Monday, October 31, 2011

Fireground Mt Pollux Amherst

Engine-2, a pumper with a light duty, 75' aerial device
AFD Chief Nelson on the scene

Amherst Firefighters responded to a Halloween night structure fire, probably chimney related, on Mt Pollux Drive around 10:00 PM and had it quickly under control. The house is located at the top of a short very steep incline, but enough hardware managed to make the ascent and no one was injured.


Anonymous said...

Was the staffing level and response adequate for that fire?

Any delay due to ambulance traffic?

How many full-time, call and volunteers showed?

Anonymous said...

The staffing level was 7 firefighters on duty. No, that is not adequate to fight a building fire, not by any stretch of the imagination. That notwithstanding, 7 is our minimum staffing level. There were no delays caused by ambulance traffic, however there were several ambulance calls and another fire alarm occurred while the fire was in progress. These were handled by off duty firefighters and mutual aid from Northampton fire and Belchertown EMS. Finally, in the interest of accuracy, the ladder truck did not make it up the hill. In fact it was ordered by the incident commander to remain at the base of the hill. The apparatus in the photograph is Engine-2, a pumper with a light duty, 75' aerial device. I hope this answered all of your questions.

Jeff Parr
Amherst Firefighters
IAFF Loacl-1764

LarryK4 said...

Thanks Jeff. Corrections made.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the hard work. Seems like we rely a bit too much on the luck of the draw.

I would imagine that 7 is certainly not enough for a building fire. Seems dangerous for the firefighters to enter without having more or knowing backup is on the way. Why is the staffing level at 7? What would it take to raise the minimum staffing level to 9 or 11? How much would that cost in overtime and sick time? I assume some of it is dependent on how many firefighters are actually on the pay-roll and some is based off of sick-time/vacation and backfilling those positions.

I know they are not full-time, but I am still curious about how many call and volunteers showed up... Were they included in the count of 7?

Anonymous said...

Why is the staffing at 7? Ask your town manager and town meeting members.

Anonymous said...

On the town website it says that each group is staffed with 10 captains/firefighters.

So, if 7 people were on duty that means that the rest were out sick or on vacation?

It seems like 30% of your staff out is a lot. Is that more typical than not? Is the fire department never at the 10 person idea?

Could that minimum number be increased but the staffing level stayed the same? What would that cost in over-time? How inconvenient would it be for firefighters taking time off?

No wonder lots of folks in town don't understand this problem. Someone needs to start putting together a huge FAQ off this message board!

Anonymous said...

try the site to get the information you are looking for. you can also ask them questions on the comment page.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tip, I had just looked at the town's webpage. They don't have a link from the town website to the amherst firefighters website.

LarryK4 said...

Mr. Shaffer could be a very vindictive Town Manager.