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  1. #61
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    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.
    Oh, there is always a "go, don't go"..."continue, stop" inner dialogue going when you are in commmand.

    Basing it on percentages? Actual numbers? Sounds like something an insane person would do (no offense).
    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."


  2. #62
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    I will say, safety is still a concern but my job is still my job. If a building doesn't look structurally sound then don't make entry. An untold portion of the decision is "how long has this been burning?". There are very few here that do not feel it worth their time to devote their resources to fighting a vacant building fire but if they take 10 minutes to get the call, 10 minutes to arrive, and 10 minutes to figure out what to do, then a search won't be needed anyway as anyone in there would be (likely) dead. We have the luxury of early detection, very fast response time, and excellent decision making from the white shirts. Is it always the most correct choice? Probably not, but we are fighting the fire very quickly. Like Mr Brannigan said, "If you aren't winning against the fire, you're losing; there are no stalemates". I am trying to understand the counter-points to my article and I can 100% understand the previous situation.

    Sometimes you can not get a fast enough turnout to do anything offensive much less mount an interior attack. If you have the men, the water, and the means, barring any questionable building status, what would be a reason to NOT search?
    Part of the ISSUE,in addition to the increased Safety mantra is the decline of EXPERIENCED Fire Officers. Despite all the training we offer,thru various mediums,NONE of it compares to actually working/running actual FIRE incidents. As more and more calls are B&s,Afa,Mva,and medical,the core of truly experienced fire officers is shrinking. Which takes away from the very indicators that must be learned to make rapid,lifesaving decisions on the shrinking number of working incidents. Area,construction,occupancy and available manpower and equipment all play into this process. But all these factors need balance in order to work Correctly. Some are satisfied with status quo,others will keep pushing and training to continually improve service. I'm pleased to say our entire area falls into the second group. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 07-31-2011 at 04:45 PM.

  3. #63
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    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.
    May want to RETHINK that. We utilize guys from beantown and FDNY regularly in our programs. They bring us tools and they leave with a few they don't often use. A Win Win. There are several FDNY staff that have spent quite a lot of time here both on vaca and teaching. We ENJOY their company and the information they bring. MANY things bridge the urban/rural line,you might consider that moving forward. T.C.

  4. #64
    Forum Member PaladinKnight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Part of the ISSUE,in addition to the increased Safety mantra is the decline of EXPERIENCED Fire Officers. Despite all the training we offer,thru various mediums,NONE of it compares to actually working/running actual FIRE incidents. As more and more calls are B&s,Afa,Mva,and medical,the core of truly experienced fire officers is shrinking. Which takes away from the very indicators that must be learned to make rapid,lifesaving decisions on the shrinking number of working incidents. Area,construction,occupancy and available manpower and equipment all play into this process. But all these factors need balance in order to work Correctly. Some are satisfied with status quo,others will keep pushing and training to continually improve service. I'm pleased to say our entire area falls into the second group. T.C.
    You know.... you make some points that need to be considered.

    It reminds me of a dept that I did some ISO advisory work for last year. None of their command staff had more than 4 years in the department... a young bunch. There just wasn't any salty old guy around to lead them. At the time, structure fires were not going their way, which lead to my work. They had major water supply issues, which in turn effected their entire suppression capability. No water, No attack. Part of my function was to help them work around the water supply thing and teach them the basics of pump operations. So all of it does go hand in hand. It's tough to perfrom a rescue if the guys behind you can't put you out when you come out.

    You are only as good as your weakest link.

    But I still don't want to see a policy...
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  5. #65
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    PK, We have WAY more policy than I care for. But that is starting to change with my incessant hammering on the Boss. My goal: More Officer and crew competence,LESS paperwork. Encourage good thought process and FG actions,correct improper actions and REWARD good ones. Give the R&F the tools they need and less close supervision from top brass. We'll see how it goes. T.C.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Oh, there is always a "go, don't go"..."continue, stop" inner dialogue going when you are in commmand.

    Basing it on percentages? Actual numbers? Sounds like something an insane person would do (no offense).
    It's my way of trying to predict what's going to happen.

    Based on fire conditions, the building, the weather, etc I'll develop a percentage for, as an example, the fire spreading from point X to point Y, in Z time, which may be, as another example, I expect the bulk of my mutual aid to arrive. Based on that calculated percentage, I'll decide to, as another example, commit or not commit personnel interior.

    Again, it's simply my way of using math and probabilities to determine my strategy and tactics at a fire scene. It works very well for me.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    May want to RETHINK that. We utilize guys from beantown and FDNY regularly in our programs. They bring us tools and they leave with a few they don't often use. A Win Win. There are several FDNY staff that have spent quite a lot of time here both on vaca and teaching. We ENJOY their company and the information they bring. MANY things bridge the urban/rural line,you might consider that moving forward. T.C.
    Perhaps, but given the choice I would more than likely entertain the thoughts of another rural guy v. city guy. We have very few of the tools that even the 2 local cities carry as we simply don't have the occupancies that require them.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  8. #68
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Perhaps, but given the choice I would more than likely entertain the thoughts of another rural guy v. city guy. We have very few of the tools that even the 2 local cities carry as we simply don't have the occupancies that require them.

    Dop tell what tools they might use that you don't have the occupancies for. I simply can't wait to see this.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 07-31-2011 at 10:45 PM.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Dop tell what tools they might use that you don't have the occupancies for. I simply can't wait to se this.
    We do very little forcible entry in our area, and as such, carry the bare minimum as compared to most other areas.

    We carry none of the traditional lock-related tools, no rabbit tools and nothing much beyond an irons set and a sledgehammer. We simply don't have the need for the forcible entry tools the city carries.

    While 101's suggestion is a valid one, there really is very little that would be applicable from an urban department in our operations. The only exception may be commercial operations or heavy vehicle extrication as both are infrequent events in our area.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-31-2011 at 10:40 PM.
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  10. #70
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    And when the day inevitably comes when some one walks down to the hardware store and reinforces any part of their house, the convenient "I just don't feel safe doing that" phrase will surface.


    Ladders, forcible entry, what else don't you feel worth your time to teach?
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    And when the day inevitably comes when some one walks down to the hardware store and reinforces any part of their house, the convenient "I just don't feel safe doing that" phrase will surface.


    Ladders, forcible entry, what else don't you feel worth your time to teach?
    Where did I say we didn't teach forcible entry?

    That being said, is it a major point of emphasis on the department? No. Sorry but it's a skill that we have little need for as homes with significant security here are very rare, and commercial after-hours fires are extremely rare. I'm sorry that perhaps, you live in a crime ridden city where businesses, and even homeowners, are secured to the teeth, but again, that's not a part of our world. Even in the high dollar neighborhoods, homes are not secured and forcible entry is a very easy, basic proposition.

    When we see that start to change, we'll make the adjustments.

    I'm not going to get into the ladder debate again as our members are trained during their initial to throw ladders and operate on ladders in the situations we use ladders for, and additional relevant ladder skills are added during weekly training.

    We do spend the bulk of our training time on what we do, which is primarily EMS, brush operations, vehicle extrication, industrial and well site operations, rural water operations and single-story residential fire operations. The rest of the time is used on the less frequently used skills such as commercial fire ops, technical rescue, haz-mat and other niche areas.

    Again, I'll be happy top match our training hours and cert levels with any similiar department in the state.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-31-2011 at 10:57 PM.
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  12. #72
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    I guess my RURAL POC FD is once again atypical.

    We carry the Irons on all of our engines and tanker. We carry multiple of flat head and pick head axes on those same rigs. Our 2 engines carry various lengths of New York roof hooks, various lengths of pike poles, Boston rakes, LA rubbish hooks, a San Francisco pike, and sledge hammers. We buy tools that work for us and believe a variety because of the varied construction is our best choise. We also carry saws on both of our engines.

    We don't have a Rabbet Tool. Not because we think it isn't necessary, but because it isn't in our budget.

    Buy what works and don't avoid buying because it is a "Big City" tool.
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  13. #73
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    It's my way of trying to predict what's going to happen.

    Based on fire conditions, the building, the weather, etc I'll develop a percentage for, as an example, the fire spreading from point X to point Y, in Z time, which may be, as another example, I expect the bulk of my mutual aid to arrive. Based on that calculated percentage, I'll decide to, as another example, commit or not commit personnel interior.

    Again, it's simply my way of using math and probabilities to determine my strategy and tactics at a fire scene. It works very well for me.
    So, do you use a slide rule or perhaps a spreadsheet to calculate your percentages?

    Do you take it out to the tenth of a percent?

    I have never tried to apply a percentage (an actual number) to the likelihood of X happening on the fireground.... never.
    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."

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  14. #74
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    So, do you use a slide rule or perhaps a spreadsheet to calculate your percentages?

    Do you take it out to the tenth of a percent?

    I have never tried to apply a percentage (an actual number) to the likelihood of X happening on the fireground.... never.
    Neither did I. Unless the building was fully involved (meaning top to bottom and side to side) we went interior to look for victims.

    There is a certain art to doing this job. The primary component being that one has to be willing to do it. Something lacking in our self acclaimed statistician.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  15. #75
    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post

    When we see that start to change, we'll make the adjustments.
    How many people have to die before you implement that policy? I'm sure you have a number locked away in that file cabinet of yours.
    IAFF

  16. #76
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Neither did I. Unless the building was fully involved (meaning top to bottom and side to side) we went interior to look for victims.

    There is a certain art to doing this job. The primary component being that one has to be willing to do it. Something lacking in our self acclaimed statistician.
    But even with a fully involved... did you ever think in terms of a number? Or just, no way we are getting in there.

    I just didn't think it was numbers.

    Recognition Primed Decision Making is what you and I are referencing. I've seen something like this and "X" happened or I think that this will lead to THAT which I have seen before.
    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."

  17. #77
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    I have been laying in the weeds on this thread until now.

    Plain and simple, you cannot have a rule that applies to every situation. Stick with the basics:

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

    Each situation is different and goes by it's own set of rules.
    Common sense is not common.
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  18. #78
    Forum Member PaladinKnight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Recognition Primed Decision Making is what you and I are referencing. I've seen something like this and "X" happened or I think that this will lead to THAT which I have seen before.
    Recognition Primed Decision Making (RPDM) has been around along time and has been used either knowingly or unknowingly by fire commanders as a method of defining criteria to base their decisions.

    In my experience, the commanders that have no formal RPDM training but vast fireground experience usually are capable of making quicker decisions than the ones that have formal RPDM. Perhaps it is a knee jerk or gut reaction to known or unknown factors that makes their senses keener.

    The commanders that have formal RPDM tend to take an extra step to analyze and then re-analyze the known or unknown factors. I won't say one is favorable over the other. Both tend to be right more than wrong.

    The three RPDM models that we recognize are factor and action based, in a nut shell nothing more than an IF... THEN... Statement or Function.


    1st Model:

    IF (this event happens or we see this) THEN (we will take this action)

    This is the most typical of RPDM situations. We have seen this situation and we know our action will be effective. We use this method in everyday situations without thinking about it. "If the light turns red, I will stop the car."

    One of my past professors refered to this model as the basic primal response mechanism. You don't really have to think about going to the bathroom when the urge occurs. Conditioning, or training, initiates and causes your actions to be carried out.

    **This model does not apply to kids when you're on vacation.



    The 2nd and 3rd RPDM models are implemented when unknown factors or unknown actions are involved. Both tend to require the subject to probe, test or guess as to the action.


    2nd Model:

    IF (we really don't know what is happening) THEN (we can try one of these actions: Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc...).

    Experienced Commanders whether they have formally trained in RPDM or not, usually determine the action based on their experience. What a novel idea. While at times it may be a best guess, sometimes it is nothing more than a probing action to gain knowledge about the factors, which is followed by another IF/THEN because the missing factor becomes known. At this point the RPDM moves to the first Model.


    3rd Model:

    IF (this event happens or we see this) THEN (we can try one of these actions: Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc...).

    In this Model the commander knows what is going on, but unsure as to the correct action to take. Again, we find the commander having to take an action based upon what he thinks will work. This model is based on the premise that we really do not have any idea what might happen when we try to take an action. It is important to understand that one of the possible actions might be... No action.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Going back to the original Policy Debate for a moment...

    None of the Models apply when the person in charge has no experience in decision making and:
    1) has no idea what he is looking at
    2) has no idea what course of action should be taken
    3) has no idea what kind of reaction the selected action may initiate

    This becomes even more troublesome in Models 2 and 3.

    So in this context, a policy designed to prevent a person from screwing a situation up, thus making it worse, might be a damn good idea. But if someone is bent on doing something, (whether there is a policy or not), they will.

    Enter -> Murphy's 2nd Law: If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.

    This should not be confused with Murphy's 9th Law: The size of the catastophie is not directly proportional to the punker factor involved. Pucker pressure can not be measured due to its tendency to become unstable as the catastophie either escalates or subsides. However, the amount of mass the pucker factor has directly impacted can be measured by the size of the debris field left behind.

    So I suggest that we write a policy to prevent Murphy from interferring with our departments. If the policy is successful, we no longer have to worry about the dum3@$$ that will otherwise arrive on the scene and screw it up.



    And above all... If all else fails... it is a good time to quit trying to do anything...



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  19. #79
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    Dickey: the weeds might be the safest place to lay low my friend.
    Ok, back I go.

    Carry on, Pretend I was not here!
    Jason Knecht
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  20. #80
    Forum Member PaladinKnight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    Ok, back I go.

    Carry on, Pretend I was not here!
    Won't tell a soul.

    I am removing the evidence now.







    I do want copies of the photos you captured, for the file of course...
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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