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LA City Fire Dept terminolgy question??

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nfd24norf

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Hi, I am on the east coast and with the advent of radio reference :>) am now able to listen into west coast fire depts, one of my favorite being LA City Fire. Done a few searches with no results. My questions are

1. When units call dispatch instead of saying "engine 1 to dispatcher" they say "engine 1 to OCD I believe they are saying or OCC (or maybe neither one) Does anyone know what the abbreviation stands for ??

2. What is a light force and is it the same as a task force

3. Are 800 numbered ambulances paramedics and 1-100 bls units or am I completely off What are the 800 number ambulance anytime ive seen la city ambulances on tv always a 1-100 number on them but har 800 numbered ambulances on la city fire quite a bit.

Thanks to whoever is able to answer my questions and thanks to whoever hosts the LA City fire feed. Happy thanksgiving all :>))
 
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Duster

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Hello! Glad you like listening to us west-coasters...

Let's see if I can answer a few of your questions:

1. LAFD's Dispatch Center is called OCD (Operations Control Division)

2. The exact definition of a "Light Force" or "Task Force" varies from agency to agency, but an LAFD Light Force is a single engine and single truck running together as a cohesive unit. A Task Force is a single truck running with two engines as a cohesive unit.

In some jurisdictions, a light force is an engine and a truck combined as one company, with half the staffing on each... For instance, an engine may be normally staffed with 4 personnel, and a truck with 4-5 personnel. A light force is those same two resources combined as a single unit, staffed with a TOTAL of 4-5 personnel (2 or 3 on each piece of apparatus). They respond as a single unit, rather then separate resources.

3. 800 and 900 ambulances are BLS, while 1-200 ambulances are ALS.


See these links for further clarification:

LAFD EMS Resources
LAFD Truck Company
LAFD Apparatus

Home website for LAFD; most of your questions can be answered here: Welcome to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Check out the Glossary (near the bottom of the menu, left side of page. It describes many abbreviations used on LAFD radio.

Good luck!!
Duster
 
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lbfd09

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A California OES Task force is a mixed pumper and tender group of 5 pices of equipment with a task force leader. This is a sort of common term during fire season, we have strike teams of 5 like pieces of equipment with a leader, and then sometimes tasks forces of 5 unline pieces with a leader. You will only hear ths used on larger incidents, normally where mutual aid or CalEMA is called into action.
 

K6CDO

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A California OES Task force is a mixed pumper and tender group of 5 pices of equipment with a task force leader. This is a sort of common term during fire season, we have strike teams of 5 like pieces of equipment with a leader, and then sometimes tasks forces of 5 unline pieces with a leader. You will only hear ths used on larger incidents, normally where mutual aid or CalEMA is called into action.
Actually, Strike Teams are a fixed number of like resources (of the same type), with a leader (while Engine STs come as 5 in quantity, a Hand Crew Strike Team is two crews with a Strike Team leader). A Task Force is an organized unit made up of mixed resources with a leader. Examples range from a LAFD Task Force (two Type 1 Engines and a Truck) to a USAR Task Force (62 personnel from various disciplines, with equipment).

The terms were developed by the FIRESCOPE program in the 1970s and have been adopted nationally.
 

lbfd09

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Actually, Strike Teams are a fixed number of like resources (of the same type), with a leader (while Engine STs come as 5 in quantity, a Hand Crew Strike Team is two crews with a Strike Team leader). A Task Force is an organized unit made up of mixed resources with a leader. Examples range from a LAFD Task Force (two Type 1 Engines and a Truck) to a USAR Task Force (62 personnel from various disciplines, with equipment).

The terms were developed by the FIRESCOPE program in the 1970s and have been adopted nationally.
You are right under Firescope a task force is a combination of unlike equipment assembled to preform an assigment. They as not limited to just pumpers and tenders, as in my example. I only was trying to keep the reference simplistic and use a normally used example.

Tasks forces generally can vary in size and make up depending up the request of the IC of an incident. Sometimes they are assembled in a request for additional resources; other times they are built at the incident, from those already on scene. If a strike team sends one of it's pumpers to a newly assembled TF for the day, the ST while technically loses it's ST designiation; it may or may not be called a TF. (Depends upon the management at an incident.)

But as you state this is all outlined in Firescope, runs beyond the scope for the listner who asked the question, and is available for online researching for any who wish to do so.
 

RolnCode3

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To the OP: LAFD maintains a VERY strong social media presence (nationally renowned). If you use Twitter or Facebook I'm sure you could pose a question, such as what you posted here, directly to the PIO and get an answer.
 

SCPD

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Just as a reminder, under ICS there aren't any pumpers anymore, they are engines. There are pumps, such as the Mark II, that are portable and used to pump water to a fire for hose lays from nearby water sources or portable tanks. Portable pumps can be carried by a person. Pumps are never called pumpers.

For clarification, on LAFD light forces, the engine that rolls with the ladder truck is staffed by one person only. This engine and this truck are always together, neither responds as a single resource. The only time you hear the designator "truck" is on tactical frequencies when an individual firefighter may call the engineer on a truck to move into position or to have them get a particular tool out that is only carried in trucks.

Finally, apparatus and overhead do not say, for example, "Engine 21 to OCD," rather they say "OCD Engine 21." The unit being called is first and the unit calling is second. This is shorter as the word "to" is eliminated, although in actual practice OCD usually announces "Engine 21 from OCD." This is prevalent in the west far more than in the east. It is the standard for federal agencies nationwide as well. It works better as the mind hears who is being called first and can disregard or listen less carefully once another unit is being announced. Think of it in this situation. Jeff sees his friend Tom across the street. He does not call out "Jeff, Tom." He says "Tom, Jeff."

In my job with the Forest Service on the Inyo National Forest I did not want to hear "Inyo to xx" all day long as I would have to be in priority listening mode every time I heard "Inyo" (the dispatch center). I would rather hear "xx, Inyo" instead. In that way I didn't have to switch to priority listening mode until I heard my own designator, resulting in a fraction of occasions my brain had to switch over to priority listening. This may be difficult to appreciate unless you had to listen to a radio for 8 or more hours per day while working on a multitude of other tasks.
 

Code20Photog

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There are rare occasions where the Light Force will break apart and go independent, usually always at a brushfire where they will respond with both pieces of apparatus, and park the ladder at the ICP and staff only the engine. Rare, but it does happen.

Just for some clarification, the way the units are numbered, the "2" car is the pump, so using station 88 as an example, Task Force 88 would be Engine 88, Truck 88 and Engine 288. The light force is Truck 88 and Engine 288, but what may be confusing is E288 really is only the pump for the aerial, it's not a true "engine" in the sense it is not fully staffed. (I usually see 2 guys on the pump, as apposed to a single AO driving)

And to add to the confusion, the captain on the Ladder Truck, actually has a higher rank than the captain on the engine. The truck captain is a "Captain 2" while the engine is a "Captain 1"
 

Radio_Lady

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ok...I knew all of them until "the baby's in the attic"...what is that one? LOL
They are small extension ladders, usually from 14-30' or so. Like many departments LAFD has long used standard 50' "Bangor Ladders," and they've also used shorter "Baby Bangors" often as attic ladders. There have been occasions when a FF has radioed something to the effect that they "need to get the Baby (Bangor) out of the attic" and uninitiated scannerists and reporters have gotten very excited about what they assume has happened. (An example of how taking scanner traffic as FACTS can often be incomplete, misleading or plain wrong).

Bangors and Baby Bangors were first built by the Bangor Ladder Company around the 1870s, but I think it's become a generic name for extension ladders.
 

Radio_Lady

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Can anyone tell me what the "400" series engines are?
400-series are Reserve Engines designed to provide extra capacity during high hazard days, emergency recall, and redeployment of staff personnel. They are numbered sequentially beginning with 401, then 402, etc., regardless of where they are assigned.

In preparation for the wind event last Weds night they initially deployed 18 of them and some other extra resources.

LAFD also has 500-series Reserve Trucks and 600-series Reserve RAs.
 
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