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rsb320

Is the Rice Hotel on Fire?

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I can't see any smoke, but all these units have been dispatched.

TEXAS BLK MAIN 493L 05/03/2011 15:47 Highrise on Fire 1 E009, E017, D008, SF027, SQ009, D019, E508, E007, E008, E019, L019

Edited by rsb320

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No. They're right in front of the Rice. They've even got southbound Main blocked off at Prairie. The train is still running, though. Thank goodness, I'm getting ready to hop on it.

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The call was almost an hr ago.. and chron, kprc, and khou are reporting nothing yet.. so hopefully it is nothing.

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Probably just a smoke alarm or something. Certain types of buildings get a huge response, whether it's burned toast, or six floors on fire.

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I've been told that there was a fire on, what would be, the 13th floor. I have no information on the severity, though.

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Probably just a smoke alarm or something. Certain types of buildings get a huge response, whether it's burned toast, or six floors on fire.

I had a fireman tell me one time that if there is nothing else going on dispatchers will send all the locally available units out regardless of the reported size of the fire. A few years ago we had three trucks show up to a small trailer filled with remodeling debris next door. They put it out with fire extinguishers. I guess the thought is you never know how bad it can be or could get so better to send too much than too little.

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I had a fireman tell me one time that if there is nothing else going on dispatchers will send all the locally available units out regardless of the reported size of the fire. A few years ago we had three trucks show up to a small trailer filled with remodeling debris next door. They put it out with fire extinguishers. I guess the thought is you never know how bad it can be or could get so better to send too much than too little.

I'm not totally against this, but my issue would be their ability to get rolling to an area that was stripped of equipment once they were dispatched someplace.

Then again, if its obvious it is a small fire, maybe one of the engines can just sit there and help out the other trucks instead of unpacking their own.

When dealing with a fire in downtown, however, you can deal with so much stuff, so that part is understandable.

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Then again, if its obvious it is a small fire, maybe one of the engines can just sit there and help out the other trucks instead of unpacking their own.

That's basically what happened at the fire next door. Most of the firemen milled around while a couple used the fire extinguishers. Since they were all suited up and ready to go, I suppose if another call came in they could respond as fast or faster than if they were at the station.

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I had a fireman tell me one time that if there is nothing else going on dispatchers will send all the locally available units out regardless of the reported size of the fire. A few years ago we had three trucks show up to a small trailer filled with remodeling debris next door. They put it out with fire extinguishers. I guess the thought is you never know how bad it can be or could get so better to send too much than too little.

For the city of Houston all 911 calls are received by civilian call takers who determine the emergency, input basic information, then route the information to either HFD or HPD where the call is finally dispatched.

HPD dispatches calls by placing low priority calls in a que for available officers to select from on their mobile computer. High priority calls are automatically assigned. If no one has taken a low priority call after a certain amount of time, it is automatically assigned to the closest available officer.

HFD dispatches using an established algorithm designed to send the most appropriate units immediately. E.g. Ambulance and Fire Truck to a chest pain call, or a pre-determined number of fire trucks to a fire. Dispatchers can only add additional units if a near by unit requests to be added, if they get updated notes from the 911 caller, or if at the incident the officer requests more resources.

HFD doesn't get to pick and choose low priority calls. If you call for an ambulance for a heart attack or a stubbed toe, they will come immediately with lights and sirens every time.

Edited by Jeebus

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This is not unusual. HFD, or pretty much any large fire department, will dispatch what is known as a "box alarm" for anything that implies a building may be on fire, e.g., "smoke in the building" qualifies (usually these turn out to be things like burned food on the stove). A box alarm ("1 alarm fire") consists of numerous pieces of apparatus. I don't know the HFD dispatch protocol off hand but it's probably something like 4 engines, a ladder truck, ambulance and district chief. If it's a "high rise" building then even more apparatus will be dispatched. Most of these calls turn out to be nothing and the units are quickly placed back in service.

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