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Who does not respond to accidents and why?

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  • #16
    My department responds to any MVA with injuries, entrapment, or spillage/leakage. FD in my county do all extrications...we have a severe problem with EMS having staffing to run a transport unit much less a heavy rescue. We are also cross-trained to provide patient care.

    Like stated before, FD needs to be on scene if there are injuries. If it was bad enough to hurt someone, it usually is gonna have something spewing out, especially with autos designed to "disintegrate" (Crumple zones) to expell energy.

    Just my $.02.
    Begin with the end in mind.

    Be safe out there!!


    • #17
      Our department responds (well, are supposed to) to all MVC's with injuries, any leaking fluids, or debris (major). I say supposed to because our PD has cancelled us or has advised dispatch (our 911 center dispatches us both) we are not needed on several calls where we should have responded.

      We have several members that are cross-trained in EMS which is a blessing in our area. Our EMS has problems getting a truck out of the building most of the time and we have to rely on the paid services to respond. With the time involved in this process, we provide patient care, extricate if needed, and do cleanup along with traffic control. FD in my county (Tazewell) do the extrications. The policy mentioned above also applies to the 16 other departments in the county (we provide service to our municipality only). Several other depts have some members that are crosstrained, and it has paid off on more occasions than I care to mention.

      It really is nice when all agencies can work hand in hand on this. As long as FD uses common sense responding, doesn't bring so many pieces of apparatus to the scene as not to clutter things up, I see no reason not to go. EMS usually appreciates the extra hands on scene and the PD likes not having to deal with traffic control. As far as losing membership due to responding to accidents, we do not have this problem....it usually boosts morale to run more often.

      [ 01-11-2002: Message edited by: TTFD16 ]

      Faith in God, Trust in Training.

      [email protected]


      • #18
        I think there is also a question here about depts. who run Ems and fire together. At my vol., and career dpts. we do both, so "both" respond to p.i.'s. I feel sorry for the people who get just an EMS response. I remember somewhere in communications classes that dispatch info. rarely tells the whole story! And what does a 2 or 3 person squad(ambulance) do if they actually backboard this patient? Simply getting an average sized person out of a car on a board(correctly) can take 4 people, let alone if they happen to be the larger persons.

        One other thing I noticed while reading this post and its replies: Toneloc, you said professional in quotes, are you implying something? I could be wrong, and I apologize in advance if I am, but you sound like a volunteer who has a beef with a career dept. Last I checked we are all "professionals", it's just that some are fortunate enough to paid to do this job. Once again I apologize if that was not your intentions...


        • #19
          These are my views and only my views and in no way reflects the feelings of any other member of the company.

          With that said, I stand by what I have said to this point.

          [ 01-15-2002: Message edited by: wjn48 ]


          • #20
            We run on all MVA's with injuries, roll-over, more than one vehicle involved, etc. We are also the first to respond to most uncomfirmed MVA calls that come in late at night because an ambulance can be as much as 30 minutes away. Our typical response sends two engines unless someone is reported to be trapped or it is reported as a major. I suspect we are moving to sending a recue on all MVA calls in addition to the two engines.
            Nevada, Missouri


            • #21
              As MetalMedic said, Ohio law does not contain anything which specifies what a department's response to crashes should be. It is up to the discretion of the individual agencies. That can get a bit confused when EMS and fire are separate agencies. In south west Ohio rescue is almost always provided by the FD. The last EMS rescue organization in the area (Hanover Twp., Butler Co.) went out of business & was replaced by fire based EMS about 4-5 years ago.

              All that aside, I'm a strong proponent of joint fire/EMS responses to crashes for all of the reasons listed:
                [*]More personnel to handle removing patients from the vehicle(s)[*]Personnel to handle vehicle stabilization, debris cleanup, fluids, & traffic control.[*]Another big vehicle to provide a barrier between the scene & traffic. (This also permits the ambulance to park beyond the crash so you're not taking the cot into traffic)[/list]Every department I've ever been on has done joint response, even if many of the personnel were single role. I even prefer having an engine or rescue respond if the PD wants EMS only.
              Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.


              • #22
                The noted forum is no doubt directed at the Hershey Volunteer Fire Co., Hershey Pa. As the Chief of the Company, I would like to respond and hopefully enlighten the participants on this discussion on why we do what we do. While I do not claim that our way is the best way, it is the procedure that works well for us.

                The best way to do this is to answer some of the fine questions posted by PA Volunteer.

                While I do not have the number of accidents that occure in our Township per year, I can tell you that we are a tourist destination and there have been 24 hour periods where there are 15 to 20 accidents in the Township. Here are some things we look at.
                1. We have a very good relationship with the PD. They operate in zones which allows them to be on the scene rather quickly. They have the knowledge and ability to have us dispatched in the event fire is needed. They also have CSO (civilian service offices)that carry absorbal in the vehicle. The CSO are not Police but rather assist with dog complaints, traffic control, fluids etc.
                2. Our County dispatch Center has the freedom to dispatch the FD if the callers reports sounds as though FD is needed. (to the best of my knowledge, the majority of our dispatchers are involved in the fire/ems service and have good reactions to the callers reports) We have indeed been dispatched when a caller reports "smoke" that turns out to be the powder from the air bags or reported entrapment. The police have placed us in service as an honest mistake.
                3. We are very fortunate to have numerous Corps. in our Township that allows our members to leave for all calls. (In 2000 we ran 850 calls. In 2001 we dropped to 646. We like to think the positive drop is due to our continuous fire prevention and public awarenss campaigns) I am blessed to have this kind of support from the businesses. Due to this and other members working out of their homes or shift work it is not uncommon to have 10 - 14 GOOD firefighters answering calls during those tough hours of 8 am to 5 pm. We feel that running every accident could possibly affect our members leaving their places of employment. Let's face, these businesses have a company to run.
                4. Putting a piece of apparatus ($250,000 plus)on the road for all accidents is in our opinion an exposure. Going "HOT" could create a bigger problem than what we would be responding to.
                5. EMS was taken away from us 6 years ago. The Township Supervisors removed them and ran the organization for approximately 6 months before turning it over to the Penn State University Hospital. This is a for profit organization. At the present time, there are three EMT's and two nurses on our 65 member Company. We have a policy that does not allow patient care if our members are not EMT's. I know this could be a forum in itself but we feel that due to the lawsuit happy world, this relieves us of possible legal issues. If our EMT's do patient care, we document what was done on our fire report.

                As far as fluid control, clean up, I liked what occured when I ran in Baltimore County, MD. Towing operators were responsible. If they wanted to tow, they had to clean.

                We are proud to be 100% volunteer. We strive to have an officer in the Township at all times. This is done through our Duty Officer program. All officers are provided Nextels to have instant contact with each other. There are not more than a dozen times a year that an officer is not availble in the Township. The dedication of my officers is second to none in servicing the community.

                If you would like to learn more about our fine Company, please visit us at hersheyfire.org.

                Respectfully submitted,
                Patrick Leonard, Chief
                Hershey Volunteer Fire Company


                • #23
                  On our department, the police usually arrive within 3 to 4 minutes of dispatch, and our squads within 5 minutes of dispatch. This doesn't mean that the engine won't respond if we are closer than the responding squad. Also, if our dispatch has information about entrapment, smoking cars, fuel spilled, etc, they automatically dispatch the engine and/or rescue truck.
                  Discount Fire Helmets | IAFF 3303


                  • #24
                    I am on two fire depts. in my area, the one has fire and ems, and the other is just fire. Now the one with ems we run an ambulance, rescue truck, and a pumper on almost all calls. there has been a few times that the pumper didn't respond, manpower reasons since we are just a volunteer dept. now the other dept. we only get called if there is extrication needed, except if a ambulance is dispatched from a local fire dept. then we usually run for mutual aid.


                    • #25
                      Chief well stated

                      While I respect what you have done for the department and in no way question your leadership nor your qualifications, it only takes one incident to throw this whole approach into a nightmare, but that's not for me to decide. I have a true belief right or wrong that Fire/Rescue Departments have an obligation to provide the best services available to the residents it protects and those traveling through it. I believe that the only thing missing from the service that are provide which I believe is the best the department offers are those expressed in my original posting. I posted my question for only the purpose of fact finding and nothing else and I will leave it at that. If for someone reason you or others felt I was attacking members or leaders of the Hershey Vol. Fire Department, my apologize, I was not. What I will not do is use this or any forum to embarrass someone regardless whom they are and certainly not you who has taken the department beyond anyone's expectation, plus the continued respected you receive from other Chiefs of other Departments along with community leaders. I would put this department up against any other department.

                      If I wanted too, not to say I do, if have a problem with your leadership, I would do so in private and in person and not through this page regardless what others my say.

                      As I stated on 1/12/02 These are my views and only my views, right or wrong, they are what they are.

                      I will continue to ask questions both through this forum and in person regardless how little they maybe. I know it's possible my questions or answers maybe upsetting to some, but I will not be censored because of what I believe.

                      Back onto the topic itself,

                      I agree that taking away the support the department has always received from the business community, allowing employees to leave work for calls and in most cases WITH PAY, would be damaging, especially personnel responding to calls during daylight hours.

                      I still believe at least certain highways within the response area for say 40MPH posted highways should have some type of fire department equipment responding when an accident with injuries are reported. At most 2 or 3 people.

                      I do not believe its the EMS nor the PD responsibility to make decisions on behalf of the Fire Department. I know putting a piece of equipment on the street "hot" or even non-emergency heightens safety concerns, but I also know that if I was ever in an accident again and the result of it was being injured, I sure hope the fire department is coming, because like the last one, I didn't asked to be put in that situation and definitely wanted to be remove as safely and quickly as possible. This goes for those in my family, friends and those that I know.

                      I appreciate your comments and want to thank you for responding with your views.

                      [ 01-13-2002: Message edited by: wjn 48 ]


                      • #26
                        I run EMS with FAS in Huron cty. OH. We cover 5 twp and 2 ctys. Ashland always dispatched Fire to an MVA, but we just got an agreement with New London fire (Huron) to respond to MVAs. Untill that time the EMTs had to do extaction, without turnouts or fire suppresion. This new agreement has brought together the community and helped scene safety.My e-mail is [email protected]
                        jason a casey


                        • #27
                          Well I had to reply to this post since I believe it was meant mainly for "Pennsylvania" fire and EMS departments within the commonwealth.
                          Currently our fire department does not have an initial box card for MVA's with or without entrapment. We only respond if there is a fire or another dangerous events (wires down, major amounts of fluids on the ground). Since the fire department is not on a box card they are normally not due unless requested or the 911 operator feels that fire department envolvement is needed. This is another story about having dispatchers or other emergency agencies making judgement calls rather than basing response on a box card system.
                          But back to the main topic. Should the FD be dispatched on MVA's? Well lets put it this way if EMS goes FD goes. I believe under ACT 45 (PA EMS) that the fire dept needs to have at the least a pumper at the scene of a MVA. I believe if EMS is needed then extra personal for scene control and other events like fire upon arrival, or multiple injuires. I believe in safety in numbers. Look at the dispatch for a structure fire, you have multiple companies for several tasks. At MVA's your tasks less but scene safety, patient treatment might require more than the initial dispatched personal can handle. Having an ambulance with two people and a police unit on the scene of a minor to moderate MVA might be enough in most cases, but I rather have extra equipment like a pumper with some personal.

                          Also old school guys will hate this, people in the FD should be medically trained, especially if going to MVA's. Your more useful to all when you can help in patient care plus scene control. I know the "old school" methods I came from them, but I was lucky enough to get out of that system and see that TRAINING is what makes the difference and not shiney equiptment. I hope you guys have luck in changing your policies with your municipality or FD when it comes to MVA response.

                          Also about more increase in call volume for your area, well if their is more calls than your volunteer department can handle with MVA's and other incidents then you need to consider going PAID...... Plus I know vollie FD's that bill at mva's and get 80% to 100% reimbursement from the insurance companies. so this can help with your PAYROLL............


                          • #28
                            We do it all. As a BLS FD chomping at the bit to go ALS, we do it all. Any MVA the is in our district, we respond along with EMS and RESCUE. We don't do extrication so all that we can do when we get to a pin is to attempt to remove the PT. using hand tools. This is a standard practice because our rescue may have a 20 min ETA. If nothing else, we can get on scene and cancel the rescue squad if they are not needed. This will prevent at least one piece of emergency equip. from having to run code 3. I believe that if there is an emergency, that the FD needs to repond because we have an obligation to serve.
                            these views are not those or my dept or my fellow FF's. Fight hard love your brothers


                            • #29
                              Chief Leonard,

                              First, I just wanted to point out that one of your statements is incorrect. University EMS (formerly University Hospitals EMS) in Hershey is and always has been a NON-PROFIT organization.

                              Second, I dont quite understand why EMS being taken away your department by the TOWNSHIP, should be a reason not to run MVA's. It wasn't any different 10 years ago when EMS was part of your fire department, so why is it different now? I realize that you were not Chief 10 years ago but I cannot see the logic in your reason #5.

                              John Stapf, EMT
                              University EMS

                              "Never argue with an idiot, they pull you down to their level and beat you with experience"


                              • #30
                                In my fire department in Victoria, Australia we are responded to any MVAs involving fire, entrapment or leaking fuels. WE have also attended a number of other MVA's but these are dependant on the dispatcher who takes the call.

                                Entrapments are the responsibilty of the fire department in my area although a special State Emergency Service also deals with that in some other areas of the state.

                                EMS is provided by a seperate Ambulance service.

                                Take Care & Stay Safe
                                Lt JJ Edmondson
                                Victoria, AUSTRALIA

                                "I walk where the fire dances"

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