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Wondering what your departments procedure is..

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  • Wondering what your departments procedure is..

    I was just wondering what your department's procedures/guidlines were for operating in the following severe weather conditions. Both at the fire station and on calls. The severe weather conditions are:
    1. Tornado
    2. Severe Thunderstorm
    3. Flood
    4. Hurricane/High wind
    5. Blizzard/Significant snowfall accumlation/significant ice.
    6. Extreme Cold
    7. Extreme Heat
    Im looking to write an opinion paper on operating in sever weather conditions. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks alot!

  • #2
    At my volunteer station, we will maintain a duty crew for most of the conditions for which you stated. Don't get tornadoes (although it has happened) We get a lot of rain & winds associated with hurricanes (thank you New jersey- our hurricane buffer) but they are diminished. Severe cold- the only SOP I can think of is to protect apparatus pumps from freezing and to rehab people, and severe heat frequent rehab.

    At work- We dont go out on inspections/service calls in severe heat/cold. Cold we will protect pumps from freezing, and in heat we will rehab frequently...

    ------------------
    "Loyalty above all else, except honor."

    Comment


    • #3
      Being in Florida, we deal with hurricanes yearly.

      When it looks like we are in for a hit the chief has everyone (who can) come in and plan on staying for 48 hours. We stock the station up on food and water and run calls until the wind speed reaches a certain point and then we stay in the station until the worst passes.

      My department is volunteer... I know many departments that are paid (fire and EMS both) go on "Alert" and employees are called and told to bring enough clothing and water for 48 hours. We all know if it hits, we are not going home anytime soon.

      Luckily with hurricanes you usually have plenty of time to prepare.

      ------------------
      Stay Safe...
      Rebecca Richardson FF/EMT
      Isles of Capri Fire Rescue
      South Florida



      [This message has been edited by ladyfirefighter (edited 02-18-2001).]

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      • #4
        My old vollie dept. Tornado country, so for Severe TS or Tornado warnings, they'd set the pagers off, in case we didn't hear the sirens. Typically, at least some of us would respond to the station, so we'd be up and ready if a call came in. Most of the time, it was "downed lines", and we couldn't get there from all the "downed tree-limbs", but that's another matter. Some guys would go to the station if we were in a "watch" as well.

        Snow-storms, we'd put the tire chains on the trucks that needed them, once it started accumulating. It also wasn't uncommon for someone to bunk at the station (typically the guys who missed the truck because they lived too far away. Icy roads, you know you're gonna get calls, and it takes you twice as long to get there, so just stay ready...)

        None of this was really in a "procedure", just common sense that we all observed.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'll group several together, because they tend to be primarily the same event for us (high wind):
          1. Tornado
          2. Severe Thunderstorm
          4. Hurricane/High wind


          Will staff the station once calls start coming in (or in advance to Hurricanes).
          We assist the Town & State Highway departments in removing downed trees, etc when conditions are safe to do so. Depending on the extent of incidents and the severity of incidents, we'll either man detours or flag dangerous areas with cones/fire scene tape/etc.

          We are dispatched by a regional 911 center. During these storms a Chief officer sets up our own dispatch area in our office. He'll handle radio and phone calls from our units in the field, dispatch, and the Town Highway Department/Town Hall. Other than maybe a clerk for the Chief, the office is kept clear of other people. Two people, an officer & firefighter, will be sent in POV to investigate tree down and other service calls, and call back to the Office with what resources are needed. A Junior officer mans a staging station in the apparatus bay. The Chief in the office will call down with a request like, "Send three men and a chainsaw to meet Car 290 on Route 6 at Blackwell's Brook." The Staging Officer then assigns a crew, and gives them a portable radio. The radios & crew are logged in and out for accountability. The staging officer also pre-assigns people to what apparatus they'll drive/ride if we have a call coming in that needs an apparatus response.

          3. Flood
          Fortunately not much a risk since the Army Corps built a large series of Dams north of us...so our "floods" are mostly helping with basement pumping in the spring thaw.

          5. Blizzard/Significant snowfall accumlation/significant ice.
          We run on-spot chains; plus ALL apparatus (with the exception of the Hummer) have regular sets of chains for when the snow is very heavy, or we're having an ice storm.
          Other than that, we'll go into the wind storm mode if we have a lot of trees coming down.

          6. Extreme Cold
          7. Extreme Heat

          Usually not a problem here...typical year is from -5 below to 100 above so most people can cope...EXCEPT when we have prolonged power outages and then we'll help with service calls as we can, mainly providing a generator for a few hours to run a furnace to get a home warm again, or re-chill a freezer in the summer to keep hundreds of dollars of food from spoiling. Still, both are pretty rare events.

          Matt

          Comment


          • #6
            In Calvert county (small rural county in Md with 7 total companies), each company gets a TAC channel. After the storm has passed, all pieces go on the road and stage throughout respective first due areas. During snowstorms, our tower goes OOS. Also in snow/ice our 4wd F-350 goes with the ambulance on all medical calls.

            Comment


            • #7
              Up here in Juneau, Alaska the only one we have to worry about the most is blizzard conditions (which are not very often) and maybe occasionally flood problems. My station is all volunteer. We don't call anybody in, but there are a lot of members who will usually think ahead and go out to the hall on standby, maybe even bring there family with them. We got the room for it

              Comment


              • #8
                well we dont get to much extreme weather but heavy storms, floods, and ice in winter.

                we help local law enforcement be clearing downed objects in roads.

                we usually have a 2 man crew who volunteer to sleep at station on bad nights

                .......fire fetish???........ damn right

                Comment


                • #9
                  WHEN STORM COMES CLOSE TO OUR AREA THE CAPT. PUTS OUT THE TONES FOR STORM STAND BY , WE HAVE A SOP FOR FLOODS, FIRE (OF COURSE), AND ALL WEATHER CONDITIONS , BUT IF ITS A LARGE STORM WE WILL SLEEP OVER NITE AT OUR STATION. WE HAVE ALOT OF WOODS SO TREES AND POWER LINES ARE WHAT WE SEE ALOT OF , WE HAVE SMALL STREAMS AND CREEKS WHICH HAVE FLOODED, AS I KNOW WE HAD 1 TORNADO HIT THE TOWN FAIR , YES A TWISTER IN NY , BEATS me ,MOSTLY DURING STORMS WE USEFULL FOR EMS CALLS WE HAVE 9 EMT'S, PLUS OUR RIG IS BIGGER THEN AN AMBULANCE ..
                  STORMS ARE FUN!!!!! EXCEPT GETTIN WET.LOL
                  RICHMOND VOL . FIRE CO
                  RICHMOND NY


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