If we are to reduce the number of injuries and line of duty deaths relating to firefighting, we must take a better look at the total fireground picture and not just focus on the fire.
Topic: Offensive Versus Defensive Tactics
Time Required: 2 Hours
• Appropriate audio-visual materials
Fire Department Safety Officer, 1st ed., International Fire Service Training Association
• Essentials of Fire Fighting, 4th ed., International Fire Service Training Association
• Fire Department Company Officer, 3rd ed., International Fire Service Training Association
Motivation: If we are to reduce the number of injuries and line of duty deaths relating to firefighting, we must take a better look at the total fireground picture and not just focus on the fire. The reliance on tunnel vision may cause us to overlook important signals that could change our approach to the incident and result in a less-than-desirable outcome.
Objective (SPO): The firefighter will demonstrate a general knowledge of firefighting tactics and some of the factors that influence an offensive or a defensive fire suppression effort.
Overview: Offensive Versus Defensive Tactics
• Building Construction
• Operational Readiness
• On Scene Capability
• Risk Benefit Analysis
Instructors Notes: This drill should be conducted as an interactive since anyone can have mental health issues and fellow firefighters may be called upon to assist.
Offensive Versus Defensive Tactics
SPO 1-1 The firefighter will demonstrate a general knowledge of firefighting tactics and some of the factors that influence an offensive or a defensive fire suppression effort.
EO 1-1 Describe the basic factors related to building construction that may affect the stability of a structure during a fire.
EO 1-2 Identify elements that must be addressed to improve the operational readiness of responding emergency personnel.
EO 1-3 Identify what on-scene capability that should be available to improve the safety of the work environment.
EO 1-4 Identify the basic element of a risk benefit analysis as it applies to the emergency scene.
I. BUILDING CONSTRUCTION (EO 1-1)
Before making any decision regarding an offensive or defensive operation, it is necessary to understand the impact that the building involved can place on that decision.
• Types of Building Construction
• Type I - fire-resistive construction (walls, columns, beams, floors, and roofs made of non-combustible or limited combustible materials)
• Type II - non-combustible or limited combustible construction (similar to fire-resistive construction except that the degree of fire resistance is lower)
• Type III - ordinary construction (exterior walls and structural members constructed of non-combustible or limited combustible materials; interior structural members including walls , columns, beams, floors, and roofs completely or partially constructed of wood)
• Type IV - heavy timber construction (exterior and interior walls and their associated structural members made of non-combustible or limited combustible materials; other interior structural members including beams, columns, arches, floors, and roofs made of solid or laminated wood with no concealed spaces; wood must have dimensions large enough to be considered heavy timber)
• Type V - wood-frame construction (exterior walls, bearing walls, floors, roofs, and supports completely or partially of wood or other approved materials of smaller dimensions than those used in heavy timber construction)
• Fire Development
• Ignition - the period when the four elements of the fire tetrahedron come together and combustion begins; the fire is small and confined to the material first ignited
• Growth - a fire plume begins to form above the fire which draws or entrains air from the surrounding space into the column; heat level rises and oxygen level begins to decline