What’s A Box Alarm?

Engine 62, Engine 63, Rescue 64 (Acting Truck), Rescue 67 fill the box for a fire alarm upgraded to working fire on State Road 261.
Engine 62, Rescue 64 (Acting Truck), Rescue 67 were already responding to the fire alarm when it was upgraded to a working fire by the first arriving company, Engine 63.

The term “box alarm” comes from when fire alarm pull boxes existed in most cities, usually located on the street corners, that civilians would pull when there was smoke or a fire. When the box was pulled, it meant that multiple fire companies were being dispatched to put out the fire and that each fire company had a preassigned task before their arrival. Having multiple companies (“the box”) respond and those companies knowing their assignment before arriving increased the chances of saving lives, property and making a measurable difference than those departments that didn’t utilize it.

While Ohio Township doesn’t have pull stations, over the years we have found great success with dispatching the box to fire related incidents. So when the fire alarm that was dispatched at 2:00 am is upgraded to a working fire, Ohio Township Fire Department already had 2 Engine companies, a Truck company, a Rescue company and a Chief enroute with each company already knowing their preassigned tasks.

Below you are able to tab in-between the different box alarms for occupancy types and the companies preassigned tasks.

A Residential Box is automatically dispatched with:

  • 2 Engines
  • 1 Truck
  • 1 Rescue
  • 1 Chief

If needed, the Chief can upgrade the box to include an additional Engine and Rescue.

Each company on the box has an assigned task. Having preassigned tasks allows companies to operate more efficiently by knowing what needs to be done before arriving and by cutting down on radio traffic.

Engine Companies

  • 1st Arriving: Fire Attack / Investigation
  • 2nd Arriving: Establish Water Supply / Backup Lines For Fire Attack

Truck Company

  • 1st Arriving: Search and Rescue / Forcible Entry / Ventilation

Rescue Company

  • 1st Arriving: High-risk Search / Assist 1st Arriving Truck
  • 2nd Arriving: RIT / Utilities

A multi-family (apartment) and commercial box is automatically dispatched with:

  • 3 Engines
  • 1 Truck
  • 2 Rescues
  • 1 Chief

If needed, the Chief can upgrade the box to include an additional Engine, Truck and Rescue.

Each company on the box has an assigned task. Having preassigned tasks allows companies to operate more efficiently by knowing what needs to be done before arriving and by cutting down on radio traffic.

Engine Companies

  • 1st Arriving: Fire Attack / Investigation
  • 2nd Arriving: Establish Water Supply / Backup Lines For Fire Attack
  • 3rd Arriving: Establish Secondary Water Supply (as needed) / Assist In Fire Attack

Truck Company

  • 1st Arriving: Search and Rescue / Forcible Entry / Ventilation
  • 2nd Arriving: Ventilation / Establish Secondary Egress

Rescue Company

  • 1st Arriving: High-risk Search / Assist 1st Arriving Truck
  • 2nd Arriving: RIT / Secure Utilities

A high-risk (nursing home, school, large churches) box is automatically dispatched with:

  • 4 Engines
  • 2 Trucks
  • 2 Rescues
  • 2 Chiefs

If needed, the Chief can upgrade the box to include an additional Engine, additional Truck, additional Rescue and additional Chief.

Each company on the box has an assigned task. Having preassigned tasks allows companies to operate more efficiently by knowing what needs to be done before arriving and by cutting down on radio traffic.

Engine Companies

  • 1st Arriving: Fire Attack / Investigation
  • 2nd Arriving: Establish Water Supply / Backup Lines For Fire Attack
  • 3rd Arriving: Establish Water Supply  / Assist In Fire Attack
  • 4th Arriving: Establish Water Supply / Assist In Fire Attack

Truck Company

  • 1st Arriving: Search and Rescue / Forcible Entry / Ventilation
  • 2nd Arriving: Ventilation / Establish Secondary Egress
  • 3rd Arriving: Non-ambulatory Rescue / Elevated Master Stream

Rescue Company

  • 1st Arriving: High-risk Search / Assist 1st Arriving Truck
  • 2nd Arriving: RIT / Secure Utilities
  • 3rd Arriving: Assist 2nd Arriving Truck