1. #1
    Forum Member
    sfdR1LT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    NE PA

    Question Automatic Alarm Response

    There is some talk of responding just an engine to an automatic alarm in our city. I would like to know how other career depts. respond to automatic alarms.
    1. Do you dispatch any differently than a report of smoke in the building or an odor of smoke in the building?
    2. If you do. What is your SOP for dispatch for an automatic alarm vs. an odor of smoke call.
    3. What is your manpower for each type or types of calls? What is the apparatus response in each case? What are the numbers of apparatus left to respond to the next call?
    4. I know their maybe-small depts. that have only 1 engine and a truck. I am interested in depts. that have several engines and truck companies and how they handle automatic alarms.
    I know I am asking many questions. I would just like to get information on this subject for research purposes.
    If you donít' want to post here or feel the post is too long please feel free to e-mail me at rescue1@ces409.com


  2. #2
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    May 2001
    Gloversville New York USA



    I come from a small career Dept. in upstate NY. We have 9 personnel on a shift with a mimimum of 7 on duty at all times. We respond with 2 engines , 1 ladder and a Batt.Chief. Each engine has 2 personnel(minimum),the ladder has 2 and the BC arrives in his vehicle. We still have box alarms as well as automatic's like ADT,etc. We respond all units to these type of alarms. Most of them are at high occupancy location such as hospitals,schools,senior citizen complexes or at Industrial complexes. We have had fires in all the just mentioned types of occupancies. I sure wouldn't have wanted to pull up with any less personnel. If we don't hit it as hard as we can right away it usually doesn't go well. If we recieve a report from dispatch that the alarm was accidental or a malfunction we continue our response with the BC and 1 Engine just to make sure. If necessary we have another career Dept. 5-6 minutes down the road that we can call for other calls. We also can recall any of our personnel that may be needed.

  3. #3
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    FiremedicMike's Avatar
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    Apr 2001
    Central Ohio, USA


    Overall I don't think this is a bad idea, however, The biggest fire I was ever on ended up being 5 alarms + special call, which included a ladder company from the farthest west station in Columbus (we are on the East side).

    This fire was dispatched as a fire alarm.

  4. #4
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    Join Date
    Dec 2002


    On automatic building alarms we respond with 3 engines, 2 trucks, a squad, and a batt. chief.If it is dispatched that it is a false alarm before any of the companies arrive, one engine and truck will respond with the remaining companies disregarding.
    On residential alarms, one engine and truck will respond.

  5. #5
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2000


    We have a daily minimum manning of 21 firefighters on 5 engines/quints from 5 fire stations.
    Our response to automatic alarms and/or smell of smoke is to dispatch 2 engines, with 4 ff's on each unit for a total of 8 ff's on the first alarm. We have the same dispatch for a reported structure fire, with no chief officer on the first alarm.
    This number is far from the requirements of NFPA 1710 which requires a minimum of 14 ff's on the first alarm including a chief officer(IC).

  6. #6
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    Trkco1's Avatar
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    Jun 2001
    New Jersey

    Default I think our Dept fits this profile

    Urban department with a mix of residential, commercial and industrial areas. Minimium manning of 34 dispersed amongst 7 engines, 3 trucks and 2 battalions. Our first alarm assignment for a report of smoke or odor of smoke is 3 engines, 1 truck and a battalion. (min of 13 max of 18 personnel) High hazard areas (schools,hospital,highrises) are suposed to get 3 engines, 2 trucks and a battalion. (min of 16 max of 22 personnel) On a report of a confirmed working fire we dispatch an extra designated engine company that cross mans the heavy rescue for RIT assignment. (min of 3 max of 4 personnel)

    So to answer your question,Yes, We do dispatch differently to an auto-alarm with a report of no smoke or fire, 2 engines, 1 truck and a battalion respond.(min. of 10 max of 14 personnel) This leaves a full 2 alarm assignment in the city to respond to any other runs.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7
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    ff7134's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002

    Default Auto Alarms

    We repond our 3 engines(2 personnel in each) and a Chief officer
    responds in his vehicle. If we are notified that its a false alarm
    the first out truck responds in non emergency ofr a report. all others return.
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

    IAFF Local 3900

    IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

    ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats


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