BY: Captain Dom Chaos
In response to the Legalization medical Marijuana grow operations and dispensaries Allenadge Fire Chief Jimmy Marin expressed concerns that it was merely a matter of time before his department was “stuck dealing with” an emergency at one of these facilities.
Last week, the department responded to a strip mall fire. The fire was in a medical pot dispensary and crews took way too long to complete extensive overhaul. Some crew members ended up needing transport via EMS due to smoke injuries. After the call it was determined that a special SOG was necessary to handle emergencies at these types of facilities.
After meeting with his Battalion Chiefs, it was determined that there were more than just the one facility, and they were of various sizes. It was determined to classify each facility based upon size and also resource needs based upon each facility. Based upon the recommendations of the department officers, and the unique nature of the type of facility they were dealing with, Chief Marin contacted a subject matter expert, through a relative he was able to get in touch with consultant Thomas “Tommy” Chong, to develop the new response protocol.
These facilities will classified in type 1, 2 & 3 responses. A type 1 will be in similar size to a residential structure, a type 2 will be a small commercial retail type space, and a type 3 will be a larger commercial or industrial facility. For each type facility an automatic second alarm will be requested for additional manpower, the canteen will automatically be dispatched on all working fires, and a response from local food delivery services will be automatic.
If there are additional alarms, then the response of support staff will be increased. In addition off duty shifts will be called back to backfill the stations, since crews will be offline for at least the next 24-48 hours.
When asked about what he thought of the final policy, Chief Marin stated “You know you got a big fire when you have Jimmy Johns, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, and Papa Johns all responding.”
Currently, the department is in discussions whether or not to allow all delivery vehicles to respond emergency so that they don’t have to stop when the police department is blocking the road.
Chief Marin commented that the new policy will go into effect tomorrow on the first day of the new year.