You Make the Call…Day Off

ymtk-140x200Ah… a nice day off with the family.

Today you’ve decided to grab the kids and head into the City for some time at the Museum.  The crowds are thick on a beautiful spring morning and you navigate them with the skills of someone who has been through worse.

As you stand in line with another 250 patrons, wouldn’t you know it, the fire alarm  begins to sound.

Great.

Grabbing the little ones you make way with the others towards the exits and are rather impressed with the way folks are actually leaving the building.  On the way out, your little one asks if the fire trucks are coming.  Doing the quick math and having responded to an alarm at this particular building, you know the first due engine is only minutes away so you hurry along to the front of the building.

Outside everyone is asking everyone else what they think caused the alarm.

“Some kid playing with the alarm” someone says.

“What if they just needed to evacuate the building?” someone else asks.

Looking at your watch you realize the first due engine is past due and the alarm bell is still ringing.

10 minutes pass.

Then 15 minutes pass.

No sirens, no engine and everyone is still outside.

Do you step forward and if so, what do you say/do?  This is your response area on your days on duty and something isn’t right, but you have the family in tow.

What do you do?

You make the call.

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48 thoughts on “You Make the Call…Day Off”

  1. Well, I’m off duty, so I can’t really do what my usual would be. I would probably get out my cell phone and call the station, or if I can’t remember the station number, I’d call 911 and make sure that they were aware of the alarm. I have heard of some places, especially museums and schools, that have a lot of children or folks that would pull alarms have disabled the alert to prevent unnecessary visits by the FD. Barring that, I would find a museum official and ask what was going on and make sure the FD was notified.

    1. Yeah, pretty much the same here. Of course, my situation being in a small town with VERY small museums means that I would probably have my radio in the car which would allow me to communicate directly with dispatch and give an update on the situation and begin investigating the situation a little further.

    2. Yeah, pretty much the same here. Of course, my situation being in a small town with VERY small museums means that I would probably have my radio in the car which would allow me to communicate directly with dispatch and give an update on the situation and begin investigating the situation a little further.

  2. Well, I’m off duty, so I can’t really do what my usual would be. I would probably get out my cell phone and call the station, or if I can’t remember the station number, I’d call 911 and make sure that they were aware of the alarm. I have heard of some places, especially museums and schools, that have a lot of children or folks that would pull alarms have disabled the alert to prevent unnecessary visits by the FD. Barring that, I would find a museum official and ask what was going on and make sure the FD was notified.

  3. Well, I'm off duty, so I can't really do what my usual would be. I would probably get out my cell phone and call the station, or if I can't remember the station number, I'd call 911 and make sure that they were aware of the alarm. I have heard of some places, especially museums and schools, that have a lot of children or folks that would pull alarms have disabled the alert to prevent unnecessary visits by the FD. Barring that, I would find a museum official and ask what was going on and make sure the FD was notified.

  4. Yeah, pretty much the same here. Of course, my situation being in a small town with VERY small museums means that I would probably have my radio in the car which would allow me to communicate directly with dispatch and give an update on the situation and begin investigating the situation a little further.

  5. I’m a volunteer so, I’m never off-duty. Get my radio in the car, find a responsible, identify my self and gather as much info as I can. Notify my brothers I’m on-scene and gathering info. As soon as someone shows up, Transmit the info to the OC and wait for the second alarm to ring…

  6. I’m a volunteer so, I’m never off-duty. Get my radio in the car, find a responsible, identify my self and gather as much info as I can. Notify my brothers I’m on-scene and gathering info. As soon as someone shows up, Transmit the info to the OC and wait for the second alarm to ring…

  7. Have fam sit tight and do a quick scene size up, than get on the horn via radio or cell phone to inform dispatch or responding truck after linking with an employee/manager.

  8. Have fam sit tight and do a quick scene size up, than get on the horn via radio or cell phone to inform dispatch or responding truck after linking with an employee/manager.

  9. Call 911 to report & make certain to give a “size-up” of situation..and check annunciator panel and further investigate w/security if i have someone to watch the kids ….

  10. Call 911 to report & make certain to give a “size-up” of situation..and check annunciator panel and further investigate w/security if i have someone to watch the kids ….

  11. I'm a volunteer so, I'm never off-duty. Get my radio in the car, find a responsible, identify my self and gather as much info as I can. Notify my brothers I'm on-scene and gathering info. As soon as someone shows up, Transmit the info to the OC and wait for the second alarm to ring…

  12. Have fam sit tight and do a quick scene size up, than get on the horn via radio or cell phone to inform dispatch or responding truck after linking with an employee/manager.

  13. Call 911 to report & make certain to give a “size-up” of situation..and check annunciator panel and further investigate w/security if i have someone to watch the kids ….

  14. Use my cell phone to call 911 or if had my radio contact dispatch to see if they got the alarm and then while on the phone or using the radio contact museum security or managment and identify my self . Then relay info to dispatch what i was finding out from the staff the only way i would do more is if my wife was with me so she could watch the kids , but then only so much because i have no PPE or SCBA and i would be inside by my self .

  15. Use my cell phone to call 911 or if had my radio contact dispatch to see if they got the alarm and then while on the phone or using the radio contact museum security or managment and identify my self . Then relay info to dispatch what i was finding out from the staff the only way i would do more is if my wife was with me so she could watch the kids , but then only so much because i have no PPE or SCBA and i would be inside by my self .

  16. There are many reasons why a semi-secure building like a museum may need to evacuate (surveilance, hazardous device, threat call recieved) that may not include the typical fire department box assignment. I don’t know of too many structures that have a police or security emergency alarm to get guests to evacuate. Unless there is a dire emergency in my immediate area, I am off duty and will remain that way. I may also call the back line of dispatch to report the alarm, but I’d likely leave the area if I’m with the little ones. Especially if those little hairs on the back of my neck start to tingle.

  17. Call 9-1-1 and report the fire alarm … then wait for the fire engine to show up, and after all is said and down show your kids the fire engine.

  18. There are many reasons why a semi-secure building like a museum may need to evacuate (surveilance, hazardous device, threat call recieved) that may not include the typical fire department box assignment. I don't know of too many structures that have a police or security emergency alarm to get guests to evacuate. Unless there is a dire emergency in my immediate area, I am off duty and will remain that way. I may also call the back line of dispatch to report the alarm, but I'd likely leave the area if I'm with the little ones. Especially if those little hairs on the back of my neck start to tingle.

  19. Call 9-1-1 and report the fire alarm … then wait for the fire engine to show up, and after all is said and down show your kids the fire engine.

  20. Like most here, I’m never really off duty and would most likely be in radio or cell contact with the first due.

    As for the family part…kids will be doing a perimiter search and securing all non-essentual doorways while wife stands off to the side shaking here head refusing to acknowledge the whacker family she is part of.

  21. Like most here, I'm never really off duty and would most likely be in radio or cell contact with the first due.

    As for the family part…kids will be doing a perimiter search and securing all non-essentual doorways while wife stands off to the side shaking here head refusing to acknowledge the whacker family she is part of.

  22. I’d keep walking as far as I can from the scene.

    “Where you on scene at the museum yesterday?”

    “Me? NOOOOOO, I was enjoying a very nice Latte down the harbour! I heard the alarm went on?”

    “Yeah,, silly kids…”

  23. I'd keep walking as far as I can from the scene.

    “Where you on scene at the museum yesterday?”

    “Me? NOOOOOO, I was enjoying a very nice Latte down the harbour! I heard the alarm went on?”

    “Yeah,, silly kids…”

  24. Not having served in a FD, I'd guess that one trained firefighter with no equipment is going to be of no use to fight the fire if there is one, but could gather intel etc for the arriving crews and save them time. However it depends on the safety of my family, and whether you guys carry id to say you are part of the FD.

  25. Not having served in a FD, I’d guess that one trained firefighter with no equipment is going to be of no use to fight the fire if there is one, but could gather intel etc for the arriving crews and save them time. However it depends on the safety of my family, and whether you guys carry id to say you are part of the FD.

  26. Not having served in a FD, I'd guess that one trained firefighter with no equipment is going to be of no use to fight the fire if there is one, but could gather intel etc for the arriving crews and save them time. However it depends on the safety of my family, and whether you guys carry id to say you are part of the FD.

  27. No matter what, place the call. Provide a typical size up and relevant info such as building is being evacuated, responsible party is so-and-so on the corner, hydrant is at this corner, etc.

    After that, there are variables.

    Are there signs of actual smoke or fire? That’s part of the size up either way.

    What is the age/quantity of kids, and how are mom and the kids doing in general? Self-reliant teenagers or little runaways? Rough day so far or good moods all the way around?

    Based on those variables, I could argue extremes all the way from sending Mom and the kids to a nearby sandwich shop for a bite while SAFELY doing what you can to help people get out and keep them out and setting things up for a smooth transition to the arriving IC, to the other extreme of simply gathering the clan and getting out of Dodge without looking back.

  28. No matter what, place the call. Provide a typical size up and relevant info such as building is being evacuated, responsible party is so-and-so on the corner, hydrant is at this corner, etc.

    After that, there are variables.

    Are there signs of actual smoke or fire? That's part of the size up either way.

    What is the age/quantity of kids, and how are mom and the kids doing in general? Self-reliant teenagers or little runaways? Rough day so far or good moods all the way around?

    Based on those variables, I could argue extremes all the way from sending Mom and the kids to a nearby sandwich shop for a bite while SAFELY doing what you can to help people get out and keep them out and setting things up for a smooth transition to the arriving IC, to the other extreme of simply gathering the clan and getting out of Dodge without looking back.

  29. No matter what, place the call. Provide a typical size up and relevant info such as building is being evacuated, responsible party is so-and-so on the corner, hydrant is at this corner, etc.

    After that, there are variables.

    Are there signs of actual smoke or fire? That's part of the size up either way.

    What is the age/quantity of kids, and how are mom and the kids doing in general? Self-reliant teenagers or little runaways? Rough day so far or good moods all the way around?

    Based on those variables, I could argue extremes all the way from sending Mom and the kids to a nearby sandwich shop for a bite while SAFELY doing what you can to help people get out and keep them out and setting things up for a smooth transition to the arriving IC, to the other extreme of simply gathering the clan and getting out of Dodge without looking back.

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