1. #1
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    Default Development bordering main road

    When I was out for a run yesterday I was contemplating a scenario and wanted to start a discussion on it.

    If there was a fire in a house that is part of a development but also borders a main road can you envision a situation where the officer, or the whole crew, would exit the apparatus on the main road versus continuing around to division A in the development? What would factor into the decision either way?

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    My thought in the situation above.. Engine responding down the main road, sees fire blowing out the back of the reported address. The officer could get out there and start the 360 while the engine and crew proceed into the development to Division A. Obviously the fence would be a problem in the picture above.. what if it wasn't there?

    Also, what about scenarios where the Engine itself stays on Division C and let the next in take the address?
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    We have a couple of area, particularly in our 2nd due that are like that. We have in fact had a working house fire in this area late last year. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, the terrain made the house virtually unapproachable from the other road on the C side.

    Now to your question, as with everything else in the fire service, it depends. There are several factors to think about to make the decision. In our case, the terrain or obstacles (fences) could prevent access from side C. We also have to think about water supply. In the case I'm thinking of, there are hydrants in the subdivision, but not on the main road. Also, in our case the main road is very narrow, and stopping apparatus on that road may prevent additional apparatus from getting around to side A.

    In short, I would not have a problem approaching from side C if the situation was right and it made sense.

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    If you take the fence out of the equation, I would consider operating off the main road.

    Why take the time to drive around? Only exception would be hydrants/water supply.
    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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    Maybe im missing something - two guys can clear out a section of a privacy fence pretty quick. If that is a FAR shorter access -take it down.
    ?

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    Some thoughts..

    When I did the original post I was differentiating between stopping to let the officer or crew out and having the engine stop and operate from there.. Maybe because I wasn't ready to make the mental leap into having the engine operate from the main road but I was trying to think of scenarios where the officer/crew would disembark.

    I was thinking it may make sense for the officer to get off from the main road and perform the 360 while the engine and crew pull around the block.. giving them orders before he leaves, such as "Hit the hydrant, lay in, and pull the 1.75". Hopefully by the time the Engine is on division A the officer has completed the 360 and has a very good impression of the scene.

    Unless there's an obvious rescue situation I don't see any benefit for the entire crew to get off from the main road while the engine pulls around.. I guess they could start the search but as I said unless it was an obvious rescue I wouldn't send a crew in w/out an apparatus set up. Are there any other scenarios where it would make sense for the crew to leave?

    As for the engine operating on division C from the main road.. there are situations where it makes sense, and ones where it doesn't. One concern is that by operating from that location they really don't know what's going on on division A.. the officer would still have to do the 360 and assess while the engine is getting set up. Water supply is also a concern.. chances are there aren't many hydrants on the main road.. the Engine may be operating from tank water for the quick hit. I think I'd still have the other responding units head to the front of the house and have the brunt of the operations run from there. If necessary drag a water supply from there to the engine in the back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    If you take the fence out of the equation, I would consider operating off the main road.

    Why take the time to drive around? Only exception would be hydrants/water supply.
    I agree. It don't take long to get through a fence but it still takes time, time that might be needed and saved if you just drove around too.
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    There's a lot of factors to consider here. It looks to be at least 75' from the road to the back of the house so a preconnect might not be able to reach parts of the house. If you need to use a deck gun, distance, trees and wind direction/speed are a consideration. If the hydrants are on the other side of the main road, you may be blocking incoming units with your supply line. Definintey a lot of things to consider, but definitely an option to consider. With a four man crew, as the officer I'd take 1 guy with me if we did get off and do a 360, probably could get through the fence a bit quicker with two.

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    It looks like street access-wise there isn't any real wasted time going to the "front" of the building.

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    I think for me, this is "it depends" situation. A couple of factors to consider before justifying entry from the main road. factors like: how far it would take to enter into the development to get to side A of the house, how much fire and where its located, water supply, how far your next due engine/truck is (for us, if not pulling on scene with us maybe 20-30 secs behind), what type of fence (that one wouldn't be hard to take out)... But I don't think there would be any problem with working from the main road. If you've got heavy smoke showing and its still at the point to were you need to get in there quick and make a quick knock-down.. then, heck yea, I'd take that fence out and do some work! I'd advise the next due engine (if not dedicated to water supply) to make entry into the development (subdivision) and spot their rig on side A... But for the most part, specially looking at the map and seeing it wouldn't be that far to pull around front, I'd like to get around front and be closer to the house. Just all depends I guess..

    That's a good scenario. Plenty of places in my first due that we could do that with!
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    Unless the situation dictates otherwise I want my engine company arriving on the address side complete.
    On the surface the tactic has some merits but when you start to figure out all the added factors I wouldn't reccommend it.
    Take the fence, looks very easy to breach, but is it? Is there another row of fence boards on far side? Will the next fence breach the same way? What is the time actually saved? Say it really saves time aside from 360 crew isn't equipped to accomplish anything. I have found it tends to go sideways quickly when three type A personalities don't have the tools they need to achieve their objective. I have a bad mental image of an interior attack with a garden hose and a lawn chair.
    I don't see any clear cut advantages to this and far to many disadvantages.

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    Default Best access

    I was always told....."Go to the address". Granted you can see the flames but I would take the time to access the fire from the other side. Yes you can tear the fence down......yes you can hit it earlier....but with hydrants and a clearer approach that is what I would do. I have done it once going to the flames instead of the address. I got my butt ate out by the Captain....."Always go to the address" you'll never go wrong.

    Just my 2 cents....
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