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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber mtomek112's Avatar
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    Default Dispatch Procedures for Rescue/Haz-Mat Companies

    I am trying to get some input as to how your rescue/haz-mat companies are dispatched in the larger cities of the US. We are looking at possibly changing some of our policies that are in place.

    A quick run-down of how we do it. We have two SORT (Special Operations Response Team) stations, one on the west side of the city and one on the east side. These stations include one pumper, one rescue truck, and a unit (ambulance). There is supposed to be a third SORT station coming on-line in the near future. The pumpers and the units handle their first-due area plus respond to Haz-Mat/Heavy Rescue calls throughout the city. We also send a rescue truck to any working fire if we receive multiple calls up front or first arriving company reports using a preconnect or greater.

    I would like to know what the population is of your city, how many rescue/haz-mat trucks are in service, what are they sent to and when along with maybe the square milage of your city. I'm looking for any kind of information to get an idea of how your special operations program is set-up as it relates to dispatching of such. Do they run the wheels off the truck or are they only sent when requested? If anyone has a file on SOPs etc, it can be can be e-mailed to me at mtomek@memphisfire.net. Thanks in advance for your help and time in this.


    Matthew Tomek
    Memphis, TN Fire Dept.


  2. #2
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Ours teams are county wide, not by city. We have 4 Haz-Mat units and 4 TRT (technical rescue team) units. Units for both teams is divied up with one unit in north county, one in south county and two in the center. The units are housed in multi unit stations, and all crews in these stations are certifeid in either Haz-Mat or TRT.

    The way it works is if the call is in north county, the north county unit and bothe center units respond. If its south, the south unit and both centers. If the incident is large enough, all units respond.

    As for dispatching, once the first in IC makes a determination as to a possible Haz-Mat or TRT, one of the team commanders is paged to come up on the radio. This can be done enrout. If after consulting with the IC this commander agrees that it requires a team response, he will advise dispatch which team units need to respond. Several members of that teams command staff will also respond.

    Our county is about 260 sq miles, with a polpulation of around 900k full time residents and about 4 million visitors per year. My county operates out of 64 fire stations with an all paid staff.
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  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber mtomek112's Avatar
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    So are these companies dispatched to any fires, or just haz-mat and heavy rescue calls???

  4. #4
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Everyone in my FD is trained to the 24 hour operational level.

    We do not have a "hazmat" team per se. Our responsibility is to identify and isolate and evacuate any affected areas and to assist and support the State's hazmat teams. My FD has 5 personnel on the state team.

    There are 6 statewide hazmat teams made up of firefighters from the communities that make up the district. The 6 teams cover the 351 cities and town of the State. Sone of the larger cities and towns have their own hazmat teams, and the State teams are an addirtional resource for them.

    My community is in Hazmat District 3, and our HQ station houses the Tactical Operations Moudle/Command post. There are also two equipment trucks strategically placed in the district. Each team has a TOMS unit and a2 equipment units.

    The Hazmat team has 3 response tiers. Tier 1 and Tier 2 responses are techs sent out to advise the FD and handle minor mitigation. A tier 3 response is a full team activation for the really nasty stuff. Responses for the hazmat team are made from Fire Alarm to Fire District 14 control, located at the Ashland FD (Hazmat District 3 encompasses all of District 14). They have an "on call" listinfg for those firefighters who will be responding in any tier 1 and 2 responses. Those individuals are paged to respond. Whenever one of our personnel responds to a hazmat incident, we generate an incident number for two reasons: the hours that the firefighter works in mitigating the incident are billable and also to cover them in the event of injury or death as a result of the incident.

    My community is 22 square miles, with a population of 37K.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 12-17-2005 at 04:37 PM.
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  5. #5
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtomek112
    So are these companies dispatched to any fires, or just haz-mat and heavy rescue calls???
    By companies, I guess you mean the crew that staff the Haz-Mat and the TRT rigs? Yes, they respond to both fire and EMS calls on whatever primary unit they are assigned to. Both the Haz-Mat and TRT units are just equipment rigs. They are not staffed per say.

    As an example, the south county Haz-Mat unit is H5. It is in a station with an engine and a rescue. When a Haz-Mat call comes in, one FF from Engine 5 hops in H5 and then they both respond to the call. If E5 is on a call, the next due Haz-Mat unit covers. Once E5 clears its original call, they pick up H5 and respond tho the Haz-Mat.

    Also, the TRT units are not really "heavy rescue" units. They are for specialized recues like hi-angle and trench. Heavy rescue is handled by staffed heavy rescue units. At least one heavy rescue is dispatched to all Haz-Mat and TRT calls to assist, although they are not actually part of the team. Our county has 10 heavy rescues.


    BTW, all FFs in our county are also trained to Haz-Mat operations level, and all apparatus carry at least "C" level suits.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 12-17-2005 at 04:57 PM.
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  6. #6
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983
    Also, the TRT units are not really "heavy rescue" units. They are for specialized recues like hi-angle and trench. Heavy rescue is handled by staffed heavy rescue units. At least one heavy rescue is dispatched to all Haz-Mat and TRT calls to assist, although they are not actually part of the team. Our county has 10 heavy rescues.
    Okay,

    What he wants to know is the standard dispatch policies for your staffed heavy rescues.

    A little background. Our fire department has just formed a Special Operation Realignment committee, of which he and I are both on. Part of our evaluation will be to determine what we want these crews responding to on a routine basis. Over the last several years they have been under utilized, as well as making several runs that they did not need to be making - meaning that the incident could have been handled by closer, non specialized companies.

    Keep in mind, the trick is going to be finding the happy medium. We currently have 2 squads that share 56 fire stations. Some cities send their heavies on everything - we can't do that. They would never be in the house. Some cities have them but play musical vehicles and only staff them when they need them - we can't do that either. I guess we are trying to get the most bang for the buck -so to speak.
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    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber mtomek112's Avatar
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    Cool

    Thanks Lt. You always seem to explain things better than me.

  8. #8
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Lt. Kramer,
    I'm not from the Syracuse, but I know a little about their special ops (because I asked how they ran). The city of Syracuse has 12 or so houses. House 1 is the rescue company. they run on all working structure fires, all motor vehicle crashes with injuries, as well as certain major EMS calls in the city (GSW, electrocution, etc). They are a dedicated rescue company, composed of 8 firefighter/EMTs. They have a heavy rescue (think FDNY rescue), a light rescue (an ambulance with some tools I think), and a rescue truck (110 Ft aerial tower). I believe they are the busiest company in the city.

    They also have a HazMat unit, out of station 5 (I think). Station 5 has an engine, a truck, a hazmat unit (think FDNY HazMat units), and a small utility unit (I think). the engine and truck are staffed with 4 FF/HazMat Techs. They have a first due, second due and third due area just like every other house in syracuse. if a hazmat call comes in, the station captain makes the call as to what apparatus to take. if they are on a call, the IC tries to clear them as soon as possible.

    Syracuse's population is 147306, according to the last census. The city is about 26 square miles in size
    Last edited by DrParasite; 12-18-2005 at 12:39 AM.
    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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  9. #9
    Forum Member Squad1LT's Avatar
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    My city is around 55 to 60 square miles. We have 2 TRT units one is centrally located and the other is on the east side of town where heavy industry is located. The squad is downtown and the TRT-collapse trailer is downtown. The squad runs on all confined space, trench, multiple casualties, collapses, industrial accidents etc. Also it is dispatched on all structure fires. And the squad has its own extricatin territory. The unit on the east side of town is a rescue pumper. It has its own still territory where it operates on EMS, etc like any other engine company and it has a standard 1st alarm territory for structure fires. On the pumper it has extrication and confined space equipment. It has its own extrication territory and goes on all confined space. We have a hazmat truck and also a hazmat trailer at that station along with the trench trailer so that station goes on all those incidents as well.

    Our hazmat response has 4 levels as follows:

    1. Hazmat response alarm is investigative and is only the still company
    2. Hazmat level 1 response is for a confirmed incident involving mitigation
    and/or moderate or high potential and/or a large quantity of material
    or an incident requiring PPE above level "D" and that gets the truck
    and trailer along with a batt chief and a minimum of 5 techs
    4 ops level
    3. Hazmat level 2 is for call backs of off duty personnel if needed
    4. Hazmat level 3 is a situation beyond the capabilities of the dept alone
    and involves state and federal assistance etc...

  10. #10
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    Our Department has 2 heavy squads. Squad 10 is our Technical Rescue Team Squad which I'm assigned to, and Squad 3 is our Hazmat Team Squad. Both squads have extrication equipment. Squad 10 is the primary on all Technical Rescue incidents with Squad 3 as the back up, Squad 3 is the primary on all hazmat incidents with Squad 10 as the back up. Our current dispatch procedures on structural fires we send 5 pieces of heavy apparatus. ex:1 Battalion Chief,3 eng, 1 ladder, 1 squad if the the squad is part of the 1st 5 in the response matrix. or 1 Battalion Chief,3 engines 2 Ladders, the if declared as a working fire then the Squad is dispatched on the working fire.

    Battalion 3 Engines, 10,19,9 ladder 9 squad 10, or Battalion 2 Engines 2,9,7, Ladder 2 & 9. When they arrive and declare a working fire then the Squad is dispatched. Our Chief did not want a company passing another company with a engine or ladder sitting in the station that could have been on the scene going to work. We are currently waiting for approval to have the squad respond as part of the 1st alarm assignment on all residential, commercial, and high rise incidents. Stay Safe

  11. #11
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Well................

    Our County is 430 Square Miles, 47 stations, 12 Heavy Rescues, 2 (soon to be 3) Rescue Pumpers, 1 Hazmat Unit, 4 Hazmat Support units 1 Technical Rescue Unit, 1 Collapse Unit, and about a Dozen Boats. Here's the Setup:

    Heavy Rescues: 1 each at Fire Stations 1,8,13,18,20,22,27,40,47,and 49.
    2 Heavy Rescues at Fire Station 14
    Rescue Pumpers: 1 each at Fire Stations 33 and 49, 1 to be added to Fire Station 18 after Jan 1, 06. A Rescue Pumper is a Heavy Rescue that has a Pump, Supply Line, Attack Lines, and a Tank, same as an Engine. They are equipped to Heavy Rescue Standards, and can function as either service, depending on need. Good Example is at www.Kentland33.com
    A heavy Rescue or Rescue Pumper runs on all auto Accidents in it's first due, and the closest one is dispatched on accidents on all roads with a speed limit of 40 mph or higher. One is dispatched on all structure Fires IF they are closer than the Third Due Truck Company. Same as Va. Beach, we don't want apparatus responding past another station that was not dispatched, if that station has an available unit to provide the same service. Typically, the Third due Special Service Company (Rescue or Truck) is the RIT assignment.

    Technical Rescue: This team is based at Fire Station 22, and has Rescue Squad 22, Technical Rescue 22, Collapse 22, and a Hovercraft and a inflatable boat. They respond Countywide on all Water, Rope, Collapse, Confined Space, and other special rescue calls. The First due Station, The First Due Rescue Squad, and other support units are also dispatched.

    Hazmat: The Hazmat Company is at Fire Station 30, and Runs all Hazmat calls Countywide. The Closest hazmat support unit and Rescue Squad also respond, as does the First Due Station.

    Water Rescue: Water Rescue units respond out of Fire Stations 22, 47, and 49, as well as Marine Stations 56 and 57. 56 is a land station of the Volunteer Dive Team, located near the Patuxent River in the Southeast part of the County. Station 57 is On Swan Creek, Just off the Potomac River about 5 miles South of Washington DC. They operate a total of about 6 boats between the two, including an Airboat, usually used in the Patuxent Marshlands.

    Hope This Helps a bit.
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