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Fire Departments respond to emergencies of all kinds. When you respond to an emergency involving utilities / services what are your roles and responsibilities? Do you have standard procedures for handling these incidents? What concerns do you have for co-dependant utilities? ( If you have to turn off the water service for a leak or broken pipe - what about the boiler - will it run out of water? )


Water leaks
Boilers that run out of water
Delayed Ignitions
Electrical Problems
Or any other common issue

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Replies to This Discussion

Your job as a firefighter responding to a utility emergency is to determine if there is a hazard and if so mitigate the hazard. It is not to repair the damaged or malfunctioning equipment. That is for the utility company or authorized repair man to do.
If you can, stop the flow of water at a water leak. Shut down the source if possible and or channel the flow to where it will do the least amount of damage.(Indoor leak) At an outdoor leak, check the surrounding properties for water and mitigate any emergency caused by th leaking water. Get the utility on scene ASAP to stem the flow of the water. Remember, an underground water leak can undermine the roadway and affect the underground gas and electric lines.
If a boiler is dry firing, just shut it down. Adding water to a hot dry, boiler could cause a catastrophic failure.
Electrical problems should be made safe, not repaired for the homeowner. That might mean shutting a portion of the electric or the entire building if necessary.
My book "Responding to Routine emergencies covers all of these topics and more and if you go to my website and click on articles, you will find a number of articles that I have written on these topics and more.
Train to stay safe,
Chief M
Kevin, our policy is basically what the Chief describes, my company arrives, all nessessary states are taken to mitigate the situation. I had the "pleasure" of almost being a statistic a couple years ago, on a " routine" run. Gas leak in a building, It's on, under haz-mat. In all seriousness, I had finished reading the Chief's book 1 week before this incident. I was not the OIC that day and many things have changed since then. I learned every call could be my last. Take it slow Brother, call for help if you need it, and THINK! It's not our job to fixthe problem, that's for the utility company to do.

Stay safe Bro!


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