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The FDNY is made up of almost 200 engine companies, 140 truck companies, 5 rescues, 7 squads and 11,000 members including 8 thousand firefighters and 3 thousand officers. What advantages or disadvantages does the department have as a result of the number of units and members?

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Hello John,
As my email mentioned, With a large dept such as FDNY, I imagine you cannot know each member as well as in a small/medium dept. That disadvantage is not "knowing" how your crew may/may not perform in a given circumstance. I have great trust for certain companies when they give me a report. I know the members quite well. SOP's are well followed,and they are usually right on the money. Other times, I am aware of a shortcoming with a particular crew and make decisions based on that.
An obvious advantage of large city dept's is the resources (personnel) available. If an incident requires more personnel quickly, I imagine you have those resources at your disposal? Also, ICS must be followed closely to keep track of those members. In smaller depts. a serious lack of command staff are present until well into the event. We must rely heavily on Company Officers for help with this critical component.
Actually, even though the FDNY is a large department, most firefighters, company officers and battalion chiefs are very familiar with the people in their companies and battalions. Much of my work is with a select group of engines and trucks and both they and I know each other pretty well. Each battalion is almost like a small fire department within the larger one.
Ah! That makes sense.
Hello to John Salka,
How truly lucky you are at FDNY. You have approx. half the total number of firefighters / officers that cover the entire country of Spain AND, with your shift schedules, you can have some 3000 jakes available at any time. Over here, most troops work one 24 hr. shift and then four days off, although a few do 1 on / 3 off. The "problem" here is that ALL workers are limited to some 1700 labor hours per year, which obligates FD's to program 4 to 6 shifts. So, some 22,000 firefighters and officers protect a 45 million population. Madrid for example, has a total FD staff of nearly
2,000 including admin. and other non intervention personnel, but only some 400 on duty at the city's 12 stations, covering about 1000 square kilometers with 3,400,000 inhabitants. However, in Benidorm, the city with the world's highest concentration of hi rises (1:380 persons), an average of nine per shift respond from 1 station covering between 60,000 population in mid winter to 1,000,000 during the month of August. God protects Benidorm.
George Potter
Our dept. is no were near the size of FDNY but we are the 2nd largest in the state of Virginia (Aprox 550 uniformed) and the only problem I have encountered is when I work over time or an transffered to a different battalion for the tour. You tend to know everyone on your shift and battalion but other battalions even on the same shift you dont interact with them alot becuase your not running calls with them. Just an observation.
We have met a couple of times at FDIC and no doubt I will see you in a couple of weeks. Coming from the first paid fire dept. in the U.S with 850 uniformed personnel I consider my dept. a medium sized one. I see the main advantage to large departments being manpower. I have had the privilege of teaching fire recruits on Randalls Island a couple of times for the IAFF and to me it is fascinating that 1 of your recruit classes has more people than the on duty strength per day of my whole dept.(180) But with that many people as you said each battalion is it's own "department" in a way. The disadvantage in my eyes would be how companies work together if they come out of their home battalion. My city is medium sized but we cross districts on a daily basis and we know what companies are good and which are not. I am fortunate that I am on one of my cities 2 Rescue Cos. (We call them Squads here) We make every fire in our city so we are all over and we get to know and work with every fire companyi n our city, which allows us to have good working relationships with every fire company.
Although FDNY's size doesn't allow us to know everyone one of the concepts that I feel works to our advantage is our work chart which allows officers and firefighters to work with virtually every member of the company. In departments that work strict shifts with very little cross over of tours officers and firefighters never work with the other members of the company. Creating seperate shift identies. Does this work for them, yes and it does build on the team/crew concept, however I like the variety we have.
Hasn't been much action here and since we have such a diverse forum, here is my topic: Window Blanket Ops........
What is the opinion on Company Placement as far as the window blanket being used. We have been throwing the topic around in the kitchen. Should 2nd due truck deploy it, 3rd due or should the squads be responsible? The job is working on a policy and I would sure hate to lose the 2nd truck to setting the blanket. What about assigning an extra truck on reports of a fire or as per CIDS for HIGH RISE buildings. Any thoughts ???????
I'd think the one real disadvantage to having a very large department would be making changes. When you have determined something needs to or should change for the betterment of operations or safety, the logistics of training so many and costs of outfitting personnel or companies would seem to be a major issue? I know from reading about the personal escape rope issue and the Vindicator nozzles that even when something is identified as a benefit, it can be logistically difficult to implement.
I guess the advantage would be getting the numbers of manpower and apparatus that FDNY does for alarm response. With that much apparatus and manpower available I guess you can be pretty much be prepaired for almost any eventuality. On the downside however with that many members in one place at one time, if the operation does go south on you it could be catastrophic with many injuries or LODD's.
The survilence by chief officers and updates on the situation that the operating companies give the OIC I'm sure helps lessen those risks, along with experienced and well trained members.
Hello, I know this may be off topic, but I was wondering if someone could help me out. I am 14 and want to become a Firefighter when I get older. I live in Georgia and the FireFighters here are also required to be EMT's. I'm going to high school next year and i need 2 career pathway choices, I am taking the Medical class but I need to know what else I should take. We have the ROTC, Reserve Officer Training Corps and I was wondering if I should take that. thanks for any help
Advantages of the FDNY .. training. It seems the FDNY commits to training and has the resources to take several companies out of service for the day to train. Another advantage, which can be taken one way or another, is the amount of work, which leads to a better experience base for no one is busier. Advantage ..manpower. an all hands gets 40 +FF Advantage .. seat assignments. No matter who is in the position you know what is being done and by whom.


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