Still Alarm is a fire department response to a report of a structure fire. The usual response is two engines, two trucks and a Battalion Chief. With a confirmed fire ("Working Fire Response"), a Command Van, R.I.T. unit and Squad are added to the Still Alarm assignment. The RIT unit or Rapid Intervention Team includes the Squad Company, one truck, ALS (advanced life support) ambulance, and one Battalion Chief.
The term "Still Alarm" arose during the increase use of telephones for reporting emergencies in modern times compared to pulling a firebox alarm, which is an outdoor device that goes back to invention in 1852. The alarm office's register that received the signals from the actual fireboxes would remain "still" when someone reported a fire or emergency via telephone, therefore all telephone alarms began to be referred to as "Still Alarms".
High Rise Still Alarm is four engines, four trucks, three Battalion Chiefs, one squad, one ALS ambulance, one EMS Field Officer, and RIT unit. There is an extra response even when no fire is confirmed because of the extra risk of high-rise fires.
Box Alarm (different term compared to suburbs, see suburbs below) is a fire department response to an activated fire alarm or an activated alarm signal from a pull box located in or just outside of a nursing home, hospital, theater, government building, or other place of public assembly. The usual response for a box alarm is four fire engines, two ladder trucks, one Battalion Chief.
Cold Box Alarmsare a response for the pulled street corner red & white FIRE Alarm Boxes
that where commonly scene on Chicago's street corners until cell phones replaced them.
Or an activated fire alarm signal from an inside pull station, sprinkler head or smoke detector
in a nursing home, hospital, theater, school, government buildings, or other place of
public assembly. The usual response for a box alarm is four fire Engine Co's, two
Truck Co's, one Battalion Chief.
Working Fire Response builds out of the Still Alarm when a confirmed fire is reported by arriving firefighters. The Working Fire response involves two engines, two trucks and a Battalion Chief and the RIT unit, often called "the RIT team" ( Squad Company, RIT truck, ALS (advanced life support) RIT ambulance, RIT Chief."
Still and Box Alarm is usually requested by a fire officer, but under urgent situations the fire alarm office personnel are under orders to transmit a STILL and BOX Alarm -- an odor of smoke in a building such as a hospital, nursing home, school, theater, government building, etc. If a caller reports that someone is trapped in a fire building, multiple structures are reported to be on fire, a large commercial building is on fire, a building collapse has occurred, or a major transportation incident has occurred (plane crash, train derailment, etc); then a Still and Box is also transmitted.
A full Still and Box Alarm response includes four fire engines, two trucks, one a tower ladder with a platform, one RIT truck, the squad company, two ambulances (one is a RIT ambulance), four battalion chiefs (RIT chief most commonly assigned first), a deputy district chief, and a command van.
3-11Alarm brings 4 Engines, Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner/Deputy Fire Commissioner
in addition to the 2-11 alarm response.
4-11 Alarm brings 4 Engines and a Fire Commissioner in addition to the 3-11 Alarm response.
5-11 Alarm brings 4 Engines in addition to the 4-11 Alarm response.
SPECIAL CALLS or SPECIALS ALARMS is any equipment needed above a 5-11 alarm. Specials are sometimes called in addition to lower level alarm. Special equipment includes Hose Wagons, Mobile Ventilation Units (MVU), turret truck, fuel trucks, maintenance/road service trucks, etc.
M.A.B.A.S. Box Alarm is a suburban response to the City of Chicago. Suburban firefighters will usually respond directly to the scene or will stand by in Chicago fire stations.
MAYDAY EMERGENCY is a response when an imminent life-threatening situation exists. A MAYDAY ALERT most commonly occurs when a firefighter is missing, or known to be hurt and/or trapped.
Automatic upgrade to next higher alarm,
A second RIT Co. Three ALS Ambulances One Collapse Rescue Unit (5-2-1 or 5-2-2) One Air Mask Service Unit (6-4-x) One Light Wagon
Expressway Car Fires is a response of two engines, one truck, one Battalion Chief. Often vehicles will stage off of the expressway in case they are not needed or if they are needed for a fire hydrant connection to relay to the apparatus on the expressway.
EMS RESPONSES in CHICAGO
Pin-In Accident involves the need for extrication operation to free one or more people from a vehicle. In many cases, as in a rollover, the pin-in response is called automatically by the alarm office. Occasionally rescuers learn that a person is trapped when they arrive on the scene and request a pin-in response. Often, in rollover crashes people are able to get out on their own while the pin-in companies are responding. A pin-in response includes one truck, one engine, one Battalion Chief, one squad, one rescue ambulance, and one EMS Field Officer.
EMS Plan I is an injury or illness incident that involves the response of five ambulances, one engine, one truck, one Battalion Chief, one EMS Field Officer, and one Assistant Deputy Chief Paramedic.
EMS Plan II is an injury or illness incident that involves the response of five ambulances, one EMS Field Officer, and one Deputy Chief Paramedic, one triage van, one command van, one Deputy District Chief, and Media Affairs on top of the EMS Plan I response.
EMS Plan III is an injury or illness incident that involves the response of five ambulances, one District Chief, one Chief Paramedic, and an On-Call Physician in addition to the EMS Plan II response.
Inter-Divisional EMS Box involves suburban response of ambulances to the City of Chicago. Suburban firefighter/paramedics will usually respond directly to the scene, to staging areas or to provide station coverage in the City of Chicago fire stations. Chicago is its own division (MABAS DIVISION 9), so any other community help would be Inter-Divisional.
OTHER RESPONSES IN CHICAGO Building Collapse Response involves a Still and Box response and Collapse Unit 5-2-1, Engine 5, and Truck 2.
Haz-Mat Level I-III involve a minimum response of one engine, one squad, one Battalion Chief, Haz-Mat 5-11 or 5-1-2 and an ambulance. Haz-Mat responses occur on their own, such as in a fuel spill or chemical spill, but also occur as an additional response to working fires where hazards are present at the fires.
Specialty Rescues include special responses for high angle rescues (e.g. scaffolding rescues, water tower rescues, high rise rescues) and confined space rescues or trench rescues. Confined space rescues often involve hazardous materials, such as poisonous gases or low oxygen conditions.
Water Rescues involve responses to boats in distress, drowning, near drowning, boat crashes or downed aircraft in the water. The responses includes one engines, one truck, one squad, one Battalion Chief, one ambulance, a scuba dive van 6-8-7, a helicopter 6-8-2 or US Coast Guard helicopter and Engine 58. Squad personnel are also prepared for water immersion conditions with special water immersion suits.
R.I.T. Response (Rapid Intervention Team Response) is 1- Truck Co. 1- ALS E.M.S. Ambo. 1- E.M.S. Field Officer and 1- Battalion Chief, that is designated to rescue firefighters that become endangered or trapped. A R.I.T. unit responds to all working fires and higher alarm assignments.
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