Looking for how other departments advise or controll response to calls in POV's. We are an all volunteer department covering over 40 square miles with one station. We provide fire, rescue, and ALS medical response. Most of our member response come from home to the station then to the scene with responders arriving in their own vehicle as well. The main question comes from members responding POV with family in the vehicle. This can lead to adults and sometimes children being left in the vehicle while members perform their duties on the call. There are many concerns I have when this happens; safety is the biggest one, especially the children. What are your opinions in this matter and how have you handled this in your departments. Certainly we are not the first to cross this bridge.
You don't mention call volume, or staffing at the station. That makes a big difference in how you handle POV response. We run 2 engines, a heavy rescue, 2 ambulances and tanker and several smaller vehicles out of a single station. We also cover about 40 square miles and run about 2200 calls a year.
Originally Posted by CordovaFire
All of our response is out of the station. Only officers are allowed to take gear out of the station and respond to calls POV. We have no guidelines about responding with children or spouses, since it is very dependent on the type of call and age of the children. In general, I haven't known it to be a problem in our department. I have responded with my family before, and had my wife take the vehicle home while I got a ride back on the apparatus.
I've responded with family before, but never for a lengthy incident. We have no policy as such - it's up to the individual member.
If the ex was in the vehicle, she could certainly have driven home while I caught a ride back on an apparatus. After she left, the kids were big enough to look after themselves, so aside from boredom, there would be little to fear if they did have to sit at a scene for a while.
If childcare is an issue, I think most of our people would pass on the call unless they could arrange for childcare.
We run 600-700 calls a year. We do not staff the station but tend to have someone there frequently. Most of our responders come from home. Once the truck or trucks respond, others will then arrive POV. Here is where the issues can arise. Children can be left in the vehicle while responders are perfoming their duties. We stopped this long ago due to safety issues of young children being un-attended in a vehicle. This is a frequent request lately to allow this so some responders can come if they have no one to leave their children with when they respond on a call. Currently they can not respond because they would have to leave their children in the car which is against our curent policy. Just looking to see how other departments have handled this.
Again, It depends on the call. If we are talking something like a working strucutre fire that will take several hours then having a member with young children left in a vehicle is a problem and would not be allowed on my FD. It's not just the fact that the kids are left unattended its the fact that no matter how much that parent tries to focus on the task at hand, they are going to be wondering if their kids are alright and I for one want my departments's mind 100% in the call. When we are not is when bad things happen and people get hurt.
We run EMS too, so it is not uncommon for us to respond with kids to an EMS call that will only take a few minutes of loading the patient. Like I said, it really depends on the type of call and length of time it will take.
We are allowed to respond to fire calls in our POV, and just do a scene assist but if you are a licensed provider and arrive at a scene you must be prepared to transport.
Originally Posted by GVFD5
We had a member show up to help at an MVA one time with his dogs in his truck, he was an EMT. It turned out that we needed two ambulances and needed him to transport. He refused because he could not leave his dogs. He ended up in trouble and a new SOG was written.
Some of our general rules of thumb....
Bring a fire truck. If there are still apparatus at the station, go get it.
If you must respond with a POV park on the same side of the road as the rest of the responders (POV or not)
We don't have any SOPs/SOGs set up about this. We run an engine, tanker, QRV, and 2 brush trucks. 9 times out of 10 our members respond to the station. We cover a first due of 25 square miles. The only time members really go to the scene is calls close to their residence or at times our EMT will respond to the scene and a driver will go to the station to respond the QRV.