Compartment Corner: Bowling Green (OH) Fire Department

By Mike Ciampo

Bowling Green, Ohio, is located in Northwest Ohio in the rural heartland. It is the seat of Wood County and is home to Bowling Green State University, located just off the I-75 corridor. It has a population of 30,000 and is covered by the Bowling Green (OH) Fire Department, which has 50 paid members working in a three-platoon system with 24 hour shifts. The department achieved an ISO rating of 2, the highest in the state of Ohio, and operates out of two fire stations covering the city and university.

Engine 1 is a 2009 Precision rescue-pumper with a 1,500-gpm pump. The pumps controls are top-mounted behind the crew cab. The compartments are equipped with roll-up doors, and the first one on the driver’s side is set up to assist with overall unit operations. All three shelves in this compartment roll outward, and the two upper shelves pivot downward to offer easy access to retrieve a tool. They are all marked with labels on the outer edge with what equipment belongs on each shelf.

The top shelf has a Cooper hose jacket (seldom seen on many engines these days), a hose wringer, hose jack and a 2½- to 1½-inch reducer with a quick-connect fitting that attaches to a garden hose. The garden hose is canvas with a quick-connect fitting on the female end and a pistol grip nozzle on the male end of the hose. Since it’s canvas, it can be stored easily on a bracket and take up less compartment space than a rolled up rubber garden hose. Members spoke of the value of using this hose when washing down equipment after a fire or if an extinguisher can’t handle a small rubbish or grass fire. The garden hose can be quickly deployed on a discharge on any side of the engine to extinguish the fire. Plus, it makes filling up an empty pressurized water extinguisher much easier than holding it up under a slightly opened discharge gate.

On the middle shelf, a Task Force Tips low-level strainer is in the ready for drafting operations. The unit also carries a Scott RIT PAK and Fire Hooks Unlimited’s Firemaxx (a one piece tool with 14 features) married to a 24-inch Promaxx Halligan tool equipped with an easy shoulder carrying strap. Members stated that when Engine 1 goes on scene they have the ability to providing RIT to their own members quickly with this setup.

The bottom shelf is equipped with numerous items. A large tool box has common hand tools for use in homes or at the scene of an auto accident and it also has some extra spanner wrenches inside it. Also carried on this shelf are:

  • A rubber mallet (for stubborn fittings or hydrant caps)
  • Two hose straps (for securing hose lines)
  • Two sprinkler head shut-offs (shut down the water flow in sprinkler heads before the system can be shut off)
  • “K”-Tool (for through the lock forcible entry)
  • Aerosol Air Horn (activated to charge the supply line)
  • Hacksaw (for cutting off sprinkler/standpipe protective caps/hooks)
  • Road Flares (for scene safety)

The following equipment is mounted on quick release holding brackets on the bottom shelf with yellow paint marking to identify them belonging to Engine 1:

  • Gated wye (2½-inch broken into two 1½-inch lines)
  • Two 2½-inch fog tips
  • Two 1½-inch fog tips
  • One single-gate (2½ inch to an 1½ inch)
  • Assorted 2½-inch double-male and double-female adapters
  • Assorted 1½-inch double-males and double-female adapters
  • Cellar distributor nozzle

The Bowling Green (OH) Fire Department has a great sense of pride when it comes to apparatus upkeep and tool maintenance. One can certainly tell by looking at the way personnel store and maintain their equipment.

MIKE CIAMPO is a 27-year veteran of and a lieutenant in the Fire Department of New York. Previously, he served with the District of Columbia Fire Department. He has a bachelor’s degree in fire science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, NY. He is the lead instructor of the FDIC Truck Co. Essentials class. He wrote the ladder chapter and co-authored the Ventilation chapter for Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and II and is featured in “Training Minutes” truck company videos on He is also the author of Fire Engineering’s monthly column “On Fire.”

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