A firefighter entering a window is operating remote from the main fire attack. He must be able to communicate and determine the conditions they might be exposed to and evaluate them before entering the window. This comes with experience and that might not be available on every run, so always let command and your officer know if you are entering a window from the exterior. They should also evaluate the present fire conditions from their location and advise if it is too risky.
Training and fireground communication is the key to searching safely above a fire. Utilizing your hook on the windowsill, as an orientation point, they might lessen the chances of getting lost or turned around in a hot smoky room.
Michael M. Dugan is a 17-year veteran of the FDNY, serving as a Captain of Ladder 123 in Brooklyn?s Crown Heights. He has been involved with the Fire Service for 27 years. He is also a ?HOT? instructor at the ?Firehouse Expo.? He is a contributing editor to ?Firehouse? magazine. While assigned as a firefighter in Ladder Company 43, Dugan received the James Gordon Bennett medal in 1992 and the Harry M. Archer Medal in 1993, the FDNY?s highest award for bravery.