1. #1
    Forum Member
    backdraft663's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio Area
    Posts
    865

    Default What would you do?

    The current weather conditions are Strong storms, and the county you are in currently has a Tornado Warning, centered around your town. Your Department gets toned out for a structure fire. What do you do, respond? Wait out the storm? I was just wondering, since we had some bad storms yesterday, and it got me thinking.
    Ryan

    I.A.C.O.J. Probie

    You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

    Lets not forget those lost on 9-11-01

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    arhaney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Wren, MS Until the forum gremlins pay a visit!
    Posts
    1,448

    Default

    Good question..........We were toned out to a structure fire the other day during a severe thunderstorm. Wasn't a lot of fun! I would have to say respond.
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    IACOJ
    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
    FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
    1946-2005
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    RLFD14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    562

    Default

    Respond with due caution. Obviously if the twister is ripping through town and too close to you, hold back, but otherwise go. Tornados generally (but not always) follow the heaviest rain but are not usually *in* the rain. If you can't see much because of the downpour, it probably isn't going to jump out of the rain and get you, either. After the rain/hail passes, keep your eyes sharp!

    Are your members also weather spotters? When I lived in Nebraska all firefighters on my department were trained spotters. We once had the crap beat out of our ambulance when it had to respond while golf ball hail was falling, but cosmetic damage should take a back seat to fire and life safety. We wore our helmets!

    Spotter training is generally free, takes about four hours on one night and has a no-brainer test. Do a web search for "skywarn" + your state or municipality and I bet you'll be able to get more info. Now is a good time, too, as Skywarn classes usually wrap up by the end of May, there may still be time to get into one near you.
    Last edited by RLFD14; 04-24-2005 at 12:32 AM.

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    arhaney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Wren, MS Until the forum gremlins pay a visit!
    Posts
    1,448

    Default

    RLFD14, Good point about Skywarn. I remember the following link from our local NWS office, like you said, do a search. The class is available online from the NWS.

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/meg/spotter/index.html
    Last edited by arhaney; 04-24-2005 at 12:40 AM.
    Chief
    Wren Volunteer Fire Department
    IACOJ
    Southern Division

    http://www.wrenfiredepartment.4t.com/

    In Memory of:
    FireFighter/Pilot James Archer
    1946-2005
    "Rest in peace James, you now have the ultimate set of wings on you."

    Thanks, LeuitEFDems

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Fertile Mn
    Posts
    38

    Default yes and no

    Part of me is saying that yes you should respond because its your duty to the community. The other part of me is saying no because I'm going home at the end of my shift, and if it means me not going to a fire because of tonardos i'm not going. Also on the other hand a tonardo warning doesn't necessarly mean that there is a tonardo on the ground, it simply means that spoters have spotted a funnel cloud. They don't always touch down. But if it did touch down nothing is saying that you can't go to the neighbors house and get into the basement. But if i did know for sure that the tonardo was on the grond i would with no doubt in my mind wait until the storm passed and take the heat for it later because i went home the next day.

    Stay Safe

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    RLFD14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: yes and no

    Originally posted by plhansen84
    it simply means that spoters have spotted a funnel cloud.
    Sometimes not even that much.... NWS will often call warnings based on radar data alone even with no "trained" eyeballs on the sky. Not trying to say one shouldn't take every warning seriously, but keep it in context. Tornado warning means (a) tornado is on ground, (b) tornado is forming, or (c) tornado is very likely to form. In (b) and (c) chances are good that there won't be a touchdown - but you still want to be heading to the basement just to be safe.

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    Dave1983's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Gator Country
    Posts
    4,157

    Default

    Im in Fla, the lightning capital of the USA and a place known for frequent, intense storms. My county has a rather elaborate weather warning system. Our dispatch center actualy gets a direct feed from several local weather radars and lighting detection systems, as well as "hot lines" to the NWS, the national huricanne center and NOAA. In addition to radio, up to the minute storm updates can be sent right to the IC's pager or mobile computer.

    While I dont expect everyone to have this available, here are a couple ideas that we use that should be easy enough for even a small department.

    During storms, your department should have someone assigned to monitor any and all weather information. Have a TV on either a local news channel or the Weather Channel as well as bringing up local radar on the computer. Also have one of the NWS alert radios that you can buy at Radio Shack. Perhaps even make arrangements with your local NWS office. Set up a direct phone line, or at least have the phone number handy.

    As for the question, I would say respond to the fire as long as you dont have a report of a twister on the ground. But keep an eye on the sky, perhaps even leave someone behind to continue watching the TV/computer radar who can radio updates to your IC.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 04-24-2005 at 09:08 AM.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
    RUSH-Tom Sawyer

    Success is when skill meets opportunity
    Failure is when fantasy meets reality

  8. #8
    dazed and confused
    Resq14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,993

    Default

    www.emergencye.com

    Sign up - no bs ads, reliable, free, and only pertinent watches and warnings (and other info you can opt to receive).

    I've been using it for over a year with great results. There is hardly any time delay in receiving alerts.
    God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
    Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
    Click this to search FH Forums!

  9. #9
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Long View NC
    Posts
    7

    Smile

    As if the storm is bad enough, yet to have a family saying don't go, but yet you want to go. So I load the family up and take them with me to the station. At least it easier on me to know that they will be taken care of.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ChiefReason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!
    Posts
    5,636

    Default

    You go!
    The fire isn't going to wait until the weather lets up.
    CR
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    4caster's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Loraine, Illinois
    Posts
    259

    Default

    First off, it's good to see a lot of you willing to take time to do some spotting for the communities you serve. For those of you that are a little uncomfortable, that's ok. We don't expect you to take the engine on a collision course with a big storm. At the same time, can you stick your head outside the door and see what's going on? That's all it takes to be a spotter. Just tell us, and I mean the NWS, but I lump in those other idiot weatherguys, what's happening in one spot.
    Second, with no disrespect intended to the post;
    "Tornados generally (but not always) follow the heaviest rain but are not usually *in* the rain. If you can't see much because of the downpour, it probably isn't going to jump out of the rain and get you, either."
    If you are in the rain-wrapped part of the storm, you may very well be driving right into the monster. I remember a Spotter tape where a "yahoo", you would call them a "whacker" was driving in intense rain, and all of a sudden, the rain broke, and a huge twister was making a b-line right towards him. A few explicits came out, and back he went through the rain again. The point I am trying to make is that a tornado has a sick twisted sense of humor, no pun intended. It will find you if you aren't aware of it.
    Finally, to the original post. Use extreme caution. Gear up, assess the situation, check the radar and see where the storm is. Basis supercell characteristics are that the tornado is in the Southwest quadrant of the storm. If you are on the north part of the county and the cell is focused on the south part, you're probably safe. If closer, use judgement. It's a tough call.

    BAClair(and sorry for the book-response)
    Last edited by 4caster; 04-24-2005 at 07:33 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Syracuse , NY
    Posts
    138

    Default

    As a friend of mine in the Coast Guard says " You have to go out,you don't have to come back".

    How could you not go?

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    478

    Default

    You respond, we went out to a house fire during Ivan (we are east of the track) Rain and wind ,called for the power co. _ - - _ to cut power, it was about 2000 they said they would be out to cut power in the morning We pulled out about midnight PULLED OUT tanker, and an engine they were stuck in the mud.
    Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!

  14. #14
    Forum Member
    MetalMedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    The Home of Smucker's Jelly
    Posts
    1,266

    Default

    I have actually experienced this. I think your response would be based upon what kind of a structure you were being sent to and what the initial report was. In our case, it was a mutual aid call to a barn fire. We were actually on scene when the storm front come through very rapidly. Since the structure was an unoccupied barn, the decision was made to move the personnel to the basement of the nearby residence until the storm passed over. The value of saving an already fire damaged barn certainly did not justify exposing several firefighters to the storm conditions. Even if there was not a tornado present, they normally develop in an electrical storm, so lightning has to also be a consideration.

    On the other hand, if the report was of a dwelling with possible trapped occupants, I would think you would be much more inclined to attempt a response and hope that you can avoid direct contact with the bunt of the storm. This might be something worth doing a little pre-planning for come to think of it. Almost all departments have personnel who have completed SKY-WARN Training... perhaps one of those "Spotters" should be assigned a vehicle and sent off in the direction where a tornado would most likely travel into the scene with the hopes of providing an early warning to the Incident Commander to order those on the fireground to take shelter should conditions warrant this.

    Good question.... and good discussion!
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

  15. #15
    Forum Member
    Weruj1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    7,857

    Default

    I would go with due caution for the weather, someone needs to go check on that.
    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>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  16. #16
    Forum Member
    DennisTheMenace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Washington, DC/Northern Virginia
    Posts
    3,717

    Default

    We go into lock down during the peaks of Hurricanes, I would figure that you should go into lock down when a Tornado is KNOWN to be close by.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  17. #17
    Forum Member
    firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    5,213

    Default

    Like others said, it would depend. You need to have someone scope it out. Check all weather resources for soghtings and such. Make sure if you go you have someone watching your butts.........

    Here's a situation that happened in a location I'd rather not say.....

    FD is toned out for a tree down across a road. Rural Volunteer FD. Heavy Thunderstorms in the area. FD tells dispatch they are going to wait the storm out at their station. 30+ minutes later they head to the downed tree where they find wires down and the tree is on top of a vehicle with people trapped inside........ They all started to freak and started calling for everyone to bring chainsaws to the scene........

    There is still a risk vs. benefit analysis to do, but you still have a job to do......
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

  18. #18
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bossier Parrish, Louisiana
    Posts
    10,615

    Default

    Living in an area that gets tornadoes on a fairly regular basis, we have developed a policy. If there is a warning in place, and we are receieving hail at the station, we will not roll anything until the hail stops, as our experience has hail as the most common sign of likely tornadic activity. As bad as the fire may be, after the tornado has passed, it may not be your most pressing emergency. Part of the logic of our SOP is based on holding back resources until we know what our problems are after the storm passes, and the other is based on firefighter safety.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-25-2005 at 06:27 PM.

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber
    ChiefReason's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!
    Posts
    5,636

    Default

    Do you mean to tell me that a guy with a FF license plate, blue light bar, wig wags and magnetic signs on his POV identifying him as a "Fear This" firefighter, just drove like a maniac to get to the station, only to sit there until the storm passes?
    OK.
    CR
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  20. #20
    Forum Member
    firenresq77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    5,213

    Default

    Typically, our apparatus are out spotting anyways, so we're usually out in all the mess anywho.........
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

  21. #21
    Forum Member
    fftrainer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Northern, NJ
    Posts
    889

    Default

    Cool.... I can finally not get yelled at for not searching first!!!! I dug this one up from the spring and we apparently decided that we would respond. So now that we have responded...... here's the story!

    We happened to be at the station the other night watching a storm roll in after a previous call and it got pretty wicked for a while. We were under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for wind, rain, hail, frequent cloud to ground lightening, etc. You know your normal end of a long August heat wave!

    One of my guys turns to me as the officer and says... if we get a structure fire you better not assign me to vent the roof!!

    While part of you can't argue with him regarding raising a 35' aluminum ladder during a lightening storm, the other part of you can't commit your guys to an unventilated building.

    What thoughts to you guys have on this? How do we address it? Do we break upper floor windows with pike poles since they only have metal tips and fiberglass handles??? Throw a rock through the window???? Just throwing those things out, not necessarily going to do them!

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