1. #76
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    First - let me say this. If we are serious about reducing LODD's then we need to go after the low hanging fruit. That is health and driving.

    On the health side - wellness programs, fitness and physicals are all great ideas. The problem will be funding and specifically standards for the smaller volunteer departments.

    On driving - this is a no brainer to me. WHY do still do what we do. Why do we think is OK for Yahoos to drive like idiots (career and volunteer). Why do many still have to operate with outdated equipment or improvised equipment. To me, this is really one of the biggest areas we can do more to reduce LODD's. The health side may have greater numbers but not all of those are truly avoidable. Here, almost all are avoidable.

    You can talk tactics until you lose you voice and you won't get agreement. The simple reality is each department must approach each incident differently. They must weight their manpower, their training levels, their experience, their response times against the situation they currently face. There are a LOT of VFD's out there that should go defensive by default and selectively go offensive. They simply lack the combined resources to be an aggressive department on most if not all of their calls. (be it manpower, extended response times etc). There is no shame in admitting and operating in your level of service.

    A township of 2000 cannot support a paid firefighter let alone a whole department. I find it very insulting to those who are willing to make the commitment to train and serve to insinuate they are somehow less worthy to be called firefighters because their department capabilities are limited.

    To SC Fire and those who say nothing is better than something - remember this. "In Democracy, people get the government they deserve". Applied at the local level, the people get the services they deserve whether you like it or agree with it. Reference the thread about Subscription fire service in Tennessee if you need a refresher on that. Just as Lafire has no business making comments about large/urban tactics, those from the large/urban areas need to think about their comments regarding smaller department operations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    "Disagree here. A vacant is always a vacant."
    Reading comprehension must be a real bitch for you.



    Why are you so dense? Reread what I said and try and understand it.
    I fully understand what you said, and I disagree with it. Just because you find a squatter in a vacant structure that doesn't change the classification of the structure .. it's still a vacant structure as the building likely has no or very limited value and may have significant structural issues, and still needs to be viewed as a vacant because of that when making tactical decisions.

    The fact that somebody decided to squat or trespass doesn't change the charectristics or hazards of the structure.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-15-2011 at 01:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    We should count them as 'fire ground' but be able to differentiate between those primarily due to tactical factors and those due to health/stress factors.

    If there is a close-call, injury, or LODD due to something that occurred operationally, such as the floor collapsing or flash over then there is a lot we can all learn by looking at that event and decisions made. Do our tactics have to adapt so that such an event is less likely to occur again?

    This is different then injury/deaths caused primarily due to stress where it may not have as much to do with the tactics and more to due with the health of the member and any preexisting conditions. Even here there is a gray area when you look at the cyanide poisoning being a contributing factor and any operational changes required to mitigate it.
    I have no issue with what you are saying and wouldn't see a problem in doing that.

    Where would you put LODDs as a result of apparatus and POV MVAs while responding? Returning?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Just curious....but how do you know what the community viewed the FD as?
    Through comments made directly to me, as well as other members, as well as comments that have been passed on to us through others.

    The fact is most people in these communities fully understand that we were operating on very little, and they couldn't help but see that we were operating older apparatus. They fully understood the limitations we worked under are rarely did we run into any problems or hear any negative talk in the community when incidents that got away from us.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-15-2011 at 01:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I fully understand what you said, and I disagree with it. Just because you find a squatter in avacant structure that doesn't change it .. it's still a vacant structure and still needs to be viewed in that light when making tactical decisions.
    Please stop talking unless you have something even moderately intelligent to say.
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    FNG - I know I am not calling a well trained / fit fireman "not worthy" because his fire department has limited resources. But my issue is fire departments that stick their heads in the sand and believe that they are not violating the public's trust by pretending they are a viable fire department. If the (majority) of the public knows they are served by a "spit and whittle club" and they are ok with it , shame on them. Most citizens have a limited interaction with their local FD and expect a decent level of service.
    In the past , I have gone in by myself on a room/ contents fire. I was an "enablor" In the long run ,I was proably hurting more than helping.
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Please stop talking unless you have something even moderately intelligent to say.
    You're the one that decided to change the classification of a structure based on a squatter or trespasser.

    A vacant is still a vacant.

    The fact that somebody was in the building doesn't change the fact that it is likely in a state of disrepair and has a tremendous potential to kill us.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-15-2011 at 01:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    FNG - I know I am not calling a well trained / fit fireman "not worthy" because his fire department has limited resources. But my issue is fire departments that stick their heads in the sand and believe that they are not violating the public's trust by pretending they are a viable fire department. If the (majority) of the public knows they are served by a "spit and whittle club" and they are ok with it , shame on them. Most citizens have a limited interaction with their local FD and expect a decent level of service.
    In the past , I have gone in by myself on a room/ contents fire. I was an "enablor" In the long run ,I was proably hurting more than helping.
    So what's your suggestion then? What do you suggest that the public does? Draft able young men and force them to join the fire department? Approve a tax rate 3x the current milage and burden the community with fire taxes few can pay? I'm being serious here ..... if the best a community can afford is a primarily exterior department, and the manpower pool simply doesn't exist to expand the number of interior firefighters, what do you suggest a community does?

    Most departments with limited capability know they have limited capability and act accordingly, generally by utilizing very few interior attacks except in inciepint situations. or at least, that's my experiences, and it is the case around here. And as I said before, most in the community are very well aware of thier limitations.

    So if the community accepts this situation, where is the issue?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    You're the one that decided to change the classification of a structure based on a squatter or trespasser.

    A vacant is still a vacant.
    I'll let you think about it. You've proven your inability to understand facts, espicially if they prove you wrong. Ignorance is bliss I suppose. I'm done with you.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

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    If the community is completely informed and knows that they basically are on their own -I have no problem - in my experence that has not been the case.
    A few suggestions - consilidate -Im not suggesting closing stations (unless they are stacked on top of each other) - but cut the duplication of apparatus, around here -the mindset is quanity not quality, universal training and fitness standards. If you are dedicated enough to get out of bed , be dedicated enough to lose a few pounds and attend (not just attend but learn) real training. Set some REAL standards and you will eventually attract some quality/dedicated help. Just asking the new recruits to fog a mirror just attracts more of the same. We are supposed to be the solution when we show up.
    And in some cases -yes pass a tax -just spend it wisely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    I'll let you think about it. You've proven your inability to understand facts, espicially if they prove you wrong. Ignorance is bliss I suppose. I'm done with you.
    I have thought about it, as we have been over this time and again.

    I have a susspicion that you are actuaklly referring to what I, and my combo department defines as abandoned structure, which is a structure that is no longer maintained. It makes no difference if you find somebody in there, it's still abandoned as it has not been maintained and has been allowed to fall into disrepair. The fact that you may have a victim in that type of structure does not change the physical charecteristics of the structure, and it does nothing to reduce the hazards to us associatted with an abandoned structure.

    The problem is we have a different focus ... you're all tied up with who may be in abandoned structures. My concern is what are the physical charecteristics of the building, how can it kill US, and keeping US alive.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-15-2011 at 02:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    You're the one that decided to change the classification of a structure based on a squatter or trespasser.

    A vacant is still a vacant.
    Um.. From the Dictionary
    vacant [vey-kuhnt]  
    adjective
    1. having no contents; empty; void: a vacant niche.
    2. having no occupant; unoccupied: no vacant seats on this train.
    3. not in use: a vacant room.
    4. devoid of thought or reflection: a vacant mind.
    5. characterized by, showing, or proceeding from lack of thought or intelligence: a vacant answer; a vacant expression on a face.
    Most of us thing #2 applies to buildings, and #4 applies to your posts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    The fact that you may have a victim in that type of structure does not change the physical charecteristics of the structure, and it does nothing to reduce the hazards to us associatted with an abandoned structure.

    The problem is we have a different focus ... you're all tied up with who may be in abandoned structures. My concern is what are the physical charecteristics of the building, how can it kill US, and keeping US alive.
    The terms abandoned, vacant, unoccupied do not describe the physical characteristics of the building. Their either used to describe ownership (abandoned) or contents (vacant.etc). While I agree that a building that is abandoned will also tend to be in bad physical condition but the two terms are not synonymous.

    Either way, a building ceases to be vacant as soon as anybody, including firefighters, enters it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    The terms abandoned, vacant, unoccupied do not describe the physical characteristics of the building. Their either used to describe ownership (abandoned) or contents (vacant.etc). While I agree that a building that is abandoned will also tend to be in bad physical condition but the two terms are not synonymous.

    Either way, a building ceases to be vacant as soon as anybody, including firefighters, enters it.
    Actually abandoned, vacant and unoccupied, in our operation, are three very different things.

    Abandoned buildings are structures that have not been occupied, and are not maintained and are in a state of decay with likely significant structural issues.

    Vacant buildings are structures that have been recently occupied but currently are not, are being maintained and may even have utilities. They are homes that are between owners and commercial buildings that are currently empty, but are still for lease.

    Unoccupied is a building that is normally occupied, but currently is not. Examples would be a business closed during the nights or commercial buildings empty for the weekend. It would include homes where we have information indicating that the occupants are not home either by the occupants themselves or neighbors.

    Likely unoccupied is the same as the above but the initial company officer has made an evaluation that based on outside conditions the building is normally occupied but likely not at this time.

    These terms are used over the radio by first in members or companies as part of the intial size-ito give later arriving personnel/companies a heads-up
    as to the status of the structure.

    Bottom line here is that the classification VERY much affects my decsion regarding fire operations as they also reflect the likelyhood of victims v. risk to personnel. I have no issues with going exterior only from the get-go if I'm the initial IC on a abandoned or vacant building even with light to moderate fire conditions. No reason to take the risk.

    Do what you think is right for you and your department.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-15-2011 at 03:19 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    The terms abandoned, vacant, unoccupied do not describe the physical characteristics of the building. Their either used to describe ownership (abandoned) or contents (vacant.etc). While I agree that a building that is abandoned will also tend to be in bad physical condition but the two terms are not synonymous.

    Either way, a building ceases to be vacant as soon as anybody, including firefighters, enters it.
    They describe the occupancy status. We also use the classifications to define in general terms the structural conditions.

    They also may define the physical charecteristics as by our definations, an abandoned is in poor physical shape with significant structural decay.

    A vacant is likely in good to excellent physical condition is it is simply in between owners or renters.

    Unoccupied is a current ioccupied structure likely in good to excellenet physical shape.

    In both the case of vacants and unoccupied, if the building appears upon itintial size-up, the person making the size up is to advise that be building has (possible) structural issues over the radio.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    A vacant is likely in good to excellent physical condition is it is simply in between owners or renters.

    Unoccupied is a current ioccupied structure likely in good to excellenet physical shape.

    In both the case of vacants and unoccupied, if the building appears upon itintial size-up, the person making the size up is to advise that be building has (possible) structural issues over the radio.
    If both of these are in good condition, how do you know a vacant is a vacant until you search? The hole in your logic should be obvious, even to you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    If both of these are in good condition, how do you know a vacant is a vacant until you search? The hole in your logic should be obvious, even to you.
    We have had this discussion before.

    While I'll fully admit that I don't know that a (by our defination) vacant building is in fact empty, the likilhood of somebody being in a (by our defination) vacant here is pretty minimal. If I find an unlocked door or window that appears it could be used as an egress point, or any other indication that leads me to believe the building may be occupied I may search, depending on conditions. Otherwise, there is little reason in this area to beleive that anyone is in the structure.

    I fully admit that I am taking a calclated risk to civilain safety by not searching, yet, you would also be taking a calculated risk to your personnel by searching, so it's really 6 of one and a half-dozen of another.

    I prefer to err on the side of the safety of my men as compared to the safety of civilians given the low liklihood of occupancy in the majority of the situations we will encounter in either my combo or volunteer setting.

    Why risk my personnel in a search operation in a likely empty structure? Again, risk v. benefit. Again, my personnel always come first.

    As far as occupied structures, why search if the family tells you the building is empty or neighbors tell you the occupants are away? Otherweise I will search, depending on conditions and outside indicators, as occupancy is far more likely than in a vacant.

    We have had this discussion before and it ended up without a resolution. There is really no point in discussing it again. We very much disagree on the need to search in some given situations so let's just leave it at that for the sake of this thread.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-15-2011 at 05:47 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The nots so new FNG View Post
    A township of 2000 cannot support a paid firefighter let alone a whole department. I find it very insulting to those who are willing to make the commitment to train and serve to insinuate they are somehow less worthy to be called firefighters because their department capabilities are limited.
    I can understand how one in that situation could feel insulted, but the fact is the "insult" goes both ways. Calling rural VFD personnel incapable of interior fire operations "firefighters" could be view as an "insult" to the "firefighters" in an urban career department.

    Think of it this way, we don't refer to a paramedic as "doctor" even though both take care of sick/injured people. Considering the extensive training and capabilities doctors have as compared to paramedics, it would be "insulting" to actual doctors for paramedics to be referred to as "doctor".

    The same kind of thing applies to the term "Fire Department". We don't refer to an Urgent Care Center as a "Hospital" for very good reason - it doesn't provide all of the services that one would find in a hospital. So, calling the local "bucket brigade" and the FDNY both "Fire Departments" implies a certain degree of "sameness" while the reality would be a vast difference.

    Maybe a big part of the "problem" is the vast differences between departments from "Mayberry VFD" to FDNY and the use of singular definitions regarding both?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    The problem comes when those in your situation have the expecatations that those in the rural situation should act with the same level of aggressiveness, and if the rural folks don't, they are somehow not perforing the duties of a fire department or a firefighter.
    Well, if they lack the ability to mount an interior fire attack and victim search - the very core of "the job", then they kind of aren't performing the duties of a FD and FF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Well, if they lack the ability to mount an interior fire attack and victim search - the very core of "the job", then they kind of aren't performing the duties of a FD and FF.
    We'll never agree on this. There is no point in us discussing this any further.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-15-2011 at 05:42 PM.
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    In my opinion this whole subject is a never ending double edged sword.

    First, for those of you who think that every community in America should be able to provide the same level of service, wake up! This is simply not realistic. I hate to say it, but LA makes a good point. There are a lot of communities across the country who are well aware of the fire service their tax dollars are providing. Being as this is America and a democracy, who are we to tell them what they HAVE to fund and support?

    Here is the other side of the argument. These fly by night outfits are still considered "fire departments" in most manners of speaking. That being said, when, God forbid, they do something stupid (in our eyes) or get hurt, it reflects back on the fire service as a whole. Your major metro department with 4 guys on the rig is grouped into the same pool as the 5 member volunteer outfit with a brush truck.

    The only actual solution to this issue is the one that SC provided. If you can't provide adequate service, don't provide any at all. However, this is not realistic and will never happen. Next?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    First, for those of you who think that every community in America should be able to provide the same level of service, wake up! This is simply not realistic. I hate to say it, but LA makes a good point. There are a lot of communities across the country who are well aware of the fire service their tax dollars are providing. Being as this is America and a democracy, who are we to tell them what they HAVE to fund and support?
    I would have no problem with that as long as the residents of those locales exonerate the municipality (or its parent like the county or state) from any liability. And that they make it well known to anyone travelling through the said locale so that folks like me know to avoid going there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    And there are suburban areas, like in my region, in which the local VFD really doesn't have the capabilities that the community probably expects from them and I'm sure if they actually knew, most would have an issue with the local VFD.
    Are they sprinklered (commerical and residential)? If not, does the owner (and gov't/FD) really give a damn about fire protection?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I would have no problem with that as long as the residents of those locales exonerate the municipality (or its parent like the county or state) from any liability. And that they make it well known to anyone travelling through the said locale so that folks like me know to avoid going there.
    Its amazing the level of entitlement some seem is appropriate.

    The reality is, if you call for help, you are calling for help. Those in the area you are at, will come with what resources they have, and try to help. If you honestly believe that you should have the same level of care (timeliness, qualifications, capability) anywhere you go, you are insane.

    Anyone with any sense will know you will likely see an ALS ambulance quicker in any urban area than you would in the sticks. There are some counties near me that do not have ALS ambulances. If you need ALS, it comes via helicopter or mutual aid from 30+ miles away. One county in particular near me has only a urgent care clinic for emergency medical care and this is in the midwest. Go further west and the population is even more spread out.

    That is the cost of being 'in the country'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I would have no problem with that as long as the residents of those locales exonerate the municipality (or its parent like the county or state) from any liability. And that they make it well known to anyone travelling through the said locale so that folks like me know to avoid going there.
    Stay home. Problem solved. If we're going the route you're outlining, you should let everyone know that you're incapable of logical reasoning. That helps people like me avoid having to listen to people like you.
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