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  1. #1
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    Default questions on standby's

    Just a couple questions on stand by's, My dept was called out to stand by for a neighboring dept yesterday that was operation on a structure and propane fire at a nearby auto garage. The Call was for us to stand by in there station, which i dont really have any problem doing, however this was mid day call, we most volunteer depts in our area are pretty short on manpower. I guess i just cant grasp why we needed to be on standby in there station and not ours, they are only 2 and a half miles apart, so in essence we left our district to protect theres, thus increasing our response time for any calls in our own district. The is when we arrived at the station for the standby the dept was called out to a ems call for a man down at a local park, as the officer on the truck i radioed to dispatch to see if we were to take that call and the depts chief came on the air and said no they will handle, so then why have us on stand by if u dont want us to take the calls. we had a handfull of guys that thought that was pretty odd and were a bit ticked off........ any thoughts or observations from the brotherhood


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber RoughRider's Avatar
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    When we respond to a mutual aid call it can be on scene or at there HQ. That's the decision of the IC. If I called for mutual aid I would expect the responding units to be (staged) where I tell them. When we respond to a mutual aid request we typically don't have manpower issues with our own calls. I would say you are right to be concerned in this regard.

    Did the IC request an Engine, Ladder or Ambulance? Were you the only unit asked to respond? Is there more than one ambulance on scene? You mentioned that you were the "Truck Officer" so Iíll assume that you didnít respond with an ambulance.

    I wouldnít be upset with the scenario you described. Its sounds like the ICís concern were Engine or Truck backup for his district.

    Just my .02

    RR
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  3. #3
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    I do agree i think the primary concern was for a engine to back up the district, we were simply requested to stand by at there station. I do belive they had ambulances on scene for that incident. The second call that was questioned was a complete separate incident and for them to get to it they had to go through a heavily congested scene, over there supply lines and what not. Our engine is equiped to handle just about anything, and is our back up rescue, so ems supplies were not of concern. I think what bothered a majority of the firefighters that responed with me was that why stand by for nothing, when we could have done the same thing at our station only 2 miles up the road, the incided they were at was about 5 miles from our station via a state highway.

  4. #4
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    This happens in are area sometimes and I don't understand it. Why take our truck(s) and manpower to cover their district. Now ours is left unprotected. What's the difference?

  5. #5
    Forum Member res54cuecaptain's Avatar
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    as my grandpa always said, standby is "like a game of checkers"
    persionally i like it when we have an "in-station standby", where we just stay at our base and screw around. When we do, i always like to test the juniors, like see if they can find everything on the trucks.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    I guess the concept I am having a hard time understading is that if you take 1 engine out of your area, your area is not covered anymore? So basically, you only have enough manpower for 1 engine?

    We have been called to neighboring towns for coverage of their area while they are "busy". We send 1, maybe 2 engines, leaving another 2 or 3 at home. Leaves both area's covered. And some of these stations are only a mile away. Why are we sent there instead of staying home? Drawbridges. Not much worse than sitting on the bridge while some dumb@$$ sailboat putts it's way through, and your looking at a fire burning.
    "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?

  7. #7
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    most days during the week, between 9 and 4 we as many depts in our area are very strapped for manpower, you would be lucky to get 10 members to respond or who are able to respond. So staffing of a second engine would be difficult, along with the fact when we take our engine out for stand by it leaves only our tanker/pumper left in our district as a engine, alone with 2 rescues.

    I do agree it is better to be on stand by in ones own station though, u can get more done than just standing around.

  8. #8
    Forum Member res54cuecaptain's Avatar
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    hey bones, not all stations can get a crew for 2 engines during a weekday. and a lot of stations dont even have 2 engines. we have an engine, a rescue, and an ambulance. there are only 2 stations in our close area that have 2 engines, and one of them is a paid dept.
    just a thought

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber SIGNAL99COM's Avatar
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    About time more people are seeing the light. Don't leave your own district unprotected because another district wants you sitting on THEIR FLOOR to protect thier taxpayers!

    Calling mutual-aid into the scene for assistance is not an issue with me. But to take your crew out and place them into another firehouse doesn't make too much sense. You just stripped one district of their daytime crew so that your district will have one???

    Or better yet......departments that have multiple stations request to have all of their stations filled by other companies, even though they know damn well that even if they were not on a fire, they wouldn't get a daytime response out of all of their stations to begin with!
    Chris Shields
    Lieutenant / EMT
    Haz-Mat Technician
    East Syracuse Fire Dept
    Onondaga County, NY

  10. #10
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    works well in our distirict. I am in west Branch, near Iowa City. We backfill stations. It is pretty common for people that respond on stand by are able to do so without much interruption in their day (work/family). However, our department is well equipped with apparatus so we can afford to take a pumper to a nearby town and leave one in our station. If we receive a call in our distirict, remaining firefighters are aware we have an engine on standby, and they respond.
    This works with all of the departments in our area. I suppose it could be difficult if you don't have an additional pumper, or more than four guys able to respond.

  11. #11
    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    My old dept would stand-by at our quarters for all the local depts....the degree of seperation was not much at all. The only time we would relocate was to go someplace outside the battalion. But....this wasn't always the case.....for the most part we stayed in our quarters for the local depts.
    IACOJ Member

  12. #12
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    2-1/2 miles, with light traffic I don't see a reason for a move-up for coverage -- response time from your station, staffed would be just about the same as their station would be by responders coming from work during the day.

    Situations like heavy traffic or Bone's Bridges are another issue.

    One of the strangest coverage (and call) situations I've personally been on was one fire that had a quick knockdown, but very extended overhaul.

    Dispatch decided the easiest thing was to tone us to quarters and have the Chief call them for the assignment:

    -- Engine-Tank and Crew to Station "A" for coverage;
    -- Ladder and Crew to Station "B" for coverage;
    -- Crew only (Officer & 4 FFs) with airpacks POV to the scene (car pooled in a car and a pickup which had the gear & packs in the back);
    -- 2nd ET & Rescue with crew to standby in our quarters, covering 2 stations "C" and "D" from there.

    It was a weekend morning, so we had the manpower to do all that.

    IMHO, all "Coverage" assignments (for other potential incidents) should be the Dispatch Center's responsibility to determine (other than checking with Command if coverage is necessary). They should chose who goes where when.

    "Move-Ups" as a form of secondar/tertiary staging can be another matter (you're moving to another station, in anticipation it's likely you'll be pulled into the incident) where Command may want specific units moved-up closer to the incident.

    Our dispatch center has also gotten relatively good, along with "Run Cards" upto the 3rd Alarm (rural) and 5th Alarm (small cities) they made each department submit to them that only the 1st Alarm departments usually "dump the barn" -- 2nd and subsequent alarms usually start just pulling one or two resources from each station, allowing them to respond to the scene as well as covering their home district. They also try to leave a skeleton coverage of special resources like Tankers on large incidents, leaving every 4th or so in it's own quarters in case of an incident in that part of our dispatch area.

    Don't hear too many assignments anymore for "covering a covering company"

  13. #13
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Another party heard from...

    My FD (career) does coverage for the surrounding communities whern they request mutual aid. We page out for 3 firefighters and and officer (Capt. or LT).. the first ones to call in get the OT coverage.. the Engine company or Ladder closest to the mutual aid community gets dispatched, the callback personnel man a reserve engine. If an aerial goes, our other aerial heads to HQ and is staffed with additional personnel goes,or, if Ladder 1 is out of service due to staffing, it is stsffed with the clslback personnel and covers the City.

    The surrounding communities do the same for us when we are tied up an an incident of 2 alarms or greater.

    When we cover a station, we have a firefighter from their department assigned to be a "pilot", should we have to respond to locations in their town and vice versa.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  14. #14
    Forum Member Rescue2947's Avatar
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    When we are called out for mutal aid (stand by) we man our own station and respond into there area if needed. Most of the time stand by for us means that they are calling us to be at our station in case they need us for the same response they are going to. So we can have a quicker response if they find out they will need another alarm.

    Now on some abnormal cases, like a 2 story huge log cabin fire our county had last year they had 6 departments out at the fire, and we were called for stand by at a central station location to cover for multiple departments. At this time we only move one engine to the central location and leave the rest of the equipment in our area. That give's them protection long enough to send more if needed.

    Now where the complication begins, is if there is another response for our engine in there area we would move all our equipment if the task is to big and ask another station to man our area. The same as we did for our Stand by duty.

    To let everybody know we have an awsome mutal aid response and respect between our whole county with 11 departments that work very well together sending what ever is needed anywhere in the county to get the job done. Also our county when responding from our area which is almost on the west side of the county is 20 min max to the boarder in either direction.
    Pere Marquette Fire Department
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  15. #15
    Forum Member FDNY101TRUCK's Avatar
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    When we are called to a 'cover assignment' we take 1 engine and a crew and there are other people who respond to the station and for the most part stay at the house and wait for them to get back. Not to long ago our FAST team was called out to a neighboring town and they took took alot of our guys to this one fire which was over a half an hour away from the station. And wouldnt you know it, we had gotten a fire call and no one to respond to it, nonetheless it was a structure fire in the middle of the day when we have few people respond anyways. And they were all providing for the other town as the FAST team. Its funny how life works out like that
    NEVER FORGET!
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  16. #16
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    Default Day Time Man Power

    I am on both a volunteer and a call firefighter on a paid department. The paid department i am on responds to a lot of mutual aid calls. We will staff our engine with 4 men. The callback crew will man the remaining trucks and cover the town. We also will usually have an engine sent to our station as well for coverage depending on how big the fire is and how quick county dispatch is keeping up run cards. My volunteer department is very strapped for man power during the day. We run two stations and like most departments are lucky if we get 10 guys during the day. We recently got a report of a working car fire and had it been something would have been in big trouble. We had two guys(one in each station) and a driver. Now something that would have been cake job is a mutual aid call.
    9/11/01 Remember All Those Who Gave The Ultimate Sacrafice

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  17. #17
    Forum Member fireguy919's Avatar
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    Our department is volunteer add rural type setting. Stand byís happen quite often. If we can send a truck to someones floor we will do that. But we keep our area covered first. 99% of the time we can send an engine to fill in. If not we advise we do not have the man power to send to their floor we will stand by on ours. But even with that what is the difference should you get a call the area you are standing by for have you not stripped your area anyway if you roll full response. Same goes if they would of called you to the scene would of it changed your mind on the leaving your area. We have a department in our area that will tell you if we are not called to the scene we are not coming. They donít stand by on their floor even. Itís all in how you look at. Lot of people donít like to do stand byís or fill inís while someone else is out fighting fire we have to sit here.... Itís part of the game. Good argument either way. A lot of times we will advise dispatch as well if we get a call or the area we are filling in for gets a call to notify these departments as well.
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  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber Shoreman22's Avatar
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    Then there's cities like Newark whose mutual aid agreements with its neighbors specifies that they will only respond to work at the scene - no standbys. Of course, Newark catches a job in their city easily once per day...
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  19. #19
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    I cant belive u have a dept that would refuse to stand by if called upon to do so. I know in our state if a dept has signed a mutual aid agreement with the state and county then u respond if called upon no matter what. Only time u wouldnt is if u did have the manpower to fill the request. I myself have no problem with a stand by situation, I don think that moving to the requesting dept station when it is within a couple miles is senseless since u may leave your district unprotected if short on manpower. The other issue that really bothers me is putting a dept on stand by and just letting them stand by and not running your calls......seems even more senseless.

  20. #20
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    We are a rural, low-call-volume department and our neighboring department is a small town with quite a bit more calls. If we are called for station coverage to our neighboring district, and all we have available is one engine crew, we often park our engine right at the district border ready to respond to either district. Anyone else deal with it that way?
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