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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber Firefighter430's Avatar
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    Post Marking call locations when house is not visible

    Once or twice a year we have calls to houses that do not have numbers or are not visible from the road. Of course the mail boxes are destroyed or not up so there are no numbers to look for when responding. We always have to tie up the radio explaining where the call is to other units responding when we do find it or tie up a person to wait at the road to flag people in. Just wondering if anyone out there has a good way of marking long unmarked driveways without tying up a person, causing a fire hazard with a flare, or tying up the radio. We have a lot of rural roads in our district, and houses might be a mile apart so location by elimination is hard sometimes. I looked into getting some type of portable strobe but I need to find one that is durable, watertight, and inexpensive. If anyone has a link to a company that manufactures such a strobe please post it. In the old days the trucks carried small bags of flour or baking soda to mark locations in the highway (out of luck if it was raining). That was before radios and phones.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member DFDRev's Avatar
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    what about traffic cones? You can get various colors (something other than construction orange so it stands out) and have reflective markings - maybe a couple of reflective maltese cross stickers.

    just a thought...
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  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    FF430, a very good question and one that I can relate to... we have similar problems in our area on occasion, including "transient persons" who don't know where they are when they make a 911 call to Dispatch, so we do the *One Truck North, One Truck South and One East, meet you in the Middle call*.

    DFDRev, I think that you have an excellent idea with the traffic cone and Maltese Cross. We have practice coming up tonight... I think I will bring your suggestion to the table during de-brief.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member shammrock54's Avatar
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    Our PD is usually good about putting a cruiser @ the end of the driveway, if not the first unit/officer on scene asks them to go out there, if not isn't that what chiefs and deps are good for.
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  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Shammrock, we usually arrive before PD or EHS, but I got a good laugh out of your "use of Chiefs and deps"... Unfortunately ours always ride with us. The Chief does the I/C thing while the Dep either "switches to a yellow hat" or does Safety for us.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

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  6. #6
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    How about being a bit proactive and sell, or if it is that big of a problem give, reflective address signs to the residents.
    Our explorers (boy scouts) sell the signs as a fund raiser. Then they even install them. Not sure about numbers of signs sold, but their are enough that you have a good idea where addresses are now.

    the signs are a little over 1' high by about 6" wide and are mounted on a pole. The type used by most cities for traffic signs.

  7. #7
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    We have similiar problems out here in the sticks. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that we had street address' (all rural route numbers), but most people have put the street addresses up on sign posts.

    One of our guys recommened dropping a traffic cones help later arriving units--although his recommendation was for grass/brush fires. Few farm gates get street addresses, you know?

    Other than that, we tie up the radio or post someone at the end of the driveway.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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    Boy am I ever glad you asked this question, because it started me to thinking. We have the same problem (and normally end up doing the same thing - tie up the radio & repeat detailed directions 7 or 8 times).

    The funny thing is, as I began thinking about it, I remembered a story that one of our "Crustier" members told me one time.

    Back before we had radios (or pagers or any "good stuff"), they used to trip the fire siren at the station to alert the members. The first 2 or 3 guys to the station called the dispatcher and got directions, wrote them down & left them for the next arriving folks. They then hopped in the first out truck and left.

    When they came to an intersection or driveway that they thought would be confusing for the following trucks, the driver tossed out a plastic baggie of lime. Made a very nice visible mark on the road to follow, it environmentally friendly, and no fire hazard.

    Makes me kinda wonder why we're not still carrying those little baggies.

    Anyway - just another thought on the matter - take it for what it's worth.
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  9. #9
    Forum Member SPIPER's Avatar
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    We use a barricade flasher, you never see just one.
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  10. #10
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Exclamation Why not........

    One thing that I did, on the spur of the moment, was drape a turnout coat over the gatepost. (it was a cardiac arrest,I didn't need the coat for the emergency) But I can't imagine that there are people who have extra gear along for the ride. The traffic cone thing seems to be the most cost effective. Take 1 standard traffic cone, paint FIRE in a contrasting color on several "sides" and you got it. Steve mentioned a folding barricade which is just as good but bulkier to carry. Flares WILL contribute to the problem, big time. We once were on a call where a misplaced flare caused a need for more trucks than the first fire did. One last idea. Take a red flag (as used by road construction flagmen) and put it on a longer handle such as a broom handle. Arriving at the turnoff point, you can stick it in the ground, on the gatepost, in the fence,.....you get the idea. Stay Safe....
    Last edited by hwoods; 09-26-2002 at 11:23 PM.
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  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber ramseycl's Avatar
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    We use cones or glow sticks. Normally a combination of them, easy to see in day or night.

  12. #12
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    For night time use, go to your local scuba divers store and purchase a flashing strobe designed for night diving. These are very cheap, compact, and incredibly bright. They put out a flash about every 5-8 seconds. The black ones with the orange cap are good and cheap. They are about 5-6 inches long x 1.5 inches diameter roughly. Works wonders and can be seen for miles of a night time.

    This reminds me of a call we had for a structure fire out in the sticks - a new member was sent back out to the road with the instruction to "STOP Tanker Two at this driveway" - he stood in the middle of the road with his hand up - just over a blind crest! The skid marks are probably still on the road.
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  13. #13
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    Boot the senior or junior guy out of the apparatus and let him "mark" the trees, similar to what an animal does...

    I carry orange flagging, got used to that fighting wildland fires, I'll announce to everyone that I've marked the entrance with orange flagging via radio.

    Law Enforcement Officer works well. Typically have bystanders, they are good for somethings.

    I do wonder about people carrying small plastic baggies that contain a powdery substance...

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  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber Firefighter430's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the information guys. You all have posted some good information. Over the past day or so I have gotten some good links to battery powered strobes. The traffic cone idea sounds good too, and cheaper. We tried selling the green 911 signs back a few years ago and like everything else you are going to have some that think that putting up a house number is not that important until something happens at their house.
    "Illegitimis non carborundum."

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  15. #15
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    Address posting is a pet peeve of mine nothing makes me more angry than to be looking for an address and finding that almost every house on the street has no visiable house number I usually try and tell the person in a nice and tactful way when the call is complete that they might want to consider posting there address at the road so next time we wont have to look so long. Now for the volly dept that I help out with they sell as a little fundraiser a sign with reflective numbers that can be posted at the road we even go out an put them up if the person wants us to. They are very effective They charge like 5 bucks for the sign Something you may want to investigate. Also we will drop a cone off at the street if we are down in a pasture where incoming units might not see the truck or house from the road to tell everyone else where we turned in at.
    Never forget the fallen.

  16. #16
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    We have a FF that can no longer do the physical stuff, he knows our area and goes directly to the incident. He has a radio, reflective vest, a flashlight wand and a red light on his car. Saves a lot of trying to read the numbers; just because we can see the fire doesn't mean we can find the "pig trail" in. Takes the worry out when we see him, or his "guiding" light and know where to turn.

    Works much better than "turn left after the two sycamore trees"--these directions were given to me one time.
    Last edited by 5pts384; 09-27-2002 at 12:49 PM.

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