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  1. #1
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    City of Preston. UK
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    Default multiple alarms please!

    Hello all. Greetings from Preston England. Having read several posts on various forum pages i'm failing to grasp how your assistance scheme works. Can anyone explain what a 3 alarm fire or 5 alarm fire would entail.
    Regards Andy


  2. #2
    Forum Member kghemtp's Avatar
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    Default

    Hey,
    An "alarm" calls for a predetermined number of resources coming from that city or town & the surrounding towns. A first alarm structure fire will bring engines, a ladder, maybe a rescue, maybe an ambulance (all depending on pre-planned assignments) from that city, and if it's a smaller town, the first alarm will likely draw neighbouring towns' resources. A second alarm will draw more resources from the area to a fire scene. The other thing an "alarm" might do in drawing resources from other places is put them into station coverage mode when the city's trucks are all at that fire. "Mutual aid" is one of the terms we use in describing departments responding into another town to help on a fire or medical call. Does this clear it up at all?


    ~Kevin
    FF/Paramedic

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    City of Preston. UK
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    Default

    Thanks Kevin, yes it does. When you go to second or third alarm(or whichever level), is this again a pre- arranged/determined no. and type of appliances , or will the officer in charge have the scope to "order" specific equipment?
    Cheers
    Andy

  4. #4
    Forum Member kghemtp's Avatar
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    Default

    Andy,
    When the officer arrives on scene & takes command, he/she will decide if the situation warrants a full first alarm, perhaps going to a second alarm. Throughout the incident, if fire gets away from the crews, command will call an additional alarm to get more apparatus & personnel. The difference in predetermined amounts of resources depends on staffing. Many volunteer departments might have more trouble staffing certain trucks during the day, so preplanning might include MORE trucks get toned for each alarm, just to ensure adequate manpower will accompany them. Many times additional alarms are called for manpower more than the apparatus itself. It will vary, though.


    ~Kevin
    FF/Paramedic

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Lusby, MD
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    Default

    Andy

    To expand a little, the second and third alarms are pre-planned. I believe our run cards go as far as the 6th alarm. Part of that is because some of the equipment on the list may be Out of Service or on another call (this has happened when mutual aid departments are on a fire in their own first due). The officer in charge can request a full additional alarm or request specific equipment. We have called for additional tankers many times without needing another alarm.

  6. #6
    Forum Member kghemtp's Avatar
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    Default

    How much of your service area in the UK has hydrants? Is there much drafting from water sources? Many of these smaller towns out here rely in tankers doing runs to & from a pond, which is going to use more trucks & people than the same fire in a hydrant district. Just another consideration the officer has.

    ~Kevin
    FF/Paramedic

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