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Thread: FDNY walking out before trucks

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    Default FDNY walking out before trucks

    Can anyone answer why some FDNY companies have the firefighters walk out onto the sidewalk before the trucks exit?


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    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    To warn people on the sidewalk that the fire engine is rolling out of the bay.
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    I figured as much, our department is thinking about writing an SOP for the same reason. However, we have heard other reasons, so just seeing what the other opinions were out there.

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    Ever been to new York??

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    As has been mentioned, it's to warn people and other vehicles that a rig is coming out. A good deal of NYC is HEAVILY populated by foot traffic as well as legendary vehicle traffic. And flashing lights and sirens do not even phase many New Yorkers. I am in NYC several days a week and it still blows my mind how many people on foot or in a car could care less about yielding to emergency vehicles.

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    I've been to NYC twice and was able to do ride time in the Flatbush of Brooklyn back in 2003. They did not walk out before the trucks if I recall, but also were not in a heavy foot traffic area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fptacin View Post
    I figured as much, our department is thinking about writing an SOP for the same reason. However, we have heard other reasons, so just seeing what the other opinions were out there.
    If they can't see and hear a @#$%!!! engine pulling out, why would they notice a couple of firemen?



    FDNY (and probably a few other older cities) have some unique problems with tiny firehouses and narrow streets requiring members to stop traffic just so the driver can take the whole street to squeeze out. That's the only instance I'd ever see reasonably needing to put personnel in traffic during a response.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    If they can't see and hear a @#$%!!! engine pulling out, why would they notice a couple of firemen?
    Because the @#$%!!! firemen can grab the @#$%!!! pedestrians and move them the @#$%!!! out of the way.

    There are stations all over NYC that are so tight they have to pull the truck out onto the street to wash it!
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    I have only been to NYC one time, but on that trip I was taken aside by a senior FDNY official who told me the story of the FDNY Walking Firemen.

    Back in the late 1960's, FDNY's fleet was rapidly filling with custom cabs that replaced the old commercial cabs. As has been noted above, this led to more challenging maneuvering of the rigs as chauffeurs were forced to cram five pounds of crap in a four-pound bag.

    Most personnel were understanding of the steep learning curve this presented, but Tommy "Jump Seat" Flannigan was very impatient with his driver. He finally became fed up one morning and hollered to his chauffeur, "Hey, ya dumb housecat! As long as it's takin' you to turn dis rig onto da street, I could walk to the fire! I'll see youse bums at the box!"

    With that, Tommy leapt from the jump seat, followed quickly by his remaining engine mates, who were trying to compel him to return to the safety of the rig. Once he finally did, the company continued on the call. They ended up making seven successful grabs, including a jumper from the 4th floor who bounced from the awning right into "Jump Seat"'s outstretched arms, resulting in the coining of the phrase "Bouncing Flannigan", which now refers to the aforementioned style of rescue from a burning building as well as a sexual position.

    Their legendary performance at that fire inspired companies from throughout the city to do the same as their rig pulls out, in hopes of replicating the success of Flannigan and his crew.

    And now you know.

    That I made all that up.
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    I figured it was because west coast firefighters stayed in their engines.
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    Default Re: firefighters walking on sidewalks as apparatus exit

    FDNY stations have no ramps for the most part. It only makes sense that FF make sure it is safe for apparatus to exit.

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    They also stand in the street and stop cars so the fire truck can pull onto the street. One near my house has to stop both sides of the street since the street is narrow. When they do hit a person or a car it is a big deal and the media takes a crap on them. They do the same when pulling in.
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    Each house has their own operating procedures. My house does not walk out when going on a run. Others in my Bat do. But we all walk behind the rig when backing up. Like said beforehand, people here do not see the big red truck, or engine, with flashing lights. And if they do then they zip around like traffic cone, usually when I'm standing on the other side! Scarier than being on the fire floor.

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    We have to do the same thing on this side of the Hudson. We are a small department two dozen miles south of NYC but our two downtown stations have such heavy foot traffic, narrow streets, and tiny stations its the only way to get in and out. We do it while backing into the house as well because people literally walk right behind the engine as its backing up. Plus we have to stop traffic both ways or you can't make the swing. Stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryNJFirefighter View Post
    We have to do the same thing on this side of the Hudson. We are a small department two dozen miles south of NYC but our two downtown stations have such heavy foot traffic, narrow streets, and tiny stations its the only way to get in and out. We do it while backing into the house as well because people literally walk right behind the engine as its backing up. Plus we have to stop traffic both ways or you can't make the swing. Stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Darwin award candidates...
    Well a long time ago my very first Lieutenant after I graduated the academy told me "When you see an idiot thank em, they are the reason you have a job."
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    They're may very well be good reason, but collectively, the FDNY are some of the slowest companies I have ever seen getting out of the house.
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    Really? So with an average response time of 3.5 - 4 min it's slow? Some calls you know are non life threatening so why almost kill yourself flying out of the house into traffic? Other times, especially when you know you are going to work any company can, and will, get out very fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    They're may very well be good reason, but collectively, the FDNY are some of the slowest companies I have ever seen getting out of the house.
    Collectively? Really? How many of them have you spent time watching? And for how long?

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    As I said before, the average response time. That would be collectively.
    As to how many I've been watching. I don't. But all the companies I've worked in, either for a day tour or years in, we always turned out quickly. But as I also said, it isn't always rushing out like a bat out of hell if it's a lock out or odor of gas, etc.
    Of all the companies you were watching did you ever find out what the run was for? Remember, you got to be smart and safe getting there or you'll be of no good cause you crashed or killed someone, or yourself, getting there.

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