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Quite Run on Alarms

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    My department is thinking about going with the quiet run on certain type of calls. The information provided by anyone has been extremely helpful to me. I think Wannabe_emt missed the point on this topic. Certain runs require lights and sirens other do not. Point was well taken about moronic drivers. We have had several panic and lock up the tires in the middle of the road when finally seeing the big fire truck with all the lights and sirens behind them after we been cussing them for the mile that they did not see us behind them (dont worry, we cuss up to ourself, have to maintain good PR. I believe several of the department doing quiet run has demonstrated that alot of times the run times are very close between quiet and full bore.

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    Guest replied
    Ditto to the responses from E33 (thx for the pix) and Halligan. wannabe, I don't think anyone here is suggesting that we run quiet to reports of SMOKE IN A RESIDENCE. This policy is for unsubstantiated alarms, outdoor odor investigations, smoke in the area (during fireplace season), etc. "Running code" is dangerous for us and the community. Civilians, as a general rule, aren't all that bright. Even when responding lights and sirens, I don't get in too big a hurry. My wife and my two sons expect me home at the end of my shift. That's more important than ANY piece of property.
    Don't forget to buckle up, your constituents are watching (especially the little ones).

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    In my part of the woods all of our apparatus respond lights and sirens(signal 2) to all calls but if a chief or officer arrives first and does a size up and then at the discretion of OIC gives a signal 4 which is no sirens and only a few lights.
    There has been many times where I personaly was driving and had lights and sires blasting and no one stops and other times I've had no lights on and people stop to let me go through the intersection go figure.


    ------------------
    AJM108


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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    The department in my hometown runs "Quiet" about %80 of the time because most of the calls are ambulance transfers or grass fire/mutual aid. This is especially true at night. The police run the same way going to semi-emergency/non-life threatning calls like silent alarms. Use the lights and the airhorn if you need to get someone out of the way. Statistically, our crime rate is higher than a close metropolitan area and you almost never here a siren. My opinion, use your best judgement.

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    Guest replied


    This was a food on the stove run which left a 6 man ladder crew and several civilians hospitalized and the bus driver dead.


    **Disclaimer**I mean no disservice to those involved in these accidents, for I do not know all of the details..I m merely trying to illustrate a point.

    [This message has been edited by e33 (edited November 28, 1999).]

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    oops

    [This message has been edited by e33 (edited November 28, 1999).]

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    It wasn't perceived, have a nice life. Get some experience before you act like you have a clue.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Not hostility..sorry..merely frustration.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Halligan84, e33, and others, your perceived hostility is not appreciated. I am thus leaving this particular forum. You may rejoice as you deem appropriate.

    And sir, before you draw conclusions in the future, perhaps you should consider the circumstances of what is said. Not once did I say I wanted to hear sirens. I merely stated that for a person in need of emergency assistance, hearing a fire vehicle approaching would quite possibly be comforting.

    I have plenty else that I could say, but I refuse to be drawn further into this petty bickering. Good day.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I have a hard time with a high school student buff taking anyone on here to task for an operational policy. Thanks 33 for saving me the time of going through the last few vehicle accident LODD but I will point out that consistently, year after year, Responding and returning deaths make rank the 2nd leading cause of firefighter LODD. Let me get you right.. you want to hear sirens? Does that do something for you? Maybe your looking into the wrong business. We have a responsibility to #1 our firefighters and #2 everyone else we come in contact with, including those on the roads while we respond. In 22 years I have seen drivers do more moronic things upon seeing lights and hearing sirens than you can imagine. Hopefully when you get your drivers license you'll pull to the right and STOP when you hear us. A fire alarm activation is nothing more than a report that a circuit has closed in a structure and set off some bells. If it is a bonafide report of fire you couldn't prove it by my experience. A verbal report of a fire and even some alarm systems get an emergency priority response in my department. A significant percentage of our runs in the past 2 years have been handled "on the quiet" Some were upgraded, some we found something we had to act on upon arrival. In no case did anyone suffer harm or loss by our response time. Information received at dispatch and while responding is key to making the correct decision in setting response priority, not some notion that everytime someone picks up the phone we come screaming. By the way, a number of police departments are reducing responses to burglar alarms due to the incredible number of false calls and yes accidents. Get your people home in the same shape they arrived for work!

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    have you ever answerd an emergency call on a fire apparatus? Have you ever driven a fire apparatus? Have you ever been a member of a fire department? have you ever taken and dipatched a call to a fire dept? I respect you for your opinions..as i should, and i also respect that you seem to be a rather intelligent individual..esp for a high school student...but you need to realize whats going on here before you can say so dead certain...trust me. i used to think the same way you did.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    As I recall, the Texas City crash was due to error on the part of another vehicle which failed to yield to the fire apparatus. Of course, the overpass supports in the way didn't exactly help either. And a roll-over? Come on. It is the responsibility of the driver of the fire apparatus to make sure the intersection is safe before proceeding through. That's why fire vehicles slow down considerably here, even when the light is green. And there's one simple rule for preventing a roll-over. SLOW DOWN. You can still run emergency. Just slow down on the curve, hill, or whatever you're on. Running emergency doesn't necessarily mean pedal to the metal.

    Perhaps things work differently where you are, but here there are certain buildings that have the Silent Knight alarm system, fed directly into the dispatch center. So what's the delay then? As for residential, yeah, it's often "accidental activation" or "system malfunction." But I'm pretty sure that if people died in a fire where apparatus responded non-emergency, those firefighters would feel safer in a wrecked rig than at the mercy of the public.

    Oh well. You do it the way you want to do it, my city'll do it the way it wants to do it. And so long as my city takes my safety seriously, then I don't have any problems.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    http://www.firehouse.com/lodd/1999/tx_0ct5.html
    Ask the family of this man about apparatus crashes.....They happen all the time.
    Theres their rig...it happens.




    Now how do we feel?

    There is no way that you can truly appreciate the use of warnng devices to respond to nuisance calls. We take the chance on every call that it will be more than it was dispatched as. Sirens are swell and have a place, but i don't want to go much farther than this. i am going to get too frustrated too fast. Yes..its actually safer to go non-emergency to all calls..if you want to know. But we do something called a risk benefit analysis. We risk alot to save alot (dwelling fire with occupants entrapped), risk a little to save a little (dwelling fire w/o entrapment but still savable property) and risk nothing to save what is lost(fully involved dwelling). Apply that globally to whatever you do in life...you will go far. A finger injury could end up being a person who fell 10 stories..who knew? We are more at risk while in emergency mode than not...i understand its cool to see the fire engines cruising by with the lights on..but look at this rationally. Think safe and act appropriate. We are #1 ALWAYS


    Now, as far as fire alarms..lets go over this process.

    1. Fire alarm sounds. This is wonderful...our alarm is telling us that there is a fire, or tha some ****bag pulled the box on the wall, or theres dust in the head, or someone was taking a shower, or someone was cooking..but anyway. If it is a local alarm, it will not transmit anywhere..too bad. Relies on human element to report it. if there os no fire..most likely wont get too many calls regarding it as a fire..right, after all the person has to call to tell the bell is dinging. Remember the alarm has to sense the problem..which means the problem must find the sensor...Time delay number 1.

    2. Alarm transmits: If hooked to a central station, the alarm now tansmits the signal..time delay number 2.

    3. Alarm company does one of several things..they will call premesis and confirm, or call keyholder/contact names, or call fire dispatcher to req fire dept..time delay number 3.

    4. Fire dispatcher gets info and looks up plan and sends the units...time delay number 4.

    4. Fire units respond and finally arrive to find....a bell ringing, food burned, steam from the shower, a ****bag kid laughing his all off etc. Hardly ever a fire.

    Let me remind you in the time frame we just covered..usually at least 10 min prior to a unit arriving..it could have flashed 2 or 3 times...and if the fire board isnt getting numerous calls from the area reporting a working fire...I'll be damned. So, how do I know this? i am a fire dispatcher..thats how it wrks here brther..trust me..the system isnt in your favor if you have a fire alarm. Well I rest my case. Fires dont just appear outta the thin air.



    [This message has been edited by e33 (edited November 12, 1999).]

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    E33, and others: Isn't the fact that the situation is never the same, and that there really can be no SOPs for responding the perfect reason to respond emergency? There's a 99% false rate, you say. What about that other 1%? What if that one house out of a hundred is a multi-family dwelling? Three or four kids, mom, dad, grandmother, grandfather, possibly wheelchair-bound? I recently saw a NIST demonstration. A match dropped in a sofa got the fire roaring awfully quick. It reached flashover conditions in about 4 or 5 minutes. My city's response time is about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on traffic. Now, say I have an alarm company monitoring my house. 30 seconds into the whole thing, it goes off, notifies. About a minute in, "Engine 42, Truck 30, respond, residential fire signal being received." Three minutes later, they're on scene. But it's already been four minutes. Flashover conditions, the sucker's really rolling by then. Grandparents and kids are stuck on the second floor. I would surely like to see the face on E42's lieutenant when he rounds the corner to see, "Two and a half story wood frame, heavy fire showing, sides one and two. Multiple victims visible in second floor windows. Give us a full box!" Can we say "oops?"

    I don't much favor non-emergency responses for potential fires. The city will always respond emergency with enough units to do something should a pot of food turn into a fully involved kitchen or a residential alarm become a heavy fire, people trapped condition.

    What is an alarm? An alarm is a bell, yes, or a gong, a buzzer, a siren... An alarm can be going off for any reason. A prank, a system malfunction... Or a fullblown fire. An alarm is supposed to notify the occupants, the monitoring company, the FD, or all of the above should it detect something that should not be that way. This is true for a fire alarm or a breakin alarm. Do you think the police would say "ho-hum, I'll take my time" when a silent burglar alarm is going off? I doubt it. They'd flick on their lights and proceed, lights, no sirens, to the scene. No sirens in order to keep the suspect from being alerted. Of course, the FD doesn't need to keep suspects in the dark.

    On the news, I have seen several police-involved accidents while they were responding emergency. Not once have I seen or heard anything of a FD-involved wreck while responding. Fire engines are larger, louder, and, yes, a tad slower than police cars. They're more visible. They sit higher, affording the driver a better view. Perhaps CFD-E3 is right. If the FD keeps getting in wrecks, it's the driving that needs improvement. If this is so, train the drivers. But if you want to make things safer, why say "don't hurry at all?" It's like running, jogging, and walking. Lights and sirens, running. Lights, sirens when needed, jogging. Obeying all traffic laws, no lights, no sirens, walking. Send the first due engine and truck running, the rest jogging, if you don't want to have them all "running." It just makes sense to me.

    Peace, and stay safe.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I think wanna be is exactly right. Get everyone to the fire/emergency as fast as safely possible. If you have never been in your Fire Alarm office then you should spend some time there. People usually call and tell you there is a car fire and hang up. They don't tell you it is in an attached garage, no matter how hard you try to ask them questions. How do you try to exlplain to the home owner that he should be happy we sat through the light 6 times before we made it through but at least we didn't hit anyone or get hit by anyone on the way. What do you tell the neighbor who called the fire department for the CO detector for the house next door and while you were taking your time , the family was actually dieing of CO poisoning. I have been on the streets for 8 years in a semi large city. There have been very few accidents involving fire apparatus in that time. If dept's are getting in that many accidents then maybe it is not a problem of how you are responding but who is driving.

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