Thread: Responding to the Scene POV
06-09-2000, 11:57 AM #1ProPyro1Firehouse.com Guest
Responding to the Scene POV
Just curious what some of your SOG's are on the repsonse of personal vehicles to the scene. Our dept. is pretty slow, about 110 calls last year. There are a couple senior firefighters (of which only one or two have ever completed Firefighter I) who routinely respond directly to fire scenes. A while back, one positioned his vehicle that prohibited me from being able to correctly position my apparatus at the hydrant on an automatic fire alarm at an old mill in town. When I yelled for him to move his vehilce, I got a "the keys are in it" as he scurried off with no SCBA and made entry into the structure. (he doesn't have an SCBA mounted in his car yet, although he's got enough strobe lights to support a rock concert.) My opinion is that everyone goes to the station and reponds on the apparatus. Keeps cars out of the way and gives you the opportunity to be in gear and SCBA. Thoughts?
06-09-2000, 12:26 PM #2Chief TaylorFirehouse.com Guest
Our SOP States that personnel respond directly to the Fire Station for calls.
The only exception to this rule is as authorized by the Fire Chief. There currently is a couple of people authorized to respond, but these are only the Fire Chief and Deputy Chiefs.
This is simply because of lack of Fire Division vehicles so far.
06-09-2000, 02:14 PM #3bob1350Firehouse.com Guest
One of my favorite subjects, I posted a question like this a few weeks ago. Our combination dept. allows volunteers to respond to all calls in their POV's after being on the dept for a year. These volunteers will all be FFI and red card certified by then. We have the full support of the Police Chief, the County Sheriff, and State Patrol. Our paid chiefs would like this privledge to go away, but the volunteer leadership (of which I am one) is very adamant about this. Our dept. responds to over 4000 calls year in a 260 square mile district. Volunteers responding in POV's can make a big difference if they arrive on scene before a piece of apparatus. We can start BLS, give a size up on the radio, be geared up and ready to go while you wait for a piece to show up with an SCBA,do a 360, get info from RP's, shut down equipment coming, you can release apparatus early on a scene because you do not have manpower attached to it, and on and on. We do also encourage volunteers to "do" station time. Some do, personally I don't. I can get tons of errands and stuff done at home and still respond to make a difference.
Our dept.E.O's, and the training we get from the State Police are very specific. We have response profiles, and utilize 5 districts to keep volunteer responses confined to the district you live in, unless it is a structure fire. Then we all go. All volunteers know where to park,and where not to park when they arrive on scene. This info can also be relayed over the radio. Your senior firefighter is an idiot who ought to know better.
Like I said earlier, responding code 3 in a POV is a privlidge and should not be taken lightly. You need to know where you are going, how you are going to get there, and be polite all the way there. What do you guys do when you have to drive by a structure fire, or cardiac arrest, or nasty MVA on your way to the station? Take a different route? I guess you can tell how I feel about this subject.
06-09-2000, 11:58 PM #4HarrisonJRFirehouse.com Guest
I belong to an all volunteer department and have responded to this question before so I'll save a big reply and say I totally agree with bob1350. What works for one department may not work for another to each his own.
06-10-2000, 10:03 AM #5E21Firehouse.com Guest
Are dept SOP is to respond to either the call or station depending on your location when the alarm comes in. We have a combo dept with 2 paid on duty at staion all the time, so there are 5 other vollys trained to drive appratus, they usually respond to station always. The rule of thumb for us is if ya can make it to the station within a minnute and thirty seconds well ya might catch the truck otherwise go in your POV. Upon getting to scene you are not to put POV anywere near the structure or incodent your responding to. Since we all know fireground opperations its obvious we would be able to see were is a safe place to park so the appratus would not be blocked. We have a small highway that runs threw town and we are not allowed on the highway with are POV. We can only park on nearest on or off ramp to the call.Only appratus allowed on highway.
06-12-2000, 04:03 AM #6Brian DunlapFirehouse.com Guest
My Company allows F.F. Personnel to respond to Incidents via P.O.V. once all 4 pieces have left the house...And usually only on incidents that would require man-power IE: Working Fire..Vehicle Rescues extended Brush-Fire Operation and so on...Must go to the station first get your gear and then respond at a reduced rate of speed and park out of the way of possible in-comming equipment and obviously not near a hydrant like stated in the opening question of this forum...This is a good system for our department and works for some of the guys who live a little further from the station and won't always make a piece of equipment like my-self who must travel 4 miles through surburban business traffic just to reach the hall. I like our SOG on this because it helps you to respond in a safe manner with-out driving like a nut-case worring about making a truck...Simple if the hall is empty gear up and take your P.O.V. to the scene but use your brains if it is an automatic alarm call or an Investigation call really no need to take the P.O.V. Unless the OIC is calling in additional companies and man-power. But what works for some companies may not work for others
06-12-2000, 11:07 AM #7FF.FOREVERFirehouse.com Guest
I will have to agree with bob1350. I live 10 miles from my firehouse. I live in a city where the whole dept is career(no vollies). So I volunteer with the next town over. I always respond in my pov and I also have my own SCBA in my vechile. We don't have any hydrants in my town so don't have to worry about that. I always park on the side of the road or down a few houses in a person driveway so not to clog up traffic. I believe every dept is different in how they respond to calls. the sop are you are to respond to the station if we get a call. I usally don't drive by the station to get to the scene so I don't respond to the station and the chief knows this. Doesn't make any sense to respond to the station if all the trucks are gone,but as I said every dept is different.
06-12-2000, 12:49 PM #8FFCode3EMTFirehouse.com Guest
My combination department does not allow us to resond POV except in certain situations. It is better to go to the station and either take the appartus out or standby if there is a second call. The only exception(s) to the rule is if it is a medical call and it lies directly between your location and the station. The only people that can respond POV to a fire call are the Chief, Deputy Chief, and Assistant Chief.
06-12-2000, 01:28 PM #9Bob SnyderFirehouse.com Guest
Our SOGs call for all personnel to respond to the station to staff apparatus, with the following exceptions:
1. OIC discretion.
2. All apparatus has already left the station.
3. Responding to the station requires driving directly past the scene.
4. Medical assist calls (we don't run EMS as a rule, so medical assists are usually for lifting or extra sets of hands).
Excess POVs on the scene just get in the way. Whenever possible, it's generally far better to have people coming in on apparatus fully geared & ready to go.
06-12-2000, 03:52 PM #10FGFD43Firehouse.com Guest
I have a question. My volunteer dept. allows POVs scene and I was wondering. If all equipment is enroute or on scene, does that mean that there will be no more help for the personel that are on the scene? It seems to me that what a dept. decides about POVs would depend on thier membership and response levels.
Fair Grove Fire Dept.
Thomasville, NC USA
[This message has been edited by FGFD43 (edited June 12, 2000).]
06-13-2000, 02:30 PM #11MtnFireFirehouse.com Guest
Ours is a combination dept, with the 5 paids only on during the day, but with up to 6 volunteers in residence at two stations. We run between 500 and 600 calls a year. Montana does not allow code 3 response in POV, no lights or sirens. Our SOGs are that if the scene is in between you and the nearest station (we have 8) you stop at the scene and do what you can until a truck (we have around 18) of some sort arrives, if a station is in between you and the scene, you get a truck on the way. It works for us.
06-15-2000, 01:19 PM #12Fireguy57Firehouse.com Guest
Can we have a word bank for all your SOP's, SOG's, EO's, and OIC's?
Our department got into some trouble with that responding via pov. About 25 years ago there was a little spat between some members about who was to drive which engine, and it was decided by one family that they were the only members who could drive the equipment -period-no discussion. so members got used to that over time, and usually just drove to the scene in their trucks. Well one bright sunny and DRY morning there was a fight because someone had damaged a piece of equipment. Everyone had gotten so used to just going to the scene, that nobody ever went to the hall, they just waited for the trucks to get to the fire. At the time, and still occasionally we used a party line to dispatch, and who ever answered first would blow the fire whistle from a button on most members rotating phones. Well about noon that day someone phoned in a house fire, and hay field fire. Well when the whistle blew, everyone went to the scene. The angry "former" members did not show up to take the equipment, so there stood 15 men watching a house burn while someone went back to get equipment.
06-15-2000, 09:08 PM #13CFD14Firehouse.com Guest
We have a unique way of responding in our AOR. We're a combination dept. and station is manned 24/7, only one full time FF from 5 pm til 7:30 am. We have two companies that switch from City alarms (approx 6000 pop.)and rural alarms (approx 550 sq miles. and two small under 300 pop. towns) each month. For rural alarms we respond to the station and take the engines and tankers to the incident. For City alarms the FF on shift takes the 1st out truck to the incident and the city company responds to the scene in their POV. We respond at no more than 10 mph over the posted speed limit, headlights and vehicle flashers is at the discretion of the firefighter. No one is allowed to have emergency lighting and I wouldn't want any. It doesn't get you there any faster, it causes more commotion and confusion to an already inattentive public. The big question is "Is your POV an emergency vehicle? Did your Dept. pay for your POV and its Insurance, maintenance, fuel, tires, etc? If not than it is not an emergency vehicle and it should not have "lights and sirens" period!!!
The views expressed are my own and are not necessarily those of my dept.
God bless and stay safe.
06-17-2000, 10:02 AM #14deanfFirehouse.com Guest
My question would be: what are your departments SOPs on this issue? Familiarize yourself with them, take whatever action is appropriate for your rank (ie: write his *** up) and assume you've done all you can. After all, if it's worth getting worked up over, isn't it worth writing up?
Member, IAFF Local 2024
06-17-2000, 07:24 PM #15LooperFirehouse.com Guest
In Texas: a POV (lights & siren) = a fire truck = an ambulance = a police car.
Probably 1/3 of our members have lights & sirens on their vehicles. A few even put them on their wife's car also -- never know when you'll be in the wrong car for a fire! Members are allowed (actually encouraged) to keep their bunker gear with them.
On any given call, about 30-40% of our members will respond POV. Our district is relatively small (13 square miles) with a dense population (50,000). This means that a member in a POV will almost always beat the aparatus to the call. All of the officers (as well as some firefighters) have radios. This allows a member ariving by POV to give a size up, the correct location, cancel or upgrade response. We have had several incidents where the POV member has called for 2nd alarms or for LifeFlight on medical calls. On many occassions, we have been able to disregard box alarms (8 trucks for us) and just continue the first due engine.
Everyone in the dept is allowed to respond POV (need special clearence for lights & siren), although there are some restrictions on mutual aid calls. Depends on distance and which Dept we're going to.
Parking at scenes usually not a problem -- every once and a while someone will do something stupid, and then get reamed by the chief for it.
Being able to repsond POV allows members with time constaints (i.e. have to leave for work in an hour, or be home pick up the kids from school) to go to the call, contribute for as long as they can, and then leave. We make sure that people don't abuse this just to get out of the clean up / overhaul.
This system works for us.
06-17-2000, 10:59 PM #16Aerial 131Firehouse.com Guest
The only person by procedure able to respond to an incident is a Captain. Other overhead command personnel are issued a department vehicle, PU, Blazers, suburbans, etc.
We have 5 stations for 21,000 population and about 500 sq miles. We are all volunteer from but for Chief, Training Captain , maintence personnel and 3 full time FF.
All personnel are taught to go to the station even if you must go by the incident, (I know, I have had to do it, and yes I hated doing it but who was going to fight the fire with a shovel from my car
The Captains are well versed in where not to park, aerial gets the front, engines look 3 sides and lay line. My car parked two (2) doors down, I put my gear on and reported to the scene. Worked just fine and never got in the way.
If your looking for additional info www.bcfd1.ourwest.com should help.
06-18-2000, 11:51 PM #17wannabe-EMTFirehouse.com Guest
Only the chief and people he authorizes (in our case, the company photographer) may respond direct to the scene. Period. All other personnel respond to the station first. I think it's partially a logistics thing, of where people park, and primarily a liability issue.
Peace, and stay safe.
06-19-2000, 01:16 PM #18bob1350Firehouse.com Guest
Loveland Fire Rescue(combination dept of LFR and Loveland Volunteer Fire Dept.) serves a population of about 60,000 in both the city and rural areas. Our fire protection district is about 260 square miles. Lots of rural area, as well as wildland/urban interface and interstate highway. As per Colorado State Statute, Volunteers are allowed to respond code 3 in POV's. Red or Red/Clear Light must be mounted on top of vehicle and visible for 360 degrees. You can have strobes in the front grill along with wig wags. No light alterations on the rear. Yes, you are considered an emergency vehicle that can rspond no more than 10 miles an hour over the speed limit.
We have dept. SOP's, and EO's regarding response profiles. Our career afficers as well as our volunteer officers do a very good job in shutting vehicles down to code 2. I've heard the story that code 3 doesn't get you there any faster, but it does around here. Volunteers also respond to the station code 2 or 3 to man and drive squads and rural equipment. I am a staunch supporter of this policy. Looper, you are right on!!
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