Our station was broken into.

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
4,856
1,189
113
All of the city fire stations in the city that I live in are listed on the city website. Most of the county fire stations in the county that I live in are listed in the county maps, as well as on their individual websites. The county lists generic locations of the EMS on their website, as well as pictures, and the city fire historian lists every location with address on his personal website.

All of our stations as open to the public. Kids can come in for tours, look at the trucks, ask questions. people have been known to knock on doors when they need help. It helps build good PR. And many of the stations that aren't independent EMS stations are housed in fire stations, which are all publicly listed (especially for fire insurance requirements). Again, not speaking for any agency that I have worked for or currently work for, just stating about my local area.

When I was still in NJ, all of our EMS stations (especially the big main one) was publicly listed. It wasn't a secret, nor was there any need for them to be. if you agency was one that practiced SSM, the posting locations (ie, which street corner) might not be public knowledge, but anyone with a scanner could figure it out.

Keeping a station location hidden sounds like one of those good in theory security ideas, but one that has little real benefit for an agency that want to have good public relations and interactions with the public, when not on an emergency calls.
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
10,264
2,616
113
All of the city fire stations in the city that I live in are listed on the city website. Most of the county fire stations in the county that I live in are listed in the county maps, as well as on their individual websites. The county lists generic locations of the EMS on their website, as well as pictures, and the city fire historian lists every location with address on his personal website.

All of our stations as open to the public. Kids can come in for tours, look at the trucks, ask questions. people have been known to knock on doors when they need help. It helps build good PR. And many of the stations that aren't independent EMS stations are housed in fire stations, which are all publicly listed (especially for fire insurance requirements). Again, not speaking for any agency that I have worked for or currently work for, just stating about my local area.

When I was still in NJ, all of our EMS stations (especially the big main one) was publicly listed. It wasn't a secret, nor was there any need for them to be. if you agency was one that practiced SSM, the posting locations (ie, which street corner) might not be public knowledge, but anyone with a scanner could figure it out.

Keeping a station location hidden sounds like one of those good in theory security ideas, but one that has little real benefit for an agency that want to have good public relations and interactions with the public, when not on an emergency calls.
For my ground agency we have our main station listed online. We have other stations, what we call comfort stations that are not listed because they are literally a room with a toilet, sink, microwave, kitchen table, TV, and a couple of sofas. We don’t have any major branding that says “here we are!”. The same can be said about our 24 hour stations. Since our buildings are not funded by taxes and the public does not have access to them we really do not have to advertise.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
4,856
1,189
113
Since our buildings are not funded by taxes and the public does not have access to them we really do not have to advertise.
Well, and this is more off topic, I would think that as a private for-profit entity, you would want as much free advertising as you can get, so the public would see what they get, always renew the contract, and maybe even provide more resources, as you are "part of the community."

the fire station, police station, or any sub station doesn't need to advertise. The truth is they are getting the money they ask for in 99% of the situations, they are known black holes for money, and in some ares of the US, patrol officers and rear facing firefighters make six figure salaries. But they have made themselves part of the community, and most people WANT a fire station nearby, and get lower insurance rates because of it. They WANT a police station nearby, and want a police presence to protect them from crime (although some areas want PD there less than others, but that's another topic). And yes, not every station is the big grand palace like you will find on Long Island NY, but they still house an engine and are part of the community.

I would say, unless your agency is embarrassed by the condition of your station, or feels that it shouldn't be seen by the public because it would reflect negatively on the company (which are both signs of cultural issues within upper management), the more advertising you can get, especially free advertising, and good public opinion, as well as an incorporation of the EMS company into the culture of the local community, the better off you are in the long run.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
6,873
1,975
113
No current model year truck chassis allows you to use the OEM fob or hardwire exterior lock switch to lock the doors while the engine is running. Short of installing a law enforcement style kill switch (which would be great), I can’t leave the truck locked on a call. I’m not shutting off the fridge, narc safe, and climate control and they won’t buy us kill switches (I know no one for miles that has them), so are we lazy or what’s the deal?

Some of you love riding that high horse.
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
10,264
2,616
113
No current model year truck chassis allows you to use the OEM fob or hardwire exterior lock switch to lock the doors while the engine is running. Short of installing a law enforcement style kill switch (which would be great), I can’t leave the truck locked on a call. I’m not shutting off the fridge, narc safe, and climate control and they won’t buy us kill switches (I know no one for miles that has them), so are we lazy or what’s the deal?

Some of you love riding that high horse.
What? All of our type 2 and 3 ambulances use the factory key fob that locks the front and rear doors with the engine still running.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
4,856
1,189
113
so are we lazy or what’s the deal?
idk if you guys are lazy, but once your trucks has stuff stolen from it while you are inside a residence.... or if someone takes your ambulance for a job ride (after all, it's running with the keys in the ignition, and it's unlocked), or someone helps themselves to your stuff....

if you don't think it can happen to you, just check out https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ambulance+stolen&ia=web and read how often it happens.

allow me to quote from https://tooldtowork.com/2014/12/lock-your-ambulance/
"Even if the ambulance has to be left running, maybe they should invest in kill switches so that they can’t be operated without the key in the ignition. Then the operator could take the keys and lock the switch. The service I worked for started doing that in the 1990s. The early 1990s.

I don’t buy the fairy tale about how it takes to long to lock the ambulance either. Certainly they can lock the cab, if not the back of the ambulance.

If the company can afford dash cams, they can certainly afford extra keys and a kill switch."

we discussed this 13 years ago https://emtlife.com/threads/ambulance-ignition-kill-thingie.2235/

a quick search found you get one for less than $200 at https://www.fleetsafety.com/vehicle-anti-theft-safestop-system/

Back to your question, about what's the deal with your agency? idk, but it appears that they either think it could never happen to them, or they have decided not to invest in the safety of the ambulance while on calls, because it's just not one of their priorities. IDK, that's probably a question you should direct to your management.

you can always go old school, where each crew member has keys to the truck, so the driver locks the doors with the engine running, and the tech uses their keys to get back into the truck (which is what we did in 2003ish).

It's not about riding a high horse, but dealing with the realities of today's society.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
6,873
1,975
113
What? All of our type 2 and 3 ambulances use the factory key fob that locks the front and rear doors with the engine still running.
Truck chassis as in Type 1 ambulances. Neither F-Series or Dodges will allow that (or at least none that I've worked on). I am aware that this is possible with E-Series, not sure about Transits. Even AMR here does not issues two sets of keys at the start of the shift. I've guess I also should retract no truck chassis, I have no idea if a GM can do that, they don't offer the GVW for our ambulances.
Back to your question, about what's the deal with your agency? idk, but it appears that they either think it could never happen to them, or they have decided not to invest in the safety of the ambulance while on calls, because it's just not one of their priorities. IDK, that's probably a question you should direct to your management.

you can always go old school, where each crew member has keys to the truck, so the driver locks the doors with the engine running, and the tech uses their keys to get back into the truck (which is what we did in 2003ish).
So perhaps there are more reasons than "sheer laziness of the crew?" Maybe just being hyperbolic isn't the best way to have an adult conversation? Also as stated, neither Ford F series or Dodge ambulances allow you to lock one fob in with the other while it is running. I'd happily do that if we could.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
4,856
1,189
113
So perhaps there are more reasons than "sheer laziness of the crew?" Maybe just being hyperbolic isn't the best way to have an adult conversation? Also as stated, neither Ford F series or Dodge ambulances allow you to lock one fob in with the other while it is running. I'd happily do that if we could.
Just so I understand what you are saying: you don't use keys? only a fob? I mean, my new honda CRV only uses a fob, but i didn't know ambulances were like that....

You know, based on your response, I doubt you would know an adult conversation if it hit you in the face. There is no hyperbolic statements made when dealing with how frequently ambulances get stolen; I even provided a link so you could look it up for yourself to various reports of stolen ambulances. You were the first person who said your crews were lazy, not me. You seem to get all defensive because your agency doesn't do something that some started doing in the 1990s... Maybe that's something you should work on?

If you are only issued one set of keys, than I don't know what to tell you. Ask your management to get a second key made, and put it on a separate key ring? Which was what my old volunteer rescue squad did back in 2003. Every vehicle I have seen allows you to lock all the doors with the vehicle running. it might not lock the driver's door automatically, but you can manually press the lock to lock the door. and take the fob with you.

Listen, I totally agree with not turning the truck off when on a call; ours used to have a habit of not starting back up, which is why we left them running when not plugged in. But if you are leaving the keys in the ignition, with the truck running, you are just asking for trouble, by way of either a theft of a joy ride. It's already happened in Colorado.


and


and to see how often it happens nationwide:


Or you can wait until it happens to you, and then say "omg, I can't believe this happened to us!!!!" while the rest of the world say "you know, this was an easily preventable incident...."
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
6,873
1,975
113
its 2019, there is no excuse for leaving a truck unlocked, except if due to sheer laziness of the crew. And if that statement applies to anyone or offends someone, well, maybe you should change your behavior. Kill switches and power locks that lock every door only require the push of a button.
I am well aware that this a systemic issue. No management that I have worked for in the past five years has provided us a solution. Just pointing out that the it's not just laziness on the crews part (as you stated above), sometimes management is not exactly on board with fixing these issues. At no point did I ever say that I think it's ok to leave the truck unlocked and running. I don't want to do that but have no choice. Dodge and F-series trucks will not allow you to lock the truck while it's running. This was listed as the reason a Dodge ATCEMS ambulance was stolen several years ago (not sure if it made the news but certainly got some notoriety on FB.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
4,856
1,189
113
I am well aware that this a systemic issue. No management that I have worked for in the past five years has provided us a solution. Just pointing out that the it's not just laziness on the crews part (as you stated above), sometimes management is not exactly on board with fixing these issues. At no point did I ever say that I think it's ok to leave the truck unlocked and running. I don't want to do that but have no choice. Dodge and F-series trucks will not allow you to lock the truck while it's running. This was listed as the reason a Dodge ATCEMS ambulance was stolen several years ago (not sure if it made the news but certainly got some notoriety on FB.
Fine, it's not laziness of the crew, it's laziness of management for not proactively having a solution to a real issue. Or they like to think that it could never happen to them. Many have said that.... until it happens.

Whether that includes the installation of after market kill switches, or refusing to purchase an ambulance from a manufacturer that allows you secure a vehicle while it is running, it's a real concern that apparently your management is choosing to ignore.

Oh, and ATCEMS had two stolen in 2016, both in December. And after both incidents happened, the decided to retrofit kills switches into the ambulances. "There’s technology available to wire into ambulances that adds switches or procedures to make it tougher to put the vehicle in drive. " and "The cost to retrofit each ambulance is just under $500. ATCEMS says it has found some suitable options and will be installing many “in the near future,” as per https://www.kxan.com/news/atcems-looks-at-retrofitting-ambulances-to-prevent-theft/

So the technology exists, and existed when ATCEMS has their incidents; if your agency fails to use it because it could never happen to them, well, I don't really know what to tell you. Even ATC said they are working on making things safer for their crews.... is safety not a priority for your management, or the management of anyone near you?
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
6,873
1,975
113
Fine, it's not laziness of the crew, it's laziness of management for not proactively having a solution to a real issue. Or they like to think that it could never happen to them. Many have said that.... until it happens.

Whether that includes the installation of after market kill switches, or refusing to purchase an ambulance from a manufacturer that allows you secure a vehicle while it is running, it's a real concern that apparently your management is choosing to ignore.

Oh, and ATCEMS had two stolen in 2016, both in December. And after both incidents happened, the decided to retrofit kills switches into the ambulances. "There’s technology available to wire into ambulances that adds switches or procedures to make it tougher to put the vehicle in drive. " and "The cost to retrofit each ambulance is just under $500. ATCEMS says it has found some suitable options and will be installing many “in the near future,” as per https://www.kxan.com/news/atcems-looks-at-retrofitting-ambulances-to-prevent-theft/

So the technology exists, and existed when ATCEMS has their incidents; if your agency fails to use it because it could never happen to them, well, I don't really know what to tell you. Even ATC said they are working on making things safer for their crews.... is safety not a priority for your management, or the management of anyone near you?
Apparently it is not high on the list. "It has never happened here" is exactly why that is, which is shameful. We haven't had a patrol car taken in recent memory either, yet they all get kill switches. You would think AMR, which has an actual policy, would equip the new ambulances with some sort of solution. That is not the case, I do not understand why. These used to give two sets of keys, now I doubt we even have to keyed alike ambulances.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
4,856
1,189
113
These used to give two sets of keys, now I doubt we even have to keyed alike ambulances.
There is only one agency I know of that had all their ambulances that were keyed alike. So whenever a new person was hired, they were issued uniforms and a set of keys. upon their separation, the keys were returned. This was a relatively small inner city urban agency, with 2 ambulances staffed 24/7, and a 3rd 12 hour peak load truck. Other than that, every ambulance was keyed differently.

With everywhere else I worked, each crew member was given a set of keys to their truck at the start of their shift. if the truck was a 24 hour truck, they received it from the off going crew; if it was a 12 hour/peak load truck, they either received it from dispatch or the on duty supervisor, who had a pegboard with every vehicle number and a hook for both sets of keys. the unbreakable cable ring included a stamped identifier with the vehicle number, a metal oxygen wrench, the engine key, the front door key (if separate), and the key to the external compartments and rear doors. a 3rd set was kept in a more secure location, as the master set, in case copies needed to be made. Employees were held accountable, and were disciplined if they lost their keys.

Cheap to do, easy to do, to be perfectly honest, I'm disappointed all paid EMS services don't do this.
 

chriscemt

Forum Lieutenant
123
33
28
Even AMR here does not issues two sets of keys at the start of the shift. I've guess I also should retract no truck chassis, I have no idea if a GM can do that, they don't offer the GVW for our ambulances.
I am nearly 100% certain that our transits can be locked while running - I'll have to check into that next time I'm at the station.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
6,873
1,975
113
I am nearly 100% certain that our transits can be locked while running - I'll have to check into that next time I'm at the station.
My AMR op is mostly Transits, but of course they only give us one key...
 

chriscemt

Forum Lieutenant
123
33
28
My AMR op is mostly Transits, but of course they only give us one key...
For us, we get three. One for the ignition and then one for each of the two crew members. We are supposed to lock the unit when not in it, but in practice, this is only ever done when we're posted and go inside the grocery store together. I don't think I'll appreciate much when they nationalize the standard of one key.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
4,856
1,189
113
For us, we get three. One for the ignition and then one for each of the two crew members. We are supposed to lock the unit when not in it, but in practice, this is only ever done when we're posted and go inside the grocery store together. I don't think I'll appreciate much when they nationalize the standard of one key.
so one for you, one for your partner, and one to leave in the ignition with the engine running and the doors unlocked.... yeah I can't see how that could end poorly. :rolleyes:
 

FiremanMike

EMS Coordinator
378
129
43
so one for you, one for your partner, and one to leave in the ignition with the engine running and the doors unlocked.... yeah I can't see how that could end poorly. :rolleyes:
You do realize that almost no one here are executive level managers. It's one thing to suggest that better practices are available, but you're basically berating everyone here for the practices that their management implements.

What would you have us do, walk into the directors office and demand change? I may get away with a "GTFO of my office" but I'd bet a good chunk of the folks posting in this thread would leave without a job.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
4,856
1,189
113
You do realize that almost no one here are executive level managers. It's one thing to suggest that better practices are available, but you're basically berating everyone here for the practices that their management implements.
wait a minute: so you, as a supervisor, would be ok with each person having a key, and a 3rd key being in the truck with the engine running, and the doors unlocked?

Once thing I have learned in all my time of employment (both in fire and ems and in corporate world) is that if you don't ask for something, the odds are very low of you getting what you want. This is especially true when management doesn't know what the field staff want, or hasn't ridden a truck in a while.

And no, I am not saying go into the directors office and demand change; however, if you walk into the director's office and say "hey mr director, why don't we have kills switches in our trucks? ambulance get stolen (and here are several examples), and we don't want to end up on that list. and if we turn off our trucks, they might not start up / the meds might go bad / the truck will be too hot or cold for our patients. Is there a reason why we don't, other than 'well, we have never needed them before, so why do we need them now?' or simply because no one has ever asked for them beforehand?" he director might say "well, we don't have it in the budget for this year, but maybe we can get them during the next fiscal year."

It's 2019; I would have thought this security issue was handled post 9/11 among the majority of 911 ambulances..... apparently I was wrong.
 

CCCSD

Forum Lieutenant
246
112
43
You do realize that almost no one here are executive level managers. It's one thing to suggest that better practices are available, but you're basically berating everyone here for the practices that their management implements.

What would you have us do, walk into the directors office and demand change? I may get away with a "GTFO of my office" but I'd bet a good chunk of the folks posting in this thread would leave without a job.
I wonder what their insurance company would say...
 
Top