Stop pretending you have a fire department.

Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
1,043
This could happen anywhere, any time! Life can be cruel, and we can't always get what we want.

I've been in life or death situations that were way over my head and the cavalry was NOT on the way. It's a miserable, humbling experience. All you can do is the best you can do.

Say a prayer for those guys that were there and did their best.

Jeannette will never meet NFPA guidelines....and that's the way it is.
 
Joined
May 11, 2022
Messages
393
Two things that would help this are one, county funded fire departments and secondly, automatic mutual aid on the report of a structure fire not just confirmation.

I do have a question regarding the money issue if anyone knows this. Regardless of if the fire departments are volunteer or full time, if community A needs assistance from community B on an emergency does community A's government have to pay community B's for their assistance?
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2023
Messages
81
I do have a question regarding the money issue if anyone knows this. Regardless of if the fire departments are volunteer or full time, if community A needs assistance from community B on an emergency does community A's government have to pay community B's for their assistance?
No they would not have to pay the other community.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2013
Messages
872
Two things that would help this are one, county funded fire departments and secondly, automatic mutual aid on the report of a structure fire not just confirmation.

I do have a question regarding the money issue if anyone knows this. Regardless of if the fire departments are volunteer or full time, if community A needs assistance from community B on an emergency does community A's government have to pay community B's for their assistance?
Some mutual aid agreements include provisions for reimbursement of expenses and for insurance liability.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2023
Messages
81
Very true, upon agreement beforehand. I was answering the question with a no strings attached approach. As in: We need them, can we call them? And if we do, do we owe them? No preset arrangement.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2023
Messages
81
Two things that would help this are one, county funded fire departments and secondly, automatic mutual aid on the report of a structure fire not just confirmation.
Completely agree on that first one. Let's touch on that second one. I am definitely behind automatic mutual aid being dispatched to an unconfirmed structure fire. As I've stated before on this forum, it's always easy to cancel units en route but not too easy to get units fast after you realize you need them. However, what this story is talking about are the unknowns. There will always be unknowns on a response (i.e. understaffed units, unavailable units, uncrewed units, etc.). So even if you dispatch volunteer mutual aid for a 2&1 response, who is to say if they crew all 3 apparatus. At times you're getting driver alone with the hope more members show up at the scene. A lot comes down to the lack of volunteering and how costs have skyrocketed to maintain a department. It's a struggle all around and small departments will never meet the guidelines. How can we make it better is what needs to be figured out.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2022
Messages
307
I totally agree automatic mutual aid for a REPORTED structural fire is a good idea. I have been both a FDNY Captain and was a Volunteer Captain and firefighter, for well over 50 years. I am now a volunteer FD Safety Officer. I have seen all too often that fire departments play catch up when a serious working is in progress. When I was a senior Captain in the FDNY and was on the promotion list to Battalion Chief, I was often an Acting Battalion Chief. When Deputy Chief Vincent Dunn the Division commander of FDNY Div. 3 met me at a fire, where I called a 10-76 due to report of smoke on multiple floors in a high-rise office building. It turned out the smoke was from a small fire in the elevator shaft. The 10-76 it turned out was overkill, but Chief Dunn told me if you're the incident commander and no units are standing next to you, and you have fire or suspected fire it is already "Too Late." =Call help early Before you need it. You can always say thanks and send them home. You must consider "Reflex Time' =the time from when you call for help until the units you called are on the scene and ready to go to work. In some areas the area around the fire becomes "Grid Locked" when apparatus blocks up streets and intersections. "When in doubt turn them out."
Capt. Bob Rainey E-26 at 4th Alarm Box.jpgCaptain Bob Rainey FDNY Engine 26 retired,
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2013
Messages
872
Very true, upon agreement beforehand. I was answering the question with a no strings attached approach. As in: We need them, can we call them? And if we do, do we owe them? No preset arrangement.
If you don't have any agreement beforehand, you cannot expect, guaranty, or even know what you'll get, if anything at all.
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
5,596
Some mutual aid agreements include provisions for reimbursement of expenses and for insurance liability.

That is correct and as an example, I believe that the Town of Portland, Ct (volunteer) has a contract with the Middletown, Ct (career) fire department which sends a response into Portland for every report of smoke or fire in a building.

Likewise, in Norwich, Ct, a small city of one career and five separate volunteer fire districts, on a reported building fire, smoke in the building, etc., the career fire department and one or two volunteer departments respond on the automatic aid, and the reverse is true as well.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
1,043
I totally agree automatic mutual aid for a REPORTED structural fire is a good idea. I have been both a FDNY Captain and was a Volunteer Captain and firefighter, for well over 50 years. I am now a volunteer FD Safety Officer. I have seen all too often that fire departments play catch up when a serious working is in progress. When I was a senior Captain in the FDNY and was on the promotion list to Battalion Chief, I was often an Acting Battalion Chief. When Deputy Chief Vincent Dunn the Division commander of FDNY Div. 3 met me at a fire, where I called a 10-76 due to report of smoke on multiple floors in a high-rise office building. It turned out the smoke was from a small fire in the elevator shaft. The 10-76 it turned out was overkill, but Chief Dunn told me if you're the incident commander and no units are standing next to you, and you have fire or suspected fire it is already "Too Late." =Call help early Before you need it. You can always say thanks and send them home. You must consider "Reflex Time' =the time from when you call for help until the units you called are on the scene and ready to go to work. In some areas the area around the fire becomes "Grid Locked" when apparatus blocks up streets and intersections. "When in doubt turn them out."
View attachment 43350Captain Bob Rainey FDNY Engine 26 retired,
Reinforcements: Better to be looking at them, than looking for them.
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2023
Messages
81
If you don't have any agreement beforehand, you cannot expect, guaranty, or even know what you'll get, if anything at all.
Even with an agreement with a volunteer department you can NEVER guarantee what you'll get. It varies everywhere. Example: My department (all volunteer) will not respond the truck without a minimum of chauffeur, officer and 3 firefighters. Department down the road (combination with 1 FF on duty) will automatically respond the truck driver alone.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
Messages
1,300
Even with an agreement with a volunteer department you can NEVER guarantee what you'll get. It varies everywhere. Example: My department (all volunteer) will not respond the truck without a minimum of chauffeur, officer and 3 firefighters. Department down the road (combination with 1 FF on duty) will automatically respond the truck driver alone.
Five guys on the rig is more than most career departments
 
Joined
May 11, 2021
Messages
313
Two things that would help this are one, county funded fire departments and secondly, automatic mutual aid on the report of a structure fire not just confirmation.

I do have a question regarding the money issue if anyone knows this. Regardless of if the fire departments are volunteer or full time, if community A needs assistance from community B on an emergency does community A's government have to pay community B's for their assistance?
I agree with what you wrote. Automatic aid/line responses to a reported fire are very helpful. A county run department may be able to avoid duplication of resources, more standardized training, and better overall organization. However, the fact remains that many parts of this country are all volunteer within a county or region. There is never a time (perhaps drill nights) when you know how many people and apparatus will show up in a “reasonable” timeframe. It could be 4 minutes, 10 minutes, 25 minutes, or never. Then additional stations would have to be dispatched and even then you don’t know. The fact remains that in many parts of the country there is just not enough money to staff even 3 person units, let alone 4 persons around the clock; especially in areas that may only get a handful of serious incidents per year. For better or worse, many parts of the country have to depend on their neighbors volunteering to help them in time of need. Not perfect by any means but it’s something!
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
11
During my brief stint with a VFD in rural Arkansas before moving away, I would have killed to have a response like Jeannette FD has. No on-call, no station shifts. The pager app pinged and away you went. The Captain was also on the town PD, so a truck would typically roll in 5 minutes, but the crew was always a die roll.

Thankfully, we never had loss of life during my time onboard, but the sole single occupancy fire that occurred was 30 minutes in before we had enough crew onsite to even consider interior ops, had fire conditions permitted.

Fully agree that a county wide professional system is the way to go, even volunteer ran, but the support for the needed centralization, training, and standards required would go entirely against the grain of the local culture and require heroic administrative efforts by county officials to gain support for the idea from the tax base. Thus nothing changes and because of inflation, declining volunteer numbers, and aging equipment things get a bit worse every year.

I've never been as happy as the day I moved out West and saw the rural FPD roll out on a Wilderness/Urban Interface fire call with two units fully staffed by folks doing their in-station shift.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
1,201
Multiple layers to peel through on this one. My last career position I was the only paid person on the fire side, the medics were single role on the ambulance, the ff were paid on call. I am currently serving as a paid on call FF for the county based department where I currently live. This set up is very typical in the south and the state of Tennessee. We have four cities within our county that have their own departments that provide protection within their municipal limits. Three of those towns have basically all volunteer crews with limited paid personnel ( paid chief or one or two ff/medics on shift). The county seat,Population approximately 40K , staffs 4 stations with approximately 20 per shift. The county has 13 stations with one under construction. Here is the rub, we have only 5 people on shift during the day and 4 during the evenings. Yes, single manned stations with the next closest help coming from 8-10 miles away. But ask any county official and they tell you we have a "full-time FD". It works until it doesn't! We run about 4K runs a year, fire and medical fire response.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2007
Messages
1,408
A sad commentary on today’s times. Volunteering is down, I guess it is no longer fashionable to volunteer for something unless it is a high profile project or there is some kind of instant self-gratification involved. Many communities are just doing the best they can, which suffices until the feathers hit the fan.
I feel bad for the brothers and sisters from Jeannette. They did the best they could, but were overwhelmed by the situation. Imagine how they must feel.
The sad reality is to either find the money to support firefighting and vote for adequate funding or hope for the best whenever the pagers go off.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
55
So many layers to this, usually mutual aide department's insurance falls under the home department of the fire call from the time you call them, been on the receiving end of multiple claims workers comp/auto accidents while responding to a w/f in our response area. The FDNY model of engine and truck staffing is a pipe dream throughout most of our great country. We could spend a month discussing the issues with today’s volunteer fire departments. For a few kids are different, legacies have vanished, training requirements through osha pesh etc are tremendous, the iaff and other unions being complicit in putting requirements in that make it almost impossible to comply as a volunteer department and last of all funding from our local governments. In many communities the spirit of community is gone people don’t know their neighbors names anymore never the less lay their life on the line for them. And BTW 2 paid members is not a firefighting crew. It’s overlooked till things go bad then people say “what” then 2 weeks goes by and it business as usual. Jmo
 
Top