1. #1
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    Default How many is safe?

    An issue was brought to my attention and I was wanting to get some more views on it. When it comes to volunteer depts, is it appropriate or "safe" to respond to calls (of fire nature specifically, or any) with only 1 person? I know that volunteer depts can be limited, but what about areas that also have staffed depts as well? Just curious....

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    Lightbulb

    this may assist you in your query...........
    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...threadid=61800
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
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    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>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Originally posted by Weruj1
    this may assist you in your query...........
    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...threadid=61800
    Pardon me sir, but I respectfully disagree. the topic you are sending him to involves a department that has one member take the truck, and the rest of the department will meet him or her on scene. I believe the question here involves rolling an engine driver only, where you won't be getting additional manpower to assist.

    for EMS calls, if they are an EMT, yes, one person can handle the call.

    for all fire calls, unless the driver knows he will be getting additional help when he arrives, going with one is not safe
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    It all depends on what you plan to do when you get there and whether you have additional manpower enroute to the scene. Say your closest station has 3 trucks, a pumper, a tanker and and service. The first person to the station will grab the pumper and get enroute. The next person will hop behind the wheel of the tanker and follow. The third person can pick up the service truck and then radio dispatch that all trucks are enroute and everyone else can detour to the scene via POV. Our SOP states taht all FFs responding POV will park on the same side of the street as the fire at least 300 feet from the fire ground as far off the road as possible. They are then to bunker up and report to the IC.
    But what if you are in an understaffed rural department and are paged out for a structure fire during a weekday when it's very likely that you will be the only person responding. In that case, you pick up the first out pumper and get enroute. Get your dispatcher on the radio and ask for any and all mutual aid you may have ever used. When you arrive on scene park in a safe location, put the pump in gear and pull an attack line then do a scene survey and let dispatch know what you are facing. Bunker up and decide on a prudent course of action. Is the structure fully involved? You may only be able to stand by and watch it burn while using whatever water you have on the truck to protect nearby exposures and out buildings. In this case there's not much more you can do until more help arrives.
    Maybe you pull up to find the homeowner with a garden hose keeping a stove fire from spreading to the rest of the house. You pull your attack line to the door, kneel in the frame of the doorway and open up on the cabinets above the stove stopping it from spreading into the attic. The homeowner helps you carry the PPV fan to the doorway and while the fan blows the smoke out of the house you pull the shelves and cabinets off the wall and check for extension into the walls and ceiling. You let dispatch know what you find and decide wheter all of that mutual aid you called for is still necessary. You put your attack line away, pack the PPV fan back in it's compartment and start on the paperwork. When you have the forms done head back to the station and refill the truck, park it and drop the paperwork on the Chiefs desk. Sure it sucks that you were the only person to respond to the fire but that is the way it is in many rural communities. The few people who chose to join the department may not be available to join you on every call due to work or other committments.
    You do what you can within reason while protecting yourself. When citizens complain of the lack of manpower arriving at their emergencies inform them that you are always looking for additional members and they can drop by the station during any training or meeting and pick up an application.
    Good luck and be safe,
    Steve

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    I guess my own views are that even in EMS calls, if the driver is certified (EMT) then they can probably handle it until EMS arrives. On the other hand, even in small communities, do you get toned out to a fire or just any other call while returning to the station. They, what about wildland fires? You can't really assume that parking your POV on the same (or safest) side of the road is going to be your best option. My dept, even though we are PC volunteers, are not allowed to respond to to the scene of a call if adequate personell responded or if it will cause a hazard. Example, we can roll with 3 people on our rescue to all vehicle accidents in our county. We are not allowed to respond (or follow) our rescue to scene. EMS calls are allowed, and structure fires only if your POV will not interfere or cause a safety violation of the scene. Our conty dept is short of responders, and I can think of numerous times that they roll to vegi fires with one person. The only benefit I can see with that is to tie in with another engine at scene for water. To me, it might be useful but it could also "clutter" tight incidents and could also assume(to foreign depts responding at scene that are unfamiliar with local SOPs) that the incoming engine is fully staffed & now due to lack of personell, additional resources must be called from out of county? I'm sure it is different with each dept/county and I guess you could go round and round with this, but I was just curious how others felt on the subject. Anymore thoughts?

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    Question Pardon yourself ?

    Hey Dan .......where in his post did you find that ?> (that there was no one else responding ?)
    Last edited by Weruj1; 10-17-2004 at 12:18 PM.
    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
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    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>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Rather simple. 2 in 2 out. Anything less should not be considered safe.

    Dave

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    The determining factor in whether it is safe is not based on responding to the call, it is based on what you do once you arrive at the scene.

    First off, what's the alternative? Are you gojng to go home and forget it? Of course not. Somebody called because they need help, and somebody (your 1 guy) had better do something. He doesn't have to do something unsafe, but he has to do something. Besides, guaranteed somebody saw you show up at the station and somebody's going to want to know why nobody went to the call. You defintiely don't want to be the guy that has to answer the news reporter when he sticks a camera in your face and asks you why you stayed at the station while Mrs. Smith's house burned down.

    So, what's your 1 guy to do? Call for additional help. And keep calling until he gets enough. In the meantime, he can head to the scene and do what he can safely do. There are any number of things that 1 person can safely do at a fire.

    Maybe there's somebody collapsed on the front lawn he can provise first aid for.
    Maybe he can get the hoselines stretched to the front door. Maybe he can establish a water supply from the nearest hydrant.
    Maybe he can get escape ladders placed.
    Maybe all he can do is climb on top of the truck and aim the deck gun in the general direction of the fire.

    None of these jobs require any minimum number of people. And ANY of them are better than not showing up at all. As long as your people are disciplined enough not to do something they shouldn't, things will be safe. 2 IN, 2 OUT does not HAVE to apply.

    In any case, he can safely have things done outside, so that when adequate personnel arrive, they're that much more ready.

    Have your 1 guy respond. Just make sure he's been trained well enough to know what to do and what NOT to do.
    Last edited by TWEJFD; 10-17-2004 at 09:54 PM.
    TW
    Essex Junction Fire Dept.
    Vermont

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    Sorry, duplicate post
    Last edited by TWEJFD; 10-17-2004 at 09:55 PM.
    TW
    Essex Junction Fire Dept.
    Vermont

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    I think there's too many variables to really answer this question. One person may manage to accomplish some things at 9 out of 10 calls but that 10th one can get you.

    Even on EMS calls, one person can get overwhelmed. I work as an industrial EMT and there is only one of us per shift. I can't tell you how many times I've needed a partner to help.

    Like TWEJFD stated though, not responding is not really an alternative either.

    If a department is in this situation they should strongly consider automatic mutual aid with a neighboring department. My department utilizes it weekdays from 0600-1630 for several call types and 24/7 for structure fires. It has worked out very well for us.


    Good luck and stay safe.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    Default with all due respect to Weruj1

    Originally posted by MPUD22
    When it comes to volunteer depts, is it appropriate or "safe" to respond to calls (of fire nature specifically, or any) with only 1 person? I know that volunteer depts can be limited, but what about areas that also have staffed depts as well?
    I interpret this statement to mean that the call is going to be handled by that one person on the truck. because he then says that vol departments can be limited, I think he means because of short staffing, the truck is responding driver only.

    to have a department where people respond directly to the scene and have a driver respond by himself is one thing. at least then if you are driver only, you are expecting additional assistance from members when you arrive on scene.

    it is much different if you are responding driver only due to lack of manpower. in that case, you are going to be the only one on scene, and your not expecting anyone else to show up. your nearest help might be the nearest mutual aid company.

    two very different situations, but only the author can clarify it. however, I still think he is asking about the second one.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

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    No less that 4 on any appliance over here or it does'nt leave the station. I know it harder to do in practice in many areas, but theres very little you can do at a persons reported house fire if 3 people arrive in 3 different trucks.
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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