Guest Commentary: "People Reported Trapped!"

Responding to structural fires, we sometimes hear the generic phrase “People reported trapped.” Firefighters’ adrenalin starts pumping, hearts beat faster and blood pressure increases. As the apparatus turns the corner, visible fire is venting out...


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People being evacuated from a fire building have the responsibility to report the fire and await the arrival of the first-due fire units to verbally convey that all occupants have been evacuated or someone is not accounted for. In that case, the age and last location of that missing person would be vital information for firefighters to conduct search and rescue.

The fire service is constantly revising operational strategies through training to keep the public safe. Situations and fire conditions will change drastically from the time the first call is made to the 911 dispatcher. It is vital to continue observing and communicating any additional information until the first-arriving units are on the scene.

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” — H.G. Wells.