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Old 05-17-2018, 5:57 PM
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Default Multnomah County Fire Terminology

Hello Crew:

When Multnomah County Fire responses to a large fire, I often hear the term "Box" used. What is that referring to? Is it just another word for Alarm?

Thanks.
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Old 05-17-2018, 6:13 PM
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From my understanding of a Box alarm is used when they have chance of a working fire and 3 engine companies,2 ladder companies,1 battalion chief are disptached. When they get on scene and having working fire they will go to second alarm or a all hands, which is bring in more firefighters to the scene.
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Old 05-17-2018, 7:38 PM
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The term "box" could also be a "historical" lingo from times gone by. Many cities used to have fire alarm boxes you could pull to indicate a fire. That box would relay to a call center or dispatch center with a box number, then they would dispatch crews to that box.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_alarm_call_box

City of South Portland :: December 2014
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:02 PM
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Thank you.
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Old 05-19-2018, 1:22 AM
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Additional info to Baker845's, the numbers and letter given following the box assignment is fire map grid
ex. Box 5485A
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Old 05-24-2018, 6:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radiotweester View Post
Additional info to Baker845's, the numbers and letter given following the box assignment is fire map grid
ex. Box 5485A
This is correct for Clackamas and Washington Counties. For Multnomah County the first 2 numbers are the first due station. ie. 7102 would be Gresham station 71 first due. Not sure what the last 2 numbers are used for anymore.

This dates back to when both District 10 and PFB had dispatch centers and then combined them after 911 came along in the 80's.
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Old 05-25-2018, 9:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB View Post
This is correct for Clackamas and Washington Counties. For Multnomah County the first 2 numbers are the first due station. ie. 7102 would be Gresham station 71 first due. Not sure what the last 2 numbers are used for anymore.

This dates back to when both District 10 and PFB had dispatch centers and then combined them after 911 came along in the 80's.
In 1984 PFB absorbed District 10 and their personnel before Gresham and Portland annexed what was once the unincorporated Mid-County area where District 10 mainly had a large part of their operations.

District 10 and MCSO more or less had everything from about the 205 to almost 181 ave, and the Cully area, and MCSO also had Errol Heights (Felony Flats) That Sheriff/Gresham Net was a busy one.

Last edited by PaulNDaOC; 05-25-2018 at 10:03 PM..
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Old 05-27-2018, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kd7jfv View Post
The term "box" could also be a "historical" lingo from times gone by. Many cities used to have fire alarm boxes you could pull to indicate a fire. That box would relay to a call center or dispatch center with a box number, then they would dispatch crews to that box.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_alarm_call_box

City of South Portland :: December 2014
This is correct. The "Box" number represents the number of the old fire call box locations from around the city. As the other person mentioned the first 2 numbers of the "Box" is the fire station district that the fire exists within. 7102, as used in the example, would exist within station 71's service area, then 02 represents the sub-district within station 71's serivce area (where a fire call box once existed).

This number comes first, followed by the address and company assignments, then as the other person mentioned the "fire map page" number (ie: 5485A) and then the OPS channel that companies should respond on.

As for the reason it's given out this way, well.. tradition dictates how a lot of things are worded on the fire side.

Last edited by pdx911; 05-28-2018 at 12:06 AM..
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:09 AM
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The way I understood it, and I have been to the old PFB fire alarm center is that the fire run cards each have map numbers, When a call came in, they looked up the addresss and map page and grabbed the run card from the box behind them. There were tubs or plastic boxes with run cards in them, each had a box number it for a different quadrant of the city. (There were LOTS off them). Run cards contained map page, maybe target hazards, and station sequence for multi-alarm incidents. I was fortunate to get a tour there back in the late 70's.

Also another fire term on the radio.. "SLOW BELL" meaning a code-1 call. e.g. E1 "Slow Bell" on a lift assist at 355 SW 3rd Av.
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Old 06-07-2018, 5:27 PM
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Interesting read. Thanks everyone.
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