1. #1
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    Default Tornado Warnings

    After a recent Tornado warning in our area of the state, I was suprised after listening to some of the area fire requencies how many departments still go out and tornado spot looking for funnel clouds during these warnings. My volly department used to do that but we stopped due to we felt it was to much of a risk to our members to be out in the potential elements, with all the modern day doppler radars that all local media has now and all other means of weather tracking from home or radio/TV or home PC's and of course the outdoor civil defense warning sirens, we felt what are we really going to do if we actually see a tornado/funnel cloud, everyone should already be taking cover and by the time we relayed the info it would already be to late. I understand doing this duty many years ago before all the means of modern day communication, but today I dont feel the risk of sending FF's out in the elements is worth the risk, as they always say, when there is a warning everyone take cover, including FF's. My volly department still sends 1 engine and 1 rescue over to the other side of our district to cover a large trailer park and open up the Twp. building for the local trailer park residents to take shelter. On the TFRD we dont go out either, we are directed to take shelter like everyone else.

    I was wondering how many departments still go out and tornado spot during these type warnings and what your job function is.
    Last edited by WTFDChief730; 06-15-2004 at 09:31 PM.

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    We still do it, Chief. We send a squad out to notify all of the trailer park(s) residents of the danger, who then usually end up back at our station. We send other apparatus out to the corners of the city to look for funnel clouds.

    I guess the only other benefit is to split your apparatus up in case something would happen and it would hit the station, at least you don't have all of your apparatus taken out at one time.

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    Ron, does TFRD still pull their rigs out and turn the lights and sirens on for tornado warnings? I remember 25's doing that when I was a kid and lived near there.

    Brian, what do you guys do if you spot a funnel cloud? Do you find somewhere to take shelter?

    In our area we are very fortunate to have a strong Skywarn program. You guys that work down at 911 can attest that they take it very seriously to say the least. They have a direct radio link to Cleveland NWS. Chances are they will get a report into them way before any public safety agency could.

    We pull our rigs that stay at the station out onto the ramp. Supposedly this is to prevent them from getting trapped inside if the station is damaged. Personally, I think this is kinda goofy. If the tornado is strong enough to damage the building, it's probably going to toss those rigs down the street.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    Moe, I guess we would just take shelter wherever we can at that moment. Never really talked about it.

    Yes, the Skywarn people are on the ball. I was here at work the other day when we had the Tomato warnings going on and they were chattin with people left and right about what was taking place. I walked over the one time and one of the guys was showing me on the radar what the concerned areas were and why. It was pretty neat.

    Last year when we were working at the Wood County Fair, we had a big storm roll through there with Tomato warnings and sightings. That was interesting. Trying to round up all of the citizens and get them to the shelter areas. We were soaked completely through our bunker gear down to the bone.** Tents were getting pulled up. Nasty stuff.

    ** Everyone of us from the FD were soaked except for 2 people who were scared hiding in one of the buildings........ I wasn't a happy camper after I found that out.....

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    Originally posted by firenresq77
    I was here at work the other day when we had the Tomato warnings going on and they were chattin with people left and right about what was taking place.

    we had a big storm roll through there with Tomato warnings and sightings.
    I'm sorry I just can't resist....TOMATO Warnings?....Must be close to lunch time up there
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    No, no........ I typed it correctly........ Tomato, Toronado, Tornado........they're all the same.........

    (Fire40man would get it. Kind of an inside thing, I guess)

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    Default hey pop! THere goes bessie! She's doin a hunerd!

    When I joined the dept. ff's had to go to the stations (had to set off the sirens manually) Low and behold the station that I reported to was almost directly under the 150' water tower. Not a great place to be in event of a tornado. Fortunately it wasn't too long that the systems were changed to be "remote" activated. Some may still go, but it is not recommended and may be out of old habits.
    YGBSM!
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    We have a place in the city each vehicle goes to to weather watch.
    Here is the procedure...........
    Section 35: Tornado Alert:
    35-1 General: Information concerning severe weather will be phoned to the dispatchers office by the Weather Bureau. In the event Phase 3 'tornado sited' of the Severe Weather procedure is sounded by the Weather Bureau, the dispatcher on duty will notify the Fire Chief of the confirmed tornado sighting.
    35-2 Upon receiving this information all city sirens will be sounded and
    information will be put over radio.
    35-3 trucks to be removed from station and sent to designated points:
    1. Truck 791 - to Gate 20 LOF
    2. Engine 790 - to Buck Road
    3 Engine 794 - to Station
    4. Engine 795 - to Bates Road & River Road
    5. Squad 792 - to End of Eagle Point Road
    6. Squad 793 - to Rossford Marina
    7. Squad 798 - to Station
    8. Chiefs Car - to Station
    **Mobile radios to be placed on channel 2, portable on channel 1.
    35-4 When the tornado alert is sounded, all firefighters and EMTís will respond to the station.
    35-5 The EMTís will be assigned to the different units so as to provide qualified medical personnel on each unit.
    35-6 If you spot a tornado, you will advise the dispatcher of the location and the direction of travel, if known.
    35-7 If the tornados path is headed for you, find a low area or ditch to place yourself until it passes.
    35-8 Downed wires or trees: In the event of high winds which cause downed wires or downed trees that impede road travel, you will be dispatched to the area to handle the problem.
    35-9 The Chief Officer in charge will be in Unit 796 and will try and respond to the area to assist you.
    35-10 The main object is to free the roadway of obstructions, not to clean it up completely.
    35-11 There is no way that we can predict what will happen and. therefore, this is a basic guideline to follow. The officer in charge of the unit will make the decisions that are necessary with the safety of all in mind.
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    Interesting post Chief, Its is kinda stupid for us to be out in tornado warning weather when everone else is taking shelter, what are you really going to do if there is a tornado. Everyone is well educated today on what to do during a tornado warning "take cover...duh", yet we are out in it putting ourselves in harms way. Who's going to take care of the problems if were all taken out or blown away? I think its nuts that if a tornado is headin' your way to take cover while your out on tornado lookout duty...yea right, I'll find a ditch to crawl in as everyone else is safe in a building or basement. Here we educate citizens to take cover, but the safety professionals are out in it...go figure. My department goes out also to lookout for funnel clouds, but I dont agree with it. I hope I dont become RowdyBrass"toto"Piper if one blows our way.

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    Ron, does TFRD still pull their rigs out and turn the lights and sirens on for tornado warnings? I remember 25's doing that when I was a kid and lived near there.
    Moe, Yes our procedure still has us doing this, but for only a couple of minutes. All stations are directed to stay in the building and take shelter as needed. None of us are really trained into what to look for anyway.

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