The Seneca Fire Department works a three-shift platoon system. Designated A, B and C shifts. Each shift begins at 8:00 a.m. and last 24 hours.
During shift change, uniforms are donned and personal protective equipment is placed on the apparatus. Shift members meet with their off-going counter-parts to discuss pertinent information. Such information may include, station and equipment condition, blocked streets, status and location of fire hydrants that may be out of service or need maintenance.
Morning duties begin at 8:00. At this time, firefighters perform a complete vehicle and equipment check. After all of the equipment is checked out firefighters sweep, mop, vacuum and perform various station cleaning duties.
After equipment checkout and station cleanup are complete, scheduled daily, monthly and annual duties are performed. Each day of the week is assigned a special cleaning or maintenance function. For example, Monday is kitchen day where the refrigerator, stove and oven are thoroughly cleaned, Tuesday all living quarters are cleaned, and yard work and bay floors are washed on Saturdays, etc. Examples of monthly duties include cleaning station windows inside and out, apparatus being waxed and tile floors are stripped and waxed.
Fire hose and pumps are tested once a year. Fire hydrants are checked twice a year. On even number years, hydrants at gauged for proper flow rates. On odd numbered years, hydrants are painted with colors that indicate their gallon per minute flow rate.
Sometime during the 24 hour shift, each firefighters is required to engage in one hour of physical fitness. This has been shown to increase fire fighter efficiency and reducing fire ground injuries.
Between daily, weekly, monthly and annual projects, time is allocated for personnel training. Fire department personnel are required to have a minimum of 240 hours of training per year. Some areas of fire suppression training are fire pumps, hydraulics, hose and hose lays, ropes and knots, forcible entry, ladders, self contained breathing apparatus, ventilation, salvage and overhaul. In addition to fire suppression training, each firefighter is required to be a certified first responder and CPR certified.
Fire department personnel also participate in several civic functions. These functions include fire safety presentations at local schools, meeting with civic groups to discuss ways to reduce fire threat, and participate in functions such as Wal-mart’s “Shop With A Hero” Program or Muscular Dystrophy’s “Fill The Boot” .
The primary duty of fire department personnel, however, is to respond to various emergency situations such as fires, automobile accidents, rescues, hazardous material incidents, emergency medical situations along with a variety of public service needs. After each response a report is completed detailing the operations performed.
After the day’s duties are completed, groceries purchased, supper cooked and dishes put away, while still on stand by for emergency calls, members are allowed to watch television. After hours shift personnel are permitted to sleep, but are still subject to emergency response at a moments notice.