1. #1
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    Default Severe Weather Forecasts

    Does your Department man your station automatically or on a volunteer basis when severe weather is forecast?



    We usually have a few members who head for the station when bad weather is in the forecast. Once (if) we get the first alarm (if bad does strike the area)the station is usually fully manned for the duration.
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    Not unless it's a real severe & immeninent -- like a Hurricane. And that hasn't happenend since '91.

    Once we actually start having multiple storm-related incidents we'll go to manning the station.

    A Chief officer will setup in our Office Building (a ranch house we own behind the station). He keeps in touch with the regional dispatch center & town highway garage from there.

    A line officer will setup a table in the apparatus bay and assign drivers/crews to apparatus and officers & members in two man teams with a POV and privately-owned chainsaw (they're usually better than dept saws!). He gets incidents from the Chief, and assigns teams to handle them. Most incidents, usually trees or trees/wires down, a POV team will go out and evaluate and clear the road or blockade with cones as appropriate. The officer keeps track of whose been sent to what and when they return to quarters or are sent somewhere else. We try to keep the apparatus in quarters instead of having them hunt down every tree blocking a road.

    I like this system -- it's more organized & effective than past times when the phone would ring from dispatch, an officer would answer, and then assign a crew on the fly.

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    our pagers are activated for severe weather......only reort to the station for a tornado warning, or at anytime per any officer, depending on the situation.
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    Some departments in this area are active storm spotters and send their rigs out to various locations during tornado watches.

    However, my department only responds to the station for tornado warnings. One engine and our squad then respond to the township offices because they are the designated storm shelter for the nearby "manufactured home community." If the local elementary school is in session, our second engine responds there. This leaves just the rescue (ambulance) in quarters.

    As far as severe winter weather, I'm told our station was staffed around the clock for 4 or 5 days during our last big blizzard (1978). Volunteers with snowmobiles were transporting crews to EMS calls, etc. Hopefully we won't have to do this anytime soon!
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    Its up to the Chief whether or not we are placed on standby. If we are placed on standby its usually for snow or ice storms.I'm on standby right now as we speak do to the snow storm that hit hte north east. We have to have a minimum of 4 Firefighters per Engine or Truck.
    Andrew
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    New Jersey

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    My Department has no policy for severe weather. If a hurricane is approaching then some of the vollies will hang out at the station in case something happens but it's not mandated. We are not paged or notified for severe weather. My Fire Chief decided to purchase a WX radio after seeing the one I have for my Ham Radio station at home. So if a warning is put out while someone is at the station then at least that FF will know something is happening when the receiver goes off.

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    My department routinely does "storm coverage". The decision is made by the chief, sometimes at the recommendation of the captain of the group that is on duty/on call, or one of the other captains. It applies mostly to snow storm situations, when there is an issue of the roads not being cleared and the potential for people to be driving personal vehicles to get to a call or to the station for apparatus. If we have a big snow storm, or the forecast calls for a lot of snow, the tones get dropped and the engine company and rescue squad are advised to report to the station for coverage (prior to the heavy snowfall starting). We are a combination department, and this recall gives us 3 EMS (only) personnel and about 8-10 firefighters (both career and call). We run the ALS rescues for the town also. Coverage lasts until the snow covered roads are no longer an issue, and things quiet down. Sometimes this is a couple of hours and sometimes it is more than 24 hours. We are flexible, and people can swap out, or be dismissed for their jobs, at the discretion of the chief or a captain. Storm coverage also gets called in for hurricane type Nor' Easters and similar rain and wind storms, because we get so busy with wires down/arcing and other calls. If it gets busy before we call coverage, we'll put out the tones and hold people or recall people to cover the station. 5-10 FFs and an ambulance crew is usually the magic number. We do storm coverage about 5 times a year on average, sometimes there are no runs and sometimes we'll do 20-30-40 calls.

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