1. #1
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    Default To wait, or not to wait...

    So, my question is... How long do you wait before you leave the station - full truck or not? I know different types of calls warrant different answers but I am talking for:
    1.) Fire alarms - do you have a minimum amount of people needed to roll to a fire alarm?
    2.) Structure fires - Same question

    Thanks!
    Mike S.
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    As a general rule, if there is insufficient personnel to fill a truck they will bunker up and prepare (open doors, pull out on the apron and allow to warm up) all trucks assigned to that alarm before they leave without a fully staffed truck. Typically, that's less than 3 minutes, unless there's only one guy. If no one else has arrived or isn't pulling in, they're clear to leave with what they have.

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    Generally, we are fortunate not to have that problem very often. First due, we will wait 5 minutes. Second due, we won't generally go without full staffing.

    My last department had that problem quite often, I usually ran out of a substation and if nobody showed up by the time I got to the station, geared up, and had a chance to check the map book, I would roll, at least for the first due.

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    Depends on the call of course, but 90% of the time, the first engine out we would leave as soon as we had 2 FF, unless there was peeps running in the door, we would wait, not very long though. The second engine or rescue, wait for a full crew. Hated waiting........

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    Those all sound along the lines of what we do. our biggest thing is having a *qualified* person in the right front. They get to make the decision. It's a difficult thing to put a hard and fast ruling onto, as far as how long do you wait.
    Mike S.
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    It’s just not that deep, so stop looking for something that isn’t there.

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    I've thought this in my mind a couple of times, as according to some on my volunteer department, we've been having low #'s for calls (I'm new to the dept.). As of this time, I've zero experience with the engines, nor am I certified. I'm thinking once I have my bearings with them, I'll opening bays and getting them running. That's really about it. I figure I'd be 'geared up' and waiting for qualified personnel. If need be, and if situation seems appropriate, I have no problem running one of our brush trucks, as I have worked wildland duties for the WI DNR and received certifications through the state.

    Overall, depending on the situation, I'm thinking three would be the best situation.

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    Standing SOG is that if insufficient members arrive to fill the rigs mutual aid is called before we roll out and then we roll with what we have.

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    It's a difficult thing to put a hard and fast ruling onto, as far as how long do you wait.
    Exactly. And that "wait" time will vary much depending on your individual department.

    For many towns around me, 6-8 minutes is a normal travel time for members to arrive at their building. In my town, that time is 2-3 minutes. Makes a big difference in deciding how long to wait.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    One piece of criteria I kind of base ours on is that when we averaged all of our times over the last 2 years off of our run sheets, we have an average on-scene time of 8 minutes. this tells me our members are arriving and filling the trucks within 5 minutes of a page going out. Do you guys average your times?
    Mike S.
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    It’s just not that deep, so stop looking for something that isn’t there.

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    no, never sat and averaged our response times.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Default Reponding

    In my Fd the S.O.G. states that at night we typically wait for a couple of guys to show up being we have members all around our depts. During the day time we roll first come first serve. If we stack the trucks good if not, not that big of a deal.

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    We generally know where everyone in town is coming from, and who takes the longest to get there. If by the time the 2-3 first arrivals get geared up and in the truck and we haven't seen the furthest-out coming down the street, we know that this is all we have and roll.

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    We do things a bit differently. One of our officers (closest) will usually go direct to the scene. Then, all further responders go to the station unless they pass the scene. Our station is right in the middle of our area so for any given call, about 1/2 our members are closer to the scene than to the station.

    The trucks roll with the first qualified to drive it. Many times that means one on it. Each member has a radio so we know when trucks roll and can respond accordingly. Also, once a structure fire is confirmed, we re-tone which generates more manpower. Most of our calls are EMS though and many members have/carry tec kits with them as well as bunker gear. Our officers also carry their own SCBA's in POV's.

    This works for our geography and response area. (many times, the calls are in the neighborhoods where we live)
    Last edited by TheFNG; 12-28-2008 at 11:03 PM.

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    For us, unless it's the middle of the day (we protect a bedroom community) the first truck and for the most part the second truck doesn't roll with out a full crew. During the day they will usually wait five minutes then go, and if it's a structure fire they roll almost immediately but make sure somebody is left at the station to drive the tanker. As far as I can remember the worst we ever had was three guys on the first truck. On a side note though, under no circumstances is anybody allowed to respond directly to the scene, that's why we rarely roll with out a full crew. Also at any given time of the day for the most part there is a minimum of 5-6 people that can arrive at the station within like 1 1/2 to 2 minutes of the tones.
    Last edited by Chazz2771; 12-29-2008 at 09:18 PM.

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    I completely understand the idea of waiting for additional personnel. We only wait if the responding units are qualified drivers since the majority of our firefighters are either too young or to inexperienced to drive fire apparatus. Once we have a driver, officer and 1 or more firefighters the 1st truck out rolls. The officer calls for Mutual aid if they believe it is warranted and we go on about our business of fighting fire, performing extrications, and providing EMS to our community.
    To err is human, To forgive divine and at times I am as much of both as you will ever find

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    [QUOTE=MTKROUSH;1020014]We only wait if the responding units are qualified drivers since the majority of our firefighters are either too young or to inexperienced to drive fire apparatus.[QUOTE]

    How do you know who the responding members are? Do you all check enroute to the station when you leave your house/work? We have talked about doing this on our tactical frequency because it seems to clog the dispatch frequency.
    Last edited by EFDSTUSSY; 01-01-2009 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Still don't know how the quote funtion works!
    Mike S.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EFDSTUSSY View Post
    How do you know who the responding members are? Do you all check enroute to the station when you leave your house/work? We have talked about doing this on our tactical frequency because it seems to clog the dispatch frequency.
    Yes we do. Those that are issued portable radios go into service when they leave home / work/ the head / wherever. Those that only have pager access just show up and show themselves in service if they arrive at the station before anyone else starts to get there.

    Only one problem. We have a few that go into service before they are actually in motion to the station. We end up waiting on one of our guys an extended amount of time because he can't help but stop and take a s**t before he gets in his truck and comes on to the house. Good thing he lives less than 1/4 mile from the station
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTKROUSH View Post
    Only one problem. We have a few that go into service before they are actually in motion to the station. We end up waiting on one of our guys an extended amount of time because he can't help but stop and take a s**t before he gets in his truck and comes on to the house. Good thing he lives less than 1/4 mile from the station
    Hahahahahaha. we have some members that do that too I'm pretty sure. LOL
    Mike S.
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    It’s not intended to upset anybody, “beat a political drum”, or “stir the pot”. There’s no need to try to read in between the lines.
    It’s just not that deep, so stop looking for something that isn’t there.

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    A vol. department I was previously on used a similar operation to the one that MKTROUSH mentioned. After their 1 year probationary period was up, members were allowed to purchase a portable radio and have our tactical channel installed on it if they wished. We had a system called a "Duty Officer". Each of us that were line officers would be assigned a night every couple of weeks and a weekend when our number came around. When we received a call, all members with portables would either call enroute to the station they were nearest to or to the scene.If someone was away from home in our district we would encourage them to also state the area they were responding from. This would allow the Duty Officer to know what resources he or she had and which station they would be responding from. It also allowed the driver of the apparatus to know if he or she should wait. It helped tremendously in times where an early request for mutual aid made a major difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EFDSTUSSY View Post
    So, my question is... How long do you wait before you leave the station - full truck or not?
    Truck rolls when a driver is available, full or not. We have many qualified firefighters that can and do go directly to the scene. Trucks can't do much without staffing, and firefighters can't do much without trucks, but the point of merger is sometimes the scene and not the station.

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    we operate a little differnt then you all we have 9 people dearing the day and if they are all at home they we roll 2 in the pumper and 2 in each tanker and the rest in the rescue or squidzilla. and if there is only 3 or 4 of us they we take the two tankers and call mutal aid in both ways.

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    We have 5 companies in my town 4 Engines companies and 1 Truck company. I am on the truck company and currently have limited manpower during the day. Night time we try to wait for 3 and daytime we roll with 2 if needed. Most of the time we can count on an extra set of hands from one of the engine companies.
    Andrew
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    We don't roll a truck without at least two men, with the following exceptions:

    1. Medical call where it is know that the ambulance in already on scene.

    2. Response by the tanker when other crews are already on the scene.

    3. On the order of the on-scene IC.

    If at least two guys don't show up, you call for mutual aid and wait...and wait...and wait.

    We generally go enroute as soon as two men are on the truck...I'll wait a little bit if guys are pulling in the parking lot, depending on the call. No hard and fast rules there.

    We're about to issue portable radios to all members...I'm thinking we should have members check in on the radio as they start to the station so we have and idea of who we've got coming.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

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    My department runs about 300 call a year and we normaly never run a truck with less than 3 people. the only truck we run with less is our tower and our brush truck (70s dodge power wagon)if it is not the first out truck. also the three do not all have to be classified as class A firefighters.

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    Minimum staffing is Driver-Officer-2 pack qualified firefighters. If no officer is present, then a senior black hat takes that spot, but there still needs to be 2 pack guys in the back.
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