The Principles of Battle (Part 7)

“Our duty is to fight the enemy of fire, in doing so, we will use our knowledge and experience and the tools of our craft to both defeat the enemy and protect our forces. But we will not win based on the amount of fire we extinguish, winning will come...


“Our duty is to fight the enemy of fire, in doing so, we will use our knowledge and experience and the tools of our craft to both defeat the enemy and protect our forces. But we will not win based on the amount of fire we extinguish, winning will come at our ability to separate the danger of fire from the people we are sworn to protect. This means we must respect the enemy and do so with out fear.  We will operate in a manner of balanced aggression on a frontal attack enveloped by our brethren for whom provide our support”.

 

Ed Hadfield

 

  Surprise.   Fireground Support  

 

   

 

 

 

   

NFPA 1710 calls for the arrival of the entire first alarm complement within eight minutes from the initial receipt of the call. This section requires 13 members on the initial full alarm response, as follows:

                1 member-incident commander (IC).

                4 members-one attack line (flowing 100 gpm) and one backup line

(flowing 200 gpm); each line staffed by two firefighters.

                2 members-support for each attack and backup line.

                2 members-search.

                2 members-ventilation.

                2 members-rapid intervention team (RIT).

 

As you can see, according to information listed you have met the minimum standard and have no further room to perform other related functions.  As we all know, we as firefighters will find some way to get this accomplished.  Therefore, we must do what my lovely wife says she does so well, “Multi-task”.  However the problem with this will come to light later in the event. I.E things get over looked or missed or worse, bad things happen due to inattention, error or fatigue unless we have pre-designated these multi-tasked events and trained to accomplish them on the fireground.

 

The most recent finding by NIST on the amount of personnel on arriving companies, which is based on the standard for NFPA 1710 developed based upon a low hazard 2000 sq /ft single story residence found there are 22 critical functions that must occur.  We must use this information and data to help us organize our fireground in a more efficient and supportive fashion.

 

In a nutshell, the study found that four-person firefighting crews were able to complete 22 essential firefighting and rescue tasks in a typical residential structure 30 percent faster than two-person crews and 25 percent faster than three-person crews. However, we don’t have more personnel and therefore we most become more efficient with what we do have.   This is sad, but an unfortunate fact of reality.   Below are some of the highlights of the NIST study.

 

Time to Water on Fire:

       There was a 10% difference in the “water on fire” time between the two- and three-person crews.

       There was an additional 6% difference in the “water on fire” time between the three- and four-person crews. (i.e., four-person crews put water on the fire 16% faster than two person crews).

 

      Ground Ladders and Ventilation:

       The four-person crews operating on a low-hazard structure fire completed laddering and ventilation (for life safety and rescue) 30 % faster than the two-person crews and 25 % faster than the three-person crews.

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