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  1. #1
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    Default Chicago the only interior attack department in the State

    Give me a break!


    http://www.suntimes.com/news/steinbe...ein06.article#

    'It got hot, dark and very intense'

    December 6, 2009

    BY NEIL STEINBERG Sun-Times Columnist
    Fighting a fire is part mental and part physical, part team effort and part individual achievement, somewhere between tearing down a house that's aflame and winning a football game where you risk dying if you're not careful and sometimes even if you are.

    On Friday, we followed Engine 106 to a fire at 3037 W. Belmont and met a few of the firefighters from Battalion 7, and if you missed it, you might find today's column more rewarding if you read Friday's first, perhaps through the miracle of Internet technology.

    As the column ended, a resident who had fled the building begged firefighter Rich Irwin to "Save my baby!" If you expected Irwin to immediately bolt up the stairs and snatch the tot, you've seen too many movies.

    Remember, Irwin was on the street -- there were a dozen guys in the building already, working a hose up the stairs to the burning third floor, cutting holes in the roof and feeling around in the smoky second floor with their hands. To be honest, news about the baby caused "a surge in adrenaline" and not much else. "Either way, we're going in for a primary search," said Irwin.

    A reminder that, more than even heroism, firefighting requires strategy. You might have wondered, for instance, with flames pouring out of the back staircase, why didn't the firefighters park themselves behind the building and hurl water on the fire directly from there? Why sneak up on it?

    "We always come from the unburnt part to the burning part, always," said Lt. Frank Isa.

    Fires are not so much extinguished as they are beaten back. Had Engine 106 come in from the rear, they would have merely pushed the fire into the rest of the structure and lost it.

    "In Chicago, we do what's called an 'interior attack,' " said Isa. "We go to the seat of the fire. A lot of suburbs will hit it from the outside."
    That's a point of pride among Chicago firefighters. They do not stand around pouring water on the roof of a building while it burns to the ground. They grab their axes, strap on their masks, and go in to fight a fire face-to-face.

    "It's all about being aggressive," said Scott Musil. "And pride. We're not in the suburbs."
    "[The suburbs] do an exterior attack," said one firefighter. "That's why they lose most of their buildings. If we stood back and put water on, we'd feel like we weren't doing anything."

    "It's the Chicago way," said Larry Langford, the Chicago Fire Department spokesman, and isn't it nice to see that "the Chicago Way" doesn't just refer to Rahm Emanuel cussing out clerks but also to the more aggressive, perilous and effective approach to fighting fires?

    So where were we? Tino Durovic kicked in the door on the third floor, a wave of heat and steam hit him, burning his face and ears, even under his mask and hood. He instinctively dived face first to the floor (General Fire Tip: It's safer on the floor; many people who died in a fire standing up would have lived crawling.)

    The heat melted the reflectors on Durovic's helmet -- not necessarily a bad thing; a firefighter wants his gear sooty and scarred. Firefighters will sometimes take a new turnout coat into the alley and drag it around a bit, to give it character and avoid showing up at a fire gleaming like a newborn babe.

    Durovic didn't stop advancing when he got burned, by the way. Nor when his low-air warning alarm went off. (Firefighters carry a bottle containing 30 minutes of compressed air -- regular old air, don't call it "oxygen," oxygen would be ignited by a spark at a fire and burn your face off. But that's 30 theoretical minutes of air; if you're working hard, breathing fast, with your adrenaline up because you're trying to save a baby, you can easily run out in 15).

    "It got hot, dark and very intense, but we had to hold that stairway," said Isa.

    "There was no time to get out," Durovic said. "We'd lose the whole thing. I yelled to Frank, 'Gimme more line!' "

    A brave thing for him to do?

    "Anybody else would have done the same thing," said Durovic. "Any other fireman."

    In fact, others did, when they finally pushed the fire back, the nozzle spraying 250 gallons a minute, Durovic, his air gone, handed the nozzle over to Eddie Lashley, who held until his air went, then handed it to others. Fighting a fire is far more complicated and requires far more firefighters than I can mention here.

    "We're in the third floor, thanks to everybody," says Isa. "Once we made the third floor, we beat it. It's simple as putting it out. Now we can attack it. We meet it face-to-face and say, 'You're done; it's over.' We call in [and say] 'Battalion 7 -- the fire's knocked.' "

    There's still work to do, and still danger -- knocking holes to drain hundreds of gallons of water to keep the floor from collapsing under you, for instance.

    Durovic, I should mention, when he finally went down to get more bottled air, collared the lady with the baby. Exactly where, he asked, had she left that baby?

    Oh, she said, her baby goes all over.

    Her baby was a cat.

    If you feel deceived, imagine how the firefighters felt.

    Actually, they took it in good humor. All part of the job.

    I don't know about the rest of the country but not only are my suburban firefighters good firefighters they are also good paramedics, haz mat techs, trt techs, divers, investigators, car seat techs, etc. Also we can be on an engine and get assigned to truck work. We aren't linited to standing there with just our hose in our hands waiting for that big truck to arrive.
    I call BS


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    Perhaps you should write the Suntimes then and have them do a story from the suburb perspective and some of the differences, like staffing, which is why the CFD can be more aggressive. Something like "both sides" of the story. Maybe point out some differences in building construction and so forth as to why things are done differently.
    I really don't see anything stating the CFD is the only dept in the state to do interior attack though.

    Although this sticks out more than doing an interior attack:
    Durovic didn't stop advancing when he got burned, by the way. Nor when his low-air warning alarm went off. (Firefighters carry a bottle containing 30 minutes of compressed air -- regular old air, don't call it "oxygen," oxygen would be ignited by a spark at a fire and burn your face off. But that's 30 theoretical minutes of air; if you're working hard, breathing fast, with your adrenaline up because you're trying to save a baby, you can easily run out in 15).

    Durovic, his air gone, handed the nozzle over to Eddie Lashley, who held until his air went, then handed it to others



    "There was no time to get out," Durovic said. "We'd lose the whole thing.


    Property is worth a FF's life???
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    Default times change i guess

    Quote Originally Posted by ADSNWFLD View Post
    Give me a break!


    http://www.suntimes.com/news/steinbe...ein06.article#

    'It got hot, dark and very intense'

    December 6, 2009

    BY NEIL STEINBERG Sun-Times Columnist
    Fighting a fire is part mental and part physical, part team effort and part individual achievement, somewhere between tearing down a house that's aflame and winning a football game where you risk dying if you're not careful and sometimes even if you are.

    On Friday, we followed Engine 106 to a fire at 3037 W. Belmont and met a few of the firefighters from Battalion 7, and if you missed it, you might find today's column more rewarding if you read Friday's first, perhaps through the miracle of Internet technology.

    As the column ended, a resident who had fled the building begged firefighter Rich Irwin to "Save my baby!" If you expected Irwin to immediately bolt up the stairs and snatch the tot, you've seen too many movies.

    Remember, Irwin was on the street -- there were a dozen guys in the building already, working a hose up the stairs to the burning third floor, cutting holes in the roof and feeling around in the smoky second floor with their hands. To be honest, news about the baby caused "a surge in adrenaline" and not much else. "Either way, we're going in for a primary search," said Irwin.

    A reminder that, more than even heroism, firefighting requires strategy. You might have wondered, for instance, with flames pouring out of the back staircase, why didn't the firefighters park themselves behind the building and hurl water on the fire directly from there? Why sneak up on it?

    "We always come from the unburnt part to the burning part, always," said Lt. Frank Isa.

    Fires are not so much extinguished as they are beaten back. Had Engine 106 come in from the rear, they would have merely pushed the fire into the rest of the structure and lost it.

    "In Chicago, we do what's called an 'interior attack,' " said Isa. "We go to the seat of the fire. A lot of suburbs will hit it from the outside."
    That's a point of pride among Chicago firefighters. They do not stand around pouring water on the roof of a building while it burns to the ground. They grab their axes, strap on their masks, and go in to fight a fire face-to-face.

    "It's all about being aggressive," said Scott Musil. "And pride. We're not in the suburbs."
    "[The suburbs] do an exterior attack," said one firefighter. "That's why they lose most of their buildings. If we stood back and put water on, we'd feel like we weren't doing anything."

    "It's the Chicago way," said Larry Langford, the Chicago Fire Department spokesman, and isn't it nice to see that "the Chicago Way" doesn't just refer to Rahm Emanuel cussing out clerks but also to the more aggressive, perilous and effective approach to fighting fires?

    So where were we? Tino Durovic kicked in the door on the third floor, a wave of heat and steam hit him, burning his face and ears, even under his mask and hood. He instinctively dived face first to the floor (General Fire Tip: It's safer on the floor; many people who died in a fire standing up would have lived crawling.)

    The heat melted the reflectors on Durovic's helmet -- not necessarily a bad thing; a firefighter wants his gear sooty and scarred. Firefighters will sometimes take a new turnout coat into the alley and drag it around a bit, to give it character and avoid showing up at a fire gleaming like a newborn babe.

    Durovic didn't stop advancing when he got burned, by the way. Nor when his low-air warning alarm went off. (Firefighters carry a bottle containing 30 minutes of compressed air -- regular old air, don't call it "oxygen," oxygen would be ignited by a spark at a fire and burn your face off. But that's 30 theoretical minutes of air; if you're working hard, breathing fast, with your adrenaline up because you're trying to save a baby, you can easily run out in 15).

    "It got hot, dark and very intense, but we had to hold that stairway," said Isa.

    "There was no time to get out," Durovic said. "We'd lose the whole thing. I yelled to Frank, 'Gimme more line!' "

    A brave thing for him to do?

    "Anybody else would have done the same thing," said Durovic. "Any other fireman."

    In fact, others did, when they finally pushed the fire back, the nozzle spraying 250 gallons a minute, Durovic, his air gone, handed the nozzle over to Eddie Lashley, who held until his air went, then handed it to others. Fighting a fire is far more complicated and requires far more firefighters than I can mention here.

    "We're in the third floor, thanks to everybody," says Isa. "Once we made the third floor, we beat it. It's simple as putting it out. Now we can attack it. We meet it face-to-face and say, 'You're done; it's over.' We call in [and say] 'Battalion 7 -- the fire's knocked.' "

    There's still work to do, and still danger -- knocking holes to drain hundreds of gallons of water to keep the floor from collapsing under you, for instance.

    Durovic, I should mention, when he finally went down to get more bottled air, collared the lady with the baby. Exactly where, he asked, had she left that baby?

    Oh, she said, her baby goes all over.

    Her baby was a cat.

    If you feel deceived, imagine how the firefighters felt.

    Actually, they took it in good humor. All part of the job.

    I don't know about the rest of the country but not only are my suburban firefighters good firefighters they are also good paramedics, haz mat techs, trt techs, divers, investigators, car seat techs, etc. Also we can be on an engine and get assigned to truck work. We aren't linited to standing there with just our hose in our hands waiting for that big truck to arrive.
    I call BS
    Firefighters took heat, saved lives
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | December 08 2004 | FRAN SPIELMAN

    Posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2004 1:24:34 PM by knighthawk

    A five-alarm fire at the LaSalle Bank building raged for more than five hours in part because Chicago firefighters were "defending in place" -- keeping the fire from spreading until they were certain employees had been safely evacuated, Fire Commissioner Cortez Trotter said Tuesday.

    "The fire just didn't seem to want to die. Well, that took its toll on a lot of people," Trotter said.

    Most of the 23 firefighters taken to hospitals were injured while containing the fire as people were led down stairs and elevators. "That kind of fire in a building with that number of people, if you can walk away and you didn't lose a life, whether civilians or one of my men or women, that's a good thing."

    After visiting the five firefighters who remain hospitalized, Chicago Firefighters Union president Jim McNally said, "It was a very hot and intense fire and a very stubborn one, but our guys are more stubborn than any fire I've encountered."

    They were also better prepared because of lessons learned from a fire that killed six people at 69 W. Washington last year, fire officials said. Several new procedures were outlined by Trotter in the wake of the fatal fire, and Monday's fire provided a chance to see them in action.

    "I don't know if we're more aware of the fact that you're going to a high-rise fire or the public and the media is more aware, but it seems the protocol and the assignments have been much more defined,'' said Lt. Robert Walters, who arrived with Truck 19 to conduct search and rescue and had to be hospitalized.

    A separate stairwell was kept clear for evacuations only so fleeing tenants weren't sent down a smoky dead end, Trotter said. "Later on in the fire, you saw us really making progress when we were able to get two lines into the evacuation stairwell because we felt comfortable that we had cleared the building."

    The Fire Department also assigned "50 to 75" firefighters -- of the 450 uniformed personnel on the scene -- to "rapid ascent teams" with exclusive responsibility for search and rescue. They were equipped with one-hour air bottles so they wouldn't run out of oxygen.

    "We had to let them know, a couple more floors and you're going to be all right,'' said firefighter Victor Lecodet, 34. "Just keep coming down. And that's our job -- we got them out.''

    Extra personnel was assigned to the communications van and three radio channels were used, instead of one, to avert the colossal communications breakdown that plagued rescue efforts at the Cook County Administration Building. In keeping with new procedures, the commander who took over at the second alarm remained in charge throughout the night, as opposed to handing off control to higher-ups as they arrived.

    Two "tactical command boards" -- one for fire suppression, the other for emergency medical services -- were set up in the lobby of the building to pinpoint personnel.

    The Fire Department also used a floor plan on file in the building lobby, seized control of the building's communications system and continued giving employees specific instructions three hours after the first of 62 911 calls came in.

    The changes even extended to the city's 911 center, where call-takers kept building employees on the line longer than normal, identified their cell phone numbers and calling them back to make certain they had gotten out safely.

    "We were able to call back to people's cell phones and other lines and [say], 'You called 911 10 minutes ago. We just wanted to make sure you were out of the building' so we could eliminate them from our list of potential" victims," said Ron Huberman, executive director of the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

    Trotter praised building employees for following instructions given them during an Oct. 21 fire drill. Employees "not in immediate harm's way," were instructed to remain in their offices, call 911 and, as Trotter put it, "We will find you."

    While Trotter said he was pleased there were no fatalities, he wasn't about to repeat the mistake that his predecessor made after the 69 W. Washington fire.

    Then-Fire Commissioner James Joyce canceled a post-mortem after that fire because he was afraid it might jeopardize the city's legal position in an onslaught of lawsuits filed by victims and survivors.

    Then he stood up at an extraordinary news conference where gut-wrenching 911 tapes from trapped building employees were played and declared there was nothing he would have done differently -- not even a top-to-bottom stairway search that might have eliminated the 90-minute gap between the time firefighters arrived on the scene and the time the bodies of six victims were found.

    Trotter was singing a different tune.

    "Although things seemed to work well for us, I still believe we can always do better. Every fire is different and we would be remiss if we did not pause and take the opportunity to review our actions in detail and see if there are areas we can improve upon."

    Now police and fire investigators are concentrating on finding the cause of the blaze.

    Several witnesses told investigators they saw fire on a table near a reception desk on the 29th floor. Gift baskets were nearby, the witnesses said.

    But investigators have no proof yet of a fire starting there, sources said, and they have not determined the cause or origin of the blaze.

    Police and fire investigators sorted through rubble on the 29th floor Tuesday afternoon and will return today. Investigators who went into the building did so with brand new equipment and only after having their boots scrubbed, a source said. This was to avoid any chance of contaminating the scene.


    they should also brush up on their search after the fire is out and not find 12(6 dead) people in the stairwell over an hour the fire was out. outside high fiving each other for such an aggressive attack
    Lower Bucks County - proud home of Pennsylvania’s 9/11 memorial site – “the garden of reflection”, Zico and hhmllc

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    Wow..that's funny because I distinctly remember being interior not that long ago on a Vollie Department in IL. I guess the ONLY REAL firefighters in Illinois work in Chicago...the rest of us do nothing but roast marshmallows and drink.

    The media needs to stop doing this BS... sure it makes the Chicago FD look good (and they are a good department so bravo) but it also makes everyone else look like a bunch of idiots who can't do the job at all. Boo.

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    One of the best examples I have ever seen why firefighters should not talk to the press. Frankly, these guys all sound like a bunch of ignorant hicks talking out of a rear facing orifice. Why couldn't they just say this is how WE do it and it works very well for us? Instead they ahd to turn it into an attack on EVERY SINGLE suburban fire department. Real Classy.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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    wow those guys sound like that one numbskull from Kentland.


    and also, does no one understand that oxygen doesn't burn?!?!?!?!?

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    Don't jump on them because of a newspaper article.

    It's not unlikely that the newspaper writer got it wrong or misrepresented what they said.

    With what I've seen done by reporters, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Don't jump on them because of a newspaper article.

    It's not unlikely that the newspaper writer got it wrong or misrepresented what they said.

    With what I've seen done by reporters, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
    I agree...I am not sure if my post was clear enough but I fully blame the media here. I would HOPE that none of our brothers feel that way..

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    one possibility is that he may have a buddy that works in the "burbs" and he may have just been trying to bust his b@lls

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    It's not unlikely that the newspaper writer got it wrong or misrepresented what they said.

    With what I've seen done by reporters, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    Another reason to not let firemen talk to the news. Anything that is said, even with the best of intent will be spun the way that an editor wants it to be spun.

    Let the PR people do what they do, and let the firemen do what they do.

    The statement that getting inside is the "Chicago way" can be taken in so many different directions. But hey, we go inside as well, so I guess we do it the "Chicago way".

    I'm fine with that.

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    So the urban careers look down on the suburban careers. Actually I thought their policies and guidelines of interior attacks sounded like SOP to me. Good. However maybe they did have a reason for comparing how they attack a fire vs. others. Hell I don't know I'm in the cornfields. I only have to worry about a nuclear plant three miles away.

    I did appreciate how the writer described the way firefighters do not just run off when a babys inside.

    Even if the story was glamorized some, that's a good thing. Funding dollars are going to be getting tighter no matter what type of area you protect. Take every advantage.

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    I thought it was Dad's way. It may be your way .......

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I thought it was Dad's way. It may be your way .......
    You're doing it wrong Brian.

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    Just to show you that reporters write the dribble as they are told.

    Not surprising that firemen's use oxygen tanks strapped to their back and fight the fire form cherry pickers by spraying water.

    The best way to talk to the media is by giving a hard copy statement and then you can hold them accountable and responsible for the material they write or the heads talk about.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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    Chicago CFD Lieutenant Frank Isa - Apology
    Frank Isa wrote:
    To all of our firefighter brothers in the suburbs,We sincerely apologise for the comments in the Chicago Suntimes on Sunday Dec. 6 2009.My name is Lt. Frank Isa and FF Scott Musil of Eng. 106 & Trk. 13.The fact of the matter is that we in NO WAY meant to infer that our brothers in the suberban fire deptartments are less able or capable of doing this noble job.we belong to a brotherhood that only a chosen few are able to do, the bond and pride we all share..Therefore please accept our hearfelt appology.Lt. Frank Isa,and ff Scott Musil.

    OK, I'll accept that, now where is Neil Steinberg's appology?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADSNWFLD View Post
    Chicago CFD Lieutenant Frank Isa - Apology
    Frank Isa wrote:
    To all of our firefighter brothers in the suburbs,We sincerely apologise for the comments in the Chicago Suntimes on Sunday Dec. 6 2009.My name is Lt. Frank Isa and FF Scott Musil of Eng. 106 & Trk. 13.The fact of the matter is that we in NO WAY meant to infer that our brothers in the suberban fire deptartments are less able or capable of doing this noble job.we belong to a brotherhood that only a chosen few are able to do, the bond and pride we all share..Therefore please accept our hearfelt appology.Lt. Frank Isa,and ff Scott Musil.

    OK, I'll accept that, now where is Neil Steinberg's appology?



    Where did you find this??

    I did a search on the Suntimes and could not find anything.

    Plus I can't believe that the misspelling and syntax.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

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    so are the apologizing for what the said or that what they said was misquoted and taken out of context?

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    Quote Originally Posted by neversaydie69 View Post
    they should also brush up on their search after the fire is out and not find 12(6 dead) people in the stairwell over an hour the fire was out. outside high fiving each other for such an aggressive attack
    This comes from your extensive knowelege of high rise fires? 69 W. Washington isn't in the top 100 tallest buildings in Chicago at 35 stories and the Lasalle Bank Building isn't in the top 70 at 43 stories. While mistakes were made, I doubt they need your "expert" help. How many buildings do you respond to over 35 stories? Over 43 stories?
    Last edited by Whocares; 12-07-2009 at 08:10 PM.

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    I am not surprised by the article. With all due respect to the members of Engine 106 ( who do not work in a bad neighborhood) sometimes its better to keep ones mouth shut then to be misinformed....Which some of their quoted members clearly are. I can safely say that out here in the south suburs, east of I-57, fighting a fire from the outside is a rare event indeed. Larry Langford is not a fireman and dosent know **** about being one. The 7th Battalion in Chicago is not known for being a busy fire-duty battalion. We have places around here that respond with far less people, make interior attacks as the rule, not the exception and are great firemen. Contrary to what the esteemed members of Engne Co. 106 and Larry Langford think.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    Where did you find this??

    I did a search on the Suntimes and could not find anything.

    Plus I can't believe that the misspelling and syntax.
    That thing in the article is called a hyperlink. If you click on it it takes you to the source

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/steinbe...ein06.article#

    or

    'It got hot, dark and very intense'

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