I try not to tell or relate too many stories back to my days in my previous departments, but I feel the time has come for one. I served as a Captain for well over 10 years of my career and I had the good fortune to work at some of the busiest and most active companies in our department. During some tours our company responded to as many as 25 - 35 calls in a 24 hour period. We responded to many fire alarm calls, some addresses we went to multiple times in the same day. Each call was approached like it was going to be a fire, knowing in the back of our minds most of the time it would not be. We dressed out fully, wore our SCBA, laid in supply lines, hooked to connections, and pulled attack lines or high-rise packs into the building pending the specifics of the situation. Command was established and we went through the whole play book the same way at 0300 or 1300 hrs, it didn't matter.
There were reasons we did this, first was for me as the Captain I was able to evaluate and ensure that when the stuff hit the fan that my crew had the repetitions to "take care of buisiness", and they did. I had no worries that even in the middle of the night, half asleep that my crew had the habits ingrained in them that lines were pulled to perfection. Second we wanted to be better than everyone else, and we were.
Now let's talk about alarms. There is a fire service professional who is in town on some personal business, let's say he is staying at the Hampton Inn. An alarm comes out and a crew from a neighboring department shows up, enters the lobby with their coats not buttoned, no air packs, and no tools. What is the perception to that individual. Now take the same incident and a crew from Holly Springs enters the hotel with all gear on, tools with them, a water can, a high rise pack, and the driver hooks up to the connection and hydrant. Now what is the perception, who was ready to do their job? I can hear it now, who cares what this individual thinks, well my brief answer to that is I do, enough said.