1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you're clearly not one of the career members of your combo FD? I guess false alarms should be handled by less personnel, since, after all they're just false alarms, right? You're either severely misguided or jealous. How about the very first time you show up to an actual fire with less personnel, you've just raised the overall risks to everyone firefighters and civilians. Sure, you can adjust your tactics to cover up lost personnel, but in the end this is a form a a reduction in service or slowage of service to the civilians who you serve. Not to worry, you not alone in your misguided view. Everyone understands making the best use of the taxpayers dollars, but it somehow is more offensive when some of the misinformation come directly from the ranks of the FD.
    I know this will fire up another debate, but what the hell.

    First of all, the vast majority of alarm trips are false. Secondly, if you start looking at the buildings that have alarms, the majority of them also have sprinkler systems, which means if there is an actual fire, it will in all likelihood be extinguished by the sprinkler system long before we arrive.

    In some places it's not uncommon for 98-99% of alarm trips to be false, and I have documentation to back that up.

    As far as fire v. EMS .....

    If you operate in an area with low fire frequency, EMS can and should be allocated a higher percentage of your fire resources than if you operate in an area with a high fire incidence. Bottom line, EMS affects and saves more lives than fire response ever will, so it simply makes sense to dedicate them to EMS and utilize the remainder as a fire resource.

    I have no idea what the numbers are in auxman's area, but in our area, 84% of our volume is EMS. Less than .1% of our runs are structure fires with slightly over 1% representing total fires, so yes, we dedicate our entire career and ride-out staffing to EMS when we are operating at multiple calls and essentially allow the volunteers responding from home handle any fire calls that may come in until the EMS runs are cleared.

    EMS should have equal priority as fire, and honestly, will save fire more lives than a fire truck ever will.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 08-28-2011 at 07:25 PM.
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  2. #52
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    RDF, I guess you didn't notice that I was essentially arguing against diverting fire staff in this way by saying that the EMS folks should be the ones stretching their resources to answer these calls rather than the FD. And what I was also saying was that even if our Dept. tried something like this our call volume is so low (including even fire alarms) that it would be extremely rare for it to cause us a problem.

    Perhaps it was my saying that we are overstaffed on the paid side that got you upset. We are, but what I didn't say, but would have if the question came up is that we are are also understaffed on the volunteer side primarily due to the department policy requring all vols to be FFII (which I happen to agree with, but it does limit your vol recruiting a bit). So don't think I was even getting close to making some "the vols can handle everything" argument.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by auxman View Post
    Perhaps it was my saying that we are overstaffed on the paid side that got you upset. We are, but what I didn't say, but would have if the question came up is that we are are also understaffed on the volunteer side primarily due to the department policy requring all vols to be FFII (which I happen to agree with, but it does limit your vol recruiting a bit). So don't think I was even getting close to making some "the vols can handle everything" argument.
    You are correct in seeing the source of my ire. You explanation only furthers the issue in my view. You say you're overstaffed with paid people but short on volunteers? So if too few volunteers show up, it would still be better for fewer paid firefighter to be on duty? And the answer, though you say you disagree, is to lower standards for your volunteers? I cannot even guess what your angle is or how you've arrived at your assertions? Sorry to call you out, but I just don't understand...

  4. #54
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    Thats getting away from the point of the thread more than necessary. If you really care about staffing at my dept I'll be happy to discuss it through PM though I don't see the point.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I know this will fire up another debate, but what the hell.

    First of all, the vast majority of alarm trips are false. Secondly, if you start looking at the buildings that have alarms, the majority of them also have sprinkler systems, which means if there is an actual fire, it will in all likelihood be extinguished by the sprinkler system long before we arrive.

    In some places it's not uncommon for 98-99% of alarm trips to be false, and I have documentation to back that up.

    As far as fire v. EMS .....

    If you operate in an area with low fire frequency, EMS can and should be allocated a higher percentage of your fire resources than if you operate in an area with a high fire incidence. Bottom line, EMS affects and saves more lives than fire response ever will, so it simply makes sense to dedicate them to EMS and utilize the remainder as a fire resource.

    I have no idea what the numbers are in auxman's area, but in our area, 84% of our volume is EMS. Less than .1% of our runs are structure fires with slightly over 1% representing total fires, so yes, we dedicate our entire career and ride-out staffing to EMS when we are operating at multiple calls and essentially allow the volunteers responding from home handle any fire calls that may come in until the EMS runs are cleared.

    EMS should have equal priority as fire, and honestly, will save fire more lives than a fire truck ever will.

    So how do you feel about staffing, training, and equipping for specialty/technical rescue disciplines?

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    So how do you feel about staffing, training, and equipping for specialty/technical rescue disciplines?
    My combo department operates a technical rescue team. We probably utilize it twice to three times a year. When we do, it generally requires a full department commitment including safety, support and command positions.

    As a rule, we will pull a neighboring departments technical rescue certified personnel into the operation as well either as a backup team or supplemental personnel.

    Since we will be generally committing all available personnel to the operation, also use mutual aid to cover our Central Station. In some cases we may have some non-technical rescue members available to run EMS and fire calls along with the mutual aid cover company, but that would be more the exception as compared to the rule.

    We view technical rescue as a role that is as critical as EMS, though it is not used very often.

    We do not do water or dive as there is minimal call for that in our district. There is a neighboring department that has extensive experience and a number of trained personnel, so we utilize them for those types of responses, which occur once every few years and are generally recovery operations.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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