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    Default En-route Driver Only

    What is everyones opinion on Engines responding driver only? i know its not safe but logically.... wait and hope for volunteers? or respond to get the truck there

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyDnE62bckwrds View Post
    What is everyones opinion on Engines responding driver only? i know its not safe but logically.... wait and hope for volunteers? or respond to get the truck there
    Not safe?

    We routinely go enroute driver only. Others come POV or in other equipment. 200 square miles often you have to pass the fire if going to the station.

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    what if everyone responded pov?

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    I know of allot of Combination Departments that do this, actually a few towns over one does. They have a driver at the station at all times, and everyone meets him on scene. And I don''t know what you'd do if everyone show'd up on scene? We never had that problem. What we do is we only cover some 4 sq miles in town, so if your closer to the scene, go to the scene, someones bound to be closer to the truck.
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    It simply depends on the department's makeup, geography, amount of members, time of day, etc, etc, etc. If each member has a radio, they can mark enroute to the scene or to the station. If they use a system such as I Am Responding, then the driver can see who's going where before they leave the station.
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    As Box says, it all depends on the situation. If you know additional people will be arriving at the scene, either by POV or mutual aid, then it might not be such a bad idea.

    I used to take an engine drive only more than I would care to admit. I would keep an ear on the radio so I knew which mutual aid companies were responding and if anybody was responding to the station. I had a good idea who might be coming out based on the time of day.

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    Responding driver only is not unsafe if the driver uses due caution and accounts for limited vision on the right side of the truck. Fighting a fire by yourself is unsafe.

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    There is a Combo department in my county that does that. The fulltime FF on duty rolls an engine and the volunteers respond to the scene. They seem to like how it works. It does take awhile for them to roll additional equipment sometimes when they have to wait for other driver to get to the station.

    What kills me though is that four of their six pieces of apparatus will seat at least 4 FF's and they leave the station with just 1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF715MRFD View Post
    There is a Combo department in my county that does that. The fulltime FF on duty rolls an engine and the volunteers respond to the scene. They seem to like how it works. It does take awhile for them to roll additional equipment sometimes when they have to wait for other driver to get to the station.

    What kills me though is that four of their six pieces of apparatus will seat at least 4 FF's and they leave the station with just 1.
    If the other three firefighters are closer to the scene it makes zero sense to wait on them at the station. And before someone screams about the rolling with a full crew thing, once the engine arrives on scene with its driver to three guys standing there waiting on packs I would say you have your full crew.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    If the other three firefighters are closer to the scene it makes zero sense to wait on them at the station. And before someone screams about the rolling with a full crew thing, once the engine arrives on scene with its driver to three guys standing there waiting on packs I would say you have your full crew.
    I absolutely agree with your comment. I maybe should have went a little further with mine. They have been rolling with one person for 6-7 years now, but they keep buying trucks that will seat 4-6 FF's when a standard cab truck would do just fine and save their taxpayers money.

    I may just be a little bitter because our B.O.D. will not replace 40 year old equipment and this other department get a new truck every 5 or so years and we both fight about the same amount of fire. Oh well, Rant off..............

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF715MRFD View Post
    I absolutely agree with your comment. I maybe should have went a little further with mine. They have been rolling with one person for 6-7 years now, but they keep buying trucks that will seat 4-6 FF's when a standard cab truck would do just fine and save their taxpayers money.

    I may just be a little bitter because our B.O.D. will not replace 40 year old equipment and this other department get a new truck every 5 or so years and we both fight about the same amount of fire. Oh well, Rant off..............
    A couple of things to consider here with commercial cab apparatus:

    1. The crew cab is completely worth it during that one call when you have 4 guys sitting at the station and they ARE able to all ride together.

    2. The crew cab gives you somewhere to store your SCBA without taking up valuable compartment space. Of our two front line engines, one is a crew cab and one is a regular cab. We are constantly looking for space to put things on the regular cab, being as an entire compartment is filled with SCBA.

    3. The crew cab gives you a place to rehab out of the weather, or somewhere for the occupants of the home to stay cool or warm.

    4. Our crew cab has two captain seats instead of a bench in the rear. The space between them is the perfect spot for medical bags that would otherwise be taking up even more compartment space. Plus, here they are climate controlled.

    Although I can see your point. They will both get you there and both put out fire.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyDnE62bckwrds View Post
    What is everyones opinion on Engines responding driver only? i know its not safe but logically.... wait and hope for volunteers? or respond to get the truck there
    Are you talking about Lakewood NJ? Cuz that's fairly standard for the paid guy. Ya, they only have 1 on the engine. Not too long ago, added a second 1 man engine.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    This is all depending on Volunteers. alot of places have recruitment and retention issues with volunteers so what is the conclusion when no vollies show up

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyDnE62bckwrds View Post
    This is all depending on Volunteers. alot of places have recruitment and retention issues with volunteers so what is the conclusion when no vollies show up
    If nobody is going to show up at the scene, are they really going to show up at the station. This is not an issue of people taking the apparatus driver only, but lack of volunteers. If you are not getting the staffing, you need to look at mutual aid or some other way to get staffing.

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    Depends. Driving an apparatus alone is safe. Getting the apparatus to meet adequate manpower on scene is safe. Having 1 driver and expecting him to be alone for a while and to fight fire is dangerous (such as those combo depts. that are combo in name only, but are really just woefully understaffed paid depts.)

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    The volunteer department I used to belong to had a rule that if you had to pass the fire station to get to the fire, you stopped at the station. If you missed the truck, you stood by to either bring a second (third, etc.) truck or you were already there for a second call that might come in. If you were between the fire and the station, you went to the fire. It worked pretty well - good response times, and minimal confusion over who was supposed to go where.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    If nobody is going to show up at the scene, are they really going to show up at the station. This is not an issue of people taking the apparatus driver only, but lack of volunteers. If you are not getting the staffing, you need to look at mutual aid or some other way to get staffing.
    I was almost going to type this verbatim, but my friend from Maryland beat me to it.

    If the fear of no one being on scene upon the arrival of the first engine is that great, you need to be looking at some solutions ahead of time:
    • Automatic Aid
    • Mutual Aid
    • Radios for all personnel
    • Duty crews

    You have many of options out there, and we can help you explore what some of those might be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyDnE62bckwrds View Post
    what if everyone responded pov?
    Oh please. If a department has members that are THAT stupid.....

    Yes, I know it has happened. But never on my department. My guys are too well trained and coordinated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF715MRFD View Post
    I absolutely agree with your comment. I maybe should have went a little further with mine. They have been rolling with one person for 6-7 years now, but they keep buying trucks that will seat 4-6 FF's when a standard cab truck would do just fine and save their taxpayers money.

    I may just be a little bitter because our B.O.D. will not replace 40 year old equipment and this other department get a new truck every 5 or so years and we both fight about the same amount of fire. Oh well, Rant off..............
    Jealousy sucks.

    Crew cabs only cost about 7k more, and provide all sorts of benefits as mentioned above.

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    The other point about 4 door cabs - they may be looking to the future - if staffing levels increase - a two man cab will become obsolete.
    ?

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    We're looking at a new engine (several, actually, over the next few years) and have had the custom cab vs commercial cab discussion. A few pictures of intact custom cabs following collisions/rollovers as compared to the crushed cab on a commercial rig were enough to convince us.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    We're looking at a new engine (several, actually, over the next few years) and have had the custom cab vs commercial cab discussion. A few pictures of intact custom cabs following collisions/rollovers as compared to the crushed cab on a commercial rig were enough to convince us.
    Oh there is no debate on the commercial VS custom argument (other than the commercial being cheaper).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    90% of the time we have one firefighter in the engine. In fact we have a general rule of one firefighter engine rolls two firefighter engine and tanker rolls 3 firefighters engine, tanker, and rescue rolls. ( for wildland fires replace engine with brushtruck) Since we all 100% volunteer the firefighters that have to drive past the fire station enroute to the fire grab a apparatus or the firefighters living closest. We have good radio commincations so we never have all respond POV only. NOW here's a real surpise for some the chief ends up driving the engine 70% of the time by him self. lol

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    Been there, done that, back in the day. Now, We do not respond Driver only, but Coverage in this area is such that any delay is minimal, And, an Engine is never dispatched on a Fire alone anyway.....
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