Don't Get Burned: Expect Fire

Good morning from the Jumpseat everyone and welcome back.

It seems to be a growing concern in the fire service today that more and more firefighters are showing up to a call unprepared.  It is like they automatically assume a fire alarm or smoke investigation is a false alarm. This can be a dangerous mix. 

How many times must we preach the need to step off the truck #jumpseatready for every call?  Look, if you are riding on a "fire truck" and you call yourself a "firefighter" shouldn't you be showing up expecting "fire?"

We all are experiencing false alarms and run numbers that keep increasing as our funding and staffing decrease. This can get us in the disgruntled mood and we can let this affect our everyday responses.

How can this lead to disaster? By letting our guard down and not expecting to encounter a working fire when we arrive. That can put us, or even worse, the people we protect in further danger.

Use the example of a fire alarm that you run 10 times a day: that's simple, ho-hum. Stations and units respond to the fire alarm at XYZ Street.  As you make your way down the stairs you only put on your turnout pants. While responding, you talk amongst yourselves about dinner and then you turn the corner to find fire blowing out of two windows and people hanging from the windows.

Okay, so it sounds a little farfetched, but I will bet that someone reading this blog has this very experience.  Now you arrive unprepared and a civilian drops to their death while you are putting your PPE. Not good!

I understand that we cannot prevent many bad things from happening but when can lesson these things by being dressed and ready for battle on all calls.  Let’s review a few quick tips for a #jumpseatready firefighter. 

  • Wear all your PPE on all calls
  • Check your gear twice a shift
  • Make sure your SCBA is topped off
  • Have your PPE placed for easy donning

False alarms are practice runs for the working ones, so treat all calls like you are going to a working fire. Make sure you have your PPE on properly, get your mind focused on what you may find, and most importantly be a “firefighter.”  Company officers have a lot on their plates. They should not have to remind us jumpseat riders to be ready when we arrive. On your next run #expectfire and you will be #jumpseatready when it is!

Thanks for the visit and remember….Bunker up, Buckle in, it’s where we all begin!