Over the years we get alot of questions from people about why certain things occur involving our fire company. Today we will attempt to answer a few of those questions:
#1 – Why Do firefighters stand around outside of a fire?
This question actually has 2 answers. The first answer is the people you see standing around are in a staging area. As the Incident Commander needs a task completed, he simply selects a crew of personnel from the staging area and assigns them to the task. This is much easier than trying to find personnel on the scene who are not currently busy. The second answer is the crew may be assigned as the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT). The RIT is a specific team of “seasoned” firefighters who are assembled near a burning structure with one specific mission and that is to be instantly available to rescue any downed firefighter. RIT crews assemble specific equipment including saws, rope, thermal cameras and tools and stand ready to move on a moments notice. Because of this important assignment, this crew cannot be given any other job on the fireground. See this link for more information: https://medium.com/homeland-security/just-hangin-out-why-do-firefighters-just-stand-around-at-fires-1ebbf31eba6b
Lafayette Personnel stand fast as the RIT during a fire on N. Queen St. in the City of Lancaster
#2 – Why did that fire truck just scream past me then turn their lights and sirens off?
In cases where this happens, the most likely reason is that the fire vehicle you saw was cancelled from the response. This happens because a chief officer or another piece of apparatus is already at the scene of the call and had determined that other responding units are not needed because the call turned out to be minor, or a false alarm.
#3 – Why do you guys shut down the whole road when there is an accident?
In most cases, we will only completely close a road if we really need to. But when we do, it is because the road is completely blocked by the accident, there may be a utility pole down on the road, or broken and in danger of falling, or we may feel it is necessary for the safety of our personnel. This is especially true during car fires where the road is closed so our firefighters can concentrate on extinguishing the fire and not watching for moving cars. Engine 63-2 in a defensive blocking position on the Route 30 Bypass
#4 – Why do you park the firetruck across the road like that?
At incidents on a roadway, many times you will see the fire apparatus parked on an angle in front of the scene. This is another measure taken to protect our personnel. With motorists being more and more distracted while driving we would much rather a distracted driver hit our firetruck than hit us.