Mount Bergen Volunteer Fire Department - SOP's
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Area Map

Radio Procedures:

Unit ID's:
Dispatch - Dispatch
1700 - Chief
1701 - Assistant Chief
1702 thru 1709 - Firefighters
1710 - Fire Station
1711 - Engine
1771 - Brush
1751 - Rescue

Radio Use:
Be short and specific! Before transmitting know what you are going to say; don't make it up as you go along.

Choose precise terms to communicate the desired message as clearly and briefly as possible without wasting air time. Utilize plain language and standard firefighter terms. No codes or signals except Code 1, 2, 3, or 4.

Code 1 - With traffic, no lights or siren.
Code 2 - Lights only, not to exceed posted speed limits.
Code 3 - Lights and siren, not to exceed posted speed limits by more then 10 miles per hour.
Code 4 - Situation under control, any units not on scene can cancel their response.

Speak clearly at a practiced rate, not to fast or too slow. Control your emotions and excitement deliberately. If you do not control your voice it will become garbled under stress.

Prioritize your messages. Do not use valuable air time with unimportant messages and insignificant details. Let critical messages go first. Maintain an awareness of the overall situation and how you fit into it.

Do not interrupt conversations unless you have EMERGENCY TRAFFIC. Listen before transmitting and wait until a message transaction has been completed. Pause between conversation of consecutive messages. This will make it clear when one message has been completed and another has started. It will also give other units a chance to get on the air if needed. Any EMERGENCY TRAFFIC should be prefaced with the unit number and the words "EMERGENCY TRAFFIC", as in "1701, EMERGENCY TRAFFIC".

Radio Channels:
Channel 1 - Main Dispatch (repeater)
Channel 2 - Tac (Same as Channel 1, only not through repeater)
Channel 3 - Tac
Channel 4 - Tac
Channel 5 - Mutual Aid 1
Channel 6 - Mutual Aid 2
Channel 7 - Mutual Aid 3
Channel 8 - Multi-Agency Coordination/Lifeflight

Acknowledging Dispatches:
The first firefighter at the Station on any call dispatched by pager will advise Dispatch by radio, either apparatus or portable, that "Mount Bergen Volunteers copy the call". Dispatch will then relay any additional information once the call is acknowledged. Be ready to copy this additional information! Note: Dispatch will automatically call mutual aid if they don't hear acknowledgment of the call five minutes after we are toned out. If only one firefighter responds to the Station and no additional firefighters arrive within five minutes of the call being toned out, Dispatch should be notified to start mutual aid.

Landing Zones:
If a unit is assigned to set up a landing zone for Lifeflight, they should keep their portable radio on Channel 8, and the apparatus radio on Channel 1 or whatever Channel is being used to run the incident. Lifeflight will check in on Channel 8 and will request a condition of the LZ and any hazards that might be present. Be prepared to relay this information to Lifeflight on Channel 8 before they contact you. The preselected landing zones that Lifeflight has coordinates for are, the dead end of Bergen Lane, the Double M Ranch, and the Bergen Sawmill. If at all possible, a LZ should be set up at one of these locations.

Response Order & Minimum Staffing:

Structure Fires, Fire Alarms, Car Fires, or Haz-Mat Investigations:
(1) Engine with two firefighters.
(2) Brush with two firefighters. Note: May respond with driver only if Engine is on scene.
(3) Rescue with one firefighter.

Wildland Fires:
(1) Brush with two firefighters.
(2) Engine with two firefighters. Note: May respond with driver only if Brush Truck is on scene.

Motor Vehicle Accidents or First Responder Calls:
(1) Brush with two firefighters, one of which must be an EMT-I.
(2) Rescue with one firefighter, should be EMT-I if possible.
(3) Engine with one or two firefighters for manpower or to secure a LZ for Lifeflight if needed.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarms:
(1) Rescue with firefighter trained in the use of the CO/gas detector will respond Code 1, unless symptoms of CO poisoning are reported, in which case follow the SOP for First Responder Calls.
(2) Brush with one or two firefighters.

Water Rescue:
(1) Rescue with one firefighter.
(2) Brush with two firefighters. Note: May respond with driver only if no other firefighters arrive at the Station within five minutes of being toned out.
(3) Engine with one or two firefighters.

Public Assist:
(1) Rescue with one firefighter. Note: Will normally respond Code 1.
(2) Brush with two firefighters. Note: Will normally respond Code 1 and may respond with driver only if no other firefighters arrive at the Station within five minutes of being toned out.

Mutual Aid:
It is our intent to provide what ever a mutual aid a department requests without stripping Mount Bergen of protection. We shall attempt to always keep either the Engine or the Brush Truck at the station, and will not respond with both to any mutual aid request.

All Calls:
(1) Mutual aid shall be called if after five minutes from call if sufficient manpower is not available to staff the first responding vehicle.
(2) All members shall report to the station first unless they must pass the call in route to station and may only stop if they have the equipment to safely handle or contain the call and they are able to notify by radio either Dispatch or the Station that they are on scene. Example: A car fire extending to the wildland may be kept in check by a member with a portable fire extinguisher from their personal vehicle.
(3) Non-EMT firefighters shall report to the station for further orders on all First Responder calls.

Base Radio Operations: (1710)
The first member in the station after all assigned trucks have left will be the radio operator and will secure the station. In addition, depending on the nature of the call, they may gather additional equipment together that might be needed at the scene.

Incident Command:
The officer or other person in charge of a call will be referred to as Incident Command. When a unit calls Incident Command, the officer or person in charge will answer unit calling. Example: "Mountain Meadow IC, go ahead". Command may be transferred either face to face or via radio by officers of superior rank arriving after the first vehicle is on the scene.

Safety and Conduct:

The safety of our personnel will be the number one concern at all calls.

No one will be criticized for failing to respond into a situation that they do not feel confident in their ability to control.

Red lights and siren do not guarantee you the right of way.

10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit is the maximum speed permitted by our Department.

Use caution in the fire station's parking lot and try to enter the parking lot in a slow, safe manner, thereby eliminating the possibility of injury to other personnel.

Turn out gear is expected to be worn to all fire related calls. The officer in charge must make certain that members not wearing proper protective clothing, do not participate in firefighting activities. Persons without full turn out gear can assist in support operations.

Our operation depends good equipment in ready working order. If you see or know of equipment that is damaged, notify the officer in charge so that the equipment can be repaired or replaced.

Don't bring disease home to your family. EMS personnel are trained in infection control and should assist non-EMS members in taking proper precautions when non-EMS members are utilized in patient care.

If you are injured or become ill due to an emergency call, report the injury or illness to a senior officer immediately. Suffering quietly will cause you to loose benefits you may be entitled to if your injury or illness becomes worse at a later time.

Always wear floatation devices when involved in water rescue incidents.

Be aware of your environment. Expect the roof to fall on you, the stairs to break, overhead wires to electrocute you when you raise a ladder, the driver in front of you to fail to yield, the driver at the intersection to pull out in front of you, the victim to cough blood on you.

Expect to be excited and make an effort to control your emotions. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.

We are a team, lets look out for each other. Never hesitate to tell the Officer in charge if you think a member is operating in an un-safe manner, even if that member is the Officer in charge.

New firefighters are not authorized to use any equipment until their proficiency is documented by a Fire Officer. Fire Officers will be responsible in documenting that existing members have trained in the use of new equipment that is acquired by the Department.

At all emergencies firefighters must report to the officer or person in charge for assignments. If personal obligations require that a member leave prior to the conclusion of the emergency operation they must make the officer or person in charge aware that they are leaving.

Firefighters must have a valid Drivers License and must be qualified on and checked out by the Chief or Assistant Chief in order to drive either the Brush Trunk or the Rescue. No firefighter shall drive or operate the Engine if they have not taken Fire Apparatus Operator Classes 1A & 1B from the State Fire Marshall. They must also be checked out on the Engine by the Chief or Assistant Chief prior to driving or operating it. Any suspension of a member's Drivers License must be reported immediately to the Fire Chief as must any other driving restrictions.

Firefighters are responsible for making sure that the apparatus they have driven is ready for the next call. This does not mean that they alone are responsible for all work needed to ready the apparatus for its next use. All members should share in clean up duties.

Personal vehicles at the scene of an incident must be placed in such a manner so they do not interfere in the operation of the incident or where they might create a greater hazard. Example: Parking on blind corners.

No firefighter shall create or contribute to an unclean or unsanitary condition.

There will be no alcohol or illegal substance abuse allowed or tolerated while on duty at the station or at an emergency call. If alcohol has been used within one hour prior to an emergency call, or if illegal substances have been used within twenty-four hours prior to an emergency call, you are prohibited from responding to the emergency call.

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