In today’s fire service, when we hear about finding a creative solution, it usually refers to one of two things: money cut from the budget for services we still have to provide, or making a new, creatively outrageous tool. However, as the fire service becomes more adept at an ever increasing skill set, even our creativity has started to expand. We partner with other agencies to form coalitions; we join with community leaders to adapt our public education strategies; we find avenues to get things done that have not been used before.
For example, St. Paul, MN, in late 2011, was faced with a unique problem. A new light rail service was snarling traffic and impeding their response. Working with a local recycling plant, they were able to find a temporary location to respond from. See their Recycling fire station solution.
If you’re faced with this situation, NFPA does offer some guidance. From office space to mechanic shops and sleeping quarters, NFPA standards can assist in making those decisions so you can achieve balance between safety and functionality.
Facility safety, NFPA 1500, ch. 9
Communications, NFPA 1221
Infection control, NFPA 1581
Speaking of functionality, a man in south Florida found an interesting way to reuse an old ladder truck. Anyone looking for a second job?