Battalions vs Divisions

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Apr 21, 2021
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What calls does a BC respond to? They’re obviously not responding to every little run in their area, are they?

and same with DCs. I see them on bigger incidents mainly because they cover such a large area. A division chief wouldn’t be responding to a fire alarm, correct?
 
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BCs respond to the majority of calls except single unit responses such as outside rubbish, water leaks, car fires, etc. As a rule, the Division waits for a 10-75 to respond, unless they are near by and respond earlier, based on radio traffic.
 
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BCs respond to the majority of calls except single unit responses such as outside rubbish, water leaks, car fires, etc. As a rule, the Division waits for a 10-75 to respond, unless they are near by and respond earlier, based on radio traffic.
When you hear a "5/7 Signal" that means one engine and one ladder responding. This usually doesn't get a Battalion Chief. A car fire is an example; it's not a single unit response.
 
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John on a 3&2 no special units does the division get a ticket or no?
That's a good question if they get a ticket so they are aware of what's happening, but they don't usually respond to 3 & 2 responses. But a Battalion is definitely assigned to 3 & 2. 68jk09 would be the one to know if a Division starts heading in the direction of a fire when, say, the Box is loaded up.
 
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^^^^From my experience detailed to Division 1, the radio would be closely monitored inside the office. If the first due company transmitted a 10-75 we'd be heading to the car as the ticket came in.

Concerning the comment above, I don't recall ever hearing a Deputy Chief respond in lieu of a BC, each has his place in the food chain.
 
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The division gets a mark on the all hands under control no spec units. But normally does not respond.
It used to be they were not assigned until the 7-5 but would get notified on the 10-75 and ask for the ticket. That’s since changed as now they go on the 10-75.

Very rarely, but it’s happened where they’re returning from a job, or admin matter, and they get sent on a run if the assigned BC is coming from a distance.
Or they happen to get in before the 1st due chief based on location of where everyone is coming from
Deff not an everyday practice but has happened.
 
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Does a DC respond when there are fatalities in incidents like what happened during hurricane Ida with Members going into flooded basements to retrieve people? Or any other water incidents / rescues involving Marine Units.
 
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Does a DC respond when there are fatalities in incidents like what happened during hurricane Ida with Members going into flooded basements to retrieve people? Or any other water incidents / rescues involving Marine Units.
They’re supposed to respond to any confirmed water incident.
And get notified on all confirmed matrix incidents and transit power removal requests where then response is at their discretion.
The div also responds on major apparatus accidents and all 10-45 codes 1 or 2.
 
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I remember calling the dispatcher to place the Division on a box. I thought that a Deputy didn’t have to respond until a an all hands fire was doubtful will hold.
 

Atlas

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I been out of the job for 20 years & policies do change. Years back, if the nearest first three battalions were not available to respond, yes then the division chief could be assigned in place of a battalion chief. Deputies are assigned on the All Hands but have been responding on 10-75's. Assignment cards show them on the 2nd alarm.

Next, deputies have been assigned on the 1st alarm for certain boxes. I think that the deputy still responds to Penn Station.

Next, Battalion chiefs are special called to any incident where a rescue company has been requested or if two units of the same type are working at the same incident. Example, an engine & truck can work together but if two engines teamed up to get water on an outside fire, years back, a battalion chief was to respond.
 
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I been out of the job for 20 years & policies do change. Years back, if the nearest first three battalions were not available to respond, yes then the division chief could be assigned in place of a battalion chief. Deputies are assigned on the All Hands but have been responding on 10-75's. Assignment cards show them on the 2nd alarm.

Next, deputies have been assigned on the 1st alarm for certain boxes. I think that the deputy still responds to Penn Station.

Next, Battalion chiefs are special called to any incident where a rescue company has been requested or if two units of the same type are working at the same incident. Example, an engine & truck can work together but if two engines teamed up to get water on an outside fire, years back, a battalion chief was to respond.
Years ago, especially in midtown, the high profile boxes, a DC was assigned on the box, i.e. Rock Center, U.N., some boxes on 5th avenue, etc.
 

mack

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Years ago, especially in midtown, the high profile boxes, a DC was assigned on the box, i.e. Rock Center, U.N., some boxes on 5th avenue, etc.
As Atlas reminds us, in the late 60s and into the 70s, it was not uncommon for the Deputy to be the only chief available (sometimes in a boro) to respond to a working fire or an incident where a chief was needed. A company that had responded on a box without a chief assigned (which was common on busy days or nights) would transmit a 10-30 or 10-75 and the dispatcher would start a roll-call looking for an available chief. Busy nights would hear dispatchers announce "Is there any chief available for a working fire in the Boro of -----?" I responded with the 43rd Battalion to a job in Flatbush - for a working fire in a store - and no closer Brooklyn chief became available the entire run. The fire was a 2nd alarm - and there was also no Deputy available at any time the fire was in progress. There were several other multiple alarms in progress. And Coney Island was a busy place itself.

It was typical for a Battalion Chief to respond to a job and not know the units that had been assigned (no tickets back then, companies were assigned by voice alarm and/or radio, companies were relocated, companies were interchanged, companies had 2nd sections, rigs were often old unmarked spares). Chiefs would arrive at a job and start finding out on the Handi Talkie by asking "Battalion 41 to the 1st due engine or truck, where are you?" Boxes would come in for the same location later in the night and there would be different companies assigned due to availability.

The Department organized new Divisions and Battalions to address the shortage of chiefs for firefighting in the early 1970s. Battalion 2nd sections did not work, did not provide flexibility. Innovations like a floating 60th Battalion in Brooklyn were tried. It was just a crazy time.

So yes, Deputies had fires by themselves. Atlas knows how busy the War Years were - the best of times and the worst of times.
 

Atlas

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If you go back in time, prior to the war years, a first alarm assignment might see a deputy & two battalion chiefs assigned under normal conditions. This was common in Manhattan, but also occurred in other boroughts depending what harzards were located near the box location. Some times the 1st alarm assignment would just be short of a normal full 2nd alarm. You might find 4 or 5 engines responding on the 1st alarm. Also years back, fireboats were assigned on boxes along the waterfront or near a body of water depending upon what hazards were located there. Boats were also assigned on multiple alarms or could could be special called as needed.
 
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Just a bit off the subject, many years ago assignment cards for lower Manhattan and Coney Island in Brooklyn had "H.P." next to the box number to designate a high pressure hydrant area.
 

811

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From C 1961 FDNY Manual of Communications
Have used this section when necessary, esp in case of a likely workerFDNY BC not avail DC can respond.JPG
 
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