1. #1
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    Question Future of firefighting??

    What do you want to see happen with the fire departments in the future? or what do you fear will happen with them?
    I havent failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.

    - Thomas Edison

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    Quints,understaffing,inspections,Haz-Mat,EMS ,WMD/NBC attacks,stupid people getting stupider.

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    [QUOTE]
    stupid people getting stupider.[QUOTE]

    JOB SECURITY!
    I havent failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.

    - Thomas Edison

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    I see the consolidation of Police and Fire for smaller depts. And the rise of one stop trucks ie Quints. And more HAZMATS, less fire with the advance in technology and home sprinklers.
    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

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    Ohhh and cars will get more and more dangerous for firefighters to extracate you from.

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    Why is that dfd??
    I havent failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.

    - Thomas Edison

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    Newer cars now hide batterys in all sorts of places like the trunk or like Audi has a cover that makes the dissapear in the firewall. These new hybrid cars are going to have batterys sitting under your seat and also you will have VERY HIGH VOLTAGE wires running through the car. with tiny oragne dissconnect switches behind the trim in the trunk. Plus you got to now worry about un deployed air bags coeming out and hitting you not only from in front but from the door top and bottoms. In a few year 4pt. restraint systems will become more common as well as tougher stronger seats. Also those shotgun shells in the b B posts that hold your seat belt in are just a joy. Compound these things with current dangers like shocks impaleing ff and explodeing bumpers screws that have pentrated the battery caseing and are acting like a double ground so even after you cut the batter cables the car is still "on" --- it aint gonna be easy.

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    i see it as another day to adapt to any given emergency.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
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    Unfortunately until the economy turns around this is how I see it as it is happening all around me:

    1) Budgets cuts, that lead to staffing reduction and equipment not being replaced as it should

    2) Consolidation not necessarily because it offers the best service but because it is cheapest

    3) Oversized, overly complex, multiple purpose apparatus

    4) Small communities will be hit the hardest, understaffed FD's will at best be able to initiate fire attack while they wait for mutual aid on any kind of major incident. The thoughts of a second incident handled without help are nonsensical.

    Economists say that the economy, as they project, will not see major improvement until mid 2005. But if by then many FD's are gutted who believes that the politicians will bring them back up to the staffing levels they really should have?

    Is it all gloom and doom? I hope not. Maybe a new generation of firefighters will have better luck at convincing the politicians of the importance of the fire service.

    Take care and stay safe,

    FyredUp

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    What about a increase in medical calls? This will surely change the fire service in the future. Some FD's have had a huge increase in medicals in the last several years. If has caused two of the largest depts. in Oklahoma to expand, or have the plans too, expand their ALS first responce. Couple that with the shortage of paramedics. That could get a little interesting in the future. Not to mention FD's that are the primary EMS and do Pt transport.
    Shawn Clark
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    Tulsa Fire Dept. E-23 "C Platoon"
    I.A.F.F. Local 176
    Tulsa, OK

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    What about a increase in medical calls? This will surely change the fire service in the future. Some FD's have had a huge increase in medicals in the last several years. If has caused two of the largest depts. in Oklahoma to expand, or have the plans too, expand their ALS first responce. Couple that with the shortage of paramedics. That could get a little interesting in the future. Not to mention FD's that are the primary EMS and do Pt transport.
    Shawn Clark
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    Tulsa Fire Dept. E-23 "C Platoon"
    I.A.F.F. Local 176
    Tulsa, OK

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    1) Do even more with even less.

    2) More and more responding to WMD/Bio Terrorism.

    3) More in home medical service such as managing shut in elderly, non emergency medical responses and such. (Almost a visiting nurse kind of thing)

    OH,Wanna, DFD is Danvers Fire Department, off of 128/35/114, etc in Mass. ova' near Beverly, Manchester-by-the-Sea (magnolia), Peabody....yadda yadda yadda
    Proud to be an American, Union Firefighter!

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    Originally posted by FiRsqDvr45

    OH,Wanna, DFD is Danvers Fire Department, off of 128/35/114, etc in Mass. ova' near Beverly, Manchester-by-the-Sea (magnolia), Peabody....yadda yadda yadda
    We also got 95,1,97 and 62!!! 7 highways keeps us very busy,especially Eng.2. Manchester is kinda a drive but were surrounded by Peabody,Salem,Topsfield,Wenham,Beverly and Middleton. But I think she meant why are cars going to get harder to extracate from not why is my name dfd.

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    Good point DFd, and your right, I read her question wrong. :P
    Proud to be an American, Union Firefighter!

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    Darn, for a second there i was going to get directions to DFDs house
    I havent failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.

    - Thomas Edison

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    In the longer term, 10, 20 years down the road, look for:
    Cars with encapsulating foam for the passengers (see the movie Demolition man, when he crashes into the pond).
    Self extingueshing homes - no more house fires in new construction.
    Abandoning interior attack on older homes - get the people out & surround & drown.
    Double/triple walled flamable liquids trucks
    Fire Departments will seek out more EMT calls to stay in business.
    Turnouts as thin and flexable as a light jacket, with built in cooling systems and SCBA, good for 2 hrs at 2,000 degrees.

    But, I bought my crystal ball cheap, and it is a bit cloudy.

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    And the trucks will fly to the scene... literally
    Demolition man was a good movie
    I havent failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.

    - Thomas Edison

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    I don't agree with Slueths view that we will eliminate interior attack in older homes. Their will always be old homes and today's homes will last even longer. We will just get better at fighting these fires.

    I think the continued development of CAF systems will allow more effective interior attack with less damaging water, and portable rapid room flooding systems will allow hazardous buildings and homes to be completely filled with foam in seconds (Think of the HV foam systems now used for basement fires and aircraft response).

    And don't forget integrated TIT cameras and remote firefighter locating systems on all your helmets. It will all work together to further reduce LODD's
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    I see a significant increase in medical calls as the baby boomers get older.

    Residential structure fires will decline in number but worsen in severity as we stuff more fire load into our bigger houses made of less wood (read lightweight construction).

    HAZMAT will become a more important mission in those back-assward areas that still think that the solution to pollution is dilution. (I am in one of those areas.)

    Generally MVC's will become more survivable as technology improves and we begin to see fewer SUV's on the road and more cars with smaller masses. Hazards to responders will increase, though, when we do have to intervene because of the new forms of potential energy built into the vehicles for restraint and fuel systems.

    The proud traditions of the volunteer fire service will continue to decline as suburban populations increase, rural populations decrease, and people want first-rate response times/equipment/medical care/etc. These same people will refuse to step up to the plate and pay for what they demand. They will be even less likely to volunteer their time as part of the solution.

    We will be less likely to enter a structure and more likely to surround and drown unless there is a life safety issue involved.

    Lights and sirens will be reserved for parades.

    We'll still be arguing about the same things: fog vs. smooth, leather vs. plastic, red vs. slime green. We'll still be keeping the plankton company at the bottom of the food chain as a result of our inability to unite and speak with one voice.

    About 100 firefighters will die every year unless we are willing to make personal lifestyle changes and demand the best technology and the best operational practices available.

    Of course I could be wrong.
    ullrichk
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    Here is the way I see it in the future....doesn't mean it's right.

    -Lots more EMS. Baby boomers getting older, population increasing leads to more medical calls. I also see a lot of skills that are reserved for a "paramedic" become "basic" skills.

    -Lots more Haz-mat. Everyday people are becoming more "environmentally safe" and industry is inventing an average of 100 more chemicals every day. Also more specialized areas like trench rescue, high angle, confined space, etc.

    -More Homeland Security/Anti-terrorism training and equipment. I see lots of changes in response procedures across the country. Maybe even some Military equipment and skills get declassified and given to fire/EMS and law enforcement.

    -More budget problems. I see fire departments everywhere having to justify every thing they have and do because of the budget problems.

    -More "customer service" oriented fire departments. More emphasis on public service than just putting out fires. Lots more service calls in the future.

    -More combined departments. Lots of smaller towns are going to a combination or public safety department. One day you come to work and you ride the engine, the next your pulling over speeders on the highway.

    I'm sure I could think of more but this is good for now. No matter what happens, we will always be dealing with stupid people.

    Keep your head down and your powder dry.
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  21. #21
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    Talking Jeeesh..........

    2 pages of doom and gloom so far. Why is everone missing all the possibilities here?? We are not the Fire Department any more, We have become the EVERYTHING department. You Call, We Haul... And what do we do? Fires, Floods, Cats, Rats, Bats, Kids in trees, Trees on Cars, Houses, People, People on things, People under things, People in things, Sick, Hurt, Dead, People. Lose you pet duck in a storm drain? FD will get it out. Basement full of water? FD will pump it out. Not sure where to put new Smoke Detector? FD will tell you. Got an old car to get rid of? FD wants them for practice. Need water for your pool? Call the FD to get hose. I could sit here and do this for an hour, and still not get to the end of the list. The items listed above are ALL things that we have done in the past year. And then there was the snake in the kitchen cabinet, I did that last fall..... Make no mistake about one thing though, Alleged volunteer decline is just that, Alleged. I have more now than ever, and they keep coming. I see a trend down the road to put volunteer positions in where they haven't been before, and a trend in combination departments to recruit more volunteers and hire fewer full time people. A major metropolitan County wide combination department has laid off a few career people and shifted others and now rely more on volunteers. The next county over from them has a larger combination department which once had career people in EVERY station. They now have 5 stations that are Volunteer only, management says there will be more. That same county has lost (thru attrition, no layoffs) about 15% of the positions that existed 7 - 8 years ago. Your road to stability, Ladies and Gentlemen, is to take on every job that you can do, become the only place to call for anything. (within reason) If you do it all, they will support you fully. Period. We're doing it now, successfully. One last thought, anybody not doing EMS better be starting soon, or you'll die on the vine like last years watermellon. Stay Safe....
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    anybody not doing EMS better be starting soon, or you'll die on the vine like last years watermellon
    AMEN! Most of the time, I hate it with a passion but when it comes time to ask for support if you helped out when grandma fell or junior cut his finger then you're way ahead of the game.

    We started first-responder level service four years ago and have seen a near doubling of our donations and increased support (both political and financial) from the city council and it is all because we're going into people's homes and generally being very visible. We also get to occasionally help someone in real need.

    I think it is ultra-critical for the small rural departments. If you're running fewer than 100 fire calls a year and most of them nothing more that a small grass fire, then you're going to lose out when it comes time to divvy up the shrinking money pot. EMS is the way to get visible and provide a needed service to your community.

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    Robotic firefighters

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    In the short term, the Urban firefighter must watch the housing market. With all the downturns in the economy, housing has remained on the uptick.
    Commercial buildings have been converted into residential lofts at a huge cost, but the current demand is high enough to offset the cost quickly. Should that demand suddenly dry up, these building owners will be left with huge, empty, money pits.

    This happened in the '70s and Arson for Profit became widespread.

    The BIG difference: todays building materials are mainly lightweight, i.e. C-joists, Wood I-Beams, Steel Bar-joist, Q-deck etc... These buildings are also air tight and well insulated. Fire escapes have been replaced with hallway sprinklers. Common furnishings will produce nearly 5x the BTUs of their '70s counterparts.

    Combined with reduced manning, fewer investigations and a less experienced firefighting force...well, you get the picture.

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    I cant speak for the future... all I can do is train and practice to try to get ready for it. What comes nobody knows.
    Firefighter/EMT Mitch Cowen
    Hose Co. 1 1st Lieutenant
    Randolph Fire Co. Inc

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