1. #1
    NY Smokey
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool Apparatus Responses...Non-emergency or emergency runs?

    Just wondering what everyone's thoughts are on responding to calls non-emergency? This topic has been heated at times due to the people that say "What if?" New York State is teaching EVOC that basically says if it is not a "life threatening" emergency you may want to reconsider those red lights and sirens.

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I believe you should respond off of what the dispatcher tells you. Why run Lights and sirens to to a possible broken hand, or something simple. I don't advocate not using the warning devices, just use them responsibly.
    You're correct on this possibly being a heated topic. We can "What if" it to extremes. Just use your head and follow common sense.
    This tends to be more of a problem with the new folks on the dept's, (Please don't think I'm bashing new folks, I went through this period too. I think we all did). A little time, experiance and a good proctor and it will pass.

    Running a code is easy.
    The hard part starts when you bringem back and have a 30-40 min transport

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have had this same topic in our service. I sat on a SOP commitee a couple of years ago and drafted an SOP for "Non emerergency responses. We also run 2 ALS ambulances which the pumper runs with it on all calls excluding intra-facility transfers. I believe it is St. Louis MO that has an SOP for running non emergency to automatic alarms. With our SOP every thing is up to the shift commander so most of the calls are still ran emergency with lights. I enjoy the thrill of running lights and siren as much as any body. But we need to be responsible and use our heads. It is just a matter of time before the unfortunate happens.

    Stay safe, and always look both ways.

  4. #4
    Fire Eater 07
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We run non Code-7 (non-emergent) for brush fires-not threatening any structures(usually), and for a 2nd in Engine on an alarm, 1st due is in hot. I agree with an earlier post where common sense must be used .

    Engine / Squad Co.# 7

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Well I work two different places and at the full time department we run emergency to most calls with the officer of the truck having final say in how we respond.

    Now there is the volly department, our chief has made the practice of allowing or response to be governed by many factors including the cops. Usually it is one officer who is also on the fd but on many occasions he has played hero and put out the small fire and then down graded the engine. Does anyone else see a problem with ths when the change often delays the engine arrival by up to 3-5 minutes depending on where in town the call is at. My point is yes the fire looks out but so is you extinguisher.

  6. #6
    Brian Dunlap
    Firehouse.com Guest


    All Too Often it Happens where the PD Arrives and makes attempts to extingush the Blaze prior to FD Arrival --- We don't Chase thier Criminals so Leave Our Fires Alone especially if you have no clue what you are doing...Unless there is a life in jepordy stay away from the Fire ! With that said...A call for the Fire Department is just that---- A call for the fire department the level of response should be determined by the Officer in Charge --- My Company Responds to all Calls with at least the Reds on -- Unless the "Reduced Speed" is Ordered at that point we shut all warning devices down and proceed into the scene with the flow of traffic


  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    I'm not even gonna touch the PD topic, we have problems with some dispatchers holding calls, and it still happens now and then and all I can do is shake my head.

    As far as Hot and Cold responses, I am all for it. We all know most of the stats, 44% greater chance of having an accident the minute you turn on the lights and sirens. And many times for what? Like NCFiremedic said, taking a broken ankle, or someone with the flu to the hospital. Or the 2nd due engine still responding to a AFA when another apparatus have arrived and has nothing showing. Wires down is another one, I see no reason why to run these Code 3. Not only for our safety, but also with regards to "rebound accidents" as we go through intersections. I also stand beside you with your comment that most of the resistance to this topic, and the amber lighting topics ( I also believe in massive amounts of amber lighting on emergency vehicles, and the ability to use either red, or amber only, and then of course the combination of both) start with newer members. Again no bash here either, I was there, with the we're not a taxi or band aid pushers. Or the, how do we know its not an emergency? Now I'm a FF/Paramedic and use my lights/sirens even less. Lights and sirens really do not make up that much time, its been proven, yes on certain calls that time matters, but not on all. Even in rural communities where the hospital is 30 mins away. Trying to make it in 20 to 25 mins, could mean someday you don't make it all.

    The above is my opinion only, and doesn't reflect that of any dept./agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hot Vs. Cold runs

    I take a lot of dispatch information into consideration. An automatic alarm at an address that you use a rubber stamp for to fill out the report, there is no need for a hot response. Take two words into consideration..possibility, and probility. Sure, an automatic alarm is definitely a possible structure fire, but what is the probability? Are you sent there often? Why?

    As Far as EMS is concerned, dispatch is also used..but I am more willing to respond hot until someone gets on scene to confirm a bad siutation, or a not so bad situation. We run BLS truck only, with ALS responding to 95% of all calls as a precaution, so when the PT is in the back of the bus, it is the medic or EMT's call as to what kind of ride to the hospital. Even on a hot response though, common sense has to take priority. Remember, when running a code to the ER...The medics are doing all the Doctors will do, so why risk 3 other Lives for one already gone?

    Stay Safe

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We implemented the tiered response system into our SOP. It didnt really change much for us because most of the drivers did use some common sense, maybe they didnt kill the reds but they took the time to drive appropriatly. Living in a rural area, lights and sirens go relitivly unnoticed due to the fact there is very little traffic to deal with. Anyway if the first officer finds some reason to upgrade or the first unit for that matter than they can upgrade the response for the rest of the assignment.

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Commen sense should prevail in every run, but the way I see it, why take a chance and get stuck in traffic for a non-emergency call that could turn bad. I think the best way to respond is 1st due hot and the others responde according to what the IC or Lieutenant on Shift decides. In our department, that's how we respond. If nothing is said, we respond hot. The IC is there to make the decision


    If you sent us to HELL, WE'D PUT IT OUT!!

    **And of course these are only my opinion and only mine. Don't take it out on anyone else but me.**

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