Firefighting, Fireground Safety, Structural Firefighting

The Merrimack Valley Gas Crisis: ‘The Day That Wouldn’t End’

Issue 7 and Volume 172.

By Brian F. Moriarty On September 13, 2018, the Lawrence (MA) Fire Department experienced calls for numerous simultaneous fires in the city. I responded to Lawrence from the neighboring city of Haverhill. While en route, I monitored numerous incoming calls. Lawrence uses a 10-alarm card with predesignated companies for each alarm: Three pumps and a ladder are designated for each alarm, up to 10 alarms. They go in concentric circles around our town. I knew we would not be getting much help from the south, since the neighboring communities of Andover and North Andover also were having numerous fires, and I didn’t want to order additional assistance for each alarm, so I told fire alarm (our dispatcher) to use the 10-alarm card as needed to get at least one company to each incident and to request aid from the cities and towns to our north, since the southern communities would…

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