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Thread: Severe weather increase in calls?

  1. #1
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    Default Severe weather increase in calls?

    We have some severe storms in the forecast tomorrow for my area. Is there usually an increase in call numbers during and after the storm due to storm related issues? I'm talking thunderstorms, not the blizzard that is forecasted for the upper midwest.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Maybe.

    Thunderstorm damage can be very spotty, nailing one area while leaving an adjacent area untouched - or effects can be widespread. Wind is usually the biggest culprit, taking down trees and branches, which in turn can take down wires and damage buildings.

    One factor can be previous bad weather. If there's been enough of it in the past, a lot of the weak stuff will already have failed.

    So the usual answer is yes - you will see an increase in calls. Most will be relatively minor in nature, requiring little more than cutting a few branches or waiting for the utility to show up.
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    Yes..........

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    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Depending on severity and what types of calls you run, yes. We assist the state roads department with tree removal, so that increases our call load. Generators running can cause CO calls and/or electrical issues. People without power that have medical issues might need to go to the hospital for treatment, whereas they'd normally stay home. You could have an increase in traffic accidents....
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    For us, Yes it does. We serve as storm spotters for our community and we also assist EMA with damage assessment. Not to mention what others have already said (tree removal, waiting for utility crews to show up). We also do not have local law enforcement, we are covered by the County SO, so if there is traffic control needed that usually falls at least partly on us too.

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    Thanks for everyone's input. Our department is pretty small usually about 80-100 calls a year including EMS calls. We're under a tornado watch till about midnight, but the storms arent supposed to arrive till about 9 or 10 tonight so we'll see what happens.

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    Sometimes they get ya, sometimes they don't. One night in February of 2012 my unit went to four house fires in a row that had all been hit by lightning in our first due. Went to another as second due and lightning had blown a large hole in the roof.

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    As everybody else said, you can get the tree down calls, maybe an increase in auto accidents depending on the type of severe weather. We also occasionally see in increase in fire alarms during some of the storms.

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    Just a little update. Our district didn't recieve any calls. We did have some high wind gusts and small hail but that was it. Towns all due west of us received damage. At least one confirmed low-grade EF2 tornado that ripped apart one block of a town. No reports of any serious injuries, just some minor injuries.

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    Depending on when and what kind of weather we are anticipating, some of us may stage at the firehouse if severe weather is possible. It depends on time of day and who's availible of course. We have stayed overnight once or twice because of near blizzard conditions, just to be ready. We have recliners that we can sleep in (somewhat) if we need to stay over. For severe weather during the day, we will take trucks to different areas to weather spot, we have areas with a good view and no trees or wires nearby. I wouldn't recommend weather spotting at night however. When Hurricane Ike came through a few years ago, many of us stayed at the station, and we had six calls. If you are dealing with downed trees, MAKE SURE you understand the dynamics of cutting trees. Fallen trees can have large amount of stored tension in branches, that can easily spring loose and crush a person. And if a tree is in Electrical lines, the power company handles it PERIOD. We DON'T do electric lines. Phone and cable we'll do what we can, but you have to watch out for stored tension in the lines too.
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  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Now is a good time to touch base with your DPW/highway department. Most departments have a good relationship with such agencies, but some don't usually deal with them.

    We had a tree down "for now good reason" (there was no weather - it just fell into the road), and our town folks showed up with a loader and dealt with it. We didn't have to do anything but stay out of the way (and monitor traffic). The highway superintendent is on our text paging system, so he will often be in motion even as we're responding to the scene.

    We have the capability to talk to the town highway folks by radio from our station and a couple of our trucks.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Thanks, I will try to find out how our department relationship is with the township. I'm not very sure because I just joined the department about a month ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Now is a good time to touch base with your DPW/highway department. Most departments have a good relationship with such agencies, but some don't usually deal with them.

    We had a tree down "for now good reason" (there was no weather - it just fell into the road), and our town folks showed up with a loader and dealt with it. We didn't have to do anything but stay out of the way (and monitor traffic). The highway superintendent is on our text paging system, so he will often be in motion even as we're responding to the scene.

    We have the capability to talk to the town highway folks by radio from our station and a couple of our trucks.

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