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Thread: Firehouse busiest companies

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    Default Firehouse busiest companies

    Does anyone know how San Francisco counts run numbers? This month they are listed as having their Engine 1 run over 10,000 runs for the year. That is over 28 a day. I'm sorry I'm having a hard time believing that. First that is just dangerous for the crew of that rig, when do they sleep, eat or do whatever else? How do they have time to go to any fires?

    I really don't know almost anything about SF. I know there are Chicago medics that run that many calls in a day, and it is no secret that patient care suffers when a company is that busy.

    Just looking for some insight, thanks.

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    I have no idea of San Francisco, but have friends on busy inner city engines that can run anywhere from 15 or 20 calls a day to 30 or 35. Obviously on the busier days those are usually alot of EMS calls or alarm drops, (calls that take maybe 15 minutes). These guys pack their lunch in coolers and leave them on the rig because quite often they might leave the firehouse at 0745 and not get back in quarters until 1600. They try to take naps during the day if time allows, as they are usually out most of the night. Shift change is at 0700 and the guys who live close usually head home and sleep most of the day but the guys who live further away will oftentimes catch a few hours of sleep at the firehouse before heading home.
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    When I was in a ambulance-riding rotation at my station when I was a firefighter/paramedic, we'd routinely answer 20-25 runs per 24-hour shift. It was absolutely brutal.

    On weekends, it was not uncommon to answer 25-30. To put things into perspective, to answer that many runs per shift means you are answer more than one (1) run per hour. That means missing every meal, grabbing food on the fly at a drive-thru or hospital cafeteria, and hoping to get relieved somewhere around 0700 the following morning so you can limp home from the beat-down you just endured.

    It can be done but I don't wish that level or run activity on anyone.
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    Default What would you like to know?

    We count our runs in San Francisco just like everyone else out there. When the tones go off, we go out. We just go out a lot. Our density is what makes us busy. Very populated small area with every building type. We also have some very depressed areas with a lot of drugs.
    You are right, some days we have very little time to do anything. Some nights we don't eat til 10 pm. Most nights we have 5-10 runs after midnight. Sometimes more. The sleep deprivation takes time to get used to. Most of our calls are medical, and are increasing with changing dispatching rules set by our local EMSA.
    We are used to firemen from other cities doubting how busy we are. Many dont know that the station next to us does near 10,000 runs also. It is a very busy area. Drop on by anytime. You'll find a fire engine that's three years old, has over 30,000 miles and 5000 hours.

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    To begin with you can't believe everything you read in firehouse about runs. Some departments inflates them to look good. Some throw the survey in the trash and don't even bother to report anything.

    No one is hold a gun to the head of the department to report runs for companies and the other related stuff that fh asks.

    It is just a survey; take it for what it is worth.
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    The sleep deprivation takes time to get used to.

    How long does it take? 18 years later and I'm still not use to it
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFFDE1 View Post
    We are used to firemen from other cities doubting how busy we are. Many dont know that the station next to us does near 10,000 runs also. It is a very busy area. Drop on by anytime. You'll find a fire engine that's three years old, has over 30,000 miles and 5000 hours.
    That's another thing with the Firehouse Survey is that they only take the busiest engine in the city. My engine in DC would be in the top 6 or so but it isn't listed because of another engine that's busier than us. We have about 8-10 companies that can reach 5000+ runs each year. Most are medicals but we regularly do 15-25 runs/tour. Sucks not getting sleep but it grows on you a bit.

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    ............
    Last edited by Dickey; 07-28-2012 at 12:53 AM. Reason: double post
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFFDE1 View Post
    We count our runs in San Francisco just like everyone else out there. When the tones go off, we go out. We just go out a lot. Our density is what makes us busy. Very populated small area with every building type. We also have some very depressed areas with a lot of drugs.
    You are right, some days we have very little time to do anything. Some nights we don't eat til 10 pm. Most nights we have 5-10 runs after midnight. Sometimes more. The sleep deprivation takes time to get used to. Most of our calls are medical, and are increasing with changing dispatching rules set by our local EMSA.
    We are used to firemen from other cities doubting how busy we are. Many dont know that the station next to us does near 10,000 runs also. It is a very busy area. Drop on by anytime. You'll find a fire engine that's three years old, has over 30,000 miles and 5000 hours.
    YIKES!! Now that is humpin'!!!!
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    I'll take the less runs if most of it is medical. So far we've been bucking the industry trend of 70-80% EMS calls here.

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    Also keep in mind here in San Francisco, a majority of the calls 1 and 3 go on are medical / street boxes [ not all but most ]. Since an ambulance is also attached to those ems calls, the engines can flip calls pretty quick. Same goes for street boxes. They dont have huge response areas, just densely packed so it doesnt take long to get on scene and either do a no merit street box or get cleared by the ambulance. Not unusual to look in 1 and 3's journals and see 30+ runs in a watch just for the engines. I got detailed into 3 one time and did 42 runs in a watch. Needless to say I was very thankful I was going on a 4 day after that.
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    Last edited by TheresOnlyone2; 07-28-2012 at 06:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    I'll take the less runs if most of it is medical. So far we've been bucking the industry trend of 70-80% EMS calls here.
    EMS is where the huge numbers usually come from.

    People look at run numbers and think "Wow", when they see E-XX caught 5200 runs last year, but don't always realize that with very few exceptions, any company that is that busy is going on a HUGE amount of garbage EMS runs (stubbed toes, toothaches, anxiety attacks, sprained ankles).

    The saving grace is that the people that call 911 for toothaches, are generally the people that have fires as well.

    So it works out.
    Last edited by sfd1992; 07-29-2012 at 01:41 AM.

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    So many variables. A fumes call for us is a single co. run, some cities send 2 and 1, automatic alarm single co. for us as well. If we sent the co.'s some cites send on these types of calls my numbers would double easy.

    EMS my truck runs less then 50 % ( which I like thank you very much) and a big chunk of those is s drunk bum sleeping near a road.

    San Fran FD the only east coast FD on the West Coast, or so I've been told.

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    I can buy 10,000 runs for a station, but not for a single company. There's just no way that's possible with training, vehicle maintance, multiple alarm events, fatique, etc. Run volume consistantly at that level for a single company would almost certainly result in something very bad happening.

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    When a lot of it is EMS that has you being released by the ambo you can.

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    Wow...SF total volume is about 70000 runs a year and this company does 10k? I know there is a Rescue Squad(EMS) in those quarters...are these runs for Eng 1/Lad 1 or mostly just for The band aid wagon?

    10000 where common in NYC circa late 60s to late 70s...now our top 20 are 4800-5800...for a single
    Company (1 rig) about half EMS, (trucks dont do EMS) and forget BoEMS...about 250 buses doing 1.2 million runs....F that trash...
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    I can buy 10,000 runs for a station, but not for a single company. There's just no way that's possible with training, vehicle maintance, multiple alarm events, fatique, etc. Run volume consistantly at that level for a single company would almost certainly result in something very bad happening.

    Its more than possible. It happened(s).
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    I've been to San Francisco a few times for vacation... I can assure you they are quite busy,with ambulances staged on the streets, rigs barely backing into quarters before going out again, etc.

    PS: they have a great fire museum.. If I recall correctly it's part of the firehouse @ Station 10
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    Do you guys run on trouble alarms also?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SFFDE1 View Post
    We count our runs in San Francisco just like everyone else out there. When the tones go off, we go out.
    That's the thing and why the original poster is asking the question, which you haven't exactly answered by the way.

    Some departments count runs as incidents. Others may count a single incident as multiple runs.

    For example, where I work, a house fire that gets 3 engines, a truck, a rescue, and a chief count as a single run - one incident. There are places out there that would count that as 6 runs. One each per piece of equipment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    That's the thing and why the original poster is asking the question, which you haven't exactly answered by the way.

    Some departments count runs as incidents. Others may count a single incident as multiple runs.

    For example, where I work, a house fire that gets 3 engines, a truck, a rescue, and a chief count as a single run - one incident. There are places out there that would count that as 6 runs. One each per piece of equipment.
    We count out runs as incident numbers. Right now we are in the 66,000+ incidents for the year as a department. We go on building alarms, street boxes, medicals, fires, put back to beds, and everything else. Just like every other department. There are 3 rigs in the firehouse; engine, truck and a heavy rescue company. Our rescue, "Squad", is not a medical rig, but our specialized company. Just like Boston and NY run. As a station, we are over 14,000 calls a year.

    The engine goes in for service about every 3 weeks because we put so many hours on the rig. Like I said before, the engine is 3 years old and has 5000 hours and over 30000 miles.

    Stop by anytime for coffee. We'd be happy to show you around. We're used to other firemen not believing how busy it is.

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    Thanks SF! And stay safe!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFFDE1 View Post
    We count out runs as incident numbers. Right now we are in the 66,000+ incidents for the year as a department. We go on building alarms, street boxes, medicals, fires, put back to beds, and everything else. Just like every other department. There are 3 rigs in the firehouse; engine, truck and a heavy rescue company. Our rescue, "Squad", is not a medical rig, but our specialized company. Just like Boston and NY run. As a station, we are over 14,000 calls a year.

    The engine goes in for service about every 3 weeks because we put so many hours on the rig. Like I said before, the engine is 3 years old and has 5000 hours and over 30000 miles.

    Stop by anytime for coffee. We'd be happy to show you around. We're used to other firemen not believing how busy it is.
    I gotta say if those numbers are anywhere near what they are purported to be, your Chief is doing the firefighters a great disservice by not insisting on adding companies. Run numbers like that are down right dangerous. It's just not healthy or safe.

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    I gotta ask: If you are doing 30 EMS calls a day as an engine co., do you write reports on each run? Or does the ambulance crew write the only report? I have 15-20 minutes of paperwork to do after every medical call, between NFIRS, the EMS report, and the log.

    I suppose we do it because the ambulance is private-they have their own numbers, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    I gotta say if those numbers are anywhere near what they are purported to be, your Chief is doing the firefighters a great disservice by not insisting on adding companies. Run numbers like that are down right dangerous. It's just not healthy or safe.
    The unique thing about San Francisco is that it is a world tourist destination year round. Because of the mild weather, the tourist season never stops. So the population of the city is way more than the green sign says every day. SFFDE1 said they run on all priority medical calls, I'm sure that is because they staff their city owned medic units with two. Couple that with the well known fact that every athsmatic, obese, diabetic amputee wouldn't ever consider living on the first floor, and you pretty much have to send two pieces on every run.

    You get used to running that much, my station can easily turn in twenty calls in a 24, and we work 48's. We would run a lot more but we only answer priority one medical calls.
    Being within 150 miles of San Francisco, I visit the city for Giants games, Dr appts, or just to get away from the 110 degree heat here.
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