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Quite Run on Alarms

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I agree with e33. The safety of our firefighters is the number one priority. Driving an emergency apparatus is very dangerous. If we can make it safer why not do it. Don't get me wrong. If we think there is a good possibility of a fire or that something just doesn't sound right we run emergency.

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

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Great thought wanna-be..but you need to be on the streets to understand that its lights on or lights off. You cannot say that for a certain call you will only use the siren this way and drive that way etc. I see the point...but fires dont usually just appear w/o notice. Fire alarms..ike i always say, what is a fire alarm? It is an alarm..a bell that is ringing in a building. i am sorry, but the risk we present to us and them by going emergency to fire alarms isnt worth the 99% false rate. Potential fires, ie smells and visible smoke..full response in emg mode. I can see first due unit responding to most calls emergency and all others reducing their response.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    As a civilian, let me say this: If there's an odor of smoke, say, in my house, and I can't find it (probably in the walls, given the nature of my house), I want to know that the FD is responding. IE, I want to hear them. A CO or a washdown, I can understand non-emergency. But if there's the possibility that property and lives are at risk, the sooner the fire department gets there, the better. The person will know that help is on the way, as they'll hear a Q2B from blocks away, and they will hear more and more.

    I'd rather the department that's supposed to be protecting me take my safety seriously enough that they'll run emergency. And they do. Wires arcing, transformer problems, they get emergency responses. In fact, judging by dispatch transmissions, if they are supposed to respond non-emergency, the dispather will tell them to respond non-emergency.

    In my city, we have fairly good fire coverage. A full box assignment can be on my street within 3 minutes of dispatch. But in more suburban/rural areas, I can envision the following happening: Odor of smoke at a house, a standard box of 4 engines, 2 trucks, and a battalion chief dispatched. Engine 1 and Truck 1 respond emergency, the rest on the quiet. Engine 1 pulls up, reports nothing showing, units continue on the quiet. Then they get into the house/apartment, and they find that the sucker was in the floor, in the ceiling, the walls, or that a central room was going. All of a sudden they're screaming for the rest of the box alarm. Of course, the rest of the units are responding from farther away, and must really put a push on it, increasing the risk of an accident. By the time they get on scene, the whole thing could be lost.

    Now that I've mentioned accidents, how about we consider this: By responding emergency, the overall response time is shortened, even if the drivers are slow and careful. By responding non-emergency, response time can be longer. If, while en route, it upgrades, and you respond the same speed as you do normally with emergency response, you have indeed lost time. And if you increase the speed to make up for lost time, you run an increased risk of an accident.

    Responding emergency doesn't mean pedal to the metal. Responding emergency means red lights and sirens, gaining the right of way in traffic to expedite a response. Perhaps a compromise can be reached for departments set on running on the quiet. IE, maintain speed limit, but run with lights on. If approaching a red light or stop sign, cut on the siren and make sure it is safe to continue on. Then cut if off again. Basically how the city does it at night here. You're still making good progress, but you're not making an excessive racket, you're not striking fear (and stupidity?) into the hearts and minds of drivers. What do you all think?

    Peace, and stay safe.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    At least your chief lets you respond. Our dept. is usually held at station when the chief is around and responds to alarms systems or activations. Most of the station doesn't agree, but he's the chief. We haven't got caught w/ our pants down yet! But it will only take one for the station to be ridiculed for not responding. I have heard of disticts that had the same procedures for alarms till the got bit! The had a working job that came in as a alarm. Two lives were lost. No one knows for sure if the imidiate response would have saved the lives or not. Why take that chance? The last thing I needed to add is that we respond to cover assignments lights and sirens. Sounds stupid doesn't it?

    ------------------
    David DeCant
    firefighter/NREMT-B
    Originally Mantua,NJ
    Presently Lindenwold,NJ(I'm not a member of any of this District's dept's.)

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  • 26DC
    replied
    I like the idea of one engine running emergency to QUIET runs (darn rented fingers!!) and the others non-emergency. Gets possibly needed apparatus out of the station, but not in too much harm's way until determined to be necessary.

    Way to go St. Louis. First, the quints (I know, they didn't invent the concept), now the quiet runs. Chief Sventics has the guts to do what's right, good, AND innovative, it would appear. It could be neat if more chiefs were like that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Our department started using a priority 1 or priority 2 type of response 2 years ago. We use the priority 2 response for "cleanup from a motor vehicle accident" and "carbon monoxide detector" runs where we don't run with lights and siren. All other runs for now are lights and siren.
    It just makes good sense in some situations.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Can anyone fax me their SOP's.
    Thanks in advance
    423-975-2846

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    e33,

    Your right, after numerous accidents St. Louis instituted the on-the-quiet policy. The last thing I read this policy has dramatically reduced their number of accidents. I read an article recently that also stated as an added bonus, nuisance fire calls were way down for the first half of the year. It seems that since fire trucks weren't coming code 3 it took some of the thrill out of it for those who like to set fires in dumpsters just to see the big trucks makin' all that noise.

    I think this type of policy is an excellent idea. Every time we roll out the door we are putting ourselves and the general public at risk. Even with a strict driving policy accidents are bound to occur. Add to that multi-company houses with 2 or 3 pieces responding to an alarm and odds start to increase. There are several types of calls we now run non-emergency. This has worked well for us in the past two years.

    In the future, I see this being applied to certain EMS calls as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Why would you do it any other way? Cuts the risk to engines and crews as well as public...and the lights arent always gettin ya there any faster. My vote goes to the "on the quiet" response. St. Louis did this within the last few years for a number of call types. This followed a series of needless apparatus crashes if my memory serves me correct.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Our dept. just instituted that change also (just yesterday as a matter of fact) District station - first due apparatus runs lights and siren, Second station runs normal traffic, unless or until there is a report of a possible fire condition. If there is a reported fire condition, reponse is upgraded to full structure response..

    ------------------
    ED C.
    "Doin' it for lives and property !"
    http://members.aol.com/PT10FD/info.htm

    *** UPDATE *** Had our very first alarm run under this new procedure turned out to be a working fire - sprinkler put it out... still think it is a good procedure.




    [This message has been edited by PTFD21 (edited August 11, 1999).]

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    So, you think the "quite run" is a good idea?
    We can also upgrade depending on the situation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    We have been running what we consiger "still alarms" non emergency for several years. "Still Alarms" are defined as any alarm in which no life or real property is involved. Such as ground cover fires, dumpster fires, fire alarms, smell of smoke and gas leaks outside of structures, ect... Many times we respond to vehicle fires non emergency. The officer on the apparatus has the flexability to upgrade any still alarm to emergency should conditions warrant. Conditions such as heavy traffic and a high KDI index will get a ground cover fire upgraded fairly quickly.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest started a topic Quite Run on Alarms

    Quite Run on Alarms

    Any comments about the "quite run" on certain types of alarms. Our chief just instituted a policy on it and it has created some controversy. Any comments would be appreciated. Our first in engine will respond "emergency" with siren/lights and all others will respond non-emergency to all board or alarm company calls to 911 unless information is received that indicates a possible fire then all units respond emergency.

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