1. #1
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    Default To settle things once and for all.

    This thread is open to everyone here, BUT:


    Rules are:

    You have to be respectful and refrain from any and all insults, name calling, etc.

    You have to say what you mean and you can not respond with "you're twisting my words around"

    Answer the questions posed

    Do not change the subject or make a junk post.

    If you post, make it relevant and get to your point quickly.

    I actually hope for this to become something that will educate some one somewhere....

    Something this forum has failed to do in quite some time.



    I'll start this off. This is directed to scarecrow and lafire specifically.

    Please realize I am saying this in the most respectful manner I can and I am genuinely interested in your answers

    In regards to firefighter safety:
    Why is it that it appears only you two are aligned on this train of thought? Do you believe that you have discovered a truly profound way of doing things yet the rest of us are not willing to accept it?

    The gist of your post come down to this:

    Protect firefighters
    &
    Do not subject them to unnecessary risk

    Is there a fire department in this country that does not want those two things also?
    Is it possible to protect your firefighters AND the citizens of your jurisdiction?
    Isn't the career (voluntary or not) you have chosen evidence that you accept this risk?

    Is your life greater than a citizens?
    At what point is saving their life a moral obligation, not because you are paid to but because you offer a better chance?





    I hope above hope this stays on track for enough time to gain something out of it

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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    At what point is saving their life a moral obligation, not because you are paid to but because you offer a better chance?
    I will just answer this for myself:

    If I think that there is even a slight chance, I will always try to save a life. I might make it 5 feet before I am forced to exit, but I would feel better for making a push and at least try.

    My wife worries about me. But she knows that if the circumstances were different, someone elses husband/father/brother/son/wife/etc would take the risk and try to save her life.

    If I try, there is a change that I may die.

    But if I don't try, that person will die and never have another chance.
    Last edited by MarcusKspn; 01-02-2010 at 05:43 AM.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Thanks Marcus, I hope to see this become something better than what the average thread becomes.

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    To me, I know that I have taken the oath and signed up to do my job. I know that any day, at any time, my life may hang in the balance. I know that when that moment comes that I want to be at my best possible condition, physically and mentally. However, if fate has it, if I can somehow save a life of a person, I will risk what I have so that they may live. I think it's important to grasp that reality before even thinking about becoming a firefighter, police officer, or joing the military. Many people take that lightly, they do not want to face that dreary thought that one day, it may call upon them to do the unthinkable, the things others simply cannot do, or won't do. That alone is what sets those who act, above those who meander and contemplate their actions against the risk. (I am not saying act quicker than you think, or to get yourself in a horrible, just flat out idiotic position, think things through and make a well thought out but not time delaying decision upon your actions.) On the other hand, the concept of life and death has to be weighed. You must understand that sometimes we are not fast enough, we're just not able to save someone or make a change that would allow that person to live. I guess thinking of it as "it's just their time to go" may make it easier for us to cope with, or however you want to deal with it, respectfully, it's different for every man woman and child. My .02

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    It's the fire departments job to protect the citizens.

    That being said, we have the right to protect ourselves.

    There are several considerations when making decisions about risk.

    1. Are we going to change the outcome?

    There are situations where the structure is lost before we arrive. That varies depending on the department. The one story single family residential getting a career response of 4 & 2 in the city has a better chance of being saved than the exact same house 5 miles from the station in a rural area with a combo or small vollie department with no water supply and a tanker or two responding. The fact is we cannot save all structures and we as individual departments need to know our limits and be able to determine when we simply need to say no.

    That includes situations where the house may still be occupied. There are situations where the victims are dead or dying and we cannot change that as much as we want to.

    We do not have the obligation to die for a building that will be bulldozed. Retrieving pictures and family possessions is not a legitimate reason for us to die. That is simply not part of our duty - career or volunteer.

    That also applies to rescue situations where we are unequipped or untrained to perform the operation. The reality is there will be rescue situations that are unique and unless a department has some very deep pockets to buy once-every-ten years rescue equipment and get once-every-ten years training, we will run into situations that are simply too dangerous for us to attempt a rescue, and the best course of action for us is to allow the victim to die. The idea that we can trade 2 or 3 of us for one victim is simply unacceptable to me. These situations include water, ice, cave, trench, confined space and other specialized situations.

    2. Do we have the resources, training and/or equipment to change the outcome

    See above.

    If we don't, we do not have the obligation to attempt situations unequipped or untrained.

    3.What are we going to save?

    Life or property?

    This one can raise some dander. As I have said, we do not operate in abandoned structures unless there is a known life threat. We have no history of a life threat in abandoned structures. We have no history of squatters and juvenile firesetting seems to be a rare event around here with no significant history of juvenile firesetting within abandoned structures.


    Thersfore, life risk in these structures is minimal and property value is nil. We have made the decsion to not operate in them because there is simply no reason to.

    There is absolutely nothing to be gained and there is significant risk.

    I can simply not justify the risk to firefighters in that situation.


    Even with a reported life threat, I personally would have great concerns about sending personnel into an abandoned structure. I am sure everyone else on our department in a position of command would. I may or may not. Depending on the structural stability, the risk to our personnel may simply be too great, even if rescue issues were involved.

    I have made that decision once before, a very long time ago in a limited manpower and limited resource situation with my first FD. And do regret making the decision not to attempt a rescue. Yes, but I would have far greater regret if I did and crews in and they were killed, or even injured.

    Operating in vacant structures are a judgment call in our department within certain manpower and water supply criteria.

    I personally do not like to operate within those structures. Again we have no history of squatting so again we are simply looking at property. Now, this property does have value but no or very limited contents, so it does justify some limited risk.

    IMO it's simply not worth the risk. Allow it to burn. Most of our officers will be far more aggressive in vacants than I feel comfortable with. Because of that, when I am off-duty, I rarely respond to incidents involving vacants. I simply would rather not be around. If I am working, I have no choice.

    Only exception for me is when occupied exposures are an issue, such as a strip mall.

    A fire in any occupied structure should be - and is fought here - interior by our department as long as #1 and #2 are considered.

    Is it possible to protect your firefighters AND the citizens of your jurisdiction?

    Yes .. see above.

    Again, there are situations that we cannot change. That may be due to response time, age of the structural stock, training, resources or one hundred other variables.

    We need to realize that, accept that and apply that to our own situations.

    People will die. Usually us dying will not change that. Maybe that's cold. I really don't care if it is.

    Isn't the career (voluntary or not) you have chosen evidence that you accept this risk?


    We accept that risk within the limits of our resources and training. We have no obligation to step beyond either our training and/or resources.

    Again, that will vary widely depending on the community and the department.

    In a volunteer department, that may vary depending on the experience and training level that shows up to a particular call.

    Why is it that it appears only you two are aligned on this train of thought? Do you believe that you have discovered a truly profound way of doing things yet the rest of us are not willing to accept it?

    Nothing profound.

    My current feeling is based on years of watching us bust our balls, getting hurt and dying for structures that will be torn down in a week. Often these structures have long been evacuated or in many cases, were not occupied when the fire occurred, and we are simply operating for property.

    I have come to the conclusion that property simply isn't worth it, especially given the changing nature of building construction. The risk of collapse and flashover simply make it an unacceptable risk.

    Yes, we risk for life when the odds, the situation and the resources are in our favor. No, we don't risk for property.

    Fact is our lives are worth more than any structure or family photo album. At least in my mind, they are.

    If that makes me a radical, so be it. the reality is the members of this forum represent a very minut percentage of the firefighters out there. I have run into many others who share my idea of risk.

    Is your life greater than a citizens?

    Our lives have equal value.

    That means that we do not have the obligation to give our lives unless there is a reasonable chance that the victim is viable, there is a reasonable chance of rescue and we have been provided with the training and the resources (manpower, apparatus, tools and water supply) by the department (and indirectly, the citizens through adequate funding) to have a reasonable chance of success.

    If there is not a reasonable chance of the viability, a reasonable chance of rescue and we have not been provided with the training and tools to make the attempt, then no, we do not have the obligation to attempt it because we are saying their lives are woirth more than ours. To me, that is unacceptable and unfair to us, and more importantly, our families.

    At what point is saving their life a moral obligation, not because you are paid to but because you offer a better chance?


    See all of the above.

    Resources. Training.

    Much has been made about a comment I made regarding an off-duty situation.

    Fact is, each situation where you don't have PPE or equipment is a individual choice. There is no obligation to assist "because you're/we're a firefighter".

    Off-duty is off-duty.

    Many view what I said as wrong. That's fine. I have a family to answer to.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 01-02-2010 at 06:54 AM.

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    I had a long response typed out then I read LAs last post and had to start over. Damn youjust kidding.

    Before I get into my response I just want to make it clear that I am strictly responding to LAs post in this thread and it is not addressing his other posts in other threads because I am unfamiliar with many of them.

    This may make me unpopular but I can see where LA is coming from on 95% of what he said. It is simple fellas.if you arrive on scene to a fully involved, 100% kick *** burning house with reported entrapment then I see no need to risk firefighter lives to attempt a rescue or make an interior attack to extinguish the fire. If a person is in that structure than the possibility of them being alive is about .09%. Also there is very little possibility of any personal items or property in that structure that is not already on fire, melted, or turned into ash already. So what is there to save?

    On the flip side, take the same house and turn it into a two room fire with flames showing on arrival with reported entrapment. Say these two rooms make up 50% of the house. While there may be very little chance of completely saving any property from inside that fire, but the chances of extinguishing that fire and pulling a victim from that fire are much higher than the fully involved fire. In this circumstance I would highly consider the option of sending in a team to both put the fire out and attempt a rescue. However this all falls back on manpower and other resources available to me at the time.

    Do not forget, while we are almighty firefighters we are still humans. No, our lives are no different than the person we are trying to save but I for one am not willing to die for a cause that was impossible to begin with. Take that second fire I described. Would I consider searching and attempt rescue of a victim in that fire? The answer is yes, I would attempt to make a rescue attempt after once I have determined there are proper resources and so forth in place at the time the rescue is attempted.

    If I think of more I will post it later. Im about to get off duty at dispatch and I am ready to go home.

    Risk a lot to save a lot
    Risk little to save little
    Risk nothing to save nothing

    Stay safe brothers and sisters. Always do what is right.

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    You can throw out there every formula, variable, textbook solution, answer or excuse you want to but in the end for me it comes down to this very simple philosophy:

    If you are not willing in EVERY instance to risk your life for the life of another, you have no business in the Fire Service....period!!

    Cogs

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    Read this somewhere, stuck with me.

    The fire department is an insurance policy, written and paid for by the tax payers we serve.

    Someday, one of those taxpayers is going to have a real bad day and expect the insurance policy he has been paying for to cash in.

    That said, sometimes going balls deep isn't always the right call.

    Risk vs Benefit must be applied.

    While my life, and that of my crew's does come first, a calculated and mitigated risk should be taken to save any viable victim. After all that is what we are paid to do. You calculate the risk based on conditions, you mitigate the risk with training, tactics and state of the art equipment.

    If a department is not funded to equip, train and staff a department capable of making interior attacks and saving victims, then it is the tax payer's fault, as he is not buying a good enough insurance plan. You get what you pay for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    Life or property?

    This one can raise some dander. As I have said, we do not operate in abandoned structures unless there is a known life threat. We have no history of a life threat in abandoned structures. We have no history of squatters and juvenile firesetting seems to be a rare event around here with no significant history of juvenile firesetting within abandoned structures.


    Thersfore, life risk in these structures is minimal and property value is nil. We have made the decsion to not operate in them because there is simply no reason to.

    There is absolutely nothing to be gained and there is significant risk.

    I can simply not justify the risk to firefighters in that situation.


    Even with a reported life threat, I personally would have great concerns about sending personnel into an abandoned structure. I am sure everyone else on our department in a position of command would. I may or may not. Depending on the structural stability, the risk to our personnel may simply be too great, even if rescue issues were involved.

    I have made that decision once before, a very long time ago in a limited manpower and limited resource situation with my first FD. And do regret making the decision not to attempt a rescue. Yes, but I would have far greater regret if I did and crews in and they were killed, or even injured.

    Operating in vacant structures are a judgment call in our department within certain manpower and water supply criteria.

    I personally do not like to operate within those structures. Again we have no history of squatting so again we are simply looking at property. Now, this property does have value but no or very limited contents, so it does justify some limited risk.

    IMO it's simply not worth the risk. Allow it to burn. Most of our officers will be far more aggressive in vacants than I feel comfortable with. Because of that, when I am off-duty, I rarely respond to incidents involving vacants. I simply would rather not be around. If I am working, I have no choice.

    Only exception for me is when occupied exposures are an issue, such as a strip mall.

    A fire in any occupied structure should be - and is fought here - interior by our department as long as #1 and #2 are considered.

    Not picking straws but this leads me to my next question.


    You bring up some good points with not overstepping your training which I agree with 100%. That being said, I feel the only way to truly get better at fighting a fire is to fight a fire.

    Could men be sent to fight a vacant home that showed signs of being "fightable" equal to occupied home?
    If you were willing to send them in for an occupied structure why not if vacant.
    I understand the risk a lot to save a lot phrase, but at what point are you sacrificing crucial training?

    Would the benefit out weight the risk?
    My point being:
    Your department sees 5-10 structure fires a year, 1-3 being occupied with danger to life not just property. Do you feel it justified send men in only when life is in danger? Wouldn't a fireman with more experience in interior firefighting make a safer firefighter altogether?
    Are you not risking a little to GAIN a lot?




    Which brings me to my next question which has raised some heated arguments:

    This goes out to everyone though I am still interested in lafire's response,


    At what point is a structure vacant?
    In regards to squatters, "home owner" claiming no one to be inside, derelict homes with occupancy...
    I completely understand the reasoning behind your previous statement of: "It does not happen here, therefore we act accordingly" but is that enough? I could be wrong but I believe your department has never had an LODD (which is great) but do you not prepare for that?

    How is it that you accept (though avoid) the risk that a firefighter can die yet any potential life in that structure has absolutely no chance.

    Another question I have in regards to vacant homes.
    Our oath as a firefighter is to protect lives and property.
    My parents passed away but I still own the home I grew up in, it sits in good condition, kept up, but with power and water shut off for insurance reasons. I am keeping it in the hopes of saving enough money to completely redo. If to catch fire, it would show all signs and symptoms of being vacant, because it actually is. But does this building not have value? I for one would be devastated if a fire department said, "look, there is no one in there, we will not risk a firefighters life to save it" I am not asking you to send men into there death, please understand that, but I am referring to the paraphrased statement: "We are not going to save a building that was destined to become a parking lot anyway"


    How far is that from "We will all die eventually, why not risk our life to save another?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    Read this somewhere, stuck with me.

    The fire department is an insurance policy, written and paid for by the tax payers we serve.

    Someday, one of those taxpayers is going to have a real bad day and expect the insurance policy he has been paying for to cash in.

    That said, sometimes going balls deep isn't always the right call.

    Risk vs Benefit must be applied.

    While my life, and that of my crew's does come first, a calculated and mitigated risk should be taken to save any viable victim. After all that is what we are paid to do. You calculate the risk based on conditions, you mitigate the risk with training, tactics and state of the art equipment.

    If a department is not funded to equip, train and staff a department capable of making interior attacks and saving victims, then it is the tax payer's fault, as he is not buying a good enough insurance plan. You get what you pay for.

    Good points, but just like all schools across the country, given the best possibilities of training, if not acted upon, money and opportunities of training are wasted.

    So could a "safe" vacant fire be an option?

    My answer is yes and these are my reasons:

    The need to do a primary search does not disappear.

    If your men see one structure fire a year and rarely go interior, how will they act when they absolutely need to?

    Isn't fighting fire the only way to get better at fighting fire?

    How far can a book, video, or speech take you until you have to see for yourself? Is that not why we are subjected to live burns in the academy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    At what point is a structure vacant?
    In regards to squatters, "home owner" claiming no one to be inside, derelict homes with occupancy...
    I completely understand the reasoning behind your previous statement of: "It does not happen here, therefore we act accordingly" but is that enough? I could be wrong but I believe your department has never had an LODD (which is great) but do you not prepare for that?
    Once again, just answering for me. We believe that the best way to fight a fire is not to stand outside and let the fire come to you. The best way is to find the seat of the fire and put it out. Since we are inside the house to fight the fire, we will always conduct a search for life while we are in the building.

    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Another question I have in regards to vacant homes.
    Our oath as a firefighter is to protect lives and property.
    My parents passed away but I still own the home I grew up in, it sits in good condition, kept up, but with power and water shut off for insurance reasons. I am keeping it in the hopes of saving enough money to completely redo. If to catch fire, it would show all signs and symptoms of being vacant, because it actually is. But does this building not have value? I for one would be devastated if a fire department said, "look, there is no one in there, we will not risk a firefighters life to save it" I am not asking you to send men into there death, please understand that, but I am referring to the paraphrased statement: "We are not going to save a building that was destined to become a parking lot anyway"


    How far is that from "We will all die eventually, why not risk our life to save another?"
    We will always try to save the structure. We might pull out earlier if conditions get worse. But that crappy piece of crap that someone calls a house might very well be everything that they have worked for during their life.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    We will always try to save the structure. We might pull out earlier if conditions get worse. But that crappy piece of crap that someone calls a house might very well be everything that they have worked for during their life.
    Exactly my point, what defines property?

    Does a house not belong to someone/something at all times? Does the bank not consider that house it's property? Does the bank not pay taxes?


    This is beyond the "if flames showin Im goin" VS "I will not send my men in to defend a parking lot" debate. This goes to the core of why we are even here.


    If you refuse to fight fire, what do we become other then a drain on the economy of the city/parish/county.
    I am NOT advocating sending men to their death but rather giving everyone an equal chance at life.

    To those that this applies to:
    You arrive at a house. Woman there says everyone is out and she is homeowner. Previous experience proves an interior attack is not needed because of her word, though if things were different, you WOULD send them in to be sure. She later runs up to you and says her family pet is still inside. Do you go in? Does that pet not count as both life and property? You would send them in if it were a child but if not a human life it poses no relevance? I am not claiming that is your stance but asking your opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    To those that this applies to:
    You arrive at a house. Woman there says everyone is out and she is homeowner. Previous experience proves an interior attack is not needed because of her word, though if things were different, you WOULD send them in to be sure. She later runs up to you and says her family pet is still inside. Do you go in? Does that pet not count as both life and property? You would send them in if it were a child but if not a human life it poses no relevance? I am not claiming that is your stance but asking your opinion.
    I guess for me it boils down to this:

    We will push to the seat of the fire whenever possible and save whatever life and property we can along the way.

    The condition of the house and the stage of the fire determines our tactics.

    Edited to add for relevant example:

    We had a house fire, probable total loss, last December. Fire had self vented prior to arrival. We made interior and while we had the fire under control I was informed that the homeowner has a parakeed (sp?) inside the house. Thinking about their role inside coal mines I had a pretty good idea about the status of that bird. But we had the fire under control, so I did a second quick search through the rooms and "rescued" the dead bird. We also were able to bring out a molten Christmas tree as well as smoke damaged presents.

    Did we go in because there was a dead bird and Christmas presents to be saved? No.
    We went inside because we felt it was a fire that we could fight even though the house was a total loss. We don't believe in letting the house burn down because the insurance company will tear it down anyway. We went inside and put out the fire. Being able to save the property and a dead bird was secondary to that.
    Last edited by MarcusKspn; 01-02-2010 at 11:41 AM.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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    I kinda of teeter with everyone's repsonses.

    I agree 100% that we need to be mindful of our guys safety. yes a fully involved fire there is no need to do anything but defensive. I do not care what department you are on. That is a fact.

    Next, Let's grab that .9% of a victim being alive in a fire that someone through out there. If that .9% was your 5 year old daughter wouldn't you expect at the minimum an effort to do something? I am not saying you do something becuase as for me I would run right into the flames for my daughter but I am talking about a responding FD.


    On the topic of risking life for (fill in the blank) all LA said it depends on the situation. I do not agree that we do not have an obligation. I am sorry I think we have an obligation to find a way and not just simply stand there and say we do not have the training and/or equipment. I am talking about risking life topic only not firefighting tactics because sorry LA I do not agree with you on a number of your posts but that is simply a differenec in us, nothing personal.

    One last comment, "Who is the most important person on the fire ground...your buddy and you." That is a condensed quote from a fire Chief that many of us know. I will find the video of the speech and then post the entire quote correctly and his name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Good points, but just like all schools across the country, given the best possibilities of training, if not acted upon, money and opportunities of training are wasted.

    So could a "safe" vacant fire be an option?

    My answer is yes and these are my reasons:

    The need to do a primary search does not disappear.

    If your men see one structure fire a year and rarely go interior, how will they act when they absolutely need to?

    Isn't fighting fire the only way to get better at fighting fire?

    How far can a book, video, or speech take you until you have to see for yourself? Is that not why we are subjected to live burns in the academy?
    OK, I'm lost. I think we are in 100% agreement No doubt, actually fighting a fire is the best way to become competent at it.

    And in my mind, a structure is not vacant until completion of a primary search.

    Who said anything about a book?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    Thersfore, life risk in these structures is minimal and property value is nil. We have made the decsion to not operate in them because there is simply no reason to.

    There is absolutely nothing to be gained and there is significant risk.
    La is this position absolute or have you worded this to make a point? I have worked a career department with 4 per truck for 30 years and a volunteer department where we call in 4 other departments when we have a working fire. In both departments the risk to fire fighters would be much greater if we would have simply "Let it burn". I do not advocate "Suicide bomber" style fire fighting, but calculated aggressive interior attacks, in many cases, reduce the risk to all involved simply by limiting the over all size of the incident. An hour on a controlled aggressive attack is far less dangerous than 3+ hours of overhaul and salvage once the structure is on the ground. I do agree there are times you just have to setup the deck guns, ladder pipes and let it burn out, just not every time it turns out to be a vacant building.
    Do you really represent your department's views or are you over stating your opinion? You write "We" in most of your posts, but in your response you stated when others chose not to command a fire in the manor you see fit you simply do not respond. I am puzzled how in most of your post you seem to speak with authority and later you write how others in your department not only disagree with you and do not follow you philosophy. Like I said it is puzzling.

    have a nice day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    OK, I'm lost. I think we are in 100% agreement No doubt, actually fighting a fire is the best way to become competent at it.

    And in my mind, a structure is not vacant until completion of a primary search.

    Who said anything about a book?
    Not pointed back at you in particular, saying that what you had said raised good points and I elaborated on it.

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    I dont think anyone has answered one of the original questions. Is there a FD in the country that doesnt want those two things also ? I (hopefully) doubt it. Thats why when LA posts one of his 'opinions" he immediatly discounts himself (in my opinion) - he comes across like the concept of safety and self preservation are his invention. It is an unsafe world. I have never heard anyone on here advocate shaking your partners hand - saying "its been good to know you" and running into a fully involved building.
    I mean you swing a hammer at a nail , you might miss and hit your thumb - you dont plan on it - but it could happen -- do you - do nothing - live in a cave ? The guys that took the first vaccines - without risks ? No - but look at the benefits. No one on here has advocated suicide --- but I have read posts that approached the line of cowardness.

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    Lafire, do you find that we are being arbitrarily aggressive instead of intellectually aggressive, what has given you that impression?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    I dont think anyone has answered one of the original questions. Is there a FD in the country that doesnt want those two things also ? I (hopefully) doubt it. Thats why when LA posts one of his 'opinions" he immediatly discounts himself (in my opinion) - he comes across like the concept of safety and self preservation are his invention. It is an unsafe world. I have never heard anyone on here advocate shaking your partners hand - saying "its been good to know you" and running into a fully involved building.
    I mean you swing a hammer at a nail , you might miss and hit your thumb - you dont plan on it - but it could happen -- do you - do nothing - live in a cave ? The guys that took the first vaccines - without risks ? No - but look at the benefits. No one on here has advocated suicide --- but I have read posts that approached the line of cowardness.
    To be frank and speaking only for myself, no one else and not my department, I enjoy fighting fire. It is dangerous but I enjoy it.
    If I found something like poker, but it was dangerous, I'd probably still do it because I like it.
    I fail to see how I am looked down on for wanting to fight fire when the culture of safety does not address the need for rigorous fitness requirements. Maybe an over weight senior firefighter will know more then a young, fit firefighter, but who is at more risk MORE often?

    I just simply do not understand how an admitted overweight individual will chastise me for being unsafe while doing my job. My job is to fight fires with the best tools possible. My body is a tool, I keep it as fit as possible. Why is that many "safety nazis" fail to address the massive danger that is obesity and poor fitness levels?

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    Look if even the slightest possibility exists that a life can be saved, then it is our job, our responsibility, our DUTY to do everything we possibily can to save it.....end of story.
    If you don't believe that than you need to get the hell out of this field because no matter what risks may exist it is a sure thing that it is YOU that are the greatest risk of all.

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    Why is it that it appears only you two are aligned on this train of thought? Do you believe that you have discovered a truly profound way of doing things yet the rest of us are not willing to accept it?

    Sometime ago I started a thread with an image of a house on fire. It was a poll and I asked the question of how involved was the fire? The possible answers went form 50% to 100% in increments of 10. It was an interesting thread to say the least. Interestingly enough, there were answers in all of the categories with the majority falling in the 70% and 80% range. I bring this up know because what one person was considering 100% involved another was calling 50%. I bring this up because it shows how different people viewed the same fire entirely different.

    What I see are people new to fire fighting getting the adrenaline rush and running off half ****ed (the old chicken with his head cut off thing). There are times when it makes sense to go interior. Around here, we have mostly single family homes. When we are told everyone is out we go with it. We also have an apartment complex. We made sure everyone was out of the other apartments when they had a fire. We don't search known empty buildings. I also see the newbies get behind the wheel of the truck and drive lick it is the Daytona 500. You aren't doing anyone any good when you wreck that truck. Take a few extra seconds to make sure you get there in one piece. The number of times I have seen trucks leave with one person in it boggles my mind. Slow and wait until you get enough guys to man the vehicle. The best are the car fires. Around here we get the information that vehicle is not near any structures, is in a field, etc. By the time we get the tones the vehicle is totaled. If it is not near any structures then take your time. There is no hurry and you won't save a thing. If it is in a garage then there is a higher level of urgency.


    Protect firefighters
    &
    Do not subject them to unnecessary risk

    Is there a fire department in this country that does not want those two things also?
    Nope, at least I hope not.
    Is it possible to protect your firefighters AND the citizens of your jurisdiction?
    Absolutely.
    Isn't the career (voluntary or not) you have chosen evidence that you accept this risk?
    I don't feel there is a risk because I have been trained to deal with it. Some people think that doing a wheelie on a motorcycle is dangerous. It is only dangerous if you don't know how to do it. The same can be said for running a table saw, or a chain saw for that matter.
    Is your life greater than a citizens?
    Interesting question. No ones life is more valuable than another. I rely on my military training here to know that sometimes you have to sacrifice a few to save many. In the day I was one of the NBC folks. NBC was Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical. When you got the all clear you were to pick someone (more than likely the lowest rank) and have them take their mask of first. There was also the possibility you would get a "suicide mission" that would save thousands. How does that relate here. Dead fire fighters and fire fighters who crash enroute to the incident are of no use to anyone and further strain the system. So in that sense they are a more valuable resource as they can do far more than the citizen.
    At what point is saving their life a moral obligation, not because you are paid to but because you offer a better chance?
    Saving a life is always a moral obligation. Recognizing when there is a chance to save a life is the hard part.
    Last edited by ScareCrow57; 01-02-2010 at 02:04 PM.

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    I read the OP's questions and I have only the following to say in response.

    1) There is no firefighter or fire department that has the culture of death or injury to themselves or their members. To suggest otherwise is both insulting and stupid, and shows a complete lack of understanding of both the Brotherhood and the job.

    2) Our primary job is to protect our citizens and their property. That does not mean we are Kamikaze like, charging into a burning building to a certain death blinded by a sense of duty. It does how ever on occasion mean we will be injured and killed in those attempts. We will use our knowledge, training, experience, intuition, and guts to make the decision whether to enter or not. But it will always be a calculated risk when we enter a building. We simply can't avoid that fact.

    3) There will always be those that will hide behind the mantle of safety as an excuse NOT to do something. Whether that is not entering a burning building that the majority of the rest of the fire service would, or refusing to stop, when off duty, to attempt to rescue someone trapped in a burning car, or any multitude of things. A culture of safety can be a very good thing if used properly with the real mission being firefighter safety. OR it can be a huge crutch allowing those who, for whatever reason, can't or won't do the job a place to hide.

    4) There is definitely a place and a need for aggressive interior firefighters to do the work of search and rescue and firefighting. What we need to realize is the need to temper that aggressiveness with a dose of reality that sometimes it is simply no good and there is nothing to save. That in my estimation is a miniscule amount of the responses we make on a daily basis. But still a reality we must face.

    5) It is entirely possible to blend the safety culture and the aggressive interior firefighter on the same fire department. In fact I believe that it is the BEST model for a successful fire department in means of services supplied to the citizens and the safety of the firefighters.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    Very well said, Fyred.
    Career Firefighter
    Volunteer Captain

    -Professional in Either Role-

    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    I couldn't agree more with the 5 points listed by Fyredup.

    Personally, I think the huge debate is more about semantics than actually what happens.

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