Section III-2

Responding to Dispatches

Purpose:  To establish minimum guidelines for acknowledging and responding to emergency dispatches. 

Scope:  The scope of this policy pertains to all Chiefs, Officers, and Firefighters who respond to emergency calls.

The existence of these written guidelines is not intended to limit any member in the exercise of judgment or initiative in taking the action a reasonable person would take in extraordinary situations that may arise in the fire service.  Much by necessity must be left to the training, experience, initiative, integrity, and discretion of the members of the Three Star Fire Department.

Policy:

It is the duty of all Officers and Acting Officers to ensure that these guidelines are strictly adhered to and enforced by all personnel of the Three Star Fire Department.  These guidelines will be utilized while operating at emergency operations, mutual aid incidents, training exercises, and while in quarters.

A.  All members of Three Star Fire Department will respond to emergency calls dispatched by either pager tone, direct radio traffic (dispatch calls while we are on another emergency scene), walk in, or telephone.

B.  All emergency calls will require a dispatch unless he/she can justify why it was not necessary or needed.

C.  No member of Three Star Fire Department will report directly to or respond to an emergency scene, within Three Star fire district, without proper tones from dispatch and/or Three Star base.

D.  No member of Three Star Fire Department will report directly to or respond to another Fire Departmentís emergency without Three Star Fire Department dispatches from Central Dispatch.

E.  In the absence of an Officer, Three Star Fire Department apparatus may respond with an Acting Officer.  Acting Officers must be fully familiar with the Incident Command System, along with all Three Star Fire Department operating guidelines and policies.  In the absence of an Officer,  apparatus may respond with an interior qualified firefighter assuming the Acting Officer role as long as that individual firefighter understands the duties and responsibilities, and they are fully capable to serve as Acting Officer.  Probationary Firefighters cannot serve as Acting Officers.

F.  In the absence of an Officer, the senior firefighter present shall assume the Acting Officer functions and perform the role of an Officer.

G.  At no time will an Acting Officer go directly to the emergency.  All personnel will report to the fire station to ensure proper apparatus and personnel are staffed and assigned with the exception of the Chief and Assistant Chief.

H.  Response responsibilities of Lieutenants and Acting Officers for all incidents are to include:

  1. If Chief or Assistant Chief has not acknowledged the call, Officers shall acknowledge call over Tipton County Fire channel only after clearly understanding the reason for call, the location, and the last known situation at the emergency scene.
  2. All members below the rank of Assistant Chief shall report to the fire station for response or stand-by after an alarm has been dispatched to ensure that the proper apparatus is dispatched and responds in a safe manner and that all safety precautions (including complete use of PPE) are properly employed throughout an incident.
  3. In rare instances, when having to pass the emergency scene in route to the station, an Officer may stop only with direct authorization by the Chief or Assistant Chief.  The Officer responding to an emergency shall insure that he/she has all of his/her turnout equipment either in their possession or placed on the appropriate responding apparatus.
  4. Coordination with other Officers and Incident Commanders while carrying out assigned evolutions within the Incident Command System.
  5. Any decision making needed as Officer of the Apparatus.
  6. Implementing and enforcing Three Star Fire Department standard operating guidelines.
  7. Post-incident administrative functions, including completion of incident reports and repairs.
  8. Ensuring that upon conclusion of an incident, all equipment and apparatus under their immediate supervision is in complete working order and back in service.
  9. Three Star Fire Department will not tolerate freelancing.  Repeated abuse will be subject to discipline, not to exclude termination.

I.  Response responsibilities of the Chief and Assistant Chief for all incidents are to include:

  1. Acknowledge call over Tipton County Fire channel only after clearly understanding the reason for call, the location, and the last known situation at the emergency scene.
  1. It shall be optional for the Chief and Assistant Chief to respond to the emergency scene instead of the fire station in order to obtain a thorough scene size-up or provide immediate life-saving assistance.
  1. Either the Chief or Assistant Chief responding to the scene shall communicate with other responding firefighting personnel his/her intentions over the Three Star Fire Department dedicated channel.
  1. Chief or Assistant Chief shall monitor Three Star Fire Department private frequency for all personnel acknowledging call.  If a firefighter acknowledges call and for whatever reason does not show up at the fire station for assignment, contact shall be made by whatever means to ensure their safety.

Any person responding to an emergency incident shall insure that he/she has all of his/her turnout equipment either in their possession or placed on the appropriate responding apparatus.  Safety should come first in all circumstances.