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  • Volunteers

    I don't know where else to post this so,

    The FD here is all career, so i have no idea how Volunteer fire dept.'s work. I know that they are given pagers, so is it who ever makes it to the station the fastest, and gets on the trucks that go on the calls? or is it like shift days. And do they spend the night at the station? or get paged out in the middle of the night to run calls. Can someone please explain., Thx

    O yea, and what does the first person at the station do and stuff.
    Last edited by alpha4; 02-06-2007, 09:16 PM.

  • #2
    The answer is both. Some VFD's do shift work and staff the station 24/7, while others carry pagers and respond when they can. It just depends on call volume and what works for them.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by alpha4 View Post
      I don't know where else to post this so,

      The FD here is all career, so i have no idea how Volunteer fire dept.'s work. I know that they are given pagers, so is it who ever makes it to the station the fastest, and gets on the trucks that go on the calls? or is it like shift days. And do they spend the night at the station? or get paged out in the middle of the night to run calls. Can someone please explain., Thx

      O yea, and what does the first person at the station do and stuff.
      Volunteer stations don't all run the same. Some don't have shifts, some do.
      I'll speak for Northwood (which is not the department I'm explorer with)
      During the week days, we have 2 paramedics and/or emts on duty 0800-1700 hours. They respond to all calls in the city in a mini-pumper. For the rest of the guys, basically the first person who gets there goes to the radio/watch room and clears the call through dispatch to varify the address/location. It's who ever makes the trucks first that go.
      Outside the 0800-1700 hours block (middle of the night), there's a medic unit (first responder staffed by a medic or an emt-I) that responds city-wide to all calls. The first person to make it to the station clears the call. First people to get ont he truck go.

      Like I said, not all vollie departments run the same as others do. I'm only familiar with the 2 departments I'm connected with. They basically run the same.
      Firefighter/EMT
      My words stated here do not necessarily point towards organizations which I am affiliated with.

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      • #4
        k thanks.

        So they page all the volunteers, and the first captain, engineer, and FF's there ride out w/ the truck? and i heard something about blue lights,

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        • #5
          Originally posted by alpha4 View Post
          k thanks.

          So they page all the volunteers, and the first captain, engineer, and FF's there ride out w/ the truck? and i heard something about blue lights,
          Right.
          Blue lights? They vary by state and department protocols. Some states don't allow any lights on POVs and some states allow reds and white kights and sirens on POVs. I'm not familiar with the blue light state's rules. Here in Ohio fire fighters can have red and white lights and sirens. I know that in Ohio, the rule varies by department. Some guys can not get them until they're 6 months into their probation. There are some states that only allow one blue light but no sirens. There are some states that allow red and white lights but no sirens. It varies. Just depends where you are and what kind of cheif you have.
          Firefighter/EMT
          My words stated here do not necessarily point towards organizations which I am affiliated with.

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          • #6
            k, thx guys

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            • #7
              Our department responds to the station via personal vehicle to fill the trucks first. Once the trucks are filled and at the station you can respond directly to the scene. By listening to the pager, you know which truck has left and if any more need to be filled. If you have to pass by the scene to get to the station, you are to stop on scene.

              We do not do EMS

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              • #8
                When ou department gets a call we respond to the station, a line or chief officer may respond to the scene and a firefighter may respond to the scene if they are going by it on there way to the station, the first person who arrives gets ready and opens the bayy doors, once there is enough people to fill the rescue(if tis an MVA, they will respond and the net 5 people will respond on the engine

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                • #9
                  The way our FD runs: METCAD tones us out, whoever can respond responds to the station. We must have at least 3 people to roll a truck, and if its a medical there must be at least one EMT. The first person to the station copies the call, When we get enough for a crew we roll whether we have an officer or not.

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                  • #10
                    On my old department,the only folks allowed to drive are the ones who've been EVOC certified.Our usual driver knew the area like the back of his hand because he'd grown up there.
                    I've driven one of the older pumpers to calls and the utility truck numerous times under orders from the officer in charge on that call.That trust has to be earned.I also knew how to run the pumps and what medical gear to grab which may have been a factor.
                    The first person arriving to the station opens doors and starts motors on vehicles.Most everyone has pagers and two ways but our policy was to let the officers announce their response on the radio and let everyone else just get there.That way the radio isn't tied up blocking further information being aired.I usually left my radio in my turnouts so I wouldn't have to transfer it before getting suited up.
                    If just a couple people are able to get there by the time an officer arrives,we'd go with that and people knew to grab their gear and safely drive POV to the scene.
                    If it was a small call,like a medical,people would stand by at the station in case we had another call come in.The idea was if an EMT was able to respond,they had priority in going on those runs.If not,we had First Responders that could do enough until the ambulance service(non FD) arrived.
                    Most of the Sheriff's Deputies knew who was on a department in their patrol areas and "usually" left us alone unless someone was really busting the limit or running lights to get to the station.They were dealt with by the FD officers after the ticket was paid,usually by suspending them from answering calls for two weeks.

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                    • #11
                      Our operations are much like everyone else has described here so far. All fire departments and EMS squads in the county are dispatched by a central, county-operated dispatch center using a combination of voice paging (primary) and text paging to cell phones (secondary).

                      Excluding the City of Reading (which is a primarily career department), most departments in the county have volunteers responding from home, work or wherever when they're paged. A few have small paid crews covering daytime hours or paid drivers at certain stations, but none have paid staffs larger than what's needed to get one rig out, with volunteers picking up the rest of the staffing, driving, etc. Many of the EMS squads in the county are independent entities with 24x7 paid staffing (usually paramedics), so they run pretty much like any all-career fire department EMS division would (except most are not attached to the fire departments).

                      At our station, volunteers generally respond to the station to staff apparatus after they've been paged by County Communications. If all the apparatus that are due on a certain type of call are already out, they can then go to the scene in their personal vehicles or, if there is apparatus still at station, standby with those rigs until called for. For calls in our district, the ranking officer will usually go directly to the scene to establish command ahead of the rigs, but it depends on the exact situation. We pretty much roll 'em as they get staffed, in whatever order the incident calls for, based on pre-planned procedures for different types of fires and different districts (ours, vs outbound mutual aid). We try to train as many of our personnel as driver/operators as we safely can, and all officers are driver/operators as well.

                      We don't have bunkroom or live-in facilities, but some stations in the county do. In those cases, they may have duty crews assigned at certain times (especially weekends) or even have people (especially college students) who live at the station and provide a pool of readily available manpower. In order to support such a program, you need substantial call volume, and the 200 to 250 per year that we do just isn't enough to make it cost effective.

                      Even without duty crews, we generally have staffed apparatus on the road in under 4 minutes and apparatus on location anywhere in our first due area in under 10 minutes. Outbound mutual aid sometimes takes longer, depending on where it is.

                      Hope this helps you...
                      Last edited by bobsnyder; 02-07-2007, 01:38 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Our department, we do not get pagers. If we want to hear calls, we either get a scanner or if your parent is a firefighter or EMS, you will hear their pager. We cannot go on a call past 9:00PM on school nights. If they need us, they call us. We go to the station, get on our gear and, hopefully, get on the truck. We cannot go on EMS calls of Mutual Aid unless we are already on the truck when the call comes in.

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                        • #13
                          yeah thx guys that really helped.
                          im not use to VFD

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                          • #14
                            Like other posters replied it really depends on the dept. Mine for example is strictly paid on call. Once we get toned out through our central dispatch. If the call is closer to you than a station we go directly to the scene. If a station is closer we respond to one of our stations since we have 3. We normally have at least 10 people show up for calls and maybe 2 or 3 respond with a truck more people with more trucks if we need them and usually about 5 people will respond directly to the scene. Our system is actually pretty neat because when the tones drop no matter what way you look you will see FD personell responding, this really helps with response time as we can have somebody on scene within a minute or two in most cases.

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                            • #15
                              i really think that there should be no VFD's out there. im sorry for all you out there that are Volunteers, but i think that the response time to get to the station, suit up, and go to the scene of a fire is a lot. There should be quicker response times, to save peoples lives

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