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Discussion Starter #1
Well since severe weather is in full swing, how many of your fire services do storm spotting? Our district used to do it but a few years ago we stopped due to hail damage but I'd like to see it come back, for those of you that do, what are some advantages are in it, and what do you all do as far as what damages are worth stopping? I think we have a need for our community to do it as far as advance severe weather warning that's heading into our area
 

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I got my spotter license a couple yrs ago, plan on renewing it and taking a more advanced class this season. I think it's worthwhile to do. It's not something that my dept does as mandatory, it was just something that I wanted to do on my own. One thing however that I Think every station needs is one of those sirens or a horn or something, it's a great way to warn the public of severe weather. My town 6 years ago, shut down the whistle that had been blown for every call and severe weather incident over the past 100 years, (I felt honored to be one of the last firefighters to activate heading to a call), they claimed that it was too loud for the surrounding public. Yeah right, BS:mad:, why is it that no one complained until that point, it turned into a big political battle.

So long story short, when the dept was planning to build its new station we were planning to put the old whistle up with a new system, but were shot down almost immediately. The town council decided that a reverse 911 system was a better more modern way to go. There are still 75% of us that believe the town is way to vulnerable w/o the whistle or a siren, but as it always is, it takes a disaster for change to happen.
 

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in a way we do, because of flash flooding on the burn scar dispatch uses noaa's warnings to inact the ball rolling and a bunch of stuff to activate once noaa puts out a warning for the burn scar....and we've got 10+ years now of it being a pain in the arse too. (also road to my personal home gets shut down so I usually get stuck in town :doh:)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Biggreen06, you guys don't have a tornado siren at all? That's crazy, our dept doesn't use a siren for fire calls but it's still in use for tornados but in a rural area like where we are located who knows what the chances are of anyone reporting the tornado before it's coming into town and idk what good we would do for our community if the tornado came in and took out or station, trucks, and all of our gear whereas if we were spread through our run area, and I know that brings up the concerns of a truck and crew being swept up
 

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Nothing at all. Its been a hot topic in the town between the firefighters and the town council, ever since the idea of a new station was discussed in the late 90s. I totally agree that it is dangerous for the public; the towns choice of using reverse 911 to contact everyone in an emergency isnt the best way to alert the public. Furthermore over the years multiple new hotels have gone up, and Tornadoes in my area generally form between May and Oct, basically the big tourism season. So my question is, how do you alert the public, I'm guessing they'll have the police out telling everyone that there is a threat. Also most mobile service providers do have an alert system. But I still go back to the fact that a Siren is still the best way to alert the public to a major emergency.

I also agree its a bad idea to have all apparatus stored in one location. Our HQ is right in the middle of town, houses our two Main Engines, our Tower, Brush truck, Rescue, water rescue trailer, hazmat trailer and a tahoe we use for medicals (in June it will house two towers). it is not staffed, only the Chief is full time, so I wouldn't be worried about anyone being there for the most part. We do have a sub station on the otherside of town in a valley between two Mtns, houses our Rescue and two Engines, one of them a backup.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sounds like you guys are a much larger dept than we are, we have 5 stations on our district with 3 trucks each station all brush, engine, and tankers with about 55-60 firefighters, but I guess being from the Midwest it blows my mind your town doesn't have a siren at all, even our town that our station is based in has one and it's only a population of 300 people
 

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It blows my mind as well. We had a Tornado go through in '95, an F4, thankfully it was on the outskirts, but it do do damage to our small airport, moderate structural damage to a nursing home, no injuries though, leveled a gas station and barely missed a shopping complex filled with people. That one, the old dept's Whistle was still working, that thing must've blasted 30 times. Never forget the sky, that eerie greenish yellow color.

Without that whistle I feel as do a lot of the other guys that the town is vulnerable. We have 4 nursing homes, and 2 retired people communities. Our dept handles a lot more medical calls than house fires esp over the past 3 yrs, most elderly assistance calls or heart attacks. Our population has gone up considerably since 95 when we were 6500, close to 10000.

Its interesting that we are in a rural area, but we are lucky enough to have a fully hydranted town. And pretty decent water pressure throughout. Most other towns around us, have minimal protection, and use tankers.
 

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We do it every time a severe weather warning is issued.

We also go as far as relocating equipment throughout the town. That way not everything is in one place if a tornado or severe storm would hit.

Seen too many fire stations get hit by severe weather and render equipment inoperable
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's exactly what I'm saying, it would no absolutely no good to have all our equipment blown away, and I understand we have four other stations in our district that could cover but it all comes down to our community that we serve, and not to mention that if a tornado leveled our town and headed another 5 miles east it would hit the next town of 3000 people which would stretch our resources too thin in my opinion
 

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If we were able to get an accurate forecast and a storm that had produced tornadoes, we would probably move the tucks a bit. But we do get a couple tornado watches every year, and in the past 5 yrs only two warnings came up, and neither produced a tornado in our town.
 
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