1. #1
    Capt. Skippy
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default Interagency Problems

    I have been wondering if anyone out there is having the same problems we are experiencing on our Fire Division with the police and EMS agencies. We are routinely encountering police officers, who are not certified firefighters or EMTs, that declare car accidents as minor and that the Fire Division or the EMS unit are not needed. Yet I can't count the number of times the EMS unit has been toned out for "complaint from an accident earlier today." I am just waiting for there to be a fire at some point in the near future that will be on a call that the Fire Division was not "needed" on.

    For some background, we are a rural county in southwest Ohio of approximately 40,000 people. The largest city is approximately 8,000 people. The Fire Division of this city covers 120 square miles. The force is 25 paid on call voluteers and a fulltime Fire Chief. There are nine other county/village departments that are dispatched by the Sheriff's Office. The city is dispatched by its Police Division.

    Now for some additional food for thought. Earlier this week there was an accident involving a school bus and two vehicles. The Fire Department for this jurisdiction was not dispatched initially. There were 30 young children on this bus. Four different EMS agenices responded. The Fire Chief for that department called the Sheriff's Office and demanded that they be dispatched. After major resistance, they were dispatched. In the course of all this confusion, at least two students were sent to school from the scene with concussions, as later determined by the hospital. Needless to say, the attorneys have already been called.

    Looking forward to anyone's comments. It will be 4/2/99 before I will be able to make any responses. Thanks and be safe.

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    It sounds like your agencies have some real jurisdictional swollen head problems. A recommended cure would be to remind your resisting fellow public service workers that a lawsuit can occur to anyone, any agency, and their supervisors. Those law suits can also extend to the state in question as well.

    We had a similar problem where Dispatch would not tone our Department out to 10-46's. This was taken care of when our Chief went and had a butt chewing session with the Sheriff's Dept, our communications. Now, regardless if the 10-46 is minor, major, or even questionable, our department is enroute to the accident. This is part of the CYA program, cover your a##.

    Good luck,

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I have this feeling that Inter Agency jealously plays some part in these problems.We have similar calls here in NSW Australia.Do believe that other services like to be on scene first, irrespective of needs.Most services have been lucky not to
    have worn Law suits ... yet.
    regards Bazc

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Capt. Skippy- Oh yeah we have the same problem here in Tx! I have no idea as to a solution...we were required to attend a 'briefing' from the PD on preserving evidence at crime scenes after some of our medics worked a stabbing victim that the PD had decided was 'dead'. Four officers were recently honored by the city for knocking on doors and waking the residents of an apartment complex that was on fire...no mention of the guys that actually PUT OUT THE FIRE! Just last night, as we arrived on scene of a reported kitchen fire, I was informed by dispatch that PD was on scene and had determined it was only a grease fire, I ALMOST went on the radio to tell dispatch that we'd let him handle it then. At least three times over the last two years, my crew has had access problems to a working fire because of parked and abandoned police cars...delaying the engine for several minutes until the owners could be located. We have had to detail one of our crew to directing/blocking traffic at numerous MVA's while the PD was 'checking out' the accident. Our request for a briefing for the PD about where to locate their vehicles/personnel at OUR scenes was denied because it would 'rock the boat'!? Needless to say, this is a major concern of our department! Because the officers are out patrolling, they frequently beat us on scene. I think the root of the problem is an EGO thing...with a little professional jealously?! Meanwhile...we live for the day we can make a lay through the interior of a cop car! (a la Backdraft) Let us hear of any progress you make....

  5. #5
    chf jstano
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Maybe we'er just lucky up here in northern N.Y. Our county routinely dispatches PD,Fire,and EMS together to MVA's,SAR,whatever. Maybe your chief officers need to set up some interagency meetings so everyone understands what each other's capabilities and responsibilities are. Not to say that everything is always going to be just wonderful but we are all there for the same thing, to serve and protect the citizens of our communities.

  6. #6
    Capt. Skippy
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Thanks for everyone's input. As an update, the parents of these children are apparently just looking at suing the school board at this time. Of course, the key words being "at this time!"

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