1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Emergency response

    What is your departments on running lights on all calls? Is it nescisary, does a stubbed toe require a emergency response? This has been an ongoing debate in my department for a long time.

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I don't think all calls require an emergency response. Just because the dispatcher pages you out, doesn't mean the lights and siren have to come on. In my department, all calls are considered emergency runs, unless otherwise stated by dispatch as Code 2. Code 2 responses usually involved Carbon Monoxide detector calls with no patient symptoms--something of that nature.

    Decide what incidents in your district should be considered emergencies, and make policies for responses accordingly.



  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My department is about to implement a non - emergency responce policy. Briefly it states, All EMS calls we go Hot, if it is bs, oops I mean BLS we can go cold to the Hosp.
    Second Due units to AFA, CO without illness, controlled illegal burn, change of quarters/cover assignment. can go cold. and of course if we get info that indicates that there is a problem we change to a Hot responce.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My fire department has adopted a response procedure where all dispatched alarms are "emergencies" until a fire officer is on scene and confirms a false alarm, single engine response, etc. The only exception is a move/up cover-up mutual aid assignment. We go without lights to standy-by at another firehouse, we consider that a non-emergency, although many of us debate the gray area of that response.

    If the fire officer deems the apparatus to "proceed with caution" or for "investigation only" the apparatus responding turn off lights and sirens and obey all traffic laws, stop signs, traffic lights etc. If needed the apparatus can always turn the noise and light show back on.

    For EMS calls, sort of the same rule applies. We deem every EMS dispatch as an emergency unless an EMT from our organization is on scene and advises a Code 2 response condition or a medic unit is already on scene and advises the same.

    Lt. Kevin C. (aka Pokey)

  5. #5
    Ken Hanks
    Firehouse.com Guest


    My FD has gone from every call being lights and sirens to most calls being "with traffic" responses. The officer decides what level based on information from the dispatcher.

    Our local ambulance service still does ACLS-All Calls Lights and Sirens. Even to the 3 time a week frequent flyers who don't feel well.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Just a note - check your states motor vehicle code. Many states spell out the regulations governing light & siren usage, sometimes to include the definition of "emergency". If you run code-3 to a call that doesn't warrant it (in a juries eyes), and get into an accident - stick a fork in ya', you're done. Three little words - USE COMMON SENSE. You must be able to justify the added risk of operating code-3, should an accident occur. Almost all of us are answering fewer fires and more service-type calls now than ever before. I'd be willing to bet that a significant percentage of your runs could be, or should be code-2 (no lights / sirens). Many studies have shown the difference in response times (code-2 vs. code-3) is pretty narrow in most instances. You make the call.....

    R.A. Ricciuti, Firefighter
    Mt. Lebanon Fire Department

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    You only have to get burned once to learn that you don't know what you have until you get there. Once you are dispatched to a call for a person "not feeling well" and you get there and they are coding, then you will know why you respond Code 3 to all calls, unless they are a pre arranged transfer. We respond like this in our area. Also, most of the time we transport Code one, I am suprised that there are still agencies that transport code 3. The same goes for fire departments. The first time you take a routine box for granted is the time you will have a working fire. That's the way I feel.

  8. #8
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Because of the way the vehicle code in PA is set up, our choices are "all or nothing". If you're running lihts, you're running sirens. If you're not running one, you're running nothing at all.

    We treat all fire calls, alarms and rescue/medical assignments as emergency responses, and run them lights & siren.

    Service calls, such as wires down, trees down, washdowns from MVAs, water conditions, traffic control, etc., are treated as non-emergency "normal flow of traffic" responses.

    Of course, if an "emergency" call is found to be non-emergency by the first arriving unit/officer, other units may be returned or "slowed down" to normal flow, as is appropriate.

  9. #9
    F52 Westside
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We have reduced our emergency responses just recently. With the addition of a third station and 6 new personnel, we have cut back on the number of calls we "tone out" the paid on call on. Our fulltime staff still runs "code" on most calls except CO calls w/o symptoms, burn complaints.
    We (I should say the area ambulance company) has been burned twice in the last week and a half. They got a call for a person who fell and hurt her foot. When Medics got there the person's foot was close to a full amputation. The second call was last nite, for a person who felt ill (vomiting,etc.) turned out the person was having a heart attack. Both of these calls were a Priority 3 response (no lights, no siren)

    Eddie C. - a.k.a - PTFD21
    "Doin' it for lives n' property"

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