Thread: "Reduced Speed"

  1. #1
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    Nov 2002

    Default "Reduced Speed"

    I am a Captain in a Large County Fire Department. I am currently on a work group trying to reduce collisions in our department. I am looking for information specific to "Reduced Speed" Response to emergencies. I am also looking for examples of Policies and Procedures from other departments. If you can provide me direction either through links to department sites or comments, it would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    len1582's Avatar
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    Feb 2002


    It might be St. Louis that has a policy where only the first due company goes lights and siren while the other companies (I don't know what they send on a reported structure fire) respond at a more reduced rate and might even stop at red lights until they change. If the company reports a W/F everyone steps it up. I have mixed feelings about that.Instead of the first company giving a report of nothing showing and everyong turning it down a notch, it's hurry up we have a fire. That's just me.
    Without putting blame on the drivers,have you looked at what most accidents involve. Is it during rush hour with extra traffic, late at night around bar closing time,etc.

  3. #3
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    Bones42's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
    Pt. Beach, NJ


    Our policy is a full response until an officer is on scene and determines less of a response is needed. Our policy also states we don't exceed the posted speed limits anyway. Our reduced response is minus sirens and not travelling through red lights. Of course, having a longest travel distance of only 2 miles helps.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  4. #4
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    E229Lt's Avatar
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    May 2000


    We transmit a 10-20 when determined by the officer on scene. All responding units then shut down the horns, sirens and lights and procede following all VTL.

  5. #5
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    Jan 1999
    Blackwood NJ, USA


    Most alarm systems
    Odors outside of buildings
    CO detectors
    wires down
    highway hazard
    service calls
    cover assignments
    All reduced speed (no lights/sirens and travel with traffic)

    Emergency Speed - Any fire, medical runs and any other incident where the report indicates an emergency exists. Officers may upgrade or downgrade based on the report.

    This policy has been in effect for about 5 years and has worked well, the officers and members usually make smart calls.

  6. #6
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    SafetyPro's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
    Santa Cruz, CA


    We respond Code 3 (lights and sirens) to anything that could potentially be an emergency, which includes fire/smoke alarm calls, hazmat incidents, gas leaks, fuel spills, etc. Things like water leaks, public assist (usually boarding up after PD forces entry), and other non-emergency calls are Code 2 (no lights and sirens).

    Medical calls are always Code 3 on the response unless dispatch specifically tells us its a Code 2 response. On the transport, we only go Code 3 if there's an immediate life threat (arrest, uncontrolled bleeding, severe respiratory distress, etc.) and that's the patient care person's call. Everything else is a Code 2 transport.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  7. #7
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    Dave1983's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    Gator Country


    On automatic fire alarms, the first due Engine runs emergency (lights/sirens) all other units run non-emergency (no lights/sirens). This can be changed to all units respond emergency depending on information given enrout. This does not apply to water flow alarms (all units emergency).

    We also have a reduced response for smoke odors in a structure (no smoke seen) overheated appliances, etc. In place of 3 Engines, 1 truck, 1 heavy rescue and a DC (normal structure response), we run 2 engines and the DC (all emergency).

    We respond non emergency to service calls, ie a water leak, and people stuck in elevators with no complaints of medical distress.

    As for EMS calls, our county uses the national EMD cards for level of response. I would say about 30% of our EMS runs end up as non emergency.


  8. #8
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    Mar 2003
    S. Jersey/Northern Delaware


    We'll declare an "Under Control" as soon as it's determined that there is no fire at a location. - With our County, Under Control indicates that apparatus enroute to the scene de-activates warning devices and returns to quarters. - Apparatus that was preparing to respond remains in quarters.

    EMS Here is a little diffrent - Calls that are coded "Alpha" Responses are No Lights or Siren {or COLD as we call 'em} and proceed with traffic - "Alpha" would be General Malise{Sick} Persons, Fractures, Dislocations, Minor Cuts/Lacerations...That sort of thing. "Bravo", "Charlie", and "Delta" Runs are potential to serious life threats and are a L/S Response...."Echo" is either a Rescue for C.P.R. or Rescue for Ineffective Breathing Responses to those are L/S.

    Running "COLD" to the minor emergencies has reduced accidents involving EMS Units here -

  9. #9
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    Mar 2004


    It is ultimately the officers discretion but our policy states that it is a non-emergency response to fire alarms in residential structures. The amount of actual valid alarms is was dictates this response. 99 out of a 100 were false and we saw no need to respond emergency to save 30 or 45 seconds. Our commercial response is emergency unless is a repeat offender then they get the slow and easy.

    Re-evaluateing the driving practices may also be a good idea. Some people do not have the composure to drive emergency. Hell, I have some guys that scare the hell out me. Also, certain routes may be more prone to events also. Taking a diferent may may save some potential problems. And lastly, try to avoid driving through parking lots (non-emergency or emergency) if you can. People do not pay attention as well as we would like and obstructed views are inviting disaster.

  10. #10

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    Jun 2004


    We run a code 3(lights and sirens) on all runs that are potential serious emergencies( medicals, structure fires, brush fires, accidents w/ injuries and w/ entrapment, etc.). A line officer on scene or the OIC on the first in truck can transmit a 10-22(Cancel response and return to quarters) if there's nothing.

    We don't respond lights and sirens to things like flooded basements, bats in houses(Always fun with the tennis racket!), wires down, CO2 calls w/ no symptoms, etc.

    We've also installed traffic pre-emption devices(those jewels that switch the traffic lights to green in your direction and red in all others) on all stop lights in high traffic and high hazard areas. They've really cut back on our 'close calls' and fender benders in those areas.
    "What a WACKER!"

    "When in doubt, pull the 2 1/2."

    "Here junior, reach out the window and put that redlight on the roof...That's right, hawaii Five-O style! Get it on!"

  11. #11
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    Weruj1's Avatar
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    Dec 1999
    NW Ohio


    we run AFA first unit code 3 ..........other units code 2 . on Co alarms if no one is ill then it is code 2, if ill code 3. Still workin on a few others however.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from> 115

  12. #12
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    Apr 2004
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana


    Its good to hear that SOMEBODY is thinking and finally saying "it's not my emergency". I have been talking and talking the last 10 years about why we run 4 or 5 or 6 pieces of equipment code 3 to something that ....
    a) probably isn't an emergency ... example of that are
    structural fire alarms - I garuntee you that if you
    analyze your records you will find that less (in some
    cases WELL less) than 5 percent of your building alarms
    are fires. If you look even furthur you will probably
    find that most of your buildings with fire alarm
    systems also have sprinkler systems .. which are
    98% effective in extingushing fires. So what's the damn
    hurry, especially at those frequent flyers that we
    all have ???
    b) things that we can't do anything about ... a perfect
    example of this is the always popular transformer fire
    or wires down. I doubt any of us does anything at these
    runs .. and if we do .. its after the arrival of the
    power company.... So what's the damn hurry.
    c) is already burned up ... perfect example here is the
    fully envolved car fire or that well envolved abandoned
    vacant building. Its already gone .. so why the
    hell are we risking lives with companies still
    responding code 3. Heck we're gonna be there
    awhile .. especially with that that 3 story
    wood frame so relax and downgrade...
    Just my thoughts.

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