where i'm from it's a signal10. where i work it's a 13-35

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here if it comes in as a working fire they dispatch it out as a structure fire then tell us to switch to and operate off tac- 4 then we pretty much know its a working job.
Here it is dispatched as a posb residential, multi family, commercial, brush, or misc. fire.

Once on scene the first due officer will give his size up "Engine 6 on scene 2 story single family resd. smoke and fire from side A this is a WORKING FIRE.

once you declare a working fire you get another chief, ambulance, engine, and the bottle truck.
Tioga Co, PA: Plain English with a tag on the end indicating the type of fire: Structure Fire reported house, garage, automatic alarm etc. Same as everywhere else on the auto alarm some feel the wall next to the bed, if it's cold they go back to bed, if it's hot they're already on scene.
We use all plain text here. That way there's never confusion no matter who's coming. Working structure fire, fully involved structure fire. But I did recently hear about the 3827 (check it out on your phone keypad) they use in the county south of us.
In the Schenectady Fire Dept located in upstate NY near Albany, we call a working fire a code "9-9" or a "99". The initial call goes out as a code 35 Alarm of fire then upgraded to send out a second alarm.
Here in Monroe County, PA, we are told to use 10 codes because the dispatchers do not understand plain english. (Yes, this statement was actually in a letter from the dispatch center to the fire departments.) However, most departments here use "Working dwelling, Working structure, Working vehicle, Working brush, etc." Otherwise, a 10-55 is a fire. Like it was said before, listen to how the first arriving cop, fire officer or ems unit is talking. If they sound excited, mask up & roll out! There is not set protocols on how to talk on the radios here. some departments use the 10 codes, some use plain english, some use whatever they want. Confusing - YES! Any help in sight - not that we know of, unless it's a national secret neeing top security clearence!
In New Jersey where I am from we are called to a "structure fire", "dwelling fire" and depending on the age of the dispatcher a 10-45. thats it..
In Onondaga County (NY) a working fire is either a signal 98 or 99. There is no written difference, but on a 99 you get Emergency Management units from the county, power company, red cross, etc.. My department uses a 98 for room and contents/fires we can handle with the first alarm only. Usually if we call a 99 it turns into a ya'll come.
Down here in Texas we dont use 10 codes... at least not where I've worked. Pasadena, TX subdivides it a little more than the other two departments I've worked for- Killeen or Webster, TX. Pasadena dispatches it as a house, duplex, highrise, business, industrial, etc fire. Depending on the type- all single family residences get 3 Engines and 1 Truck and all others get 4 Engines, 2 Trucks, and a Cascade/Rehab- they are either 1st Alarms or Heavy Box Alarms. However here in Killeen and back in Webster it was simply a structure fire and we ran it as such... between themselves and the two automatic mutual aids, Webster ran as many as 6 Engines, 2 Trucks, and a Heavy Rescue depending on how many people showed up. Killeen runs 3 Engines, 3 Ambulances, Rescue truck, and the Shift Captain. No special code or response due to a working fire (we consider anytime we pull a handline to be a working fire).
The use of codes for radio communications increase the chances of miscommunication, confusion especially when mutual aid departments that are not totally familar with the codes. The best policy is to use plain english which easier to understand and reduces the chance of confusion and misunderstanding critical information. In the tragic events that recently led to 9 of our brothers tragically losing thier lives. The city had an evaluation of their operations which is still ongoing, One of the findings that were found that communications needed to be improved and one of the suggestions was to stop using codes ( They use 10 codes ) and use simple and plain english that everyone can understand and interperate more easliy.
Shake and bake folks we got a cooker!!!! Nah we call them Structure fires, and first unit on scene will call working fire/smoke showing/investigation etc
You said a mouthful there the scanner junkies are about the only ones around that know the whole line-up of codes.I have been a advocate of clear speak for years,no two juristictions have the same codes all it is good for is confusion and god knows there is enough of that with out creating anymore.We all need to start useing the ICS and NIMS systems on all operations it makes things run a lot smoother.I know its new and everyone hates change but it goes in place so fast and gets things happening,face it speed of action saves lives and property.It works on all sizes of operations.

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