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Fires in Hospitals and Nursing Homes: Be Prepared for the Unexpected

BY DAN SHERIDAN Fires in healthcare facilities are among the most challenging operations for firefighters. The major problem is the need to move a large number of nonambulatory patients in a short time while simultaneously dealing with a major fire. In these cases, we need to be proactive by getting lots of help on scene as soon as possible, even if it means transmitting multiple alarms before we arrive on scene. Remember, we can always send units back to the station if they are not needed. In 2009, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) redesigned its "call taking" element for dispatching FDNY fire trucks. The new system has a Unified Call Taker (UCT 911), which works under t...

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