There's only one firefighter on the fire ground w/out PPE and SCBA.. his name is IC.
Congratulations. You just showed us how little you really know about the fire service. Do you even make an aggressive interior attack? Or is it just Lts. and above doing the fire attacks? What happens if you do down? I take it you didn't hear about the PASS malfunctions and low volume levels. If I hear a PASS going off, WHY is that Brother down? Is he unconscious? Out of air? Entangled? Is his partner down? Under something that collapsed on him? What happens if I loose water pressure? Yank 3 times for higher pressure? Or was that 3 times for lower pressure? Oh shoot, I forget.
No, wait, lemme bust out my Nextel, and beep beep the Chauffer and tell him to raise the pressure. :rolleyes:
You don't give a radio to every member. You assign a radio to each seat or pack.
Your problem is DISCIPLINE, and TRAINING.
I suggest reading some NIOSH reports that state that radios, and lack of mics for radios has been a contributing cause of some LODDs.
If you fail to do that, may I suggest a dept sponsored burial plot? Cause if you buy early, you get savings.....:rolleyes:
This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.
I have been reading through this thread, and I realize it is old, however there is no reason why every firefighter should have a radio. You talk about interior firefighters needing radios, well that is what their PASS is for. Every interior firefighter should have one of those. Radio's are abused in my area, and according to our dispatcher only people who are Lieutenants and above can carry and talk on one. Dispatchers do not care how many portables are responding to scenes. They really care about the chief and assistant chief, and then trucks. If you want every firefighter to be able to communicate then I suggest making phone number lists. Also on the not of All Calls, where a scene has gotten big, and more personnel are needed then I suggest Alpha numeric pagers. They hook up to a computer, and you can set up page lists. Even some dispatch centers can be equipped so that dispatch can page for a crew to respond to quarters when all the crews on duty are out.
I personally have a portable, because I am an EMT that gets put on call all the time. I am allowed to use it whenever I want. I have signed on to dispatch about three times since I got it months ago.
You don't get the concept at all.
Every firefighter having a radio means a radio at every position on the rig, not each and every firefighter having his or her own portable radio.
PASS devices are not communications devices.
PASS devices cannot communicate orders from the incident commander to the firefighters operating on the roof or inside on a hose line.
PASS devices can't relay information about deteriorating conditions inside or outside of a burning building.
Portable radios have emergency buttons that can be monitored by dispatch to let them know which firefighter is in trouble, so the IC can clear the channel and communicate directly with the member and direct the RIt tream to their location.
If the radios are "abused" in your area, it's time for your FD's administration to set up SOP's for radio communications.
Phone lists? What a novel concept! By the time you get through the list, the building that was burning is now a smouldering pile of rubble inside of a foundation.
Alphanumeric pagers? Great for alerting personnel that there is an incident that requires a response, assuming that there is service in your area.
PS: FD's large and small, career and volunteer have been using alphanumeric paging systems for years to contact personnel for a variety of reasons.
If all you have in your area are extremely small houses where you can see in every window then maybe some members can do without a radio. If your dept. has to make an interior attack on a sizeable structure let's hope you don't ever get separated from your officer and are unable to find your way out. I would rather be able to let somebody know my situation and my approximate location while I'm looking for a way out instead of just activating my PASS and hoping somebody can find me.
Are there times when some members operate independently of officers? What if they need to communicate with command? Run to the command post or find someone with a radio and do a face-to-face? What if they can't?
I realize that not all depts. can afford it but radios for every riding position are extremely beneficial and should be a high priority.
i think every firefighter on the fire ground should have one if they see something that IC doesn't they can report it faster
Gonz, I agree with everything you said. Especially the part about "What the frack"
So.. the dispatchers run the Department?Quote:
Radio's are abused in my area, and according to our dispatcher only people who are Lieutenants and above can carry and talk on one.
No wonder it's fracked.
Dr. Harry M. Archer Medal
Firefighter James F. Mills, Ladder Company 176
March 4, 2003, 2150 hours, Box 55-1658, 1636 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn
Appointed to the FDNY on May 9, 1993. Brother is FF Richard Mills, Jr., Engine 248; father is retired Captain Richard Mills, Sr., Ladder 166; and uncle is retired Deputy Chief Joseph Mills, Division 3. Member of the Emerald and Holy Name Societies. Cited for bravery once previously. Resides in Sayville, Long Island, with his wife, Susan, and their son, Griffin, and daughters, Taylor and Madison.
Pitkin Avenue is a major shopping street in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Among the renovations are alterations to these nearly hundred-year-old buildings. With the turmoil of the ‘60s and ‘70s, many of the building owners took drastic measures to ensure security. Many of these modifications have remained in place. Any veteran Firefighter who worked in that area will say, “A job on Pitkin Avenue is never easy.”
At 2147 hours on March 4, 2003, Box 1658 was transmitted. Within two and a half minutes, the first units arrived on the scene and were met with a medium smoke condition emanating from numerous occupancies. 1636 Pitkin Avenue was a two-story taxpayer-type building, housing four separate stores. Lines were stretched and forcible entry began.
FF James Mills, the chauffeur of Ladder 176, positioned his apparatus and began assisting in opening roll-down gates. Some 22 minutes into the operation, FF Robert Petrarca of Ladder 120 transmitted a mayday.
FF Mills went down the stairs to the cellar, put his facepiece on and began following the line into the cellar. He encountered Engine 227 members, who were operating their line into a common hall that ran the length of the stores. There were many radio transmissions from the units, but most alarming was the transmission from the inside team of Ladder 120, stating they were nearly out of air.
After communicating with Engine 227, FF Mills, knowing full well that time was critical, proceeded to crawl toward the front of the cellar. Due to the complexity of this occupancy, most of the members were searching the cellar of the corner occupancy (jewelry store) and not the cellar where FF Petrarca was lost.
FF Mills began crawling into this cellar. This was not an open, orderly area; this was a Brownsville cellar, filled with many obstacles and debris, which had built up over many years. The sprinklers were operating, so the heat build-up was not intense, but a highly charged atmosphere of dense smoke and carbon monoxide permeated the cellar.
This low-heat atmosphere allowed FF Petrarca to go further into the cellar area. It actually put him in grave danger since he quickly became disoriented and crawled in the opposite direction of the only stairway out of the cellar. The search rope of Ladder 120 ended at an unused staircase; ironically, this was the same point of the breach made later in the incident.
FF Mills, without the protection of a hand-line, began his search. No one realized the wall of the common hall did not go to the ceiling, which allowed the fire to cross into the cellar area where FF Mills had crawled, searching for the missing member. The only line (Engine 227) in the cellar was back at the stair area.
After searching for nearly six minutes and covering a distance of approximately 80 feet, FF Mills located FF Petrarca, who was face down and unconscious in two to three inches of water. FF Mills gave an Urgent message over his handie-talkie, notifying the Incident Commander that he had located the missing member.
Due to the stress and physical effort it took to make it to this point, the air in FF Mill’s SCBA was so low his vibralert was going off, but he continued to transmit his location, while trying to drag the unconscious member--who weighed more than 200 pounds--toward the stairs. The air in FF Mills’ mask ran out and he was forced to remove his facepiece. He, too, began breathing the contaminated and CO-heavy air.
Fortunately, members of Ladder 176 made a breach in the cellar wall, not too far from FF Mill’s location. This allowed members of Rescue 4 to enter, locate and assist FF Mills with the downed member. Together, they dragged FF Petrarca to the breach. (The breach was about half the distance to the stair.)
Shortly after the removal of FF Petrarca from the cellar area where FF Mills found him, there was a collapse. Both Firefighters would have been buried under it.
FF Mills’ act of bravery was accomplished under extremely hostile conditions. As Deputy Chief Daniel Butler wrote in his endorsement: “With all this going on, FF Mills may have left and communicated FF Petrarca’s position once safe outside himself. Instead, he decided he would leave when they both left. This saved critical time for FF Petrarca and prevented more severe damage from lack of oxygen and the real possibility of his death.” For his heroic actions, FF James F. Mills is awarded the Dr. Harry M. Archer Medal.—JTV
How about this one from a couple days ago? The burned FF hit the mayday button on his radio, and was able to transmit his last known location. He was pulled out through a 2nd floor window by another FF. If you want, you can go visit him in the hospital and tell him he shouldnt have a radio.
Maybe its because I am fairly new but I don't get it.
My vollie dept is 'radio rich' if you will. Here, we have radios for each riding position on rigs + spare and all the members have a portable as well. We use the minitor pagers as well for principal member alert system. (pagers have a nice 30 second transmission save feature and vibrate, radios we have don't)
How we use them - officers and trucks notifiy dispatch of en-route, on-scene etc. Members/FF if its sounds like a large incident will notify the officers on our talk group so they have an idea of incoming manpower. This is generally for reported structure files - MVA's with entrapment etc. Smaller incidents and in house medicals - FF just respond to the station/scene and don't tramsmit the en-route.
We don't have problems with people who like to hear themselves on the radio. That, its seems, is training and SOP. We also can guarentee everyone on the fireground has a working radio, either their issued portable on one from the trucks.
Why wouldn't you want everyone equipped for communications? (I understand the funding issue limiting it)
We have recently taken possession of about a dozen radio communicators that replace the amplifiers on our SCBA masks. At first I was a bit skeptical because I thought there would be too much fireground chatter to pick through at a typical structure fire. It has, however, been a pleasent surprise and has exceeded everyone's expectations.
Our commincators operate on low wattage frequencies that only communicate with others on the fireground. Dispatch and the trucks have no way of hearing the individual ff. However, the IC has a radio that will pick up and transmit both the ff frequencies and the normal fd frequency dispatch and the trucks operate off of. I know this system has it's limitations, but it is a huge improvement from the time, up until recently, when the only firefighters inside a structure with outside communications was one of 4 officers, either of 2 captains or 2 lieutenants.
Some observations from the handful of fires we have had this system in place:
Improved morale, increased confidence, quicker and easier interior operations, and lower excitement among ff, which leads to less air useage.
It just makes you feel better hearing the IC talking to the interior officers and knowing whats going on without having the capt having to shout at you to tell you to advance or pull back or whatever.
in our county every body has a motorola xt2500 or 5000 300 in all at a price of 3500.00 each and this don't include all the ones in the trucks and cars