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  • Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

    I happened to catch these fire trucks on 9th Ave behind Penn South yesterday (Thurs) afternoon - at I think 27th St?

    Anyway, there were four of them in front of the Chelsea School. But, as usual when you see a bunch of NYFD trucks - there was no fire in sight. Just once, I'd like to see a fire when I see fire trucks! At least a little smoke, eh? I've always wondered why you see fire trucks so often, but rarely if ever see a fire.

  • #2
    Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

    You will also see the the fire trucks on 25th Street headed west towards 10th Ave. This has occured almost on a daily basis for thirty years now. I just assumed that someone is pulling the fire emergency cord in the box. Would a call to the fire station get us an answer?

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    • #3
      Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

      I plan on lodging a formal complaint with 311 to start off with. I'm so sick of the phony fire alarms caused by the proliferation of non-fires that seem to be so prevelant on both 26th & 25th Sts. bet. 9th & 10th Avenues.

      What good does it do the folks who REALLY NEED help with a REAL fire and the potential danger involved when our FDNY heroes, and I do mean heroes, have to answer erroneous and non-threatening calls on a daily basis.

      It makes me angry and frustrated, to see how some people have nothing better to do with their time than pull phony fire alarms.

      I'd like to see how they feel when they're REALLY in trouble and no one gives a crap!

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      • #4
        Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

        I'm not so sure it's necessarily phony fire alarms, at least not all the time. I think it's a combination of things. For all we know, the Fire Dep't. may think it's okay to do some kind of drills or teaching exercises here in the "far west"! I also think that many of the firemen, like the cops, don't live here in the city, and don't think about the streets as residential areas (like their suburban homes), so they feel free to blast the sirens. I think I once said on this list, that there has to be a better way, or a compromise, with the fire trucks brightly flashing lights, along with intermittent sirens. Btw, none of this is meant as a slur of any kind against the firemen- I think they're great, often selfless public servants! I'd just like a little less of the blaring sirens on such a regular basis.

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        • #5
          Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

          I'm sure you're right phpt2. But, a great deal of the time (not all the time as you mentioned), there are false alarms across the Avenue from our building. I totally agree there should be some kind of compromise to alleviate some of the blaring sirens. It's just that I personally have friends who are both NYPD as well as FDNY, who have eluded that there are too many false alarms. I was told once by one of my friends, that it can really hinder the overall response time to a real emergency when, say false fire alarms are called in; or, whatever the correct terminology is.

          Just a pet pieve.

          "CC"

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          • #6
            Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

            As I mentioned previously, for 30 years (as long as I have been a resident of PS in this location, the area of 24, 25th Street) the false alarms have been almost daily. I do not and hope not it is an excercise on the part of FDNY.

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            • #7
              Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

              I live at 14th and 7th and sometimes five or six fire trucks come screaming into the intersection. The firemen walk down the subway steps and return. The trucks are gone in about 5 minutes. Also, someone got hit by a car and, in addition to 2 ambulances, a hook and ladder showed up (???). I guess, if there is a real fire somewhere else though, the men are at the ready and in radio contact, so I don't think their presence at a non-event would be a hinderance for them to get to the real fire. I just can't imagine these guys ever just relaxing or having a liesurely meal since they are out the door practically every hour.
              roby2000

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              • #8
                Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

                You are entitled to your views Roby. Absolutely. However, since neither you or myself are experts on what it means to be with the FDNY, I would opt to listen to what someone who is in fact, experienced in dealing with this on a daily basis says.

                No disrespect to you at all. Just my take.

                "CC"

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                • #9
                  Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

                  I meant no disrespect towards the firefighters. On the contrary, I was just trying to figure out who is turning in these obviously bogus alarms to which these already overburdened men must respond. And I was saying also thatI don't understand why these hook and ladder men had to mobilize, always at some risk, for an injured pedestrian.
                  roby2000

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                  • #10
                    Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

                    Roby, yes I'm with you - I don't understand why they have to show up for an injured pedestrian either. I too have always been amazed at how often I see fire trucks, with sirens blaring, but never any apparent fire. I'm sure there are times when we simply can't see the fire. But it seems more likely that more often than not there really isn't a fire.

                    Izzy&Mo - interesting that this happens every single day. I'd really be curious what someone from the fire dept might have to say about the comments on this blog. Anyone know a fireman???

                    CC, I agree with you as well. I would opt to listen to what someone who is experienced in dealing with this has to say. But unless I'm missing something (maybe I didn't read all the posts thoroughly), I don't see that anyone like that has spoken up here.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

                      You guys brought up some interesting questions. So I called the fire department press office today to see if they could shed any light. They did say of course that they get a lot of false alarms and they do have to respond to all of them. However, I'm not sure that explains izzy&mo seeing these calls everyday for 30 years. I hope someone from the NYFD might respond specifically to that quesiton.

                      They also said they do often respond to car accidents because they're trained in emergency medical procedures. That made sense. Sorry if you guys knew all this already! I guess I knew most of this but just never thought about it. I didn't realize they responded to car accidents for medical reasons. But it makes sense since they no doubt have great emergency medical training.

                      Oh, and they also told me that they respond to more than just fire calls. They respond to broken elevators and all sorts of other things. Cats in trees no doubt! I guess that explains why I've only seen a fire once when I saw fire trucks. But I'd still like to find out why izzy&mo has heard fire engines almost everyday for the last 30 years in the same location. That seems a little odd.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

                        Some numbers for 2006 that might help explain things:

                        Engine 34, quartered on West 38 Street, had a total of 3,080 calls for fires, possible fires, false alarms, faulty alarms, EMS runs, food-on-the-stove fires, car fires, vessels in distress, civilain requests for help etc, etc, etc, etc

                        Ladder 21, quartered with Engine 34, left quarters on 2,049 occassions.

                        Engine 1, quartered on West 31 Street, went out for a total of 5,741.

                        Ladder 24, quartered with Engine 1, had a total of 3,087.

                        Figure a daily average and realize that these are far from the busiest houses in the city!

                        All firemen in NYC are trained EMTs. Engine companies throughout the city respond on many EMS runs because, in part, there are not enough ambulances to serve the population. Ladder companies respond on many auto accidents where there is a report of a person pinned; apparatus will also respond if there is a report of oil or gasoline spills. I think that the injured pedestrian doesn't worry too much about who's there helping him as long as it's a trained professional, getting there in time, who'll keep him alive.

                        Apparatus respond not only to fires, but to people trapped in elevators, subway emergencies, reported odors of smoke or gas in apartments, offices, storage facilities and all other structures as well as on the street without a specific address, manhole explosions, water emergencies such as water main breaks or floods in apartments or basements and basically any other emergency in the world's busiest city. When they are dispatched, they have no idea what they will find when they get there; speed and safety are, therefore, of the essence.

                        The reason you don't always "see a fire" when you see the apparatus is that not all fires will be visable from the street, or the FD was called before the situation got too far out of hand, or some knucklehead decided to call in a false alarm etc, etc, etc. The FD has absolutely no idea, when the call comes in, whether or not it is a real, false or imaginary emergency. Sufficient apparatus have to be assigned for that reason; having one company respond to find a working fire and then havimg to wait four or five minutes for other companies won't work for what should be very obvious reasons. Fire moves incredably fast; many people have seen the Christmas holiday safety films of a tree going up and involving an entire room in seconds. The result will be the same if a sofa or bed or curtains or a roll of paper towels left too close to the stove or anything else catches fire. It isn't a movie like "Backdraft" - it's real life. Would you rather have twenty firemen when you need five, or only have five when your life depends on having twenty?

                        All companies will use the most direct, clear route in their response. The companies which I noted above all use 9th Avenue when that is the fastest way to where they have to be. The use of sirens is an obvious safety measure; we've all seen drivers (I'd say "idiots" but...) who refuse to move out of the way of, or stop for, emergency vehicles. The sirens are also a safety measure when there IS a working fire; the noise will alert people in the fire building and give them a few extra seconds to, hopefully, get out.

                        I agree that the noise can be annoying BUT instead of griping about it, I think it better to be thankful that those guys are there, won't refuse a run and WILL be there when YOU need them - expeditiously and safely.

                        Remember the days after the Trade Center Events when people were lining the West Side Highway applauding these guys? No one complained about noise then. These are the guys YOU CAN COUNT ON day or night. They deserve not only our repsect but our prayers every time we hear a siren!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

                          SNAP, VERY well said! And especially good point that we should be thankful instead of annoyed, everytime we hear the sirens. You put things into a good perspective.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

                            Jonathan,
                            Thank you. This is an issue close to my heart. Also, when I wrote of respect and prayers, I include the police and EMS sirens.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Another NO-Fire "Fire"?

                              Thank you. I now have more of a understanding of this subject. And, for the record, I was not saying I was "annoyed" by the presence of the fire trucks, I was just trying to figure out why they seemed to be called out for the slightest reason and a lot of, seemingly, non-emergencies. I also heard that false alarms are extremely costly and there have been major accidents involving fire apparatus responding to a false alarm.
                              roby2000

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