1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Other company refusing assistance

    We normally automatic aid into three other fire districts. Recently, we found one of our sister companies is recalling us even when they have fires. We think this has been going on for about 3 months now, since they elected a new cheif.
    The way we found out was after a reported dwelling fire in their district we were recalled along with one other company. Our cheif was riding the area later and noticed a lot of activity. He went over and saw the other company had jsut finished extinguising a 2 room fire. Nothing major, but something we shouldn't have gotten recalled off of. After talking to local PD, we found out that they hav done this several times in the last couple months. They would radio county, recall us and then operate on their talk-around channel.
    Now I am on a paid department also, and even paid companies like to handle things themselves, but we don't recall other compnies unitl the fire is under control. We havent spoken to the company that recalled us or other companies we run with. We aren't too sure what to do? Some say we should let it go till the stuff hit the fan after they recall us. Others say we should confront them. I dont know. I just know i dont want to be on a fireground with firefighters obsessed with doing everything themselves.

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I don't think "confront" would be the word to use.. There would be nothing wrong with your chief or a designated rep sitting down in a neutral setting and "discussing" the issues.

    The new chief may feel his department can handle the incidents and doesnt want the additional resourses hanging around the scene. Now, common sense will tell us its better to have to many resources rather than not enough.

    If the mutual aid agreement or response plan or whatever dictates the chief can cancel incoming resources from another agency (which most do) outside of trying to resolve the concerns by discussing it.... all ya can do after that is wait for the "big one"

    [This message has been edited by mtnfireguy (edited January 21, 2000).]

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In the area I am in we have a couple of depts. for what ever reason believe they can handle everthing that they run on, so for us it is hard to mutual aid with them. But from experience that are like most others and can't because of manpower or equipment and sometimes they look bad because of their attitude. The bad part is that its the public who suffers. Myself, I don't mind getting cancelled if I am not needed but then to see a house burned to the ground because we were cancelled is a sight I don't like to see. Your Chief or dept. rep. needs to sit down with your mutual aid companys and discuss the matter before it gets out of control. Our chief did this and now the mutual aid problems are minor if at all.

    Good Luck And Be Safe
    Craig Lambert

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I have noticed the same problems here. Having some departments not calling for help, or have some that has made mutual aid plans with certain departments, so they run together all the time, No matter if another dept. is closer. I know once our neighbor dept had structure fire and we should have been up to roll, but they called a dept. that was atleast 3 more miles futher than we was.I have seen things like that happen over and over.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hello, Not long ago we went through something similar, Our Dept use to rely on Mutual Aid for Almost Every Fire, We have Evolved into a semi- dependant F.D that can Handel MOST Structure Fires w/o Mutual Aid, Once we felt comfortable with Staffing and Response stuff we sent Letters to the other Depts that use to be Automatic Mutual Aid and advised them of our Improvements and that we would not be calling them until needed, we met with respective Depts and came up with criteria for Mutual Aid and Sighned Agreements, Communications was the biggest Hurdel and once that was cleared up all has gone well, I agree you might need a sit down meeting to decide what calls you will and wont use help on, and then communicate effectively with all parties that it is not a insult or brush off if you are not called every time.

    Here today for a Safer Tomorrow

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    It sounds like their chief is trying to prove to someone, or himself, that they can handle their own fires. Oh well, the reason that they made him their chief is to make such decisions. The choice to cancel assistance
    is his responsibility and within his authority as the chief.

    [This message has been edited by DD (edited January 23, 2000).]

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I have see it happen here too....

    But I think our problem is the dispatchers more than the chief but the chief has not followed up with what she calls for either.

    Snowy night, neighboring fire company has a small pallet building on fire. Chief calls for mutal aid and the dispatchers call 2 out of the three mutual aid companys. This two mutual aid companys took almost one hour from their tone out to get to the scene because of the road conditions. Where as our tanker could have been there in half the time.

    Here's a question for anyone who wants to answer:

    If a bulding is lost and there was a chance of it being saved with the assistance of mutual aid that was not call, could the insurance company hold the fire department liable?

    I'll check it out with my insurance agent (he's also our district's Deputy Fire Marshall) and let everyone know. I just think it would be interesting to find out what everyone else thinks.

    Stay Safe,

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Let me lay this one out for you. I may get in trouble for letting this one out, but what the hay!

    Our engine operates on an automatic aide system that dispatches the closest appropriate unit (using GPS) to a call regardless of juricdiction. Now, our engine company is in a very strategic location, it provides coverage for alot of area that is left uncovered if we were to only respond into our own city. We do run the majority of our calls into two other cities (phoenix and one other) but we also run close to 90% of the calls in our own area. It wasn't long after getting on the automatic aide system that our call volume increases to about 3000 calls per year (not including cancled enroute runs). This beat every unit in this other city, including taking quite a few from their busiest engine. Well one of the captains from this engine co. complained enough that he convinced his cheifs to impose a 3/4 mile penalty on our unit (adds 3/4 mile to our location) in their city... they even tried to get phoenix to do the same (PFD's response was basically: no, we believe in the automatic aide system and it works. You can do what you want in your city, but not ours!) This penalty has barely effected our call volume, we are just running more in phoenix. THe problem with this is that their are places that we can get to 3 minutes or more faster than other companies are not in our area anymore because of the penalty (the whole Phoenix Fire Automatic Aide System strives for response times of under 4 minutes). The history is that my FD was a volunteer department not so long ago, never had ALS and only covered a very crime ridden area. The volunteers had little or no training and little equipment. But, today our cheif has brought us from that to a paid department with a fully staffed engine company, all the latest equipment and training that is on par with Phoenix Fire. We are not the department we were even 1 year ago, much less 10. There have been many rumors as to the real reason: We didn't go to the same academy, we aren't in our town enough to cover our own calls (90% must not be enough... we cover more calls in their city by 10 fold than they do in our city), we have been in the spotlight too much (huh?), and the list goes on. Well, I am sure that their risk managment doesn't know about this and if Alan Brunocini trusts us in his city... I though it was about providing the best service the quickest, guess I was wrong.

    Sorry, done venting.

    Alan Romania, CEP
    IAFF Local 3449

    My Opinions do not reflect the opnions of the IAFF or Local 3449.

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