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    Default "Time To Respond" - Philly area paper comments on Response Times of Volunteers

    Any comments or opinions on this?

    Time to respond
    By: JACOB FENTON (Sat, Oct/20/2007)


    The time it takes the area’s volunteer fire departments to get to a blaze varies from an average of five minutes in densely populated boroughs to more than nine in sprawling townships, an Intelligencer analysis of more than 3,000 fires in Bucks and Montgomery counties has found.

    Using a federal database of information gathered by the Department of Homeland Security, the analysis gives a first-ever look at the response efficiencies of 40 fire departments in Bucks and Montgomery counties.

    (Interactive Map/Chart)

    Because there is no state law to require public disclosure of volunteer firefighters’ performance, the public and even other emergency responders have little information with which to judge the performance of area fire companies. Emergency service representatives from both counties refused to provide data entered into their computer-aided dispatch systems for the reporting of this story.

    There are gaps in the data used for this analysis. Only departments that received federal homeland security grants are required to file monthly reports with the federal government, and even among those, there are missing pieces of information.

    But the records analyzed do account for 6,271 total responses by the 40 companies in 2004 and 2005.

    A review of those records shows, among other things:

    n Firefighters arrive on the scene of more than half of all fires in Bucks and Montgomery counties within three to six minutes — well within national standards for volunteer fire companies. In more than 70 percent of those fires, volunteers were on scene in less than six minutes. In 2005, the national average was 5.8 minutes, though that includes volunteer and career firefighters.

    n Several fire companies reported that it takes volunteers nine minutes or more to arrive at the scene of one out of every five fires, some even longer. Fort Washington’s company takes longer than nine minutes to arrive more than 60 percent of the time; Colmar and Northampton, 50 percent of the time; Dublin, 38 percent of the time; and Ottsville, Perkasie, Warminster, Hatfield and Towamencin each about 20 percent of the time.

    n Numerous companies reported they got to fires in less than one minute. Bristol’s Third District and Abington Fire Department said they did so more than half of the time; Silverdale Fire Company, 14 percent of the time.

    What these data snapshots don’t account for are the obstacles fire companies — particularly volunteer ones — face just getting the manpower to fight fires: Dwindling volunteers and gaps in coverage, limited municipal funding, and traffic and development are chief among these obstacles.

    Nine minutes that matter
    Take, for example, the fire at Mary Molnar’s Northampton home two nights after Christmas 2004. A table was on fire, and smoke was coming from the couch next to it, she said.

    When the Northampton Volunteer Fire Department arrived — nine minutes after being dispatched to the scene, according to federal records — they found an inferno they couldn’t extinguish, though numerous other companies also responded. The house was a complete loss.

    “It took them forever to get out here,” said Molnar, who has since moved. “My house never should have burned down.”

    Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association make clear there may have been nothing the volunteers could have done. Fire grows exponentially, and on average, it takes eight minutes for a fire to grow out of the room where it began, making it far harder to extinguish.

    “Once that fire gets out of the room of origin … your survivability starts to seriously degrade,” said Carl Peterson, director of the public fire protection division at the NFPA. That’s something Molnar has no trouble believing. If she had been in bed instead of drowsing in front of the TV, “I don’t think I’d be here,” she said.

    An examination of records submitted to the U.S. Fire Administration showed that Northampton volunteers took nine minutes or longer to arrive at more than half of the fires dispatched on their home turf in 2004, the only year for which records are available.

    Municipal leaders have long sought changes, though Northampton Supervisor Peter Palestina, the board’s emergency services liaison, said he thought the department’s response times compared favorably to those in other large townships.

    Response times from many of the county’s largest townships aren’t available because they haven’t taken part in the federal reporting program.

    In 1999, Northampton’s comprehensive plan recommended adding paid firefighters, more fire stations and public water service. Eight years later, none of those things have happened, Palestina said, though water is on the way, and the township is applying for a grant that would help pay for four firefighters. The grant, however, would require an increasing township match, and it’s not certain that local officials would agree to pay that, he said.

    Development and demographics
    With almost 27 square miles full of narrow, winding roads to cover, and more than 44,000 residents to protect, Northampton exemplifies a two-pronged demographic shift that has challenged volunteer fire departments in the last few decades.

    On one hand, development has filled in the empty spaces, adding thousands of residents in areas that used to be farmland. Those houses are farther away from the historic downtowns where fire stations were first built, though in many communities more stations have been added.

    The same traffic problems that bedevil commuters hinder volunteer firefighters, said Doylestown Fire Co. President Bill Cope, adding that drivers seemed ruder than ever. “Just because you’ve got a siren doesn’t mean they let you through,” he said.

    “Traffic is probably one of the biggest factors involved in response time throughout the county, not just for fire but also (ambulance),” said Michael Dydak, Fire and EMS coordinator for Bucks County’s Emergency Services Departments, who also serves as fire chief for Bensalem’s Newport Volunteer Fire Co.

    Yet even as development keeps firefighters busier than ever and traffic slows rush hour calls, the number of volunteers is thinning.

    In 1976, there were about 300,000 volunteers throughout Pennsylvania, according to a state report. In 1985, there were 152,000. And in 2005, there were 72,000.

    In bedroom communities, many volunteers work out of the area during the day and can’t answer calls.

    Northampton doesn’t have enough volunteers during the day to use all three of its stations during work hours, Fire Chief Adam Selisker said. “The fact is that during the day during the week we are dangerously low on manpower.”

    On weekdays, the number of volunteers available to take calls is “in the single digits,” and not all of those can answer each call, said Selisker. “I might get only 25 percent of them — so two or three, if we’re lucky, four,” he said.

    Bolstering the ranks
    To fight weekday manpower shortages, departments in Montgomery, Whitpain and Newtown townships have begun paying a corps of career firefighters during the day, and other departments are considering a similar shift.

    While experts say it’s not for everyone, Bill Brightcliffe, Montgomery Township’s director of fire services, has the numbers to show it can be effective.

    On weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., a paid staff of three is on duty, though they’re assisted by volunteers. The rest of the week, volunteers run all the calls.

    In 2006, volunteer responses averaged just over seven minutes, while career staff got there in less than five minutes, according to Brightcliffe. Altogether, the department’s average response was about six and a half minutes, he said. With a 10.8-square-mile response area that’s home to about 24,300 residents, “I still think it’s a very good time for the volunteers,” Brightcliffe said.

    The time looks even better when you consider that nighttime responses are often a bit slower than those during the day.

    Volunteers and career firefighters train together quarterly, and the department has a program that reimburses volunteers for occasionally working day shifts, Brightcliffe said. “I think that mutual respect’s develeped when we see we’re all in the same business,” he said.

    The township’s expecting to pay $571,000 for fire service in 2007, said finance director Larry Cregan. That includes about $250,000 in personnel costs.

    Concerned that there weren’t enough daytime volunteers to handle a growing call volume, Montgomery Township made a controversial decision in 2001 to cut ties with the Colmar Volunteer Fire Department and create the Montgomery Township Fire Department in its place.

    Years later former township supervisor Bob Kuhn still won’t speak publically about the dispute, but calls his vote in favor of the switch “probably one of the best decisions that I’ve made as a supervisor.”

    “Response times have improved dramatically,” he said, and the staffing shortages have been resolved.

    Variables to consider

    Response time data, as analyzed by The Intelligencer, gives a better understanding of how quickly the area’s volunteers race to the flames, though fire chiefs say it’s more of a Polaroid than a finished portrait: blurry and out of focus in parts.

    For some departments the reported response time is the moment when a battalion chief arrives on scene in a fire department sport utility vehicle. For others, like Northampton, it’s when the first fire truck gets there.

    “There’s so much variation in the reporting that I think it’s difficult to draw a conclusion as to how any one department would stand to any other department,” said Northampton Chief Selisker.

    “There are 61 fire companies in Bucks County, and realistically, you’ve got 61 different people doing the data collection and the reporting,” said Michael Dydak, who is fire and EMS coordinator for Bucks County’s Emergency Services Departments.

    But others, like Thomas Savage, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fire and Emergency Services Institute, say greater public disclosure is the best way to convince a community to open its pocketbook — or volunteer to join a fire department.

    “If we collect the data, people will know about the problem, and then they’ll be more inclined to solve it. You’re not inclined to solve a problem you don’t know about,” Savaged said.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Article's URL:

    http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/ne...7-1426951.html

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    It was a decent, well-written article in my opinion. It's my turf, and I agree with everything said. Response time can be lengthy, especially in lower Bucks and Montgomery Counties, especially the closer to Philly you get- it is a populated suburban Philadelphia area, and traffic SUCKS most of the time.

    One thing that they did not comment on was the fact that many Montgomery and Bucks County companies have daytime (and nighttime for that matter) volunteer duty crews, that are in the station (not coming from home or work) ready to respond.

    Though they did mention daytime paid crews, they failed to mention that a large number of companies employ a single daytime "driver" to get the first out piece on the street with a volunteer crew.
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    I find it a bit odd that the woman who had her house burn down has the "balls" to complain about the response time. I understand she is upset at the destruction of her house and belongings but how is it she wasn't aware of the level of service she receieved? If she wanted a timely professional Fire department, I'm sure there are plenty of homes available in Philly for her to purchase.

    It can be summed up I think like this....

    Volunteer Fire service...you get what you pay for.

    FTM-PTB

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    And people wonder why we lobby so aggressively for requiring residential sprinkler systems in the fire codes?

    The best fire department in the world can't save your life or your house if it's already lost by the time they arrive on scene.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    And people wonder why we lobby so aggressively for requiring residential sprinkler systems in the fire codes?

    The best fire department in the world can't save your life or your house if it's already lost by the time they arrive on scene.
    What you mention applies to everyone however the issue here is how long does one have to wait for firemen Bill, Joe and Steve to get to the fire station to get the gear and apparatus when professional FDs are already on scene at the fire.

    Much of this "problem" comes from people who move into the middle of nowhere, where they pay minimal taxes yet expect the same level of service they receieved when they lived in larger cities.

    PS-Do you have residential fire sprinklers in your house? How about your extended family? Do they as well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED View Post
    I find it a bit odd that the woman who had her house burn down has the "balls" to complain about the response time. I understand she is upset at the destruction of her house and belongings but how is it she wasn't aware of the level of service she receieved? If she wanted a timely professional Fire department, I'm sure there are plenty of homes available in Philly for her to purchase.

    It can be summed up I think like this....

    Volunteer Fire service...you get what you pay for.

    FTM-PTB
    I think your comment is a little premature. It is not clear from the article why the response time was so long. Was it because the Fire Department was "Home Response" which added 3-4 minutes to the response time or was it simply that this lady lived very far from the station?

    As was mentioned in the article, one of the problems with this area is developments are being on top of what was once farmland while the firehouse is still in the old center of town. Even with a crew in house it still takes a while to get to these areas because of distance and traffic.

    You could argue that a FD should keep up with the growth of the town but adding a station and equipment is orders of magnitude harder then adjusting staffing levels (going from Volunteer to Career staff).
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    There is a big, big difference between the time it takes from dispatch to getting a unit en route and the time it takes from getting a unit en route to on scene. I'm guessing most of these lengthy response times are due to a lengthy amount of time between dispatch and first unit responding.

    Also, the size of a district can greatly affect 'on scene' time.

    I've also heard of departments bragging about their 'quick response time' because some chucklehead in his pickup truck goes to the scene and marks 'on scene' while it still takes forever for an actual fire truck to show up.

    My department rolls the first truck out in 3-4 minutes on average - all volunteer, no daytime staffing and our first out truck is full (5 or 6 ff, depending on which engine we take) as compared with neighbor departments who roll with 1 or 2 guys. However, our district is 65 square miles, so despite a pretty good job of getting a full truck out the door, it may take us several more minutes to get to the scene because it may be at the far end of our district.

    While the article is well written and pretty balanced, there are many factors that can affect something like 'response time'. A better study would be analyzing the time from dispatch to the time the first unit rolls out of the station - that's a better indicator of how quickly a volunteer fire department responds and takes travel time out of the equation, which can skew the statistics both ways.

    Just remember, there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

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    Those response numbers sound pretty good. Out here in the sticks, our daytime response times to an engine on scene are usually 7-10 minutes, and nightime 10-12. Of course the Chief often arrives within 5, but I can't put out much with my little extinguisher and no SCBA.

    At the edges of our district, 15 minute response is not uncommon, and mutual aid is 20-30 minutes minimum.


    It really is just a case of economics and political (public) will. Most taxpayers have to realize that at the point that most depts start hiring career members, you often have to double the budget. You can't "replace" the volunteers, because 4 men on still can't handle large calls, commercial calls, or technical rescues.

    You really do get what you pay for. If they want the "big-city" speed of service, they need to pony up the funds.
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    It was a decent, well-written article in my opinion. It's my turf, and I agree with everything said. Response time can be lengthy, especially in lower Bucks and Montgomery Counties, especially the closer to Philly you get- it is a populated suburban Philadelphia area, and traffic SUCKS most of the time.

    One thing that they did not comment on was the fact that many Montgomery and Bucks County companies have daytime (and nighttime for that matter) volunteer duty crews, that are in the station (not coming from home or work) ready to respond.

    Though they did mention daytime paid crews, they failed to mention that a large number of companies employ a single daytime "driver" to get the first out piece on the street with a volunteer crew.
    Traffic is not the reasons response times are so poor in the lower ends of these counties which are border Philadelphia. It's the excessive amount of time it takes members to respond from home (if they choose to do so) and then get the apparatus on the road. As far as I know, most do NOT have any form of daytime "duty crews" and many don't have it at night either.

    I find it a bit odd that the woman who had her house burn down has the "balls" to complain about the response time. I understand she is upset at the destruction of her house and belongings but how is it she wasn't aware of the level of service she receieved? If she wanted a timely professional Fire department, I'm sure there are plenty of homes available in Philly for her to purchase.

    It can be summed up I think like this....

    Volunteer Fire service...you get what you pay for.
    While I agree 100% that you get what you pay for, I don't really believe that she did anything wrong by complaining. It's like the electric company, you don't know the ins and outs of it, you just expect it to work properly and efficiantly and she found out that apparently the fire department there doesn't.

    And people wonder why we lobby so aggressively for requiring residential sprinkler systems in the fire codes?

    The best fire department in the world can't save your life or your house if it's already lost by the time they arrive on scene.
    Are you kidding? Yea residential sprinklers are great, but thats not a way to fix this situation. The best fire department can't save your house if it's already lost by the time they get there, but if they get there in a reasonable time.....maybe it won't be lost.....

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    First, I believe that NFIRS does track response times.

    Second, this is one of the areas where response time needs to be defined as a national standard.

    There are two times that need to be measured, the time from dispatch until apparatus are on the road. And the time it takes to get from the station too the scene.

    Paid departments measure their response time from the time they leave the station with the apparatus until they arrive on scene. Out here in volunteer land as soon as a chief (1 of 3), or an officer (1 of 4), or any of the other folks with radios (Safety officer, fire police ) call enroute, we are considered enroute. The trucks haven't moved but we are responding. Our on scene time is also the time when any of the above listed folks show up at the scene. As far as I am concerned, response times should be measured based on the trucks, not on some guy moving his POV and showing up on scene.

    Having said that. We typically have a truck on the road within 2 to 3 minutes, we have folks that live nearby. Although at night it takes longer, especially in the winter. We then have places as far out as 15 minutes from the station.

    And to comment on the lady who lost her house. I wonder if a 10 pound fire extinguisher would have saved her house? Reminds me, I need to get mine refilled.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    First, I believe that NFIRS does track response times.

    Second, this is one of the areas where response time needs to be defined as a national standard.

    There are two times that need to be measured, the time from dispatch until apparatus are on the road. And the time it takes to get from the station too the scene.

    Paid departments measure their response time from the time they leave the station with the apparatus until they arrive on scene. Out here in volunteer land as soon as a chief (1 of 3), or an officer (1 of 4), or any of the other folks with radios (Safety officer, fire police ) call enroute, we are considered enroute. The trucks haven't moved but we are responding. Our on scene time is also the time when any of the above listed folks show up at the scene. As far as I am concerned, response times should be measured based on the trucks, not on some guy moving his POV and showing up on scene.

    Having said that. We typically have a truck on the road within 2 to 3 minutes, we have folks that live nearby. Although at night it takes longer, especially in the winter. We then have places as far out as 15 minutes from the station.

    And to comment on the lady who lost her house. I wonder if a 10 pound fire extinguisher would have saved her house? Reminds me, I need to get mine refilled.

    So you are saying that they shouldn't measure from the time the call is dispatched to the volunteer's to when they arrive on scene because the volunteers aren't at the station? I believe response times should be measured from when the dispatcher gives the call the to firefighters cause thats the only true way to determine what kind of response your department can provide.

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    Paid departments measure their response time from the time they leave the station with the apparatus until they arrive on scene.

    Not entirely true. We measure from the time the call is made till the first company is onscene.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED View Post
    I find it a bit odd that the woman who had her house burn down has the "balls" to complain about the response time. I understand she is upset at the destruction of her house and belongings but how is it she wasn't aware of the level of service she receieved? If she wanted a timely professional Fire department, I'm sure there are plenty of homes available in Philly for her to purchase.

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    I think volunteers need to add one more measurement to thier response time tracking, and that is the time from dispatch to departure from hall (with apparatus).

    It should be the only time that varies between a volley or career hall (normalized for geography of course). It also segregates the problem of volunteer response, vs apparatus response. If you want to transition to duty crews or some career staff down the road, this is the time delay you would be eliminating.

    If you can meet a satisfactory apparatus response standards (hall-to-scene), but your dispatch-to-hall times are poor, it might suggest the need/opportunity for duty crews at the station.


    We are still working on consistent time tracking, but we try to record dispatch time, hall departure of apparatus, first on scene (Chief or Apparatus), first apparatus on scene, and stand down and return to service. Knockdown times, and M/A times could be useful when applicable as well, but we are not that far along yet.
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    Default paid staff of three ?

    On weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., a paid staff of three is on duty, though they’re assisted by volunteers. The rest of the week, volunteers run all the calls.

    Come on go all the way & have at least five paid people. With three you have to wait for the volunteers to show up anyway for 'two in two out"

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthFlaHopeful View Post
    So you are saying that they shouldn't measure from the time the call is dispatched to the volunteer's to when they arrive on scene because the volunteers aren't at the station? I believe response times should be measured from when the dispatcher gives the call the to firefighters cause thats the only true way to determine what kind of response your department can provide.
    What I ma saying is there needs to be 2 measurements. One from the time of dispatch until the truck is on the road. The other is the time that the truck leaves the station until the time it arrives on scene.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfdlou View Post
    On weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., a paid staff of three is on duty, though they’re assisted by volunteers. The rest of the week, volunteers run all the calls.

    Come on go all the way & have at least five paid people. With three you have to wait for the volunteers to show up anyway for 'two in two out"
    That is a significant percentage of the budget however for a small one-hall combo dept.

    And if I'm not mistaken, the literal translation of US-based 2-in 2-out allows for initiation of rescue action before all crews are assembled in cases of confirmed entrapment. Your volleys should be no more than 5 minutes behind, so that should be a minimal safety issue. By the time your hydrant is connected, size up complete, and lines stretched, your second truck should be very close by. It doesn't say that they need lines stretched and water secured, just "2-out".

    Here in BC, Canada, we are allowed to commence interior fire and rescue ops without 2 out, but must have a backup team assembled within 10 minutes of entry. Gives a little more room, but perhaps to some, less safety.
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    Angry Well..............

    I'll step up and say what no one else will. POLITICS!! Some (not all) of these response times would get a lot better if Pennsylvania would force Townships to leave Policymaking for FDs and VFDs up to a County level Authority, and force those County level Authorities to work together, cooperate, and get along with each other. Taxes, Townships, Boroughs, Mayors, Etc. be damned. A PERSON NEEDING HELP IN AN EMERGENCY SHOULD GET THE CLOSEST HELP AVAILABLE, REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS. PERIOD. We have such a system. The closest is responsible, regardless. No ands, ifs, or buts. The closest Fire Station to your residence is responsible for your protection. Period. Who you pay taxes to is irrelevant. My station is in an unincorporated area, but we have "First Due" or "Still" district that includes part of a neighboring incorporated City. That City has three Fire Stations, but under the "Closest is it" arrangement, we cover that area. AND, this works just fine. No Problems.

    Now, Move North a hundred miles. Townships and boroughs. An Engine from three miles away is called to a Fire while an Engine a half mile away sits in Quarters. The Closest Engine isn't in the same township as the Fire. Stupid.

    One other item. We are required to be on the Street in ONE MINUTE OF DISPATCH. Paid or Volunteer doesn't matter. We beat that minute quite hard, with an average time out the door around forty five seconds. And that's with a Volunteer Crew.
    Last edited by hwoods; 10-22-2007 at 10:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    I'll step up and say what no one else will. POLITICS!! Some (not all) of these response times would get a lot better if Pennsylvania would force Townships to leave Policymaking for FDs and VFDs up to a County level Authority, and force those County level Authorities to work together, cooperate, and get along with each other. Taxes, Townships, Boroughs, Mayors, Etc. be damned. A PERSON NEEDING HELP IN AN EMERGENCY SHOULD GET THE CLOSEST HELP AVAILABLE, REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS. PERIOD. We have such a system. The closest is responsible, regardless. No ands, ifs, or buts. The closest Fire Station to your residence is responsible for your protection. Period. Who you pay taxes to is irrelevant. My station is in an unincorporated area, but we have "First Due" or "Still" district that includes part of a neighboring incorporated City. That City has three Fire Stations, but under the "Closest is it" arrangement, we cover that area. AND, this works just fine. No Problems.

    Now, Move North a hundred miles. Townships and boroughs. An Engine from three miles away is called to a Fire while an Engine a half mile away sits in Quarters. The Closest Engine isn't in the same township as the Fire. Stupid.

    One other item. We are required to be on the Street in ONE MINUTE OF DISPATCH. Paid or Volunteer doesn't matter. We beat that minute quite hard, with an average time out the door around forty five seconds. And that's with a Volunteer Crew.
    I agree with you 100% Harve, but you forgot one thing: VOLLYTICS.
    First you have to beat up all the chiefs who absolutely positively refuse to give up control of their individual little kingdoms.

    I will say this- Bucks County is light years ahead of Montgomery County as far as being somewhat organized as a county system. They still have a long way to go, but will be there before Montgomery County even wakes up.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    An Engine from three miles away is called to a Fire while an Engine a half mile away sits in Quarters. The Closest Engine isn't in the same township as the Fire. Stupid.
    This frustrates me, too. I can take you to a spot just outside of our city limits that "belongs" to one of the county's volunteer fire districts. There are four career stations from three different cities closer to that parcel than either of the volunteer department's stations... but the volunteer department will get the call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    Paid departments measure their response time from the time they leave the station with the apparatus until they arrive on scene.
    Actually, our combination department has a focus on response time, which is broken down into 3 parts;

    1) Time of call to dispatch
    2) Time of dispatch to time of first arriving vehicle response
    3) Time from first arriving vehicle response to arrival

    Using the first arriving apparatus response time provides a more accurate overall picture.

    The most important issue in measuring the response time is not really the "time issue" but the consistency in the data measurement. Strangely, 10 different engine companies will give you 10 different interpretations of the data.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FORTff View Post
    Traffic is not the reasons response times are so poor in the lower ends of these counties which are border Philadelphia. It's the excessive amount of time it takes members to respond from home (if they choose to do so) and then get the apparatus on the road. As far as I know, most do NOT have any form of daytime "duty crews" and many don't have it at night either.
    I read this article the other day, and find a lot of what everyone to be saying to be on point in this thread... except for the quoted comment above.

    The excessive amount of time it takes members to respond from home is due to traffic! Therefore, traffic is a major reason response times are poor. I work nights so I'm around most days, and it takes me AT LEAST 6 minutes to arrive at the station from my home. Most of the time this means I miss the first-out truck. On weekend nights (when I have off work) I get there in 3 minutes flat and I'm hopping on the first out truck.

    As for the duty crew comment, I would agree that "most" do not have them. However, I think there is a trend developing torwards hiring at least a day-time driver. I think this is a move in the right direction because the department does not need to worry about not having a driver show up during the day... but you still need a crew to show up to fill out the truck.


    Lastly, regarding the comments on subdivisions and "vollytics," I agree that just the existence of those two issues is absolutely ridiculous. When a truck from a responding company is passing two other firehouses to go to their response area something is definitely wrong. Its the people that hold on to their "kingdoms" (I think a previous poster used that term earlier) that not only harm the volunteer fire service's image, but its service to the community as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    A PERSON NEEDING HELP IN AN EMERGENCY SHOULD GET THE CLOSEST HELP AVAILABLE, REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS. PERIOD.

    Now, Move North a hundred miles. Townships and boroughs. An Engine from three miles away is called to a Fire while an Engine a half mile away sits in Quarters. The Closest Engine isn't in the same township as the Fire. Stupid.
    Agreed. I cannot/will not ride to the scene of a fire only to realize the dispatcher got the jurisdictions off by a quarter mile, and do nothing until the proper F.D. gets there, which might take another 5 minutes or more. Put the fire out, let the politicians/towns bill each other if they absolutely feel a need to justify the response.

    But one thing: it is not just a northern problem. Here in Georgia, it is way too simple for a city to annex county property without having first established proper fire, water, P.D., EMS coverage for the newly aquired area. So, you sometimes end up with a fire station that is located near the entrance of a neighborhood but the trucks responsible for that neighborhood have to come from 7 miles away!

    That puts a heavy weight on public perception, and you can be guaranteed that someone's fire department is going to get cussed.
    "Yeah, but as I've always said, this country has A.D.D." - Denis Leary

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    Same thing here.

    This is especially true around Shreveport, where the city has annexed high-value property "blocks" surrounded by the rural combination fire districts. It's not uncommon for Shreveport fire units to have to drive through the fire districts several times for them to get to the "blocks" in the city.

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    Question for FFFred. A small oven fire on the 70th floor of a building. Is the on scene time when you get to the 70th floor or when you get to the actual building?

    I'd imagine there is a little time difference there.



    For us, on scene time is the first vehicle to arrive at the address. But our chief's don't follow the "true" ICS system and stand outside setting up a command post, we'll investigate what we can. PD and Chief's have knocked down some fires with water cans before arrival of engines. (I know, bad us). Our on scene time is "not correct" at a few locations, like when the call is on the far end of the boardwalk pier but "signed on location" is transmitted at the end of the street.



    Some good discussion here on the different times people track.
    "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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