Q.C. Fire Department tests emergency plan - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Q.C. Fire Department tests emergency plan

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Posted: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 4:27 pm | Updated: 1:39 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Thanks to a thunderstorm Monday night, the Queen Creek Fire Department took its chance to test its new emergency deployment plan a few hours after instituting it this week. The plan reallocates resources so more trucks are staffed when the department is expecting a high volume of calls, such as with a thunderstorm, said assistant fire chief Ron Knight.

Storms assault Valley; home catches fire

Thanks to a thunderstorm Monday night, the Queen Creek Fire Department took its chance to test its new emergency deployment plan a few hours after instituting it this week.

The plan reallocates resources so more trucks are staffed when the department is expecting a high volume of calls, such as with a thunderstorm, said assistant fire chief Ron Knight.

Storms assault Valley; home catches fire

Rains dumped .43 inches of rain at Ocotillo and Ellsworth roads Monday night and knocked down five power poles along Queen Creek Road.

Queen Creek Road was closed between Ellsworth and Crismon roads for most of the day Tuesday as crews repaired the lines.

The road was expected to open at 6 p.m. Tuesday, depending on how long power line work took and whether anymore rain fell, said town spokeswoman Marnie Schubert.

The fire department instituted its emergency deployment plan as the storm rolled in. The department received three calls at the same time.

"At 7:15, we had power lines down calls at Queen Creek and Ellsworth, at Ocotillo and Ellsworth and a lightning strike check at the high school," Knight said. "(Fire battalion chiefs) have the responsibility to watch the weather. Last night, the storm came really fast and you have to plan for it."

Queen Creek has two engines, meaning it generally has two trucks with four employees on them that respond to calls at any given time.

The emergency deployment takes one person off each truck and puts those two firefighters on the department's brush truck. That gives the department an extra truck that can respond to calls when the department is expecting a high volume of calls, Knight said.

Emergency deployment plans are done city by city in the East Valley, Knight said. However, the plan is to eventually have one unified plan that covers Queen Creek, Gilbert, Mesa and Apache Junction.

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