Thread: Car wrecks

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    Default Car wrecks

    I was wondering if anyone could help me. We are trying to change county dispatch policy to page out fire departments not just first responders to all wrecks. In our county most fire departments have medical first responders/ fire fighters on there dept. but at present only the trained medical personal are allowed to respond to wrecks. Once they get to the scene if they feel a fire apparatus is need then and only then can the firefighters roll with a pumper. Now yes I know in some areas all fire fighters also need medical training at this point that is not the issue. Thats aq topic for the furture we need to take baby steps right now.

    Several fire departments would like to change present policy so that on all wrecks the fire department is paged out. ( the tones are the same for firstresponders and firefighter is just what the dispatch says is differant) This would enable not only enable the first responders to respond but also the fire fighters with a pumper to provide traffic protection, fire protection, and just extra set of hands that is many time needed.

    Is there any NFPA, OSHA, or ANSI rules or regulations that we can use to help prove our point? Has one else had similar problems?

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    The problem you will get into with that situation is that you will end up with 20 povs and 5 fire trucks on scene for a 2 car accident that has no injuries and no entrapment. Why don't the first responders roll a rescue truck? Then if you need a engine or another rescue once you are onscene they can tone it out. Unless there is entrapment or some other serious hazard then you shouldn't need more than 4 or 5 people.

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    If you really want to respond to ALL MVAs (which strikes me as insane; don't you like to occassionally get some sleep?) than having all firefighters trained to a first responder level is probably a prerequisite.

    It is not a "baby step" to start responding, but with unqualified personnel.

    Get the appropriate training first.

    Now, that having been said:

    In most places, dispatch works for the fire department, not vice versa. Assuming you are in a town, an not an unincorporated area within a county, the fire chief should have the authority to determine the response protocols for his jurisdiction.
    Last edited by NewHampshireFF; 05-13-2009 at 04:11 PM.

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    Alot would depend on how your county is structured. Are there many individual departments with their own command structure and a centralized dispatching office?

    If this is the case, I would say don't let the dispatchers rin the fire departments. There job is to notify the fire departments of the incident. That department should determine what the appropriate level of response should be.

    Who is in charge of the dispatchers? A fire agency or the Sheriff?

    This is likely to be no more than the Sheriff saying that "those fire chiefs" are not going to run my dispatch office, but again regardless of what a dispatcher is suggesting, the fire department should dtermine their level of response.
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    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    I was wondering if anyone could help me. We are trying to change county dispatch policy to page out fire departments not just first responders to all wrecks. In our county most fire departments have medical first responders/ fire fighters on there dept. but at present only the trained medical personal are allowed to respond to wrecks. Once they get to the scene if they feel a fire apparatus is need then and only then can the firefighters roll with a pumper. Now yes I know in some areas all fire fighters also need medical training at this point that is not the issue. Thats aq topic for the furture we need to take baby steps right now.

    Several fire departments would like to change present policy so that on all wrecks the fire department is paged out. ( the tones are the same for firstresponders and firefighter is just what the dispatch says is differant) This would enable not only enable the first responders to respond but also the fire fighters with a pumper to provide traffic protection, fire protection, and just extra set of hands that is many time needed.

    Is there any NFPA, OSHA, or ANSI rules or regulations that we can use to help prove our point? Has one else had similar problems?
    I don't know about other states, but around here the FD is responsible for haz mat.

    Almost every vehicle in a wreck is leaking something....

    Try that route.
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    As MemphisE34 said, the Chiefs should have the control to say what will be dispatched on any incident.

    Plus the CAD if you guys have this should be programmed to send Fire and a EMS unit to all MVA's.

    The Chiefs of the departments need to come together and generate a letter to the dispatch center indicating what they want.
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    Do you have a central dispatch center for the county? Who does your dispatch now? Do you have a county fire chief's association or group that meets on a regular basis?

    It is my opinion that an engine should respond to all injury crashes because of fluids, manpower for patient care, and scene protection. Our county runs this way. However, if you are set up with vollies responding direct to the scene, then this is not going to help. You cannot have several POV's parked along the road like that. We don't go directly to the scene so we respond with our heavy rescue to all crashes.

    Your Chief needs to figure this out with the dispatch center. It will matter too on what other departments are doing. Do others do this now?
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    If the page is the same for all firefighters, then just tell those FF that are not yet first responders that they can or should respond as well. You probably don't get to many calls, so forget about a burn out factor. As to get them to change the way you dispatch, if your Logan co is anything like our Stone co, then getting them to page the RIGHT fire dept is a win. So just tell everyone at your next meeting to respond to all MVA's, weather they are first responders or not. Just make sure someone brings
    the truck with the jaws.

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    Our policy is if you're sending an ambulance, you're sending an engine.

    Give your dispatchers this scenario:

    Call comes in for a MVA and you send an ambulance, which arrives 15 minutes after the tone. Ambulance advises that extrication is needed, so the FD is dispatched, taking another 15 minutes. Extrication is lengthy and difficult, so it takes 20-30 minutes to get the patient out. By the time they get to the hospital, it's been over an hour and the patient later dies.

    Patient's family gets a lawyer and sues. Lawyer calls an "expert" to the stand and asks if the patient might have survived if he/she had gotten to the hospital sooner. The "expert" replies that, yes, it is possible. . .

    You can almost guess how the jury is going to rule on this one. And of course, the lawyer has sued anybody and everybody involved...

    Let them think about that one for a while...

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    thanks f0r the input. I guess I should have discribed our dispatch better. it's a county wide dispatch that dispatches 17 fire departments, ems, and sheriff dept. Also right now the sheriff runs is but really no one have real authority over it. The county heads are trying to work that out as we speak. As far as to many P0V's rarely happens we are all small depts and man power is always a problem. The jaws come from a county rescue unit. All fire depts use the same feq. just differant pager tones. What bothers me the most if that really were onle asking the dispatch center to change two words. replace "first responder" with "fire department." I never thought that kind of change would be so hard. 0nes reason why we need the wording change is acccrding to the county if dispatch only says "first responder" they say county insurence won't cover any firefighters that show up. Personly i think thats bull. But thanks for everyones help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    0nes reason why we need the wording change is acccrding to the county if dispatch only says "first responder" they say county insurence won't cover any firefighters that show up. Personly i think thats bull. But thanks for everyones help.
    So you are all separate fire departments, but the county provides insurance for all of you? Interesting. Like someone else suggested, if your department wants a fire engine on scene of MVAs... it should roll one. If there is an insurance or liability concern, send them cold (they'll still get there faster than waiting for first responders to call for them).

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    Quote Originally Posted by cozmosis View Post
    So you are all separate fire departments, but the county provides insurance for all of you? Interesting. Nothing new to that line of thinking up here, we've operated that way for many years. It is a common plan in the Mid Atlantic area, probably because A: you make sure everyone has the same minimum coverage, and B: the price break for doing a whole county instead of a few scattered stations should be noticeable. Like someone else suggested, if your department wants a fire engine on scene of MVAs... it should roll one. AbsolutelyIf there is an insurance or liability concern, send them cold (they'll still get there faster than waiting for first responders to call for them). Again, We agree. I honestly think someone is working a BS Thing here, probably a "Turf Battle". If I were a resident of that County, my voice would be heard VERY clearly at the meetings of County's Commissioners or whoever. Blatant Stupidity.
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    Now it sounds as if it is a "who's pee pee is bigger" contest.

    If your chief wants it dispatched or done a certain way, then he/she needs to meet with whoever is in charge of the dispatch center and work it out.

    You will have more teeth if all the departments want it done that way and unite to get the message across.

    Just remember though, you cannot lose control and get mad. You attract more flies with honey than you with salt.
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    We always pull a line when we are extricating. Make that policy and then you have no choice but to have an engine on scene.
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    We've gone back and forth on this in my county. Currently fire department gets dispatched at the same time as EMS on an MVA. Just last week a friend of mine got killed in an accident when his pick-up burst into flame on impact in a head-on. A fellow driving a rural garbage truck witnessed the accident and used his truck to pull the other pick-up away from the burning one, probably saving that guy's life.

    There is a REAL GOOD reason to dispatch an engine along with EMS. In a rural area where MVAs are likely to occur at high speeds, it is insanity NOT to send an engine on the first alarm, whether or not the firefighters are medics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simpleguy68 View Post
    Call comes in for a MVA and you send an ambulance, which arrives 15 minutes after the tone. Ambulance advises that extrication is needed, so the FD is dispatched, taking another 15 minutes. Extrication is lengthy and difficult, so it takes 20-30 minutes to get the patient out. By the time they get to the hospital, it's been over an hour and the patient later dies.
    It shouldn't take "another" 15 minutes. I guess it's a foreign concept that when a unit is dispatched that crews for the other units report to the station to standby to cover additional assistance for this call or for a second call that may come in?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    It shouldn't take "another" 15 minutes. I guess it's a foreign concept that when a unit is dispatched that crews for the other units report to the station to standby to cover additional assistance for this call or for a second call that may come in?
    I think he was referencing the travel time it would take for the engine to get on scene.
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    Having non-command staff respond to incidents in POV's is just a bad idea. Many problems are associated with this such as staging of vehicles, assignments, accountability, etc. To answer your question my opinion the fire department should be dispatched on all MVA's unless law enforcement clears the scene of hazards and injuries, but also need to follow your department's/local protocol for that situation. If your station does not have staffing 24 hrs for a rescue then the POV's should respond to the station to then take the apparatus unless directed otherwise. Whether or not the Fire Department is dispatched on the call needs to decided on cooperation between law enforcement, fire department officials, and the dispatchers.

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    Our fire department came across that issue too, we do fire and ems. We were paged out for a car that struck a tree. upon our "ems" arrivial to the scene. Guess what? The car was on fire, the doors were caved in, and the lady driver was knocked out cold, flames were out of control. sorry to say but with our best efforts. We lost the lady. all because dispatch advised no engine was needed. So we decided that if a car wreck happens an engine rolls with the ambulance. Go to your county supervisor, mayor, or township leader. Explain to them that sometimes it may not be needed but there are times a fire engine is needed. It might take a horrible call to happen to get these leaders to help change dispatch protocols.

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    It seems logical to me that fire apparatus be paged out in the event of a wreck, but that's just me, and probably due to the fact that my department does that already.

    Reasoning:
    -In case a fire erupts from one of the vehicles. Safety first, take no chances.
    -Manpower.
    -Speedy Dry. In my department the fire apparatuses carry the speedy dry to soak up leaking gasoline, oil, and other leaking substances from cars.
    -Immediate tools (Oak Cutters, Jaws of Life, ect). I'd rather have these tools accessible as soon as possible, rather than waiting for medical personnel to radio back for it, then send a page out. The loss of time can definitely cost a life.
    -More traffic safety. More lights, more apparatus... I feel much more safe when there's engines around rather than just medical personnel.

    That's all I can think of for now :X

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