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Thread: Response

  1. #1
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    Angry Response

    There is talk in my department about a new response. Currently we have an initial response of 5 ( B.C. and Engineer in a Quint, and a Capt., Engineer, and Firefighter in an Engine) Ladder goes in first for proper placement and establishing command, and if needed, a rapid rescue. Engine grabs the hydrant and lays forward with the Capt. and Engineer. Then the Capt. pulls line and by that time the firefighter is ready to enter with the Capt. If not an Engineer will enter. We also have paid-on-call that respond with an Engine, air unit, and RIT from nearby community. This has worked well for a few years.

    The new idea comes from a B.C. that has never respomded and outright refuses to respond the way the SOP states above. He has convinced the Chief of the department to change the response to the following: Engine 1 responds with B.C., Capt., and Engineer Engine 2 reponds with Engineer and Firefighter.

    Can someone please tell me why he would think this is a good idea? We went from having a Quint on scene in the proper place, to not having one on scene at all. I am having a hard time trying to swallow this concept. If someone can at least explain the logic behind this change that would greatly help.

    Thanks!!


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    I'm having a hard time swallowing ANY of the concepts you just presented!

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    This space for rent NYSmokey's Avatar
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    Question

    Need more information. You what happens when we ***-U-ME things

    What type of department are you in?
    What is your population?
    What types of buildings/occupancies in your response area?
    Other hazards?
    How long does it take to get additional crews from your station on the scene?
    How long does it take to get mutual aid to your response area?
    If you are paid, do you have a union? What are their thoughts about this?

    NFPA 1710 (paid departments) and NFPA 1720 (volunteer departments) deal with this. Here's a link to a brief NFPA 1710 slideshow I found doing a internet search (click on the yellow link under LEARN MORE):

    http://daily.iaff.org/education/lear..._NFPA_1710.htm

    While it's not the law, NFPA is a recognized standard that could be brought up in court if something goes terribly wrong.
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    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    Why roll two pieces of apparatus, instead of just the quint with five? You'll have the ability to squirt some water if needed, or function as a truck, but not both right away.

    With the engine companies already responding as mutual aid, where is your ladder company coming from? Will you have any other personelle coming to staff your apparatus after you've responded?
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    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Well I am not going to argue which piece to staff, but either one would be better with 5 than trying to opreate 2 pieces with half a crew on both.
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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefiftyfive
    I'm having a hard time swallowing ANY of the concepts you just presented!
    No Sh**. I do hope your talking a volly dept. If your paid, you have much bigger things to worry about then what rigs to respond.

    That being said, if you dont have a truck comming MA, you need to run the quint.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983
    No Sh**. I do hope your talking a volly dept. If your paid, you have much bigger things to worry about then what rigs to respond.
    Helll I don't think it really matters if they are vollies or not, my volly company can and will turn out more members than that for a structural fire; even at 2 PM in the middle of the week.

    I feel bad for you man, its a disgrace that brothers across the country have to operate in such a manner!

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    I belong to a Combination Dept. in a town of approx. 18,000. I am on the paid side with a Union Local #173. Our response area is approx. 186 sq miles, most rural. Our average response is 5 min and our POC is 10.

    It is our own Union member that suggested this. We have been trying for years just to get the department to send out the Quint and we were succesful a couple of years ago. They seem scared of taking it to a scene. They also would tell us ( us being the younger trainined members ) that they could not get the ladder into the alleys. I think that the 5 response would be better, the problem being that when the quint was specd. ,prior to my arrival, it only has 4 seats.

    This B.C wants to be able to hit the fire fast and hard and that is one of his reasons to have two officers on one apparatus. We do have issues that are far worse than this and working at this department is a challenge. I think it will make me a better firefighter and leader by learning from thier mistakes on leadership. Has anyone heard of having two officers on one apparatus? If the two officers were to enter the building because of his fast and hard concept or for a rescue it would leave a firefighter in command. How would you deal with this situation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 173434
    How would you deal with this situation?

    Take the BAttalion Chief off of the rig and put him in his own car! He should be in charge of the fire scene, taking care of the men, NOT inside making a searh, forcing doors, or pushing the line down a hallway! WHO is outside monitoring conditions and directing other units into the scene?? And Geeez alteast get a fireman on the rig so you can do something when you get to the scene!
    AND don't you think it is pretty tough to hit a fire "FAST AND HARD" with 2 or 3 guys!?

    TOUGH situation brother and I'm sure that there is alot more to it!

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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    How would you deal with this situation?
    Move.


    2nd choice would be to do as firefiftyfive says above. Put the 4 FF's on the quint and let them work. Leave the BC to command from outside.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 173434
    ... Has anyone heard of having two officers on one apparatus?

    Career/Paid - probably not too common. Volunteer? Sometimes


    If the two officers were to enter the building because of his fast and hard concept or for a rescue it would leave a firefighter in command. How would you deal with this situation?

    What do firefighters take in school?
    a command class or two, an ICS?

    Safety officer classes?

    Classes in building construction and collapse?

    If the possiblility of a firefighter who is not an officer acting as command in a case like this gives you the willies, maybe you guys should train starting with small things like dumpster fires with the average joes taking command.

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    If the possiblility of a firefighter who is not an officer acting as command in a case like this gives you the willies.......


    It's not that a firefighter in command would give me the willies. Although some would along with some officers. It is the point that there are two ranking officers on scene who are put into firefighting roles and a firefighter put into an officer role when they don't have to be.

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    I work for the same dept as 173434. I agree with most of your follow up comments to 173434 original post. I know some of you cannot believe that departments would send out apparatus understaffed, but i see it every day, not only in my home department, but in other communites, some larger and some smaller than ours. Our community is very fortunate to have an immediate response of 5 firefighters. It does make a difference, but the other side of the coin is that 5 is could be just enough to get us into trouble in that we could try to do too much. I am familiar with the NFPA 1710 and 1720 and they are great if you like unrealistic expectations. Dont get me wrong, NFPA's intentions are good, but some times what should be and what is are two very different things. The trick is how to do the best with what you have. That, once again is our delima. more later, my gongs just came in
    Last edited by aland438; 03-31-2006 at 04:49 PM.

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    Problem with taking the quint as your only rig is that you may have to position it for attack and then not be in position to use it for ventilation or rescue.

    I guess I would put 4 on the engine with a driver, and probably just the Captain on the quint as a driver-only unit, so you can put it where it needs to go for vent and rescue. BC can run incident command from front seat of engine and have 2 firefighters on the rig as an attack team. Captain can act a sector commander (quint) until help arrives. It basically is a staffing arrangement doomed to fail .. ya just have to try to keep the train wreck to a minimum.

    This is an example of in why some cases, a very minimally staffed all-career department without POC or volunteer backup is more of a problem for a community than an assest.

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    you might be right about being doomed to fail, but we have had success with our previous response, the quint went to the general area in front of the structure in position to position if that makes sense, the engine caught the plug and pulled up somewhere close to feed the quint or itself depending on the situation. I know this does not give us a full truck company, that isnt our intent, our callback fulltimers or our POC can become the truck company on scene. Our rational for responding this way was to get the quint there quick in case we needed the aerial device for rescue or exposure protection. Our first two tactical priorities, right?

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    173434, geez our closest career department has the same problems. boy i think i golfed with you last summer. remember no matter how much training you have , if you are in the early years we do not have the seniority or the experience to ask these types of questions. 173440 said to just drive the truck. just kidding.

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    Ok, you do have a POC force. That was never mentioned in the original post. Then I would definatly say the best route would be to put a driver, BC and 2 firefighters on the engine and the captain as the driver of the driver-only quint. POC can staff quint on arrival and engine will have a full crew for fire attack.

    The logic behind this is that a majoprity of your fires will NOT REQUIRE immediatte truck work but WILL require immeddiatte fire attack. If for some reason, truck work is needed immediattly upon arrival, a man can be deatiled off the engine.

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    Thanks to everyone that has provided their insight on this matter. Our SOP meeting on this issue is set for April 7th. I am hoping that we can come to a solution that is good for the department and the community. Any other thoughts are always welcome and would be put to good use. Thanks again!

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    Goodluck with it all. I read the whole thread and I am thinking to myself how similiar our depts. must be. I am in the same boat as you, a young guy with a lot to offer and older guys that do not see the need to change.

    We are a small, paid, career department. We do not have a BC. We have 12 firefighters, 4 captains, 1 fire inspector and the Chief. We have 4 shifts, each having a captain and 3 FF's. We are all on call and have pagers. Every structure response gets to pieces. An engine and our aerial. Each piece having 2 guys with the Capt. on the engine. The engine is always first out with the ladder following. We have problems like you, but there is no thought of even changing the way we respond. I could set here all day and type about the way we opererate but it would reall just makes guys heads spin!! Bottom line is, we are under staffed but get the job done. Its amazing really. Since we are on call 24/7 we usually have a 2nd engine out the door fairly quick, but the first arriving guys are still hanging it on the line for the first 5 minutes or better. We all know 5 minutes at a worker feels like an eternity and its scarey wondering when that next engine is coming.

    I feel for you brother, and its going to take a lot help from the government to even think of getting better staffing. Of course we all know where that's going. The sad part is there are A LOT of other departments like ours, operating WELL under staffed and unsafe but getting the JOB done!! Keep up the good work and stay safe!
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    One of the other things this BC is proposing to do is base the response of the quint on what type of structure the call is for. They want to sub a second engine instead of the quint on a single family dwelling at the "officers discretion". I have heard of this in other departments but i am not sure i agree with it. I feel we have equally as many single family dwellings that would require the quint for venting and rescue that would not. (older community, lots of big old houses very close together) I can see some notion of sense to this, but i have problems with "officer discretion" in our department. Its fine if officers make good and consistant desicions, but that doesnt always happen. Responding the same way on every general alarm decreases confusion and everyone knows where to go. Waiting for an officer do deciede on short notice doesnt work well in our department.
    Our quint is a rolling tool box, it has many things our engine can't carry because it is a cookie cutter program truck. I believe very strongly in our current response of 2 on the quint, 3 on the engine, i know it is less than ideal but more staffing is not an option. It all comes down to training, and unfortunately i work for a department where the "leaders" cringe when they hear that term. We have ,only once in my 3 years, done any live evolutions with our response. So whom ever eluded to the fact that our problems are much deeper than our apparatus response is exactly right.

    Oh, and while im venting about training, we have done fire training once so far this year on our shift, 1-2 hour class in three months.

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