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  1. #41
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Depending on the community, I agree. However, as you get farther out into the more rural areas, resources, especially manpower decrease and notification and response times generally increase, so as a result, the fire department's ability to affect the outcome will decrease as well.

    I don't think that should be a debate.

    My point was that some posters keep talking about the responsibility we have regarding the outcome. The simple fact is we have very little impact on the pre-incident factors that affect the speed of the fire or the fire ignition, and we have very little impact on how citizens prepare for and respond to that fire. We as have very little if any impact on the behaviors that may have started the fire or other factors such as alcohol or drug use which affect tier ability to respond.

    Given the fact that we control very few of the factors that create and drive the incident, how can anyone say that we have a responsibility fort the incident?

    It's not our responsibility that we have to save everything and everyone every time but as a fire service we have a responsibility to do all we can and not sit back and dismiss a situation because it's deemed "too hard" or "too dangerous".

    If it were easy, some one else would have done it by then but of course that in itself poses its own threat to your mantra.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey


  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    If this is your attitude about the fire service.. why even bother responding at all?
    There are some incidents where our response will not change the outcome. Structure fires in some suburban and most rural areas are some of those incidents. These types of incidents involving life safety have bee extremly rare during my time in the service. Structural incidents `involving property damage only due to extended fire conditions on arrival where we can have no impact on the outcome have been more numerous, but still fairly infrequent.

    Most incidents we can have an impact on. That is why we respond.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-31-2011 at 09:58 PM.
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    It's not our responsibility that we have to save everything and everyone every time but as a fire service we have a responsibility to do all we can and not sit back and dismiss a situation because it's deemed "too hard" or "too dangerous".

    If it were easy, some one else would have done it by then but of course that in itself poses its own threat to your mantra.
    I fully agree that we have a responsibility to act to the level that our training, resources and experience allows.

    We do not have a responsibility to act beyond those levels because there are victims. We bear no responsibility for the situation they are in, and because of that, we have no responsibility to expose ourselves beyond the levels we are trained or equipped to operate in.

    I disagree that we cannot sit back and not perform offensive operations because the situation is too dangerous. We have the right to walk away from that incident even though that may mean the death of the civilian(s), especially if the training and resources are not adequate to attempt the rescue.
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I fully agree that we have a responsibility to act to the level that our training, resources and experience allows.

    We do not have a responsibility to act beyond those levels because there are victims. We bear no responsibility for the situation they are in, and because of that, we have no responsibility to expose ourselves beyond the levels we are trained or equipped to operate in.

    I disagree that we cannot sit back and not perform offensive operations because the situation is too dangerous. We have the right to walk away from that incident even though that may mean the death of the civilian(s), especially if the training and resources are not adequate to attempt the rescue.
    I now realize that your problem surpasses mere fireground understanding but your poor grasp of reading comprehension as well.

    Your embellishment and false additions of everyone's statements to fulfill your close-mindedness is the main reason you will never have the integrity and courage to admit that your mantra is disregarded by everyone but yourself.

    You are not an innovator, you are not a pioneer, and you will never be respected by your peers simply for the fact you are a very selfish person, in thoughts and in actions.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  5. #45
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    Gonz: Thanks, Sorry that I get animated about what should be 2nd nature to us.

    ChiefKN: Well stated. If someone reads my words and decides to use them in their toolbox, then I hope it saves life. If someone chooses to not use my words, then I have no effect, but that isn't my fault.

    Tajm: Your signature says it all... complacency kills. But this issue is not complacency, it is way past that and a condition that is void of reason.

    --------

    I understand how the 'policy writers' can decide that officers are just a bunch of dum3@$$es. They study charts and data to arrive at this assumption based on past failures. What they absolutely forget to consider is the number of times we get it right.

    As I stated, there is no such thing as exceptable losses.... So if you agree with this statement, why are we excepting the loss of people that otherwise might have a chance, if we do not trust our commanders? "No exceptable losses" includes the public as well, not just us. Everyone goes home... what about the citizens we serve?

    I am sorry for those that do not get this... For me this right up there with "if all else fails, use whatever Plan you have left..."


    Quote Originally Posted by LA
    Given the fact that we control very few of the factors that create and drive the incident, how can anyone say that we have a responsibility fort the incident?
    I don't think anyone really said this. The truth is we don't have any responsibility for the cause of the event. But we do have a responsibility to the citizens we protect. If we adopt a one-size-fits-all policy as to how we will respond, then we must share responsiblity for the outcome, good or bad. When we respond, we accept the mission. It is too easy to say, we will go, but we take no responsibility for what happens. So why are we going in the first place? I can build a bonfire in my backyard any day I wish if I just want to watch a fire. I can unroll my garden hose if I want to just spray some water. What we do should not be defined so.... impersonal.


    While I do not agree with personal or directed attacks on anyone in this debate, this and many other issues must be debated. If we reduce ourselves to attacking each other, we lose the debate, the message and purpose is lost. It becomes recess in the schoolyard. I have never gained trust or help someone reach their goals by attacking or beating them. I respect one's right to an opinion, without sending them to the gallows. I expect the same from others, even if I am wrong. It is my wrong, not theirs. But this does not prevent me from trying to change their mind, or the minds of those watching.

    Quote Originally Posted by LA
    Most incidents we can have an impact on. That is why we respond.
    It warms my old heart when I seem to make progress. When we began, you had not yet arrived here... Let me add... When we respond, use your best judgement as to what you can do. If you can get someone out safely... then why should a policy prevent you from this action. We are not that far apart are we?

    Does anyone remember the lawsuit years ago when a family sued a department for failing to rescue a child? Does anyone not think that every firefighter felt they had failed and this issue shamed them? Of course, the dept was not held responsible... then, under exisiting statutes. Will we be able to prevail in the future if we adopt these kind of policies? Can we justify our policy if we just standby and do nothing? What if Joe Citizen makes a good grab while we stand around?

    Imagine what you do to your firefighters... all they can do is stand there and do... nothing. I guarantee you that those individuals will carry that pain forever. Could suicides increase? I think they will. We're human. We feel the same crap, but we get it in full doses everyday; and it loads up on us. The fact is we do a poor job of dealing with our guys mental health, so why add another burden to that load. CISD or whatever you wish to call it is not going to help everyone. Some of us refuse to accept it, because we must not let anyone see our weakness. Being human has nothing to do with being weak. And as I said, these kinds of policies only dehumanize us for the moment.

    It was correctly stated that we had no responsibility for causing a fire or event. But this does not remove the burden of what we do. Many of us swore an oath to protect and serve. Some of you didn't take an oath, but carry it inside just the same. For whatever reason, you became a firefighter. It wasn't for the money, it wasn't for the pain you would endure, it wasn't because of the @$$-kicking you would get many days...

    You became a firefighter because you felt the calling to help others. Someone has to do it... and you stepped up. If you save just one person in your life, then you have already fulfilled your destiny of what you decided to be. So why should I or anyone tell you that you cannot give that life back?

    And please, do not confuse what I say with subscribing to suicidal missions that have no chance of success. I don't want to see any firefighter hurt or killed when it is not necessary. All I am trying to convey is we must conduct our missions based on what we have been dealt. No policy will cover every mission.

    If we focus only on protecting you, then prepare to not fulfill your purpose. Be prepared to feel pain that you cannot imagine. Simply pushing off the burden of responsibility by saying "the policy says I cannot risk myself", will not ease the pain you will feel, unless you have already lost your soul. I have known guys that lost their soul, but it wasn't because they didn't act... but because of the reverse. Nothing they did could prevent the outcome.

    And before someone starts the hero crap... remember what is expected of us. Doing a job you knew going in was dangerous which could kill you has nothing to do with any hero I have known. I have not seen one single person in the FH Forums proclaim "I am a hero". IF anyone thinks they are a hero... please resign your job and crawl into a hole. You are dangerous to the rest of us. Doing this job does not make you a hero. The two have nothing to do with each other.

    If one's only purpose in life is to wear our shirt, our maltese and emblems or the word firefighter, so others will think they're special, then they are not a firefighter. That is nothing more than an empty vessel, breathing air and taking up valuable space. I urge that empty vessel to do something positive and get a real life.

    Ok, that was a bit harsh... but it is the truth and sometimes it just has to hurt.

    As ChiefKN stated so eloquently, we have beaten this poor old horse to death... it is really beginning to stink... Should we not bury it yet?

    PK



    After the fact comment since the debate has continued while I have been gathering my thoughts...

    LA: I agree with your last post 100%, except the walk away part. No one is saying if you're outgunned you kill yourself trying anyway. But you know you are not going to walk away from an event... you might not carry out some operational function due to the event.

    The debate is about a blanket policy that states you are prevented from making the decision as to what your course of action will be. Can we really know everything about every event? Of course not. But a policy defines your limits and does not take things into consideration that may be operationally feasible.

    I give my guys the right to walk away from any mission if they do not believe they can pull it off. If they don't think they can do it, why should I question this? If this means we might not accomplish the mission goals, then perhaps the mission objective was not obtainable. I'm not going to make them sacrifice their life just because of my ego. This has yet to happen... no one has ever told me they could not do the job. I have had a few that told me it scared the hell out of them before the fact. But it is not the same thing.

    I have had guys get hurt, but never during a rescue... it has always been some 'dumb thing' that has occurred; step into a hole, fall off a ladder or roof, run into a ladder on a truck when the skull-saver was removed, wrench a shoulder or knee when trying to avoid injury, etc...

    So it seems we do in fact see this eye to eye. The only unresolved issue is you still think we need to protect some officers and crews with a policy who might otherwise make a mistake.

    Come on sir... do you really think we can cut their legs off and say that is a good thing? I don't want a rule to tell me what to think, what to eat and when to take a crap. So why would I want a policy to tell me something is dangerous when I have been trained to understand it?
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

  6. #46
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    PK, welcome and your posts have been very enlightening and well written. With a vast majority of us here, we get what you are saying, but. Unfortunately, your well though out and elegant posts are failing hard in try to convince LA of anything other than doing nothing.
    He talks a big game, and the moment you call him out, or try to pin him down, he soon reverts back to "well in my area....".
    He has yet to add anything constructive or worthwhile to any post or topic that actually discusses what real firefighters do and are tasked to do by their community. He is, in my opinion, a self-centered coward more worried about covering his *** than making a difference.
    But I applaud your efforts and I enjoyed reading your thoughts and the intelligent posts by others that get it.
    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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  7. #47
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    PaldinKnight ....

    Just a couple of things before i respond that may put this debate, at least from my side, into perspective.

    On my combo side, we average an abandoned structure fire probably once a year. Most of the time these are old and decaying backyard sheds or outbuildings that they owner tells us are empty. One very rare occasions - probably once every 5 years - we experience a fire in an abandoned home or small commercial property.

    The point is this is a very rare event for us. We have experienced officers who have the ability to make the call to go interior if they feel there is a valid life safety reason to do so. The primary purpose of the no entry order is to cover the inexperienced first responders who may arrive via POV or with the satellite engine from the closest volunteer house before the more experienced officers from the paid staff or the bulk of the district arrive.

    I guess I disagree that on some levels, we do need to protect our people from themselves. Unfortunately as a service, we have not demonstrated the ability to control our own people in many areas, and I feel this is an areas which begs for hard and firm SOPs. There is room for decision making when the senior officers arrive.

    The second point is that in almost all cases, when we do get these rare events, the building is almost or is fully involved on arrival. In almost all cases, there are no decisions to be made regarding entry as it's simply not an option.

    On my volunteer department, we have no policy regrading this situation. That being said, abandoned building fires are even more rare there, and even more so heavily or fully involved on arrival.

    Again we agree on most things, but I see our policy as protecting the troops, and you see as handcuffing the troops. I guess it's simply going to end up being and agree to disagree stalemate brother.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    PK, welcome and your posts have been very enlightening and well written. With a vast majority of us here, we get what you are saying, but. Unfortunately, your well though out and elegant posts are failing hard in try to convince LA of anything other than doing nothing.
    He talks a big game, and the moment you call him out, or try to pin him down, he soon reverts back to "well in my area....".
    He has yet to add anything constructive or worthwhile to any post or topic that actually discusses what real firefighters do and are tasked to do by their community. He is, in my opinion, a self-centered coward more worried about covering his *** than making a difference.
    But I applaud your efforts and I enjoyed reading your thoughts and the intelligent posts by others that get it.
    I have no problem in saying that in a rescue situation, I will give it my best shot, but I am walking out of the station after the call and going home to my wife and will continue to provide for my children.

    And I will make sure that any firefighter I am responsible for, either as an IC or as a company/crew-level officer, will do the exact same thing.

    If that's not getting it, so be it.
    If that's selfish, so be it.
    And if that's being a coward, so be it.

    We are in this job to help people in their emergency.
    That does not include dying during their emergency.

    Call that whatever you wish.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  9. #49
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    PaldinKnight ....

    Just a couple of things before i respond that may put this debate, at least from my side, into perspective.

    On my combo side, we average an abandoned structure fire probably once a year. Most of the time these are old and decaying backyard sheds or outbuildings that they owner tells us are empty. One very rare occasions - probably once every 5 years - we experience a fire in an abandoned home or small commercial property.

    The point is this is a very rare event for us. We have experienced officers who have the ability to make the call to go interior if they feel there is a valid life safety reason to do so. The primary purpose of the no entry order is to cover the inexperienced first responders who may arrive via POV or with the satellite engine from the closest volunteer house before the more experienced officers from the paid staff or the bulk of the district arrive.

    I guess I disagree that on some levels, we do need to protect our people from themselves. Unfortunately as a service, we have not demonstrated the ability to control our own people in many areas, and I feel this is an areas which begs for hard and firm SOPs. There is room for decision making when the senior officers arrive.

    The second point is that in almost all cases, when we do get these rare events, the building is almost or is fully involved on arrival. In almost all cases, there are no decisions to be made regarding entry as it's simply not an option.

    On my volunteer department, we have no policy regrading this situation. That being said, abandoned building fires are even more rare there, and even more so heavily or fully involved on arrival.

    Again we agree on most things, but I see our policy as protecting the troops, and you see as handcuffing the troops. I guess it's simply going to end up being and agree to disagree stalemate brother.

    For rarely facing an abandoned or vacant building fire you seem to exude superiority on the subject. How can you tell anyone they're incorrect when you obviously have no place in the conversation?
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  10. #50
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I have no problem in saying that in a rescue situation, I will give it my best shot, but I am walking out of the station after the call and going home to my wife and will continue to provide for my children.

    And I will make sure that any firefighter I am responsible for, either as an IC or as a company/crew-level officer, will do the exact same thing.

    If that's not getting it, so be it.
    If that's selfish, so be it.
    And if that's being a coward, so be it.

    We are in this job to help people in their emergency.
    That does not include dying during their emergency.

    Call that whatever you wish.
    Do you honestly believe any firefighter has walked into a building knowing without a doubt they would not walk back out?
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    For rarely facing an abandoned or vacant building fire you seem to exude superiority on the subject. How can you tell anyone they're incorrect when you obviously have no place in the conversation?
    Ah, I see you just can't quit.

    Given that I have far more years in than you Jr., I have likely dealt with far more abandoned building fires than you.

    Most have been in a rural environment, as compared to urban, but they have been absconded none the less with many of the hazards that are also associated with urban areas.

    In fact, it's probably fair to say that I have dealt with a wider array of situations than you have, but that's besides the point.

    And where during this post have I told anyone they were incorrect? All my responses have been in the context of my combo and volunteer districts. If anything, it's folks like you telling us that my opinions regarding operations in volunteer and rural districts are wrong.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-31-2011 at 02:40 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Do you honestly believe any firefighter has walked into a building knowing without a doubt they would not walk back out?
    No, but you can certainly identify which situations based on building construction, smoke, fire behavior as well as a number of other factors which situations you are more or less likely to not walk out of. Again it's called playing the percentages based on your initial evaluation.

    If my initial evaluation tells me that this is situation appears to be beyond the levels of my, my department's or my crew's experience, training and/or resources I have no issues with simply not going interior and simply doing what we can via exterior operations.

    I will not commit crews to a situation interior that I have any doubts about. And I will pull any crew I am in charge of managing at the first hint of an issue. WE are simply to valuable and we are the priority. I'm not one for hanging around trying to improve the situation as likely we will not.
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  13. #53
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Ah, I see you just can't quit.

    Given that I have far more years in than you Jr., I have likely dealt with far more abandoned building fires than you.

    Most have been in a rural environment, as compared to urban, but they have been absconded none the less with many of the hazards that are also associated with urban areas.

    In fact, it's probably fair to say that I have dealt with a wider array of situations than you have, but that's besides the point.

    And where during this post have I told anyone they were incorrect? All my responses have been in the context of my combo and volunteer districts. If anything, it's folks like you telling us that my opinions regarding operations in volunteer and rural districts are wrong.
    Ah, your low grade of reading comprehension strikes again. Not speaking about myself, but what about the countless others who are held in much higher regard than you, with more experience and their responses to you that you truly do not have a grasp on what anyone else is experiencing or talking about?
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I will not commit crews to a situation interior that I have any doubts about. And I will pull any crew I am in charge of managing at the first hint of an issue. WE are simply to valuable and we are the priority. I'm not one for hanging around trying to improve the situation as likely we will not.
    It is almost impossible to not have any doubts when fighting a fire, it is just too dynamic with too many variables.... seriously, do you even read your own posts?
    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.

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    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    I have never been in a building that was on fire and felt completely safe but that didn't deter me from applying my training to making safe decisions that helped me and the victims inside gain the upper advantage in a dangerous situation.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Ah, your low grade of reading comprehension strikes again. Not speaking about myself, but what about the countless others who are held in much higher regard than you, with more experience and their responses to you that you truly do not have a grasp on what anyone else is experiencing or talking about?
    In their situations, they beleive that entering abandoned structures is both justified based on the real or potential risk, and that their resources can support the operation.

    I take a very mathematical view of risk v. benefit, and based on that mathematical view, as well as my experiences in dealing with abandoned structures, not only in this department, but also in my previous departments, I simply cannot justify entry given the very low mathematical and statistical probability of occupancy given my experiences. The fact is, they cannot make judgements about the risk of occupancy and the risk v. benefit in my area as their opinions and beliefs have been shaped by their experiences in their districts. Because of that, their opinions and beliefs hold no validity in my world.

    While my current combo department's policy regarding abandoned operations is not nearly as restrictive as I would prefer, it does provide some limiting factors in terms of at a minimum, reserving the decision regarding entry to the senior officers. I would much prefer a blanket no-go policy unless some very specific indicators are present to identify possible occupancy.


    I have been very careful as of late to frame all of my opinions within the volunteer suburban and rural context, and have made no attempts to pass opinions on the urban world, as, based on the statements above, my opinions would hold no validity in that environment.

    In addition, my opinions are based on my current and past resources and department training levels, which have varied greatly depending on the department, access to training and the community type. Again, since others do not work or volunteer in my current or past resource or training base, their comments hold no validity in my current situation. Again, as of late, I have restrained myself from commenting on their world.

    The fact is an opinion from a member of the FDNY, Boston or any other urban area has no true relevance in a volunteer suburban or rural environment.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-31-2011 at 03:09 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    It is almost impossible to not have any doubts when fighting a fire, it is just too dynamic with too many variables.... seriously, do you even read your own posts?
    Fully agreed that a fire has a tremendous number of variables, and it is a very fluid and dynamic situation.

    Which is why that the majority of the incidents I have commanded over the years have been exterior only until the fire has been knocked down from the exterior, including one with reported victims.

    I have no issues in stating that I use percentages when calculating risk v. benefit, and much of decision making is driven by probabilities, which in my current and previous environments, have been against us the majority of the time.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-31-2011 at 03:10 PM.
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    So why should the opinion of a non-leadership position from somewhere that rarely, if ever, faces our problems matter?

    You have a right to an opinion on a subject but there is no reason you should try and make sound like you are speaking a universal truth we are too thick headed to understand.

    I would be batting 100% also if I saw 2 fires a year, never went interior, and everyone made it out before we got there but thats not the case in both my city career department or my rural volunteer parish (which I feel can't be much different than yours save for its larger size).
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    So why should the opinion of a non-leadership position from somewhere that rarely, if ever, faces our problems matter?

    You have a right to an opinion on a subject but there is no reason you should try and make sound like you are speaking a universal truth we are too thick headed to understand.

    I would be batting 100% also if I saw 2 fires a year, never went interior, and everyone made it out before we got there but thats not the case in both my city career department or my rural volunteer parish (which I feel can't be much different than yours save for its larger size).
    I honestly don't care if anyone cares or listens to what I say. However, I know that many do, and agree with me, based on the PMs I receive.

    The fact is I have backed off on commenting on more urban issues, and most of what I have been saying as of late have been prefixed as volunteer suburban and rural, which is my experience base.

    I have my style, which is very conservative, both in actions and the decision making process. It works for me. There are those who I work with that can't stand my lack of aggression is some situations. Sucks to be them I guess.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-31-2011 at 03:21 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    PK, welcome and your posts have been very enlightening and well written. With a vast majority of us here, we get what you are saying, but. Unfortunately, your well though out and elegant posts are failing hard in try to convince LA of anything other than doing nothing.
    He talks a big game, and the moment you call him out, or try to pin him down, he soon reverts back to "well in my area....".
    He has yet to add anything constructive or worthwhile to any post or topic that actually discusses what real firefighters do and are tasked to do by their community. He is, in my opinion, a self-centered coward more worried about covering his *** than making a difference.
    But I applaud your efforts and I enjoyed reading your thoughts and the intelligent posts by others that get it.
    I appreciate the endorsement but I'm not giving up so easily on LA. I understand your concern and opinion and appreciate your input. It seems to me that this issue can indeed be based on a regional or local basis. Not saying it changes anything I stated or believe.


    Quote Originally Posted by LA
    Again we agree on most things, but I see our policy as protecting the troops, and you see as handcuffing the troops. I guess it's simply going to end up being and agree to disagree stalemate brother.
    If the ability to train commanders is somewhat compromised, then perhaps the policy is designed to take the place of decision making. I still think that is a bad situation and sets you up for unforseen circumstances. It seems to me that in most of what you have said, I can't find any disagreement. The only thing that is clear and unresolved is this thinking on a damn policy.

    I would like to take some credit for moving you to my position but I don't think I had any impact on that. In truth, I think you were already there for the most part. So if a policy is all that is in dispute, then I must conclude it is a local thing. But having said that, I myself, as many of us, have seen this before.

    I have admitted in my post that a policy was violated twice that did result in a life being saved. Well, we should never violate our policies... so that was wrong if you really get down to it. If the violation had lead to a tragedy, we could all safely conclude someones head would roll. And as stated, people were suspended pending investigation. But the outcomes did find that the actions did in fact lead to the saving of life. Does this mean the ends justifies the means? I'll let each of you decide that.

    But in both of these situations, there was evidence that perhaps the policy was too restrictive or at odds with what we do. There are other ways to change a bad policy, but the road is somewhat rocky. It is alot easier to create a new policy based on fear or reason. This type of policy is for the wrong reason... at least that is my contention.

    I have worked in rural areas and mostly you are correct: delayed response or notification, inadequate water supply, inadequate manpower... is not just a rural or volunteer issue. It can happen in downtown San Francisco, Dallas or even Philly. Hydrants and waterworks do fail, and 911 sometimes has the hiccups.

    Quote Originally Posted by LA
    On my combo side, we average an abandoned structure fire probably once a year. Most of the time these are old and decaying backyard sheds or outbuildings that they owner tells us are empty. One very rare occasions - probably once every 5 years - we experience a fire in an abandoned home or small commercial property.

    The point is this is a very rare event for us. We have experienced officers who have the ability to make the call to go interior if they feel there is a valid life safety reason to do so. The primary purpose of the no entry order is to cover the inexperienced first responders who may arrive via POV or with the satellite engine from the closest volunteer house before the more experienced officers from the paid staff or the bulk of the district arrive.
    The infrequency of your encounters with structure fires may account for the adoption of the policy, but I still think it is bad business. However... you do state that your officers are not bound by a policy... this applies to only to members who may be inexperienced. Well I think we have finally found the root of our disagreement. I happen to agree that a first year rookie might not be equipped with the knowledge to make this call, nor should we expect him to do so.


    Quote Originally Posted by LA
    I guess I disagree that on some levels, we do need to protect our people from themselves. Unfortunately as a service, we have not demonstrated the ability to control our own people in many areas, and I feel this is an areas which begs for hard and firm SOPs. There is room for decision making when the senior officers arrive.
    In a nut shell, the policy you are talking about is to protect the guys that should not make these decisions in the first place. If we only limit the debate to this single idea..... then you are correct. But this policy is not a command policy, it is usually found in the context of not getting yourself in over your head. In other words, if you are not trained to do brain surgery, don't.

    All of my statements relate to the Command Officers ability to decide... not the troops. We do not disagree on protecting someone when they have not been trained to perform a function. But that is a common sense thing.

    By the way, I tend to agree that many times we do not have the ability to control the troops. I have seen this within very good departments. People get excited or carried away and things can get pretty screwed up in a big hurry. But I don't think a policy is going to dictate much at that point. The only thing that can turn this issue around is the Leader or command staff.

    But having said that, we have seen events where extraordinary actions were conducted by few who were cut off from command. I can only explain such actions as personal strength and dedication to mission and are not based on a policy. Extraordinary situations require extraordinary action, not a policy.

    In regard to the RISK/BENEFIT Analysis. I think any of us that hold a command position are guided by RBA. Risk little to save little/ risk a lot to save a lot. But I have seen this basic concept, yet complex theory watered down with very bad policies. If we risk little, then we cannot save a lot. I have never seen a structure fire that was suppressed with only an exterior attack, and I have never seen a rescue without someone going inside. But, I once saw a slab that had been saved with no intervention whatsoever. Perhaps I live in sheltered world where what I consider impossible never happens, but somewhere else it does.

    LA, I don't think there is any disagreement at all... Your own words tell me that you do understand this issue and agree that command officers should command based upon the situation and not be handicapped by a policy. If we are just discussing how we need to make sure our guys are safe... then again, we agree. We should not expect them to command when they have no training or reason to do so. No matter the event, a situation is always possible that someone will exceed their level of training or authority and a policy will not enter into the formula.


    I really need to repair my box now... I was kind of hard on it.

    PK
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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