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A computer selects the closest unit to respond to an incident. The Fire Department's philosophy is to get our firefighters there as soon as possible. This will be either an engine company, a squad unit or a ladder truck company. In preparation for the worse case scenario, an ambulance often is dispatched as well. The first unit on the scene will be a basic life support unit (a unit with emergency medical technicians).
There may be 3 Fire Department vehicles on the scene for what appears to be a "simple" incident. However, in emergency services we have learned that if we assume something is "simple," we can be horribly mistaken. Plus, we respond as fast as we can, prepared to encounter the worst. The winner in these situations will always be the citizen who needs help.