Layman Mutual Aid Question

mackcffan2014

Firefighter
As the title says, this is really a layman's question, but I think it's at least a decent one. I think I've asked worse. hahaha

There are a lot of housing developments around here with winding, confusing driveways, roundabouts and dead ends. There are generally dozens of houses or apartments. It's easy to get lost in there if you don't live there. How would this be handled mutual aid wise? Do almost all departments and apparatus have GPS now? Are there developments or other landmarks in other department's coverage areas that new firefighters are expected to learn? Would they be expected to learn it on their own time?
Or are there so few mutual aid calls at the type of place I described that the department can "just figure it out" when it happens for lack of a better word?
 

paulromano

Captain
I don't know about the status of GPS on the apparatus but there are several methods of getting mutual aid apparatus to an incident:

1. Tell them to head for the column of smoke (sorry, couldn't resist that)
2. The dispatcher for the community they are going to can give them radio directions.
3. If they are responding from a cover assignment, most times they have a pilot (firefighter from the receiving community that rides the mutual
aid apparatus to give directions and guidance (locations of knox boxes, hydrants etc. etc.)
4. We have asked police cruisers to meet a mutual aid company at the town line and take them into the incident location. That method has also been
used by a firefighter in a pickup or car meeting them at the town line and taking them in.
5. I am sure that a lot of directions come from Apps on cell phones, especially with their proliferation of use.
6. When my task force covered in a large city some years ago during a funeral for six firefighters, every city firefighter was at the services. The city
assigned DPW workers in pickup trucks to accompany our companies to incidents for directions and scene guidance.
 

mackcffan2014

Firefighter
I appreciate the thorough answer you gave me. Thank you for that! And I like hearing of inter-agency teamwork (the police car).
How could I forget cell phones though? That was dumb of me. I guess this means I'm not glued to mine. haha
 

brucobuff

Assistant Chief
mackcffan2014 said:
As the title says, this is really a layman's question, but I think it's at least a decent one. I think I've asked worse. hahaha

There are a lot of housing developments around here with winding, confusing driveways, roundabouts and dead ends. There are generally dozens of houses or apartments. It's easy to get lost in there if you don't live there. How would this be handled mutual aid wise? Do almost all departments and apparatus have GPS now? Are there developments or other landmarks in other department's coverage areas that new firefighters are expected to learn? Would they be expected to learn it on their own time?
Or are there so few mutual aid calls at the type of place I described that the department can "just figure it out" when it happens for lack of a better word?
The depts. that fail to pre-plan their potential responses to these places often find their mistakes caught on video and posted to sites such as the Fire Critic.com, or more notably; Statter911.com.
 

START WATER

District Chief
some times its hard in big cities to get to a extra alarm assignmnt my fd was a squrt
in a 331Sq mile city which also was a county, the longest run we mad was 71 blocks
on the second alarm in the 80's we had a map book but we were suppose to know the
city. .
 

Lebby

THE DIME, Station 10
In PG we are supposed to be able to find a location in one our seven map books (spanning three counties), the average "gas station" maps or Howard County Fire Rescue's map book with in 1:30 from the point of picking the right book. These maps books, except the "gas station's", contain such things as hydrant and station locations for us. It is the officer, who has the job of reading the directions to the Technician while we respond. When all else fails we have our Mobile Data Terminal which is rarely used. Then GPS..
 

mackcffan2014

Firefighter
START WATER said:
some times its hard in big cities to get to a extra alarm assignmnt my fd was a squrt
in a 331Sq mile city which also was a county, the longest run we mad was 71 blocks
on the second alarm in the 80's we had a map book but we were suppose to know the
city. .
How long did it take to go the 71 blocks? I bet that was a haul!!
 

START WATER

District Chief
I HAVE NO IDE HOW LONG IT TOOK NOW . BUT IT DIDN'T SEEM TO BE THAT LONG
MY GUESS IS ABOUT 20 MINUTES. IT WAS AFTER DARK, AND NOT MUCH TRAFFIC WE HAHD TO GET REAL SLOW AT RED LIGHTS BUT THE ATREETA WE USED WERE RATAHER WIDE FOR A CITY ON THE EAST COAST WE HAD RESPONDED TO MANY EXTRA ALARM FIRES
OUT OF OUR RESPONSE AREA AND WE SORT OF KNEW THE DIFERENT AREAS

THE OFFICERS ROTATE STATIONS EVERY THREE YEARS AND FIREFIGHTERS GET SENT TO DIFFERENT STATIONS OR DETAILED SO YOU SORT OF LEARN THE AREAS .
 

START WATER

District Chief
THAT CORRECT HAVE TRUCK WILL RESPOND THE NE AREA IS HARD TO KNOW WHERE RDS GO MANY AREAS HAVE DEAD EBD STREETS M OR CIRCLE STREETS THAT CHANGE NAMES AND ADDRESS THREE TIMES

I WOULD MUCH RATHER WORK WHERE STREETS RUN BY NUMBER

PHILLY HAS 1132 SQ MILES WITH TWO RIVERS SO AGAIN YOU NEED TO KNOW THE BRIDGES . SUBWAY ENTRANCES
 
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