1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    SteveDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,254

    Default How do you define busy???

    How do you define busy??

    In the UK everyone tends to use the London Fire Brigade as a benchmark. After Tokyo then New York City London has the biggest Fire Department.

    I guess from looking on these forums people do the same with FDNY

    Tokyo is a very Fire Safe city so despite being a massive department they do not face the issues of those other large ‘World’ Cities London and New York.

    Both have around 8,000,000 people inhabiting the city. New York is smaller than London which at 620sq miles is almost double New York’s 321sq miles, making NYC a much more densely populated city.

    FDNY has approx 12,000 staff responding from 225 Fire Stations they respond to 402,970 emergencies in 2003 take off the 173,694 EMS responses by the Fire Crews this leaves a figure of 229,276 responses broken down to Structure fires 27,105 Non structure fires 24,015 other non fire emergencies 178,156.

    LFB has approx 7000 staff that respond from 112 Stations. Calls are broken down differently but the 300,000 calls taken by the LFB Control (Dispatch) tuned into 182,069 responses 134,167 of these were to fire, where 76,764 were false alarms either from AFA’s or good intent and malicious calls by persons. 47,902 were non fire emergencies 57,402 were fires with 28,216 reported as Structure fires.

    New York has more than 3 and a half times the calls as London to ‘Non Fire Emergencies’ how can this be…what happens in NYC that much more than in London?

    Fires on the other hand are much more similar with London just beating FDNY on overall fires and again on structure fires. But there is a clear link there I guess in an average year 8,000,000 people from a variety of socio economic background have roughly 50-60,000 fires!!! (One fire per 133 people per year!!)

    So, these Cities pretty much have it all which is I guess why they are used as good barometers (much to the chagrin of those outside of these FD’s from experience)
    But how do you define busy…here I can only look at my own examples.

    In London we class calls numbers depending on incidents not on vehicle turnouts. So a call comes in that turns out both pumps at a Station are classed as one call. Some other UK FD’s will count every vehicle movement as a call or turnout.(if a Station had 2000 calls and both turned out to each call they would class this as 4000 calls where London would only class it at 2000 calls.

    We then look at what is actually busy.

    Some central Stations have up to 8000 calls but most of these are alarms to offices, & hotels, occasional rubbish fires and the odd fire in an office, Restaurant or Apartment. Often responding to only 250 fires from the 8000 calls, these Stations justifiably call themselves busy, but we in the inner city ghetto areas think they are only busy retting alarm panels on AFA’s.

    In the inner City Stations where ‘I grew up’ as a Fireman we are a lot quieter for calls, responding to maybe 3-4000 calls per year broken down to 1000 fires with a quarter of them being structures the remainder rubbish, cars an other outdoor fires. There are a few that hit maybe 3 or 400 structure fires but these are in the last remaining, fast shrinking ghettos as Property and building space is an absolute premium. These areas are where the ‘good’ fires happen. 4,6,8 pump Fires (2nd/3rd Alarm) in Old Factories, derelict Buildings, tenements, Smaller industrial units, most of which are fought offensively

    Then there are the outer Stations, usually responding to 2000 calls or less, they tend to have a lot of Road Traffic Accident work on the faster roads, very few property Fires as these are the more affluent areas and lots of grass fires in the summer months. However these also cover most of the large industrial sites and warehousing areas. So although they don’t have many fires, these are where a lot of the big Make ups (20/25 pumps-4th/5th Alarm) jobs happen, although these tend to be defensive ‘surround and drown’ jobs.

    So London like New York is a justifiably proud Big City FD with a brave and ‘crusty’ history. We look back to World War two where most of the city burned night after night during the blitz, then on to the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s where we had a mini Blitz caused by disorder, poverty and desperation not unlike FDNY’s War years but not quite as bad as life in places like the South Bronx.

    Today we are still busy but nowhere near as busy... As a Department we attend far more calls but nowhere near the amount of good jobs…. I guess that thankfully Smoke Alarms, better education, Central Heating and more affluence make this happen… I can remember wearing SCBA in fires in and around my first Station with far more regularity than the young London Ff of today.

    Now we have to look at regional Cities that are really having a hard time of it…Places like Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds do not have the benefit of ‘World City Status’ like London. Some areas of these Cities are REAL no-go ghettos. There are street after street of derelict houses, shopping precincts where the shopkeepers gave up years ago. Crime and disorder are rife along with drugs and poverty.

    Now us ‘Big City’ Dudes in London don’t look so good. There are Fire Stations in these places that are going out around 8 or 9000 times each year and half of them are fires. I spent a couple of days (unofficially) in one of those Cities this autumn, I felt like I was ‘living’ in Report from Engine Co82. From when I arrived at Midday the Station was out of the doors, we had car fires, derelict house fires, a classroom of a school burnt out while the school day was still on. There was a fight between rival gangs while we attended a fire in a Building used as a ‘Crack Den’ the whole deal.

    I only rode as an observer, but left with my ‘Big City’ Tail between my legs having taken my hat of to the brothers and Sisters in the regional Cities.

    So, is this the same in the US? What do you class as busy, do the big Cities still hold all of the records or do the Firefighters in the Run Down, left behind industrial towns now take the honours???




    So, what is your take on Busy and where does that happen in the US?
    Steve Dude
    IACOJ member
    www.fireservice.co.uk

    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Plugmedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Maybe you folks in London do not call the fire department to come out for simple things.
    I have been out on...
    *Kid locked in car
    *Rat in Toilet
    *Can't drain my pool
    *Medical check for the 3 year old. Toilet seat dropped on his penis...
    *I think I smell a gas leak. Coming from inside my refrigerator
    In San Francisco it is busy and dense Like NY. Downtown engines run from one call to another on a daily bases. Ny or LA, or any other major metro any has the same problems.
    Jason S. - SFFD
    Local 798

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,120

    Default

    One fire per 133 people per year!!

    Funny thing is...that's just about where our numbers are, too. District ranges from upper middle class (the 3rd highest "ranking" politician in the state -- the Senate President pro-tem, lives in our district...) to areas that have a State Police "Community Quality of Life" Task force assigned -- read counter-heroin. At least while we have such issues, we don't have the "scale" of drug problems of cities like Hartford or Bridgeport. Pretty average cross-section, pretty average fire load. Of course, the raw numbers of calls is much less as we have like 1/1000th the population!

    I don't know a good answer to Steve's question...I guess I tend to think of some of small, collapsed inner-city areas like Bridgeport, CT; Camden, NJ, and Gary, IN -- places that poverty and post-industrial "grittyness" haven't yet been replaced with an urban rebirth.
    IACOJ Canine Officer
    20/50

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    Plug has the idea. People in the UK probably dont call 911 (or whatever the emergency number is over there) for EVERY thing you can think of, and more that you cant. With out the numbers in front of me to look at, I would say 7 out of 10 "calls" we get are not even close to being an "emergency". Its crazy what people call us for. I dont know how this contry survived and managed to develope before 911

    Dave

  5. #5
    Forum Member
    HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    with all due respect to FDNY and the LFD, but I don't you should limit a busy fire department to big city departments.

    busy really means runs per house or per engine, not per agency. from an EMS standpoint, so you might find agencies that are running 7 and 8 thousand calls a year, but will only be running 3 ambulances. a friend of mine rides with Jersey City EMS, and in a 12 hours shift, his ambulance gets something like 20 run. I think Newark (University Hospital EMS), NJ holds the record for bussiest EMS agency in the US. They might not have the highest number of total EMS runs in the US, but rather PER ambulance, or the number of total calls divided by the total number of units that are available to take the calls.
    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

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    SteveDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,254

    Default


    Brilliant, just the type of debate I wanted to get started....

    Maybe you folks in London do not call the fire department to come out for simple things.
    Yep, they do...although clealry not as much....Personls locked out, kids with heads in things, cats up trees, keys down drains...the list goes on... I think our Control do quite a good job in deflecting a lot of the rubbish which is how our 300,000 calls only turn into 182,000 responses.

    The London Ambulance Service get ridiculously abused... they get 1.5 Million calls each year many of which are an absolute disgusting waste of Paramedics time... Can you collect a prescription, I have a splinter, I have a toothache, I feel like I have a cold coming on... are among those that were advertised by the LAS in a big campaign to cut waste calls.

    with all due respect to FDNY and the LFD, but I don't you should limit a busy fire department to big city departments
    Exactly my point, like I said I have been to regional Cities that have maybe 10 Station in a city and another 20 or so in the remaining towns and villages in that County.

    Some of the Stations in these poor regional Cities are working like nothing we have ever seen. Thousands of fires in a drab, run down disaffected community. Stations that are hitting well over 5000 runs with a good proprtion of them being Working jobs.

    I don't know a good answer to Steve's question...I guess I tend to think of some of small, collapsed inner-city areas like Bridgeport, CT; Camden, NJ, and Gary, IN -- places that poverty and post-industrial "grittyness" haven't yet been replaced with an urban rebirth.
    This is exactly what made me question my 'Big City' View. I see photographs on this site of places like Dal has mentioned and think...these places are where it is happening in the 21st Century. I had my few days in a rough City in Northern England this year, maybe when I go to NYC next year I'll stay and extra couple of days and pop across to Camden NJ.
    Last edited by SteveDude; 12-12-2004 at 02:56 PM.
    Steve Dude
    IACOJ member
    www.fireservice.co.uk

    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    RFD1067's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Riverside Ca.
    Posts
    157

    Default

    I know some fire departments,ONLY respond to fire's,where as many fire departments and i know for a fact that here on the west coast in Southern California fire departments are pretty much the catch all for any type of call,medical aids,traffic collisions,vegetation fires,structure fires,haz mats,you name it we probably respond to it.I would say that fire responses are probably only 5% to 10% of our total responses for a year.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    gfdtrk4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    The southern shore of beautiful Lake Michigan
    Posts
    250

    Thumbs up Come for a tour

    Steve, If you plan on being in the area...... I can give you the "Nickle" tour of beautiful Gary, IN (Drum roll please)
    For 10 years......THE Murder capitol of the U.S.A.

    We do not do ems assist, so we don't do the volume most places do.
    My personal record for runs in a 24 shift is 7... no ems, no car fires, no m.v.c.'s .....(Truck Co.) 7 working fires (mostly vacants).
    FTM-PTB
    trk4

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Division 24
    Posts
    4,360

    Default

    I can vouch for Gary. There has been quite an increase in the number of fires to the west of the city founded by U.S. Steel too. Towns like Hammond and across the State line into Illinois.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  10. #10
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I can't say much for the Fire Side, but here we run aout 7000 EMS calls a year with 2 ALS ambulances 24/7. My boss tells us we're not productive enough. I try to convince him that, per unit hour, we have to be one of the busiest agencies around, but to no avail.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber
    SteveDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,254

    Default

    For 10 years......THE Murder capitol of the U.S.A.
    gfd, funny you say that... I just got moved to another Borough (Battalion) at the beginning of November. The Station (Homerton, N.E London) is in Homerton High Street known locally as 'Murder mile' the Chief I took over from retired and as I came into my new office he's left a news paper headline pinned to the noticeboard...

    "Official; Hackney is now more dangerous than Soweto"

    I remembered the story, the Borough of Hackney is where most gun crime in the UK is comitted between rival 'Yardie' drug gangs. Homerton is the eastern part of the borough where most of it occurs!!!

    Coincidentally this is the area where US artist Margaret Muller was brutally murdered whilst taking a morning jog.
    Last edited by SteveDude; 12-12-2004 at 04:23 PM.
    Steve Dude
    IACOJ member
    www.fireservice.co.uk

    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

  12. #12
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    10

    Default

    My Station is still fairly busy, Tottenham in North London is one of the Stations that still do quite a bit. We always pick up a wide variety of stuff. Enough fires to keep us happy and enough rubbish and false calls to get us down.

    The older hands still go on about how busy it was here in the 80's with the broadwater farm Riots and so on. The 70's were quiet ggod to but Tottenham was a nicer area in the 50's and 60's when some on the east end Stations were full of slums and had a lot of fires.

    We did have one of the biggest peacetime fires here though, a Fire at bambergers Timber yeard in the 60's that was something like 50 pumps!!!

    I saw a film about a Fire Station in New jersey on a cable channel last year, they seemed to pick up a lot of fires, but i don't know how long it was fimed over... I think it was near New york?? or am i miles off here!!!

  13. #13
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Cool And Now This.........................

    Stop me if you've heard this before.

    Prince Georges County, Maryland.
    Population 850,000
    Area 443 Square Miles
    47 Stations
    91 Engines
    24 Ladder/Truck/Towers
    14 Heavy Rescue Squads
    14 ALS Ambulances
    49 BLS Ambulances
    Bunch of Support Stuff, HazMat, Bomb Squad, Tech Rescue, Marine, etc.
    700 Career Personell
    3,100 Volunteers of all types
    310,000 Responses (Individual units) in 2003
    122,000 Incidents, 80% Medical Related.

    Busy? We think so. We do EVERYTHING here, Fire, Rescue, EMS, Even the Bomb Squad is a Fire Department operation, instead of the Police. I think we do bombs because it's too dangerous for the Cops.... But, from a customer service standpoint, no one else can do what we do, and do it in an efficient, cost effective manner.
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    235

    Default

    I once was assigned to a ladder company that would be considered moderately busy, if you only look at run reports. One ladder company had almost twice as many runs as we had. The statistic that I found interesting was "Breathing Air Used" from the department's annual report. We used twice as much breathing air as any other company (other than rescues) even though they had twice as many runs. The fact that we had so many working fires actually worked against us for the run statistics. There were many times when we weren't available for runs because we were too busy fighting fire and wrapping up the scene.

    We never said anything when the busy companies bragged about how busy they were. We knew that we got to fight more fire than they would ever see and occasionally, we even got to sleep through the night. That never happened for the "busy" companies.

    My point is run statistics only tell you how many times a rig leaves the station. They don't give any indication of what happens on the run.

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber
    SteveDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,254

    Default

    hwoods...Now that is a busy department. They are going to bring EMS into the UK Fire Service...god help us with that level of work.

    HM6040H
    This is the argument we have with the 8/9000 central Stations... Quality and not Quantity!!!

    "We couldn't fit 8000 calls in with the time we spend on jobs" and a load of B/S along those lines!!!
    Steve Dude
    IACOJ member
    www.fireservice.co.uk

    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    5,213

    Default

    It's hard to say what constitutes "busy"...... Is it runs per population, runs per square mile?

    If you look at Harve's numbers.........

    122K runs / 850K people = .14 runs per person

    122K runs / 443 square mile = 275 runs per square mile

    Now if you compare that to the numbers for our FD.......

    900 runs / 5500 people = .16 runs per person

    900 runs / 7 square miles = 128 runs per square mile

    Now, it's hard to compare it to the population, because most places have a large difference between the number of citizens vs. the number of people that may be in the city at any given time due to employers, tourism, merchants, etc......

  17. #17
    Truckie
    SPFDRum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    2,516

    Default

    I remembered the story, the Borough of Hackney is where most gun crime in the UK is comitted between rival 'Yardie' drug gangs. Homerton is the eastern part of the borough where most of it occurs!!!
    Gun crime! Tell me it isn't so Steve, your gun control laws are held up as a shining examples of civilized eutopia here in the US by the liberals.
    Tell me that bad guys aren't still able to get guns in the UK and use them for crime?
    OK, done busting your chops, Brother. Had to get up on the soap box just for a brief moment!

    With such a large department, how are you assigned to a station? Do you tramp through them all during the probation period? Or are you assigned right out of training?
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

  18. #18
    Truckie
    SPFDRum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    2,516

    Default

    St. Paul, MN breakdown;

    Population (2000)- 287,151
    Total Area- 55.44 sqare miles
    Total Runs (2003)- 38,550, both fire and EMS.

    .13 runs per person
    695.3 runs per square mile

    Served by:
    16 Stations
    17 Engines
    7 Trucks
    2 Rescue Squads
    11 ALS rigs that are dual staffed by 11 corresponding engines.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

  19. #19
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,618

    Default

    Busy is a relative thing I guess ...

    I remember one day I was taking a class in rural Vermont and happened to wander by the fire station in the town I was staying in, and started a conversation with the older gentleman standing there ... he told me that last year thier calls "had shot through the roof and they were busy as all heck" .... he then told me, proud as peaches, that they had gone from 14 runs to 19 for the year .. and then he added "we're doing just fine now running as much as we are now". I have been there .. and done that.

    My department does about 1400 runs for the year ... piece of cake.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    DuBois, IL - just south of I-64 in the middle of the state
    Posts
    2,041

    Default

    La, that was good. We're kind of like that. Cover 100 sq. miles and if we have over 10 runs (both fire & 1st Responder medical) a month, we're busy. We're about at the 19 fire runs a year if you count grass & brush fires with the 6 or so structures. We only had 4 runs in October so we weren't busy that month. November was 15 so we were busy in November. Country life is good sometimes.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

    FLATLANDERS FOREVER!

  21. #21
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    78

    Default

    I read an audit done by a private company that evaluates fire departments for budget issues. The figures they use: anything over 3,000-4,000 runs per year for a rig (24 hours) is considered to be close to "saturation". If a medic rig runs 12-20 calls per day, with say 10-12 transports, they would be fairly busy, depending on how long the transport takes (counting on-scene time, transport and returning to district could easily be an hour or more). Some rigs in the inner city only transport for 1-5 minutes, so they can run more calls.
    If an engine runs 10-15 calls per shift, with 1 or 2 fires, that would be a fairly busy day.
    This is typical for stations in our area of the Pacific Northwest.
    "Don't just do something, stand there!!!"

  22. #22
    MembersZone Subscriber
    SteveDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    1,254

    Default

    .
    Gun crime! Tell me it isn't so Steve, your gun control laws are held up as a shining examples of civilized eutopia here in the US by the liberals.
    Oh yeah...those are the same liberals who have watered down our Laws so much that Crime in the UK is soaring out of control... Violent binge drinking and fighting in most town centres of a night. Street crime epidemics to fuel drug habits. Becuase of soft laws in school youngsters are out of control laying areas to siege making them no go , even for Fire & police unless they respond in big numbers....

    Guns, they are not to bad, but as i said there is a lot of gun cime involving the Gangs from jamaica in places such as London, Birmingham, Nottingham (where a 14 YO girl was killed in a drive by recently)

    The real problem is the knife culture...most inner city kids think it is 'cool' to carry a knife, and they are prepaered to use them....

    Why do you think 54% of the indiginous UK population want to leave for the US, Australia, Spain etc...hey, shove over and make a little room on that Pumper for me!!!

    Anyway, back on topic.

    With such a large department, how are you assigned to a station? Do you tramp through them all during the probation period? Or are you assigned right out of training?
    No, you are assigned, usually somewhere in the vague direction of where you live. Then it is up to you to transfer if you want. promotion usually brings change, people tend to 'act up' from time to time on their own watch (shift) but move on when they get promoted proper
    Last edited by SteveDude; 12-13-2004 at 04:02 AM.
    Steve Dude
    IACOJ member
    www.fireservice.co.uk

    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

  23. #23
    Forum Member
    VinnieB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    On the couch in my skivvies
    Posts
    2,316

    Default

    Originally posted by DrParasite

    I think Newark (University Hospital EMS), NJ holds the record for bussiest EMS agency in the US. They might not have the highest number of total EMS runs in the US, but rather PER ambulance, or the number of total calls divided by the total number of units that are available to take the calls.

    Nope.....we did 1.3 million runs last year.....and thank the good lord that we can't work past 16 hours. A few Tour 2 Bronx and Manhattan buses average 20 runs in a 12 hour period.......when I worked on 18E and 19I....15 was considered an easy night...
    IACOJ Member

  24. #24
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    566

    Default

    LA, what town was that?

    I'd guess Roxbury, maybe Island Pond?

  25. #25
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    123

    Default

    Since the basic question was asked..

    The degree of activity in a given Fire Department can be calculated in a variety of ways. Most statiticians will concede that an equitable manner of measuring emergency activity is a time-based calculation of "Emergency Hours Worked" rather than incidents or responses.

    Brian
    Please no e-mail. Public replies only. Thank you!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register