Ok, to begin with; tomorrow is going to be a busy day. The morning will be anyway. Tomorrow is our annual “vacation sign up day”. In the firehouse, we sign up for our “vacation” and “holidays” a year in advance. Time to clean the ol desk off and figure out the days we need…
Here in the City, sign ups go by senority. We also sign up per shift and Battalion (North and South) so there are 3 days worth (A, B and C-shift). The process works well until they throw everyone’s name in a hat and shuffle personnel and shifts. I fall in the 10th pick for C-shift North which is not too bad. My picks are a little different from what most guys want anyway so usually, I don’t have much trouble getting what I want or need. I’m more interested in hay and calving season than the “traditional” holidays. I do have a few dates I need this year so that I can make events with the Firefighter Netcast crew. Events such as FDIC, Firehouse Expo, Fire Rescue International and the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial Weekend. Cross your fingers and wish me luck.
Knowing that I’m gonna have a busy morning, I need to update some of the facts on my post concerning the Vinton Fire. The post has generated a lot of hits and comments. As expected, several of the comments are directed towards making the issue ” us vs. them” rather than focusing on the safety issues etc. Other comments question my facts and account of the incident. Let me assure you, my sources are and were key players in the incident / system. That said, I did have some details wrong nor have I spoken directly with a Vinton member (who was on scene) yet. I’ll start with some local news coverage video…
Turns out, the City WAS on the initial dispatch. You also need to know that there IS a delay in that dispatch. The City and Town Of Vinton / County have separate dispatch centers. The County dispatch received the call @ 22:45. They dispatched the call within 42 seconds. Then, they have to notify the City that we are needed to respond (I believe that’s done by phone) … there’s the delay (the County gets the call, dispatches their units, calls the City who in turn then dispatches the City units).
Now, let me add here that the “delay” is in no way the fault of our dispatchers (City or County). These folks do a SUPER job. Much like us, they are short staffed and overloaded. They handle multiple units on multiple channels simultaneously and single handed.
The initial call recomended Vinton Station 2, County #6 and County #12. Station #12 was out of service due to not having members “sleeping” in the station. They were able to get members to the station and “mark up” and respond BUT, because they were initially out of service, City #6 was added to the call.
The County dispatch system turns calls over after 6 minutes (not the 4 minute then 3 minute mark that I originally posted). City Engine #6 arrived @ 22:53 (8 minutes after Dispatch received the call). So, the “10 or more minutes to get an Engine on scene” was not correct either …. it was 8 minutes.
To address some of the comments … The mutual or Auto-aid system did not fail. In theory … the system WORKED. Had it not have, the City would not have been on the call and the 1st arriving Engine would have taken longer than 8 minutes to arrive. (Although I still believe that we need more SOP / SOG’s that are standard for all auto and mutual-aid.. regaurdless of responding to South County, North County, Vinton or Salem … or them coming into the City).
I can’t speak for County Administration but I do not feel as if they are trying to run the volunteers out.THEY NEED THEM. I think (and agree with) that they are attempting to hold members “accountable” .. volunteer or career.
As for me … YES … I’m a “#$%##^&&**” (insert whatever you want). But, I stated many times in the post that I do not see the issues here as volunteer vs career or City vs. Town / County. I do see issues that need to be addressed for the safety of all members involved. If I’m an “***hole” for feeling that way then so be it.
Ok… moving on but keeping on the “fire” theme. The City has been busy lately. Fires are up. Even my “little buddy” Rhett caught some work the other night. He called me as excited as a kid at Christmas. He wasn’t stuck in the street “pulling levers” and it was more than a dumpster fire. I’ll steal his pic but also check out his version of the fire HERE
Our B-shift brothers and Sisters were also busy last night with motor vehicles accidents. They even had a head on collision on the Interstate due to a car traveling in the wrong direction. See the local coverage HERE .
Ok, I’m gonna stop here for now. I’ll update sometime Monday evening or night. Thanks again for reading and for taking the time to comment. Don’t forget to use the new tool bar at the bottom to share with your friends etc. Until I get back, stay safe and in house.