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  1. #1
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Default A Little Local FD News...Thoughts?

    Here is the link to the article on FH.com about an area department's changing truck company response. This has caught a lot of attention in the local news.

    http://www.firehouse.com/topic/strat...ponse-policies
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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    "For shooting water onto the roof of a two-story house, deck guns generally work just as well or better, Wallen said."

    That statement right there speaks volumes. This tells me that they view their "Truck Company" as a device for flowing water in a defensive mode. This is not what a Truck Company is.

    A Truck Company is used in an aggressive, offensive manner to obtain certain tactical goals and objectives such as forcible entry, S & R, ventilation, utility control, opening walls & ceilings, etc. A variety of ground ladders can be thrown to effect rescues, allow access & egress, etc.

    I could be wrong in this case, if thats what these guys see their ladder for, then so be it, let it sit in the firehouse. I know many small communities (especially in the souty) view their ladder trucks as "necessary evils" and only use them for flowing water in defensive ops. Not saying everyone does, either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    "For shooting water onto the roof of a two-story house, deck guns generally work just as well or better, Wallen said."

    That statement right there speaks volumes. This tells me that they view their "Truck Company" as a device for flowing water in a defensive mode. This is not what a Truck Company is.

    A Truck Company is used in an aggressive, offensive manner to obtain certain tactical goals and objectives such as forcible entry, S & R, ventilation, utility control, opening walls & ceilings, etc. A variety of ground ladders can be thrown to effect rescues, allow access & egress, etc.

    I could be wrong in this case, if thats what these guys see their ladder for, then so be it, let it sit in the firehouse. I know many small communities (especially in the souty) view their ladder trucks as "necessary evils" and only use them for flowing water in defensive ops. Not saying everyone does, either.
    An engine company or rescue company can perform those same functions at a single family residental fire.
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    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    An engine company or rescue company can perform those same functions at a single family residental fire.
    I agree to a point.

    If there is someone coming into that structure fire and assigned the truck co duties, then I feel better about supporting this.

    There are MANY places in this country that don't have aerials. Truck work still gets done.
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    Poor decision, what about the compliment of ground ladders carried by the truck? I don't know what kind of ground ladders the engines carry, but I bet the truck has a better compliment than the engines.

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    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    Poor decision, what about the compliment of ground ladders carried by the truck? I don't know what kind of ground ladders the engines carry, but I bet the truck has a better compliment than the engines.
    I'm sure like most, each engine carries a 24 footer and a Roof Ladder. In most single family dwellings I don't know that you'll need more then a few 24 footers. If you do, special call the aerial.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    There are MANY places in this country that don't have aerials. Truck work still gets done.
    True, but this appears to be a case of having the resource and choosing not to automatically send it into a portion of their district.

    If the concern is tying up a "limited resource" that might not get fully utilized (i.e. using the aerial device itself), then to me, it would make more sense to dispatch it and have the BC determine it's not needed rather than create a policy in which the BCs essentially have the ability to manually override the policy on every call.

    I could see the potential "wisdom" in reducing the truck responses to specific types of calls that could easily be handled with an additional engine in order to keep a limited number of aerial units available for calls in which they would actually be needed. However, we seem to be talking about stopping their response to working fires, something that is typically a small percentage of the total call volume and that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.

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    The article implied that the decision was based on the geographic area of the town.. I forget the actual wording but something about dirt roads and no hydrants. Maybe responses to that area is causing more wear and tear on the truck then normal, and for little benefit for a SFD.

    The article also mentioned that the department had recently constructed new stations (I assume in the area in question) so it doesn't sound like this decision reduces manpower for those calls.
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    The article implied that the decision was based on the geographic area of the town.. I forget the actual wording but something about dirt roads and no hydrants. Maybe responses to that area is causing more wear and tear on the truck then normal, and for little benefit for a SFD.

    The article also mentioned that the department had recently constructed new stations (I assume in the area in question) so it doesn't sound like this decision reduces manpower for those calls.
    It sounds like the truck simply may have very limited access in this area.

    In most of our runs, an aerial simply wouldn't be practical as it would never make it down the dirt roads to the scene. Even on the paved roads, there are many houses with long, soft driveways where the aerial would have to be left on the roadway and it's gear hauled in.

    This was especially true when we replaced the single-rear axle 75' Aerialscope with the dual-rear axle 95' Stuphen Tower.

    In many cases, in areas such as these, it's much easier to assign an engine to truck tasks as they can make it down the driveway. In our situation, in a worst case situation, we can simply have one of our F450 service trucks, which carries much of the truck company tools including saws, pike poles and hand tools ease in rather than an additional engine.

    I know that was the case with the aerial on my past department. It was only run as a first alarm piece to commercial, apartment and townhouse alarms and fires. It was left in the barn and special called if needed for residental fires and chimney fires, as in most cases, due to a lack of aerial access, roof access was much easier with ground ladders.

    The neighboring 2 departments followed the same policy in thier summer camp area and rural areas as aerial access was basically nil.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 08-22-2011 at 11:53 AM.
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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    An engine company or rescue company can perform those same functions at a single family residental fire.
    Never said they couldn't.

    I was pressed for time, I should have explained better. I guess I was questioning whether they utilize the Truck Company as a true Truck Company or do they utilize it as an aerial device. If they utilize it as an aerial device, then fine, leave it at home.

    If they utilize it as a Truck Company, then they damn well better make sure they dispatch an addtional Engine Company on the assignments to take up for the loss of the Ladder Company.

    As an Incident Commander, I want a full complement of ground ladders on the scene- In our area, grading requires the use of 35' ground ladders to hit roofs and even second floor windows many times more often than not. I expect at least one if not two ground ladders on each side and/or to the roof. A 35' on an engine company is not unheard of, but it is rare.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Never said they couldn't.


    As an Incident Commander, I want a full complement of ground ladders on the scene- In our area, grading requires the use of 35' ground ladders to hit roofs and even second floor windows many times more often than not. I expect at least one if not two ground ladders on each side and/or to the roof. A 35' on an engine company is not unheard of, but it is rare.
    FWD , I agree with your post with the exception of the above and would like to point out in my area Coastal NJ we have very few Aerials responding so it was with that in mind that our Company officers made it a point of putting 1 apparatus in each house (usually 2 engines to each house) have at least 1 35' ladder. Some companies have rigs now with both 24 and 35 footers. We learned to adapt. It is also in our SOPs that if no aerial is responding 2nd due is TRUCK. Unfortunately this has made our engines much "bigger" because we are carrying Engine Truck equipment (not really squads because many do not have Hyd. F.E. tools) ...... Wow , I looked at this post and thought I sound like someone else by pointing out " IN MY AREA WE......" Sorry for that I wasn't questioning the post .

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Never said they couldn't.

    I was pressed for time, I should have explained better. I guess I was questioning whether they utilize the Truck Company as a true Truck Company or do they utilize it as an aerial device. If they utilize it as an aerial device, then fine, leave it at home.

    If they utilize it as a Truck Company, then they damn well better make sure they dispatch an addtional Engine Company on the assignments to take up for the loss of the Ladder Company.

    As an Incident Commander, I want a full complement of ground ladders on the scene- In our area, grading requires the use of 35' ground ladders to hit roofs and even second floor windows many times more often than not. I expect at least one if not two ground ladders on each side and/or to the roof. A 35' on an engine company is not unheard of, but it is rare.
    Fully agree that if they are not dispatching a truck there should be an engine assigned to do truck work.
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    Did you two just agree on something ......................the apocalypse is NEAR !!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Fully agree that if they are not dispatching a truck there should be an engine assigned to do truck work.
    The story hints that they may be doing just that:
    ...change just means swapping one piece of equipment for another...
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    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Post And.............

    I'm getting a different take on this.......... As I read the article, it seems that the Residents of a certain area of the County (City?) have had a truck company responding until this change took effect. Now, they no longer have a Truck in their area, but the rest of the County still gets one...... IF this is correct, I'd be upset too, since all taxpayers are not being treated equitably...... That is what the problem is (at least looking at it from here). FWIW, we send 2 Trucks on every structure Fire........ Period.
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    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    I'm getting a different take on this.......... As I read the article, it seems that the Residents of a certain area of the County (City?) have had a truck company responding until this change took effect. Now, they no longer have a Truck in their area, but the rest of the County still gets one...... IF this is correct, I'd be upset too, since all taxpayers are not being treated equitably...... That is what the problem is (at least looking at it from here). FWIW, we send 2 Trucks on every structure Fire........ Period.
    Augusta-Richmond County operates as a consolidated city/county government. There are no city limits per say, just county lines.

    Your interpretation would be correct. Citizens feel like some parts of the county are being treated different than the rest, although they all pay the same amount of taxes for fire protection.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1 View Post
    Did you two just agree on something ......................the apocalypse is NEAR !!!!!
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    I see this as a decision by the chief to shave his budget a bit by not rolling all the trucks to a "possible" structure fire or a "residential" fire...something he can save money on by not paying fuel to run that truck that gets turned around a lot.

    I don't see a problem with this as long as the battalion chiefs have the option to call for it at their discretion.
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    Posted by Dickey
    I see this as a decision by the chief to shave his budget a bit by not rolling all the trucks to a "possible" structure fire or a "residential" fire...something he can save money on by not paying fuel to run that truck that gets turned around a lot. I don't see a problem with this as long as the battalion chiefs have the option to call for it at their discretion.
    I find it far easier to return the truck if it isn't needed than to play "catch up" and wait for it to arrive... but even if you can ladder the building with a 24', the extra personnel that arrive on the truck can be put to use at a fire. I've never been to or commanded a fire where I had too many personnel available!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I'm sure like most, each engine carries a 24 footer and a Roof Ladder. In most single family dwellings I don't know that you'll need more then a few 24 footers. If you do, special call the aerial.
    That works great until you have a victim hanging out a 3rd floor window, or on the roof and need a 35'.

    "Hang on a few more minutes pal, we'll call for the truck that has the ladder we need to save you!"

    If a truck company is staffed and available, it should go.

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