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Thread: The Small Town FD

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    Default The Small Town FD

    Hello all, I'm a volunteer firefighter, my department is very small with only about 25 guys on it, my town is about 900 people (we also cover rural fires in the district). I'm hoping all the guys from small FD's like me, will put in their two cents about their departments as well.

    Thanks. Stay safe everybody!

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    Quote Originally Posted by williams View Post
    Hello all, I'm a volunteer firefighter, my department is very small with only about 25 guys on it, my town is about 900 people (we also cover rural fires in the district). I'm hoping all the guys from small FD's like me, will put in their two cents about their departments as well.

    Thanks. Stay safe everybody!
    What kind of 2 cents are you looking for? I am on 2 volly/POC FDs, one in a village of 720 with 0 firefighters, and one with a population of about 1100 with 34 members. I am also a career firefighter on a department of around 92 that covers a population of around 50,000.
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    I have an Austrailian dime I got back as change... that's 2 cents times 5 if you're "down under"....
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    I found out that if you inhale through your nose in the middle of the tain't.....
































































































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    Quote Originally Posted by williams View Post
    Hello all, I'm a volunteer firefighter, my department is very small with only about 25 guys on it, my town is about 900 people (we also cover rural fires in the district). I'm hoping all the guys from small FD's like me, will put in their two cents about their departments as well.

    Thanks. Stay safe everybody!
    Damn, 25 members from a town of 900? That's pretty good. I got 25 in a town of 5000.
    "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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    The town is about 900 people, our rural fire district covers the most of the county (about 16,446 people)...

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    The kind of input I'm hoping for is, your thoughts on the advantages of being on a small FD, or perhaps the disadvantages. What would you rather deal with, wild-land of structure fires? That kind of stuff...
    Last edited by williams; 02-24-2013 at 03:30 AM.

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    The advantages of being on a small department? Like what? Always wondering if enough people will show up?

    I much prefer structural fires and extrications over wildland firefighting. For us wildland firefighting is generally fields of wild grass or corn stubble. Sorry that just doesn't float my boat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Damn, 25 members from a town of 900? That's pretty good. I got 25 in a town of 5000.
    I wish I had that.

    I volunteer in a town of about 4000 and we have 13 officers and firefighters with a couple of support/drivers.

    And we are likely to have a couple less here in a week or two due to lack of participation.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I wish I had that.

    I volunteer in a town of about 4000 and we have 13 officers and firefighters with a couple of support/drivers.

    And we are likely to have a couple less here in a week or two due to lack of participation.
    Most all the guys on my department are really committed, they all show up at training/meetings, the captains are good to work with too. We also have a couple EMT's on the department, so that works out pretty good for extrication calls...

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    Were smaller then small. We are a small rural fire department with 9 firefighters cover 34 sq miles and population of about 480. Were up to 4 miles of paved road now. We have a small fire station with no bathroom or running water. We have a 84' telesquirt, 2000 gallon tanker, 750 gallon brush truck and a chevy 3500 rescue truck. We run about 70 calls a year counting mutal aid calls. I'm super proud of the department. We had 1,000 hours of certified training in 2012. We have 4 SARTECH II Nasar trained personal, 4 rope techs, and 3 swiftwater techs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by volfireman034 View Post
    Were smaller then small. We are a small rural fire department with 9 firefighters cover 34 sq miles and population of about 480. Were up to 4 miles of paved road now. We have a small fire station with no bathroom or running water. We have a 84' telesquirt, 2000 gallon tanker, 750 gallon brush truck and a chevy 3500 rescue truck. We run about 70 calls a year counting mutal aid calls. I'm super proud of the department. We had 1,000 hours of certified training in 2012. We have 4 SARTECH II Nasar trained personal, 4 rope techs, and 3 swiftwater techs.
    Nice! That's what I'm talking about! Very cool!

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    We have 1200 people in the town and a bunch in the country, though I dont know how many for sure. Our response area is 2040 square miles. we run between 80 and 110 calls a year. We dont do ems. Sixty percent of the calls are wildland. the rest are structure fires, MVA's, hazmat and mutual aid. We have 21 members of which half are active. We are not as active as some but we seem to be busy with only ten or eleven active members.

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    Quote Originally Posted by conrad427 View Post
    We have 1200 people in the town and a bunch in the country, though I dont know how many for sure. Our response area is 2040 square miles. we run between 80 and 110 calls a year. We dont do ems. Sixty percent of the calls are wildland. the rest are structure fires, MVA's, hazmat and mutual aid. We have 21 members of which half are active. We are not as active as some but we seem to be busy with only ten or eleven active members.
    Just wanted to make sure that you said your response area was

    2,040 square miles ?
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    I once worked as a medic in a VERY rural area and had a first due medic response local of just over 1200 square miles. Its not that uncommon.

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    Yep LA FIRE, our county is roughly 4200 square miles. The pop. of the county is roughly 7000. We cover roughly half of the county, one quarter of the county is an indian reservation and the other quarter is covered by three other departments. We run mutual aid to the whole county and several surounding counties, some of which are larger than our own. Montana is big country baby! With 100 wildland, structure, and MVA calls a year I get to stay pretty busy and still get to raise my kids on the farm. For a full time farmer/rancher our department is just right for me. If we were a paid outfit in a larger town i would not be able to be a firefighter and keep my ranch. Had I known how much I like being a firefighter 12 years ago when I was buying the farm, I might have taken a different route. So the small town FD is just right for me! The only problem is that I have to keep clean cut for the SCBA. Otherwise i would look like a duck commander!
    Last edited by conrad427; 02-27-2013 at 11:32 PM.

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    200 square miles straddling a state line. Two stations, each with a brush truck, engine, and tanker. 26 people. EMS truck, foam trailer, light trailer, soon to be two brush trailers so we can just hook up to a pickup and have more brush rigs.

    All on a $6,500.00 dollar a year budget, from which we pay fuel, insurance, training, electricity, maintenance, etc. Nothing is provided by our county.

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    My department has 35 members, runs about 250 calls a year. 80% of those being EMS. Of those 35 members half are EMT-B Certified. We cover a City population of 1700 and a rural pop. of 1500 all in about a 125 sq. mile district. Our district has a busiest rail line that runs right through the heart of it along with 13 miles of Interstate 80 and USHWY 30, which keep us fairly busy with MVA's, hazmat, ect...

    I agree with Fyrdup, Structure fires and extircation for me too being an EMT give me a trauma any day too. Our wildland fires usually consist of corn fields although we get a few fun river and pasture runs but not often.

    So, theres my two cents...

    Stay safe!
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    We have members of the dept who like wildland much better than structure and vice versa. I guess I like wildland and structure about the same. Our wildland fires are pretty exciting. Most are wild driven and we burnt up 60,000 acres in our response area last year. We have a good mix of emeregencies I guess.

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    I am assistant chief in a department with 14 active members, 7 interior qualified firefighters, covering a town 34.2 square miles with a population of 2000. We average 140 calls a year, 5-6 structural fires, mostly brush fires and MVA's as we cover a busy highway with a lot of accidents, had 2 fatals last year, one just down the road from the station.
    We currently have a small 3 bay station with 5 trucks squeezed in, a meeting room, kitchen, bathrooms and a small chiefs/commissioners office. For trucks we roll a 1986 Ford Front mount engine with 2 man cab, 1000/1000; a 2001 KME Engine/Tanker with 2 man cab, 2000/1500; a 1987 GMC walk-in heavy rescue with Amkus Hydraulic spreader, cutter, 3 rams, air bags, air chisels, and other various rescue tools and a bench with 5 air packs; a 1995 Ford F-350 pickup with 250 gallon tank and small trash pump that we attached near the rear tailgate that does 250 GPM and 1000 feet of forestry hose with nozzles, indian packs and hand tools; and our 1984 Ford Type III ambulance. Our newest piece is a 4 wheel ATV and trailer, we hope to also purchase a skid unit with a small tank of water and a pump with forestry hose, and a rescue body to carry the stokes for rescues. That is housed in a small shed we just had custom built for the trailer/ATV.
    We just got approved to remodel our station and will have (by this fall hopefully) a newer 2 bay station, 2 deep, drive through bay with more storage space, updated kitchen and meeting hall, and a more office space for each the chiefs and the commissioners/EMS captain.

    I origianlly came from a larger department on Long Island, with over 100 members in two companies (engine and ladder) averaging 500 fires and 1000 EMS calls annually. Talk about a shock! What a switch, but I would rather have no calls, because we are here to help people, and no calls means two things; People are safe and your fire prevention program is top notch!
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    wondering how everyone here figures out what there rural population is for a grant i am writing? any help would be great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GMFDCAPTAIN View Post
    wondering how everyone here figures out what there rural population is for a grant i am writing? any help would be great.
    Check with the US census - if their census tract matches your district, you're golden.

    Failing that, an inventory of houses would prove productive. Odds are in a rural community you have some idea of how many live in a given house, so the math gets easy.

    Any of the satellite map sites (Google, Acme Mapper, etc) should be useful for such an inventory, unless you want to drive all around your district. Besides, I know that in my district, I'd miss a lot of houses that are not visible from the road.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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