Thread: responding pov?

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    Default responding pov?

    I passed my test to ride the engine on Saturday. I have not ridden a shift yet. There was a 3-alarm fire yesterday afternoon. Should I have responded pov? I'm really torn about this, because part of me feels like I should have gone, but without riding a shift yet (and because I was told not to go pov unless I'm comfortable with it and the paid captains know me), I thought it wouldn't be right to go to my first call pov. Was this a good decision? I appreciate your thoughts because I really want to learn.

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    This situation sounds remotely like one I was in when I first came into the Fire Service. The funny part is, it was with an FD in Virginia so before I give my response I would be curious to know if it is the same one.

    Send me an e-mail at fftrainer@firehousemail.com with the FD name if you don't want it public and I will try to help you out with my experience.

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    If you didn't respond in your POV, what did you do?

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    I'm guessing that this is a combination or paid on call dept. Is that correct? Around here, we have mostly volunteer departments, and members are expected to respond POV, so I can't really relate to your problem, but I can offer this, if you are allowed to respond to calls POV, and there is no restrictions, such as must be certified as such and such, or must be a member for x ammount of time, I don't see what the problem is, unless it is a combo department, and there is a lot of tension between the paid and volunteer, but that is a whole different issue. Just my thought's but not quite sure it's worth $.02

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    It appears that you are a "volunteer", so I am not sure if you have a "duty" to respond or just a "moral obligation." IMHO, I would have erred in the direction of caution rather than take the chance of doing the wrong thing. Since it appears that there are some criterion before the department allows you to respond, I don't see where anyone could be critical that you chose to wait on this one since you had not done ALL that was required for you to make responses. The fact that you made a decision not to go, would indicate to me that you probably were not 100% comfortable in going, so you did not do anything wrong.

    Around here, had you made the POV response and innocently parked in a bad spot, you would probably had been crucified. If your department was short handed, they can make that up with mutual aid. You will have more fires to go to in the future and I bet that by now, you have already ridden your shift.

    Good luck and best wishes!

    [ 07-10-2001: Message edited by: MetalMedic ]
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

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    The only way I can get there is in my POV. If I happen to be at the station and my gear is in the truck,(it does happen) I can ride the engine. So far, the only time I have ridden the engine was to a funeral of a retired firefighter.

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    RJE
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    Some interesting views here. On my old dept., it's been the policy for more than 30 years now that NO ONE responds POV direct.

    The Chief and his Asst. have FD owned Suburbans. Everyone else goes to the station and rides the truck. Because of this, most guys never even took their gear home with them.

    The only exception was the licensed Paramedics (EMT-A's). Because of the nature of the "good samaritan" laws (that were rather screwy - but that's another story) there could be liability issues if they "passed" the scene of an accident (the wording pertained to car accidents, but we took no chances). Because of this, they were allowed to stop - IF they would normally drive past the incident on their way to the station. - And most of them carried their gear - and a jump bag trauma kit. But they were the only ones.

    Now for the reason. First - what can you do without all the gear/tools that are on the big red (or in our case - yellow/green) truck. And second - it doesn't look professional for 30 or 40 cars to show up at an incident and then scramble for parking spaces.

    If you missed the truck, you hung around at the station to get credit for the call (for the % of calls responded), to help cleanup/repack the truck, and occasionally to respond on the second due. We'd call dispatch on the phone (direct line, so they knew it was us - they wouldn't answer if busy on the radio - which we didn't use for this). If the OIC asked dispatch for "available standbys" they could respond w/our numbers (men, drivers, officers). If the OIC wanted manpower - or another apparatus, it was his call to ask us to respond.

    Of course, a lot of times in the day, the first due would roll with only 1 or 2 guys, and the reserve would roll w/1 or 2 more as they showed up (we typically lived near our stations, and had longer response times from work) and second tone-outs for manpower only were not uncommon.

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    O.K. here we go.

    In my department we have 2 stations, station "A" & "B". The main station is manned during the day, mostly for ambulance coverage, by the chief, who is an EMT also, and 1 firefighter/EMT (non-union). My station, "B", is the un-manned station.

    In my station we have two drivers for each apperatis (1-main attack pumper, 1-tanker/pumper, 1-mini pumper/brush truck). Of course during the day is when we have the least personel in town and I work 7mi away. If we have a MAJOR call I can leave work for it. But by the time I get to the station our main pumper has already left. So this is now where the radio at the station and the Incident Command system come into play. I'm a back-up driver for all of our trucks so the first thing I do when I get to the station is call the I.C. and tell them "There is 1 driver at station B, do you need an additional truck from our station or just manpower.". If the answer is "just manpower" then that means I take my POV. By the way, we have to keep our turn-out gear at the station. So with doing that it ensures that everyone goes there first. It helps with the traffic control just in case there are mutual aid trucks responding to the scene.

    Now don't get me wrong, there have been times that I had to stand by at the station till the I.C. released me. But that is what the I.C. system is for. To try and get order out of chaos.

    I hope this long winded explanation helped you. And who knows, maybe it's a good suggestion for your chief.

    Stay Safe!
    The opinions I express are my own and not of my department.

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    Plain and simple....Drive your POV to the firehouse to put the apparatus on the street with a fully staffed unit! Unless in extraordinary circumstances in which you may be an EMS provider coming across a crash while enroute to your respective firehouse. Otherwise, I feel that responding POV to the scene creates a safety issue in regards to accountability as well as unwanted traffic hazards with POV's parked astray on the scene. This is only my professional opinion, but I guess it is up to each induvidual company's SOG's and response procedures.

    FF/EMT Finegan
    MCDFRS

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    Plain and simple....Drive your POV to the firehouse to put the apparatus on the street with a fully staffed unit!

    Damn, that would really suck leaving half our members responding back at the station since we don't have enough seats for 'em on an average structure fire.

    Would also really suck during the day for some good, young firefighters who aren't old enough to drive apparatus yet to be sitting around waiting for drivers who were on job sites or on errands the next town over to get there to chauffer them to the scene.

    Figure you can usually assemble the manpower and apparatus the quickest on scene if both are allowed to take the most expedient route there, not be hamstrung by silly rules of always responding to the station or always waiting for a full crew.

    (btw, we have certain members who are assigned to always respond to the station, so no, we don't show up and ask who got the trucks)

    Otherwise, I feel that responding POV to the scene creates a safety issue in regards to accountability

    Most departments, 99.9% of departments, can't do effective accountability anyways -- you get an effective system, POV's are no more of a problem to handle.

    as well as unwanted traffic hazards with POV's parked astray on the scene.

    Which is simple to fix -- everyone parks in a single row, preferably same side of road as the scene.

    First - what can you do without all the gear/tools that are on the big red (or in our case - yellow/green) truck

    The gear issue is simple. You carry it with you, or go to the station -- so your not without it.

    What can you do?

    Huddle with the officers and devise a game plan. It's quite nice when the air-pack crew getting off the attack piece find their line already being pulled to the door while the OIC briefs them on the situation.

    Provide EMS to any victims already out. Most of us carry basic jump kits, officers & some former officers have trauma kits & O2; a couple very active officers/members have our older AEDs with them.

    Prevent extension. Garden houses can work wonders, I've used my bunker coat to beat back a grass fire that would have involved a small chicken coop before the arrival of apparatus.

    Get the homeowners to move vehicles out of the way for better apparatus placement. Get gates opened. Sometimes simply find the fire so the big red truck doesn't go up the wrong 1/2 mile long driveway!

    In short, lots.
    ----------
    It really comes down to how you organize yourself -- organization or lack thereof will make or break it.

    Getting back to vol106's original post, it's hard to answer his situation -- because it really comes down to what he's comfortable with. Relax, you'll see more fire in the future.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

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    Our SOP's are quite clear and seem to work just out just fine. Take your pov to the station, first and then when all of the required units have run ask if command needs extra personnel. Then if needed you can take your POV to the scene.

    Once had an Oldtimer told me a story of a Dept. that had an SOP on POVs that said go to the scene then once when every one showed up to the scene POV and then guess what no truck showed up Ooops!
    Keep it safe !
    paradise Firefighter

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    With my FD, most people go to the station. If all the trucks are out, you respond to the scene. We also run medical first response, I usually go right to the scene since I have gear in my car, 1 of the 3 EMT's on the FD, and our medical vehicle is stationed on the other side of town.
    HELL YEAH!!!
    The comments made by me are just that. Not of the Fire dept or Ambulance squad I am on.

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    RIGHT ON DALMATION90!!

    I was begining to think that we were one of the last departments to respond to the scene. Why have the slowest vehicle in the response sit in the barn waiting? In our department, only drivers respond to the station. First one through the door takes the first truck, second takes the second, etc.. We do it the same as you do and it works very well.

    In my previous reply I asked "If you didn't respond POV, what did you do?" Since there was no reply, I must assume that vol106 was unable to help at a 3 alarm fire. Where's the logic in those rules?

    [ 09-08-2001: Message edited by: TriTownship600 ]

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    well here it goes-

    My departments policy is everyone goes to the station except those who have to drive by the scene enroute to the station, this even includes the officers who live near the station.Its hard to put 5-6 pieces of eqiupment on the road if everyone drives to the scene.It's even harder to find parking spots for all those pov's. A nieghboring company operates w/pov's to the scene and what a cluster @#$% that always is to get into the scene with the eqiupment when you have to slolum around the pov's. Besides the theory of responding to the station keeps uneeded eqiupment and manpower away from the scene.
    Firefighter/NREMT-P/Public Safety Diver
    May we ride into the darkness only to return as safe as we started!!

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