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  1. #1
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    Default USFA Official: Fire Service Must Adapt to Changing World

    I noticed something in one of the stories on the main page and figured I'd bring it up for discussion. The article on the main page, the same title as the thread, had a statement from a firefighter/official at the national fire academy:


    Aside from demographics, he said that the job too is changing, including the tactics used by fire crews.

    "Stop fighting interior fires," he said. "Don't go into those fires anymore. It's not worth it. They build disposable houses these days. Our lives are not disposable."

    By fighting fires from the outside, he believes firefighters will be safer and more line of duty deaths will be prevented.


    Now maybe he was taken out of context a bit by the interviewer, but I think saying "Stop fighting interior fires" is painting with too broad of a brush. I completely agree that firefighters are not disposable and that safety is important, but I think it's a disservice to the people we are supposed to be protect to not aggressively, but smartly, enter a building for search and extinguishment.

    It just seems like there is a lack of a balanced approach in tackling fire service issues. I think health screenings and physicals would go a long way in cutting LODD's coupled with new technology for PPE. Instead of advocating better training and firefighter fitness, we seem to be moving toward Risk Nothing to Save Nothing everytime out.

    Obviously not all department have that philosophy or will abandon it in favor of super safety practices.

    Just trying to stir some discussion.


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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squad50FF View Post
    I noticed something in one of the stories on the main page and figured I'd bring it up for discussion. The article on the main page, the same title as the thread, had a statement from a firefighter/official at the national fire academy:


    Aside from demographics, he said that the job too is changing, including the tactics used by fire crews.

    "Stop fighting interior fires," he said. "Don't go into those fires anymore. It's not worth it. They build disposable houses these days. Our lives are not disposable."

    By fighting fires from the outside, he believes firefighters will be safer and more line of duty deaths will be prevented.


    Now maybe he was taken out of context a bit by the interviewer, but I think saying "Stop fighting interior fires" is painting with too broad of a brush. I completely agree that firefighters are not disposable and that safety is important, but I think it's a disservice to the people we are supposed to be protect to not aggressively, but smartly, enter a building for search and extinguishment.

    It just seems like there is a lack of a balanced approach in tackling fire service issues. I think health screenings and physicals would go a long way in cutting LODD's coupled with new technology for PPE. Instead of advocating better training and firefighter fitness, we seem to be moving toward Risk Nothing to Save Nothing everytime out.

    Obviously not all department have that philosophy or will abandon it in favor of super safety practices.

    Just trying to stir some discussion.


    No inside firefighting is just waht LaFireEducator wanted to hear!!


    This is what the safety sallies want to hear. Fight 'em from the outside at the street!

    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  3. #3
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    This guy sounds 50/50, idiot and realist.

    Fighting fire from the outside all the time, and going out of our way to recruit minorities are 2 of the stupidest ideas. We need to be recruiting the BEST of the BEST, not who is the flavor of the month. And aggressive interior attack is what puts fire out, saves property and saves lives, not standing on the outside.


    He is right when he stated that WUI, EMS and tech rescue are going to be more common, and we need to train up more on those areas.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

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    Fighting all house fires like it's lightweight construction, is just as silly as fighting everything like it's an older dimensional lumber. I'm not going to let people die or property be needlessly destroyed in a home built in 1920 because I'm afraid of houses built in 2000. We need intelligence and skill, not cowardice.

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    Forum Member nyckftbl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    Fighting all house fires like it's lightweight construction, is just as silly as fighting everything like it's an older dimensional lumber. I'm not going to let people die or property be needlessly destroyed in a home built in 1920 because I'm afraid of houses built in 2000. We need intelligence and skill, not cowardice.
    well said. .
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Blanket statements are rarely relevant in the real world.

    Fight all structure fires from outside? WHY? Even if the building is of truss construction as long as the fire doesn't "Escape the compartment" into the void spaces of the attic area we can fight it like any other structure fire we have ever fought.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    No inside firefighting is just waht LaFireEducator wanted to hear!!


    This is what the safety sallies want to hear. Fight 'em from the outside at the street!

    Being brought into a thread I didn't post in .. Again.

    Have at the discussion boys without me. I know how I feel.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    Fighting all house fires like it's lightweight construction, is just as silly as fighting everything like it's an older dimensional lumber.
    A lot of us know that - but too many of us don't.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    I understand what the message is... but I can't agree with it. I look at this as putting down our weapons and accepting defeat.

    If we adopt blanket defensive operations, we basically will surrender the ground every time. When we have fires in large warehouses, tenement structures, apartment buildings, motels, hotels, office buildings, etc... the loss will be much greater than what we have come to expect.

    Of course, many times these examples put our people at the highest risk. Improved training and tactics perhaps should be advanced, but the risks will still remain.

    There are times we must take a defensive posture. I swallow hard when conditions tie my hands in this way. I just cannot subscribe to the reasoning to take offensive strategies from our toolbox.
    HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    I understand what the message is... but I can't agree with it. I look at this as putting down our weapons and accepting defeat...

    ...There are times we must take a defensive posture. I swallow hard when conditions tie my hands in this way. I just cannot subscribe to the reasoning to take offensive strategies from our toolbox.
    I didn't take his comments as a blanket "put down your weapons." I think his cautionary message is that we can't just go charging in any more - we need to think twice.

    There are times when we do need to (and still can) be aggressive. But we also need to realize that a box made of toothpicks and cardboard is a deathtrap for us and increasingly it's simply time to step back and protect the exposures.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  11. #11
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    I agree with what is likely the underlying message - new construction methods require us to re-think the use of our "traditional" methods when encountering one that is on fire and adapt appropriately. Doing so would definitely have the potential to reduce FF LODDs.

    However, it would seem to me that in regards to reducing LODDs, the need to change our tactics in order to achieve that reduction is of a lower priority to making changes in other areas. The vast majority of LODDs each year seem to be the result of medical issues (work stress, lack of fitness and underlying medical condition) and MVAs (apparatus and POV). Annually, very few appear to be the direct result of offensive fire operations in buildings of lightweight construction.

    So, it's quite possible that many FDs have already adapted to the lightweight construction threat and a true focus on things like fitness and safe driving could yield a much greater impact on reducing the number of LODDs annually.

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    My thoughts can be found here....

    http://backstepfirefighter.com/2011/...-fail-mission/
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLSboy View Post
    This guy sounds 50/50, idiot and realist.

    Fighting fire from the outside all the time, and going out of our way to recruit minorities are 2 of the stupidest ideas. We need to be recruiting the BEST of the BEST, not who is the flavor of the month. And aggressive interior attack is what puts fire out, saves property and saves lives, not standing on the outside.


    He is right when he stated that WUI, EMS and tech rescue are going to be more common, and we need to train up more on those areas.

    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    Fighting all house fires like it's lightweight construction, is just as silly as fighting everything like it's an older dimensional lumber. I'm not going to let people die or property be needlessly destroyed in a home built in 1920 because I'm afraid of houses built in 2000. We need intelligence and skill, not cowardice.
    Can't say it any better myself.

    Well said...sirs!
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    The vast majority of LODDs each year seem to be the result of medical issues (work stress, lack of fitness and underlying medical condition) and MVAs (apparatus and POV).
    There seems to be a growing sentiment that the cause of at least some of our "after the fact" deaths (returns to station, doesn't feel well, collapses, cannot be revived despite efforts of rescuers on scene at the time) may be due to cyanide poisoning, as opposed to "poor lifestyle choices."

    Studies I've heard of (third hand, unfortunately) have shown that even fire personnel working outside the fire building show increased levels of cyanide after an incident.

    In Europe it is now apparently standard practice to give smoke inhalation victims a "Cyanokit" - the antidote for cyanide. Recovery rates have markedly improved, from what I hear.

    While we often do need to improve our lifestyles, we also need to be looking for other reasons for some of these otherwise unexplained deaths.

    There's a lot of crap in that smoke we breathe (and even more of it after the fire is "out").
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    There seems to be a growing sentiment that the cause of at least some of our "after the fact" deaths (returns to station, doesn't feel well, collapses, cannot be revived despite efforts of rescuers on scene at the time) may be due to cyanide poisoning, as opposed to "poor lifestyle choices."

    Studies I've heard of (third hand, unfortunately) have shown that even fire personnel working outside the fire building show increased levels of cyanide after an incident.
    Not to get off course here but...

    Three or so months ago we reviewed all the LODD's in Florida over the last few years. Those who did not die from vehicle accidents or injuries sustained on a call or training died as a result of sudden cardiac arrest. Some had heart conditions that were unknown or that they did not disclose but nutrition, fitness level and improper rehab were at the top, not inhalation of toxic fumes. What we need to push for are complete NFPA physicals and mandatory physical fitness standards and mandatory rehab as laid out by the NFPA and IAFF.
    If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.

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    "What we need to push for are complete NFPA physicals and mandatory physical fitness standards and mandatory rehab as laid out by the NFPA and IAFF."

    I'm all for higher fitness and health standards. But what it boils down to is this-how many of the guys that we work with are we willing to put out of work to get to 0 LODDs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnyv View Post
    I'm all for higher fitness and health standards. But what it boils down to is this-how many of the guys that we work with are we willing to put out of work to get to 0 LODDs?
    I don't want to see anyone let go but on the flip side, are you willing to bite it because these guys would rather eat crap and sit in the Lazy-Boy all day? I'm all for helping these guys out, thats part of the brotherhood. Get them on a workout and nutrition plan, make it part of training. Devise some sort of competition for those who are overweight and out of shape, I don't know any FF who is not somewhat competitive. Bottom line is that improving our health will limit a lot of LODDs.
    If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemedic 61 View Post
    Those who did not die from vehicle accidents or injuries sustained on a call or training died as a result of sudden cardiac arrest.
    How many that had been in or near an IDLH atmosphere recently had toxicology screens done?

    I'll certainly agree that the cause of death of a member who hasn't seen a working fire in several days or longer and who succumbs to a heart attack will most logically be laid to heart disease. I also agree that healthier living could well reduce the number of those deaths.

    What I'd like to see more attention paid to are those deaths that occur within some short period after a member returns from a fire, and even those who succumb on the fireground. Unless we look at other possible causes (like poisonous gas inhalation), we aren't going to reduce that portion of our fatalities.

    If one of your firefighters experienced the following symptoms, would you suspect cyanide poisoning?
    ...general weakness, giddiness, headach, vertigo, confusion, and perceived difficulty in breathing.
    I didn't think so.

    That's from Wikipedia.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    How many that had been in or near an IDLH atmosphere recently had toxicology screens done?
    As part of their autopsy yes, every one did and the MEs did not relate toxicity as cause of death.

    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    If one of your firefighters experienced the following symptoms, would you suspect cyanide poisoning?


    I didn't think so.

    That's from Wikipedia.
    No, your 100% right, but every one of those symptoms requires ALS treatment and transport under our SOG's
    If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemedic 61 View Post
    As part of their autopsy yes, every one did and the MEs did not relate toxicity as cause of death.
    That's good to hear, as it applies to my point.
    No, your 100% right, but every one of those symptoms requires ALS treatment and transport under our SOG's
    But you realize that if, in fact, the patient is suffering from cyanide poisoning, your best paramedic, doing a perfect job, is simply wasting his/her time unless they administer a Cyanokit...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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