01/18/11 177 W, 1 I - + 1 - 5 Today's Two Alarms / Wesvill Court

Two alarms at 2423 Wycliff Road. Engine 14 arriving with heavy smoke showing from a two-story apartment building with 19,636 square-feet, built 1968. Fire in third-floor apartment. Interior attack, with most (all?) of the fire damage contained to that unit. Smoke damage through the rest of the building. Eleven units rendered uninhabitable. Thirty people displaced. Two residents transported, including one with leg injuries, after dropping infant into bushes and jumping from third-floor balcony. Cause determined as accidental, juveniles playing with lighter.

Dispatched 2:34 p.m. Controlled 4:49 p.m. Units on scene included E14, E16, E8, E9, E17, E6, E5, L7, L3, R3, R2, B3, B4, A1, C10, C20, C40, C2, EMS 8, EMS 11, EMS 124, EMS 121, EMS 54, M94, D1, D4, T1. Three veteran fire photographers were also on scene. FireNews Editor Jeff Harkey took a couple shots that he's posted to his Flickr site. Mr. Blogger Mike Legeros has posted his photos. And we await a series of shots from here are Lee Wilson's photos. More on the three amigos a little later.

This may not be the right place to post this topic, but for the 3rd or 4th time in these past many months, Raleigh engine 8 or engine 14 has been primary on what has been upgraded to a major working fire. With RFD 8 and RFD 14 being outlying stations this upgrade creates a huge whole on that side of town. Why does Raleigh not pull in county units to help cover the area like Swift Creek or Western Wake which both are pretty much in 8 and 14s district. Or non the north side, New Hope, Durham Highway or Falls when 25 or 22 etc have MWF’s. Why pull Raleigh stations from their first due from across the city and make them drive 30 minutes to put them responding in an area that commonly they are not familiar with. Sure your engineer might have rode FF 6 years ago on engine 5 and thus somewhat remembers the area. But why not bring in a county unit that is already stationed in that area and knows it. I know whats coming next, level of training and not knowing what you are getting. But if thats the theory then why has closest unit been working all over Raleigh for the last 4 years. County units first in, handling calls, doing patient care, extinguishing fires. What is the difference that when RFD has a MWF that the county is all of a sudden inept to handle those same calls. Even without closest unit the county runs the same caliber of calls that RFD does daily. Whose to say that a 10-50 at Creedmoor & 98 Hwy is any less of an emergency then one at Hillsborough and Dan Allen. It’s not, Yet the county handles it everyday with their trained personnel. And hey half the time at a county station you have off duty RFD personnel working part time. Falls, Stony Hill, DH, SC all have off duty people from many different career departments working. So when they put on that county shirt their quality of service or guaranteed quality of service goes out the window? I guess I just don’t get it. I live in Durham and the county and city place nice day in and day out. One mutual sand box. It’s silly to watch fire engines passing fire houses with staffed engines inside simply because of the name on the truck. When my car is upside down on I-40, I-540, Hwy 147 and the first big red box rolls up, I am not going to ask where they are from and refuse their service to wait for a truck that says RFD or DFD or CHFD on the side. We are all here to help and we are all here to do the same job.
Share the Sandbox - 01/21/11 - 12:56

If AVL ends up on fire apparatus you might see that one day and it’s a great idea. It’s a shame it isn’t automatic. It falls to the responders to try and remember to ask for resources when they are already very busy.
yep - 01/21/11 - 14:22

A better idea is to maybe implement the past studies that have wasted my county tax dollars and shut down these needless stations and move the equipment and personnel to areas of the county that doesn’t have the same level of service. Then maybe the city engines can stop passing by these county stations that are just sitting there waiting to run a call that is in the city. Why should I want to waist my county tax dollars on equipment and personnel to run a call in the city? I do not pay city taxes so do not waist my county tax money providing a service that is already provided yet there are many locations in this county that have a 10 minute or more response time and only a medical responder on a pick up truck!
Another county tax payer - 01/21/11 - 17:23

Wow who gets the code save pin on that dead horse?
Mike - 01/21/11 - 18:31

Sandbox, is your question exclusively about coverage for major working fires? (Versus regular working fires, but including exceptional major working fires, like Pine Knoll Townes. That time, county and Cary units covered Raleigh stations.)

Your contention is that citizens might be better served, if closer non-Raleigh units cover at empty stations instead of Raleigh units pulled from farther away, correct?
Legeros - 01/21/11 - 18:41

This all sounds very familiar… but gotta remember, if the outlining departments are going to run into the city, they need to be staffed and follow the same protocols that Raleigh Fire uses…4 man ladder companies that split into teams, Rescuse co’s that search and aid the Ladders, Engines that will be using HUMAT valves, etc… Same as if RFD went into the county – they might need to know that they may be in-line with a drafting engine, or tanker shuttle (in otherwords dont block the drop tank!!) Who knows, with budget cuts and all, probably will never see AVL on City fire units, and until the county is equal (my push for a county wide FD in Wake Co.) you’ll never see adequate staffing and AVLs on them. Bottom line, all show up, do the job, go home safe.
round and round - 01/21/11 - 20:45

Sandbox, look at the situation in reverse…say you’re a county ff at a department with 3 stations. If you have an incident that uses up your resources from 2 of your stations, which are you going to call first? Your third station that you train with on a routine basis or another department? Obviously, you’re going to use your own resources first and THEN utilize others. Not saying it’s always the best scenario, but its part human nature and part just how things go. RFD is no different.

Also, it is just easier for RFD to do moveups within their own department…not too mention quicker. Even with a longer drive time, the total response time is usually less. RFD units can moveup immediately, whereas other departments may not have adequate staff in place. There is just too many unknowns for the average MWF and WF situations. Like Legeros said, when you have a Pine Knoll Townes or similar major incident, you’ll see more county used units for moveup.
HJ - 01/21/11 - 20:56

Hey Sandbox, if you want to run with Raleigh that bad, submit an application.
Bobby - 01/21/11 - 20:58

Bobby, thank you, maybe I will when a process opens up again. as for the others, thank you for your input. I see where you all are coming from. was just a thought that came to mind. mr legeros, a dead horse this one is, maybe one day a change will occur. thanks again everyone
Sandbox - 01/21/11 - 21:38

Many of these decisions are out of “our” control due to other priorities, initiatives, etc… maybe it’s as simple as trust. These discussions are still worthy. You see, there are really no “Dead Hoses” because many of you here will become the future leaders, charged with the change oriented decision making of another time. Stay enlightened, stay positive… change will occur; albeit slow in the fire service at times. Let’s compare: look at the amount of change in the past 5 years alone as compared to the past 20 years (if some of you were around 20 years ago). It is indeed heavily weighted in the positive!!
A.C. Rich - 01/22/11 - 10:38

AVL is coming to fire units within the year… just to one town, not the whole county.

From somebody who works part time at one of these “closest stations” we run with the CITY every single day… on every single call type. The only difference is that we only go if we are deemed to be 30 seconds closer (in CAD) than the first due city unit. Once that goes out the door, we’re out for 2nd, 3rd, or 4th due units. But the view of our administration is that we are there to provide immediate emergency medical care, fire suppression or rescue efforts. Once the city unit arrives and it is appropriate we are to turn the scene over to them and clear. In order to provide the highest level of service to the citizens and visitors of OUR response area. Now if we’re requested we’ll go, and stay as long as needed.

Now as for the level of service, I happened to be working my P/T the day of this fire, and on our engine was a Capt. from the City of Raleigh, and Engineer from Cary, and a FF who used to be full time at Parkwood. I’d say a well trained, certified and qualified truck full of people. And we are only a radio call away. Honestly we didn’t even know Raleigh had a MWF until a good bit into the incident when we saw it on the CAD screen.

Most of these “issues” that are brought up about operations and training can be eliminated by training together and sharing operational plans. Cary FD did it. There’s a county engine on EVERY fire in Cary. But they went out to the county FDs and trained them on what is to be expected, after all this isn’t rocket science, we put fire out the same way in Apex as we do in Hopkins… and we currently have the CITY going into the county in multiple areas, and it works. So if you think that we can’t play together we can, and we do, every day, multiple calls a day, and seamlessly.

Some things are just at a level that isn’t quite important to administrations as others, and that is understandable.

Stay safe, slow down and wear your seatbelts!
shevais - 01/22/11 - 15:05

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