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Thread: "2 in 2 Out"

  1. #1

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    Default "2 in 2 Out"

    Does anyone have any information or resources for the "2 in 2 out" law and how it applies to volunteer firefighters? I am a member of a combination Dept as a paid Firefighter and we are having trouble with compliance from our volunteers. They claim the law does not apply to them. HELP!!!


  2. #2
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    2-in/2-out makes NO distinction between career and volunteer FF's.

    From OSHA:

    --------------------------------------------
    1910.134(g)(3)

    Procedures for IDLH atmospheres. For all IDLH atmospheres, the employer shall ensure that:

    1910.134(g)(3)(i)

    One employee or, when needed, more than one employee is located outside the IDLH atmosphere;

    1910.134(g)(3)(ii)

    Visual, voice, or signal line communication is maintained between the employee(s) in the IDLH atmosphere and the employee(s) located outside the IDLH atmosphere;

    1910.134(g)(3)(iii)

    The employee(s) located outside the IDLH atmosphere are trained and equipped to provide effective emergency rescue;

    1910.134(g)(3)(iv)

    The employer or designee is notified before the employee(s) located outside the IDLH atmosphere enter the IDLH atmosphere to provide emergency rescue;

    1910.134(g)(3)(v)

    The employer or designee authorized to do so by the employer, once notified, provides necessary assistance appropriate to the situation;

    1910.134(g)(3)(vi)

    Employee(s) located outside the IDLH atmospheres are equipped with:

    1910.134(g)(3)(vi)(A)

    Pressure demand or other positive pressure SCBAs, or a pressure demand or other positive pressure supplied-air respirator with auxiliary SCBA; and either

    1910.134(g)(3)(vi)(B)

    Appropriate retrieval equipment for removing the employee(s) who enter(s) these hazardous atmospheres where retrieval equipment would contribute to the rescue of the employee(s) and would not increase the overall risk resulting from entry; or

    1910.134(g)(3)(vi)(C)

    Equivalent means for rescue where retrieval equipment is not required under paragraph (g)(3)(vi)(B).

    1910.134(g)(4)

    Procedures for interior structural firefighting. In addition to the requirements set forth under paragraph (g)(3), in interior structural fires, the employer shall ensure that:

    1910.134(g)(4)(i)

    At least two employees enter the IDLH atmosphere and remain in visual or voice contact with one another at all times;

    1910.134(g)(4)(ii)

    At least two employees are located outside the IDLH atmosphere; and

    1910.134(g)(4)(iii)

    All employees engaged in interior structural firefighting use SCBAs.

    Note 1 to paragraph (g): One of the two individuals located outside the IDLH atmosphere may be assigned to an additional role, such as incident commander in charge of the emergency or safety officer, so long as this individual is able to perform assistance or rescue activities without jeopardizing the safety or health of any firefighter working at the incident.

    Note 2 to paragraph (g): Nothing in this section is meant to preclude firefighters from performing emergency rescue activities before an entire team has assembled.

    -----------------------------------------

    Volunteer fire fighters are considered employees for the sake of OSHA regulations.
    -------------------
    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
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  3. #3
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    Default

    It is important to point out that in the eye's of OSHA, there is no difference between career and volunteer members. Also, most state's have state law that references the OSHA standard in text and therfore is enforceable. In the State of Wisconsin, it is Comm 30.

    Even if your state does not recognize OSHA, it will be referenced in court if something were to happen. This is especially true in cases were an agency knowingly accepted a lower standard and death/injury resulted.

    With that said, there is still much debate on 2 IN/ 2 OUT. I can tell you from first hand experience that it is effective and it does help push the politicians into making decisions on staffing when high profile homes/businesses suffer losses becuase proper staffing was not present. Firefighter safety is first and foremost. PERIOD. Effective and Efficient Services requires Staffing!

  4. #4

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    Thanks for ya'lls input. We're just having a big problem with staffing (along with everybody else) and we're trying to figure out how to convince people that we need more Firefighters. We've been on working house fires before when none of the volunteers have shown up to help and theres only 5 of us on duty between 2 stations. (And thats assuming that nobody called in sick)

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    Been down that road before. The advice I offer is to first make it clear to all your members that this is a FF safety issue and it is the job of the officers and chiefs to make sure that every FF returns home. Educate your politicians. Do they really understand the safety issues involved with this and what the impact of low staffing means? Educate the community as well. They will determine your staffing levels. If the public cries out for improved service, the politicians will perk up and take note.

    Safety is first. This may mean waiting that extra few minutes outside pending no immediate life safety issue. This may mean a higher dollar loss because interior operations could not start sooner due to low staffing.

  6. #6
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    Default Personal Liabilities for non-compliance.

    I would want to educate the volunteers that violating any safety rule could void payment on workmenís compensation injury claims. Federal line of duty death benefits could be voided for willful negligence.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubbie View Post
    I would want to educate the volunteers that violating any safety rule could void payment on workmenís compensation injury claims. Federal line of duty death benefits could be voided for willful negligence.
    Nice catch. Very excellent point. My department dealt with this issue for many years and finally we were able to beef up our daily roster to exceed the 2 In/2 Out requirement. We went from two on the initial response to nine. The positive impact this has had cannot be described in words. This does not include any paid on call staff on the initial response. Do we still need more? Yes we do but we will take what we can get.

    Members of any department who are against having a back up crew outside need to recognize the fact that today's standards have changed. Our fires have changed. Safety is now more critical than ever before with no thanks to light weight construction. Some may argue that this is even more the reason as to why we need to get in much sooner. This may be, but what if the initial attack team goes through the floor? Who will be outside ready to come and get them out? There is a huge difference in having someone outside verses someone outside who is dressed, packed up and ready to go in if needed.

  8. #8
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    Not to muddy the waters or take away from 2-in/2-out, but it is important to note that "2-in/2-out" does not scale to requiring "4-in/4-out", "6-in/6-out". It only states that you need 1 (or 2) out. So with the crew of five, you'd end up with 2 in, 2 out and a Pump Operator/Incident Commander.

    I personally do not like exception that one person can be assigned another task such as Incident Command, since if there is a rescue situation, the Incident Command role will become even more important to allocate resources appropriately. Of course everyone's situation may be different, and in a short staffed area, it is obviously something that may be required.

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