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    Default Fire Chief Says Sprinkler Demo Looked Like A Comedy Act

    Too bad the attack approach was not mentioned. I have the video if anyone wants a copy, please PM me....Bou




    http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/stor...281&catid=187#

    WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- DC Fire & EMS Department Chief Dennis Rubin says he takes full responsibility for the mishap at last Wednesday's sprinkler demonstration that resulted in three firefighters catching fire. One of those firefighters, a sergeant with Engine 6, spent the night in the MedStar Burn Unit of the Washington Hospital Center.

    While Chief Rubin and the department have not responded to requests for detailed information from 9NEWS NOW, the chief did give specifics of what went wrong in an interview for a podcast published on a fire service Internet site, Firehouse.com. Rubin spoke with Ed Comeau of Campus-Firewatch.com. Comeau was a participant in the demonstration.

    The firefighters' gear caught fire when a Plexiglas draft curtain set up to hold in the heat and smoke burned and dripped onto the firefighters. The crew had been sent in to put out the fire in the unsprinklered side of the two mock dorm rooms that had been constructed.

    Chief Rubin told Comeau it "looked like a comedy act." The chief said he took for granted that the requirements outlined in National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards for such burns had been followed. Instead the chief discovered there was no safety officer for the event and that a briefing with the firefighters had not been conducted prior to the burn.

    The video of the event was first made public by STATter911.com and WUSA9.com. On that video, Chief Rubin, who narrated the event, can be heard telling others to put the fire out on the firefighters and get the back-up line. The chief later discovered there was no back-up line.

    Chief Rubin says a required checklist for the event was also not used. Rubin says he will make sure this does not happen again in his department.

    Rubin did the telephone interview with Comeau on Monday. Department spokesman Pete Piringer says the chief is currently out of town and is unavailable to speak with 9NEWS NOW.

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    Default Comedy Act

    Bou...I've seen this at the "other" site. It just proves that what can go wrong does. I think the Chief owned up to his errors though.
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    Chief Rubin took responsibility. Learn from it and let it go.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Hats off to the Chief for sharing their mistakes with us and excepting responsibility for the incident.

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    As mentioned above, Chief Rubin took the blame. That should show you alot about the dignity and professionalism of the DCFD, something you could use alot of sometimes.
    Career Firefighter
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    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    There was no attack on the DCFD. This is an update on the incident.

    Thats why we are here, to be able to discuss, review and update on current incidents. And hopefully not see such things happen again.

    As for being sad, it was as the members that brought up other non-related issues continuously and got the thread shut down. GTRider245- Relax man and chill with the insults.

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    Post Jeesh..............

    This is the East Coast. I walk around with Fire everywhere for days on end......



    I take up for Professionals who stand up, admit to a problem, work on a solution that will prevent another problem, Learn from it, and get on with life. Dennis Rubin is such a Fire Chief. Since I'm "next door" and have known some of his folks for a very long time, (and Chief Rubin for a shorter time) I take what they have to say as correct. I'm absolutely with Gonz on this one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    This is the East Coast. I walk around with Fire everywhere for days on end......



    I take up for Professionals who stand up, admit to a problem, work on a solution that will prevent another problem, Learn from it, and get on with life. Dennis Rubin is such a Fire Chief. Since I'm "next door" and have known some of his folks for a very long time, (and Chief Rubin for a shorter time) I take what they have to say as correct. I'm absolutely with Gonz on this one.
    As always, Harve, You Sir are a gentleman and a scholar. Hopefully folks will follow Gonz, and your example.

    Thanks Chief
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    Stay Safe
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    I guess I simply don't see the major issue with this.

    They were demonstrating a fire in a burn cell. Some lexan melted and dripped on their gear. Thier gear never caught fire and they were never in any real danger. One firefighter suffered minor burns.

    Did they ham it up by making entry into the burn cell? Sure. But the bottom line is there was never a life threat.

    Should they have had a safety line? Probably, but once again it was a burn cell. Had they simply not made entry all of this would be a non-issue.

    It's just not a very big deal.

    And i think calling it a comedy act is making a mountain out of a molehill.

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    Default To the original poster of this thread:

    Stop listening to news media reports and listen to the podcast with the Chief found on this website. (sorry can't post the link, not that pc savvy yet)

    If you bother to listen, you'll hear the Chief himself say that "they should have attacked from further away." paraphrase mine...content and intent his.

    So yes, he admitted his mistakes as a Chief, he admitted their mistake as a crew, and he stated that they will take appropriate steps to ensure it doesn't happen again.

    Let it go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I guess I simply don't see the major issue with this.

    They were demonstrating a fire in a burn cell. Some lexan melted and dripped on their gear. Thier gear never caught fire and they were never in any real danger. One firefighter suffered minor burns.

    Did they ham it up by making entry into the burn cell? Sure. But the bottom line is there was never a life threat.

    Should they have had a safety line? Probably, but once again it was a burn cell. Had they simply not made entry all of this would be a non-issue.

    It's just not a very big deal.

    And i think calling it a comedy act is making a mountain out of a molehill.
    Damn it LA...This 2 posts lately where I have agreed with you. Is this Bizarro World?

    Once again, excellent post.

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    I think Chief Rubin is a stand up guy and will take care of the issue at hand. I have listened to some of the round table meetings at Baltimore where he has been involved. He seems like the chief that will take care of a problem when there are some, and not brush it under the rug. To be able to address a problem and say we did something wrong and need to do this, this and this the next time to correct it is class act. We all know in this business a lot of people wouldn't come right out and say this.

    I read something awhile back ago and watched videos about something with them and a truck that went to some place (donated it or something) I don't remember everything about the story right off hand, but I think he wasn't updated as to what was happening with the situation but he took the blame on it as well.

    He seems to be the type of person if he says something he is going to do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Damn it LA...This 2 posts lately where I have agreed with you. Is this Bizarro World?

    Once again, excellent post.

    i agree. LA is actually making sense and has summed it up nicely. It was an oops, thats it let it go.

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    Guys- Its not a matter of just "letting it go". We are here to discuss current issues and topics. Its simply an update, not a slam.

    Me- This is the second time I have seen Firefighters get burned on a controlled PR type environment. This should NOT be happening. Yes, learn from it and hope we don't see this again.

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    Personally, I find in quite admirable that the Chief stands up and accepts responsibility. Sounds like a skookum lad and one the people will follow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    Personally, I find in quite admirable that the Chief stands up and accepts responsibility. Sounds like a skookum lad and one the people will follow.
    From Wikipedia -

    Skookum is a Chinook jargon word that has come into general use in British Columbia and Yukon Territory in Canada, and in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

    The word skookum has three meanings:

    a word in regional English that has a variety of positive connotations;
    a monster; similar to the sasquatch
    a souvenir doll once common in the United States in tourist areas.


    I hope you didn't mean to call the Chief a sasquatch!?!? j/p
    Hug a firefighter and feel warm all over

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    Talking Hey Fredneck?............

    Skookum is a small town in British Columbia...... Or a Trout Stream. I'm not sure which........
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    Bou ..

    Usually I have very few disagreements with your posts, however, if you are referring to the infamous "Chicken Coup Demo" as the "other" incident, you are comparing apples and potatoes.

    This burn cell demo is conducted probably hundreds of times a year across the country with no problems. We at times do it for our Open House as well as assist LSU when they do cells burns for fire investigator classes.

    The fact is, this demo would have gone off without a hitch and been a non-story except for the fact that the front curtain utilized lexan, rather than a sheet of non-combustible sheetrock (which is what we use) or even a piece of heavy plywood.

    Yes, the crew went in ... probably less than a foot, when they could have stayed outside, but again, the only problem that occurred was the lexan melted and dripped on their gear. Fact is this was a minor fauex paux in what appeared to be, IMO, an otherwise well planned and well conducted demo.

    And this is coming from an admitted safety nazi.

    To compare this to the chicken coup demo, which appeared to be ill conceived, ill planned and very poorly executed is simply not a fair comparison. During the chicken coup demos, a number of execution failures and delays occurred which should have stopped the demo early in it's tracks. In addition, the final decision to make entry into what was a fully involved structure, as compared to the DC burn cell, could very easily have lead to serious injuries or deaths.

    The fact is, the chicken coup incident was a circus. This incident was simply a minor problem caused by a bad materials choice.

    The only "issue", other than the lexan I saw with the DC burn, was the lack of a safety line. But, and this will shock you, this I do not consider a significant problem. I have personally never seen a safety line used at a cell burn, or even any incidents where the situation came close to requiring the use of a safety line. The fact is it's a good idea, but if your department needs a safety line to extinguish an 8' x 15' open box, you probably shouldn't be burning it.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 10-14-2009 at 08:35 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    Skookum is a small town in British Columbia...... Or a Trout Stream. I'm not sure which........
    Nah thats Skookumchuk Harve, Skookum is a term used to denote a guy you'd be proud to serve with. A lad who'll go the whole way with you. The terminology was meant to be complimentary.
    Last edited by BryanLoader; 10-14-2009 at 10:14 AM.

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    LaFireEd- Thanks for the feedback and good points.

    As for this incident, I still stand by the points I made earlier below-

    I have four points I would like to address-

    -Position Placement- Vehicle fires, wildland fires or structure fires- You need to have proper placement before making an attack. Most times you will need this space to bleed out the air in the line and check your pattern anyways. Get some spacing between you and the entry point and do not stage right up near it.

    Additionally, having more space will give you more vision to get the big picture. Get that big picture to size up the scene, collect information and have a better idea what you are going into. Maybe you will see the conditions change on the roof, smoke color change, etc.

    -Fire Attack- If you are an active Firefighter, you will be making interior and exterior attacks with handlines, I feel thats a given. Doing this on the job, you will encounter all types of burning materials- wood, laxan glass, paper, plastic, wires, etc. Knowing this, you need to pay attention to your environment before advancing a hoseline. Whats going on? Are conditions changing? Is building material coming down? Is it safe to even go in or advance? Get the BIG PICTURE continuously.

    -Situational Awareness- This is the new buzz term for the 2000's fire service. You must be aware of whats going on around you. From road traffic to the vehicle leaking gasoline to the gun in the patient's pocket on the next medical call to the burning material above your head- you need to be aware whats happening around you. If not, thats when we get hurt, stabbed, bit, shot or dead.

    I personally learned this the hard way during the 1992 LA Riots when shots were being fired at red fire engines. I needed to constantly be aware of my surroundings.

    -Showing Off- We have all done it as we take pride in our job. Take the showing off factor out of your job. It will go a lot smoother and you'll find more of that situational awareness mentioned above. The absolute best place to practice this is a radio size up. If you take the "show off factor" out of this process, you will be amazed how well your next radio size up will be. Trust me on that one.

    I am not saying all of this to look good or cap on the brothers in DC. What I do not want to see is another Firefighter getting burned on video during a controlled Public Relations event. These incidents are not even real emergencies and we are getting active fire on our people in front of an audience. Its not acceptable, makes the fire service look bad and we don't need that.

    Thanks for listening, hope this helps.

    Bou

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    Smile Page 2...........

    Google up PGFD Sprinkler Demo................
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I guess I simply don't see the major issue with this.

    They were demonstrating a fire in a burn cell. Some lexan melted and dripped on their gear. Thier gear never caught fire and they were never in any real danger. One firefighter suffered minor burns.

    Did they ham it up by making entry into the burn cell? Sure. But the bottom line is there was never a life threat.

    Should they have had a safety line? Probably, but once again it was a burn cell. Had they simply not made entry all of this would be a non-issue.

    It's just not a very big deal.

    And i think calling it a comedy act is making a mountain out of a molehill.
    I have agree, too. Talk about a non-story...

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    As others have said, Chief Rubin has owned up to the mistakes and they are taking steps to prevent this happening again. Just let it go. There is no "update" as this article said the same as the previous ones. The horse is dead, let it rest in peace.........
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
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    Some one did CPR on the horse. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...101501387.html
    Sorry I'm not in agreement with the union on this one.

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    My god, I'm the biggest and baddest Safety Sallie on the block and I'm really not seeing the issue here.

    The union is just trying to use this for thier own political gain.

    This was a burn cell. A sticking 8x15 burn cell! This did not pose a major threat to anyone life. Some freaking lexan dripped on their gear. It was extinguished before any damage was done and one firefighter suffered very minor burns.

    This isn't that big a deal and I really don't think anyone considers DC a laughing stock because of it.

    Geeeeeeeeeeez. If I don't have a problem with it .... it can't be that bad.

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