1. #1
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    Default Calling "on scene" with POV?

    90% of our dept goes to the station for any given incident, the remainder go directly to scene via POV. Neighboring depts, however, respond in larger percentages via POV. If a member arrives on scene via POV, he/she radios "On scene". Dispatch times look great compared to ours, because we don't call "On scene" until rigs arrive. It appears that difference in arrival times is now being used against us. My question: Can your dept really be considered "on scene" with members in turnouts and pov's? Sure, you can give a size up, but beyond that, how useful are you? Does your dept radio "on scene" when only members (officers included) in pov's arrive?

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    All of our members with radios call "on scene" or 10-23 when they arrive at the fire or at the station.

    This way it helps us with a head count since most of our members respond in their private vehicles. And we know that someone is at the station if we need another truck or another alarm comes in.

    The first member on scene gives a size-up, and we count our arrival time based upon when the first-in apparatus goes on scene. that is the only time that is recorded on our log, as well as any other apparatus needed.

    Likewise, when the apparatus goes 10-8 returning to the station, that is the only time that is logged. Our members with radios go 10-8, 10-19 from the scene, and this is one way we keep up with those leaving and counting them as they come out.

    We are a combo department, so the paid man pages it out, and drives the truck to the scene. Any subsequent apparatus is driven by the volunteers that respond to the station.

    Ed Brando
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    "The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits".-Albert Einstien

    "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door"-Milton Berle

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    -- You can handle 90% of fire alarms
    -- A couple chimfex flares does wonders to eliminate the "emergency" part of a chimney fire
    -- A 2.5 gallon pressurized water extinguisher can knock down a lot of fire sometimes
    -- We can handle most medical situations other than long bone fractures or Epi-pen situations out of our POVs.
    -- All our officers are issued full trauma/02 kits. Plus our policy is former officers get to keep the kits -- so we have 12 or so of these kits in POVs. Plus many of our members have personal jump bags.
    -- 3 officers and one FF who are well located and active in 1st responding had our old Defibs assigned to them when we bought the new ones.

    Beyond simple size up of a scene, it's very typical when our 1st in truck arrives for the airpack crew to get of and get a briefing by the OIC. By the time he's told them what they have, the line is already stretched to the door, the accountability post is in place, and a set of irons is waiting for them to make entry with... The early responders who helped the first crew by getting their equipment setup turn around, don SCBA, and man the 2nd line...

    Yep, depending how your setup you can get a lot done.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
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    I understand that someone responding via POV on an EMS call will accomplish alot alone. I was referring to mainly fire calls. From what I'm hearing then, your dept is considered "on scene" when the first person arrives in POV? I realize I'm splitting hairs, but response times will vary greatly depending on how you view this. One dept may average 3 minutes call to arrival (POV) while another may average 8 minutes (first rig). County/town/municipal officials will only look at the hard numbers.

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    It seems like most departments are going to do the same thing as the neighboring departments. We I am from it is supposed to only be Chief officers that go on scene to fire calls. EMS calls are a different story since that can really be only a two person job. It sounds like it really depends on how you accountability works. If it starts at the time of dispatch or once on scene. I do not know what the legal part of a POV vs an Engine going on scene for time is. I would think that the real time would be with the appartus making a difference in the call. Although the chief that arrives on scene can get more help started that way that might desperately be needed.
    If it gets too hot for you just go out and wait by the truck.

    Opinions are like *******s, everyone has one and now I have shared mine.

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    We keep track of both 1st Radio unit of any sort on scene, plus 1st apparatus which may or may not be.

    For us, it's the fastest way to get both personnel and apparatus to the scene. Trucks aren't forced to wait at the station for full crews, firefighters if they carry their gear aren't forced to go to the station if the scene is closer to them.

    Evenings/Nights, it probably save 90 seconds over waiting to fill every seat -- it takes a lot less than 90 seconds to don a SCBA so a FF on scene masking up on scene is still ahead of the game versus holding the truck back.

    Daytime it could be several extra minutes trying to get full crews, or even a passenger for the some of the pieces.

    Before anyone asks "what if no one gets a truck" we have 6 pieces of apparatus, and 13 members whose specific responsibility it is to always respond to the station to ensure they get on the road.

    Parking on scene also isn't a problem -- we have strictly enforced rules on it (predominantly, everyone in a row, preferably same side as incident, no matter how far you have to walk!)
    IACOJ Canine Officer
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    Well - I will try to answer the "root" question without getting into the benifit analsys of POV'er on scene (and just for the record I am a BIG POV'er in my FD & Rescue Squad).

    That being said - you initaly stated that the difference in arrival times was being used aginst you then you stated in a follow up comment that County/town/municipal officials will only look at the hard numbers.

    Here's my advise - someone somewhere is bound to be logging what units are arriving on scene & when after the inital unit - right ?

    All you need to do is get copies of these times for your department & any other department in question - then complie your own list of times compairing "Apples to apples" or arrival times for the first piece of apparatus.

    You are 99.9% correct in saying that officals will only look at hard numbers, but you do have a shot at deciding WHAT numbers they look at.

    You might eve go so far when you complie your list as to show the same numbers that they are.

    For Example
    Dept A
    Dispatch 17:01
    Unit XYZ On Scene 17:05 <- note that this unit is a POV
    Truck 999 On Scene 17:09 <- Note that this is first Piece of Apparatus

    Total 8 minute Response Time

    Dept B
    Dispatch 17:01
    Truck 317 On Scene 17:07

    Total 6 Minute Response Time

    I'm sorry that I'm turning this into such a long winded reply, but from what little information you have provided I would think you'd be more sucessful making your case with the data at hand rather than trying to convince some govt. offical that they need to change the way they collect the data. Simply point out the error - correct it for them (as example above) and move on.


    I wish you the best of luck in what ever fight you're up aginst and I apologise if my take on the situation is inacurate.

    Take Care - Stay Safe
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic

    P.S. - Our dispatchers log the time any unit (POV or otherwise) arrive on scene, but response times are based upon first arriving FD or EMS unit not POV's

    [ 09-10-2001: Message edited by: N2DFire ]
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

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    I dont think you should say your on scene when you are in a POV because it there is a fire what can you do with out the trucks there.
    David R.Horner
    GrandTraverse Fife Lake Vol.

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    Can't do anything without a truck being there. Not unless you gots one of dems dere Ford trucks that all dems people get out of and attack the fire like on the commercial.

    Just kidding, but I had to say it.

    Ed Brando
    I.A.C.O.J.-Member

    "The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits".-Albert Einstien

    "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door"-Milton Berle

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    LoL I was thinkin the same thing Ed.

    As with many Volunteer companys out there, we too have the need to respond to the scene with POV. Many of us, including myself, are just too far from from the stations. No one officially calls on scene from POV including officers.

    Stay Smart. Stay Safe. Stay Alive!!!

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    Being a dispatcher and a firefighter may let me shine a little light on this subject. Depending on how your dispatch center tracks units, will depend on how you can deal with the response times.

    It's true that the first unit on scene is used as your entire departments on scene time, regardless of type. The key is that all eqiupment is tracked seperatly. Each unit will have its own responding, on scene, and depart time. If that is the case compare the first piece on scene times as apposed to department on scene times.

    The problem with that is you use department times on your run sheets in most places, this makes you look slower than the department that responds directly to the scene. The only thing you can do is compare the eqiupment times when someone starts raising hell about response times and you should not have a problem. The dispatch times and records are usually easy to get from dispatch centers with a written reqeust from the chief officer.

    Personally, sitting as a dispatcher all those wound up firepeople that have a radio and use it to tell you they are on scene is a nightmare. This causes way to much radio traffic than is needed and way,way too much confusion, but, thats only my personal opinion!!!!
    Firefighter/NREMT-P/Public Safety Diver
    May we ride into the darkness only to return as safe as we started!!

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    Having someone marking on scene should be done if they are the first person or unit on scene, this is a safety issue, they can give you vital information about the scene and if they are on scene for awhile you would want to check if they are OK, they could be confronted with a combative patient or they may be in danger and you would not know to ask them if they are under control if they do not mark on scene.
    "I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

    Edward F. Croker
    Chief 1899-1911
    Fire Dept. City of New York

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    Sorry about that -

    axman you are right, the first unit on scene should call a report, as most do and should.

    Thanks for the reminder!!
    Firefighter/NREMT-P/Public Safety Diver
    May we ride into the darkness only to return as safe as we started!!

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    Our chief uses his p.o.v. when responding to a call. He does alot of work before the first unit arrives; size up; location of hydrants; determination of entrapment; etc...
    He calls on scene at his arrival. Just because the "big" truck isn't there, doesn't mean he cannot accomplish anything!!!!

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    while waiting on the truck you can do sizeup, call the utility comp., turn off gas, pull meters or throw the main. when the truck pulls up your already in turnouts qand while your donning an airpack the others are pulling lines and getting suited up also.
    One foot in Hell and waiting on water !!!

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    There's nothing like watching a good fire! Except when your standing there in your gear waiting on a truck to arrive.

    You really cant do anything without support.
    You arrive in your POV, you go against the 2inside 2waiting theory.

    If you are waiting for personnel to arrive at the station, it doesnt hurt to leave with a couple guys short.

    Tell me, how many times are a bunch of you at the scene, and someone laughs " Wonder if anyones at the station yet?"

    I have been on car accidents when the medic has to leave because no one got the Ambulance!

    In WV, you have to respond with 4 before beginning fire suppression activities. This is for safety.

    Unless you like fighting fire with your gloves, or rescuing without a pack on, you should go to the station.

    John

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    There's nothing like watching a good fire! Except when your standing there in your gear waiting on a truck to arrive.

    You really cant do anything without support.
    You arrive in your POV, you go against the 2inside 2waiting theory.

    If you are waiting for personnel to arrive at the station, it doesnt hurt to leave with a couple guys short.

    Tell me, how many times are a bunch of you at the scene, and someone laughs " Wonder if anyones at the station yet?"

    I have been on car accidents when the medic has to leave because no one got the Ambulance!

    In WV, you have to respond with 4 before beginning fire suppression activities. This is for safety.

    I dont think it's cool when 3 veterans make it to the fire first and 3 new guys are standing at the station, with their thumbs up their butts, waiting on a driver.

    Unless you like fighting fire with your gloves, or rescuing without a pack on, you should go to the station.

    In our area, if the dispatcher doesnt get a response within 3-5 minutes, they are supposed to tone out the mutual aid company.

    John

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    I didn't read all the answers and haven't been on this forum for a while. Our combo. dept does the same thing. The first arriving piece of firefighting equipment is what shows up in the computer and in the NFIRS. However, when our volunteer officers arrive on scene in their POV's and get on the radio, they get aknowledged by dispatch. THAT is tape with time. When we wont to clarify anything around here, we pull the tape.

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    Our setup seams to work well for us. Members only respond in their POV under two circumstances.

    1. The location of the call is in between them and the station
    2. All the units have left before they get to the station.

    On the run sheet, each unit has its own spot to mark times:
    - Left the station
    - On scene
    - Left scene
    - Back at station

    Any private vehicles are recorded in blank slots under the units so the difference between responding units and POVs are recorded. Mutial aid units are also located here, but we record the time they were requested as well as the above.

    All other information is recorded in the "call detail" section (basically a record of all the radio traffic). Officers have a section to give their comments/actions. There are also sections for mutial aid details, time, date, location, and membership attendance.
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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