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    Default Apparatus Spacing While Responding

    My department requires that the Engine, Truck and BC all wait for each other to pull out of the station and stay fairly close together when responding. I remember an article in one of the trade magazines recommending against this practice due to cars not realizing there is a second or third unit following the unit that they pulled over for. Does anybody remember this article? Also, does your FD do this or does each unit just take off and respond on their own?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ENG103 View Post
    My department requires that the Engine, Truck and BC all wait for each other to pull out of the station and stay fairly close together when responding. I remember an article in one of the trade magazines recommending against this practice due to cars not realizing there is a second or third unit following the unit that they pulled over for. Does anybody remember this article? Also, does your FD do this or does each unit just take off and respond on their own?
    We run both fire and EMS. Our ambulance covers another municipalitybeside our own. Years back, before department owned chief's cars were commonplace in the volunteer fire service, the then fire chief in the other municipality bought a new personal car. Just happened to be red in color, and he equipped it with red lights and a siren as is allowed under Pennsylvania law.

    The chief got into the habit of responding to EMS incidents along with our ambulance. When the ambulance would depart for the hospital, away he'd go, leading the way, red lights and siren. After we nearly wrecked the ambulance a couple of times for just the reasons you point out, we'd had enough. We told him straight out that it was unnecessary and please don't bother. But he was undeterred. So any time we could justify it, which was most of the time, we'd proceed without lights and siren. After his face got red a couple of times he got the message and gave it up.

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    As a career FF running out of an Engine/Truck house, I was more often than not the Truck Chauffer. I always, always, always allowed at least three or four truck lengths when I followed the engine (yeah yeah I know, I should have been blazing the trail "but thats the way they always did it") in case if he came to a sudden stop........And for the reasons mentioned.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    you want to leave enough space to not only allow you to stop, but when someone looks at whats making all that noise, that the person can see two separate trucks and not just one big blob of red and flashing lights.

    different siren noises are a good idea also.

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    nameless, that's funny (one big red blob) but quite true.

    Respond when you can (don't wait) but if you are responding together leave a lot of space (like a city block) between ... for all the reasons mentioned above!
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    For us, it's 4 seconds between vehicles responding to a call. Sometimes the baidaid buggy leaves first, sometimes the engine is first out.

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    It depends on what the call is....

    Fire call (one station)... Engine first, truck second, med third, Bat chief last. Separation is the distance/length of the truck x2 between all, if not more.

    Med run... Med runs first, and the engine or truck stays behind 2-3 lengths it's size.

    On police calls, and wrecks, they need to follow the FD spacing through intersections. Or at least, give 3-5 car lengths between them. I've got pics of what happens when a cruiser is the last in line, and too far behind, that a motorist starts moving, thinking all is clear, to be hit by the cruiser. It wasn't pretty.

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    Excellent subject.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    different siren noises are a good idea also.
    That is a great idea.

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    Usually on my vollie department we don't have to worry about trucks running close together but occassionally they do, so when they do we try to keep a fair amount of distance between apparatus and we try to use different siren tones.

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    I work at a multi unit house Engine, Truck, Rescue , Chief and Medic. So if you have a "special order in which to respond what do you do if some one is in the can or shower? How long do you wait unti you say "f" it? And leave out of sequence.

    Also Iam a fan of the biggest truck going first. Punches the biggest hole in traffic and jhave the longest stopping distance. So if you put a smaller unit that stops better behind it thats one less thing to worry about.
    Last edited by JMac73; 10-28-2009 at 09:46 PM.

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    I don't think it matters, as each rigs driver and officer should be paying attention to traffic and driving accordingly. Shouldnt ever assume people see you, whether running by yourself or in a group.

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    Smile Wonderful topic

    And also wonderful responses. I've asked for some type of EVOC on my dept for the last 8 years I've been there. I started on a dept out east and had some there and had a full blown 40 EVOC class as an MP in the US Navy. I think it all relies on the "due regard". Too many damn crashes with too many emergency responders getting killed and hurt. I try to tell my chauffs to Slow down, Buckle up and fight off the "red lights and siren" get outta my way syndrome.

    Be safe everyone!!

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    Good responses so far.

    Here are my $0.02: Allow a good amount of room between trucks. If people can hear the siren of the first truck approaching they will move out of the way. If you wait long enough the drivers will have the oportunity to realize that the first siren they heard is getting more distant, but a new siren is approaching.

    Different siren tones are a great idea as well. The lead truck will punch the Q, the second truck will have the siren on yelp, the third (if needed) might even be on hi-lo. If you can give each truck a distinctive sound profile it will help make them stand out more.
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    As far as the truck in front of the engine:

    To me it's not about vehicle size and "punching through traffic". It is about the truck arriving first and having the ability to position properly without having the engine blocking it out.

    Remember: You can extend a handline, but you can't add additional fly sections if your ladder comes up short.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    you want to leave enough space to not only allow you to stop, but when someone looks at whats making all that noise, that the person can see two separate trucks and not just one big blob of red and flashing lights.

    different siren noises are a good idea also.
    Exactly. I know someone that fell victim to this very problem once. Pulled over for the ambulance, didn't see the medic fly car behind the ambulance and pulled back out sideswiping the medic truck. Total accident but it is exactly what happens.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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