Dispatchers Question --- relocations

SI1075

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i know there are some dispatchers on here like frank etc.....
just wondering how relocations work, watchlines work etc

how do you guys pick who gets relocated where?  (recomendations from computer?)
how is it decided when companies go to do a watch line..... example the 3-6am shift lol

sometimes you hear the same companies going to the same places either in boro or out, and sometimes you hear a random relocation that seems a little off...... always wondered what factors in these decisions....

any info would be great
 

nfd2004

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SI1075 said:
i know there are some dispatchers on here like frank etc.....
just wondering how relocations work, watchlines work etc

how do you guys pick who gets relocated where?  (recomendations from computer?)
how is it decided when companies go to do a watch line..... example the 3-6am shift lol

sometimes you hear the same companies going to the same places either in boro or out, and sometimes you hear a random relocation that seems a little off...... always wondered what factors in these decisions....

any info would be great

  "SI1075", I'm a buff and I'm not a dispatcher. But there are numerous factors that come into play regarding the assignment of companies. As an example, it has been discussed on here relating to the alarm assignment.

  Maybe based on mileage, one company might be closer but in reality, another company can get there much quicker. Maybe less turns or less uphill climbs.

  Another case might be like Engine 70/Ladder 53 on City Island in the Bronx. Because of a bridge, traffic etc and being the only company on the island, they are not relocated to other firehouses.

  Some companies may man a special unit, and even though there may be a back up company, it may not be in the best interest to move that company.

  When everything is factored in, I can understand why they have supervising dispatchers. There is just so much to know on who goes where, when. They all have my respect. And you're right, we do have some dispatchers on here, including active and retired supervising dispatchers.

  I wish I could give you the detailed answers to your questions, but I really can't. But by reading some of the many post here, there are many things that I continue to learn about, regarding the operations of the Largest Fire Department in the World.
 

FD347

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There can be no definitive answer to the question because the art of relocating units is totally dynamic. There are many factors that need to be considered such as time of day, travel routes available, travel time, distance, unit type (some rigs can't fit into certain houses), unit availability, etc.

Some dispatchers like using patterns thus it appears the same companies always go to the same firehouses. For example, Red Hook and Coney Island units have easy access both ways via Ocean Pkwy or the Belt Pkwy. Any unit near Atlantic Ave can go to any other firehouse off or near to Atlantic Ave. The same can be said for any major E/W or N/S thoroughfare.

With watchlines it's completely different. Units can be chosen in advance and planned in such a way that they don't cause open areas while the units are interchanging. Of course 1 fire changes everything and then we go back to last minute picks taking into account almost the same criteria as above.

 

nfd2004

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Thanks Frank "FD347". There's a lot more to it than just sending the companies out on a run.

And it's hard to believe, but by your profile it's hard top believe that "The Brooklyn C.O." has been closed almost six years now. What a place that must have been to work in. I think I visited the place twice. One evening they were so busy that nobody had a chance to even talk. The supervisor then apologized to me for not having any time to explain the operations of the place. "I understood exactly what he meant".
 

SI1075

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thanks frank.....
how does inter boro work?  does one borough (say bklny) say to another (say manhattan or queens) "we need 2 engines" or is it from a map or old cards?
and the reason i asked the watchline question is we were on a watchline once and were relieved by a company at 4am that told us they had been running non stop, and i was always curious why they were sent instead of a company than maybe had a slow night,,,,,,,

thanks again
 

nfd2004

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SI1075 said:
thanks frank.....
how does inter boro work?  does one borough (say bklny) say to another (say manhattan or queens) "we need 2 engines" or is it from a map or old cards?
and the reason i asked the watchline question is we were on a watchline once and were relieved by a company at 4am that told us they had been running non stop, and i was always curious why they were sent instead of a company than maybe had a slow night,,,,,,,

thanks again

  SI1075", I didn't know you were on the job. You probably know a lot more about it than I do. But if you're ever curious about how Norwich, Ct does it, I could probably help you out.
 

FD347

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To get out of borough relocators you need to talk to the other borough and ask who's available. They decide who goes for the simple reason that the demand borough can't see what's going on in the supply borough thus can't take into account all the variables I mentioned earlier.
 

svd385

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In some prior exchanges with some previous dispatchers they sent me some info dated to pre1968  guidelines on relocations for Bronx and Manhattan:

Yes, before 1968 your prime Manhattan & Bronx relocators were: E6, E14, E15, E21, E24, E26, E27, E28, E32, E34, E35, E38, E40, E41,E42, E43,E44, E47, E48, E50, E53, E55, E56, E59, E67, E69, E80, E81, E83, E89, E90, E94,E96 and L1, L7, L12, L15, L16, L18, L19, L20, L25, L28, L29, L43, L46, L48, L49, L50,L54.

Companies that did not relocate and had to be covered were: E1, E2, E3, E5, E8, E17, E18, E22, E23, E30, E31, E33, E36, E37, E52, E58, E60, E63, E64, E65, E68, E70, E71, E73, E75, E76,  E79, E82, E84, E91, E92, E93, E95, E97 nd L2, L3, L5, L6, L8, L9, L10, L11, L13, L14, L17, L21, L22, L23, L24, L26, L27, L30, L31, L35, L39, L44, L45, L47, L51, L52, L53.

After that time and for the next 5 or 6 years companies were formed, changed, closed or moved.  Since there were no computers I'm not sure if this was actually documented or just notes to help getting the job done.  I do remember the talk of prime companies and I'm sure computer programs of today might have something close to it built in.
 

811

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All "pre-arranged" charts of "key companies", those that "must be covered", and "card relocators" may once have been guidelines with some value.

But include a company(ies) O-O-S, or more than one fire at a time, and all such guidelines go out the window.
 

Atlas

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Years back there was also what was called the Supply & Demand chart.

The chart was made up to move companies from one Division into another depending upon the need of the Division that they were going to move into. Slower companies went first. The chart was colored coded & if I remember correctly the busy companies were the red ones, to be used last.

This did not last for too many years.

In Manhattan years back, they use to double & triple relocate to cover the area faster & to spread out non-covered areas. This principle was used by a few to provide coverage into remote areas in places like Staten Island, or even the Bronx.

FDNY never had the "Move up & respond" policy that some departments use.

There are areas that even today do not relocate. They send the nearest unit to the second or third calls.


 

guitarman314

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Here's an old card from Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn where nearby relocators get covered by companies from further away:

 

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guitarman314

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The oldest card in my collection is this one dated 1934 from Staten Island:

 

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memory master

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Interesting how the entire 4th alarm engine responses are all Manhattan units and it goes back to S.I. units on the 5th.
 

stretch

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5th alarm is all relocators. 5th alarm is actually 6, 10, 4, 31, 30, 32 all acting
 

fdhistorian

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memory master said:
Interesting how the entire 4th alarm engine responses are all Manhattan units and it goes back to S.I. units on the 5th.

On the 5th alarm, E155 was on the 1st alarm, E153 was on the 2nd alarm, and E161 and E156 were on the 3rd alarm.

The 5th alarm is made up of re locators.
E6/155
E10/153
E4/160  (E160 moved to 154 on the 2nd)
E31/159  (E159 moved to 156 on the 2nd)
E30/161
E32/158

Here is the difficult question.  If the 5th alarm is all relocators, what about E160?  Is it E160/154 or is it E4/160? 

IMHO it would be E4/160 because the relocator assumes the identity of the company that they moved into, even if the original is available but moved elsewhere (where they are also in an assumed identity.)

How about E159?  On the 5th alarm E159 is assigned.  Is it E159/156 or is it E31/159?
Again, I would guess that it would be E31/159. 

FDNY is unique among departments because they alone did not adopt a "move up then respond" policy.  It was only possible because of the large number of companies available that a company could move up but not respond.  It is also the result of the inability to communicate with companies while they were in transit between fire houses.  If they were sent somewhere by telegraph, they were out of contact until they arrived at their assignment, so they could not be easily redirected enroute.  That method of relocating continued long after radios were installed.
 

guitarman314

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fdhistorian said:
memory master said:
Interesting how the entire 4th alarm engine responses are all Manhattan units and it goes back to S.I. units on the 5th.

On the 5th alarm, E155 was on the 1st alarm, E153 was on the 2nd alarm, and E161 and E156 were on the 3rd alarm.

The 5th alarm is made up of re locators.
E6/155
E10/153
E4/160  (E160 moved to 154 on the 2nd)
E31/159  (E159 moved to 156 on the 2nd)
E30/161
E32/158

Here is the difficult question.  If the 5th alarm is all relocators, what about E160?  Is it E160/154 or is it E4/160? 

IMHO it would be E4/160 because the relocator assumes the identity of the company that they moved into, even if the original is available but moved elsewhere (where they are also in an assumed identity.)

How about E159?  On the 5th alarm E159 is assigned.  Is it E159/156 or is it E31/159?
Again, I would guess that it would be E31/159. 

FDNY is unique among departments because they alone did not adopt a "move up then respond" policy.  It was only possible because of the large number of companies available that a company could move up but not respond.  It is also the result of the inability to communicate with companies while they were in transit between fire houses.  If they were sent somewhere by telegraph, they were out of contact until they arrived at their assignment, so they could not be easily redirected enroute.  That method of relocating continued long after radios were installed.
  Many of the relocators from Manhattan were double companies (E5, 7, 13, 16, 18, 26, 30, 31, 33, 76 & 91) so they would not require coverage.
 

memory master

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How correct you are G-man regarding the double companies. I completely forgot about those days. Thanks.
 

guitarman314

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memory master said:
How correct you are G-man regarding the double companies. I completely forgot about those days. Thanks.
Yes, I believe most of those double companies were disbanded in 1939 with a few remaining until 1947, leaving E76 & L22 until 1957 when E41 &  E91 were made double co's. and L22(2) became L26(2).
 
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