05/12/07 55 W, 1 I - + 19 - 18 Long Runs

That short spell of storms saw some interesting runs on the north side. Western Wake sent an engine to the working fire on Springdale Drive, 8.94 miles. Wake Forest also sent their ladder, a mere 18.84 miles. Now that's a run! Raleigh, Durham Highway, Bay Leaf, and Falls also.

I think that until staffing is addressed in the county, we will see more and more of the long runs for departments…we got to have help from someone….somewhere…out there…..
klp205 - 05/12/07 - 17:04

I thought that coverage was also HUGE today. Does anyone know how many working fires there were today? I know cary had at least one, and was also surprisingly sent to fairview station 1 for coverage.
Adam - 05/12/07 - 18:21

I know of the DHFD fire on Springdale drive. My Engine Company was second due (DHFD Engine 4) behind Raleigh Ladder 23. Quick knock down and excelent coordination between crews. Responding agencies included: Durham Highway Fire, Falls Fire, Bayleaf Fire, Raleigh Fire, Western Wake Fire, Wake Forest Fire, Six Forks EMS, and Wake SO. I thought I heard something of a fire in Fuquay and one in Fairview.
Falls201 - 05/12/07 - 21:43

Anyone have a complete run down of the units? Who was dispatched on the first alarm, any second alarm, special called, or self-dispatched?
Legeros - 05/12/07 - 21:55



harkey (Email) (Web Site) - 05/12/07 - 22:54

The Cary job was 103 Darlington Oak, in E7’s primary area. Working fire with fire held to attic. Add E5, L5, T7, R2, B2 and MO’ E3. A 20 minute run for the Rescue coming from #2. Truck 6, (on an Engine) did the cover assignment for Fairview FD.
guest - 05/13/07 - 19:26

Where is Darlington Oak located?
Silver - 05/13/07 - 20:14

CFP 7021 (Email) - 05/13/07 - 22:24

Nothing wrong with long runs. Like klp said. We have to get help from somewhere.
Dt - 05/14/07 - 07:33

For the record, didnt say there was anything wrong with long runs, but if Cary (and Raleigh for that matter) subscribed to the closest unit response as it should be maybe one could have been there faster.
Guest - 05/14/07 - 08:23

I thought RFD is on board with it? I mean, Dillard Drive School is in the city but Swift Creek is always dispatched as well. Same with the street “Southern Cross”, and the other streets in the subdivision off of Jones Franklin Rd. Swift Creek is dispatched along with city units….anyone clarify?
Silver - 05/14/07 - 10:02

Silver – Swift Creek set up some areas 2-3 years ago with RFD for closest station response. Some of those areas of response were arranged and coordinated between Chief McCollum and RFD before the closest station/closest unit became more fully implemented across the city/county. I think WWFR may have done so also, not sure on thier end.
McGraw (Email) - 05/14/07 - 15:48

Ok Rob, Thanks for clarifying.
Silver - 05/14/07 - 16:03

Cary has agreed to the closest station response agreement as well. It is in the hands of the RWECC to program the CAD, so it is out of the hands of any fire administration.

There are some areas that WWFR runs with RFD, but since at the time the response was based on Police Beats there were areas that WWFR was being dispatched to that RFD was closer to, so the system didn’t really work 100%. There are some areas that used to be WWFR down Edwards Mill towards the mall that WWFR still goes with RFD to. There is also a pretty good relationship between RFD and Station 14, and 8.

Swift Creek and Cary also have an agreement set up for a specific area around the SCFD station.
CFP 7021 (Email) - 05/14/07 - 18:13

How quick do volunteer departments get there compaired to paid though? What do you think about volunteer fire deptartments?
Adam - 05/14/07 - 19:19

In reference to the comment I made about closest response, where I came from and the way the system should work is: If there was one dispatch center in the county and they knew where everyone one would be coming from, then R2 from Cary may not have been on the call if Mo’ville R1 or maybe Apex R1 were in service. Alas, Apex ladder 1 wouldnt be driving through Cary to get to Mo’ville and R-14 and E-8 wouldnt be coming to I-40 and Cary Town when Cary station 2 could hit a golf ball to it, and WWFR wouldnt be passing 2 Cary stations to get there as well. I didnt say there wasnt a closest unit response to some calls on ocassion, but its not all the time and its not always getting all the closest units. And if you think that Cary has agreed to it and its in RWECC hands, think again. That is a good excuse to use when a house burns down, but no Cary is not in all the way, nor do they support it. There are places in Cary as we speak that are with in view of a cary fire house but are in the county, if you have a cardiac arrest and call for help Cary 911 may get the call, but they transfer it and never send the closest untit. And yes they know where it is and how close the station is!
guest - 05/14/07 - 20:34

Well then I guess you can call Cary Fire Admin and talk to Chief Cain or Deputy Chief Poole, as when the question was posed to him about closest station they have stated that they have agreed to it, but that it has not been implemented as it is waiting to be programmed into CAD and the maps created, etc. I guess you could also talk to Chris Perry to see if there have been any meetings or agreements. There are many spots in “around” Cary that will get a Cary unit that are in the county, and vice versa. But at the end of the day Telecommunicators can only do what they are allowed to do and what CAD recommends. That and I would not count on any telecommunicator to know where every area is around the city or the county and know where each fire station or EMS station is and who’s call it is and who they “should” send vs. what CAD says.

We are all in agreement on how the system should work, but we have to remember that municipalities have a legal obligation to provide services within their city limits (as I-40 at Cary Towne is within the city limits of Raleigh now). You speak about one dispatch center, well it doesn’t take one center, look at how Holly Springs and Apex work. They are tied into the RWECC, but operate and communicate with their units independent of RWECC. It can work, but at the end of the day the county cannot force any municipality to use RWECC, heck it costs money for each dispatch and I have heard that other municipalities are looking at doing things the way that Apex/Holly Springs does, or breaking off all together.

And we still have to remember that the IC of any call can cancel or substitute units. If a Morrisville officer hears an Apex Ladder dispatched, and knows that Cary L-1 or L-5 is closer they can always asked for them to be dispatched until all the CAD systems are programmed and correct. The system cannot be fixed in a day, or two days. But then again I guess those people that live across from Cary Station 1 can always ask to be annexed so they can enjoy the municipality’s services and pay the associated taxes. Not that it’s right or wrong, but it’s the reality of the situation.

At the end of the day I don’t think that anyone cares what the name is on the truck or the gear, and I know that those of us that ride the trucks don’t care either, we’re all in it to provide a service to the community. But like most things we are strangled from the things up top, and the political BS that’s entailed in a “closest station” agreement, especially when city limits are involved.
CFP 7021 (Email) - 05/14/07 - 22:53

“Guest”, to back up “7021”, you have to be careful about sending units from other departments. The reason, some aren’t staffed, we go around and around with this. Apex R-1 isn’t staffed, but it is showed as “in service” in CAD. Before they move forward with this county-wide dispatch crap, they need to set forth guidelines for staffing levels and what dictates a unit being “in service”. If Cary R-“whatever” is dispatched to a fire, Cary knows that a dedicated crew of 3 or 4 is en-route at the time of dispatch. A unit SHOULD NOT be dispatched if it doesn’t have a dedicated crew, plain and simple.
Silver - 05/15/07 - 10:55

OK…if we stick to “it has to be staffed with a dedicated crew”, then in reality we can immediately sell of anywhere from 1/3 to 2/3 fo the apparatus fleet in the county. It ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. So…take a page from the playbook in Marlyand, specifically Anne Arundel County. They have a combination service with a service area similar to Wake County.

Units are listed in CAD according to their staffing status, which is accomplished through their DEK boxes-

STATUS 1- In service, dependent crew, meaning the crew is shared with another unit(s) in the station
STATUS 2- In service, dedicated crew (self explanatory)

The way their CAD is programmed (it is all a programming issue), it recognizes that it can only dispatch one unit out of a station that has a dependent crew, and once that is done, the others are place in STATUS 8, which for them was ‘out of service’. So, if a call was dispatched CAD would only recognize a unit listed as independent, or would dispatch only one of the ‘dependent’ units. So, in my station up there, Odenton #28, the engine was listed in STATUS 2 at all times, while the second and third engine and the ladder were listed as STATUS 1. For a box alarm, CAD would select ENGINE 281 and TRUCK 28, but would not dispatch ENGINE 282 or ENGINE 283. To fill out the assignment, it would select what it needed from adjacent stations to get 3 engines, 1 ladder, 1 squad (heavy rescue), a battalion chief, and 2 paramedic ambulances. Volunteers who were not on duty at the station could go to the station and place whatever units up into STATUS 2 for the next call, move ups, or if needed and requested by COMMAND, respond to the original call.

They’ve been doing that for years and it works. Of course, there is a county department along with the volunteer companies, a single, unified chain of command, a single county fire chief, etc. The Battalion Chiefs are county employees, but the volunteer chiefs can function as a BC within their own first due, provided they have met the county’s training requirements. Outside of their fist due, they are a captain.

This set-up would accomodate the ‘if it is not staffed it should not be dispatched’ stance, since if there is not a crew available, it will not be dispatched. Of course, you have to provide some sort of oversight, which is where a county fire administration would come into play, independent of the volunteer company chiefs.

Now, could anything like this happen in Wake County? Stranger things have happened. I would have never thought that we would have all come on board with a single radio system or somewhat single specs for apparatus (I won’t touch the brush truck issue)...of course we still haven’t got the single numbering system…
DJ (Email) - 05/15/07 - 11:50

we’ve been around this bush before haven’t we?

hope everyone is having a good day!
CFP 7021 (Email) - 05/15/07 - 14:15

Yes Shev, we have. DJ, I like your thinking.
Silver - 05/15/07 - 14:57

Take this into consideration; Apex Engine 1 usually has 2 or 3 people dedicated to it. Rescue 1 is housed with Engine 1, as well as Tanker 1 and Brush 1. While the Engine is in the house, it can be known as “staffed with dependent crew”. But, if Engine 1 were to go to Station 3 for training, does that entail pushing every other DEK button in the other units to mark them out of service? Or, does one call to the comm. center on the radio do it all? Just wondering DJ, sounds like an excellent concept though. You should work on a formal presentation to the big wigs before they try to reinvent the wheel.
Silver - 05/15/07 - 15:09

We (New Hope) have implemented a pilot program of marking equipment out of service on weekdays (7a-6p M-F) that isn’t staffed. (as a test/experiment if you will). It forces CAD to dispatch equipment that actually responds, rather than dispatched and never marking enroute. It isn’t a permanent policy, but being used to gather information and statistics, as well as provide more staffing for structural calls. So far I like it because at least what is dispatched actually responds. We are in the same boat as most…inadequate staffing. If volunteers standby at the station they mark the equipment back in service.
AB - 05/15/07 - 15:27

Aaron is this test program a WNH program or did the county ask you to try it out?
Mike - 05/15/07 - 15:51

It was brought to the County by NH (because of CAD and other issues) and they endorsed it. They were also interested in obtaining some data from the program.
AB - 05/15/07 - 15:58

Sounds like a good idea. Maybe the county could get a couple of departments on the different sides of the county to try it as well.
Mike - 05/15/07 - 16:40

Yeah…we are beating this horse again…but hey…it is so much fun.

As to doing all of the DEK boxes if the main crew goes for training, I believe it was all done with one call to the center (it has been several years…I was up there from 1990 to 1993). However, another aspect that seemed to prevail there that does not translate well here, was if you could not regularly staff it you didn’t buy it.

Take Odenton VFC- We had three engines, a ladder, a BLS ambulance, and two brush vehicles. We normally had two engines and the ladder independently staffed, and the ambo and brush units, along witht he third engine, were dependent. The county provided us with one 24-hour paid engineer and two paid firefighters M-F. Engine 282 and Engine 283 could get out 99+% of the time with crews of 4-5, and Truck 28 had a crew of 4-5 also. Our neighboring stations, while serving areas equal in density and population to ours, had fewer trucks. Maryland City #27 only had an engine (county provided driver and M-F FF)and a BLS ambulance (dependent crew), while Jessup #29 only had an engine (county driver and M-F FF), a brush (dependent crew), and a paramedic ambulance (independently staffed by the county. The volunteers would fill out the crews as needed. The volunteers participated, but they gravitated to certain stations for various reasons. Big vollie houses included Odenton 28, Earleigh Heights 12, Riviera Bch #13, and Orchard Bch #11. And there were also dedicated county staffed stations throughout.
DJ - 05/15/07 - 17:27

DJ, Yes we have discussed this before. But, your input is important because you’ve “been there and done that”. This is new to mostly everyone. I’d take my input to the county level if I were you. Like I said before, do it before they try to reinvent the wheel.
Silver - 05/16/07 - 08:11

Thumbs up to the folks at WNH for marking their unstaffed units out of service. This will eliminate, at least in their district, the very real problem of dispatching units for which no staff is available on calls that happen while another call is going on.

This happens with some frequency, and has presented some potentially life-threatening problems (critical patients with only the EMS crew to care for them) around the county.

It’s bad to be expecting help, none shows up, and then later you found out that nobody was ever even en route.

EMS100 (Email) (Web Site) - 05/17/07 - 22:04

In regards to the question about this being a County requested program. I have learned it was more of a “cooperative effort” between NH and the County in an attempt to accomplish the things noted above. EMS100, I agree with your statement. Hopefully maintaining status this way will reduce those occurences.
AB - 05/18/07 - 10:53

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