1. #1
    SR
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    Default First House Fire

    Been a long time lurker, and have got many pointers throughout my endevors in becoming a firefighter here, and very happy for all of your insight.

    I got hired back in Febuary and am just finishing up my academy, 2 more weeks!

    Had something happen to me today that I didnt think would. So for you seasoned guys, if you could provide some insight, that would be very appreciated.

    Call came in this morning of a 3-1 house fire, which was then upgraded to a 1st alarm providing mutual aid from a neighboring department. At this time I am at academy going over ventelation. Training captain and the rest of my academy brothers were listening in on the radio.

    So to make a long story short, this was a triplex, single level family dwelling, with 4 total "small houses."

    My academy captain called the alarm room and asked if the crews needed help, and to see if we could make it out. Which we did, they had requested all the recruits to come ratate out on salvage and overhaul. ( we did not fight any fire. However, we did assist with the rest)

    Now, heres where I wanted some input. We all got on scene and immediatly My Captian instructed 4 of us to pack out and go in and provide help. So myself and 3 others followed orders and in we went ( with 2 other Captians that were on scene from the get-go )

    I do not have much expeirence when it comes to house fires as this was my first. (only live burns through academy)

    So, being anxious and excited I went in and started pulling ceiling and taking out any valuables left that wernt destroyed. I worked for about 15 mins and started to fade quickly, to the point where I was getting dizzy and over heated. ( we ran 4 miles and did some crossfit stuff earlier this morning, not to use that as an excuse, but I thought that may have been why I was falling apart, or it was because of the lack of eating this morning)

    So, after pulling all the ceiling, we sprayed some some water up into the trusses, but at this time, I need to get out. So I told the Captain, I need to exit. He asked if everything was ok and I replied yes, and out I went. I immediatly came off air, took off my pack and jacket and had to sit down. At this time, I dont think anyone knew there was something up, but I felt miserable. Rehab was about 200 yards away and I walked with that crew back only to get half way and go to one knee. I felt like I was going to faint, I was so weak. Now I am sitting on the ground in rehab with half of the department looking after me, making sure I was ok. My vitals came in decent, but I couldnt pick my head up.

    Not to mention it was 108 degrees out here today in AZ.

    I was done for the day and assured everyone ( including my Captain ) that I was ok. I did however tell them what happened. How I got dizzy and run down, and the lack of food this morning. All of them were great. Letting me know that everyones been there, and things like this happen.

    I know I am a recruit, and I am supposed to perform at the best of my abilities, but what went wrong? I got to say I was pretty embarressed as no one else in my academy had any problems with the task at hand. Although I dont know what they were assigned to do in the other homes.

    Any insight on this would be very appreciated. This was a learning expeirence for me. My Captain expressed his feelings to me, and was happy to know I was okay, but I dont know if this incideint made him look at me differently now.
    Last edited by SR; 05-29-2011 at 12:08 AM.

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    SR, while I wasn't there today with you I can't really comment on why you felt like you did. I can give you some general advice about working in the heat here in AZ.

    First, it wasn't hot today... not for Arizona. It didn't get to 108F, it may have felt like that in the sun but the recorded high for East Mesa today was 98F. This is important, because we are not to many days away from the 110+ weather.

    First, you need to hydrate ALL the time during the summer. As long as you are eating properly, this means drinking enough water so that your urine is a light yellow to clear. This must start before you come to work, even the night before. You need to consider your activity level and adjust your hydration accordingly. When it is really hot, I use Nuun or Endurolytes to replace electrolytes rather than the typical sports drinks found at a convenience store. A tube of either Nuun or the Endurolytes will make 12 servings, are easy to mix and are better suited to rehydration than the soft-drinks marketed as sports drinks. Those convenience store drinks are fine in a pinch and are great if you need the sugar as well, make sure you drink equal amounts of water with them.

    On eating, you need to make sure you do. To be blunt, coming to the academy without eating breakfast was Stupid (with a capital S). You need to make sure that you are eating well and consistently.

    Your workout wasn't that tough this morning (at least that is what others there have said), but once you get on shift save your hardest workouts for off duty. Make sure that you refuel and rehydrate after you workouts on and off duty. The first 30-90 minutes after a workout are key to speed recovery and rehydration.

    Lastly... calm down and stop breathing so fast. Unless you are still using the old 2216psi SCBA bottles, no one should be breathing down an SCBA bottle in 15min during overhaul.
    "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
    "Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571

  3. #3
    SR
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    Quote Originally Posted by aromania View Post
    SR, while I wasn't there today with you I can't really comment on why you felt like you did. I can give you some general advice about working in the heat here in AZ.

    First, it wasn't hot today... not for Arizona. It didn't get to 108F, it may have felt like that in the sun but the recorded high for East Mesa today was 98F. This is important, because we are not to many days away from the 110+ weather.

    First, you need to hydrate ALL the time during the summer. As long as you are eating properly, this means drinking enough water so that your urine is a light yellow to clear. This must start before you come to work, even the night before. You need to consider your activity level and adjust your hydration accordingly. When it is really hot, I use Nuun or Endurolytes to replace electrolytes rather than the typical sports drinks found at a convenience store. A tube of either Nuun or the Endurolytes will make 12 servings, are easy to mix and are better suited to rehydration than the soft-drinks marketed as sports drinks. Those convenience store drinks are fine in a pinch and are great if you need the sugar as well, make sure you drink equal amounts of water with them.

    On eating, you need to make sure you do. To be blunt, coming to the academy without eating breakfast was Stupid (with a capital S). You need to make sure that you are eating well and consistently.

    Your workout wasn't that tough this morning (at least that is what others there have said), but once you get on shift save your hardest workouts for off duty. Make sure that you refuel and rehydrate after you workouts on and off duty. The first 30-90 minutes after a workout are key to speed recovery and rehydration.

    Lastly... calm down and stop breathing so fast. Unless you are still using the old 2216psi SCBA bottles, no one should be breathing down an SCBA bottle in 15min during overhaul.
    Sounds like you know what department and what fire I was on?

    I hear you on the non eating part. Something I dont ever usually do. I will absolutely look into the nuun and the other you had mentioned. I didnt say the workout this morning was tough, I thought maybe thay had dehydrated me, and I didnt fill back up when needed.

    I appreciate the insight. I agree, no one should be sucking down a bottle like that in overhaul. However, as I said it was a first time expeirence, something I was excited for, thus led to the rapid breathing.

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    It wasn't too hard to figure out you FD... check your profile. Besides, only one local FD has a Saturday Academy (besides Intern academies). And besides, I know people

    Every FNG gets excited and sucks a bottle down in milliseconds. Now you know and knowing is half the battle You job now is to control yourself. Sucking down the bottle is a symptom not the problem. The problem is you are focused on the IDEA of fighting fire rather than the task on hand. Take a deep breath and calm down, pay attention to the situation around you, your senior firefighters and officers and do your job. I know it is hard not to get excited for a fire but you have to control you excitement and remember this is a serious job that requires skill, concentration and dedication. Heck, I have 15 years on and still LOVE the job and feel that excitement when I hear the words "This is going to be a 3 in 1 assignment for..."
    "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
    "Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571

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    SR
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    Quote Originally Posted by aromania View Post
    It wasn't too hard to figure out you FD... check your profile. Besides, only one local FD has a Saturday Academy (besides Intern academies). And besides, I know people

    Every FNG gets excited and sucks a bottle down in milliseconds. Now you know and knowing is half the battle You job now is to control yourself. Sucking down the bottle is a symptom not the problem. The problem is you are focused on the IDEA of fighting fire rather than the task on hand. Take a deep breath and calm down, pay attention to the situation around you, your senior firefighters and officers and do your job. I know it is hard not to get excited for a fire but you have to control you excitement and remember this is a serious job that requires skill, concentration and dedication. Heck, I have 15 years on and still LOVE the job and feel that excitement when I hear the words "This is going to be a 3 in 1 assignment for..."
    Good deal. Thanks a lot for the pointers, Captain, I appreciate the response.

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    It sounds like you suffered from a couple of issues all at once.

    The heat and lack of food were only part of it. I'm sure you also had a little case of anxiety. That can put you on the ground pretty quick if you don't recognize it.

    aromania provided some really good insight and advice.

    Overhaul can be tough, but it is not anything like facing the beast while you're trying to knock it down. That is when the pucker factor must be controlled.

    I'm not trying to suggest you were ever afraid or concerned, but you know how those first time things go. Think back about how many times you crashed learning to ride a bike. The difference here is, if you crash during interior attack.... someone could give full measure.

    Other than that... don't worry too much about your first outing. Hell I have seen guys puke in their mask at the door before ever entering. So at least you did better than that.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    Just when you think you have drank enough water.. Drink some more.. The name of the game is hydration.
    As far as sucking your tank dry I have a simple solution. Pretend while your doing overhaul or even during an attack that you are audtioning for American Idol.. Sing baby sing! Ever wonder why soldiers sing songs while they run? Its so they can control their breathing ( at least thats what I was told.)

    As far as your eating habits go, You simply cannot skip meals. Think of your body as a luxury Vehicle or for us Kentuckians a High Dollar Thoroughbred. Would you put cheap parts in your engine? Would you feed a Thoroughbred poison? Would you not put fuel in your Lambo to drive it around? Would You not feed Your prize winning horse before the Kentucky Derby?
    Of course not!
    Being in AZ this is especially important. For the sake of all that is holy it is sad when you have to go into a Structure Fire to cool off. Is it true You have two seasons there? Hot and Hell? haha

    But Seriously.

    Firefighters are not something just anybody can be.. Firefighting is not just something anybody can do.. We are highly trained high speed low drag finely tuned machines.. as much hell as we catch for sleeping on the job and for seemingly drawing pay for doing nothing we go from 0 to 110 at a moments notice and if your not ready then your a casualty.

    Know your limits and cool off often.
    Stay safe and Good luck Brother
    Do not let the ghosts of our fallen brothers gaze upon you and ask " What have you done to my profession?" FTB DTRT EGH

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    [QUOTE=IronValor;1273499]
    Being in AZ this is especially important. For the sake of all that is holy it is sad when you have to go into a Structure Fire to cool off. Is it true You have two seasons there? Hot and Hell? haha /QUOTE]


    True we have two seasons... but they are Awesome and Hell.
    "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
    "Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571

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    Quote Originally Posted by SR View Post
    Been a long time lurker, and have got many pointers throughout my endevors in becoming a firefighter here, and very happy for all of your insight.




    Not to mention it was 108 degrees out here today in AZ.


    Not sure where in Arizona you are, but the high for Phoenix on 5-28-2011, yesterday was 100.9 at 3:51 PM local time.



    Hang in there fellow, it gets better each and every time.

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    SR
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    It sounds like you suffered from a couple of issues all at once.

    The heat and lack of food were only part of it. I'm sure you also had a little case of anxiety. That can put you on the ground pretty quick if you don't recognize it.

    aromania provided some really good insight and advice.

    Overhaul can be tough, but it is not anything like facing the beast while you're trying to knock it down. That is when the pucker factor must be controlled.

    I'm not trying to suggest you were ever afraid or concerned, but you know how those first time things go. Think back about how many times you crashed learning to ride a bike. The difference here is, if you crash during interior attack.... someone could give full measure.

    Other than that... don't worry too much about your first outing. Hell I have seen guys puke in their mask at the door before ever entering. So at least you did better than that.
    Thanks Knight. I think my nerves got the best of me being my first time. That, alonng with, hydration and no food intake.

    I will be sure to prepare a bit better next time. Just feel as if I may have let my guys down.

    Quote Originally Posted by IronValor View Post
    Just when you think you have drank enough water.. Drink some more.. The name of the game is hydration.
    As far as sucking your tank dry I have a simple solution. Pretend while your doing overhaul or even during an attack that you are audtioning for American Idol.. Sing baby sing! Ever wonder why soldiers sing songs while they run? Its so they can control their breathing ( at least thats what I was told.)

    As far as your eating habits go, You simply cannot skip meals. Think of your body as a luxury Vehicle or for us Kentuckians a High Dollar Thoroughbred. Would you put cheap parts in your engine? Would you feed a Thoroughbred poison? Would you not put fuel in your Lambo to drive it around? Would You not feed Your prize winning horse before the Kentucky Derby?
    Of course not!
    Being in AZ this is especially important. For the sake of all that is holy it is sad when you have to go into a Structure Fire to cool off. Is it true You have two seasons there? Hot and Hell? haha

    But Seriously.

    Firefighters are not something just anybody can be.. Firefighting is not just something anybody can do.. We are highly trained high speed low drag finely tuned machines.. as much hell as we catch for sleeping on the job and for seemingly drawing pay for doing nothing we go from 0 to 110 at a moments notice and if your not ready then your a casualty.

    Know your limits and cool off often.
    Stay safe and Good luck Brother
    Its tough work, very much agreed, Iron. Not for the faint f heart, thats for sure. Glad to get that first expeirence out of the way. However, not all fires are the same, as most of you gentlemen know.

    Thanks for the response, and the insight, much appreciated.

    [QUOTE=aromania;1273507]
    Quote Originally Posted by IronValor View Post
    Being in AZ this is especially important. For the sake of all that is holy it is sad when you have to go into a Structure Fire to cool off. Is it true You have two seasons there? Hot and Hell? haha /QUOTE]


    True we have two seasons... but they are Awesome and Hell.
    And we are currently entering hell. It's going to get hot. Stay safe out there aromania.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnee View Post
    Not sure where in Arizona you are, but the high for Phoenix on 5-28-2011, yesterday was 100.9 at 3:51 PM local time.



    Hang in there fellow, it gets better each and every time.
    Nice. I like the sounds of that last line. May have been off on my degrees yesterday as it proves above.

    Thanks to all the responses, this is why I went here. Getting good advice and good responses from the more expeirence is what I was looking for. Stay safe out there.

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    I have to agree with everyone else. Always make sure you are hydrated. You did the right thing though by telling your Captain you needed to get out. I've watched a guy have the same problem, not say a word and passed out while doing overhaul, so props to you for that. To help conserve air, what IronValor said works pretty good, another simple thing, chew a piece of gum. But from the way it seems you did a good job and yeah sometimes things like that do happen, just always try your best to prevent them from happening. Best of luck with the rest of the academy.

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    everyone else has really good advice. It sounds like a mix of not taking care of yourself right and excitement. You can't skip meals, you need to drink lots of water (as well as something to keep electrolytes up), and calm down. You should be able to fix all of this, luckily you learned your lesson early.

    Remember when you put on turnout gear you're adding lots of weight and lots of insulation. Its not like jogging in your gym shorts, you are going to sweat and exert yourself that much more.

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    Sounds like a touch of anxiety, overexertion... over excitement.

    It also sounds like you have no worries about your physical health? Overall Fitness?

    So, it was maybe a bad day and you weren't prepared.

    Word of advice... and I learned this before I became a firefighter and I took scuba diving classes. You have to remain calm and aware. When everyone around you is getting revved up, you have to consciously remind yourself to remain calm and focused.

    Don't get sucked into the excitement... that more then anything else will kill you.
    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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    You should feel lucky to be getting all this free medical advice from so many doctors on this forum.
    IAFF

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    You should feel lucky to be getting all this free medical advice from so many doctors on this forum.
    Maybe you should re-read the responses before you post a bull**** response like this.
    "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
    "Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    You should feel lucky to be getting all this free medical advice from so many doctors on this forum.
    I will waive the co-pay.
    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 aromania View Post
    Maybe you should re-read the responses before you post a bull**** response like this.
    Are you actually taking Snowball seriously???
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by aromania View Post
    Maybe you should re-read the responses before you post a bull**** response like this.
    Not that Snowball needs my help,

    You may want to read some of Snowballs other posts. I think you are being a little sensitive. I enjoy his off the wall sense of humor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I will waive the co-pay.
    To hell with that... I'm charging my full rate!

    Cash, up front.... now!
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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    Quote Originally Posted by aromania View Post
    Maybe you should re-read the responses before you post a bull**** response like this.
    Pot, meet kettle....

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    Pot, meet kettle....

    FM1

    Maybe... but I don't see the humor in snowball's post. If it was meant in jest I feel it was misplaced. I doubt it was in jest.
    "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
    "Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    You should feel lucky to be getting all this free medical advice from so many doctors on this forum.
    Speaking of, I got this funny rash...

    Quote Originally Posted by aromania View Post
    Maybe you should re-read the responses before you post a bull**** response like this.
    Calm down buddy. Doctor's orders.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    Calm down buddy. Doctor's orders.
    Oh I'm calm... just was trying to make a point.
    "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." - (John) Calvin Coolidge
    "Speed is not a good alternative to lack of knowledge." -armymedic571

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    Speaking of, I got this funny rash...
    What, like "ha-ha" funny?
    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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    Most of the nails have been hit right on the head by most of the other posters here. Aside from this...

    If this is the department im thinking of, i believe they only run a one day a week academy. What do you do the rest of to stay active and fit? Is it possible you may need to train and pt more throughout the week?

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