1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee
    Posts
    9

    Default A-Side of the Building

    After arriving on scene and establishing command what determines which side of the building is designated as the A-SIDE?

  2. #2
    M G
    M G is offline
    Temporarily/No Longer Active

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    43

    Default

    The street

  3. #3
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Lyndora,PA
    Posts
    7

    Default

    The street which holds the address is the "A" side even if it isn't where command is established. Command can be moved to another side because of conditions.

  4. #4
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Yes, I see your point.

    Situation: The street side (address side) is a wall with no entrances just exits and roll up doors. The main entrance is off to a side facing away from the street and accessed off a large parking lot. Or how about a building with the main entrance on the opposite side of the building away from the street?

    Question: Should the IC designate what is A-side in this situation? Or should their be an SOP that says the A-side is always the street side or address side?

    [ 11-09-2001: Message edited by: FIRE549 ]

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,120

    Default

    The "street" side is the usual answer. Maybe you'll find the occassion when it doesn't work and the Chief has to declare the side facing the command post is.

    We run into long driveways. 1000 or 1500' from the road with turns in the driveway, you may no longer know where the street is. Can run into the same effect on construction sites sometimes. Does make you wonder what they did 9-11 pulling up to the Pentagon where A-B-C-D is one too short! So while the street is 99% the Alpha side, sometimes it can't be, and sometimes D may not be where it stops!

    BTW, I much prefer Alpha-Bravo-Charlie-Delta. B and D are awful hard to distinguish on a radio with other noise going on!
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Lakes Region of NH
    Posts
    344

    Default

    Hm..good question. Around here I have seen the "Alpha" side be the "address" side and also the side where "Command" is at. The term "street-side" to me is incorrect as many buildings in our jurisdiction either face more then one major street (kitty-corner) or are in complexes that have a common addresses (shopping malls and multi building industrial sites) or street address that is different from the "frontage" of the occupancy. All said I would have to also agree with ChiefJay for simplicity...
    Proud to be an American, Union Firefighter!

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Norfolk, Virginia
    Posts
    117

    Default

    Predesignate by SOP/SOG which side will be identified as A-side, i.e., the address/street or main entrance will be the A-side. When a fixed command post is established, which can be any side, the IC should announce that "command is located on the __ side." This will reference and orient the working units to the designated sides.

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Washington, DC USA
    Posts
    115

    Default

    In our SOPs, the location of the Command Post has no bearing on the designation of the front of the building. We use the front (main) entrance as the 'A' side. There are many occupancies (mostly apartments) where the front door faces a courtyard or parking lot that is perpendicular to the street. In those cases, the street side is either 'B' or 'D'.

    Since order of dispatch indicates where units are to be positioned, it is important for prefire plans to indicate the orientation of the front of the building, so there will be no confusion as to the side designations.

    This method has been working well for us.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Salem, NH
    Posts
    40

    Default

    what if the building is a big circle?

  10. #10
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee
    Posts
    9

    Default

    I guess there is always exceptions to the rule. A completely round building is unusual but I have seen them. We actually have a few in our city. The front/main entrance would most likely be the A-side.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber
    fyrmed's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Although having your SOP/SOG's define which side is the A (Alpha) may help in some areas, I have found (especially when dealing with mutual aid companies on the first assignment) that because of many reasons already stated in other postings, one can't always assume that the street side will be the Alpha. Therefore, it would be good to have the first arriving unit, as part of their size-up report to identify what the Alpha side will be, and location of the command post. This method sure makes known to everyone what page of the game plan they're on.
    Just my thought.......
    Greg Loveall, FF/PM
    Columbia River Fire & Rescue
    IAFF-L3215

  12. #12
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    19

    Default

    The front entrance side of the building. This keeps it simple.

  13. #13
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Calumet City,IL.
    Posts
    11

    Default

    I will quote from National Fire Service Incident Management Syetem - Model Procedures Guide for Structural Firefighting - "the front of the building is designated Division A or Sector A." It should progress in a clockwise progression from there. We usually try to set up "Sector C" as the second exterior sector unless an exposure is more important. The one thing that causes problems is a multiple story apartment building with a garden apartment. Some departments treat it as a # sub-sector and some as a # floor. The bottom line is to set up your command and make sure everyone understands their assignment especially if the building is unusual. One ordinance in our town that would cause a problem if you based it solely on address is that all sides of a building that have a side on the public way, including streets and alletys have to have an address. There are great tactical reasons for both us and the police department to have this.

    [ 11-13-2001: Message edited by: DSmits ]

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Spring, Tx.
    Posts
    40

    Default

    As some of the others have said, the street or address side of the structure has no bearing on what side of the building is the "A" side. The "A" side of the structure is determined by the incident commander. Yes, most incident commmaders will use the street side or address side as the "A" side to simplify things, but it is also a great idea to have it pre-determined in your SOG's. As for the circular house, divide the structure in half, by picking a side that you can see and designate that as your "A" side and the side that you can't as "B" or "C" which ever you prefer.

  15. #15
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I agree with all who have said the address side. I understand the confusion that saying the "street" side could cause. We have several buildings in our downtown area that are located between two streets. My belief is that you need to define the "A" of the structure prior to arrival. I believe the easiest may to do this is to have you SOP define the "A" side as the "address"side. The IC can then redefine the "A" side if necessary. I do not think that the Command Post has to be on the "A" side. The "A" side has no bearing on the command post as lond as everyone knowns what the "A" side is. If you leave it to the IC, what happens if they neglect to identify what the "A" side is? If the IC starts assigning units to different side. The next arriving units may make very huge mistakes in spot the apparatus in the wrong location for the IC to initiate tactics. What happens if the officer on the first arriving unit has to make some tough decisions about the placement of his apparatus, and just does not have time to try and define the sides of the structure. I think the answer is diaster if the "A" side is not pre-defined.

    [ 11-17-2001: Message edited by: 330-JCFD ]

  16. #16
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Stratford, N.J.
    Posts
    159

    Default

    As I have understood through my I.C.S. Training the "A" or Alpha side of a structure is the actual Address Side of the Structure. Example : If dispatched to to 123 Main Street than the front door to that address is Division "A" or Side 1 as I have herd it called also. Than you proceed Clock-Wise Division B, C {Rear of Building} and Finally Division D. ~ When it comes to Floors and Levels I have used Floor 1, Floor 2, and so on up to "Roof" and I have used "Basement" on occassion. ~
    ***The Opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect those of the Department to which I am a Member ! ***

    Stratford Fire Co. # 1.."Any Job ~ Any Place ~ Any Time"

    Check us Out www.stratfordfire.com

  17. #17
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Again, my question relates to the last post: What if the front entrance does not face the street address side? Isn't it easier for the IC to orient him/her self from the front entrance, designating it as the A-Side regardless of the street address. The street address side could be a blank brick wall. Then the IC goes clockwise etc...to name the sides.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register