1. #1
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    Default MCC Student Question. . .

    I am a student a Mesa Community College. I'm considering pursuing a career in rescue work. Currently I am writing a report for an English class were I am researching Maricopa County emergency workers and procedures. I have a few questions that I hope someone can answer for me.

    1- How does the dispatch know which firehouse engines to send to a particular incident? Is it location to the incident?

    2- If more than one engine is required will the dispatch send engines from different houses, or multiple form the same firehouse?

    3- Are engines required to have there sirens and lights on going to an incident (ie if the engine is the second one coming from a firehouse will both engines have sirens and lights on)?

    4- Is a degree in Fire Science required to become a fire fighter?

    Thank you for your help.

    Student01

  2. #2
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    kghemtp's Avatar
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    Student, let's see if a paramedic can answer some of your questions here!!

    1. Cities & even some towns are broken up into districts that are covered by certain firehouses and their apparatus. If you've ever heard of police officers covering "sectors," it would be kinda like that. The use of computer-aided dispatch really helps with deciding who goes to which call and which area or district a call is happening.

    2. Dispatch would usually do everything in their powers not to completely empty a firehouse because of maintaining coverage of each district in case of more calls. Even without medical calls, departments can have more than 1 fire going on at the same time. That's when prior planning comes into play, where an engine from a different district will respond to a call as a second truck to a scene, and in some cases if a firehouse was emptied, trucks would be pulled from the area districts or towns to cover in case of more calls happening.

    3. Yes, emergency warning devices should be on with every piece responding to the situation. It's not uncommon to get out of the way of one truck and not see the second. Lights & sirens help warn the ignorant public who are sleeping behind the wheel (oh, did I actually say that?!?).

    4. A degree will never guarantee a job in the fire service. However, a degree is something that departments often like to see because it shows the person has some discipline and the genuine interest for that field. However, a great many people go through fire academies & rookie programs to get all the fire certifications. So no, a job doesn't usually necessitate a degree, but it's a good way to go. Now also think about where the fire service is going these days, more into EMS. With paramedic programs being at least a year, the degree of choice could be paramedic. Think about how relatively quickly the training could be acquired-- 2 year associate degree paramedic and 6 months-1 year in FF1 & FF2. Also remember that the fire service tends to require a minimum of EMT-Basic, as med calls are so numerous now.

    Hope this sheds some light on your questions!
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

  3. #3
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    Default Emergency Response; Phoenix Dispatch

    No disrespect to our Firefighter/Paramedic friend in New Hampshire, but we do things a little differently in the automatic aid system that dispatches for many of the cities in and around Phoenix. The automatic aid system, which is computer and GPS (global positioning system) based, allows us to dispatch the nearest appropriate units to any incident. The dispatch protocals are based on many years of experience, and are adjusted on a regular basis, as things tend to change pretty quickly around here. We have no qualms about emptying a firehouse, if the incident requires it. Most of our firehouses only house an engine and a rescue (ambulance). Some have specialty units, such as a hazmat, or other special operations company. About 1 in 5 have a ladder company, and a very few have a second engine company, usually an "adaptive response company", which is available to move anywhere in the system it is needed, in order to maintain coverage. On big incidents, we move engines from other parts of the city, or adjacent cities to cover. In some parts of Phoenix, it is not unusual to see the first due engine from Glendale, the first due ladder from Peoria, the first due rescue from Phoenix, and the first due battalion chief, from whichever jurisdiction has a chief closest at the time of dispatch. Phoenix returns the favor in parts of Glendale and Peoria, as do all the other cities in the automatic aid group. There is a mutual aid protocal, as well, that allows members of the automatic aid system, to assist those not in our system, when requested.

    Hope this helps, and for more information on the Regional Dispatch Center, visit www.phoenix.gov/FIRE/rdc.html
    Last edited by dhavenshome; 11-08-2003 at 10:29 PM.
    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of suppression! Sometimes even more!

  4. #4
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    Disrespect? None taken! I've heard Phoenix is a great system, and to use such modern technology with years of studying & troubleshooting is where the rest of America should be! You probably explained a little better about clearing firehouses. It's been my experience that smaller incidents that might warrant a couple pieces from 1 district will get handled with that, and any other calls that come in have apparatus from another station that is NEXT closest. It's the larger incidents that usually see pieces shifting stations or covering other towns' stations.

    GPS & regionalized departments sound like win/win prospects for the public we serve.
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

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