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  • Quick Question regarding sides of a structure

    I’ve read on some posts the sides of a structure being referred to as A-B-C-D (considering a typical four wall structure).

    Is the “A” side the front door, or the side that you initially approached from?
    Once the “A” side has been determined, is the “B” side clockwise or counter clockwise?

    Although I’ve only talked to a couple of firefighters regarding this, they haven’t heard of this in my particular part of the world.

    It makes much more sense to me to assign the sides a letter, rather than using the directions on a compass.

    Thanks in advance…..

  • #2
    it all depends on what your department uses. there isn't a real rule for what which letter or number corrsponds to what side. at least that's what I was told my my Lt when i asked him the same question.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

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    • #3
      We start with A being the front then go clockwise.
      IAFF

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      • #4
        We use the same thing as you but Providence, the next city over, uses numbers to designate the structures sides. 1 is the front and then clockwise around. They will also break up each floor into quadrants. I believe that quadrant A is the where sides 1 and 2 meet, B is 2 and 3 and so on.
        Northeast Fire Photos

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        • #5
          We use A, B, C and D to describe the sides of a building. I woiuld prefer what the Mass Fire Academy uses... Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta, as C and D can sound alike if a radio transmission is garbled.
          ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
          Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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          • #6
            We use 1 2 3 4 in our size-ups
            In our report to dispatch....or in our fire ground ht
            exposer 1 is the street, 2 a similar attached, 3 a rear yard and 4 a similar attached
            ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
            NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
            343
            CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
            LT. John Ginley Engine 40
            FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
            FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
            FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
            FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
            FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
            FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
            FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
            FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
            FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

            Charleston 9
            "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
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            • #7
              The "A" side of the building is usually the address side, then it goes clockwise B C D.
              Firefighter, Volunteering since Oct 2001

              CCFA 05-04, best overall class for 2005
              "GOOD GAME!"

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              • #8
                we do it like snowball ..............however the local big city does it like cdfeng3
                IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
                Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
                ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
                RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
                LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
                I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
                "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
                http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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                • #9
                  We use numbers currently, but the whole County Mutual Aid system is switching to the National Fire Academy way of letters.

                  One thing though...I don't know of any system that operates other than the clockwise way, does anyone else?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Weruj1
                    we do it like snowball ..............however the local big city does it like cdfeng3
                    Actually since they went through accreditation, they now use A, B, C & D. (And since we usually copy what they do, we switched during this past year from numbers to letters.)

                    I agree with Capt. Gonzo, phonetics should be used to avoid confusion between B, C & D.

                    I prefer numbers myself but I can see where it would get confusing when divisions are included.

                    To answer the original questions, most departments around here use the address side for Side A and work around clockwise.
                    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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                    • #11
                      Per the ICS manual
                      Sides are labeled A-B-C-D with the A side being the front or address side and then following a clockwise direction to label the remaining sides
                      Divisions are numbered 1-2-3-4 as required with 1st division being the ground level.
                      But however it works best for your department as long as you are consistant
                      "where is my second due?"
                      I.A.C.O.J. 2003

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                      • #12
                        What or whose ICS manaul are you using ?
                        IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
                        Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
                        ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
                        RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
                        LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
                        I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
                        "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
                        http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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                        • #13
                          A Law Unto Ourselves......

                          The front of a building is side 1. Side 1 is the address side 98% of the time. side 2 is to the left or clockwise from side 1, side 3 is the rear, etc. Following this, the building is divided into quadrants A,B,C,D, Facing the structure on side 1, Quadrant A is to your left in front, Quadrant B is behind it, Quadrant C is right rear, Etc. We use our own phonic terms, as: Adam ,Baker, Charlie, David, Edward, Frank, Etc. rather than the AAPCO Public Safety Code (Alpha, Bravo, Etc.) which sounds like World War II movie language (to me, anyway). As to referencing a National Standard, if there is one, I'm not aware of it, and I don't care anyway. Stay Safe....
                          Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                          In memory of
                          Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                          Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                          IACOJ Budget Analyst

                          I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

                          www.gdvfd18.com

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                          • #14
                            Say you have a large structure in the shape of a "U", "H", or "L"...do you continue on with giving each side or section a letter/number? Or, do you consider a building of any layout to have only four sides (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta) and superimpose a rectangle over the layout? For example, how would one designate "sides" on the Pentagon? We pretty much use the ABCD method, regardless of the shape or layout of the structure. This often leads to confusion on larger buildings that are not rectangular in layout.
                            Member IACOJ

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                            • #15
                              We also break down the exposures furthur. The building two doors down on exposure 2 would be exposure 2a, 3 doors down would be 2b and so on. Same thing on exposure 3 or 4 ( 4a, 4b etc.) In a taxpayer it would be the same Exposure 1,2,3,4 but the occupancy ( individual stores) are 0 fire store, 0-2 adjoining store to exposure 2 side exposure 0-2a would be 2 stores down from fire store to the left etc.. 0-4 would be store to right of fire store 0-4a would be 2 stores down, 0-4b would be 3 stores to right of fire store etc....
                              Not too hard once you learn it, but most of time we just refer to the name or type of store we are talking about

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