01/24/14 228 W, 1 I - + 5 - 2 Five Alarms in Winston-Salem

Hee's a rather stunning photo from Walt Unks for the Winston-Salem Journal, from yesterday morning's five-alarm fire that collapsed a catwalk between two old R. J. Reynolds buildings. The fire was reported about 1:35 a.m., and arriving units found the catwalk engulfed in flames. Part of Plant 64 was damaged, a complex that consists of more than five buildings and structures. The oldest of those dates to 1916. Read that story.

Walt Unks/Winston-Salem Journal photo

Here's the run card, as posted by the Winston-Salem Professional Fire Fighters on their Facebook Page:

Question for readers, how many engines, ladders, etc. does a five-alarm fire bring in Durham, Charlotte, Greensboro, etc.?

Here in Raleigh, the run card looks like this:

Regular Fire Dispatch

  • 1st Alarm – 4E, 1L, 1Sq and/or R1, 1BC, Deputy Fire Marshal
  • Working Fire – R1 (if not on original dispatch), 1BC, DC, Air 1, Investigator
  • 2nd Alarm – 3E, 2L, 1BC
  • 3rd Alarm – 4E
  • 4th Alarm – 3E
  • 5th Alarm – 3E

Multi-family dwelling and commercial structures get 1 Sq + R1.


High-Rise Fire Dispatch

  • 1st Alarm – 5E, 2L, R1, 1BC, Division Chief, Deputy Fire Marshal
  • Working Fire – Air 1, Investigator
  • 2nd Alarm – 5E, 2L, 1BC
  • 3rd Alarm – 5E
  • 4th Alarm – 5E
  • 5th Alarm – 5E

Interesting to see the difference in run cards. In the interest of history, I found a page on BFD that shows a 1930’s run card. Looks like 26 engines on a 5 alarmer back then.

Tim - 01/24/14 - 16:26

Called my buddy at FDNY; Here is their run card for a 5 alarmer:
21 Engine Companies, 11 Ladder Companies, 1 Squad Company, 1 Rescue Company, 9 Battalion Chiefs, 1 Division Chief, 1 Deputy Chief, 1 Assistant Chief, and the Chief of Operations, it can also include additional specialized units called to support the operation.

Tim H - 01/24/14 - 16:38

The old run card when I worked for WSFD for a hi-rise assignment was 3 Engines, Two Truck Companies,1 Battalion Chief. Rescue 1 is added by BC if 1st due initial report indicated a working fire. A 2nd alarm used to consist of 2 additional Engies and Air 1. An additional Truck company was special called by the Initial BC.
Clay Simmons - 01/24/14 - 23:03

FDNY each alarm receives four engines and two ladders, on the 10-75 (working fire need assistances) an additional Ladder is added to the assignment as the FAST Truck (RIT). On the second alarm a Satellite is added along with its Engine Company however manning is two on the Satellite and two on the Engine. As to chiefs Battalion Chiefs are Deputy Chiefs, Division Chiefs are Deputy Assistant Chiefs, Chief of Operations (Car 4) responds on the fourth alarm and the Chief of Department (Car 3) on the fifth alarm. As to Assistant Chiefs it depends on what is occurring on the fire ground as to how many and who will be assigned. Requests for engines beyond the alarm assignment require an additional alarm dispatch but any number of ladders can be requested at any time.
stretch - 01/25/14 - 15:55

FCES also had Bus 1 (MAB) on scene until well in the afternoon providing rehab facilities for WSFD during the extended overhaul.
Joffre - 01/25/14 - 16:55

Raleigh is changing their HR assignment. HR Working fire will go away and those units will move up to the 1st alarm.
Tim - 01/29/14 - 12:14

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