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x635

Con Ed Code 3

19 posts in this topic

It seems Con Ed (gas) is the most requested resource by FD's today. Numerous IC's request Con Ed "expedite" fairly routinely. Which, if the fire department that responded to that scene code 3 and requesting Con Ed forthwith, then it must be the same level of emergency.

 

So, if an IC is requesting Con Ed on a rush, then shouldn't they be equipped to respond Code 3 as well, or at  least a specific unit that could provide the urgent temporary mitigation needed? Please know that I think we go "Code 3" way too often in this business. Or should specific emergency responders be specially trained and equipped to make a temporary intervention?

 

Side note: I've noticed all red Con Ed step vans labeled "Emergency" in the area recently, that have some added equipment.  I know they've been in Manhattan forever, but are they have these spec'd units in Westchester now?

Westfield12 likes this

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6 hours ago, Dinosaur said:

If the water department is requested on a rush for a water main break or Con Ed electric is requested for down wires on a rush, should they all have emergency lights and sirens too?

 

Sorry for the sarcasm but there are all ready too many vehicles with red lights and sirens.  Adding more won't help us get anywhere and it isn't about what an IC wants.  It's what the law says.  There's no provision in law for utility vehicles to be emergency vehicles.

The fire department is already there, they responded with lights and siren.  They can make the scene safe until Con Ed arrives whether within 14 minutes or 40 minutes.

 

I'm 100% with you on this one, Dinosaur.  Adding red lights and sirens to civilian operated vehicles will just cause more chaos.  And never mind the law, but the distance that most utility vehicles have to drive to assist the fire department heavily outweighs the need for RLS.  They would save maybe two minutes?  If the FD is already there to secure the scene and make it safe, then there is no need for utility services to speed to a situation that is already being mitigated.  It's not like they're second due for a working fire.

 

12 hours ago, x635 said:

Side note: I've noticed all red Con Ed step vans labeled "Emergency" in the area recently, that have some added equipment.  I know they've been in Manhattan forever, but are they have these spec'd units in Westchester now?

 

I have also noticed these red vans.  My understanding is that these vehicles are equipped to respond to major emergencies, such as a gas main that has been ripped open.  Essentially, these vans have the basic, necessary equipment to stop a situation from getting worse or stopping the situation all together (i.e. stopping the flow of gas and emergency clamping/closure of a line).

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Two recent incidents that I was working in dispatch for bring to light the status of non emergency vehicles.

 

We had a situation with a phone wire, possibly a pole but PD had the street blocked and FD was on scene as well. We called our phone provider which is now Frontier. They are the worst to try and get anywhere quick. They can never give an eta. After a couple of calls they finally gave us the report that they would be at least 40 minutes longer as they were stuck in traffic on I-95. Would lights and sirens have helped, probably not, I-95 in our area at rush hour is packed solid and very little moves until the congestion eases up. The troopers and EMS that routinely respond there all have trouble even with lights and sirens.

 

The other day we had a call to check on a suicidal party. Police were primary with EMS staged in the area. Prior to going into the apartment dispatch got word that the subject had a dog in the apartment who was not very friendly. The PD Sgt. called for Animal Control. Animal control in our city is a division of the PD, they drive black and white trucks, they have the police patch on the truck but the lettering says animal control instead of police. These trucks have no sirens and only have amber lights. So they were called and responded but the PD Sgt wanted them to expedite, so he said on the air that he wanted them to come Code 3. This being an impossibility, we had a good laugh about it.

 

A while back there was a thread here about ASPCA Police responding Code 3 to calls, and the ensuing debate on if they even had any emergency roll at all. This will be the problem with adding more lights and sirens, that each agency will define their own criteria for use. I am sure if you sat police and fire chiefs down together they would question some of the response modes used by the other department, simply because looking at something from a different perspective inevitably yields a different answer. So Con Ed will eventually decide on their own to start using the lights for other calls. Just like our animal control rarely would use them unless they self define. This was the only time I ever remember them being requested Code 3.  So I would have to say we do not need to add more vehicles into the mix, some say there are already too many.

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On September 17, 2016 at 9:37 AM, x635 said:

It seems Con Ed (gas) is the most requested resource by FD's today. Numerous IC's request Con Ed "expedite" fairly routinely. Which, if the fire department that responded to that scene code 3 and requesting Con Ed forthwith, then it must be the same level of emergency.

 

So, if an IC is requesting Con Ed on a rush, then shouldn't they be equipped to respond Code 3 as well, or at  least a specific unit that could provide the urgent temporary mitigation needed? Please know that I think we go "Code 3" way too often in this business. Or should specific emergency responders be specially trained and equipped to make a temporary intervention?

 

I've wondered this same thing myself. I've always considered utility companies quasi-government to some degree. When I was a Detective I worked with them on numerous cases of theft of electricity and always found their investigators (all retired cops) to be very professional and thorough. I'm kind of surprised they don't have some sort of emergency response group with lights and sirens although I agree the NYS VTL does not currently allow it. I think that's fairly easily remedied-just look at how many different groups of people are classified as peace officers for example. It'd be no more than adding one line to the Authorized Emergency Vehicle section. 

 

A guy that lives near me (well outside of Con Ed territory) drives a nice F250 with Con Ed's standard livery but with Emergency in red letters on the side, the NYPD/FDNY/Con Ed logos on the side and a full light bar (although I assume it's orange lights). I always wondered what his job was, I assume some type of response to gas and/or electric emergencies. I'll have to grab a photo of it, it's a nice rig actually. 

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Here in CT the local OEM director can designate any unit he sees fit as an Auxiliary fire unit, which gives it the right to have red lights and a siren. I am not sure if that is the same in NY, but I bet there is a similar way around your statutes.

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4 hours ago, craigs71 said:

Seems to be more than Amber lights to me...

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU_4NgMj7UA

 

I know there's at least one of these "incident response" units in Westchester. It's a similar Silverado setup but it has the Westchester DES patch incorporated into the door patch. I've never seen them responding, but I pass it quite frequently. I've always been under the assumption that they were equipped with red lights and sirens. I recall being told they respond to larger scale emergencies and in situations where there are no available ConEd gas crews for response in the mandated timeframe.

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17 hours ago, peeksafety4 said:

As a "First Responder" for gas emergency there have been many times when I arrived on scene and fd would ask me what should we do , OR , I've asked the fd to assist me with entry into a house when's there's blowing gas possible filling the house on a contractor damage with complete hesitation by the fd because lack of experience with natural gas emergencies.. I've been a volunteer firefighter for 10 yrs so much love to the FD.. my point is , in my opinion I believe Gas Emergency responders plus all supervisors,  electric and gas should be code 3.. Fd is great, but we are the professionals when it comes to utility emergencies...

 

First off, when you get on scene the FD IC should be giving you an update on everything they HAVE done (which should include information like evacuation, monitoring, shutting a gas valve, and securing a safe perimeter) and then ask if you need anything else to be done.  My professional opinion, though.

 

But is slapping red lights and sirens on utility vehicles necessary?  Like I mentioned before, if you're coming from 15 or 20 minutes away, the RLS doesn't save you much time, never mind the extra risk and liability that the company and drivers take on for driving "Code 3."  A fair example is the weird experience I had in Georgia.  Driving on the highway around Atlanta I saw a yellow truck with red lights and a siren blaring.  I move to the right, and the rig blows by me.  My friend pipes up and asks, "Was that a tow truck?"  And, yes, it was.  A tow truck!  RLS through heavy traffic....for a fender bender that the FD was never called on.  Now, this tow truck driver could have caused a major wreck, mainly because he was driving without due regard (and I know some firefighters who do the same with fire trucks), but the point is we really don't need more people one the road driving with RLS to a scene that is already mitigated, especially if the scene is no longer an emergency (like a tree down on a power line and the road is shut down from wither side).

 

Yes, there are some utility emergencies that require an expedite from the utility companies that I can agree RLS would assist in a faster and safer mitigation of the situation.  Live wires down on an occupied vehicle with injured passengers is a great example of that.  I can actually recall this situation in my hometown, where we had to secure the scene and keep people away until NYSEG shut down the lines.  Another example is a contractor ripping up a gas main with an excavator.  The line needs to be shut down quickly.  Then again, how often do these incidents happen that would require a utility service to have RLS on any of their vehicles?

 

I will pose this question though: Would it be a good idea to teach firefighters how to shut off the gas in the streets to stop a major gas leak that is occurring?  Or is it more complicated than shutting valves on either side of the leak?

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On ‎9‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 0:37 AM, dwcfireman said:

I will pose this question though: Would it be a good idea to teach firefighters how to shut off the gas in the streets to stop a major gas leak that is occurring?  Or is it more complicated than shutting valves on either side of the leak?

 

That's a good question. Anyone?

Edited by FF402
dwcfireman and fdce54 like this

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@fdce54 thanks for that excellent insight and sharing it with us! You've definitely enlightened me.  

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