1. #1
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    Default Most dangerous time to be a firefighter?

    Hey guys,

    I was wondering what everyone's thoughts were on the most dangerous time in history up to present to be a firefighter.

    Feel free to take it any direction that you want- safety, most fires in history, worst fires in history, lightweight construction, fire development in modern structures and modern furnishings, physical fitness, highrises, lack of PPE, lack of experience, transitioning to an all response agency- not strictly fire anymore, hazmats everywhere, limited preventative codes in place, after chilli dinner , whatever direction you want.

    No motives behind it, no papers, no polls, no apps, no ammunition for disputes- just simply curious what everyone thinks. Please defend your opinion.

    Stay safe.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yjbrody View Post
    Hey guys,

    I was wondering what everyone's thoughts were on the most dangerous time in history up to present to be a firefighter.

    Feel free to take it any direction that you want- safety, most fires in history, worst fires in history, lightweight construction, fire development in modern structures and modern furnishings, physical fitness, highrises, lack of PPE, lack of experience, transitioning to an all response agency- not strictly fire anymore, hazmats everywhere, limited preventative codes in place, after chilli dinner , whatever direction you want.

    No motives behind it, no papers, no polls, no apps, no ammunition for disputes- just simply curious what everyone thinks. Please defend your opinion.

    Stay safe.
    1967-1972 The stories from that time period and the riots are pretty amazing.
    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."

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    It would seem to me that the answer would depend on where you were at a given time.... subjective.

    I began in early 1972 with a department that had very little apparatus and virtually no PPE or equipment. Firefighter injuries were commonplace. I won't go as far as stating that injuries and losses were acceptable, but that there just were very few options at the time to acquire what we needed.

    Fast-foward a few years, things improved after 75% of the firefighters were injured during a single event. The "fire" gutted the town as well as the dept to the extent that we no longer had enough guys to staff a single truck. It was then that city leaders finally listened to what we had been saying for years. We finally replaced a 1958 400 gpm Engine with a 1975 Seagraves. We acquired our first Tankers and installed over 100 hydrants within 2 years. Water supply before this was provided by Milk Tankers from a local dairy, IF they were sitting idle.

    We knew the risks, but we also knew that we were the only thing standing between losing the whole town and only a part of it. I think in some ways, the level of dedication that we once saw, has been deminished. A greater number of newer people that I see come into the Service today seem to have the 'me' mentality. It is more about the paycheck and excitement than doing the job. And that in my opinion sets us up for lack of attention to the mission.

    Until the public wakes up and wishes to provide the funding and tools so we can become the do-all department that most of us are struggling to operate... they will continue to get what they pay for. Not all departments are the same. Tactics and Operations are very much based on the fleet and equipment you have on hand, as well as the level of training within the dept. Most of the departments in this country are understaffed, underfunded and underequipped. But we are expected to provide miracles with what we have.

    False Perception is the most dangerous thing of all. Everyone assumes they are safe because a fire station sits down the road. But when the worst unexpected disaster comes along, people stand in line to throw us out the door. There is no easy answer... nor will there ever be.

    So as to the most dangerous time... it hasn't changed much over the years. With the fire service accepting almost every unconceivable mission that comes around, we continue to advance change. The dangers come with the mission. We cannot create safer fires, or disasters. We can train smarter firefighters that can step up and deal with everything thrown at them, but the danger does not go away. We continue to see deaths and injuries in our ranks. Some of us were handed our death sentence a long time ago... we are only on borrowed time waiting for the sentence to be carried out from those events from long ago.

    And to close this out.... those of you that have accepted this mission must protect yourself. You get one set of lungs, one heart and one chance to do it right. If you beat the hell out of your body because you're macho, keep this in mind: You might think you're cool today... but it is pretty damn hard to look cool in a burn ward or on life support when those lungs give up.


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

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    I would say "Tomorrow". I know that for me personally Yesterday, and Today (so far) has gone pretty well.
    So you call this your free country
    Tell me why it costs so much to live
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    World War 2

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    In California, when wildland fires are burning, during Santa Anna winds.

    The devils inferno moves as fast as lightning in those fires.

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    In no particular order...

    Summer months returning from the store with ice cream.

    Anytime you're thinking about taking a dump, but haven't totally committed.

    Right now with government trying to downplay our deserved pensions, budget cuts costing public safety funds to shrink or disappear, costing jobs.
    IAFF

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    every time i get in the truck and drive to a fire, traffic is more dangerous than chasing down a wildfire
    "If you can't be a good example, the you'll just have to be a terrible warning."

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    In no particular order...

    Summer months returning from the store with ice cream.

    Anytime you're thinking about taking a dump, but haven't totally committed.

    Right now with government trying to downplay our deserved pensions, budget cuts costing public safety funds to shrink or disappear, costing jobs.
    Or going into the head right after the guy that has a problem digesting chili.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    I agree with WW2-London and Dresden
    ?

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    Fire prevention week education at the school. They take my cigars away from me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerJake72 View Post
    every time i get in the truck and drive to a fire, traffic is more dangerous than chasing down a wildfire
    People just don't seem to care at all about anyone but themselves when they are behind the wheel.

    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    I agree with WW2-London and Dresden

    Don't forget the firebombing of Tokyo

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    I forgot about Japan --- those guys "drew a line in the sand" and didnt move.
    ?

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    The Wild Fires of 1910, 87 Dead, and 3 million acres burnt, in one season.
    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    Right now with government trying to downplay our deserved pensions, budget cuts costing public safety funds to shrink or disappear, costing jobs.
    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinKnight View Post
    Until the public wakes up and wishes to provide the funding and tools so we can become the do-all department that most of us are struggling to operate... they will continue to get what they pay for. Not all departments are the same. Tactics and Operations are very much based on the fleet and equipment you have on hand, as well as the level of training within the dept. Most of the departments in this country are understaffed, underfunded and underequipped. But we are expected to provide miracles with what we have.
    This didn't even come to mind when I was thinking of things myself, but it might just be the biggest threat to firefighters as a whole yet.

    As for the wildfires.... Yeah, no thanks. I can't even pretend to fathom what those big ones are like in person. I only imagine you can't help but feel very tiny and insignificant when around them.
    Last edited by yjbrody; 11-22-2011 at 06:52 PM.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    1967-1972 The stories from that time period and the riots are pretty amazing.
    You know, I've heard some stories about this time period but don't really know why it was all taking place? Public unrest because of the Vietnam war that just spilled over into law enforcement and fire?

    If anyone could point me to some good reads on this (specifically regarding the fire service), I'd appreciate it.
    Last edited by yjbrody; 11-22-2011 at 06:54 PM.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yjbrody View Post
    You know, I've heard some stories about this time period but don't really know why it was all taking place? Public unrest because of the war that just spilled over into law enforcement and fire?

    If anyone could point me to some good reads on this (specifically the fire service), I'd appreciate it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UAI2gzf0mw

    Report from Eng company 82 by dennis smith

    Last Men Out by tom downey had a really good section in it also.

    These just touch on it, there's countless pieces out there. They're referred to as "the war years". Always a good read.
    ‎"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 yjbrody View Post
    You know, I've heard some stories about this time period but don't really know why it was all taking place? Public unrest because of the Vietnam war that just spilled over into law enforcement and fire?

    If anyone could point me to some good reads on this (specifically regarding the fire service), I'd appreciate it.
    Search Youtube for Newark Fire Department Riots... interesting time, indeed.

    http://youtu.be/cUDK8MKivR8

    http://youtu.be/mH600MR0T-o

    http://youtu.be/gC2ObNqHq7E
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 11-22-2011 at 08:42 PM.
    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."

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    I would say London during the blitz.....or even Germany...in WW2. The allies did what they could to hamper firefighting efforts in German cities.
    IACOJ Member

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    Quote Originally Posted by VinnieB View Post
    I would say London during the blitz.....or even Germany...in WW2. The allies did what they could to hamper firefighting efforts in German cities.
    German cities got it much worse than the UK. USAAC by day, RAF by night. Burning for days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireinfo10 View Post
    German cities got it much worse than the UK. USAAC by day, RAF by night. Burning for days.
    Eh. The RAF really didn't care what they bombed, but for the most part the daylight raids were on military targets. Did we kill a few people too? Yea. But we didn't target them

    The Germans just bombed London.

    And if you really want to compare. Our fire bombing of Japan FAR exceeded any damage inflicted by us, the British and the Germans combined in Eurpoe.

    As for the orignal question, when the Engine Company is having an Occupy the Couch movement.
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    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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    Default right now

    Our manpower is taking a hit and getting worse in a lot of depts. Fires are burning hotter and faster and doing it in lightweight constructed buildings.
    Another thought... a lot less fires nowadays because of codes, which is a good thing but our newer members won't be getting that experience of a real fireground situation. You can train for this but it doesn't compare to real situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UAI2gzf0mw

    Report from Eng company 82 by dennis smith

    Last Men Out by tom downey had a really good section in it also.

    These just touch on it, there's countless pieces out there. They're referred to as "the war years". Always a good read.
    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Search Youtube for Newark Fire Department Riots... interesting time, indeed.

    http://youtu.be/cUDK8MKivR8

    http://youtu.be/mH600MR0T-o

    http://youtu.be/gC2ObNqHq7E
    Thx for the info guys. Should be very interesting.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by engineeremtp View Post
    Another thought... a lot less fires nowadays because of codes, which is a good thing but our newer members won't be getting that experience of a real fireground situation. You can train for this but it doesn't compare to real situation.
    This is the boat that a lot of our members are in including myself. I've been on for 5 years, but with limited live fire experience in my opinion. Same for majority of the volunteers and even some of the paid guys. We just don't burn much. Must be the high altitude.
    Nothing is as unimpressive as someone who is unwilling to learn.

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    As stated before it all depends on where you're stationed at, and it can be at any given time during any given day. From the politicians who want to cut staffing, benefits, training to the supposed routine house fire. Any can be a danger the key is knowing when but when we do find the key it's usually too late.

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