1. #1
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    Default SOPs for use of Chief's vehicle

    Hey folks,

    Our volly department was given a donated SUV for our Chief to use. Our officers are wondering if any other depts out there have SOPs or rules about how/when their Chief's vehicles are used.

    Does it stay in the station or go home with the Chief?
    If it does go home, any limits on how/where it should be used?
    What equipment should it carry?
    Any limits on monthly gas use ($$)?

    This is a real grey area and new to us. Thanks for any thoughts you guys have.

    Skojo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skojo View Post
    Hey folks,

    Our volly department was given a donated SUV for our Chief to use. Our officers are wondering if any other depts out there have SOPs or rules about how/when their Chief's vehicles are used.

    Does it stay in the station or go home with the Chief?
    If it does go home, any limits on how/where it should be used?
    What equipment should it carry?
    Any limits on monthly gas use ($$)?

    This is a real grey area and new to us. Thanks for any thoughts you guys have.

    Skojo
    We don't have a written SOP, in general, it's up to the Chief. The Chief may take it home, but is expected to respond to anything "Major." That definition has some flexibility in it I know. For the most part, it stays within responding distance of the first due, but there may be certain circumstances where the Chief takes it farther away (training classes, Chief’s council, or other department functions).

    As for what it carries, from memory: Medical bag, AED, portable suction, SCBA, Thermal Imager, ABC Fire Extinguisher, command board, maps, flashlights, flares.

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    Ours is pretty simple: the chief gets priority in it's use, however, he'll usually make it available for members that are going to classes outside of the county and things of that nature. I'd say that the chief has it at his house about 60-70% of the year.

    We don't limit milage, fuel, or anything like that.

    Ours carries EMS equipment, AED, irons, and an SCBA.
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    Have seen unlimited use

    But lately, with price of gas and budgets

    Some places out a limit on how far outside the city you can live/ take home vehicle. Have seen 10-15 mile limit

    And also business use only

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    It's the chief's discretion mostly. It is a take home vehicle, and the chief is expected (along with every other member) to respond to calls when available.

    in it is kept his PPE, radios, command post equipment, SCBA, Irons, and whatever else he deems needed to do his job.

    Chief takes it anywhere he wants; if he will be out of the area for an extended period of time (out of town for vacation, etc), it gets given to the ranking captain or an ex chief.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyRescueTech View Post
    It's the chief's discretion mostly. It is a take home vehicle, and the chief is expected (along with every other member) to respond to calls when available.

    in it is kept his PPE, radios, command post equipment, SCBA, Irons, and whatever else he deems needed to do his job.

    Chief takes it anywhere he wants; if he will be out of the area for an extended period of time (out of town for vacation, etc), it gets given to...
    same for us, but it's given to a lower chief.
    "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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    I can pretty much take mine anywhere I want, but then again, it's my personal vehicle...

    The fire district does reimburse me for my fuel as used on fire responses.

    The one department owned chief's vehicle I know of here in the county (outside the paid departments) seems to be used pretty liberally. That chief responds to just about everything but EMS calls.
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    If I were you guys I'd limit use to when the chief will be able to respond to incidents (in or close to the area and not drinking). I see far to many chief's vehicles from 30 miles away sitting in the parking lot of some factory or other place of employment. Then again, if you're a busier dept that expects a lot of its chiefs you might see these subsidized commutes as a reward for the large work load (both office and incident based).

    Command boards, response books/site plans, SCBA, turnout gear, EMS bag/AED, ABC extinguisher.

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    Is the chief a full time paid position ????

    How many stations/ personnel ??

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    Question Huh??.......

    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    Is the chief a full time paid position ????

    How many stations/ personnel ??

    I would respectfully ask, What does that have to do with a Chief's vehicle???......


    We have 3 Chief's Vehicles, a pair of 2012 Tahoes and a F150 Pickup. All are properly outfitted to serve as Command Vehicles. The Tahoes are assigned to the Chief and Assistant Chief, and the F150 is assigned to the Deputy Chief. We are a Volunteer operation, with five full time folks on Daywork (Weekdays, 0700-1500 ) and 2 Paramedics 24/7. We operate a Fire Engine, a Rescue Engine, a Heavy Rescue, 2 BLS Ambulances and a ALS Ambulance out of one station. Our call volume is down some from a peak of over 9,000 runs back in 2000-2005, but we're still over 7,000. With over 20 years in a Chief's position, I can tell you that we have had more than a few times where our Chiefs were all committed to different incidents at the same time. For us, our vehicles are an absolute necessity.........
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    Sorry was referring strictly to the fire chief position and the use of a vehicle by a fire chief

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    Question And..........

    Fire49, Gotcha, no problem Bro, it's all good...

    And another question from my direction...... How does Law Enforcement do business in your areas of the country??... Here, Take Home Vehicles are the norm...... It's common to see a Police Car that is out of it's jurisdiction in my area, and that tends to overlap into Fire/Rescue as well, with the common denominator being wether a vehicle is needed for response during "off" hours......
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Our Deputy Chief is issued a take home vehicle as the department's full-time department administrator.

    The Chief and Asst. Chief are not.

    He is allowed to use the vehicle at his discretion in or out of town. In fact. he keeps a childseat in it for his youngest kid.

    If he is going out of town for more than few days, he will leave it at the station to be used by one of the other Chief Officers, generally for response from the station.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    The first thought I had off the top of my head is, if a Chief doesn't know how to write SOP's for vehicle usage, he shouldn't be a Chief.

    A Chief's head should be used for more than a place to put the white helmet.

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    I have seen law enforcement questioned about take home.

    Once again with budget problems and cost of gas

    Mainly see swat or similar allowed to take home, but some cities still put a mileage limit.
    But some are allowed to max out the limit and leave it at a neighboring city facility

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    Our 3 chiefs (Chief, Deputy, and assistant) are given marked Tahoes. Each has their gear, EMS/AED, SCBA, and command equipment. Milage is limited during their term, and if they over do the milage, they pay a small amount per mile (don't worry, it is quite a high number). They are expected to respond when available in the car, however it is their take home car so they may use it to transport family, pick up groceries, etc. This is how most of the departments around here do it, but those who are limited to one vehicle have their 2nd and 3rd chiefs outfit their personal vehicles with lights/sirens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    How does Law Enforcement do business in your areas of the country??... Here, Take Home Vehicles are the norm...... It's common to see a Police Car that is out of it's jurisdiction in my area, and that tends to overlap into Fire/Rescue as well, with the common denominator being wether a vehicle is needed for response during "off" hours......
    that's unheard of, except for a ranking officer (Lt or higher), because they might be expected to respond to incidents off duty. patrol cars are left at the station, and sometimes different shifts use different cars (days uses from lot A, evenings from Lot B, overnights from lot C)

    The reason our volunteer chiefs are issues cars is so they can respond to alarms, directly to the scene. as such, they are almost always in town or next town over near the border.

    I've heard beltway partrol cops and state troopers having takehome cars. If your in PG, and the police officers live in DC, or Virginia, how do the taxpayers justify the commute expense? our guys start there shift at police HQ, they have their daily briefing (current issues, current warnings, assignment given out, etc), then they do their cop thing.

    If you give people take home cars (fire, police or EMS), and they don't respond when off duty, than it's a waste of taxpayer money. Having vehicles to be used for trainings, other stuff that requires a dept vehicle (town council meeting, babysitting wires down, relief manpower carrier to scenes, etc), is a good thing, but giving as a personal vehicle sounds like a waste to me

    Oh, and Bones, all of our chief's have cars.... if you have a chief officer who isn't in a car, than he's just a super captain, especially when he's riding officer and responsible for his crew. my old department had a DC who was a "working chief", with a white helmet, but he rode as officer of a truck, went inside fires, etc. he didn't have his own vehicle, he was just a super captain (with a dirty white helmet).
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skojo View Post
    Our volly department was given a donated SUV for our Chief to use. Our officers are wondering if any other depts out there have SOPs or rules about how/when their Chief's vehicles are used.

    Does it stay in the station or go home with the Chief? If it does go home, any limits on how/where it should be used? What equipment should it carry? Any limits on monthly gas use ($$)?
    Review the terms (if any) of the donation to your organization. Oftentimes, there are conditions or stipulations made by the donating person/organization regarding the use of the donated item.

    If there are no conditions or stipulations regarding the use and/or deployment of the vehicle, the needs of your organization should dictate the use. Consider the training level or the person getting the vehicle. Although I'd assume the Chief is likely certified and experienced, giving the vehicle with reds lights and a siren to someone with no training is a recipe for disaster.
    DFW



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    Quote Originally Posted by HeavyRescueTech View Post
    ...Oh, and Bones, all of our chief's have cars.... if you have a chief officer who isn't in a car, than he's just a super captain, especially when he's riding officer and responsible for his crew. my old department had a DC who was a "working chief", with a white helmet, but he rode as officer of a truck, went inside fires, etc. he didn't have his own vehicle, he was just a super captain (with a dirty white helmet).
    We have 3 cars and 4 chiefs. Lowest Chief "loses" and has to use his own vehicle. All the Chiefs get red light permits, so he can put lights in his own vehicle if he chooses. All 4 chiefs respond direct to scene most of the time, it's very rare a chief rides the truck.
    "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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    Post Well..........

    Couple of things..... First, Bones, Good to see you on here, Hope all is OK on your end.

    Second, "Take Home Cars"..... As I noted earlier, Cops have a lot of them, and I almost think there would be a Police Strike if anyone messed with that. Finding and keeping good Cops is hard enough as it is, cut benefits any more and things will go downhill quick..... Fire Dept is different, in that VFDs are private corporations, chartered by the state. In the case of our Vehicles, (including Apparatus) they are purchased and operated with money raised, not Taxes......
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    HWoods, we are here. Beaten and battered, but still going on. Had almost 3 feet of water in the firehouse and we are "working" with Gov't to rebuild. We'll get through it....we are not as bad off as some other stations
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Couple of things..... First, Bones, Good to see you on here, Hope all is OK on your end.

    Second, "Take Home Cars"..... As I noted earlier, Cops have a lot of them, and I almost think there would be a Police Strike if anyone messed with that. Finding and keeping good Cops is hard enough as it is, cut benefits any more and things will go downhill quick..... Fire Dept is different, in that VFDs are private corporations, chartered by the state. In the case of our Vehicles, (including Apparatus) they are purchased and operated with money raised, not Taxes......
    Same here. Our Chief's vehicle is paid for out of corporate funds, not Village tax money.

    We run it for 2-3 years, then sell it. Those proceeds are combined with saved, earmarked funds to purchase another off the State bid.

    The Chief gets the dept owned vehicle. 1st and 2nd asst Chiefs use their own vehicles. But yeah- ours is a take home vehicle, and often goes to work with chiefs who are allowed to respond to calls from work. It's one of the only benefits of being a volunteer chief. We bought these as command vehicles, to respond directly to the scene. Makes no sense if the Chief has to go home to get it...

    Afaik, we do not have milage or fuel limitations.

    We equip ours similarly to the others' :
    EMS bag and AED.
    20# dry Chem extinguisher
    Chief's turnouts
    Air pack in hard case.
    set of irons
    Command board
    Portable radios, extra batteries, and chargers.
    Rechargable handlights.

    The Chief's buggy may also be used for dept business out-of-district, for example sending several members to the county training facility for a class, or to a parade. It can also be used as a manpower squad, and is assigned a radio call number for those occasions.

    It's customary for the Chief to pass it on to one of the assistants when they go out of town for an extended period of time.

    Our district straddles three counties. We have a contract to cover in one, and an auto-aid agreement with the other. Both of those counties use low band radios, while ours uses high band. Thus ALL department owned vehicles have 2 mobile radios, and carry a low band portable as well. The Chief's buggy and the squad have custom consoles built for them to accommodate this and the light/siren controls and chargers.

    We have several Deputies living within the town, and many bring their patrol cars home. We are at the far end of the county, so I imagine they are expected to respond to anything major. I have no idea if rank plays a role in this or not, but the K9 units do. The County Sherriff's provide all of our law enforcement here, so that may have something to do with it, too- they ARE in district.

    Every now and then, we'll get an complaint about the take home vehicle. Most are satisfied once it's explained what's going on with it ( and how we pay for it). There will always be those few who simply like to complain, or who hate the village/ current Chief etc...

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    Thanks all for the info, especially about the equipment carried on the Chief's vehicle. We plan on writing some SOPs for our vehicle and have been looking around online for some existing SOPs to use as a model or starting point for us. But the pickings have been slim. If anyone has written SOPs for their Chief's vehicle that they would be willing to share, I'd appreciate it. Feel free to Private Message me.

    No sense reinventing the wheel here. Thx again.

    ~Skojo

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