East Coast/West Coast differences
Hi all, I'm new to this board and I am currently finishing up probation with an department in the Los Angeles area. One of the aspects of the fire service that I am fascinated with is how other folks in their parts of the country or world do the job (for example...if you think FDNY is a huge department...Tokyo Fire Department is TWICE the size and budget of FDNY) After reading as much as possible in all the trade magazines and online resources, a couple things though that I haven't yet figured out is some of the company designations that are used throughout the US.
For example in Southern California, a rescue is an ambulance staffed with Firefighter/Paramedics. On the East Coast, to my knowledge a rescue is an dynamic company that is used for just about anything but specializes in technical rescue, according to the Sept. 2005 of Fire Engineering.
In southern california the truck...which often is of the tillered variety, handles the technical rescue (auto extrications/building collapse/trench rescue) on top of ventilation duties, because the tractor trailor can hold so much equipment. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems that a lot of east coast departments use quints/tandem axle trucks. Is it because of maneuverability in a large heavily metropolitan city? Can those apparatus carry as much equipment as a tractor trailor?
Do Truck Companies on the East Coast only do ventilation? Or are they equiped with the tools to perform the same duties as the trucks in Southern California? This is where I am confused. Because if they do the same duties, isn't having a Rescue Company a bit redundant?
A squad is an LACoFD designation for basically an paramedic pickup (dualie) that responds to ALS medical calls. Think of the old 70s TV show Emergency. What is a squad on the east coast?
Everyone always says fires are down. In LA, unless you work in the ghetto, good luck ever getting a decent fire. Seems like for every 1 good fire you have to deal with at least 200-300 medical calls and false alarms. I used to work in Compton and that place sure did burn a lot but on the other hand we'd get at least 20+ calls a day with 3-4 calls every night. Is it just the older buildings on the east coast, those rows of houses butted right next to each other that contribute to the east coast getting "more" fire than us here on the west coast?
EMS is a very big thing in California. It is VERY difficult to get hired nowadays if you don't have a paramedic license. All you have to do is go on Firecareers and see how many job openings there are for firefighter/paramedics and how many are for just straight firefighter. In the last month I've gone on at least 300 medical calls and not a single fire. I've heard that some east coast departments don't do EMS. My question is what do those departments do in between fires? For my department if we stopped doing EMS...we'd get like one call week...and most likely it would be a false fire alarm.
Thanks for putting up with this rookie and his questions. I apologize for my lack of writing skills and if I inflamed anyone with the east coast/west coast thing...just trying to learn a bit everyday.