The MFB response to incidents is graded on a scale of 1 to 5, under what is termed the Greater Alarm Response System (GARS).
A typical response for a fire call is a Level 1 – 2 appliances from two different stations to ensure that at least one appliance is on scene within the stipulated times under legislation.
The higher the GARS grading, the greater the number and diversity of appliances dispatched.
The GARS grading is applied on initial turnout, based on information provided by the caller. This may include, but not be limited to they type and size of the fire, type and size of premises, other hazards and any other additional information relative to firefighter safety.
- 1st alarm – 2 Primary appliances
- 2nd alarm – 4 Primary appliances, Teleboom, Rescue, Commander
- 3rd alarm – 7 Primary appliances, Teleboom, Rescue, Aerial, BA Unit, Control Unit, Commanders (2), Duty Officer
- 4th alarm – 11 Primary appliances, Teleboom, Rescue, Aerials (2), BA unit, Control Unit, Ultra Large Pump, Hose Layer module, 3 Commanders, 2 Duty Officers
- 5th alarm – 15 Primary appliances, Teleboom, Rescue, Aerials (3), BA unit, Control Unit, Ultra Large Pump, Hose Layer module, 4 Commanders, 3 Duty Officers, 1 Duty Officer to Emergency Control Centre (ECC), 1 Commander to ECC