Okay, I am well aware everyone and every department has their differing notions on how we should respond to different calls, so let's see where this discussion leads us. I woulld like for you to reply with your agencies first alarm assignment for the future mentioned call and how each unit would respond (i.e. - Emergency or Routine traffic).



Enigne 1, Enigne 12, Engine 2, Engine 3, Ladder 1, rescue control...... emergency traffic, 515 Center St, 515 Center St, APT 3 Charlie, 3 Charlie. Smoke investigation, caller advised residence was filled with smoke....... no automatic alarm activation, no sprinkler activation. Multiple calls have been recieved. Time out 0117 hrs.



For this paticular Apt building, E1, E12 and L1 are the first due comapanies. The first "enroute" Engine company would respond emergency traffic and all other would roll out routine untill notified otherwise. This structure is notorious for faulty HVAC equipment that has numerous times caused us to respond and find no smoke 3 or 4 times within a few hours. How does your department/agency handle this? And also at what point do you as a firefighter become to be fed up with the problem that is causing you to pull your shift in an apt building? Or for that matter, how many times do you expect you vetran and rookie firefighters to awnser this alarm call without becoming complacent?

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In my area, we have this very same scenario but we respond slightly different than your Department does. We respond w/ 1 Eng Co, 1 Truck Co, and 1 ALS Squad w/ lights and sirens. Once on scene, if there is anything significant, we request a 2nd Alarm which brings 2 additional Eng Co's, another ALS Squad, and 1-2 Chiefs and they all respond w/ lights and sirens. What I am currently trying to put together is an SOP that for automatic alarms, only the closest Co responds lights and sirens. Once on scene if their is anything significant or if dispatch receives any pertinent info, they will request a full Box assignment bringing the rest of the 1st Alarm Companies w/ lights and sirens.
We roll three station on this just as we would any structure fire. All units respond emergency traffic. When the first unit gets on the scene then they can down grade. The only time we run different is if it is a fire alarm activation. The first due responds emergency with all additional responding non-emergency. The first unit on the scene can then upgrade or cancel additional units.

If its the same problem within just a few hours the Chief will have us ready at the station and he will check out same with one Engine responding non-emergency traffic. He would also have communications try and make contact with the owner to verify situation.
In the above mentioned department we roll out a first alarm structure fire assignment, only the nearest engine responds lights & siren, everyone else comes out routine. Upon the first companies arrival the decision is made to either bring on the rest of the 1st alarm emergency or have em carry on routine and investigate the matter.
So in treating it as a possible structure fire, does your first alarm run hot to the scene with every rig or is there a routine and emergency mix? Also I'm kinda curious as to what your first alarm assgnment consists of for a 3 story multiple dwelling structure fire? For us it never changes..... 3 Engines, 1 Ladder and 2 EMS units along side the local RS. Many times command has asked for the second alarm right out of the gate due to weather conditions bringing an additional 2 Engines.
I appreciate the info ya shared, and boy oh boy do I desire so greatly to never run another smoke investigation at this building due to faulty HVAC equipment that needs to be serviced. I simply feel that our current SOP is gonna get someone on the first due unit hurt without the manpower there to facilitate the attack or even the detection of the fire within that critical first 5 minutes on scene. What Im saying is that we have seen time and time again the second E company take 15 minutes to arrive due to traffic and what not, this whole time the first due has been operating as would be on a actual structure fire. The hydrant catching practice doesn't hurt tho.....LOL
My info wont be of much help to you as Im a Vollie Dept. Because when the tone goes off and its "Residence filled with smoke" people come outta the wood work, everyone and their brother will be going. People signing on going direct to scene in POV, going to the station, Trucks start rolling from at least 2 stations at once. All the trucks are gunna go Lights and Sirens, and whos ever there first will get a Size up, and either cancel trucks or have them back down response.
AND if it is a fire, we start calling for mutual aid. We dont have a "First alarm, second alarm" assignments. If theres a fire, its everyone's coming, and our buddy's in the towns near us are coming out to play as well.
Handle it professionally and exactly the same as any other call.....you NEVER become complacent as one time....maybe just once the call will be real and your complacents will get someone killed. I know many calls are BS....if this bothers you this much then I suggest you find another line of work........why would you get "fed up" there is a heck of a lot less work involved in a "dry run" then there is in a working structure fire.......and I NEVER want my people to become complacent either and I feel it is part of the Officers responsibility to ensure that this does not happen..............Paul
It sure sounds like your department has found something that works, good deal, be careful and stay safe bro.
1 year experience.
Please allow me to redictate the position of my post. You are exactly correct, one should never become complacent with this job, as the one time you do.... that "routine" call will be the working fire. That being said, if it does bother a firefighter that bad then they should find another line of work. My comment reffering to complacency was made in refference to the vetrans telling the rookies on the way "it's just another dry run" as I am sure this happens at least once in every department at some point or another. In closing I would like to thank you for your advise/comment and will strive to apply what I currently do not apply on all future runs. Simply put..... we should get on the truck every time the gong and bell sounds and do the job, because failure is not an option.
Ohhhh, thanks Jack...explains it.....(at first I thought you were saying I had 1 year.....LOL)

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