1. #1
    Forum Member
    VolFFJohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    104

    Default UM Dispatch What Fire?

    Early today we got paged out for a combine fire with part of the field on fire. We get to the house of the person who called it in and started heading in the direction of where the fire was but donít find it. So we keep looking but find nothing. A short time later the first truck talks to whose tractor it was and it turned out to nothing. The farmer that called it in thought it was smoking. Donít you just love it when itís nothing.
    Firefighter/ EMT-Basic
    Proud Soldier in the Iowa Army National Guard
    GLT 11/25/2005

    All Gave Some
    Some Gave All
    Never Forget the Sacrifices Made

    These are my opinions and not those of my dept.

  2. #2
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Smile You're not alone.......

    You're dispatched for an Automatic Alarm, hit the street, get rolling good, then dispatch calls and says that the Alarm Company called back, and it's a false activation. Happens to us Daily. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
    Posts
    12,837

    Default

    A couple of nights ago we got paged to a car fire. We rolled up on the approximate place that the vehicle was "located" at. Then kept on going, there was a red T-bird parked on the side of the hi-way in the place that it's been in for the previous 4 days and very broken down. About 150 metres south was Toyota pick up truck, so we rolled down to it.. Nope no fire here and then we carried on to our south end, just in case. Nothing seen nothing heard. We dispatched another unit to double check the T-bird.

    As it turns out, it was the reported "car fire", and there had been a small fire inside that the guys hit it with a FE - fire out 'n overhauled. We missed it with the Engine because of the already smoked glass and no visible flames/smoke coming from anywhere, plus the fact it had been there for several days.

    It was labled as "suspicious" and eventually towed away. The truck as it turned out stolen, so we got a "double score" for that one, I guess.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Dave1105's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: You're not alone.......

    Originally posted by hwoods
    You're dispatched for an Automatic Alarm, hit the street, get rolling good, then dispatch calls and says that the Alarm Company called back, and it's a false activation. Happens to us Daily. Stay Safe....
    Our SOP's don't allow us to return from an alarm call without first getting on scene and sighting the alarm ourselves*, even if we recieve further information en route that it's a false activation (Which, like you, is a daily occurance). Time and time again we find that staff at the places that have FIP's will just treat the alarm as a nuisance.... they won't investigate it at all. They'll just go straight to the panel and try to reset it. If it wont reset, they'll just isolate it and call to try and get us cancelled.

    Problem is, the reason it's not resetting is because their actually is a Fire, DUH! So generally speaking we will just ignore such information given to us en route... or we might downgrade our supporting appliances.

    We also have big problems with evac systems, most places (like retirement homes, hotels etc.) will have them turned off by default. So even though the alarm has activated, the evac system hasn't.... so while a bell might be ringing, nobody in the place knows what it means. We've had a case just recently where an elderly lady fell asleep with her heater on, which set her curtains on fire, which in turn set the whole room on fire. We arrive on scene to find that nobody in the 150 person+ home had been evacuated.... plus nobody had even checked the surrounding area for signs of fire. The old lady in her room suffered burns and smoke inhalation.... the fire could've easily been tackled quickly with the extinghuisher outside her room by a staff member in a matter of seconds from the alarm activation and she would've had little more than a singed curtain... added to that if the fire was a little more intense the fact that the evac system was turned off probably would've resulted in the death of a few elderly people.

    The problem is, the law says they have to have an evac system, it just doesn't say it has to be on.... idiots.

    * We have to physically site the operating detector before calling a false alarm over the radio.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
    Posts
    12,837

    Default Re: Re: You're not alone.......

    Originally posted by Dave1105
    Our SOP's don't allow us to return from an alarm call without first getting on scene and sighting the alarm ourselves*, even if we recieve further information en route that it's a false activation
    * We have to physically site the operating detector before calling a false alarm over the radio.
    Yep, we have one of those to at the Aerie Resort Bed and Breakfast. Summer time is a "regular" occurance of AFA falsies. Usually due to humidity in one of the towers. However, this past year we only had 2 or maybe 3 rather than the 6 or 7, so either they disabled the alarms in the towers or else they improved the system.... wonder which it is?
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    explr985's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    the other end of all that LDH...........
    Posts
    791

    Default Re: You're not alone.......

    Originally posted by hwoods
    You're dispatched for an Automatic Alarm, hit the street, get rolling good, then dispatch calls and says that the Alarm Company called back, and it's a false activation. Happens to us Daily. Stay Safe....
    Don,t feel bad, happens everyday here, city and county. The 4 and 5 times a day highrise alarms are always fun. The best is Cyrstal Towers, better know in the dept. as Cyrstal Toilets, among others that I propably shouldn't post here. Belive me, don't go inside there.
    No longer an explorer, but I didn't wanna lose my posts.

    IACOJ 2003

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber
    AFD368's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Albion NY
    Posts
    407

    Default Automatic Fire Alarms

    We have the same problem, false automatic fire alarms.
    We have an apartment complex, for elderly and/or handicap persons, and answered 9 false automatic alarms in a six day period. Needless to say, the supervisory personnel finally got the alarm straightened out, after we threatened to bill them for our response(s).

    We also have a group home, for mentally handicapped persons, that we receive numerous automatic fire alarms from. Most of the time, these are burnt food on the stove and handled by the staff. We still have to respond, but these calls are beginning to become routine, so we don't get alot of firefighters responding. The fear that sets in all of us is that sometime, this could be a working structure fire, with persons trapped and we would be scratching our behinds for manpower.

    Then there is the two Adult Care Facilities we cover. Between the alarm malfunctions, and the residents who "accidently" pull the alarm boxes, we probably respond to these facilities 30 to 40 times a tear or more.

    We do have a good fire safety and prevention program, and go to all of these facilities annually to assist in the evacuation plans with the residents and staff. We hold annual drills at all of these places and critique the drills with the residents and staff immediately after the drill.

    And YES, we do have to visually confirm all automatic fire alarms.
    We never turn any equipment back unless directed to do so by an officer who may arrive on scene before the equipment.
    "The uniform is supposed to say something about you. You get it for nothing, but it comes with a history, so do the right thing when you're in it."
    Battalion Chief Ed Schoales
    from 'Report from Ground Zero' pg 149
    I.A.C.O.J. Member

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    ThNozzleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Jefferson City, TN
    Posts
    4,334

    Default

    Donít you just love it when itís nothing.
    You better believe it. Why would you want it any other way??

  9. #9
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    101

    Talking The AFA to beat all AFA's!!!

    Try this one on for size folks!

    Late afternoon at the firehouse...Sitting in the recliners watching a little TV on our "downtime."

    Tones Drop

    Automatic Fire Alarm in Industrial District

    Alarm Company reporting an activated "pull station."

    Enroute, we are gearing up and getting ready, taking it a little bit more serious than usual because it was in fact a pull station. While enroute in our beast that had a top speed of 55 mph, dispatch calls back and you get this:

    Engine 11, Alarm Company has called back informing us that a SECOND alarm has been received from a "pull station!" (talk about skidmarks!!!)

    You hear this and the adrenaline starts rushing. You pick up the pace and begin packing up ready for entry on a manufacturing plant structure fire! (would have been my first)

    A second engine goes enroute heading your way. Upon arrival you find no smoke showing... Turns out one of the clumsy workers inside knocked a stack of boxes down and one hit the "pull station," setting off the alarm system. When he attempted to correct the situation, he put the handle back in the ready position and in attempting to turn it off effectively pulled the handle again which trasmitted the second "pull station" alarm! AND I WAS ALL SET TO GO TOO!!!

    On a different note:

    We still have to respond, but these calls are beginning to become routine, so we don't get alot of firefighters responding. The fear that sets in all of us is that sometime, this could be a working structure fire, with persons trapped and we would be scratching our behinds for manpower.
    This is becoming all too common... Today, my department is lucky to have one engine with two people (which by the way is our paid staff) going enroute to an AFA. If this call DID turn out to be a working structure fire...We too would be scratching the 'ol buttcrack. As FIREFIGHTERS, we need to take AFA's more seriously! NOTHING should be ROUTINE!!!

    (NOTICE I SAID ALL FIREFIGHTERS!)

    Sure 99.9% of AFA's will end up being nothing... But what about that one where the two young children tragically died because no one could get to them in their upstairs bedroom and the fire department shrugged the call off as another false activation!?!?! All it takes is one folks...After that one, you will never forgive yourself, and your citizens will NEVER forgive you! When your people don't show up, it hurts us all!

    Worse yet, when your chiefs tell your first due engine co's. to stand down and let them handle it, you are just asking for major problems. A chief's vehicle doesn't carry the necessary tools to combat a fire of any type rather than one in the very early INCIPIENT STAGE. I could see having ONE unit continue responding "emergency," and having the rest reducing code, but to disregard them all is insanity!

    Remember Guys n Gals! It's our job to protect our community. Whether it be the first alarm activation of the day, or the 17th and on, the next one you respond to...just MIGHT be the real thing with people trapped needing our help! Just keep that in your mind the next time your tones drop and your dispatcher turns you out for an AFA activation.

    Stay Safe My Brothers and Sisters!
    Last edited by LRFireE135; 10-18-2003 at 01:18 AM.
    LREngine135
    Firefighter/EMT-B


    All things I say...while not always making sense are ALWAYS my opinion and only mine. They do not reflect the opinions of any department of which I am a member.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Dave1105's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    148

    Default

    Alarm Company reporting an activated "pull station."

    Engine 11, Alarm Company has called back informing us that a SECOND alarm has been received from a "pull station!" (talk about skidmarks!!!)
    I find it strange that this kind of alarm would get this kind of response out of your crew. Two Break-Glass/Pull alarms, no other detector activation and no exchange call from the premisis would indicate to me someone playing funny buggers. We get these kinds of alarms all the time.... especially since most of our alarms are equipped with BGA... they are easily knocked and set off by accident. We've actually had one incident not too long ago when a kid went through purpousfully breaking every BGA they could.... we had something like 7 or 8 go off....

    Every automatic alarm job that i've gone to that's turned out to be a real fire has been evident REALLY REALLY soon that it's not "just an alarm" bar one.

    When you turn out and your dispatcher comes back with "Roger that ****, Further Information for you, You've got a multiple detector activation in Zone ***, with sprinkler activation. Exchange call from premisis, thick smoke throughout alarmed area. Evacuation has commenced" it's time for brown trousers time. Anything else, I say, treat it like it could be a fire, act professionally and do your investigation as quickly as possible.

    While Automatic Alarms should be treated seriously, I think treating them calmly is the best way to go.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    Most modern commercial alarms allow you to specify certain alarming parameters. For example, you can program it so that for example, it will only go into full alarm when two or more smoke heads activate. In the case of a single smoke head, it would still throw a pre-alarm on the panel for someone to go check out. If places did that intelligently, it would probably prevent a lot of the false alarms due to cooking, smoking, dust from outside, etc.

    Where I work, we monitor our own alarms and call it in the FD ourselves. Our protocol is that any single smoke head activation gets a FD response. I know that the chances of a single smoke head being a working fire are very slim but thats the way it is.

    I remember last year, I really thought we had "the big one". About 2am, the terminal screen started beeping like crazy. I looked and started F-12 scrolling through the alarms. I was getting EVERYTHING. Multiple smokes, heat sensors, pull stations, and water flow alarms cascading in from 3 different floors (5, 6, & 7). I can't repeat the words that I muttered here for the webteam would ban me. The FD dispatcher gets used to me telling them it is just one smoke head. We got a full box alarm instead of the usual Still Alarm from the FD so naturally, the place was surrounded on all sides by apparatus from all over the city. Our guys and the engineering crews were heading up already as well. You guys will like this. No fire, anywhere. Some @sshole on the mechanical floor was cleaning walls with bleach & water in a pressure washer and decided to clean the fire panel on the floor as well. He shorted the whole damn thing out and sent everything connected to it into alarm. He realized what he did when he heard the alarm and all the sirens and quickly dropped everything and left. Not sure if he still has a job or not. Morons.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Diane E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Maryland (but always a Long Islander first)
    Posts
    1,103

    Default

    We had a 13-35 (working fire) dispatched out last Saturday at about 6:45 AM -- called in by the homeowner....Her "second house" was on fire....Crews get there and it's her SHED!!! "Working fire" for a shed!

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    Originally posted by DianeC
    We had a 13-35 (working fire) dispatched out last Saturday at about 6:45 AM -- called in by the homeowner....Her "second house" was on fire....Crews get there and it's her SHED!!! "Working fire" for a shed!

    I've seen some backyard sheds that rival small homes.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    VolFFJohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    104

    Default

    I've seen some backyard sheds that rival small homes.
    I know what you mean.
    Firefighter/ EMT-Basic
    Proud Soldier in the Iowa Army National Guard
    GLT 11/25/2005

    All Gave Some
    Some Gave All
    Never Forget the Sacrifices Made

    These are my opinions and not those of my dept.

  15. #15
    Early Adopter
    cozmosis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    1,925

    Default

    Originally posted by Dave1105
    While Automatic Alarms should be treated seriously, I think treating them calmly is the best way to go.
    I totally agree. I honestly believe that there is a big difference between an automatic alarm and a report of a fire received from a human. Some people I know would disagree... and go balls to the wall for both.

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    1,719

    Default

    Originally posted by DianeC
    We had a 13-35 (working fire) dispatched out last Saturday at about 6:45 AM -- called in by the homeowner....Her "second house" was on fire....Crews get there and it's her SHED!!! "Working fire" for a shed!
    We had a fire last winter that was tapped out as a structure and turned out to be a 12' x 12' shed converted to a pigeon coop.

    Unfortunately, the dispatch for our auto aid department (different county) dispatched them to assist us with a "chicken coop" fire. On a county-wide frequency no less.

    We still get a hard time for that one: "Couldn't handle a chicken coop fire without help huh?"

    Incidently, all 70 pigeons ended up "well done"
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register