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Split Second Decision Time


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Put yourself in the front seat of a truck as the IC.  You are en-route to a 'house fire persons reported' and its repeat calls.  That's all you know at that moment.  You witness an RTC in front of you involving a car colliding with a motorcyclist. Its a suburban road in the early hours. 

Your driver looks at you and asks "shall I stop boss or keep going?" You have a crew of 4, including you. 



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Assuming it's a severe and life threatening impact from initial judgement I'd stop, running call to the RTC and unable to attend. With my London hat on I know if the fire is PR then other machines are already on their way and will be there in good enough time. If I'm out in the sticks though...tough one.

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Noddy, are you just sat at home thinking up the most evil savage situations to throw us into? yeah keep it up :)

if what you've said is all we have to go on, id stop and deal with it. Its human life. send all the right messages etc. thats gotta be the right thing to do...

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You've got to Stop...Immediate call to control to get get another pump rolling asap to original incident. regardless of out in the sticks or in built up.

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You've got to play the hand your dealt.

As Jamiejet and Becile says, running call the RTC and let other appliances be mobilised to the PR.

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I had a few similar situations and depends  on the circumstances presented;

What do you mean PR? Info from control? or attending as a supporting appliance on a make up?

If my pump was likely to arrive at the fire first, I would proceed. If my pump was likely to be 3rd or 4th pump to arrive its a stop at the RTC and a quick triage before making the 'unable to proceed' call.

The time of day , nature of premises and other local knowlege would come into play when making this call as well as the severity of the rtc

The LFB official policy used to be 'proceed as ordered' but I never heard if that being enforced

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Im with Messy here.  If the PR is on our ground meaning we are likely to get there first Id proceed BUT inform control en route of the RTC.  If we aren't likely to get to the PR first or we are mobilised on a make up then i'd stop and assess. 

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Am I worse than Hitler for thinking i'd carry on to the fire?

As awful as it sounds you cannot assess immediately how much care the casualties will need at the RTC unless you stop. They may be critical, they may be able to walk away. But that is the case for the thousands of RTCs that happen everyday without the luxury of a fire engine meters behind them. What you DO know is that it is a confirmed persons reported, and if you are the first pump, the clock is definatley ticking for someone there.

The near certainty of lives being in danger at the fire outweighs the likelihood of lives being in danger at the RTC. If you have to make an intervention to either I think it has to be the fire.

Anyway, you can always put in a running call and maybe even a first impressions message while on route to the fire, possibly starting a response quicker than a flapped member of the public who saw the RTC would.

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I'm with Messy and the others, if its on you own ground and you're going to be there first keep going and put in the running call.

The bigger dilemma might be if you're the third pump as in all likelihood if its a working job the BA team will be required a bit sharpish to either continue the search or as a team to protect those already in there.

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13 hours ago, Dyson said:

Noddy, are you just sat at home thinking up the most evil savage situations to throw us into? yeah keep it up :)

xD Not this time mate.  It very nearly happened here and it got the debate going... what if?

I note the divided opinion on this and its a tough call.  If it were me, I'd have to stop being honest.  In my scenario I have no info about the fire but the RTC is in front of me.  I'd be off the truck asking the crew to wait.  A very, very quick look at the motorcyclist and then decide to carry on to the job or  indeed stop.  

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Wot Noddy Sez..double quick look & triage..If the biker is up and walking, I'd give them a quick 'sorry folks, we're on the way to a fire, if no-one's hurt I'll call police on route' and get rolling back to the job, running call for BiB whilst proceeding. If say the bikers down, I'd have to stop and stay, I know a London Multiple calls PR will be getting 4p sent on it in any case.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Its no real different from a rural point of view.   I would only be getting 3 pumps unless Control decided the multiple calls warranted an extra discretionary machine and there could be a 10 minute plus wait for machines 2 and 3.  It's going to depend on a very quick size up of the likely outcomes.  Who is going to the house fire, who should be there first, how much of a delay in getting decent resources to the job would me diverting to the RTC cause?  A very swift triage of the RTC and get answers to the question of what is the impact of me not stopping to deal with it.

Then decide which is the most effective course of action.  The other rural consideration with often narrow roads and no easy detours could well make my decision for me anyway as the road may wel be blocked by the RTC.

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