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Thread: fire coordinators
09-07-2010, 10:10 PM #1
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- Mar 2008
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As an older firefighter from Nassau as I was looking at pictures of some recent
Suffolk fires posted on the Nassau Rant I noticed what appeared as chiefs
but the back of the coat indicated fire coordinator as well as different
vehicles and mobile command posts. I am very interested in how the program
works; what authority they have;as well as function at the scene and are they requested or respond on their own. Also the capabilities of the command posts and the interoperability with Nassau departments. This is something that I have always wanted to see in Nassau due to the increase in MA at
fires due to manpower issues and fast teams and other recent policies as well as multiple frequencies for every dept. I will check back here for feedback or you can PM me on the nassau rant thanks in advance
09-07-2010, 10:59 PM #2
Fire Coordinators are part of the Chiefs Council within each town; Babylon, Huntington, Etc.. I believe the FC are all Ex-Chiefs (don't quote me on that). They are elected from the Chiefs from that Council. They are in charge of a certain response area, usually mutual aid departments around there own dept. But I'm sure they span out further if and when needed. (I have seen that at a fire we had) They are activated as soon as a 35 (10) is dropped and mutual aids are brought in. They are pretty much an OIC's right hand man. If he needs additional resources the FC will be the middle man so the OIC can concentrate on the fire ground activities. I know they respond in their POV's to the scene.
As far as the command posts. They also go by town I believe. Also FRES (Fire Rescue and Emergency Services) also has a Command post that the OIC can request on a large scale emergency. This I don't know too much about.
I hope this helped you a bit. If you need anything explained a bit more don't hesitate too ask and I will try to find out for you.
09-08-2010, 09:03 AM #3
This is Suffolk County Fire Rescue Mobile Command Unit #2.
Mobile Command Unit #1
MCU #1 is equipped with a video camera and an Infrared Camera on a telescoping pole. I think it goes up to about 40 ft.
Both units are available by request for emergency incidents and large scale events (planned and not) through Suffolk County Fire Rescue Communications. The units are usually deployed with at least 1 Dispatcher, a 2nd Communications rep, and 1 Fire Marshal who acts as a Chief's Aide.
09-08-2010, 11:04 AM #4
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- Aug 2010
- Ridge, NY
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In many of the counties in the northern and western parts of the state, where local government resources are limited or lacking, County Fire Coordinators play a larger role than down here.
There is only one "Fire Coordinator" in each county. In Suffolk, it is the Commissioner of FRES. His position is political as he has no authority over any fire department in the county.
In Suffolk, each Division (town) has at least one Deputy Fire Coordinator (DFC). These are all ex-chiefs and are elected by their respective town Chiefs Councils. Some councils impose term limits some don't.
As for the authority and responsibilities; the DFC's are considered a resource and have no real authority at a fire scene. They are at the disposal of the incident commander. Some IC's use them and some don't.
An IC may ask the DFC to handle staging, mutual aid or coverage but most departments use their dispatchers for that.
The DFC's will provide progress reports to FRES over the 800 Mhz system and forward requests to same from the IC for utilities, arson, Fire Marshals (in Brookhaven and parts of Fire Island), the health department, DEC or other agencies. Fire Chiefs do not have to go through a DFC for this as they can have their own dispatcher handle these requests.
The DFC will write some kind of report although I am not sure why or who audits these as each department is responsible for their own NYFRS reporting.
In recent years, Suffolk county has become bloated with all kinds of specialty coordinators appointed by the FRES Commissioner. These positions cover photography, confined space, hazardous materials, heavy rescue, aircraft and rail emergencies, high angle, collapse, fire police, various EMS positions including field physicians, MCI, triage and other disciplines.
The vast majority of these people are appointed based on their experience and can be a tremendously valuable asset to the IC. Unfortunately there are a few that can be pushy and overstep their bounds.
For some reason, Suffolk County Fire Marshals (also under the control of the FRES Commissioner) now show up at certain incidents as well. No one seems to know why as they have no jurisdiction except on county owned property and each town and village has their own Fire Marshals that handle fire investigations and other issues that may need to be addressed by the IC's.
10-11-2010, 11:36 AM #5
turnthepage...Nassau's "version" of this is the Fire Commission. The Batt. Chairperson is given a radio designator by Batt. #....the Chairman of the Batt. where the fire is taking place is notified of signal 10's or workers and give 21's and 22's to Firecom via the 800 radio system. "Firecom Batt. 7 21 to Hempstead"
fires where 3 or more mutual aid are at scene (not counting a FAST or ambulances) the Fire Commission Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary as well as Batt Chairman of the Batt. where the fire is are notified. All may respond and give 21's to Firecom.
As is the case in Suffolk they have no real authority at a fire scene, and are there to assist the Chief/IC if needed. Most of the time it adds to the confusion in large scale events. The Batt. Chairman will call for a request that the dispatcher (if they have their own) or IC has already requested.
They mean well, but there is no real need for them to be there.
They are almost always EX Chiefs, have "been there" so to speak and truly want to help, so there would be a role for them if this was thought out ahead of time by Chiefs.
A role for them that I would consider giving them would be to assist with my Dept.s public information officer, especially if it is going to be a news event. These people usually know the politicians on a level that the average fire Chief does not and can speak to your County Executive or other Town Official, as well as news agencies.
A staging officer is another role I would consider giving these folks, but you would need to give them a radio or use a freq. they would be able to use with the 800 radio system.
Last edited by spin_the_wheel; 10-11-2010 at 11:47 AM.
10-12-2010, 08:45 PM #6
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- Oct 2010
- Hamilton NY
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