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Viper

Hartsdale Mutual Aid To Yorktown?

45 posts in this topic

Maybe I'm hearing things, but I swore I just heard Hartsdale Engine 170 requested and dispatched to Turcos in Yorktown on a fluid spill.

 

I know several members of YHFD are on the job in Hartsdale.  

 

Anyone have further?

 

 

BIGRED1 likes this

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Does Hartsdale have one of the county foam trailers?

 

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1 hour ago, FF1 said:

I do not live in the Hartsdale Fire District, but if I did, I would be up in arms about this. You pull an engine from service with a crew of firefighters, leaving the district less protected, by 1 engine company and 2-4 firefighters.

 

There is absolutely no reason for this to happen. 

 

A HFD captain happens to be the voli assistant chief in Yorktown who requested this department specifically to the scene.

 

If my taxes were paying for a HFD rig to travel to Yorktown with firefighters, I would not be happy.

 

-Fuel costs

-OT costs to backfill

-Reduced fire protection to the district, until backfill personnel arrives.......

 

Wrong on several different levels. 

 

It does seem like this will be hard to justify, barring some compelling reason. 

BIGRED1 likes this

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1 minute ago, INIT915 said:

 

It does seem like this will be hard to justify, barring some compelling reason. 

especially when the county has a HAZMAT team and resources sitting at DES with the special ops chief on call.

fdalumnus and BIGRED1 like this

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While I/we don't know the full particulars, it is hard to believe that the HFD Chief okay'd it.  What the H--- was he thinking?

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16 minutes ago, EmsFirePolice said:

I'm not saying whether the decision was right or wrong. However, Hartsdale was dispatched because they possess specialized air metering/monitoring devices.

 

That helps bring things into a bit of perspective. Do any other agencies carry these devices?

Westfield12 likes this

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That's why the VA and IBM responded.

dwcfireman likes this

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Given that theory, one would think that HFD and their elite HAZMAT team would be dispatched to all incidents across the county....... if you want to use the theory of calling specialized and highly trained members, 

 

why not call Yonkers? Or FDNY for that matter? It's not all thst much further than Hartsdale.

 

 

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2 hours ago, mreis95 said:

Because they'd be ridiculed by people on this site for not calling a closer department that has the capabilities. 

 

With all due respect, fire, police and ems are civil servants. Criticism comes with the territory and yes, these departments do need to answer to the general public who they are sworn to serve.

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13 hours ago, rob zombie said:

 

Im sure HFD will either recoup the cost involved from YHFD or will absorb the costs as part of its budgeted mutual aid expenditures. 

 

My understanding is that the HFD has a proactive automatic/ mutual aid plan in place with several of its neighbor fire districts/ departments. Im sure it's fire protection was not reduced.

 

 

The HFD Capt /YHFD I.C. knew what resourses he needed to mitigate the situation and got them to the incident in a timely manner.

 

 Perhaps unusual but effective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will agree. They definitely provided the properly trained personnel and resources. no arguments here, but again, those trained firefighters and resources are there to protect the residents and visitors of the Hartsdale Fire District, because fire prevention, fire suppression, technical rescue, emergency medical first response and hazardous materials mitigation are basic facets of any fire department.

 

Yorktown Heights has a duty to their community to be able to provide those essential services when any given incident should occur. If Yorktown Heights or any other fire department (paid, volunteer or career) cannot provide those basic services to their communities, 100% of the time, with properly trained firefighters, then why should they even exist?

 

The way I see it, YHFD responded to this incident, realized that they couldn't handle it and called for a department that could. 

 

Does this seem a bit broken to you?

Edited by FF1

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48 minutes ago, FF1 said:

 

I will agree. They definitely provided the properly trained personnel and resources. no arguments here, but again, those trained firefighters and resources are there to protect the residents and visitors of the Hartsdale Fire District, because fire prevention, fire suppression, technical rescue, emergency medical first response and hazardous materials mitigation are basic facets of any fire department.

 

Yorktown Heights has a duty to their community to be able to provide those essential services when any given incident should occur. If Yorktown Heights or any other fire department (paid, volunteer or career) cannot provide those basic services to their communities, 100% of the time, with properly trained firefighters, then why should they even exist?

 

The way I see it, YHFD responded to this incident, realized that they couldn't handle it and called for a department that could. 

 

Does this seem a bit broken to you?

 

Does it seem a bit broken?  Yes. 

 

My comments to your post was simply that the HFD coverage to its own district was most likely adequate when E170 was at the YHFD job and that the monetary issues will probably get recouped or is budgeted for.

 

I thought the IC on this particular incident utilized what he knew and used it.  

What he did was perhaps unorthodox or unusual but accomplished the task at hand.  He obviously felt more comfortable utilizing HFD E170 than County HazMat.  

 

Edited by rob zombie
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FF1 while I agree with you that any fire department should be able to provide basic services to their community, like in your example a room and contents fire, but I don't think that HAZMAT qualifies as basic.  It is a specialty response not unlike high angle, swift water, confined space and collapse.  I haven't lived or responded in Westchester in over a decade so I can't speak to what departments are carrying as far as HAZMAT equipment anymore, but if specialized monitoring equipment was needed and Hartsdale was the closest agency who  possessed it, AND they participate in the same mutual aid agreement as the other departments in the county, then they were the most appropriate to respond.

 

It is important to look at the suburban counties of the NY Metro area in context to how fire/rescue/EMS services are provided elsewhere in the country.  There are hundreds of fire departments that don't have ladder trucks because their response area doesn't demand one.  They rely on a neighboring department to provide truck company ops if they are needed.  There are hundreds of departments that don't have rescues because their response area doesn't need one.  They might have a basic set of tool on an engine, truck or support vehicle for a routine door pop but if a significant accident occurs the heavy squad/rescue from a neighboring department would be alerted.... The duplication of resources in the NY Metro with everyone having their own large aerial (mostly towers), a heavy rescue, etc. etc. is actually diluting the talent of firefighters in the county.  There are very few northern Westchester departments during my tenure that did all things well.  Bedford Hills was probably the most well rounded and did a good job of proving suppression, truck company ops, FAST, rescue and water supply.  If you plopped Westchester down in PA, OH, VA, WV, TN, KY, NC, SC the number of specialty apparatus duplication would be cut significantly and you'd see a lot more fire department that just ran as engine companies with truck and rescue services coming from their larger, busier neighbors.  This brings me to another of your comments that with minor modification I 100% agree with...

 

Run cards.... Each department should supply the county with their preference for mutual aid for each foreseeable type of incident up to the 4th alarm.  The dispatching agency (in this case) should indeed have full discretion as to which units are dispatched based on availability, other ongoing incidents and any other mitigating factors unknown to the department that is requesting mutual aid.  It used to drive me bonkers when I'd hear chiefs on the air requesting "an engine from here, and a truck from there".  They should simply have to say "strike the second alarm or give me the next due truck/engine/rescue"  The reason why each department should be able to provide a list of preferences (and that should be all they are...preferences) is due to their knowledge of their district and how individual apparatus from another department would best fit.  For example a box for a particular school may have geographic and structural characteristics that warrant the use of a rear mount tower over a mid mount so if possible the m/a truck dispatched should fit the department preference.

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2 minutes ago, mfc2257 said:

FF1 while I agree with you that any fire department should be able to provide basic services to their community, like in your example a room and contents fire, but I don't think that HAZMAT qualifies as basic.  It is a specialty response not unlike high angle, swift water, confined space and collapse.  I haven't lived or responded in Westchester in over a decade so I can't speak to what departments are carrying as far as HAZMAT equipment anymore, but if specialized monitoring equipment was needed and Hartsdale was the closest agency who  possessed it, AND they participate in the same mutual aid agreement as the other departments in the county, then they were the most appropriate to respond.

 

It is important to look at the suburban counties of the NY Metro area in context to how fire/rescue/EMS services are provided elsewhere in the country.  There are hundreds of fire departments that don't have ladder trucks because their response area doesn't demand one.  They rely on a neighboring department to provide truck company ops if they are needed.  There are hundreds of departments that don't have rescues because their response area doesn't need one.  They might have a basic set of tool on an engine, truck or support vehicle for a routine door pop but if a significant accident occurs the heavy squad/rescue from a neighboring department would be alerted.... The duplication of resources in the NY Metro with everyone having their own large aerial (mostly towers), a heavy rescue, etc. etc. is actually diluting the talent of firefighters in the county.  There are very few northern Westchester departments during my tenure that did all things well.  Bedford Hills was probably the most well rounded and did a good job of proving suppression, truck company ops, FAST, rescue and water supply.  If you plopped Westchester down in PA, OH, VA, WV, TN, KY, NC, SC the number of specialty apparatus duplication would be cut significantly and you'd see a lot more fire department that just ran as engine companies with truck and rescue services coming from their larger, busier neighbors.  This brings me to another of your comments that with minor modification I 100% agree with...

 

Run cards.... Each department should supply the county with their preference for mutual aid for each foreseeable type of incident up to the 4th alarm.  The dispatching agency (in this case) should indeed have full discretion as to which units are dispatched based on availability, other ongoing incidents and any other mitigating factors unknown to the department that is requesting mutual aid.  It used to drive me bonkers when I'd hear chiefs on the air requesting "an engine from here, and a truck from there".  They should simply have to say "strike the second alarm or give me the next due truck/engine/rescue"  The reason why each department should be able to provide a list of preferences (and that should be all they are...preferences) is due to their knowledge of their district and how individual apparatus from another department would best fit.  For example a box for a particular school may have geographic and structural characteristics that warrant the use of a rear mount tower over a mid mount so if possible the m/a truck dispatched should fit the department preference.

that's why, with the exception of the cities, a county based fire/ems system would solve all of these issues.

Edited by FF1

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Just now, FF1 said:

that's why, with the exception of the cities, a county based fire/ems system would solve all of these issues.

I don't disagree.  When I got out of Westchester for a few years to go to college in the '90s I saw how much smoother the fire service operated elsewhere.  From rural Pennsylvania where individual small departments banded together and complemented each others resources to PG county Maryland where the same delivery model happened including county oversight with career and volunteer mixed together in one of the toughest fire/rescue environments in America, and only a stones throw from our nations Capitol.

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As long as you have these volunteer chiefs, wardens, commissioners running the show no county run dept will ever exist.  As I have stated before imagine the tax dollar savings to this county.  Yes local tax would go down and county tax which Yes we know is high would go up. But you won't be eating tax dollars on 20heavy rescues. Instead county could have 2. Not counting the cities of yonkers, white plains  and New Ro. Ladders- ha with some small towns having 2 ladders that only need 1 that's more savings.  5 pumpers to a small town. It's a joke a complete waste.  Oh because it's tradition since 1880 you have 5 companies?  Come on.  

Edited by Chkpoint
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2 hours ago, FF1 said:

1) the county mutual aid system is broken. No depts should have the right to choose their run cards. 60 control should have full discretion based on available resources and their capabilities. All fires in this county are basically a reunion of the boys club 

 

2) . The county HAZMAT team, in its current state is a complete waste of space, time and money, I do agree with you on that. It would make more sense for the Grasslands Brigade members to be trained to the tech level and essentially staff that rig (only during work hours, but its a start) when it is called for a response.

 

3) In regards to the HFD captain / YHFD assistant chief, I do not know this person personally, but its not very hard to figure out, as the names and ranks are readily available on the internet. Again, this response cannot be justified, unless there is a HAZMAT/special ops task force made and this task force is made available for all county departments to utilize.

 

4) every fire department, career, volunteer and combination should be able to handle a hazmat incident. We all know that very few can, due to lack of trained firefighters and resources, but if a department cannot handle a room and contents fire or a small scale hazmat incident on their own, without calling mutual aid to the scene to mitigate these incidents, they should not exist as a department. Why even bother existing as a department if you must rely on others to do the basic functions of your job?  

 

5) The events occurring in Valhalla today are just as bad and the same amount of criticism should be given for skipping White Plains and Fairview.

 

CAN YOU SPELL 'CONSOLIDATED WESTCHESTER COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT" NO MATTER WHAT THE CITY, TOWN, OR VILLAGE (and that includes White Plains, Yonkers, New Rochelle and Mount Vernon). EVERY FIRE-FIGHTER (PAID OR VOLUNTEER) WOULD BE 'REQUIRED' TO UNDERGO THE SAME TRAINING AND CERTIFICATIONS - PERIOD !!   ALL CONTROLLED FROM WITHIN THE WESTCHESTER COUNTY DES (60 CONTROL). NO MORE 'HOME RULE' !!!  THIS WAY, THERE IS NO MORE MUTUAL AID SYSTEM, AS EVERY STATION WOULD BE DESIGNED AS 'WESTCHESTER COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT'

 

WAKE UP WESTCHESTER COUNTY - THIS IS NOW 2017 NOT 1967 !!

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3 minutes ago, somebuffyguy said:

The Westchester Fire Advisory Board is having a quarterly meeting tonight at 4 Dana Road, Valhalla, NY beginning at 7:30 p.m. I expect to see all you Monday Morning Quarterbacks there ready to explain how you'll fix the entire county fire service like you claim you can on here.

The fire advisory board are the ones who foster the current system. 

 

I will never see a county fire system in Westchester. Its simply not going to happen.

 

In regards to the monday morning quarterback comment, I really don't see the need for the negativity. This is a message board for the purpose of discussing things like this and voicing personal opinion. I don't agree with yesterdays events, but you may. There is nothing wrong with that....everyone is entitled to voice their opinion, unfortunately there will always be people like you who wait for an opportunity to post a negative and disrespectful comment on here

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Buff guy with his reply cements why emtbravo has basically died a slow death    Why do I bother coming here anymore? FF1 said it best this board is here to post opinions and ideas.  Don't have to agree. And it would take a lot more then some meeting in Valhalla to change things.  "Thank you Mr. so and so and now on to new business". Like any other fraternal meeting I stopped wasting my time with.   It would take a small army of FF volunteers and career to go to meetings for years. Writing state legislation and public support.  Public who gets facts. 

 

People don't bother to Visit or post here because of some buff who knows everything. Probably doesn't want to lose his gig as volley chief and a brand new $70k SUV.   

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If Yorktown only need monitoring equipment, why didn't it just go up in a command car with one FF rather than taking an engine out of town?  Anyone who listens to the scanner knows that pretty much anything above a dumpster or car fire in Hartsdale requires M/A, likewise Fairview and Greenville, so it really doesn't seem to make sense to send a front line first due apparatus 15 miles North. 

 

If ever consolidation was warranted its these three joining in with White Plains.

 

 

EmsFirePolice likes this

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Here's the official account of what happened, from the YHFD Facebook page:

 

 

FIRECHIEF63 likes this

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FF1,

 

I want to thank you for your view on things.  Until you walk in the shoes of the incident commander you really don't have a clue about the initial size up and consultations that were occurring during the incident in question. 

 

Your view on dispatch and consolidation is not far off, but very naive.  Dispatchers don't decide who responds to any given jurisdiction.  They follow the CAD or pre-established policies for the departments they serve.  There is at least one validated consolidation study available (south of RT 287), however until home rule in NYS is abolished nothing will change.

 

There is a Westchester County Special Operations Task Force that involves 12 career departments, and Hartsdale is one of those member agencies. E170 is an asset that is assigned to Squad 6 and is normally staffed with no less than three hazmat techs.  E170 was sent as a single resource of a larger task force unit and being staffed with four techs could operate safely and as an asset for the IC.  A single member in a command car might have been considered, but obviously the HFD command staff didn't agree. 

 

Mutual aid in the Town of Greenburgh occurs so that adequate personnel arrive on the scene in a timely manner and have the ability to go to work without delay.  If you need more information why not ask the fire chief's directly. Their emails and phone numbers are published. 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, commonsensejake said:

FF1,

 

I want to thank you for your view on things.  Until you walk in the shoes of the incident commander you really don't have a clue about the initial size up and consultations that were occurring during the incident in question. 

 

Your view on dispatch and consolidation is not far off, but very naive.  Dispatchers don't decide who responds to any given jurisdiction.  They follow the CAD or pre-established policies for the departments they serve.  There is at least one validated consolidation study available (south of RT 287), however until home rule in NYS is abolished nothing will change.

 

There is a Westchester County Special Operations Task Force that involves 12 career departments, and Hartsdale is one of those member agencies. E170 is an asset that is assigned to Squad 6 and is normally staffed with no less than three hazmat techs.  E170 was sent as a single resource of a larger task force unit and being staffed with four techs could operate safely and as an asset for the IC.  A single member in a command car might have been considered, but obviously the HFD command staff didn't agree. 

 

Mutual aid in the Town of Greenburgh occurs so that adequate personnel arrive on the scene in a timely manner and have the ability to go to work without delay.  If you need more information why not ask the fire chief's directly. Their emails and phone numbers are published. 

 

 

I'm aware of the HAZMAT task force. My question is, was this a task force activation or a special call to the HFD?

 

As far as the CAD system goes, I'm not stating that the discretion should be placed in the hands of the individual dispatcher, but that there should be a CAD that recommends the closest and most appropriate piece of apparatus that is needed, while also not stripping an entire area of its resources.

 

I think the task force is a step in the right direction and is a great system that is in place, but it begs the question, why not have 2 task forces 24/7/365..... a north zone and south zone. This would accomplish what the county hazmat team has failed in and also provide an adequately staffed hazmat team for all departments within Westchester county  

 

I also am aware of the mutual aid policy and response between HFD, GFD and FFD, but it still doesnt change the fact that that district was left without 1 engine and 4 firefighters for an indefinite amount of time yesterday.

 

I said it before and I'll say it again, the IC made a great call and quickly requested the resources he felt was needed to safely and efficiently mitigate the issue. Kudos to him on that. My concern, In my humble opinion, is that the current system in the county is basically robbing Peter to pay Paul. You take a well trained team and send them to an incident, which led to a safe and efficient mitigation of the problem, but also stripped a district of the same 4 well trained firefighters, along with an engine in the process.

 

As far as the HFD chief goes, he is empowered by the HFD commissioners to make those calls, for better or worse. Chief Rush is a very well respected an knowledgeable chief, someone who  I respect and is very well respected throughout the county. My concern and opinion is just that, my personal concern that this website facilitates. Its a forum to respectfully discuss the opinions of members of the emergency service community.

 

In a nutshell, no one did anything malicious or  reckless yesterday. The incident was taken care of safely and efficiently, without injuries, which is a win in my book. I just personally believe that the system is broken in this county. Despite the fact that the incident was properly mitigated, there is no harm in constructively criticizing the county system and discussing/debating how it works. At the very least it shows that members of the emergency service community in ouR county truly cares about whats going on.

 

Again, this is all constructive and a discussion. I by no means think my opinion is right or wrong....its just my opinion (I try to issue it in a constructive and respectful manor) and I apologize if I have offended anyone.

Edited by FF1

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I don't know much about this incident only what I read here. However it seems to me that this was not a bad call by the IC.

 

If I were on scene, and needed a specific piece of equipment, and I call the closest one (VA) but they are unable to deploy. I now have to find a suitable replacement. As all emergency scenes are time sensitive, the choice is start looking in case there is one closer or call for the one further away that I know exists (HFD), is in service and can deploy rapidly. Oddly enough what nobody is commenting on is that this resource was known because the VFD IC was an off duty career FF in HFD. This is something that is frowned upon my many here but it may have been a big factor in getting the appropriate response in a timely manner.

 

As for leaving a district diminished, that can happen at any time for any call. That is why there are plans in place for mutual and/or automatic aid. That is why there are contract provisions for OT callbacks. That is why there are run cards, no matter how they were devised.

 

As for letting departments pick who they want, I am generally against that. We just put considerable effort into redoing our tanker run card in Stamford. Up until a few years ago this was handled by the IC calling for individual departments. Now we have a list that includes ETA's and goes up to 20th due. As a dispatcher I should have the list of resources. An IC should be able to tell me he wants 5 tankers and know that I will get him the closest 5 available tankers. However the IC should not care what name is on the door.

EmsFirePolice and vodoly like this

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Does anyone know what this specific piece of equipment was? And what was the chemical involved?

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