1. #76
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    Well if you note the significant delay in calling 911, and the construction of the home, it would make a little more sense - but still hard to believe. Google poptart fires, as we did after this fire, and you will be surprised.

    But yes, the nearest fire station was within a mile of the home, was on scene in less than a minute, but the fire had already spread throughout the attic area in a home that had so many remodels it had three roofs (not uncommon in this area) and the fire was unreachable from below and we weren't putting anybody on the roof with what we had on arrival. What looked like a single story residential was actually a double wide, with additions, and construction to make it look like a regular home.

    If the owner knew how to use an extinguisher we would never have been called. If the neighbor who was summoned for help had called 911 before trying a bucket brigade and pulling a garden hose we would have been able to save the home. But...

    All educational issues....

    News story: http://www.yourislandnews.com/2011/1...mily-homeless/

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Byrne View Post
    Well if you note the significant delay in calling 911, and the construction of the home, it would make a little more sense - but still hard to believe. Google poptart fires, as we did after this fire, and you will be surprised.

    But yes, the nearest fire station was within a mile of the home, was on scene in less than a minute, but the fire had already spread throughout the attic area in a home that had so many remodels it had three roofs (not uncommon in this area) and the fire was unreachable from below and we weren't putting anybody on the roof with what we had on arrival. What looked like a single story residential was actually a double wide, with additions, and construction to make it look like a regular home.

    If the owner knew how to use an extinguisher we would never have been called. If the neighbor who was summoned for help had called 911 before trying a bucket brigade and pulling a garden hose we would have been able to save the home. But...

    All educational issues....

    News story: http://www.yourislandnews.com/2011/1...mily-homeless/
    Most fires are started by causes that are "educational issues", therefore they can be prevented. While in some areas, delivering these messages can be a challenge, they can be delivered. And delivered in the right format, most folks will pay attention to them.

    In a career department, delivering these messages takes staff = funding. In a volunteer department, there is a significant time investment required to locate and train volunteers for the prevention function, as well as both prepare and deliver the messages. In both situations, it takes a commitment on the part of the leadership to determine that public education and prevention is as important as suppression and will receive a commitment by the organization, both and time and money, to deliver on that commitment.

    Are there departments that make that commitment? Yes. Are there enough of them? No.

    Unfortunately FWD's attitude is present in the fire service. "Not enough people will listen so why should we take the time and money" or "Just invest it in suppression as it's easier to respond to the fires than it is to change how people behave".

    Until the majority of the fire service is bathed of that attitude, there will always be an uphill battle when it comes to the role of prevention v. suppression.

    By the way, we rolled on 9 structure fires this year, continuing the downward trend from 24 just 5 years ago. Silly me, it must just be dumb luck..... It sure can't be prevention and education.
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    Why the f--- do you accept the fact that you have to rob from peter in suppression to fund paul the "educator" - if there isnt enougn $ to fund both to do an adequate job. Work together and get the funding. I seem to detect some animosity toward the suppression end from the "prevention" guys. In my opinion suppression and prevention should not operate as different enities.
    ?

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    Thats the way it is anytime two or more programs are funded from the same pot of money. Sure, sometimes you can get a bigger pot and both benefit, but that isn't an option at the local government level across most of the country right now.

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    By the way, we rolled on 9 structure fires this year, continuing the downward trend from 24 just 5 years ago. Silly me, it must just be dumb luck..... It sure can't be prevention and education.
    So next year when it goes up to 10 structure fires you'll blame prevention and education, right?
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 01-03-2012 at 09:22 AM.
    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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  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    Why the f--- do you accept the fact that you have to rob from peter in suppression to fund paul the "educator" - if there isnt enougn $ to fund both to do an adequate job. Work together and get the funding. I seem to detect some animosity toward the suppression end from the "prevention" guys. In my opinion suppression and prevention should not operate as different enities.
    Because right now the average fire department in the US spends 1% of it's budget on prevention operations, which includes both education and inspection. So, in my mind, right now the funding is already quite unequal.

    Let's be honest here. Whenever there is a shortfall who gets cut first? Prevention. So who has been robbing who?

    The fact is you reduce the number of fires, you reduce the need for the currently budgeted suppression units.

    In a perfect world, prevention and suppression wouldn't be at odds and would work well together, and in many places they do. However, they each have a very different set of responsibilities and each require a very different set of skills, and in most if not all places, work very different schedules with a minimum of interaction. In some places, suppression personnel do perform inspection and education functions, and have more interaction with prevention than the typical line firefighter. In other places, they don't.

    And in places there is tension, because the prevention staff knows that when suppression jobs are on the line, many of the suppression members will scream that prevetiton should be cut to save line jobs.

    In LA, suppression and prevebntion, by law, must be seperate. In order for a fire department to have formal inspection and enforcement powers, their inspection personnel function as Deputy Fire Marshals certfied under the State Fire Marshal's Office. Fire department inspectors must be certified to Inspector I as well as pass a seperate test and certification process administered through the State Fire Marshal's Office, and they must work under an established and seperate Fire Prevention Bureau within the department, certified by the State Fire Marshal's Office, under a Fire Prevention Bureau Chief, certified to Inspector II. Line personnel, even though they may be trained and certified to Inspector I, cannot perform formal inspections as they operate under a suppression chief, not within a fire prevention bureau under a fire prevention chief. Line personnel can do informal reviews but that must be passed on to the FPB for a formal inspection by FPB personnel if the department wishes to take any enforcement actions.

    So here, by law, it must be seperated.

    My combo department do not currently perform formal inspections and likely never will. We investigate any complaints or anything that our line personnel notice and ask the business to correct it. if they don't, we refer the issue to the state fire marshal's office for followup and enforcement.

    Even though my primary role is public education, I also have responsibilities in the training role in both delivery and administration, and the supression role on significant or multiple incidents.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 01-03-2012 at 10:02 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    So next year when it goes up to 10 structure fires you'll blame prevention and education, right?
    Unless there are some unique circumstances, such as the extremly dry weather in 2010, which caused an uptick due to brush fire related structure fires, yes, I will blame my program if there is an increase.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Unless there are some unique circumstances, such as the extremly dry weather in 2010, which caused an uptick due to brush fire related structure fires, yes, I will blame my program if there is an increase.
    So your wildland prevention sucks?
    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."

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    So your wildland prevention sucks?
    Legtimate question.

    And the answer is no.

    Begiining in mid-2009 we had the begginings of a drought where we were under significant some pretty significant fire conditions. In the last 6 months of 2009, we saw a roughly 30% increase over the average number of fires during the same period in a typical year.

    During the first 4 months of 2010 had roughly 4x the normal number of brush and wildland incidents.

    Wildland fire prevention had always been a priority given that in this area we have always had a largwe number of brush incidents, it significant fires with a structural threat has always been an educational issue, however, once it was obvious that conditions were far more severe than anyone could remember, the department initiated a much stronger public education campaign, which was effective in reducing the monthly rate of working brush fires for the last 8 months of 2010 compared to the first 4 months of 2010. While we ended up 2010 about 2 1/2x over the normal number for a year, we experienced fewer fires and fewer severe fires than most of the neighboring districts, as some ran 4x-5x over a normal year. Unfortuantly, 2010 resulted in 3 residences and 2 outbuildings being severly damged or destroyed by wildfires.

    Last year, 2011, the drought conditions continued and in fact got worse and we built on the public education campaign started in mid 2010 in response to the worsening conditions.

    In late May, a burn ban was put in place by the state.

    Even though conditions were worse, the number of fires decreased before the burn ban was put in place, were down compared to the same months during 2010. Once the ban was in place, wse still had fires. A few of them were caused by people who ignored the burn ban. Some of them were accidental but they were even decreased compared to 2010.

    We ended up 2011 with about 2x the normal number of brush fires, as compared to almost 3x the normal in 2010 despite more severe conditions in 2011. More importantly, we had no structural fires as a result of brush incidents in 2011 as compared to the 5 in 2010.

    Given the conditions, we consider that figure a success as it could have been much worse, and it was in several neighboring parishes.

    We did have one structure that was involved in a brush fire incident, however, it was an abondoned mobile home back in the woods that upon investigation, was being used as a meth lab and was the cause of the brush fire.

    Certainly part of the drop in the number of fires in 2011 was the burn ban, however, we did far more in the way of education begginning in 2010 through 2011 which was refelcted in the monthly comparison in the first 6 months of 2010 and 2011. In addition, the fires in east Texas and Caddo parish, directly to our west, had an impact on what could happen as our areas are similair in terms of terrain and fuels, and many members of the public recognized that, and there is no doubt that those fires had an impact in modifying their behaviors.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 01-03-2012 at 03:03 PM.
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