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Thread: Training accident... 16 year old "junior firefighter" criticallly injured.

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    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default Training accident... 16 year old "junior firefighter" criticallly injured.

    From Statter 911
    In Pennsylvania’s Jackson Township, Monroe County Monday night, a 16-year-old junior firefighter with the Jackson Township Volunteer Fire Company received first, second and third degree burns during a training exercise. Reporter Laurie Monteforte with WBRE-TV, WYOU-TV reports the teenager is in critical condition after a brush pile was doused with gasoline and set on fire.

    According to Monteforte, there are investigations underway by the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal, Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and the Jackson Township Fire Company.

    The training took place on Mountain Spring Drive and was supposed to teach newer members about nozzles and other equipment.

    Here’s more from PAHomePage.com:

    It was supposed to be a controlled burn but things quickly got out of control. Someone used a 2.5 gallon can of gas to start the fire. Chief Wolcott said,”They were gonna use a little bit of gas and it was just a little too much gas.”

    The chief said there was a big flash. He also said the young man apparently did not have his fire suit jacket closed properly. He suffered burns on his arm, neck, and shoulder. Wolcott added,”Myself and the Assistant Chief were not on the scene. We had a younger junior officer underneath us who was doing the controlled burn with them.

    State Fire Commissioner Ed Mann was disappointed to hear about the incident. He told Eyewitness News certified instructors are supposed to oversee junior trainees during burns. Mann said since gas was used it is unlikely that an officially trained officer was there. He said someone with the proper training would have made sure the boy was suited up properly and would not have allowed anyone to use gas. He noted, “Gas is just absolutely too volatile to be used as an accelerant with anything. Do not use it period. I do not care the amount.”
    http://pahomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=276722

    Unbelieveable....
    ‎"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."
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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    All I can do is sit here and shake my head and think WHEN will the fire service learn? WHEN? How many more senseless injuries and deaths will occur in TRAINING because people that shouldn't be running training are allowed to?
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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    The OIC in charge of this training excercise needs to be locked up for attempted involuntary manslaughter, and the Chief needs to resign IMMEDIATELY if not, sooner.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    I shook my head in disgusted amazement while reading this. When the Chief noted that there were 'Jr Officers' in charge of the training excercise, I was hoping he meant Jr as in 'Rank below that of Chief/Asst. Chief, But I think it does mean 'Teenager who has the rank of (Pick a rank) in the Jr fire Company'. Where were any of the Sr Members when this happened. (There had be at least onbe there. I'm assuming that if they were studying hose handling, using actual fire streams, that there was a rig there. SOMEone had to have driven it and be operating it.

    Where was the comapny training officer, or in his absence, an actual company officer?? Was there a certified instructor there, and if so, how did he allow this to happen??? Whose idea was it to use ANY amount of gas as an accelerant? Why were Jr Members allowed to be anywhere near a live burn of any kind, much less in the Hot Zone?

    And Chief...if you're going to be interviewed on TV and asked about a major injury incident occuring during a training excercise involving your fire company, try to look a little professional. At least loose the wife-beater.

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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fotowun View Post
    When the Chief noted that there were 'Jr Officers' in charge of the training excercise, I was hoping he meant Jr as in 'Rank below that of Chief/Asst. Chief, But I think it does mean 'Teenager who has the rank of (Pick a rank) in the Jr fire Company'.
    It's hard to discern what the meaning of "Junior Officer" means......I too hope he meant a low-level fire officer and not a "Junior Firefighter Officer."

    And for anyone who thinks that criminal charges cannot be levied against anyone that will stick, you need to google "Lairdsville NY fire training death" and ask their Asst Chief (who sat in the pokey for a year or two) what he thinks about that opinion........
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    I wish I could say I'm surprised.

    Given some of the writings by vollie supporters on these pages, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I wish I could say I'm surprised.

    Given some of the writings by vollie supporters on these pages, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.
    Yes, because we ALL know that big, awesome career departments (like Baltimore, for example!) NEVER kill or injure people during training.

    Either way, I hope the guy makes a full recovery. Thoughts to him and his family.
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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I wish I could say I'm surprised.

    Given some of the writings by vollie supporters on these pages, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.
    And what about the cases of career firefighters injured and killed in live fire training? It has happened more than you want to believe and a quick google search brings up those cases. What is your attitude about that?


    Seriously, your anti-volunteer bias devalues all of your posts. GET OVER IT. Volunteers are not going away and believe me there are idiots on both sides of the pay status.
    penman and Nozzle nut 22 like this.
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    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    And what about the cases of career firefighters injured and killed in live fire training? It has happened more than you want to believe and a quick google search brings up those cases. What is your attitude about that?
    What about them? You're comparing apples and oranges.

    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Seriously, your anti-volunteer bias devalues all of your posts. GET OVER IT. Volunteers are not going away and believe me there are idiots on both sides of the pay status.
    I recognize that vollies aren't going away.

    When I read vollie supporters actively supporting using minors in fire suppression, it only reinforces why many view the fire service in their community as a boys club that also fights fire.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    SC, I think the only ones supporting Juniors actively fighting fire are other juniors. Certainly, No one on this thread has supported Juniors in the hot zone.

    And I'm sorry, it's not apples and oranges.

    For example, two salaried firefighters were killed in an aquired structure training burn in Florida some years back when fire conditions rapidly deteriorated because a foam couch had been used to create 'More Realistic' smoke conditions. Exact same thing that happened in Lairdsville. After Lairdville, when you'd think they would have known better.

    Sounds like Apples and Apples to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fotowun View Post
    SC, I think the only ones supporting Juniors actively fighting fire are other juniors. Certainly, No one on this thread has supported Juniors in the hot zone.
    While nobody in this thread may be supporting the use of Juniors in the hot zone, there are non-juniors out there that do support their usage. I know it has happened in my state more than many may be willing to admit to.

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    As this is in my county, I feel the need to add a little insight...

    1) junior officer, while the term could very well mean any officer under a chief/asst or dep. chief, in this situation, more then likely, a junior LT is either a junior himself, who is the "officer" in charge of the juniors, and acts as their officer on scene and at training...not 100% on that though.
    2) Most officers in Monroe County are appointed by the chief, usually without regard to actual training/ or certification standards..i.e. no officer I or anything like that, the political system and nepotism usually takes effect here..
    3)Chiefs are elected by the members, which, in most cases is a popularity contest..without reguard to experience, or training/certifications. nepotism and politics also takes a role here.

    A)The fire department in question I'm 99.99999% that they do not have anyone to certified to the instructor I let alone a state certified suppression level instructor.
    B) This fire department is your typical backwoods good ole' boy club...rednecks in big trucks fighting fires like their grand pappies did 30 years ago....They just recently got the introduction to RIT class this past spring and are now holding a 16 hour basic RIT course.

    This county is VERY backwards when it comes to the fire service...We don't use box alarms, while some chiefs would be on board with it, a few would not be and make it harder on everyone else..There was a bar/restaurant that went up last spring, it happened to be next to a firehouse...the bar burnt to the ground because the chief didn't call the appropriate resources at the right times in order to combat the fire properly....The same Dept regularly loses houses because they choose not to call mutual aid departments who can contribute..The "pride" thing is very strong here, Think Kentland from
    PG Maryland, only difference is, these guys don't have the manpower, the training, or the confidence to consistently mount aggressive interior attacks on room and contents fires before they become fully involved structure fires.

    We have a 4 story burn building, car fire, dumpster fire, and tanker fire simulator, and it is also a PA fire academy testing site, which HARDLY ever has any certifications lucky if we get a haz mat ops once a year..The people who run the training facility never hold classes that are useful ( RIT, PUMPs, Structural fire rescue, D/O pumper,aerial/Haz-mat Tech etc) they hold classes that are popular because they are fun/easy..

    It's a shame when our dept goes across the state to train and we blow people's minds when we say we don't use box alarms, or that our 911 center does not support the fire depts what so ever.

    That is a little insight not only into our county, and that particular fire dept...

    There are a few gems in this county, but like the old saying goes...one bad apple ruins the bunch.

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    Addition..based on the context of the video ( I just watched it for the first time) the term "junior officer" would lead me to believe it is a LT or Capt.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=scfire86;1341390]
    Originally Posted by FyredUp
    And what about the cases of career firefighters injured and killed in live fire training? It has happened more than you want to believe and a quick google search brings up those cases. What is your attitude about that?
    What about them? You're comparing apples and oranges.

    How so? Poor planning, inadequate instruction, flammability of materials, inadequate hoselines all were factors in the live fire training injuries and deaths of career firefighters. Golly, just with the volunteers. Seems like apples to apples...Because whether you will admit it or not the causes are EXACTLY the same, just the specific details vary.
    Originally Posted by FyredUp

    Seriously, your anti-volunteer bias devalues all of your posts. GET OVER IT. Volunteers are not going away and believe me there are idiots on both sides of the pay status.
    I recognize that vollies aren't going away.

    When I read vollie supporters actively supporting using minors in fire suppression, it only reinforces why many view the fire service in their community as a boys club that also fights fire.

    Believe it or not we agree on the fact that minors simply should not be anywhere near the hot zone of fire scenes OR live fire training. While there are still far too many "good ole boy" volly FDs there are still far too many career FDs embarrassing themselves in the news with the antics that go on in career firehouses.

    I think you wouldn't appear so biased if you didn't take every opportunity to turn so many topics into just another example of your volly bashing.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 09-22-2012 at 11:12 PM.
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    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    How so? Poor planning, inadequate instruction, flammability of materials, inadequate hoselines all were factors in the live fire training injuries and deaths of career firefighters. Golly, just with the volunteers. Seems like apples to apples...Because whether you will admit it or not the causes are EXACTLY the same, just the specific details vary.
    The mindset of adult professionals is far different than explorers who are still believing they have something to prove to their adult instructors.

    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Believe it or not we agree on the fact that minors simply should not be anywhere near the hot zone of fire scenes OR live fire training. While there are still far too many "good ole boy" volly FDs there are still far too many career FDs embarrassing themselves in the news with the antics that go on in career firehouses.
    Yet there are folks on here who have discussed how using minors was part of their operational plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I think you wouldn't appear so biased if you didn't take every opportunity to turn so many topics into just another example of your volly bashing.
    Gimme a break. The vollies are in here constantly whining about the big bad professional union firefighters.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    The mindset of adult professionals is far different than explorers who are still believing they have something to prove to their adult instructors.

    Yet the causes of injuries and deaths in training are hauntingly similar between vollies and career firefighters.

    Yet there are folks on here who have discussed how using minors was part of their operational plan.

    And I have battled them evey step of the way over it.

    Gimme a break. The vollies are in here constantly whining about the big bad professional union firefighters.

    So your answer is to "nah ner ah ner" them? Seriously, since I am a career firefighter, and a member of 2 POC FDs, I see this from both sides and frankly the idiotic, childish, dumb *** waste of time, spent arguing over who is better is ridiculous. Because frankly, on any given day any fire depatment can be the best the world has eve seen and the next day they may appear to be the cluster of all clusters. As well as the behaviors of those firefighters may make the FD proud or may embarass the fire department. Pay grade has nothing to do with that.
    By the way, I have jumped on and will jump on the vollies who attack carree firefighters just because they can.
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    Man did this thread ever go south quick.

    A person got injured because proper training protocols were not followed. Thats the story, not volunteer/paid, not junior/adult, not irish/italian, not homosapian/homosexual.

    You simply don't conduct training like this, and yes, I feel like criminal charges are not only appropiate, but required.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    Man did this thread ever go south quick.

    A person got injured because proper training protocols were not followed. Thats the story, not volunteer/paid, not junior/adult, not irish/italian, not homosapian/homosexual.

    You simply don't conduct training like this, and yes, I feel like criminal charges are not only appropiate, but required.
    You left out the part about this person being a 16 year old exploder, just sayin'.
    I got more insight on BigGriff's post than the news story. Perhaps that's what elevated SC's blood pressure.
    IAFF

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowball View Post
    You left out the part about this person being a 16 year old exploder, just sayin'.
    I got more insight on BigGriff's post than the news story. Perhaps that's what elevated SC's blood pressure.
    And you would be correct. A minor has no business being near that type of activity.

    Or as someone likes to say.....BING-FRACKIN'-OHHH!
    Last edited by scfire86; 09-23-2012 at 10:31 AM.
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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    I have made my opinion heard loud and clear numerous times about minors, kids, children, juniors, explorers, and cadets being used on the fireground in ANY capacity, let alone in the hot zone. I also believe that those youth involved in programs at the fire department are there to LEARN, not to be additional manpower at emergency scenes. The training should involve basic skills like ladders, hose, SCBA, search and rescue, ventilation, wate supply, and so on. Perhaps, as an advanced part of training some exposure to heat, smoke and fire in a burn facility under the ever watchful eye of trained, skilled, and certified Instructors, may be allowed. But not like this situation with 2.5 GALLONS of GASOLINE used to light a brush pile.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
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