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Single pull concept question

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  • Single pull concept question

    I am looking for input from anyone out there who "single pulls" apparatus to respond to a call...
    For example, you have the Engine staffed and a call comes in for the ambulance, you then unstaff the engine and staff the ambulance and respond in it.
    After the call you get back and unstaff the ambulance and restaff the engine.
    I'm looking for pros and cons and what people are doing.
    Thanks for the input.

  • #2
    More info please.

    Paid or Volly?
    Department size?


    • #3
      First Emergency First

      I think what you are talking about is call ed "first emergency first" locally. It's a very common practice in departments which have stations with 2-3 persons on duty. Almost all personnel on paid departments are dual role: fire & EMS. If there are only enough people on station for 1 unit, the appropriate one responds. This means that if there is an EMS call (which typically represents 60-80% of calls around here) the ambulance goes & the engine is unstaffed. If it's a fire response, the engine goes & the ambulance is unstaffed.

      As long as your call volume doesn't cause many calls at the same time, it works well.
      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.


      • #4
        Sounds like a jump company. Many places are doing this. Lt. is right, need more info on what you're looking for.
        Omnis Cedo Domus



        • #5
          More info

          Paid or Volly? It shouldn't matter should it? Lets say for the sake of argument its paid.
          Department size? Small
          Staffing? Minimum, Engine has only 3
          Population? Exploding in the first due and surrounding areas
          Equipment? Engine and ambulance
          Budget? Don't we all have budget constraints...
          I suppose I am looking for how people are handling the "do more with less" concept


          • #6
            What if you have an MVA with confirmed injuries?

            I.A.C.O.J. Probie

            You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt

            Lets not forget those lost on 9-11-01


            • #7
              Good question...


              • #8
                Re: More info

                Originally posted by firstdueart
                Paid or Volly? It shouldn't matter should it? Lets say for the sake of argument its paid.
                Actualy piad, combo or volunteer would make a difference.

                Paid only means once once truck rolls the other will not no matter what. (lets hope this isn't the case, any department that can only afford a crew of 3 and has 2 trucks should have a volunteer roster as well)

                Combo means you can roll the most needed and have backup to roll the other soon after.

                Volunteer would mean you roll with whomever gets there with whatever you have.

                I would still need more info, including the skill levels of those paid and the volunteer backup if any (if all your medics are paid and you run a ALS ambulance, for example, at least one ALS qualified person should stay with it and the first volunteer should take his place on the engine, or he even could possibly drive it to the scene to be ready to leave if needed on a medical call once more volunteers arrive on the scene and mor emanpower is present)


                • #9
                  I suppose we could what if this to death...
                  Maybe the question could be posed differntly,
                  How do we as a fire service do more with less?
                  as the trend seems to be these days.


                  • #10
                    Paid or Volly? It shouldn't matter should it?
                    Of course it matters! That's why I asked.


                    • #11
                      Well, with manpower being the primary problem, the short answer is volunteers (since you said assume paid). Add more volunteer staffing, and run the program properly. There is not a community in this country, if it has enough of a tax base to afford to pay career firefighters, that does not have enough of a population to provide an active volunteer roster. If you can't keep one, it is not a problem with the community, but a leadership problem.

                      Most communities that say they cannot get anyone to volunteer could, but blow it. Either the leadership discourages it by treating them like a second class under the paid guys, refusing to allow them training oppertunities, ignoring them, or else the paid guys treat them like crap on runs and only let them do simple tasks like traffic control (not that it doesn't have to be done, but if you were a volunteer and all you were ever allowed to do was direct traffic, roll hose, and clean up how long would you saty around?) and pretty much acting like they are a nuisance.

                      If you cannot get/keep enough active volunteers, take a long hard look at why this is.

                      Encourage volunteerism, activly recruit volunteers, and treat them well once you have them. Activley recruit those who work non-traditional schedules and are home during the day. Actively recruit those who are self employed and may be able to leave work for calls (that's what I do). Offer incentives for volunteers, from tax breaks on fire taxes, to a small "clothing allowance" of $5-10 per call, and make sure they get all the training they desire.


                      • #12
                        I work for a small Combo department with Fulltime Chief, 2 Fulltime FF/First Responders, 1 Parttime FF/First Responder and maybe 10 active Volunteer FF/First Responders. About 400 calls a year. Daylight hours may have 1 paid man and the Chief around the station when a call comes in. Nights the Central Station is unmanned. Budget cuts threaten to cut us completely back to a all volunteer Department. We will know after election day, Oct 4, whether or not I have a job there anymore.
                        For medicals the Paid man will take the Rescue/Service truck and the Chief wil respond in his pickup. Vollies will respond directly to the scene and use medical gear issued that should be in their vehicles.
                        For wrecks the Chief will roll out in the first out pumper and the paid man will take the rescue. Or the other way around depending on what the Chief wants to drive that day.
                        For alarms and structure fires the paid man takes the first out pumper, the Chief takes our tanker/pumper and any vollie passing the station can grab the rescue truck.
                        If the Chief is off that day then the paid guy is alone and will have to depend on the vollies to get the other trucks. There is also a Northend station and a Southend station. These are nothing more than unmanned truck bays holding 2 trucks each. Our SOP is that if you pass a station enroute to a call and one of the trucks hasn't rolled you are to pick it up. One man per truck is our standard responce. If you have 6 firefighters responding to a structure fire you could get 6 trucks on scene. It's happened, 3 pumpers, 2 tankers and the Rescue each with 1 FF/FR. We park the trucks in attack formation and leave the Chief to operate the pumps while we pull hose. If we are lucky that gives us 4 FF/FR fighting the fire in 2 man hose teams and 1 guy driving the second in tanker, shuttling water from the nearest hydrant back to the scene while the Chief keeps the pressure going to the 2 attack lines. Late arriving FFs will suit up and relieve the person who has been on scene longest so that man can rehab. Mutual Aid is called from nearby Baton Rouge if needed. It's not a perfect system but it works for us. Learn about us at:


                        • #13
                          Jesus Christ, Answer the question people.

                          Pro's of Single Pulling:

                          1.You only have to staff what is dispatched.
                          2.Less Wear and tear on apparatus because you aren't dumping house for every AFA and Trash Can Fire.
                          3.It gives the opportunity to keep apparatus in your first due if only one Engine is pulled for Mutual Aid. (If Engine 1 is the only thing due to Engine 6's first due on the box....than your second Engine can stay available in your own area so there is no need for a backfill) this would of course depend on staffing levels.
                          4. It lessens the amount of Apparatus tearing up and down the road.


                          1. If you are slow, the guys who get left back get discouraged because they might not take a run in.
                          2. If something like a Ladder or a Rescue Fails to respond on a box, it takes longer to replace them because they might be coming 5th, 6th or 7th due.

                          We employ a single pull system here in P.G. County Md. If you are out on the Engine and you get a gut bucket run....you gotta go back and get it unless you pass the scene on the way back. We are combination Volunteer/career with approx. 1200 firefighters between both sides.

                          Typical Box Assignment: 4 Engines, 2 Hook& Ladders, 1 Squad Wagon and a Chief.

                          Typical Street (SFD) Assignment: 3 or 4 Engines, 1 H&L, 1 Squad Wagon and a Chief.

                          Automatic Fire Alarm: Single Engine

                          Gas leak Residential : 2 Engines, 1 H&L and a Chief (add one Engine for Commercial and a Squad Wagon to replace the truck if the Squad is closer.)

                          Motor Vehicle Collision (High Speed): 1st Due engine, 1st Due BLS Unit, 1st Due Squad Wagon, ALS unit and usually the 2nd Due Engine and 2nd due BLS unit on the opposite lane.

                          MVC (Low speed): 1 Engine, 1 BLS unit (add the Squad Wagon, Chief and ALS unit if there is a report of entrapment.)

                          In the first due on any Supression Assignment, you may pull what you want (Dump House) and so can the 2nd and 3rd due companies....However the 4th Due Engine and 2nd due ladder can only take what is dispatched. However we are all dispatched. So for example, if E1 has L1 in quarters, the assignment might be "E's1,2,3,4 L's56 RS7 BC1"

                          But if E1 has staffing for the ladder (Volunteers usually) they can take it.....I hope I didn't confuse you too much!
                          Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

                          "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage


                          • #14
                            Someone wake up on the wrong side of the hosebed?


                            • #15
                              Departments around here use it as a means of addressing their minimal staffing issues. They call 'em jump companies, and in most places it works like this:

                              You've got an engine, ambo, and rescue in the house, with say, five guys. Call comes in for a fire, three go to the engine and two go to the squad. Ambo stays home, and one responds from another house. They get a crash, three guys jump to the squad and two take the ambo. Works the same way if you throw a truck in there someplace.

                              As Mr. Sunshine said, it works great covering what you need when you need it. Problem is, what do you do in a $#itstorm, when you need everything? City manager will answer, "mutual aid, or do call-backs." Great, but I need that help and equipment YESTERDAY, not twenty minutes from now. Another problem with this concept as I have seen it in action, is with a neighbor. They've got three ambos front line, with 10 guys on duty at a time. They run three guys in an ambo on a call, and there are times when all three rigs are at the hospital at once. It's gotta be awfully lonely for that one guy left home when the tones drop for the structure fire. Again, not very common, but it can and does happen.
                              Omnis Cedo Domus



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