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What does your Dept. respond for Fire / EMS?

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  • What does your Dept. respond for Fire / EMS?

    We have 4 Stations, 4 Engines, 1 ladder, 1 rescue, 4 ALS with 18-22 personnel a shift and close to 10,000 EMS/Fire calls a year.
    Station 1: 1 Engine, 1 Ladder, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 Ambulances 5-8 personnel
    Station 2: 1 Engine 1 Ambulance 3-4 personnel
    Station 3: 1 Engine, 1 ambulance 5-6 personnel
    Station 4: 1 Engine, 1 Ambulance 3-4 personnel

    Residential Fires: 2 Engines crews(6-8 personnel). Depending on size and exposures 3rd crew is requested.
    Commercial Fire: 3 Engine, 1 ladder and call off duty personnel.
    MVA: 1 Ambulance, 1 Heavy rescue, (Other ambulances requested on amount of Pts.)
    No personnel dedicated to appratus. Depending at what station you are at and what type of call dictates what apparatus you will take.

    I am curious to know how other small depts run.
    Or input from those that are in command positions, or are knowledgeable about the Fire service. How would you respond to Fire/EMS calls as a small dept with limited personnel? How many personnel would you respond to working fires and what apparatus?
    Last edited by hookinandjabbing; 09-17-2015, 05:40 PM.

  • #2
    Your dept. is CRITICALLY understaffed on fire runs. There is absolutely no debate on that, and it should be unacceptable.

    My fulltime dept. runs 3 engines, 2 ladders, 1 heavy rescue, 1 ALS medic, and a Bn. chief on a report of a structure fire. A working fire gets a RIT assignment of an engine, ladder, 2nd medic, safety officer, and EMS supervisor. For EMS runs, the medic runs alone (2 paramedics) on a BLS run. Engine and medic on ALS runs (all engines are ALS with at least 1 paramedic) Auto accidents get a heavy rescue along with engine and medic. We also use automatic and mutual aid, 150,000+ runs a year. These are just our basic runs, we have many different assignments depending on the call. Minimum of 3 on the engine, ladder and rescues.

    My POC dept. does not do EMS transport, but we do assist and go as a first responder if needed. On fires we roll as much as we can depending on manpower. We have 2 engines, an engine/tanker, a tanker, and a rescue. We also usually have some mutual aid responding as well, usually a ladder and tankers as well. If we have a fire, we'll add companies, we have run cards already assigned.
    We also are automatically dispatched with other full time depts.

    There's no reason not to send the manpower when you first get the call. It's a proven fact that the more personnel that you can put on scene early in a fire, the better the outcome. And get some mutual aid coming, even NYFD uses mutual aid.


    • #3
      I don't see why you don't send more resources on residential fires. You have them, you're just not using them. Especially since the apparatus you do send could easily be down members due to ambulance staffing. And mutual aid is a must.


      • #4
        The reason there is no personnel that get sent to the fire is because we have a stubborn command staff. Mentality is, that's the way its always been done. Outdated SOGs and policies, no research is done on fire tactics. Stuck in the stone age.


        • #5
          About the same answers. 1) Greatly increase the response to that first alarm structure fire. Include the Ladder Truck. 2) Increase the Ladder Truck staffing, even at the expense of other stuff. 3) Try to figure out some way to get that ALM EMS monkey off your fire agencys back.

          Can you give us more info regarding your agency? Particulars including dispatch type. ISO rating. Reserve apparatus levels and type. Off hand, it sounds like some attention might be focused on creating some sort of EMS prioritizing? Maybe increasing your off duty depth? Many ways to improve.

          Also if you could provide numbers regarding the district. Population. Property value. Budget. Area. Work schedule. Specific Auto Aid contracts. Mutral aid. Right now we do not have enough specfic information for specific recommendations. You might also have a people problem. HB of CJ (old coot)

          PS; Having a relunctance to change or improve is not that non common. Lots of ways to get better without spending a bunch of tax dollars.


          • #6
            Sounds like you need to introduce your command staff to a copy of NFPA 1710. I don't even live there, and it's frustrating to me that the department is setting itself up injury and/or liability by sending 1/3 of the needed personnel on the report of a house fire.

            My career department sends anywhere from 27 to 33 personnel on the initial report of a fire (number of apparatus dispatched is correlated to the square footage of the occupancy).
            • For a house less than 5000SF in a hydranted area, we send: 4 engines, 2 special service companies (trucks and/or heavy rescues), 1 ALS ambulance, 1 BC, 1 EMS supervisors
            • For a house greater than 5000SF in a hydranted area, it gets a commercial response.
            • For any house in a non-hydranted area, it gets the above assignment plus 2 tankers.
            • For commercial fires, we send: 5 engines, 3 special service companies, 2 BC's, 2 EMS supervisors, 2 ALS ambulances.
            • For EMS calls, you get an ALS ambulance and depending on the severity of the call, an engine and/or EMS supervisor.

            My volunteer department sends 3 engines, 3 tankers, 1 heavy rescue, 1 chief officer, and 1 ALS ambulance for the report of residential fire - we run our heavy rescue as a truck company. We can turn the tankers (or third engine) around depending on our water availability needs. For EMS calls, we send a Suburban with 2 people in order to supplement the ambulance crew, which is a completely separate agency from the FD.
            Career Fire Captain
            Volunteer Chief Officer

            Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!


            • #7
              I can understand a lack of resources. I can't understand a refusal to properly use the resources available. Sending two engines with staffing of 6-8 (possibly less due to ambulance staffing?) to a structural fire while other units sit in the firehouse makes no sense. I really don't see how any knowledgeable and experienced so-called command staff could fail to see this. IMO it is an example of incompetence, plain and simple.

              I fully agree with BoxAlarm 187 about the liability component. When someone gets hurt (and they will) the doors will be wide open. And the command staff will have to live with themselves knowing they could possibly have prevented it.


              • #8
                We have 16 stations. Responses are as follows:

                Residential structure fire: 3 Engines, 1 Truck, 1 Squad or Heavy Rescue, 1 BC. If found to be a working fire, an additional Engine, Squad or Heavy Rescue, and BC are dispatched.
                Apartment or commercial fire: 4 Engines, 2 Trucks, 2 Squads/Rescues, 2 BCs. If found to be a working fire, an additional Engine, Truck, and Squad/Rescue are dispatched.
                Fire alarm: 2 Engines, 1 Truck. First due engine goes hot, others go cold.

                Vehicle accident: 1 Engine
                Vehicle accident with person pinned or vehicle overturned: 1 Engine, 1 Squad, 1 Heavy Rescue, 1 BC
                "Normal" EMS call: 1 Engine or 1 Squad (not all stations have squads)
                "Priority" EMS call (cardiac arrest, gunshot with victim not alert, pedestrian struck, etc.): 1 Engine, 1 Squad

                Engine companies are usually staffed with 3 or 4-minimum staffing is 3.
                Truck companies are always staffed with 3.
                Squads are always staffed with 2.
                Heavy rescues are at stations with an Engine and a Rescue. The Engine is staffed with 3, the Rescue is staffed with two. The Rescue is first out for EMS calls. If a pin-in comes in, the Engine crew joins the rescue and you have a 5-man heavy rescue.


                • #9
                  First off let me say our minimum staffing blows. Run cards are all jacked upped. The department runs 12k calls a year. We are a combo volunteer/career dept with day light(12hr) crews and 24hour crews. we have 87 career personnel. Day light stations are staffed with 2 period if its a fire call they take the engine if its a ems call they take the ambulance. 24 hour stations that have an engine are staffed with 3 on the engine and 2 on the ambulance. But minimum can go down to 2 on an engine. Volunteers engines may or may not get out, they can and often respond with 1 on an engine or take some other apparatus. Really no standards on them for staffing or what to bring. You get what you get with them.

                  Residential fires/alarms - 3 Engines and an ambulance. Duty officer is notified but has no obligation to run the call unless he feels like it.

                  Commercial Fires/alarms - 3 Engines 1 ladder truck . and an ambulance. Duty officer is

                  MVC - 1 engine 1 ambulance.

                  MVC with entrapment - 1 engine, 1 squad 1 ambulance. EMS supervisor is notified.

                  MVC on the interstate. 2 Engines 2 Ambulances and Duty officer is notified. 1 engine and 1 ambulance go northbound the others go southbound

                  Staffing on engines as I stated can be 2 to 3 depending on staffing or less if its a volunteer rig. The ladder is staffed with 2 always. The squad is staffed with 2 always. Ambulances have 2. Not all ambulances have fire personnel on board. Some may be mutual aid or volunteer rescue squads. It sucks but honestly I don't see it changing anytime soon.


                  • #10
                    If a firefighter was to get seriously inured or killed and not following the NFPA standard. Can the department and city be held responsible?


                    • #11
                      Looking at the run numbers, I would say that it's quite likely at any one time at least 1 ambulance, and likely 2, is committed to an EMS run.

                      Taking that into account, the maximum staffing available drops to 14-18, which severely limits the ability to put all the resources on the fire while still keeping a minimal reserve for additional runs. That appears to be the reality.

                      I have no idea what they have available for mutual aid, or what the callback response is. That being said, it's difficult to critique how they are responding.

                      As far as the response on my combination department, we have a total of 5 paid during the day with 3 being staffed to the fire side, the Chief, and myself (Prevention & Training). We will get all 5 if we are not doing prevention (me), out of town on meetings or trainings, etc. At times it may be as few as 2 or 3 actually in the district and/or available. Night staffing is a Captain and a Driver/Operator. Volunteer response for a major fire is typically 10-12 during the day (with more after about 2 PM) and 1-20 (or more at times) at night.

                      Response is at least 2 engines, a tanker and the rescue truck. If in a non-hydranted area, we will respond our 2 3000g pumper-tankers to support the tanker. We also have an 8,000g tanker available for major incidents where the roads and turnarounds permit if needed.

                      My volunteer department typically responds 3-4 during the day and 6-7 at night for structure fires, with automatic mutual aid consisting of one engine and their on-duty crew of 4. Working fires will get the officer typically requesting mutual aid from another volunteer department in the parish and my combination department.
                      Last edited by LaFireEducator; 09-24-2015, 05:16 PM.
                      Train to fight the fires you fight.


                      • #12
                        4 Stations

                        1- 2 Engines, 1 Ladder, Chief
                        2- 1 Engine, 1 Ladder
                        3- 2 Engines
                        4- 1 Engine

                        Residential Fire gets 3 Engines/1 Ladder/Chief
                        High Hazard Building gets 3 Engines/2 Ladder/Chief


                        • #13
                          Full-Time/Part-time/Volunteer Combination department

                          5 Stations, EMT IV-Tech level

                          33.3 Square miles of coverage

                          The Shift Commander/BC/Chief is HQ'd at Station 3. He/She drives the command car, a Suburban.

                          Station 1: Engine, Ambo, Tender, Brush truck w/ Polaris 4x4,

                          Station 2: Quint 100' Medium duty ladder, Ambo, Mobile Command Post

                          Station 3: Engine, Heavy Rescue, Ambo

                          Station 4: Engine, Quint (110' Heavy Duty Ladder), Ambo, collapse rescue trailer, Heavy Rescue

                          Station 5: Engine, Ambo, Tender, Rehab Trailer

                          Each Station is cross-staffed by FF, EMT's or FF/EMT combo. Minimum Staffing per station is 2 with Station 3 having a minimum of 3 due to the shift commander being located there.

                          We are on pace to average around 3660 runs this year.

                          Structure Fires:

                          For a still alarm, it is one engine (truck in the case of ST 2's area)

                          Working Still: 3x Engines, 2x Trucks, 1x Squad, 1x Ambo, all department chiefs *3 of these units are mutual aid companies*

                          Structure Fire -Non Hydrant
                          Still: Same as Other Still
                          Working: 3x Engines, 1x Truck, 1x Squad, 3x Tenders, 1x mutual aid medic Ambo, All Dept Chiefs + mutual aid cheif

                          We are part of MABAS.


                          • #14
                            29 stations, 29 engines, 8 trucks, 8 rescues(non transport), 2 HazMat, 1 Squad

                            Staffing: Minimum of 3 on engine and truck, 2 on rescue, 5-6 on Squad.

                            Residential Structure Fire: 3 Engines, 1 Truck, 1 Rescue, 1 Battalion, 1 Squad, 1 Air and Light (minimum: 22)
                            Commercial Structure Fire: 4 Engines, 2 Trucks, 1 Rescue, 2 Battalions, 1 Squad, 1 Air and Light (minimum: 30)
                            MVC: 1 Engine
                            MVC with Entrapment/Rollover: 1 Engine, 1 Truck, 1 Squad
                            MVC on Interstate: 2 Engines
                            BLS EMS: 1 Engine
                            ALS EMS: 1 Engine and 1 Rescue(if engine responding is not ALS)

                            May request more units as necessary if needed.


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