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Which departments use a quiet response policy to certain types of calls?

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  • Which departments use a quiet response policy to certain types of calls?

    I'm a firefighter doing a research project for a college course; Can anyone answer with any departments they know who respond without lights and sirens and obeying all traffic laws to certain types of calls.

    So far I know that St Louis FD and Detroit FD does. And the FDNY is testing it out. Thanks.

  • #2
    I think you'll find that many departments do this in one form or another for non-lifethreatening calls.

    I have some survey data that might be helpful to you. I'll see if I can extract it from my study database in a convenient form.

    Our department essentially has three response levels:

    (1) all assigned units in emergency response mode (lights & sirens, traffic signal pre-emption, etc.)
    (2) all assigned units in routine response mode (flow of traffic, obey all traffic signs/signals)
    (3) first due units in emergency response mode, all other assigned units in routine response mode

    We also make it a practice to promptly reduce later due equipment to a routine response mode as appropriate based on conditions found by earlier arriving unists.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
    sigpic
    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    • #3
      Thanks, that is very appreciated. Which department are you with?

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      • #4
        Our standard response is first & second truck leave the station with lights, sirens, etc. for all calls.

        Subsequent trucks leave the hall with only lights flashing unless there is a dire need to get them on-scene as soon as possible. They also obey all traffic laws and act as just another vehicle on the road.

        We haven't implemented a policy yet where initial response doesn't have lights and siren running. Given the liability issues discussed in other threads here, I can't see us implementing that policy without a good reason.

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        • #5
          We have a policy for non emergent response both at work and the vollie house.
          ------------------------------------
          These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
          ------------------------------------

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 105 View Post
            Subsequent trucks leave the hall with only lights flashing unless there is a dire need to get them on-scene as soon as possible. They also obey all traffic laws and act as just another vehicle on the road.
            Why use the lights if they're obeying all traffic laws? What kind of confusion does that create when they're sitting at a traffic light with all the lights on, but not going emergent?
            Career Fire Captain
            Volunteer Chief Officer


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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by WoppA124 View Post
              I'm a firefighter doing a research project for a college course; Can anyone answer with any departments they know who respond without lights and sirens and obeying all traffic laws to certain types of calls.
              Our company officers are given the latitude to respond with or without lights and sirens depending on the dispatcher's/caller's information, time of day, etc.
              Career Fire Captain
              Volunteer Chief Officer


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

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
                I think you'll find that many departments do this in one form or another for non-lifethreatening calls.

                I have some survey data that might be helpful to you. I'll see if I can extract it from my study database in a convenient form.

                Our department essentially has three response levels:

                (1) all assigned units in emergency response mode (lights & sirens, traffic signal pre-emption, etc.)
                (2) all assigned units in routine response mode (flow of traffic, obey all traffic signs/signals)
                (3) first due units in emergency response mode, all other assigned units in routine response mode

                We also make it a practice to promptly reduce later due equipment to a routine response mode as appropriate based on conditions found by earlier arriving unists.
                Very similar to what appears to be used in Albany, NY.....

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                • #9
                  We don't have a written policy, but it's pretty much if life and/or property are threatened, RLAS.

                  Trees down, flooded basements, etc generally go cold.

                  We run BLS EMS first response. If it is rated BLS by EMD, I'll often run cold, although the lights may come on on-scene, as we are sometimes the pathfinder for the ambulance.
                  Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                  Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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                  • #10
                    We go cold for trouble alarms, lift assists, flooded basements, trees down, wires down (given they are NOT in a roadway and they are NOT sparking....if either condition exists we go hot).

                    For AFAs: residential-first engine hot, 2nd engine, truck, 2nd truck, and chief cold.
                    commercial-first engine, truck, and chief hot, 2nd engine, and second truck cold.

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                    • #11
                      There isn't much we don't run lights and sirens for, but when I say "lights and sirens" Sirens are not always a requirement. The things I can list we don't run code for, are flooded basements calls. And honestly that is about it, any other non-life threatening call its left up to the officer and driver/operator on whether or not lights are used.

                      Lift assists, tree's and wires calls, similar stuff such as that we will run pretty much lights only.
                      Opinions expressed by myself here are just that, mine. And not that of ANY organization or service I am affiliated with.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
                        Why use the lights if they're obeying all traffic laws? What kind of confusion does that create when they're sitting at a traffic light with all the lights on, but not going emergent?
                        More for safety and visibility - no need to endanger anyone by speeding, taking right-of-way through intersections, etc., however it is still a call response and as a result the lights are lit up.

                        So far, no confusion noted - nobody in the community has ever asked why we have the lights on but not siren nor taking off like a scalded cat.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 105 View Post
                          More for safety and visibility - no need to endanger anyone by speeding, taking right-of-way through intersections, etc., however it is still a call response and as a result the lights are lit up.

                          So far, no confusion noted - nobody in the community has ever asked why we have the lights on but not siren nor taking off like a scalded cat.
                          Please don't think I'm being a smartass, but I just don't get it. Do you also return to the station with the lights on, and if not, why not?
                          Career Fire Captain
                          Volunteer Chief Officer


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

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                          • #14
                            Regionally, we have 4 levels of dispatch:

                            Code 3 (lights and siren)
                            Code X (company officers discretion)
                            Code 2 (no-lights or siren)
                            Code 2 AOI (same as code 2, but available for other higher priority traffic)

                            For fire calls all units are dispatched code 3, regardless of type of fire.

                            Service calls will can be any category depending on the type of service call - For example, a lock-out with a child in the car in the summer is code 3, in the winter it would be code 2.

                            EMS is more complected: All EMS calls here get a fire company, call nature will dictate if that company is dispatched code 2 or 3 and if an ambulance is dispatched as well. On all but a small category of calls, the ambulance is always dispatched code 2 unless they are closer to the incident AND it is categorized as an ALS call.

                            In the end, all EMS is really Code X, as it is the company officer's final choice to go "code 3" or not.

                            This sounds complected, but 90% of the work is done by the dispatcher and their computer. All calls are assumed to be Code 3... unless the dispatcher voice Code 2 or Code 2 AOI. Response type is also noted on the MCT screen rather obviously.

                            I also don't understand the concept of running lights without siren while driving normally, it seems like a really good way to confuse drivers.
                            "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
                            "Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571

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                            • #15
                              We are pretty much the same as box alarm, officer discretion based on the dispatched info.
                              Last edited by Fireeaterbob; 03-21-2011, 09:59 PM. Reason: wrong quote
                              A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

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