Close Calls: Chief First on Scene: Working Fire, People Trapped - Part 2

Last month, we began reporting on an incident in which a fire chief arrived at a house fire with people trapped before the first apparatus could reach the scene. He had little choice but to force entry, search and make a rescue. For his heroic efforts...


To access the remainder of this piece of premium content, you must be registered with Firehouse. Already have an account? Login

Register in seconds by connecting with your preferred Social Network.

OR

Complete the registration form.

Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required
Required

My point is that there is a full range of “what-if” situations and when we encounter “that” fire, it is reasonable to think that our training, experience and conditions help us “size it up” in determining what to do. There is no one way; it all depends.

In this close call, Chief O’Donohue had moments to make a tough decision. When he pulled up, he figured it was a defensive fire. But when he did his 360-degree walk-around to fully size-up the situation, the scenario changed radically and he immediately knew what he had to do, based on his training, experience and the “now-found” conditions. He made a huge and measurable difference in that moment of time by taking actions that mattered and two lives were saved.

Once again, we learn the importance of size-up and conducting a 360-degree walk-around when possible to better understand what we are dealing with. The actions taken that day provide important information for firefighters to better understand that there are times when risks may have to be taken – and times where they do not have to be – and the range of possibilities in between. n