1. #1
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    Default Fire Apparatus at Wreck Scenes

    Our department is trying to develop protocols for vehicle collisions but one of the questions we have been hit with is: What are the benefits to sending a fire truck to every wreck? So I want to know what other departments think. What are the pros and cons to sending a firetruck to every wreck and why does your department do this or not do this?

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    Department sop's send an engine and an ambulance to mva's. Paramedics take care of the pt's and the engine crew makes vehicle safe and assists with pt's as needed. The engine also helps block traffic to keep crews safe.

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    We send the Heavy Rescue Squad to every accident. Reasons are that it's on the way if extrication is needed, they can block traffic, secure the power to the vehicles and mitigate any Haz Mat issues from leaking fluids. It also provides manpower for the ambulance crew.

    We operate both fire and EMS if that makes any difference, so our station is dispatched for any MVA with possible injuries.

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    We also run Fire/EMS and a medium rescue. As of now the ambulance is sent with a deputy/officer and if needed the rescue or engine can be requested by the ambulance on scene.

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    Around here, most departments do not respond to all accidents - example, minor fender-bender would not get fd response. If EMS is dispatched, yes, fd goes....

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    Pro, to protect our guys. Generally speaking our ambulance pulls past the scene and the fire apparatus blocks. Can't rely on the police, they may have something else going on, we set cones, block and set the scene. Also the engine can check for hazards, start an extrication, provide manpower.
    2 medics can not provide the correct care and remove the patient from the vehicle. Also you show up on scene and the vehicle is leaking fuel, is on fire, whatever. Without the engine there we have an unacceptable delay in handeling the situation.

    Con, it costs a few bucks to roll an engine

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    Our protocol is that if a medic unit is sent, the FD should be going as well. When you're covering 200 square miles out of two stations and the med unit is coming from a nearby city, you can't wait for the med unit to go on location and then ask for FD should they need them.

    If there's no extrication, FD secures the scene, controls traffic, and handles any minor spills.

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    Our brigade responds to most, block the road, provide HAZMAT/ fuel cleanup etc.

    Usually we're first on the scene and disconnect the battery to stop sparks. We help out the ambo's if they need it (we had an incident where one of our blokes drove the ambulance), we can also shunt the vehicle off the road to be collected later and sweep up glass etc from the scene.

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    The first and most major advantage to having a fire apparatus respond to every MVC with injuries is scene protection. Even the largest ambulance is too small to use for blocking, and the part where you load and unload the patient is pointed toward traffic anyways. Bad juju.

    The second advantage is personnel. Having extra hands on scene is a good thing. If you don't need them, you can cancel or release them, or just let them watch. If you do need them, for lifting/moving or multiple patients, it's an invaluable resource.

    Depending upon your department, having a fire apparatus there is the only way you're going to have an officer or acting officer on scene. Having someone with some experience in command of the whole scene is sometimes of great benefit. Not to say that a good EMT or medic couldn't run the scene without an officer, but it can help.

    Fluids/hazards. If you leave it up to the caller or PD to determine based upon the damage to the vehicles whether or not there's cause for a fire apparatus, you'll get the wrong decision all the time. When you dispatch an engine or truck to EVERY MVC with injuries, you'll get someone who knows if that fluid on the ground is fuel or oil, or just antifreeze (cops are idiots when it comes to this). You'll get someone who knows when a battery needs to be disabled. You'll get someone with the ability to do something about it.

    We don't roll an engine to EVERY wreck, just all the ones that an ambulance goes to. If there are no injuries when the MVC is called in, it's just PD going. If PD gets there and sees fluids, they MAY call for an engine to drop some absorbent. They typically don't, though, because the wrecker drivers carry that stuff, too.

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    my dept rolls with a rescue, that has all of our tools jaws rams blocks hazmat and spill control plus lighting. we allso have a engine roll as for water just in case and to add safety and more tools. tho, my dept is in the middle of bringing just the closest truck or the first truck on air, since we run out of three diff houses. usely what ever truck gets on the air first shows up then if its not the closest we get a lil word from the chief but at least a truck a showed up

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