3. "The Burned Area or the Unburned Area"
I was never an advocate of deciding whether to enter the burned area or unburned area. You are starting to make an easy decision difficult. Keep it simple, keep it safe. The easier and safest method is thru the front door.
The number one rule in interior firefighting is to position the first line to protect the primary means of egress. This will give you the most immediate and quickest access to the interior of the structure and will protect the integrity of the interior stairs. For instance, if fire is showing out of the front door and you decide that you are going to attack the fire from the unburned side, (the rear of the building) you have now doubled the length of your stretch and if you are short handed this could present a problem. Not to mention, going over fences, being attacked by dogs and when finally getting to the rear door, you find it has been sealed up and the second engine has knock down the fire thru the front door.
In 33 years of doing battle against the red devil, I have never pushed the fire thru out a structure because I entered the burning structure thru the front door using a smooth bore nozzle. The quickest way to extinguish a fire is to quickly apply water to the seat of the fire.
So until next month stay safe, keep training and keep asking questions.
In my last article "Attack Line" I received a few E-Mails on a certain statement I made. I would like to clarify what I said. I stated that upon entering the fire area aim the nozzle upward and rotate it counter-clockwise.
Please allow me to explain. When we did testing at our training center many years ago, on the proper way to rotate a nozzle during advancement, we found out that when using a smooth bore nozzle there was no difference between clockwise and counterclockwise. When we used a fog tip we did notice a difference, clockwise would push the products of combustion away from the nozzle team. So it is a matter of what nozzle you are using and what feels comfortable.
John Keenan is a 33 year veteran of the FDNY and currently holds the position of Battalion Chief 15 in the Bronx. Chief Keenan is a frequent lecture and instructor on fire service topics with a specific interest in Engine Company Operations. You may contact Chief Keenan at FDPD@AOL.com