Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sad/Busy day at work

Today was flat out crazy at work. I was there before 0630 and we still had 5 units out on a fire from overnight. By 0830, we had 2 working fires, and one of those went 2 alarms, and there were reports of people trapped inside.

The big fire came in on a transfer from the big city FD. They only wanted us to send our ambulances, then tried to dump the whole thing on us, even though it was across the line and on them. We sent a full response just in case.

The first unit that went onscene told us to start a 2nd alarm.

As we're pulling units for the 2nd alarm, another fire comes in. In the comments, the caller advised that there's flames through the roof, but the house is known to be vacant.

We manage to scramble all the units needed for both calls, and started shifting our remaining units for coverage of territories.

Meanwhile, the amount of EMS calls explodes thanks to the rain and/or whatever. So we're having to post our ambulances and we're constantly shifting them around as well. That went on all day long, with only 3 units available in the entire department more than once.

We ended up calling 2 neighboring departments (not big city FD) for mutual aid. We needed help covering our stations. Only 1 of the units that came to help had to run a call. Their radios aren't compatible with ours either, so we had to call them on the cell phone and give them all dispatch info, plus directions.

At the large fire, there ended up being 12 units damaged, and the Red Cross was called to take care of the 61 people that were displaced. One of our ambulances took a toddler and father to the hospital for smoke inhalation, and the toddler had some burns. The mother and another child died in the fire.

There is a video, but in an attempt to somewhat protect my anonymity and where I work, I'm not going to imbed it. Sorry folks.

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