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    Lightbulb Lights and Siren Optional:

    Hats off to BFD Chief, Clack for taking an unconventional approach to a serious problem, with the use of good old fashioned common sense.

    This August, Baltimore City residents might notice fewer sirens from firetrucks speeding to emergencies.

    Baltimore Fire Chief James S. Clack said the city Fire Department will launch a multitiered response system to save the city money spent sending unnecessary equipment on nonemergency calls and to increase the safety of emergency responders and other drivers on the road.

    The city's action also comes amid increasing fatalities for firefighters responding to and returning from emergencies. The National Fire Protection Association found that in 2003 and 2004, more firefighters were killed traveling to and from emergencies than in any other part of their jobs.
    here is the rest of the story - - > http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...2&sectionId=46
    Last edited by 1OLDTIMER; 07-02-2008 at 04:01 PM.
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    Note to self..... Do not move to Baltimore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    Note to self..... Do not move to Baltimore.
    May I be sooooo bold as to ask...WHY NOT?
    "we will bankrupt ourselves in the vain attempt at absolute security"
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    I think what Baltimore did is great!!!! My dept did the same at the start of theyear. For a fire alarm/box the first out (quint) responds "on the reds". Everything else is "routine" or holds in quarters. If the calls comes in as smoke in/from the structure, or a fire, everything goes on the reds. I do understand that it may work well in my small dept but it seems as though it's a helluva lot safer for all. We have a 4 lane highway which runs through the middle of the city. The intersection is controlled by a traffic light and we have opticoms on all apparatus which has not only reduced response times, but made responding safer for us and THE PUBLIC!!!!

    Be safe all and buckle up!!!

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    Similar approach with us - first two apparatus respond in full emergency mode - all other apparatus respond in non-emergency mode.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1OLDTIMER View Post
    May I be sooooo bold as to ask...WHY NOT?
    Sure..... I was born there. LOL

    But personally, I think it's a bad idea.

    Bottom line, who is going to be held responsible if a call goes bad, because you went to this type of response system???

    I do understand the safety aspect of it. But, in a way, it is taking away from public safety, and making sure the rig drivers, are not responsible, for anything bad that may happen, if they did run "lights and siren", and drove irresponsibly.

    Your responsible to getting there quickly and safely. What that system does, is delay response times and equipment, that "could" save a life, or whatever.

    That's my take on it.

    FM1

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    Don't knock it, it can work well. For any emergency call, we respond multiple stations, with only the first two appliances out running lights & sirens. A second appliance from the closest station will take over the lights and sirens from a further off appliance.

    If the dispatcher advises that there have been multiple phone calls about a fire, then the closest vehicle will upgrade all others. If the closest vehicle can see smoke, they'll upgrade all others. If the dispatcher advises that a caller sounded distraught, or that a smoke alarm could be heard in the background, once again, upgrade all. If we have a confirmed entrapment in an MVC, all appliances run lights and sirens.

    Have a stated SOP that allows for flexibility. We do it, and as I said - it works. And it can limit the number of trucks showing pretty lights and making loud noises as they try to get through traffic for what in so many cases turns out to not be an emergency. Safer for all road users.
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    We've had a reduced response protocol here for over 15 years. Yet to have an issue with it.
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    Good job Chief. So many time it is safer, more responsible, and maybe just as quick to go with the flow of traffic. As far as coomon sence goes, what exactly is common sence? It's learned behavior> Nobody is born with or without good common sence.

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    Our department doesn't have any set plan in place,but when the Chief gets on the scene he doesn't hesitate to start backing down apparatus if he feels he doesn't need it. Just like many departments sometimes we don't get that many members to a call so we could have all 4 trucks roll on a tree and wires call,and next day we could have one truck out for reported house fire. In a large area with paid members I think it works well,but in a small volunteer department I think you'd have to take it call by call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wconlon53 View Post
    Just like many departments sometimes we don't get that many members to a call so we could have all 4 trucks roll on a tree and wires call,and next day we could have one truck out for reported house fire.
    I don't know about you but if its a reported structure fire I've got people I've never seen before crawling out of the woodwork.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edge1317 View Post
    I don't know about you but if its a reported structure fire I've got people I've never seen before crawling out of the woodwork.
    Funny 'bout that...
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    We've been doing this for years. I can only say we've been bit once in the last 13 years and it was an EMS run where the dispatcher did not note that the cut on the hand was from a snowblower(no not Frosty! The family was quite upset when the bus pulled up without lights and sirens, though the time difference in a 5 block response at that time on day would not have been noticeable.

    We find that in a 5 mile radius (our average first due area) the difference in lights and sirens and running cold is less than 1 minute and usually under 30 seconds.

    We also tried sending the first unit "hot" and all following units "cold" but this led to much more confusion. Maybe this works well with multi-station responses, but from the same house? Not so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edge1317 View Post
    I don't know about you but if its a reported structure fire I've got people I've never seen before crawling out of the woodwork.
    Yeah we get that,but usually after the 2nd alarm has been dispatched.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    We also tried sending the first unit "hot" and all following units "cold" but this led to much more confusion. Maybe this works well with multi-station responses, but from the same house? Not so much.

    I can't see the 'much more confusion' (should there be any confusion?). We do it all the time - our pumper will leave lights & sirens, the next two trucks go quiet, until an upgrade comes over No confusion.
    "Professional" means your attitude to the job...

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    We also tried sending the first unit "hot" and all following units "cold" but this led to much more confusion. Maybe this works well with multi-station responses, but from the same house? Not so much.
    I'd think it would be more confusing with multi-station response. The question of "Is he closer then I am" harder to figure out then "Is the other bay empty already".

    We've had this policy for a couple years running out of three houses and I don't think it has resulted in a delayed response once. Its basically a good alternative to either "Send everything" or "Send just one". The "who goes hot"-question is solved by the way we have our grids (locals) set up and the order the stations are dispatched. Everyone goes hot for dwelling/building fires and MVA w/rescue. Upgrades are at the discretion of the 1st in company officer.
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    While we are just a little one-and-a-half horse town, I like these multi-tiered policies. I think they are a good balance of response and safety. We started doing it last year, and it works fine. I have yet to stand there on scene wondering where the next truck is.

    And besides, Police, Ambulance, and other resources have been doing it for many, many years.

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    Default Who's hot and who's not?

    We are a multiple station department and have a tiered response for our automatic alarm activations. At the end of the alarm transmission the dispatcher reports which unit is "hot". All units are dispatched then the dispatcher adds "Engine 6 respond hot, all other units respond cold", for example. Like everything else, when you're used to it there isn't much confusion. We determine what unit is hot on dispatch in case a company is already committed, or available and closer (we use AVLs in our CAD). If there is any confusion on a company's part, they ask dispatch on the radio.

    Our stations are relatively close so the system works. If there is any report via 911 or the first due company of smoke or fire all units upgrade their response. They are already in the rig and moving so the rest of the assignment arrives rather quickly. I can see where this would be a bit more risky in an area where stations are much more spread out, but it's not a bad system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    I'd think it would be more confusing with multi-station response. The question of "Is he closer then I am" harder to figure out then "Is the other bay empty already".

    We've had this policy for a couple years running out of three houses and I don't think it has resulted in a delayed response once. Its basically a good alternative to either "Send everything" or "Send just one". The "who goes hot"-question is solved by the way we have our grids (locals) set up and the order the stations are dispatched. Everyone goes hot for dwelling/building fires and MVA w/rescue. Upgrades are at the discretion of the 1st in company officer.
    The issue we had running from one house was that drivers would pull over for the unit running "hot" and then pull back into the travel lane but weren't sure what to do when another fire or EMS unit was behind them running "cold". If we had multiple stations we'd certainly advocate the closest runs hot and others run cold.

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    My Department (Vol.) is looking to go with a similar policy on certain calls. Looks like we may have problems with some members who think every call is a matter of life and death. How did your Departments handle this situation when you implemented the Hot/Cold Policy? How did you get them to buy into the policy?

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    Thumbs down Hot, Warm or Cold depends on the caller

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983 View Post
    We've had a reduced response protocol here for over 15 years. Yet to have an issue with it.
    The department I was in over 20 years ago also had this. It made GOOD SENSE for the most part.

    I was once on a call though (my fault) that came in as "An odd smell in the area" so I (as the Officer) suggested that just the Squad go check it out. Turned out we had a car which had driven THROUGH a gas meter and we had high-pressure Natural Gas blasting out of the ground! It turned really HOT really quick!!!!!

    Similarly though, just last week I found a paralized man had driven his motorized wheelchair off the road and was trapped beneath the 350# mobility device. I called 9-1-1 hoping for a "Motor Vehicle Accident" response but she was hell-bent on making it a "Public Assist" call.

    Is the man hurt? I don't know, he's trapped.
    Did he loose consciousness? I don't know, I just found him.
    How long has he been down? I don't know, he's trapped.
    How old is he? Does it matter lady? HE'S TRAPPED!!

    Took the Engine six minutes to roll up, "cold" while I was left down in the ditch holding the chair off the man's paralized legs!
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    Quote Originally Posted by pretendpilot View Post
    Similarly though, just last week I found a paralized man had driven his motorized wheelchair off the road and was trapped beneath the 350# mobility device. I called 9-1-1 hoping for a "Motor Vehicle Accident" response but she was hell-bent on making it a "Public Assist" call.
    We know, we've heard your story once. You've yet to come back to that thread and reply. Even if she did make it a "cold call" and just a public assist (you don't know so don't act like you do.), could it perhaps be your fault because you were micro-managing the dispatcher and the story sounds as if you were panicked also.

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    Edge makes a point, Pilot. Why haven't you come back to join us? Here's a link in case you can't find the original thread: PretendPilot fusses about dispatchers.
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    Red face Very Sorry ...

    Quote Originally Posted by edge1317 View Post
    We know, we've heard your story once. You've yet to come back to that thread and reply. Even if she did make it a "cold call" and just a public assist (you don't know so don't act like you do.), could it perhaps be your fault because you were micro-managing the dispatcher and the story sounds as if you were panicked also.
    Sorry buys, I had NO IDEA that one had ever been posted! I'll go hunt that one down and leave this thread to it's origins. Sorry ...
    A brother in spirit if no longer in body ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    I'd think it would be more confusing with multi-station response. The question of "Is he closer then I am" harder to figure out then "Is the other bay empty already".
    Well...We have a county dispatch system with automatic mutual aid. All units are listed on a dispatch in order of how close they are to a given address. All you have to do is look on your print-out, pager or MDC screen and if your listed first, you run hot. If your not, you dont.

    No problem...
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