View Poll Results: If you were dispatched to a structural fire outside of your district, you would:

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  • Follow SOPs/SOGs regardless

    9 7.56%
  • Respond and sort it out later

    93 78.15%
  • Respond but stand down

    1 0.84%
  • Call Dispatch and tell them it's not yours

    16 13.45%
  1. #1
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    Exclamation Fire outside of your district!

    In light of what may have recently occurred with a structural fire in Ohio and a department's refusal to start fire suppression because it was not in their response area, I would like to take a poll on this question:
    If you were duly dispatched by a dispatching agency to the report of a structural fire outside of your response area, you would:
    1)Follow the SOPs/SOGs regardless
    2)Respond to the call and sort it out later
    3)Respond to the call, but stand down
    4)Call dispatch and tell them it's not yours

    Please; don't forget to vote in the poll.
    Thanks for your time.
    CR
    Last edited by ChiefReason; 01-18-2004 at 01:01 PM.
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    Are you knowing it is outside your district before or after you get there?

    I would notify the dispatch to make sure they notify the correct FD, then I would fight the fire and follow the command the other FD once they arrive.
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  3. #3
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    Adze wrote:
    Are you knowing it is outside your district before or after you get there?
    Doesn't matter. SOPs/SOGs would describe your mutual aid agreements. If you know it's out of district at the time of the call, you want Dispatch to make sure the primary agency has been called and since you have mutual aid with them, you are already on the way.
    If you realize it is out of district AFTER you get there, then I would ask "where's your 911 map"? Plat book? Or the old guy that's been on for 50 years and knows where EVERYBODY lives in a 4 county area!
    Seriously, Adze; with the cell phone calls that come in, you never know. They call and are already out of your county, so it goes to the neighboring county and comes back.....it's a bugaboo.
    But I get your drift.
    CR
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    In my situation I would notify dispatch, go to the other agencies radio channel, give a size up, and start appropriate actions.

    I hope that the OIC responding in the Niles situation, for his/her's own sake:
    1. Called a superior officer for confirmation not to take action
    2. Has a copy of a written policy to back his/her lack of action
    3. Has winesses to a verbal directive/order
    Line officers should never be put into situations where politics interfere with the "Common Sense Test" or the "Golden Rule" when making decisions concerning the public's wellbeing. We are here to serve anyone, anywhere, anytime, the situation presents itself.

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    I voted that I would inform dispatch that the call was for another jurisdiction BUT:

    I'd do that as I was rolling out the door. My philosophy is that if we get toned, we go - unless told to stand down by a superior officer(or the other department's OIC). There may well be other things going on in the dispatch center that I just don't know about. I am going to let dipatch know that I think that it's not in my territory and to get the other department enroute. Once they are on the air, I'll continue or stand down at their request.

    When I get to the scene, I'm going to put out the fire and I'm going to call for mutual aid from someone else's jurisdiction if I have to, politics and fiefdoms be damned. If the other department shows up, I'll work on transition of command and operations or just keep going - whatever the other guy wants (hey, I'm flexible!)

    Our dispatchers have a policy: When in doubt, tone it out. I don't have anything that clear-cut but I'm always going to err on the side of doing the right thing for John Q. Public, even if he doesn't live or pay taxes here.
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    Fight the beast! It dont care who fights it,its going to do it thing anyway. Thats one thing I learned in training it doesnt care and its not going to stop till the right department gets there. I refer you to the case in Cinncinatti(sp) in the 1800's. Your an officer on an engine,you see fire/accident/whatever just outside your town line,do your best to help and stabilize the situation until the right department gets there-----let the chiefs hash out the politcal stuff---thats what they are there for.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Chief,

    Just saying that the way your questions were worded that you knew it was outside your district to begin with. In that case you could assume that you were being called via M/A.

    In the Ohio case, they didn't know until they got there.
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    FYI. There is a new poll on the front page somewhat along these lines.

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    yeah but we like this one better, bit more respect for the poster if you will. Even though I feel this whole topic just needs to be droped now, the only reason it is still the main headline is to stir up more bs.
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    In this area it happens quite often on cell phone calls. The career dept may be dispatched to ours and we to theirs.

    In either case the first arriving unit informs dispatch on who the call belongs to and initiates whatever action is necessary.

    When the other dept shows up, we work with them until released by them. The "host" department handles the investigation and paperwork.

    We had an incident on Friday night that kind of ties in with this discussion.

    We were dispatched to a chimney fire at the far end of our district. The home is in a wooded subdivision on top of a ridge that has a 2.5 mile dirt access road with steep grades and sharp curves. The fire had not gotten out of the chimney that ran from the basement to the roof in a concrete block enclosure in the center of the house. There was a second chimney for the first floor fireplace in the same enclosure. The enclosure was finished with tongue and groove pine on the first floor. We had initial temp readings in excess of 900 deg F on the exterior of the enclosure. The chimney was also plugged. It took about three hours after removing the plug and the combustible finish on the enclosure for the temps to drop into the 250 deg F range.

    We were just about to leave when dispatch advised us of a structure fire at the other end of our district in a mobile home court that has no hydrants and the mobile homes are closely spaced. Average age of the mobiles is 40 years. It is a six mile run from where we were at.

    The chief immediately requested mutual aid from the city which has a station 2.5 miles from the mobile home court and they responded along with a tanker from our dept.

    When I got there with our engine we helped the city reload their attack line and thanked them for their help. (Structure was an 8' x 10' metal shed). We did the report.

    Sorry about being long winded on this but that is a normal operation in this area. Provide service first. We can sort out the paperwork later. As had been said by others, "The property owner doesn't care whose name is on the door of the truck".

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    Even though I feel this whole topic just needs to be droped now, the only reason it is still the main headline is to stir up more bs.
    Its only been on the site since Friday afternoon. We don't do our news the way you infer. With the discussion it has created, and likely follow-up stories on the fallout from the story, its not likely to be 'dropped' just for the sake of dropping it.

    Thanks
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    I dont want my response to degenerate into a paid vs. vollie debate, but I do think that what the Niles officer did was right in his situation. Did he have an existing procedure or mutual aid? it seems from what happened they did not. For a paid dept your main job is to provide services for your employer, the citizens of your city. I dont know how many companies are in Niles but maybe their first alarm response is most of the total company strength for the dept. So for them to fight a fire outside of the city they are leaving their own citizens unprotected. WE can change the scenario alil bit to back up what Niles did. What if they did fight that fire outside of the city and at the same time a call came in in the city for a fire and a civilian gets hurt, when that could have been prevented if the Niles dept was able to respond. Dont you think someone would bring up the question as to why they where comitting resources outside of the city when they were needed within the city and for those who pay for that protectoin?

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    Originally posted by dfd3dfd3
    I dont want my response to degenerate into a paid vs. vollie debate, but I do think that what the Niles officer did was right in his situation. Did he have an existing procedure or mutual aid? it seems from what happened they did not. For a paid dept your main job is to provide services for your employer, the citizens of your city. I dont know how many companies are in Niles but maybe their first alarm response is most of the total company strength for the dept. So for them to fight a fire outside of the city they are leaving their own citizens unprotected. WE can change the scenario alil bit to back up what Niles did. What if they did fight that fire outside of the city and at the same time a call came in in the city for a fire and a civilian gets hurt, when that could have been prevented if the Niles dept was able to respond. Dont you think someone would bring up the question as to why they where comitting resources outside of the city when they were needed within the city and for those who pay for that protectoin?
    Well, according to your theory, they should not provide any Mutaual Aid to ANY fire department. EVER! Also, whathappens if they are tied up at another incident in Niles, and a fire comes in? What do you propose they do then?

    There is no reason to post anything regarding paid or volunteer, here. It is ANY FD's main concern to protect the citizens of their community first, then other communities. Obviously if you have a fire or incident in your community, you are going to handle that first, rather than an incident in another city.

    And, Once again, yes they did have a mutual aid agreement. Please read all of the other 15 pages (or whatever we are on now) before you post. There is a lot of information about them having a Mutal Aid contract, the fact that nothing has been mentioned about "following orders" or "following SOGs/SOPs".

  14. #14
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    We have this happen all the time, both knowing the incident is out of our area and also and mostly not knowing until we get there. So our policy is we will respond to any incident we are dispatched to unless the dispatcher obvioulsy knows it is not ours and forwards that to the right agency. If we are sent we go........if it is not ours we do what we are suppossed to and then as soon as possible notify the juristiction we have entered and let them know what we have.
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    I voted... Follow SOP's/SOG's.

    Meaning we follow the old rule: When your toned you go. And we would fight it like it was our fire. We would however notify dispatch when we go en-route that it is believed to be out of our district to tone out the other department. The reason I say believed is cell phones. People calling in from down the road and giving that address, which happens sometimes and all that stuff. You are just never sure until you get there.
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    Originally posted by rfcmitch
    I voted... Follow SOP's/SOG's.

    Meaning we follow the old rule: When your toned you go. And we would fight it like it was our fire. We would however notify dispatch when we go en-route that it is believed to be out of our district to tone out the other department. The reason I say believed is cell phones. People calling in from down the road and giving that address, which happens sometimes and all that stuff. You are just never sure until you get there.

    My SOP's are the same way.-where is that option?

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    webteam wrote:
    FYI. There is a new poll on the front page somewhat along these lines.
    See; that's why you need to move the poll box to the top of your page instead of the bottom.
    I log in to my Memberszone Start Page, go immediately to the forums and finish up with the Home Page headlines. Seldom will I scroll the entire page. The reason I go to my MZ start page is simple; the FH Home Page takes too long to load. My problem; not yours.
    Incidentally, I voted in your poll. Did you vote in mine?
    Oh; and I am doing a survey at the IACOJ website on why members visit FH.com. At the moment, the number one reason is "Forums/Discussions".
    Interesting, huh?
    CR
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    Angry

    As a volunteer, I find it hard to believe that any firefighter, paid or not, can stand by for 20 minutes and do nothing! They had been dispatched after all to the site, who cares if it was in thier area or not? Would you , want the same thing to happen to you? Call for help, have 3 trucks and plenty of manpower to do something about your home and they stand there with thier fingers up thier ***? They were there already. Do something! Sheesh!

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    Lightbulb

    what are we in this business for. I wonder what would
    happen if for some reason one of their emt's were in another city
    and came upon a pnb. I would not want to be that person on tne ground or a relative with that person. I has happened to us maybe a couple of times. No matter how GOOD our dispatchers are, some times an error can be made. If the responding dept. gets on scene and realizes that it is not their fire, let dispatch know. In the meantime do what you have to do. It doesn't matter if the structure is occupied or not. The homeowner doesn't care whose water it is or if there was a mixup in responding departments.

    We are in this profession for one thing, save lives and
    property (if possible) aren't these two of our strategic objectives?

  20. #20
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    My philosophy is that if we get toned, we go - unless told to stand down by a superior officer(or the other department's OIC).
    I'm the say- respond until cancelled by the other department as they arrive on scene
    Luke

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    Originally posted by emtfirechick
    As a volunteer, I find it hard to believe that any firefighter, paid or not, can stand by for 20 minutes and do nothing
    We dont know the backround of this story also....like everywere else, there are politics--which when you brake it down
    Poli= Many
    tics= bloodsucking animals!

  22. #22
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    Our policy:

    Once we realize the mistaken location, we will continue the response if we are still closer time wise than the home jurisdiction subject to dispatch notifying an officer of the jurisdiction for his OK. Usually that Chief will tell dispatch to have us continue and himself only will respond to take a report; sometimes they ask for dual-dispatch, and rarely they have us cancel.

    For structure fires, this is never an issue because we use automatic mutual aid extensively and border areas would have both departments responding anyway -- we just switch roles of who has jurisdiction and who is providing mutual aid.

    If the home jurisdiction is closer, taking into account 3 minutes or so to alert & respond, we'll notify dispatch they have the wrong department responding and they'll start the closest department. Once in a while we have wildly off dispatchs -- like 5 to 10 miles apart between say our Short Street and Danielson's Short Street.

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    A little bit of all of the poll options .

    In our district if an emergency gets routed to us we will respond if its within a mile or two of the boundaries on the other side and if we know it is outside we will advise dispatch to notify the next district when we call enroute , but when we arrive on scene and find its outside the district we are not going to stand around and do nothing . Once the next district arrives on scene we will ask if they need our assistance anymore and if they say no we will pick up and head back.

    If its more than a mile or so outside our district we will advise dispatch to notify the next district and we will head down to the station to stand by and the cheif officer will roll over there non emergency .

    Most the time we have a better responce time than the next district and both of our commissioners boards realize that and we work together .

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    Ever here the old fighter pilots motto?

    DO SOMETHING, EVEN IF ITS WRONG


    We respond on automatic mutual aid to most of the Towns around us, but even if we didn't, we would initiate operations and sort it out in the end. Hopefully surrounding Departments would do the same.

    Someone mentioned adding the second emergency in Niles factor. What if the fire was in Niles and Wethersfield stopped at the line? And what if (I know I know, big if) not everyone was out? I find it hard to believe(of course I don't live there) that a Department would be criticized for putting out a fire. Maybe you don't commit all your resources, but I believe you have to do something.

    I would go as far as to say (because it happened) that if we got to the town line and hadn't found the fire, we would keep going(most likely with one company) until we found it, they found it, or it was determined to be false.

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    We also have mutual aid agreements in place, and this sort of thing happens on a regular basis. Several adjacent towns are all volunteer or POC, and we nearly always arrive at the scene first. We treat it as if it's in our town and initiate the same attack per our SOPs. No one outside of a few idiot town officials over the years has ever complained.
    The same would apply on an MVA.....if we reach the town line and haven't found it we continue until we do or are cancelled by the OIC at the scene....no problem.

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