1. #1
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    Default Response Discussion

    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.

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    We used to let members go to the scene POV if they had to drive by it on thier way to the station....... this lead to people going out of thier way to to purposely drive by the scene so they could stop....... We recently changed this policy to Chief's POV's only on a scene. Our biggest reason was safety.... Personal POV's usually aren't very well lit. We respond in a rural mountianous and curvy river valley there for lighting on vehicles is a must. As far as children and Adults being left in the car, we have a big screen tv and a fridge full of soda and a cookie jar full of cookies at the station..... assuming the child is old enough to take care of themselves for a few minutes. I wouldn't leave me 19 month old there alone obviously......

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    I live exactly 4 miles from my hall, so I end up driving my POV to 90% of our events. The guys that live closer to the hall roll the trucks. I make sure I park in a way that doesn't block roads or hinder apparatus from mutual aid companies.

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    We allow no POVs on any scene whether it is on th hiway or a structure fire. Our insurance covers us to the fire hall and that is it. We have a 2040 square mile response area and some times it would be nice for me to just take my POV to the scene, but most of the time someone is waiting at the station for one more responder so our SOP can be followed. I live eight miles from the station and sometimes i have to drive in the opposite direction to get the the firehall, but our chief says the last thing he needs is one more car at the scene, as well as reminding us that too many firefighters are killed in his or her POV.
    Last edited by conrad427; 03-19-2013 at 04:20 AM. Reason: public education let me down

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    On my POC dept. we are supposed to go to the station, unless we have to pass by the scene. And there is some allowance for common sense, sometimes there may not be many people availible, so a trip to the station might be the best choice depending on the time of the run. I'm Paramedic, and I have a first aid bag, so I might go to the scene of an EMS run depending what it is, and where it is, because is one corner of the district I can beat the fulltime ALS medic by a couple of minutes. For fires, I almost always go to the station because I need my gear, but for some small fires, I've thrown a couple of water cans in the truck and went to the scene.
    I think a good SOP would give some common sense leeway to firefighters depending on the situation. If we can reasonably justify it, our chief is generally ok with it.

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    Most of our folks will go to the station, with the exception of the chiefs, and even they will usually swing by the station if they're close, just to make sure everything is rolling. My pickup has a couple of fire extinguishers, but the engine is way more useful...

    In general, we hold to a "two minute" rule before an apparatus rolls. The rescue has more seats, so it might hold a little longer if we're fairly certain there may be more help coming. We've got one of the response programs running, so a glance at the screen, as well as consideration of time of day and the like, will color that decision.

    If we're going out mutual aid, we might send the tanker out with just a driver if it's known to be a worker, as they'll need water sooner rather than later. The rider usually ends out bailing to stay on the scene anyhow.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    I guess it makes sense for our dept to only respond to the station. The town is small and all but three of the 22 members live in town. The three of us live 7, 8, and 12 miles from the station. If we miss the truck we almost always have a tender or a command truck to take to the scene, with light and siren if needed. Only the guy 7 miles from the dept has bunker gear at his house because he live on the main hiway in our response area. He is the only one who can go the scene if it makes more sense.

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