Close Calls: Firefighters Trapped At Maryland House Fire - Part 3

As reported in parts one and two of this column in the July and August issues, on Feb. 24, 2012, the Prince George’s County, MD, Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department (PGFD) was dispatched to an arson fire in a single-family house at which seven...


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Chief Bashoor and the SIT have “sized-up” this incident so we can all learn what went well, what didn’t go well – and what can be done so it does not happen again.

Albert Einstein defined “insanity” as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We in the fire service, over the past several years, have improved on our ability to learn from others. Unfortunately, in some areas where firefighter deaths and related close calls have occurred, the results are ignored by the leadership – and, predictably, those outcomes will probably happen again.

Fortunately, in this case, Chief Bashoor and the career and volunteer members of the PGFD have provided us with a very frank, factual and “step-by-step” prioritized report so that we can ensure that our departments do not repeat what they went through. This series of columns, with its color-coded priority documents, is of great value in determining if “that” can happen “here.” It has been made clear by Chief Bashoor that the PGFD is going to use this report to facilitate change – and the actions toward those changes are currently underway.

We all have a chance to use this information as well, without experiencing what they did. This three-part series and the investigation report provides us with some excellent “insanity-prevention” tools.

A complete copy of the PGFD Safety Investigation Report for this fire is available at www.PgfdFireReport.com. n