly, most of us use little more than a bandana). This is because we often have to hike long distances over rough terrain, and we are already loaded down with equipment. If someone could design a device that provides good respiratory protection in a lightweight, compact form factor, I think there would be good demand.
- Another trend I see, particularly in the wildland arena, is the increased use of mobile technology. Things like GPS, laptops, smartphones, and even portable radios are being improved and adapted to the fire service. Our limitations usually involve connectivity, power, and of course weight. Given that, you may want to consider addressing those limitations. For example, I recently saw a device on Kickstarter that takes the battery pack for our handheld radio and adds a USB charger, so you can charge a mobile device. It's a simple idea, but I'm sure there's demand for it.
Sorry if some of these ideas are a little off track from your original post, but hopefully there's some food for thought.