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    Default The "Voice" behind why we search...

    Once again, Ray MCcormack hits it out of the park...

    The Voice Behind "Why We Search"

    Jan 9, 2011


    By Ray McCormack
    Publisher/Editor, Urban Firefighter Magazine


    There has always been a requirement that radio stations hire people with distinctive voices and deliveries. A new star of radio and voice over production has just surfaced for the people of Ohio and the world to hear: The golden voice of Ted Williams fills our brains with pleasure at the release of even the most common of words. The emergence of Mr. Williams – assisted by a news reporter – now tells the story of hidden wealth within a man that no one seemed to recognize or value.


    Once Mr. Williams’ ‘insta-fame’ subsides, he is expected to start on a new career of sustainability and worth – and abandon homelessness. He no longer is expected to scatter if threatened; he has increased value now. The fire service has always valued all equally via operational neutrality. Fireground operations have never been based upon social or economic status. If the fire service wishes to sustain and build public support, talk of gradient operations based upon perceived customer value must cease. Not only is it patently offensive, it is morally offensive.

    Buildings are evaluated, not people; this is a point that must be understood. The fire service cannot be held over a burn-barrel when it comes to using a new size-up point that incorporates less risk for the ‘lesser of society.’ It is about people’s lives, both civilian and firefighters - a true “Everyone”.



    Additional operational procedures and safeguards that provide a heightened approach to firefighting is our duty to discover and work towards. Some authors and their works’ commentary now ask if an evaluation of whether vagrants are worth looking for in a burning building is warranted? They are – and always have been. The fire service does not need a cultural change that disparages and devalues a segment of the population socioeconomically, dismissively sentencing them to discovery during overhaul.


    Our culture of equal service for all works just fine: The search for Mr. Williams has ended happily. Not all searches have a happy ending, but firefighters who take on the mission of saving lives wherever they may seek shelter – and regardless of community standing – understand this. This voice of understanding provides community safety and sounds good to me.


    RAY McCORMACK is a 28-year veteran of the Fire Department of New York and a lieutenant with Ladder 28 in Harlem. He was previously assigned to Engine 69 for more than 10 years. He is a contributor to Fire Engineering, WNYF, and other fire service magazines and Web sites. He helped to develop Training Minutes for FireEngineering.com, for which he contributes tips on engine tactics. He is the founder of liveburntraining.com, which provides firefighter training and benefit seminars. He delivered the Keynote Speech at FDIC 2009.
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    It is inconceivable that anyone would base the decision to perform S/R on the social or economic status of a potential victim. It is sad that the Lt has to even comment on this.

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    pvfd27, I whole hardly agree. But unfortunately, that does seem to be the sad direction of the elitists in the fire service.
    Unfortunately, with socio-economic conditions, the vast majority of vacants, homeless, squatters, and etc. are focused in the urban areas. With that said:
    The fire service has always valued all equally via operational neutrality. If the fire service wishes to sustain and build public support, talk of gradient operations based upon perceived customer value must cease. Not only is it patently offensive, it is morally offensive.
    Who will be the most affected by this attitude?
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    Who will be the most affected by this attitude?
    IMHO, the people who should be affected by this situation would be the property owners of these abandoned structures! I realize that our society no longer accepts the concept of accountability, but holding these people morally and financially accountable might cause them to change the way they treat abandoned structures (notice I said MIGHT ).

    Dealing with the issue of the homeless shouldn't be a fire service issue.

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    Absolutely. But even in our smaller urban area, comparatively, absentee landlord and complete abandonment do strain already limited resources.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    ...absentee landlord and complete abandonment...
    And this is the problem - you can't hold someone accountable (except in absentia, which serves no purpose) unless you can find them.

    So we're back to where we've always been - we risk little to save little, we risk a lot to save a lot.

    I guess it comes down to defining "a lot."
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    And this is the problem - you can't hold someone accountable (except in absentia, which serves no purpose) unless you can find them.

    So we're back to where we've always been - we risk little to save little, we risk a lot to save a lot.

    I guess it comes down to defining "a lot."
    And that will vary from community to community and department to department.

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    I think everyone is glossing over the key point here - The building (and fire) conditions determines what we do. We don't care what neighborhood its in. We don't care if its rich or poor, occupied, vacant or abandoned or whatever other tag you state.

    If the building is capable of being searched by our department - we should search it. If fire conditions, structural conditions or the like prevent it - well, we did not cause the problem and we can do only what we can do. I am sure there are buildings out there that we should not go into even when they aren't on fire.

    Its up to each department to determine when its 'OK' to go in to a building and when you have to go defensive. If you go 'in', then you should do some type of search.

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    Well said sir.

    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    I think everyone is glossing over the key point here - The building (and fire) conditions determines what we do. We don't care what neighborhood its in. We don't care if its rich or poor, occupied, vacant or abandoned or whatever other tag you state.

    If the building is capable of being searched by our department - we should search it. If fire conditions, structural conditions or the like prevent it - well, we did not cause the problem and we can do only what we can do. I am sure there are buildings out there that we should not go into even when they aren't on fire.

    Its up to each department to determine when its 'OK' to go in to a building and when you have to go defensive. If you go 'in', then you should do some type of search.

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    Its up to each department to determine when its 'OK' to go in to a building and when you have to go defensive. If you go 'in', then you should do some type of search.

    And that man deserves a cookie!

    And that decision needs to be based on occupancy history and likelihood, resources, training and experience, not on what cracked LT from the FDNY says.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Its up to each department to determine when its 'OK' to go in to a building and when you have to go defensive. If you go 'in', then you should do some type of search.

    And that man deserves a cookie!

    And that decision needs to be based on occupancy history and likelihood, resources, training and experience, not on what cracked LT from the FDNY says.
    You wouldn't amount to a pimple on Ray McCormack's butt...
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 01-09-2011 at 04:59 PM.
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    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    [B]
    And that decision needs to be based on occupancy history and likelihood, resources, training and experience, not on what cracked LT from the FDNY says.
    you are an azzhole.
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    Not that it matters much on this forum, but the post concerned not entering based on the net worth of the possible occupants, not whether the conditions warranted it.

    I don't know much, but I do know that I would follow Lt McCormack through the gates of hell.

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    And that decision needs to be based on occupancy history and likelihood, resources, training and experience, not on what cracked LT from the FDNY says.
    There is little wonder why you are look upon with such disdain.....
    Lt McCormack comes from a department with all the factors that you claim prevent you from making any sort of primary search, or an interior attack for that matter: resources, training, experience, skill, and manpower. Yet nowhere in his editorial does he say to go off half cocked and perform suicidal searches in lost cause situations. But he is stating it is morally offensive to use socio-economic status as a means to negate performing a search or diminish the reward (read-value) of a structure.
    This is of course all for naught if in your bias, you are so morally superior that there isn't anyone worth any risk to your self. It appears to me, this is exactly how you think.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And that decision needs to be based on occupancy history and likelihood, resources, training and experience, not on what cracked LT from the FDNY says.
    LA,

    What is your purpose in being here at FH.com?

    Seriously, you insult Lieutenant Ray McCormack FDNY based on what? My bet is he has seen more fires in a year than you will see in your entire career. Now multiply that out by the length of his career and his practical experience far outweighs yours. I would also wager that he has a far more varied,and expansive, fire service education than you. This is what you have become, you have sunk so low as to attack a nationally known, and respected, fire officer personally on a playground juvenile level. Sorry LA, if there was ever a chance for me to want to try and understand you that is gone. You are nothing more than a long time posting troll.
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    This is of course all for naught if in your bias, you are so morally superior that there isn't anyone worth any risk to your self. It appears to me, this is exactly how you think.

    You call it morally superior. That's not the case.

    Yes, are lives are more important. I will never apoligize for saying that.

    However, at what point did I say not to search if they are poor?

    The fact is though, the structures that the poor live in tend to be of lesser construction, and older than the typical middle class home. That is the case here as the usually live in older single-wides and older all-wood shotgun homes. They tend not to have early warning devices. Here, they tend to live in cramped conditions with a very high fire load per square foot. These cramped conditions also hinder their escape.

    Bottom line is all the factors regarding escape works against them, which is why in LA, the poor form a very high percentage of the fire deaths.

    And it's why, sadly enough, we are less likely to operate interior. It's not because they are poor. It's because their poverty creates much more severe fire conditions on arrival.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Its up to each department to determine when its 'OK' to go in to a building and when you have to go defensive. If you go 'in', then you should do some type of search.

    And that man deserves a cookie!

    And that decision needs to be based on occupancy history and likelihood, resources, training and experience, not on what cracked LT from the FDNY says.

    WTF is your f*cking problem?
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    Notice the a s s hole didn't apologize for the "cracked" remark.

    I wonder if he would have the balls to call Lt. McCormack "cracked" to his face?


    Nahhhhhhhh. A juvenile that would do it on a national forum wouldn't have the balls to do it to the accused's face.

    But then again, you have to have balls to begin with.

    Once again, I pose the question, probably for the 500th time: Does his own people know that he comes on here and posts this schit????

    I wonder what his chief would think.....
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    This is of course all for naught if in your bias, you are so morally superior that there isn't anyone worth any risk to your self. It appears to me, this is exactly how you think.

    You call it morally superior. That's not the case.

    Yes, are lives are more important. I will never apoligize for saying that.

    However, at what point did I say not to search if they are poor?

    The fact is though, the structures that the poor live in tend to be of lesser construction, and older than the typical middle class home. That is the case here as the usually live in older single-wides and older all-wood shotgun homes. They tend not to have early warning devices. Here, they tend to live in cramped conditions with a very high fire load per square foot. These cramped conditions also hinder their escape.

    Bottom line is all the factors regarding escape works against them, which is why in LA, the poor form a very high percentage of the fire deaths.

    And it's why, sadly enough, we are less likely to operate interior. It's not because they are poor. It's because their poverty creates much more severe fire conditions on arrival.
    If your backpedaling could be harnessed, there would be no energy shortage....
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    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    As far as McCormack, nowhere in anything that I have seen or written by him, has he stated that there needs to be exceptions to his advocating aggressive operations. Nowhere has he stated that he fully understands that there will be significant number of departments that simply do not, and never will, have the tools - manpower, water supply, training or experience - to be aggressive.

    Had he stated that aggressive operations are simply not the policy of aggressiveness he advocates is not the fit for those departments, maybe, just maybe, I would take him seriously. With out that statement, he to me, seems very out of touch with the reality of the fire service beyond his range of vision, and could be instilling concepts and ideas of how "fireman/ fire departments should operate" that can be very, very dangerous to those unequipped to follow his philosophy, or too young and inexperienced to recognize the dangers of his "aggressiveness' within their under staffed, under eqipped and under trained departments.

    My only concern are the rural VFDs, and to me, his message is dangerous.

    I also have major issues with his idea that extinguishing the fire seems to be a higher priority than our safety.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Notice the a s s hole didn't apologize for the "cracked" remark.

    I wonder if he would have the balls to call Lt. McCormack "cracked" to his face?


    Nahhhhhhhh. A juvenile that would do it on a national forum wouldn't have the balls to do it to the accused's face.

    But then again, you have to have balls to begin with.

    Once again, I pose the question, probably for the 500th time: Does his own people know that he comes on here and posts this schit????

    I wonder what his chief would think.....
    Yes I would.

    The fact is, IMO, his ideas are dangerous in the wrong hands. They are especially dangerous to the rural fire service, who more often than not simply does not, and likely never will, have the resources to be as aggressive as what he seems to consider professional.

    My chief is very well aware that my only concern is getting my guys home in one piece. Every time I teach a class... it gets mentioned. Often.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 01-09-2011 at 09:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    WTF is your f*cking problem?
    I have a problem with a man that seems to advocate fire operations ahead of our safety as the primary concern.

    He is dangerous to young firefighters in rural departments as he may instill concepts of what a firefighter should do that their departments simply can't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    My chief is very well aware that my only concern is getting my guys home in one piece. Every time I teach a class... it gets mentioned. Often.
    I didn't ask you that. I asked you if he knew that you posted the schit that you do on here (often referencing your own department while doing so) making you look like a bunch of backwood hicks....(oh sorry....thats what you are, my bad.)
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I didn't ask you that. I asked you if he knew that you posted the schit that you do on here (often referencing your own department while doing so) making you look like a bunch of backwood hicks....(oh sorry....thats what you are, my bad.)
    We are departments with limited abilities, primarily manpower. That is especially true for my VFD.

    We recognize that and operate within our abilities.

    If that makes us backwood hicks in your mind, so be it. That's not the case, but I guess you would consider any department that puts it's people ahead of the operations as backwards.

    My only, and I do mean only, priority is to make sure that our guys, on either department do not get hurt during an operation. In my mind, anything we accomplish beyond that, is a bonus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I have a problem with a man that seems to advocate fire operations ahead of our safety as the primary concern.

    He is dangerous to young firefighters in rural departments as he may instill concepts of what a firefighter should do that their departments simply can't.
    HAHAHAHAHAHA! To think YOU of all people would say that someone else is dangerous to young, impressionable members of the fire service. Much less someone as respected as Lt. McCormack.

    A 5 minute discussion with him would no doubt be the best thing that could happen to your sorry excuse for a fire department. One guy in a POV with a decent sized rock in hand can VES before the first piece of apparatus gets there. I pray for the citizens of Bossier Parish.
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