So I mentioned in "Let's remember one key point . . ." about fire alarms and poor building markings. Last night was yet another fine example of this. Also the point I made in the same post about people flagging you down (or not) was proven.
Since I work in a college town, at least ten percent of my shift is dedicated to fire alarms. University fire alarms and apartment fire alarms, most of which are malicious false alarms. We have several complexes that have multiple buildings; some complexes span multiple city blocks. When you have multiple buildings that look exactly alike, you have a problem.
Enter last night's adventure . . . "Respond for the fire alarm/First floor pull station/Building G"
This is a newer complex, so they keep adding on while we keep updating our map books. (Side note 1: The officer in charge of our map books is a little behind.) We head to said complex, and I'm manning the radio/map book in the squad. (Side note 2: We carry airpacks and gear on our squad because our call volume is rapidly outgrowing our number of personnel.) Suddenly I realize "Building G" does not exist on the map. Ok, well, whatever. It must be new, I know my alphabet, it can't be that hard to find. Right? Yeah not so much.
Our station covers a large area, part of which extends beyond the city limits. Thanks to contracts, politics and other problems we have quite a bit of rural area to cover. This complex is out far enough that it has its own streets, kind of like its own housing development. The elusive "Building G" is on its own street, not accessible from the street the engine turned down that had "Building F," go figure. . . So the few college students who have bothered to evacuate for the alarm are staring at us, from the other street, quiet for once in their life. Awesome.
So back to my original point, there are NO exterior markings on these buildings visible from the street to denote what is what. The only markings are on the entrances, by the door, about the size of a 5x7 card. Yeah, good luck with that. Hey Lieutenant, hand me the binoculars . . .
I am honored to be invited back to FDIC for my third year, this time speaking on the expectations of the Engine Company when responding to aviation inciden...
5 days ago