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    Default Save your partner firefighter or victim?

    I was asked this question on an oral board this weekend. You can only save either your partner or the victim, not both. I have heard previous answers and reasonings from hearsay.

    I chose to save the victim as I would want my partner to do the same. That is, assuming the victim still had "potenitally manageable abc's". I fully understand 2 in 2 out, but this is a unique scenario. As a public servant and protector of the citizens of that city, it is my duty to attempt to save the victims life first. I can see how a panel may be swayed into thinking that my partner would trust me, but I think this is an ethical question about more than trust between two people. There is a third dynamic involved, the victim that breaches the idea of 2 in 2 out and trust between partner firefighters.

    I would be yelling at my fellow firefighter to get out as quickly as possible with the victim and hope the RIT team would be coming if determined safe (as safe as a burning builing can be).

    Has anyone been asked this question, chosen the same or different answer, and how would you answer this question?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleMan17 View Post
    I was asked this question on an oral board this weekend. You can only save either your partner or the victim, not both. I have heard previous answers and reasonings from hearsay.

    I chose to save the victim as I would want my partner to do the same. That is, assuming the victim still had "potenitally manageable abc's". I fully understand 2 in 2 out, but this is a unique scenario. As a public servant and protector of the citizens of that city, it is my duty to attempt to save the victims life first. I can see how a panel may be swayed into thinking that my partner would trust me, but I think this is an ethical question about more than trust between two people. There is a third dynamic involved, the victim that breaches the idea of 2 in 2 out and trust between partner firefighters.

    I would be yelling at my fellow firefighter to get out as quickly as possible with the victim and hope the RIT team would be coming if determined safe (as safe as a burning builing can be).

    Has anyone been asked this question, chosen the same or different answer, and how would you answer this question?
    Hmmm... hypotheticals suck.

    However, Activate RIC and save the civilian. Or not... You know what, I'll stick with "depends".
    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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    Aahhhh, the hypothetical scenario.
    Strip away everything you may know about RIC/RIT/FAST, procedures, training, etc. If you are going into an entry-level interview, you are assumed to know nothing and relying on gut instinct.

    Your brother firefighter with encapsulating PPE and breathing apparatus is more equipped to survive prolonged exposure to heat, smoke and flame than a downed civilian.

    Long and short of it is the brother has a higher chance of surviving you dragging them out. And for the civilian, all you are doing is dragging a dead body out.

    You can see how the panel would be swayed into how your partner would trust you. That's what it really comes down to. You trusting your partner, and them trusting you. Trusting that you will do everything in your power to make sure they go home at the end of the tour. Because you are trusting them to do the same. In the interview, that is what you need to convey; that you can be trusted as part of their team.

    IMO though, this question is stupid.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by ffbam24; 11-21-2011 at 05:38 PM.

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    Thanks Chief! I like "depends" too. Although, after taking many personality tests I dont think "not sure" or "depends" would cut it for the oral board. I think they are looking for someone who is assertive and can choose one and give the best explanation they can given the tough and life threatening scenario.

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    Default Question..

    FFbam24.....They might be stupid questions...but they are still asked. I agree with Chiefkn...They do suck.
    Respectfully,
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayDudley View Post
    FFbam24.....They might be stupid questions...but they are still asked. I agree with Chiefkn...They do suck.
    Word!
    Stupid
    Suck
    Kinda interchangeable in this case :P

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    When I was asked this same question in an interview (to move from part-time to full-time, so I had some experience going into the interview), I chose to go the route of "I have been told in my training that my priorities are me, my fellow firefighters, other people at the scene, property - in that order. Based on the PPE my fellow firefighter is wearing, he will likely be the most viable victim after enduring the situation we are in. My first priority will be to get myself out safely, second to remove him". That being said, I second-guessed myself all night long after getting that question - and to put a nasty twist on it, the version I was asked involved a fellow firefighter and an infant (and so my stated first instinct as a new father was concern for the newborn, but then I fell back to my answer above). Talking it through with someone else (who has done interviews like this numerous times) a few days later, his action was that the best answer was something along the lines of "Assuming that I can only remove one, I will use my medical training" (he and I are both EMT-B, so this seems applicable so far...) "to rapidly triage both of them and determine the most viable victim. That will be the one that I take out with me."

    I still don't exactly like my answer, and I don't necessarily agree 100% with the other answer I was given (although, as far as interview answers go, I like this better - I am just still not in favor of giving "interview answers", I prefer to answer honestly and let the chips fall where they may). To further complicate the situation, my interviewer's follow up question (remembering that I said that I would drag the fellow firefighter out first) was "So you get him outside, and you remove his mask - and see that he is dead. How do you deal with your decision?" My answer was something along the lines of "I would be confident that I had handled the situation to the best of my ability, based on my training. Should the decision continue to bug me, I know that I have my fellow firefighters and other support personnel to discuss this with - and knowing that a brother died at the scene that day, there would likely be additional grief counseling options available to me and the rest of my fellow firefighters."

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    Cool FF vs. Victim

    I would answer just like I would operate on the scene. My partner and I go out, leave the victim. Sounds harsh but like others have said, I know he's more viable.

    Call on the radio and advise the IC of the situation. Request an additional Team if available and if not, make the grab of my partner and then if needed a quick rehab and then go back for the victim.
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    One word...

    Triage

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    [QUOTE=SimpleMan17;1305999]I was asked this question on an oral board this weekend. You can only save either your partner or the victim, not both. I have heard previous answers and reasonings from hearsay.

    I chose to save the victim as I would want my partner to do the same. That is, assuming the victim still had "potenitally manageable abc's". I fully understand 2 in 2 out, but this is a unique scenario. As a public servant and protector of the citizens of that city, it is my duty to attempt to save the victims life first. I can see how a panel may be swayed into thinking that my partner would trust me, but I think this is an ethical question about more than trust between two people. There is a third dynamic involved, the victim that breaches the idea of 2 in 2 out and trust between partner firefighters.

    I would be yelling at my fellow firefighter to get out as quickly as possible with the victim and hope the RIT team would be coming if determined safe (as safe as a burning builing can be).

    Has anyone been asked this question, chosen the same or different answer, and how would you answer this question?[/

    Chances are the victim is dead or might not make it. They have already breathed a ton of smoke and been exposed to the heat. Its kind of like treaging. Its best to get the victim out that is more likely to survive, and that would be your brother firefighter

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    Quote Originally Posted by powerhourcoug View Post
    One word...

    Triage
    Close - the newest fire service buzz words are "Survivability Profile"

    As has already been pointed out; the civilian is ill equiped for the environment(No PPE, No SCBA, etc)
    Also (unless he dropped before your eyes) he has been down longer than your partner.

    Those two factors alone give your partner a much higher chance of survival over the civilian and make him a much more reasonable choice given limited resources.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
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    I think we are all assuming a little too much here.

    1. Assuming the victim has inhaled too much smoke and will die anyway
    2. Assuming your brother firefighter will survive if you pull him out
    3. Going into this question with previous fire experience

    Remember, this is an entry-level question. You don't need or are expected to have any previous fire experience whatsoever. I think any answer involving triage and doing the greatest good for the greatest amount with an explanation will you get the most points. Now I am now saying that I answered this correctly by any means, but I think a lot of the comments assume maybe a little too much as current firefighters.

    I am loving all of the comments and feedback and would slightly change my answer next time, although its hard not to stick with your gut feeling if you thoroughly explain your reasoning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleMan17 View Post
    I am loving all of the comments and feedback and would slightly change my answer next time, although its hard not to stick with your gut feeling if you thoroughly explain your reasoning.
    Given that there is no "right" answer, that is all you can do.

    It can be argued either way in light of the lack of specifics.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleMan17 View Post
    I think we are all assuming a little too much here.

    1. Assuming the victim has inhaled too much smoke and will die anyway
    2. Assuming your brother firefighter will survive if you pull him out
    3. Going into this question with previous fire experience

    Remember, this is an entry-level question. You don't need or are expected to have any previous fire experience whatsoever. I think any answer involving triage and doing the greatest good for the greatest amount with an explanation will you get the most points. Now I am now saying that I answered this correctly by any means, but I think a lot of the comments assume maybe a little too much as current firefighters.

    I am loving all of the comments and feedback and would slightly change my answer next time, although its hard not to stick with your gut feeling if you thoroughly explain your reasoning.
    If we're using entry level logic, obviously the correct answer is: Both because I can do it and it isn't too hard to move two people at the same time and I'm completely safe in my PPE.
    ‎"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
    If we're using entry level logic, obviously the correct answer is: Both because I can do it and it isn't too hard to move two people at the same time and I'm completely safe in my PPE.
    Sarcasm much? haha thanks for the laugh

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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    If we're using entry level logic, obviously the correct answer is: Both because I can do it and it isn't too hard to move two people at the same time and I'm completely safe in my PPE.
    HAHAHA!! Good laugh, but also what I might expect to hear from someone who really has no experience whatsoever. Having said that I can say that as someone in charge of hiring volunteer firefighters, and having a question exactly like this one, I want to hear that the guys are using their newly acquired EMT skills and breaking this down to a triage question, viable save.

    By now I think we can all see that there are different ways this question can be answered correctly. At the end of the day, answer with something that you are comfortable with and project humble confidence. Thats my .02

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    Even in entry-level testing I still want to hear that "we come first" and the initial part of protection of "Life" starts with us. To further my justification, I spend 1/3 or 10 days a month with my fellow FFs, when I was a Vollie and Paid Call it was not unusual to see my fellow FFs everyday. My contact with the public, and possibly this particular individual is very minor. Even if a candidate can not eloquently justify his answer, as long as he chooses his fellow FF I'll rate him a 7 at a minimum. I think it would suck to have to justify to the Guys at the Firehouse why we had a LODD that could have been avoided. And even if they were not viable, at least I'd be able to look their family in the face and know without a doubt or hesitation that I did my best to give their loved-one the best chance to live that I could.

    Again, just my .02 and my thought process.
    Last edited by mikeyboy; 12-26-2011 at 11:44 PM.
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    Question: Just had an oral interview today and was presented with a scenario question. I would like to hear the thought process and or reasoning to how some of you fine people out there would answer this question. YOUR IN A STRUCTURE FIRE AND IN THE PROCESS OF BRINGING A VICTIM OUT YOUR PARTNER GOES DOWN, WHAT DO YOU DO?

    This is a pretty common answer: Call a mayday. Then you get your brother/sister out. WE protect our own first.

    If this question was as easy as getting our own out would they use it?

    Scenario questions can be disguised in many different ways. Your goal is to dissect the question down to one word to discover what the question is really about before you answer.

    Most departments have a two in two out policy with a RIC team in place before entry. You can deviate from this policy if you strongly believe the situation requires a rescue. Yes, you can have a radio and call for the RIC team. The panel could take that option away from you.

    So, you give the answer you would bring out your buddy and they come back with how do you explain to the family why you didnít bring out their loved one? If you brought out the citizen, how do you explain why you didnít bring out your buddy?

    This question can place you in a no win situation. It has been drilled into our heads that we take care of our own first. Always. You would be hard pressed to not take your buddy out first. Is this what theyíre looking for? Are you taking the bait? Could they be looking for something else?

    The following candidate faced the same situation:

    I recently was testing at a department and I got called back for an oral board, and I went in confident. The oral board did not surprise me with any questions and I was well prepared until........ The second to last question they asked me. The question was you are in a fully involved fire and your partner and an infant are both down, they are both right next to you and you can only grab one which one do you grab and why?

    I remembered your steps to answering a question and I asked the oral board after thinking over it for a moment some questions of my own, but I was still stumped as to the answer I should have given them I was just wondering what they were looking for in this particulars question. Thanks Stan

    Reply: What was your answer first?

    Stan: Well, first I asked if I knew where both of them were located, then I asked if there was anyway possible in all my power to save both of them, then I said I would take the firefighter because if anything goes wrong in a fire with you and your partner you are suppose to get out immediately.

    Then after that they told me when you get out of the building you see the infants family and what do you say to them. So I said that I would say I was sorry for what happened and explain the situation the best way I was able under the circumstances. Then they told me that next the media approaches me and what do you say to them. So I said that I would given the circumstances of what I had just been through I would have another officer speak to them because now just wasn't a good time.

    Reply: Like most candidates you took the bait on saving your partner. What would
    you do now?

    Stan: Save the infant now, but don't I face the same scenario with my partner's family, as well as the department and the media, from how I am seeing it, it seems like a lose lose situation. The question seems like they want to see how you think and that there is no right answer am I right?

    Reply: Really? Are you missing the whole point here? There is one word from your EMT training that is the key to what you would do?

    Stan: Could it be TRIAGE?

    Reply: Bingo! Now what is your answer?

    I would be surprised if there were not more opinions on this one. If you are answering this question with bringing your buddy out first and youíre failing the oral, you might consider a different approach of starting triage first then take the appropriate action. What if you started triage and the panel told you one or the other was breathless and pulse less?

    This same scenario is being used in promotional tactical assessment centers to throw off the candidate. Man down! It often does taking the bait to get our own out and can cause the candidate to lose control of the simulated fire. A quick spin off to the RIC team and other resources and back to fighting the fire.

    Another response:

    I would set off his pass and radio beacon as well as my own, radio our location to the IC and request the RIC team be deployed I keep a drop bag on my turnouts so I would then attach it to my partner and get the infant or victim out. Once out I'm quick changing my bottle and going back in. Reason, my partner has PPE and the victim does not.

    CB: Thinking on your feet but will an entry level candidate be expected to be that knowledgeable?

    But did you do triage first???? If the panel was looking for the candidate to consider triage you could loose valuable points here. And, after blasting out your answer what are you going to do if they tell you that the infant or your ff buddy was dead and if you had called triage you should have know that?

    So, it's back to what is the question about? Triage?

    Still more:

    Keep in mind, the victim is an occupant. It is going to take the entry team at least five minutes from time of dispatch to entry into the structure. Meanwhile, the victim has been exposed(inhaling gases w/o PPE) to very toxic gases from the fire. His survivabilty rate is low. You witnessed yr partner go down. His survivabilty rate is high. The panel wants to see you use good sense and judement.

    CB: The panel wants to see you use good sense and judement.

    True

    You witnessed yr partner go down. His survivabilty rate is high.

    How do you know that? Had a candidate say this and a panel member asked how do you know your partners head hasn't been decapited?

    Triage anyone???????

    Listen to the question
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    IRT certain peoples that post on here, I must ask; "WTF are you doing in a building that is on fire anyway!! Don't you know that crap is dangerous and we didn't sign on for that?"
    OK, now I got that off my chest...
    What are the variables? I know this may be a shock to the book types, not every fire or situation is the same or fits in some cute little category.
    If I am close to an exit, the victim is getting tossed out the door onto the front lawn, then back in to get my partner. This can all be accomplished while calling a mayday. With you knowing exactly where they went down, not a whole lot of time wasted on searching.
    What about your partner? Is he/she some lard a s s that you couldn't dynamite out of a lazyboy if their life depended on it? First active call in years and they vapor lock... Again, I'm going with the victim.
    How far in are you? Is there an environment detrimental to the victim, but not the firefighter in PPE? Again, go with the victim. Call mayday.
    Now are you, with your experience, knowing its more than likely a body recovery, well then its easy, go with your partner. Call mayday.
    All the while for the pointed heads, reiterate the importance of saving our own, we come first, it's not our emergency, yadda yadda yadda, knowing full well that a situation isn't as cut and dried as they would lead you to believe.
    Victim survivability is a new catch catch work-only by college educated types that spend all their time in an office or attending NFA classes. The street guy had been doing it since day 1.
    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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    Forget all of the posts that say these questions are "stupid". They either have, or will really struggle to get a job. The reality is that these questions have been around since I was testing to get hired )I have been on the job for 27 years now). BTW, this was long before anyone ever heard of RIT of RIC.

    So instead of fighting the question and saying it's stupid, learn what the panel is looking for. FFBam24 hits the nail right on the head. Read his post and internalize it.

    The question, although it now may be out of date, is still being asked. This question was designed to evaluate your thought process. Does the candidate have a reasonable decision making process and can he or she think on their feet?
    This is so very important as there has been a great shift in the caliber of entry level candidate. They are no longer mechanically inclined, they are computer driven and often lack common sense. This (and many other similar questions) are trying to determine the candidate's level of common sense.

    The new generation of questions are things like:
    You are sweeping the apparatus floor on a quiet Sunday morning. You depress the door opener mounted on the wall and the apparatus door does not work. Describe your actions.

    This is a realistic scenario that seeks to elicit a candidates ability to think on his feet and to solve problems. It also does not put the candidate in the quandary of having to call for a RIC team as in the previous scenario. It a very simple, yet effective scenario.

    For the record, this and over 100 questions are answered in my interview book. You should NOT be surprised by any interview question. The questions are predictable. If you are considering how to answer a question for the first time during an interview, you are well behind the top shelf candidates who have already thought about the same (or very similar situations).
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    Chief Lepore,

    First,

    I would like to say I have your book and have held it by my side for the year I have been testing and interviewing. It has helped me place in the top 5 on several eligibility lists in my home state. I am pretty disappointed in how I answered the question and should have been more prepared to "think on my feet". I'm learning more and more about these common life scenarios and having more opportunities to do this at my volunteer department. I appreciate the insight Chief. FFBAM usually has great posts and seems to get negative responses due to his matter of fact posts that are usually right.

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    i would transmit a mayday secure the victem and wait for rit but it all depends on the situation we are in and how bad my partner is.

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    For the record, in the "Real world of firefighting" you had better bring out your partner. You went in together and you will come out together. There are no two ways about it. It is NEVER acceptable to leave a fellow firefighter.

    For those of you who state you will drag both victims out, this shows your lack of training and knowledge. Anyone who has done a RIC drill knows that it's virtually impossible to drag a lifeless body out of a bulding. It's even tougher to drag out a firefighter who is wearing turnouts and an SCBA.

    Yes, of course you would transmit a mayday etc.......

    The simple reality is that with the time/temperature curve, the firefighter has a much better chance of survival. The victim has been down for at least 10 minutes (you know this because of your response time plus the time it took you and your partner to pull a hoseline into the structure and encounter the victim).
    Again, the question was developed many years ago to try to determine a candidate's thought process.

    Next question!
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    For the record, in the "Real world of firefighting" you had better bring out your partner. You went in together and you will come out together. There are no two ways about it. It is NEVER acceptable to leave a fellow firefighter.
    This.

    Keep in mind, there are line Firefighters on just about every oral board panel. They look at candidates as someone they may have to work with in the future. They might not like hearing that you (might) leave them inside someday.

    Take your partner, every time, all the time.

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