An issue I've been considering-if you are traveling, gear aboard, and come on a MVC or even a structure fire, AND THE LOCAL DEPARTMENT HAS RESPONDED, do you stop to offer to help? Naturally if there is no one else on scene we do what we can, but if there is another department present, what then?
I actually had this happen once years ago, there was a bad two-vehicle MVC, one rescue on scene with two responders, I could hear other sirens coming. I stopped and held C-Spine on the second driver until someone got a collar and backboard in place, then helped extricate her. The first-due crew were gracious and appreciative, that time.
Thinking about it, though, I can see the potential for a different outcome. If the roles were reversed, I would like the help on at least scene control or maybe controlling bleeding, but I wouldn't feel comfortable accepting help on an attack from a stranger-albeit one in personal bunker gear ought to know what to do...
Interested in comments/thoughts or if there are SOPs to cover this. Would a career/combination department have a different perspective than volunteers? Is there liability for either party? Is there a duty of perform outside your own district? What do we owe the public or the brotherhood when away from our own patch?
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Thread: Would you stop to help?
10-27-2013, 11:33 PM #1
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
Would you stop to help?
10-27-2013, 11:55 PM #2
Absolutely. Just what I want is an unknown person to have to worry about at a fire scene. But hey, you have your own gear. You can fit in seemlessly with our operations and not be a cause for concern...after all, you know our policies/procedures/tactics..."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?
10-28-2013, 12:51 AM #3
The only time I've ever done this was when I was off-duty and I came upon a neighboring career department who was trying to contain a brush fire with only three guys. I knew a couple of them, so it wasn't really a big deal.
Otherwise, hell no, I'm not stopping, especially if the other department already has folks there.Career Fire Captain
Volunteer Chief Officer
Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!
10-28-2013, 03:30 AM #4
- Join Date
- Oct 2013
I probably wouldn't stop, but it depends on the situation. I would stop 100% if nobody has responded yet or there was an MCI that they were overwhelmed with and offer help.
10-28-2013, 02:59 PM #5
I don't think I would stop to participate for the reasons stated previously. I would stop and offer to help if it was obvious it was an MCI and they needed more hands (up to their *** in alligators), but only after checking in with the IC and clearly identifying myself.
Since I am a Firefighter 1 academy instructor, I may stop to gather photos for future use.everyonegoeshome.com
10-28-2013, 05:40 PM #6
Barring perhaps some very unusual circumstances, I would say definitely no. If they need help, their equipment should have radios. They can request it.
Anyone not part of the responding department's crew is a bystander. If that person has PPE, they are a bystander in a costume. Like Bones42 said, strangers don't know policies/procedures/or tactics.
10-28-2013, 05:54 PM #7
I have in the past, particularly if EMS is involved. Being in a chiefly rural area, any help is usually appreciated, and I've been told more than once that I'm welcome to help out any time.
I know most of the major players in our surrounding districts (and most of the county). If I'm passing a scene, I'll usually ask if they're all set. If they're not, they'll let me know. Otherwise, I'll get out of the way and let them work.
If I do help out, with the IC's consent, we're all under the same insurance county-wide.
I have been known to snap a picture or two from safe vantage points.Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.
Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.
10-28-2013, 09:31 PM #8
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
I think if you properly identify yourself, even show some ID, most depts. wouldn't have a problem with you helping, at least not in the early stages of an incident when they were undermanned. I usually have a first aid bag with me anyway since I live in a rural area.
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