My department just went to a new minmum manning of the stations and equipment. At are headquarters station in down to 1 engine company (3 men) 1 ambulance (2 men) 1 ALS chase vehicle (1) and an A-Chief #2 station has 1 engine company (3)
1 ambulance (2) and 1 ALS chase vehicle. #3 station has 1 truck (3men) 1 ambulance (2) #4 station 1 truck (3) 1 ambulance (2) #5 station 1 engine (3) 1 ALS chase vehicle (1) #6 station 1 engine (3) 1 ALS chase vehicle (1) 2 Crash Trucks (1). This was thought up by 2 people to save money for the city. They have taken 2 frontline pieces of equipment out of service and made our response time longer. DO ANY OF MY UNION BROTHERS HAVE ANY IDEA TO GET MORE MANNING AND THOSE 2 PIECES OF EQUIPMENT BACK INSERVICE AND MANNED??????
On My Dept we are so Low On Man Power that we Run 4 Per Shift 1 Captain 1 Full time 2 Part Time EMT-I's So That Means That If We Get a Medical Call and Then a Fire/Rescue Call Our
Ladder/Quint Truck Will Roll with 2 Man Crew And Are Forced To Call For 2nd Alarm As We Roll Out
So I Feel Your Pain On What Is Happening To You
Make sure the public is aware in the reduction of service and increased response times. The more people that know what's going on, the more chance the right people will complain enough to get something done about it. Use the people you serve to protect put the heat on the powers that be.
Typically these kinds of moves are made to save money, but people pay taxes for this service and expect it to be prompt and adequate. Sure they want to "save money", but where is the money going and is the tax rate being reduced to reflect these savings? Probably not.
In our county Prince George's Co. MD. our minmu, manning goes as follows, Ambulance is 2, Engine is 3, Truck or special service is 4. Can't tell you how to save money cause the OT has ate the budject. But if you ever get a to find a guy name Bobby McCoy. when he worked for PG CO. he did a great job on saving the money and make n things happen. once he became the fire cheif for a fire department in PA. they changed his policys and screwed things up.
We have the same issues in Australia. We are currently trying to get 2 extra firefighters per shift. At the moment our minimum manning is 4 FF's. We look after a town of 30,000 people and there is no mutual aid. The next closest fire station is 500 km (300 miles?) away. The 4 on shift are responsible for running an aerial appliance (min crew of 4) a water tanker, a heavy rescue vehicle and a small grass fire unit. We don't do EMT response.
We are really under the pump if we get a large going structure fire with only 4 of us. The next group of FF's on scene are our off duty members, and that could be up to half an hour by the time they get phoned by comms, respond to station and then respond the appliance.
We just went through contract negotiations and we were able to quantify every seat on an Engine. We have a paramedic on every piece of apparatus so they occupy the fourth seat. The biggest thing you can do if your fire chief can't get those apparatus staffed and bring staffing on engines up to 4-man is get politically active. You need those people who sit on you council to support you issues. As far as the public is concerned as long as an engine or ambulance shows up when they call 911 they don't care if 2,3, or 4 guys get off the unit just as long as it shows up.
Hey Michael Here ST. Louis Fire Dept Local 73. Our Dept has all fire trucks manned with 4 Firefighters. Even the special trucks like Haz Mat , and Collapse Rescue, ect. On the pumpers we have the Driver, Captain, Plugman, and Pipeman. If you know about the Federal 2 in and 2 out law. Then your pumpers should have 4 person crews to be a safe Fire Dept.
My dept. is going backwards. We started to going 3 people to a truck now were headed back to 2. This tax reform is a joke!! Our county manager and the county lawyer took a 6% raise not to mention a nice $6000 bonus in their pension, But said that we the firefighters and police had to buckle down and brace for budget cuts. They also said that they don't think we should get highrisk incentives in our pensions and that we are uneducated and have no responsibility at all. But they do contend that the management should get high risk due to the amount of stress they are under in their office jobs. I work on a heavy rescue squad truck which should at least have a minimum of four people on it, instead we have three and that manning can be dropped at their descretion if another station falls short of manpower.
in mexico us the problem is a little more hard because in my city is about 300000 people and we have 3 stations and in each of the stations there are only 2 elements for fire and rescue response. EMT's response we do not. depend directly on the volunteer staff who reaches the site of an emergency.
Unfortunately 2-in/2-out does not mean you have to have 4 people on a rig. It means that if you have 3 people on a rig, or even 2, then you wait for another rig to show up before you make entry (unless there is a rescue).
Our minimum staffing for an engine here is 3, and we ride with 3 every day. We make a structure, we sit in the front yard until another company arrives.
I'm confused. Do we or do we not have to follow the NFPA standards of 4 on an engine/pump, three on a truck/ladder; response times 4 in 4, 10 in 10 guaranteed. Am I under the wrong impression here? I thought this was one the NFPA standards that was not an option for the city to adopt, but a standard that must be followed by the fire departments to ensure the safety of the firefighters and the public. This in itself could be your case.
The same problem is happening at HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality) FD. They are losing men on rigs in order to spread out staffing. This of course increases response times in some areas as well, not to mention, there are some very strict rules on entering a structure with only three firefighters on scene. 2 in, 2 out is the standard... how can that be followed with three firefighters. What if the shit hits the fan, you have two in, how does the one out do anything to help? It could be minutes before the next in engine arrives, but many people don't realize what can happen in minutes. If there's a rescue to be done, are you seriously going to wait outside waiting for the next in rig?
Sorry, I'm incensed with this... I look forward to the day city councils and FMT will realize that cost cutting should not be at the expense of the safety of the public or the firefighters. Fire Departments cost money, that's a given. Accept it and equip them with what they need to be effective, efficient and safe.
We have issues here with staffing as well. We just hired another class and yet we still are no were close to having a full compliment on the floor. We have more than a dozen in for overtime almost every shift, and that's after taking 6 rigs out of service. We lose 40% of our downtown on any given day, then shifting the men who were supposed to be on those rigs all over the place, then calling in overtime. We've been in situations where we've had more than one serious incident on the go at once (many times) and have had to call away rigs from one incident to send them to another... it's tiring, it's hard on the men/women at times and it's dangerous.
Risk management at it's best. People think it's always about the Unions wanting more manning and more money for their coffers, but going public and explaining what only 2 or 3 on a rig means for entry, what increased response times could mean to public safety and hope for the best. Lobbying is all that ever seems to work, letters to the editors or at least just educating your friends and inviting kids sports teams (with their parents) or classes in for tours can also help. You can get a lot of things across to parents in that one hour and the kids are happy!!!
Sorry... babbling. Public and firefighter safety is of the utmost importance, and it's a shame when FMT and council loses sight of this.
Again - 2 in 2 out does not mean there HAS to be 4 people on a rig. It only means that for entry to be made there has to be 2 people outside, in packs, ready to make entry if needed. There can be 10 people inside, yet there has to be at least 2 outside. This is Level I RIT.
If you have a 3 man engine (as we do here), then yes - you have to wait until another company arrives. The exception is if there is a reported rescue. Then you can forego 2 in 2 out in order to effect the rescue.
Does it make sense? Not really. But don't confuse 2 in 2 out as meaning there has to be 4 people on the truck. That is not how it works.
I understand that, that's why i said, It could be minutes before the next in engine arrives, but many people don't realize what can happen in minutes. I'm not confused in the least, and I do know how it works. I understand that if I can riding on a rig with 3 people I cannot enter a structure to perform a search until another rig arrives on scene.
I sure hope if there are any victims inside they can effectively breathe in a heated smoke environment... that was more my point.
What does confuse me is the fact that people can sit at their desks and create policy without ever being on the floor, running on a rig or knowing the least bit about what actually happens on the fire ground. Heck, we have two deputy chiefs who have never been on a fire department and they are creating policy for us every day. Sad and scary.