Residential High Rise Tactics/Tips
*I did several searches before I posted this topic. I'm generally aware of the consensous of best high-rise packs and proper manpower needed*
As part of a training effort by my dept our crew is putting on a high rise "class" for the rest of the dept. It is nothing formal, just reinforcing our SOPs and standard operations. We'll be running thru a basic 1st, 2nd and 3rd due drill then reviewing elevator operation, basic tactics, building systems, ect.
I'm looking to add a little flavor to the class with some tips, tactics, special considerations, ect specific to residential high rises. (condos/hotels) Specifically ideas in the areas of tips regarding non-aerial "trapped on the balcony" victim rescue, "can't get to the windows from the interior or with aerial" ventilation, ways to carry your equipment up the stairs, proactive RIT ideas, apparatus placement, evacuation tips, door marking, something somebody taught you or you "invented". I want to learn more myself and put on a good class, so any tips would greatly be appreciated.
If you wanna be really helpful, keep reading.
Here's a little background so you may be able to tailor it to our needs.
We're a beach community and we have a lot of 5-15 story residential high-rises lining our beaches. We don't have any commercial high rises. All but one are sprinklered and most were built from the 80s onward, reinforced concrete. Mostly "hotel" style condos for vacationers and residents, or in other words, small square footage per unit. Usually under 1000 square foot, but some do go up to about 2000 sq ft.
One unique hazard of these buildings is often we have no way to access the rear of the building because it is facing ocean and the rear balcony may be the only ventilation point the unit has, so ventilation will be tricky, not to mention rescue of trapped victims. (Looking for tips on these especially)
Here's some images of the "standard" type high-rise buildings we have. About 80% are almost of identical design of different heights. The other 20% are variations of such, like with enclosed hallways, or maybe 2 story individual units.
Also how to best approach these buildings with our manpower and following the basic outline of our SOPs. I won't be re-writing them or teaching outside of them. But tactical discussion is still appreciated. Little tips and tricks are REALLY appreciated.
Our first alarm for any "real" fire is 4 engines and a 100' Tower, which is often OOS and will be replaced by a 55' squirt :( . All with an Lt, Engineer and a single FF. BC, 2nd, and 3rd engine will there in a about 2-4 mins behind us, 4th engine and truck will be about 10 mins.
Here's the gist of our SOPs:
Smoke showing from the building is automatic 2nd alarm. And our BC has said if he has multiple calls or the dispatch sounds reasonably "confirmed" he will call a 2nd alarm as we're leaving the bay. That'll get some mutual aid towers rolling sooner.
1st engine - Lt and FF - Bring high rise pack (100ft of 1.75 hose w/ smooth bore, 15ft of 2.5 with wye, spanners), forcible entry tools to fire floor, report conditions, hook up to standpipe and begin attack. Search and rescue of fire floor is also assigned, but I still haven't figured out we're supposed to accomplish all that with two men, but I digress.
Engineer - Lobby control
2nd engine - Drop off equipment (irons, 2 air-bottles, 6ft pike, rope bag, 100' and nozzle) FF & LT assist 1st due with attack and search and rescue of fire floor.
Engineer - Assist lobby control until more personel arrive then procceed to fire floor.
Truck - Check exterior for victims, spot for potential aerial usage/ventilation
Proceed to floor above fire for search and rescue/evacuation/check for extension.
3rd engine - Water supply to building systems. Assist truck company.
4th Engine - Check roof and work down to truck company.