Friday, February 27, 2009

Response from the Fire Department

In response to my letter to the fire department due to the flooding of our street, I got this from our Fire Chief. All typos are his:

Thank you for taking the time to write to me regarding your experience last evening. I offer to you to following explanation regarding the XXXXX Fire Department responses caused by the rain storm last evening.

Last night the rain conditions started to become severe enough shortly after 6:00 pm that the XXXXX Fire Department began to run flood related calls at 6:16 pm. During any major flood condition the Fire Department is typical answering multiple calls. The number of these calls come into us so quickly that in many cases we are required to hold calls in abeyance because we do not have enough equipment and staffing to handle this volume of calls. Incidentally, it would not be cost effective to provide enough equipment and staffing to handle these storm since these type of storms do not occur on a regular basis.

In any severe storm Fire Station # 3 watches the water conditions very carefully. When the water rises to a certain level, the fire and ambulance crew leave the station and relocate to a dry position still within their district. They do this so that they are available to respond quickly to calls. During many storms they run call after call and are out of the station for a prolonged period of time and therefore would not be in the station during the storm.

Last evening after the call at 6:16 pm the crew from Station # 3 returned to the Fire Station and determined that the water was high enough that they need to relocate. They did that at approximately 6:45 pm. From that time until approximately 1:45 am this crew was out of their station handling storm related emergencies.

Rest assured that if anyone from XXXXX would have called 9-1-1 and requested assistance you would have received it. Regardless of how deep the water rises, we will always find a way to respond to an emergency. If the water rises to an extent that we believe that it is not safe for the resident (meaning that we cannot get to them) then we will order the evacuation of that property and we will assist all residents to safety.

I am sorry that you found no one at the fire station last evening to help you. Those crews were out on other calls. You raise a good point about the sign being placed on the doors. I will take your comment under consideration, however, you need to understand that if the crews are leaving the station on an emergency (this was the case at 6:16 pm last evening) they will not take the time to post a sign.

If I can answer any further questions, please feel free to contact me at my office number listed below.

So, I wrote back and said, "I don't think I communicated very well to you that the phone you have at your door was NOT working." Here was the response to that:

That phone rings into the station and if there was no one in the station it would not have been answered. Your comment about sometimes it rang and sometimes it didn’t bothers me.

Therefore, I have someone on the way to Fire Station # 3 at this moment to check on that telephone. If there is a problem with it I have every hope that it will be repaired in short order.

Thank you for taking the time to clarify this issue with the telephone. This is helpful.

Well, at least the Fire Department cares. The phone call that I left for the City Engineer has gone un-returned.

1 comment:

Madge said...

wow. they answered you. so promptly. that's pretty impressive. i don't know about your fire deparment but ours is woefully under budgeted and barely making it. which makes no sense to me at all