Sometimes, lights and sirens are not are not the best response. Sometimes firefighters need a quiet response. Sometimes they need increased incident control.
There is a uniqueness to the volunteer departments that serve small communities. The firefighters are community members who often know the people they are being called upon to help. As community members themselves, the have intimate knowledge of the people and the places they serve. It’s only one of a million things that make firefighters…and the service they provide…so extraordinary.
That knowledge can also make the job they do much harder…and frequently at a higher cost.
A community fire department was recently called to respond to an emergency in their community. The 911 call was recognized as sensitive and dispatchers were aware that their traditional broadcast channels could be heard by anyone monitoring the frequency. Urgency was required…but so was calm. Dispatchers knew that a quiet response was needed.
The Fire Chief of the community was contacted by the dispatch center with the details of the situation and its sensitive nature. Coordinating with the 911 dispatch center, the Fire Chief used FireQ to dispatch the appropriate crew discretely. The crew responded without lights and sirens to avoid injecting more uncertainty into an already uncertain situation.
Firefighters arrived on the scene quietly and immediately got to work. Using their firefighter’s skill in combination with the knowledge of the people and place they serve, the situation was successfully mitigated.
When volunteers stand between a community member and danger, they are standing between a neighbour and danger…a friend and danger. The cost of failure is paid on a very personal level by firefighters. That’s why they work so hard…and train even harder. To make sure that there are more wins than losses, more successes than failures. FireQ at the fire station and in the hands of firefighters give them more communication options and more incident control options because firefighters respond to more things than fire.
Firefighters do every single thing they can to make sure that someone’s bad day does not become their worst day. They know that some situations require a quiet response where a different approach to incident control is needed. Firefighters know what they need…that is why we listen when they speak.