Thread: Station Watch Log Books
03-23-2003, 11:39 PM #1
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
- Norfolk, Virginia
Station Watch Log Books
In your department, are you required to keep a station watch log book?
Besides tradition - "we have always kept a daily watch log book" - what would be the reason to continue doing this?
I ask because my department still requires each station to maintain a watch log book. With today's technology, we do computerized daily activity reports and computerized NFIRS reports. All of the information that would be entered into the watch log is the same information that is required on either the daily activity report or the fire report. So, I am thinking that it is no longer a necessity, but just a continuation of an out of date record keeping method.
What do you think? What does your department do?
03-23-2003, 11:44 PM #2
It gives you a good point of reference if the run #'s get screwed up on the computer. It also is a quick way to look something up by date. AND..a little tradition never hurt anyone!
03-23-2003, 11:51 PM #3
Even with most of the reports being done on the computer, it's tough to beat the convenience of a log book. We list the duty chiefs, watch rotation, current orders, who called off sick or B/W, who is working for who in a duty trade, SCBA pressure and condition, and etc., all easily viewable in the log.
But to answer your question, "what would be the reason to continue doing this?" is simple; we are just to damn nosy not to be able to read what the other shifts did on duty and see if we missed anything!My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
Co-author of the Second Amendment
during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
Elevator Rescue Information
03-23-2003, 11:54 PM #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
- New South Wales, Australia
My career dept has an "Occurance Book" at all of it's stations. We record crew rosters, leave, problems with the engine, equipment and station, injuries, important phone calls and of course, fire calls. Fire calls are also fully reported through a computorised system, and other forms exist for recording injuries etc. What the book does though is record a shift "snapshop" that is easy to refer back to. It's also a 112 year tradition
03-30-2003, 01:06 PM #5
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
We also maintain a watch book, and will continue to do so for several reasons. We record who is on duty, etc., and "all pertinent information". This includes but is not limited to, outside repair people in the station, deliveries, fuel and otherwise, with ticket number recorded, visits by tours, all sorts of things that are not recorded in the computer. An easy reference, and although we no longer record runs in the watch book, when the computer system crashes, (like THAT never happens!!!), we then resume recording runs in the watch books until such time as the eggheads can figure out what the story is. Plus, its kinda cool to peruse the old watch books once in a while and read up on the history of the dept.Leroy140 (yes, THAT Leroy)
Fairfield, CT, Local 1426
03-30-2003, 08:23 PM #6
We keep a book of that sort, with, in my opinion way to much information in it .........it does keep a log of has been in and put of the station ....but obviously if you dont sign in who is gonna know ? we used to use a radio log form that had date and type of response in it then we went to the book format after a career FF who became Chief instituted it..........IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
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RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
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I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
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03-31-2003, 01:07 AM #7
We currently use both...log books because "tradition" doesn't hurt anyone(thanks mikey)The book doesn't crash for days, you won't lose your monthend reports, and it is nice to look back at certain days. But in saying that we are going to a complete tracking system from duty roster/attendance/monthend/smoke sheet/hazmat exposure/blood & fluid exposure etc....with the NFIRS reporting system as well. We are hoping to have the tracking sheets intergrated with the NFIRS report soon.
04-02-2003, 11:07 AM #8
- Join Date
- Sep 2001
- No. Providence R.I. : Land of the "How ya doins"
Last year my dept. went from the standard bound paper log books to the Firehouse software for reporting and journal purposes. Most guys prefer the book, because it doesn't crash and the computerized way is sent to the chief's office daily so it is like big brother is watching. Some co.'s still use the books, but pay for it themselves."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
Fire Dept. City of New York
HOOK N' CAN of the I.A.C.O.J.
04-02-2003, 11:21 AM #9
we still have them, but no one ever writes anything in them
04-04-2003, 11:24 PM #10
We had a lady come into the firehouse today looking to thank a crew member from a run in fall of 2000... It was easy to figure out who it was because we had the log book. not a life or death situation , but it was alot easier then trying to look it up on the computer.
04-05-2003, 11:58 PM #11
- Join Date
- Sep 2001
- S.E. Idaho
All of our EMS & Fire reports are done on computerized programs ment for such. Each station keeps a journal also. It has the crew, whether there is a guy on vacation and there is a reserve filling in, trades, sick whatever. We log on there the start times & end times of each incident, address and incident number. Then the area for chores, tours, problems and other "stuff".
04-06-2003, 01:38 PM #12
- Join Date
- Feb 2000
- Chesapeake Bay
We use them and they are great link to our heritage and traditions. Many of the items are entered in ours that others already posted. We keep journals from the past chronilogically in a storage room. We have one from the late 1800's in a shadowbox with other treasured items. In it are some great lines.
0800 hours: Captain Smith inspected members of Truck Co. "D." Condition of horses and men: good.
1345 hours: Fuel truck in quarters, delivered 1 ton of coal.
1800 hours: Private Smith leaving for meal at his residence. (Almost all of our members lived within walking distance of quarters.Noone had cars. There were no kitchens in the firehouses yet and there was only one shift of men. It was called continuos duty. I feel guitly having 4 shifts now days compared to those MEN.)
Last edited by R1SAlum; 04-06-2003 at 01:41 PM.
06-05-2003, 07:44 AM #13
We still use one and actually have the shifts initial by thier names as they come on and off duty. We do all our reporting on NFIRS and send it to Tallahassee also. Very easy to get monthly tally reports....sometimes . The log book just contains the daily activities and a summary of the runs for the shift....
I agree with Mikey...TRADITION..09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
"Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.
06-12-2003, 12:13 AM #14
Re: Station Watch Log BooksOriginally posted by fireman077
Besides tradition - "we have always kept a daily watch log book" - what would be the reason to continue doing this?"What makes a person run into a building others are running out of?...Character."- Dennis Smith
06-12-2003, 01:26 PM #15
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
- Norfolk, Virginia
Re: Re: Station Watch Log BooksOriginally posted by Engine5FF
Are you saying tradition is a bad thing? ...
With that said, I do not believe in continuing a practice that is outdated, inaccurate, inconsistent, and a paperwork exercise for the sake of tradition - "because we have always done it this way".
From the replies, there seems to be many departments that have a very good handle on the continued use of the station watch log book. They seem to follow the true intent and find that it's use is the best way to handle daily company level documentation. These are the responses that I was hoping to see and I am glad that many of these fine departments are carrying on a tradition that also is still a practical manner of recording activities.
On the other hand, in my department, I feel that the practical use of this recording keeping book has been surpassed by other means that we are required to maintain.
Thanks for all of the replies.
07-17-2003, 09:03 PM #16
We call it a Company Journal.This is what is in our Rules and Regs.
The company journal records chronologically the day-to-day events of a unit. In it are entered vital particulars of alarms, accidents, deaths, injuries, other matters requiring an entry for proper record keeping. As such, it forms an official enduring record to be retained for 20 years. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all members to exercise the utmost care in the maintenance, use and preservation of this journal.
The purpose of this guide is to:
1.1 Set up simple standardized procedures for company journal entries, making them as
concise, yet as informative as possible.
1.2. Assure entries which will aid in the continuity of supervision providing incoming officers
with a chronological resume of activities since the last working tour.
1.3 Increase the efficiency of all units.ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
LT. John Ginley Engine 40
FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40
"If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
07-17-2003, 09:48 PM #17
Oh that brings back memories!
I remember being a rookie writing in those log books and i loved reading back ten years or more through all the history.
We stopped using them not long after I started (1982) but just had a staff meeting this past Tuesday. Seems I brought up the subject and the Chief agreed that to ensure good comunications between all shifts that we should start them back up. (We all forget sometimes to pass on the little things to the next shift)
Just ironic that I read this post.
Tradition with Progress.
07-27-2003, 07:35 AM #18
Reading the previous entries brings to mind the "Test" messages that would be phoned thru at some unearthly hour 0230--0330ish -just to make sure that you were awake. Having sometimes dozed off, supporting your chin with one hand (usually the one you write with) then trying to hold a phone with a hand that has gone "dead" and writing with the "wrong" hand , led to some interesting handwriting! Fire calls in red ink-all mistakes(and that included spelling) ruled and signed in the margin, and the cardinal sin "Omitted to book at ****hrs the following message=" meant a bollocking of the first degree. How we rejoiced when teleprinters came in.A little luxury --you were allowed to take off your collar and tie and also wear a pair of plimsoles(sneakers) but only after 2300hrs reverting back at 0600hrs."If you thought it was hard getting into the job--wait until you have to hang the "fire gear"up and walk away!"
Harry Lauder 1981.Me on the left!
08-01-2003, 03:24 PM #19
We have had many problems with our computer and have lost many case reports on our computers so our log book is the only record we have of servicing a call. Sometimes the old way is more reliable.
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