Thread: Pov to Scene

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    Default Pov to Scene

    I know I should post in the Junior Fourm but I wouldn't get the answers I am looking for. I am writing an article for a friends website and I am going to write it on responding to scene in POVs. I was wondering for all of you that respond to scene POV why are you aloud to and why do you personally. Also for those who are not aloud to respond to scene POV, Why not?
    Thanks in advance for you respones and help.
    Rob
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    Engine Co 3
    Westmoreland City

    These opinions are mine and mine only nobody eles.

  2. #2
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    why are you aloud
    Allowed

    Especially in rural areas, it's the fastest way to assemble your resources. Firefighters don't have to detour to the firehouse if the scene is closer; Trucks which travel slower than cars don't have to wait for full crews.

    (Yes, you shouldn't speed...but most POVs can out accelerate and stop quicker than apparatus. Modern apparatus is much better than what it was, but they're still the slow point.)

    The early arriving officers & firefighters can find the fire (access is not always apparent in the country), take on exterior ops to get ready -- anything from opening gates to moving vehicles, and get a plan together of what needs to happen when the trucks get there.

    We also have about twice as many members responding to structure fires as we have seats on the apparatus, so responding POV isn't a real question -- it's a necessity!

    But you need rules.
    First, you need a system that ensures certain people always respond to the station to make sure the trucks get on the road.

    Second, you need scene discipline -- every one parks on one side, and takes car not block up the scene. It can be a long walk, but you do it.

    Third, you need to have a manpower-control system so you can account for members and form up into teams on scene since you're not arriving as a "company" on a truck.

    Fourth, you need to lay out the situations when you don't or minimize POV'ing. For us that's out-of-town mutual aid runs -- then we make sure we fill the seats before leaving, and if it's an "extra alarm" we usually leave a decent size crew back in quarters if we can to cover town.

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    I respond in my POV when I have missed the truck, because only having 2 man cabs we usually don't have enough man power when we first get on scene. For the ambulance it is different. I usually go to the scene for an EMS call to lend a hand. If I'm not needed I return to the station or report to an officer to be released. My department allows us to respond in our POV's, because there isn't always enough man power. We also use our POV's to assist neighboring departments that have little man power. I hope this helps.

    Chris

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    I think Dal just summed it up pretty well. I know the depts out here that have interstate highway to cover have a "NO POV ON THE HIGHWAY!" rule. Unless you happen to be right there near the ramp or already on the highway, it is the commuter lot or the firehouse.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    In my department the Chief and Assistant are always allowed to respond directly to any scene citywide per our administrator. There is also a policy in place about anyone else responding directly to a scene and the rule says the incident msut be between you and the station allowing you to stop. All officers also have portable radios and they are also by the rules and regs required to call on the scene and/or if they are going direct.
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    Default Robby; I did that!

    Robby:
    I did an article on responding in POVs and there have been a thread or two on the subject as well.
    Go back through Firehouse.com archives for just 2002 alone and you will find several articles on FFs killed enroute in their POVs.
    Personally, I am opposed to it with the exception of chiefs and especially at the scenes of MVAs.
    Let me know if I can help.
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    Only Chiefs can respond to scene POV, but they rarely do (haven't done it to my knowledge in the past 2 years). If the IC needs more personnel but we don't have any trucks they can drive, they may request some firefighters to respond to scene POV, but again, extremely rare. I've never even heard of it happening, but it's in the SOPs.

    There are nearby departments that respond POV and ask for mutual aid. It's always fun trying to find a parking spot for the 3000 gallon tender

    Eric

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    My department also lets our Chiefs go straight to scene if needed. Some of the line officers will go straight to scene if the scene is near either there house or where they are in the area. My department does not let FireFighters respond to the scene POV even if you have to drive right past the scene. I think that is a good idea because no matter what call it could be you would have a bunch of cars around the scene and probally not enough room to get the needed Emergency vehicles to get into the scene. I have seen 2 different times that we have had an EFR (Emergency First Responder) and an EMT go directly to scene on a medical call because we had no medcial personnel (SP)? that were responding to station or to the scene. I myself think AT times it is a good idea to respond to scene in the case that you 1. have to drive past the call, or 2 miss the truck. That is the only two times that I think anybody should be aloud to go to scene in a POV.

    Thanks for all your responses and keep em comming!!!
    Rob
    FireFighter/EMT/VRT
    Engine Co 3
    Westmoreland City

    These opinions are mine and mine only nobody eles.

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    On my dept only the officers can respond POV. This is to cut down on the amount of vehicles on scene clogging up the road. If a person misses the truck they can grab another truck or remain at the station. If no trucks are there then they can get on the station radio and advise IC they are on standby at the station. If IC needs them then they can respond POV.
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    Originally posted by Weruj1
    In my department the Chief and Assistant are always allowed to respond directly to any scene citywide per our administrator. There is also a policy in place about anyone else responding directly to a scene and the rule says the incident msut be between you and the station allowing you to stop. All officers also have portable radios and they are also by the rules and regs required to call on the scene and/or if they are going direct.
    This is pretty much the rule at my department, too. In my district we have many narrow 2-lane country roads. If too many members respond POV, and if they beat the apparatus there, we end up having traffic jams that prevent the apparatus from getting close to the scene!

    The department I started my career on, about 35 years ago, had no such rule. I always responded to the station, because I was an engineer/driver. Many times I remember sitting in the cab of the apparatus by myself and watching members cars whizzing by on the street past the station!

    In my department, only Assistant Chiefs and above, plus our designated Safety Officer, respond POV. All others respond to their assigned station first, unless, as stated above, they have to pass the scene on the way (and then only if it's an EMS run, for the most part.).

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    We had a 3 car MVA last night - one rolled on it's side, then got hit on the roof by #3 (#2 ran off the road to miss it). It was at the end of the Lt's driveway, 4 miles from my driveway, but 6 miles from the station. If I did not respond direct, it would have been another 12 miles of driving just to ride in the truck.
    For the same reason, the Lt & I have turnouts in our cars and at the station. In our rural area, if the calls are on my side of the district, I drive out to the road (2 miles), pull on turnouts, and wait for the truck. If it is at the other end of the district, I usually have to tail the tender.
    BTW, the driver & passneger in #1 got out before #3 hit it. Very lucky, but the driver went to the Trauma unit in the big city, passenger to our local hospital.

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    I think there are merits two both sides of the coin. It just goes to show that what works for one department may not work for another. It dosent make it right or wrong.

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    For the volunteers in my current department, they are allowed to respond via POV if the call is between them and the station. If they have to pass the station to get to the call -- and their truck has not rolled -- they stop at the station.

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    Our dept. policy is that if you have to pass the scene to get to the station you stop. No one drives past the station, Chiefs excluded. Problem is that several members have been known to abuse this policy. We will probably have to address this in the near future.

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    Default Question?

    Does personal vehicle response ever inhibit apparatus placement? I imagine having a number of extra vehicles on scene could. I know we often ditch ambulances and chiefs cars in neighboring driveways to ease congestion, and that is without personal vehicles present.
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    Duff that was one of the questions that I asked in my second post on this thread.
    Thanks again and keep em comming
    Rob
    FireFighter/EMT/VRT
    Engine Co 3
    Westmoreland City

    These opinions are mine and mine only nobody eles.

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    Default Sorry

    Duff that was one of the questions that I asked in my second post on this thread.
    Guess I should read more closely, sorry.
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    Post Well........

    As a general rule, we do not respond from home to an incident, however, there are times that a call is close to a members home, or someone finds a call in front of him/her on the way to the station. We do what we can, based on personal protective gear available at the time. As to officers, our chiefs (3) all have "take home" cars assigned 24/7, and they respond in them, except in unusual circumstances. A couple of months back, I used my 4x4 pickup to respond over a two week period due to snow. (my assigned car is a Chevy Lumina) On about a dozen calls, my pickup was the only vehicle to reach the scene. I ferried 5 people to the ambulance out on the main road, pulled out stuck ambulances and brush trucks, and did a lot of other good stuff too. We are in a position to take a full crew along on the apparatus as well. We have bought 10 person cabs exclusively since our first in 1985. Hope this helps. Stay Safe....
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    We like to have as few POV's on the scene as possable but we almost always have some. Unless I hapen to be at the firehouse or very close I always respond in my POV. I have a radio and always carry my gear. As Chief this allows me to be on scene quickly and size things up. most POV are from firefighters that arrive after the last truck leaves. Most of our FF have to go to firehouse to get gear anyway. If you do not have gear you are considered a bystander. Our SOG is you park on one side of road AWAY from the scene, headlights off and flashers on, Keys always stay in vehicle. We do not take POV on mutual aid calls unless extra manpower is needed. We do not have much problem with parking from members its the LEO's that like to park by the dump tank!

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    Default POVs

    Our policy pretty much mirrors most here...

    - If you pass the scene on the way, respond directly POV.
    - Chiefs respond POV, they'll stop if they pass the station on the way to see if there are any apparatus left, else they keep going.

    Since we're a small borough and most people live within 5 blocks of the station, everyone (officers included) pretty much responds to the station. There's only 3 or 4 people (me included) that keep our turnouts in our homes/cars. I live 3 miles from the station...and I am the LAST to get there.

    Example...two nights ago, we had a AFA at a school, by the time I got to the station, all the apparatus was gone. By the time I parked my car and got inside, the recall was sounded.

    Most people live within the area and will respond to the station during daylight hours as well. I work 25 miles from home, so I keep my gear in my car and will head out of work with the second callout.
    Once again....the above views are my own and not that of my department. (And probably should not be construed as having any real meaning, whatsoever!)

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    Does personal vehicle response ever inhibit apparatus placement?

    It can, which is why discipline is important and rules like "park only on one side"

    The bigger impact you'll see is in running tanker shuttles and such if you've POVs plugging up the roads

    On a related note, by SOP our ambulance remains in quarters for 10 minutes after the alarm before it responds to the fire scene. This gives some time for the scene to become settled down, so you don't end up with an ambulance getting blocked in by a 5" line or ending up right where they want to turn the tankers around. If necessary, the ambulance crew will park the ambulance a little distant and bring up the cot & equipment to setup their rehab/vitals area.

    Of course if there's injuries reported it can roll sooner.

    ------------
    And don't discount the value of driveways like Duffman said. I've many a time parked in a neighbor's driveway.

    Even for trucks, I often drive our mini-pumper and sometimes the Rescue. If I don't see a big need for it at the fire and don't get directions where to go, I like to park them in an adjacent driveway pointed out so they can go to a second call easily if needed!

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    For about 10 years now, we haven't been allowed to drive POV to the scene unless it is between you and the firehouse. The only ones allowed are the Chiefs and Captains, but our captains all go to the firehouse anyway. This basically came about back sometime in 91 or 92 when we started being dispatched to all MVAs with injuries. Before that we only did extrications if called for, but once we started going the rule makers of the FD (not sure where this one came from, could have been a few different sources) realized the potential for some real traffic nightmares. Plus, it ensures that you have someone going to the firehouse to drive the rig and that you have crews for the rigs.

    I'm not against departments driving POV to scenes, because in some places it is a neccessity. Dal summed it up good and offered a good guideline with his rules. Didn't really read the rest of the thread so I'm not sure if anyone else had good points.
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    Does personal vehicle response ever inhibit apparatus placement?
    In PA (and some other states, I believe) we have Fire Police to help with scene control & POV positioning. Our SOPs clearly state that we must listen to the parking instructions of the Fire Police if we arrive to the scene POV. (final decisions still belong to the chief, of course!! ( )

    This frees up FFs from traffic control & keeps the scene clear. Our chiefs & other POV responders are all pretty good about parking away from the scene and 'hoofing it' from here. Hope this helps...

    -Devil
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    Not all departments have Fire-Police Devil. I know my township doesn't have Fire-Police. Alot of places around me have them but not all of them do. Yeah Its a great idea to have them because they can free up FireFighters and help park POVs, but not all departments have them.
    Duff--If I sounded like an @$$ im sorry I was just pointing out what I have asked.

    Everybody eles keep em comming.
    Thanks
    Rob
    FireFighter/EMT/VRT
    Engine Co 3
    Westmoreland City

    These opinions are mine and mine only nobody eles.

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    Post Fire Police

    Originally posted by RobbyJR307
    Not all departments have Fire-Police Devil. I know my township doesn't have Fire-Police. Alot of places around me have them but not all of them do. Yeah Its a great idea to have them because they can free up FireFighters and help park POVs, but not all departments have them.
    Duff--If I sounded like an @$$ im sorry I was just pointing out what I have asked.

    Everybody eles keep em comming.
    Thanks
    Rob,
    I am completely aware that not all PA departments have Fire Police. Some departments leverage them well, others don't and yet others don't have the volunteers for it. I agree with you...they're nice if (or when) you have them. Ours get toned out by dispatch for accidents, confirmed stucture calls or by the chief. I don't see them for the AFAs at 1100pm, though!! Take it easy!
    Once again....the above views are my own and not that of my department. (And probably should not be construed as having any real meaning, whatsoever!)

    IACOJ

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