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  1. #1
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    Default Now, the Rest of the Story ....

    Folks like to post stories here from time to time about successful off-duty firefighter, civilian, and police rescues.

    From CloseCalls.com, here is a situation where it turned out to be very close to a pair of law enforcement LODDs...

    We have all responded to fires where, upon our arrival, well meaning police officers have attempted to assist us by searching and in some cases, rescuing victims. In many cases, they are successful, but in many other cases, they become victims themselves. Naturally, the goal would be to help people in trouble, without themselves (the PD) also getting in trouble, adding to the work we have already have to do.


    The most recent example of that is in New Jersey. were a short in an electrical wire in a hallway ceiling caused a fire in an apartment building in Red Bank yesterday.
    According to the RB Fire Marshal, the fire went undetected for about 45 minutes as the heat melted through a sprinkler pipe, which caused the roof ceiling of the bedroom to collapse, and the water from the pipe helped contain the fire.


    Upon receipt of the fire call, 2 police officers went inside the apartment building looking for residents before the RB Firefighters arrived. Unfortunately but somewhat predictably, the police officers along with civilians became trapped by the heavy smoke conditions in the building. One police officer was able to get out of the building on his own, but a ceiling collapse trapped the second police officer in a second-floor apartment. Fortunately, Red Bank Firefighters arrived and raised a ladder to the second-floor window to get the other officer and civilians out of the building.

    Another reminder to share with the law enforcement folks in any area, as well intentioned as any may be. And while you are sharing, you may wanna remind them of our burning desire to gain access and use hydrants at fires as well as our interest in accessing the fire block/street-so please park outta the way.
    Just like the fire chief cars do.
    Just say'n.


    What if that was a rural community where resources were far more limited than they likely werer in Red Bank? Who would have gotten the priority? Trapped civilains or the officers?

    Again, this is how it can go bad if we encourage untrained and/or unprotected rescuers to make entry in these situations.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.


  2. #2
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    Default

    Yeah and the sky might fall --- I have tried and tried again to give you the benefit of the doubt, but it seems like are trying to justify your own lack of courage.
    ?

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    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    Should have, could have, would have, just maybe. But none of that occurred did it? The reason, the fire department went interior and made the rescue. Had it been up to you, this officer would have burned alive. How do I know this: you don't go interior, you don't know how to throw a ground ladder.
    This is what you come up with on the heels of numerous successful rescues by ordinary people, doing the right thing?
    Your really are going to have to look harder, dig deeper, or maybe even invent relevant scenarios to justify your cowardice and inaction when things get a little dicey for you tastes. Im truly surprised you even have the testicular fortitude to leave the house on most days...
    Last edited by SPFDRum; 07-20-2011 at 10:38 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Yeah and the sky might fall --- I have tried and tried again to give you the benefit of the doubt, but it seems like are trying to justify your own lack of courage.
    Or the ceiling or the roof ..... on unprotected civilians. That would make for a taxing situation especially in a department working with limited resources.

    So I'l ask my question again .. Who gets rescued first, the officers or the civilians? Who gets priority if you only have one or two interior teams for the first 5 minutes which is avery realistic scenario in many communties?

    If they run into the officers first and decide to pull them out, doesn't that significantly delay the rescue of the citizens that may also be trapped that some of you are so sworn to protect?

    Again, if it works, wonderful. If it doesbn't work ... It creates a hell of a lot more problems, especially for volunteer and limited staffing combo and career departments.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  5. #5
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    You don't know anything about Red Bank, NJ do you?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    You don't know anything about Red Bank, NJ do you?
    Been through it a couple of times with my ex-wife as it was her home and even stopped at the station and talked to a few members. From what I saw and heard, it sounded like a pretty well run group with some descent staffing. That was 15 years ago, and it could have changed, or I could have been wrong.

    I do know though that in both my current situations, as well as just about all of my past departments, even with aggressive automatic aid, two additional victims to rescue would create some significant problems, and yes, there are victims that may not be rescued in time due to manpower if the would be civilian or LE rescuers went down.

    The simple fact is when non-firefighter rescues work out, it's a good thing, but there is significant potential for it not working out very well at all.

    I guess I'm simply not in the business of encouraging and attaboying civilians, and cops, who enter burning structures without PPE, equipment and training as it can turn out very badly and create serious addtional problems for us.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-20-2011 at 12:31 PM.
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    Why does the Seinfeld episode ,where George knocks over the old woman to escape the trash can fire ,always pop into my head when I read your posts ?
    ?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    Should have, could have, would have, just maybe. But none of that occurred did it? The reason, the fire department went interior and made the rescue. Had it been up to you, this officer would have burned alive. How do I know this: you don't go interior, you don't know how to throw a ground ladder.
    This is what you come up with on the heels of numerous successful rescues by ordinary people, doing the right thing?
    Your really are going to have to look harder, dig deeper, or maybe even invent relevant scenarios to justify your cowardice and inaction when things get a little dicey for you tastes. Im truly surprised you even have the testicular fortitude to leave the house on most days...
    From the sounds of the story, it came close enough to happening that again, we need to carefully think about risk v. benefit of untrained, unprotected LE personnel or civilians entering a burning building.

    It is an interesting accusation you made about letting this officer burn alive though.

    I guess you have missed the dozens of times I have clearly state that it most cases, lives are worth the risk to firefighters if those lives are viable. But then again, we shouldn't let facts get in the way of the discussion, now should we?

    That being said, the LE officer rescue would have gotten the same consideration as a civilian rescue. The manpower, resources and training of that manpower would have determined if the risk to attempt the rescue was acceptable v. the safetyu of the firefighters on-scene. No different than any other situation.

    There are risks to every situation, and there are times that we as firefighters simply cannot save civilians and/or LE from the choices they make in these types of situations. And I will not allow anyone under my control to die trying unless there is a great potential for success with a minimum of risk.

    As far the unsuccessful rescues, I'm sure if I wanted to take the time to look I could come up with a pretty fair number of civilian rescues that didn't work out so well. It's the same with off-duty unequipped firefighters that have attempted rescues where they ended up dying in the effort.

    I can think of several just off the top of my head that have been discussed here. I can recall a situation in Dallas a few years ago where 3 or 4 civilians were killed in an unucessful rescue attempt. I have no doubt that there are plenty of examples out there that demonstrtate the other side of the coin.

    So exactly how many civilian or off-duty firefighter rescue fatalities are accepatable? How many saves makes those fatality incidents an accepatable number?

    Call me a coward as it really seems to be the only thing in your bag. The firefighters I train and supervise will not die for property. They will not die for non-viable victims. And if I am able to influence them, they will not die in off-duty rescues where they have neither the tools, equipment, PPE or specialized training to make the rescue and walk away. If you wish to call that cowardice, or teaching cowardice, so be it.

    And yes, I will not give civilians accolades for attempting rescues and potentially creating a bigger problem when we arrive.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-20-2011 at 01:32 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Why does the Seinfeld episode ,where George knocks over the old woman to escape the trash can fire ,always pop into my head when I read your posts ?
    Ya, that was me.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  10. #10
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    This post simply shows the other side of the story ... The LE and civilan rescues that go bad, or almost go very bad.

    The risks need to get the same amount of sunshine as the benefits.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  11. #11
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    The difference is... they had the testicular fortitude to try...
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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  12. #12
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    Question And.........

    Edited as Unnecessary post, my error. Sorry......
    Last edited by hwoods; 07-20-2011 at 04:28 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    The difference is... they had the testicular fortitude to try...
    Around here, the cops have yellow stripes down the sides of their pants, not down their spines.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    The difference is... they had the testicular fortitude to try...
    Sometimes it takes more balls to simply say "no", it isn't worth the risk.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Sometimes it takes more balls to simply say "no", it isn't worth the risk.
    I have no issue with that statement.

    I've also seen cops take some stupid risks... god love em.

    I also think it is fair to say that in any official capacity, most of us would discourage citizens from taking stupid chances. But you seem to advocate taking NO chances.

    Big difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I have no issue with that statement.

    I've also seen cops take some stupid risks... god love em.

    I also think it is fair to say that in any official capacity, most of us would discourage citizens from taking stupid chances. But you seem to advocate taking NO chances.

    Big difference.
    It would seem to me that we should be telling untrained, unequipped and unprepared civilians to in fact be taking no chances.

    And as much as I respect law enforcement, when it comes to fire and rescue stiuation, they have in most cases, just about as much training as civilians, and carry no structural PPE. Again, should they be taking chances?

    If you answer yes, then why do we have policies that prohibit us from entering hot LE-related zones until they have been made safe/secure?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    I have no issue with that statement.

    I've also seen cops take some stupid risks... god love em.

    I also think it is fair to say that in any official capacity, most of us would discourage citizens from taking stupid chances. But you seem to advocate taking NO chances.

    Big difference.
    Bigger than big... huge, mammoth, important, consequential, earthshaking, earth-shattering, eventful, historic, major, material, meaningful, momentous, monumental, much, significant, substantial, tectonic and weighty!
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Bigger than big... huge, mammoth, important, consequential, earthshaking, earth-shattering, eventful, historic, major, material, meaningful, momentous, monumental, much, significant, substantial, tectonic and weighty!
    And again. quote me where I have said take no risk when lives are at stake?

    That being said, I do have issues with untrained and unequuipped civilains, and LE officers, entering burning buildings.

    It would be no different than us entering a hot crime scene with active shooting to perform a rescue before the arrival of LE as we are unequipped and untrained for that enviroment.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And again. quote me where I have said take no risk when lives are at stake?

    That being said, I do have issues with untrained and unequuipped civilains, and LE officers, entering burning buildings.

    It would be no different than us entering a hot crime scene with active shooting to perform a rescue before the arrival of LE as we are unequipped and untrained for that enviroment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Or the ceiling or the roof ..... on unprotected civilians. That would make for a taxing situation especially in a department working with limited resources.

    So I'l ask my question again .. Who gets rescued first, the officers or the civilians? Who gets priority if you only have one or two interior teams for the first 5 minutes which is avery realistic scenario in many communties?

    If they run into the officers first and decide to pull them out, doesn't that significantly delay the rescue of the citizens that may also be trapped that some of you are so sworn to protect?

    Again, if it works, wonderful. If it doesbn't work ... It creates a hell of a lot more problems, especially for volunteer and limited staffing combo and career departments.
    To your question... If I was interior the first victim I came across would be the first one rescued.
    I am not going to say oh your a LEO so you have to wait.

    Maybe the LEOs should carry turnouts and scba in their squads, and be trained to ff1 level.
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