How do you respond to fire calls?
Following the story on the main page, I was wondering if the majority of the FD's out there still run lights and siren to everything. This meaning that all responding units run this way, wheather it is a fire alarm or a medical call or a MVC or a fire. The fire dept. that I work for runs lights and siren to all reports of fire, MVC's, medical calls (1st responder, we don't run puss buses, EMS does that). On fire alarms only the 1st due engine or unless another engine is closer runs hot or lights and siren, while everyone else runs routine traffic.
Captain/GFD and Past Vol Chief
While I was the Fire Chief of a local volunteer fire department we would receive on average (2) complaints per month concerning our memberships driving habits while responding to an incident. To reduce the complaints and prevent an accident before it occurred we implemented a Response Policy. The only incidents that we allowed units to respond emergency traffic to was: Any reported structural incident, MVA's with injury, Priority EMS incidents, wildland fires, natural gas leaks, power-lines down with fire involvement, vehicle fires and the first due unit to an alarm off. Everything else was non-emergency (smell of smoke, trash fires, wires arcing, etc) Once we implemented the policy we never received another complaint concerning our personnels driving habits and that was ten years ago. I cannot believe that there are still departments out there that respond "Emergency Traffic" to all incidents.