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Thread: FIrst Ever Fire?

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    Smile FIrst Ever Fire?

    Its been about two years since i have been interior qualified to go in on a fire and I'm still waiting for my first fire. So I was just wondering how long it took other people to get into their first fire?


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    Quote Originally Posted by bwalters199 View Post
    Its been about two years since i have been interior qualified to go in on a fire and I'm still waiting for my first fire. So I was just wondering how long it took other people to get into their first fire?
    Took about 6 months, I just couldn't catch the first out truck to save my life, it never happened when I was at the station and I am thankful for it. First fire was a single wide trailer, officer made the decision to make entry so I got the nozzle and went in with the officer behind me and the third firefighter on the pump panel, heavy smoke and flames were coming out of the D side of the trailer. I got disoriented, heart rate went up, panicked, stood up, and burnt the **** out of my forehead and neck. I hit the floor, scrambled for the nozzle, found the line, and followed the officer down the hallway (he had picked the nozzle up) we (he) put the fire out while I was right behind him pulling line. Fire burnt through the roof and two walls of the trailer and fully consumed three rooms.

    All I remember thinking after that was the academy does not prep you for stuff like this...Thick black smoke, really hot (trailers are like ovens...all that metal) fires, people leaving furniture and crap all over the place, door handles where you cant find them sometimes in the door, narrow hallways with corners you can't seem to get a hose around.

    Just train more, if you think your ready, your not. If you think you got trained well, it was not good enough. When that first *** kicking fire comes the biggest advice I can give is SLOW DOWN. I came off the truck with my heart rate prob near 200 without having even entered the structure yet....slow down, it will save you lots of time. But the basics are, just train more...

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    Yeah i can already tell by the way that we have live fire training in the building that we use that the fires in that concrete building are nowhere near the fires hopefully i will see in a building, and thanks very much for the advice!!!

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    About 2 months at my old department and then once I moved to where I'm at now, my 3rd day in the company.
    "If it was easy, someone else would of done it already." - Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

    - Firefighter 1 / HAZMAT Ops / EMT-B

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwalters199 View Post
    ....... the fires hopefully i will see in a building, .........
    Call me an old man but that statement above bothers me. You should never hope you get into a good fire. You should hope that fires do not happen, that car accidents do not happen.

    You should hope that you will be prepared and ready to do your job when called upon but never hope there is a good big fire.

    I know you are young and eager but statements like that can get a firefighter in trouble or at the least criticized even though they may have the best of intentions.

    BTW mine was within a year
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSFD9302 View Post
    Call me an old man but that statement above bothers me. You should never hope you get into a good fire. You should hope that fires do not happen, that car accidents do not happen.

    I'm a young guy and I feel the same way so it's not being an "old guy".
    "If it was easy, someone else would of done it already." - Lt. Ray McCormack FDNY

    - Firefighter 1 / HAZMAT Ops / EMT-B

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwalters199 View Post
    Its been about two years since i have been interior qualified to go in on a fire and I'm still waiting for my first fire. So I was just wondering how long it took other people to get into their first fire?
    First of all, I think the question is appropriate and while agree it isn't good to "wish" for calls, it is important to remember the trainig for when you will be called to serve. Yes, the longer it goes without that first in call, the more the thoughts go as to how you will react when it does come.

    For that my advice would be to remember your training and resort to basics, you will do fine. Listen to the dispatch info and start from there. Multiple calls typically means you will be working. Do a size up, ensure you take a tool, grap a line, listen to your officer and go....it is amazing how you find things fall into place. While waiting for that actual call, approach each incident the same way so you will react accordinly. So if called for an alarm sounding, grap the tool, proceed the same way.....the more "muscle memory" you acquire, the more it is instilled there for the actual event.

    For me personally, the first fire I had was as an intern after a couple weeks on the dept. It was late in the event so I did more overhaul etc at that incident. The following year we were second in on a fire and did a lot of looking for the fire etc and firefighting when opening up walls etc.

    When hired on the career dept the first fire I had was my second day on the floor. Tones dropped for a structure fire, multiple calls. We were first in and I followed training.....yes, you will remember, so don't sweat it too much.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    Call me an old man but that statement above bothers me. You should never hope you get into a good fire. You should hope that fires do not happen, that car accidents do not happen.
    I didn't play varsity sports to sit on the bench.
    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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    Second day on the job, a room and contents, third floor rear. First month 4 multi alarm jobs.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    I didn't play varsity sports to sit on the bench.
    Yeah that is true

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    I'm greener than the grass, and I feel that if I never even up on a working fire, thats a good thing. If it happens, it happens, but I'm not wishing for a working structure fire...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPFDRum View Post
    I didn't play varsity sports to sit on the bench.
    it seems like many of us don't think that way anymore.


    It took me a few tours. I don't want someones house to burn, but I do want to go to fires. Make of it what you will, but there's a reason its hard to get to busy houses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    I don't want someones house to burn, but I do want to go to fires........
    I agree. That's what I like about fires in vacant buildings. And they're good training aids for new guys..

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    was 2nd and 3rd due to a good amount right off the bat but didn't get my 1st first due job till about 2 months in. Cockloft fire, no smoke until we opened the line. I was in another room on opposite side of nozzle flaking out line when blasted w/ all the water, heat and steam from line. Knelt down to put on mask and scooped up a mask full of water and almost drowned by myself in that room. Recovered, followed the line, helped out and was given the nozzle for a good clip. So I went scuba diving at my 1st fire!!

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    I know it's a philosophical argument, and I shouldn't even get drawn into it, but you got me with this one. So is this kid supposed to hope that he doesn't get any fires, so he can promote to company officer level, with rookies lives depending on his decision making abilities, and only have academy training, dragging hose at the drill field, and live fire training? I don't. I hope he cuts his teeth on some good fires under a safe officer, and becomes one himself. We structure guys get off pretty easy because Nowhere in the progression of our paper certifications is actual experience required. Try being a wildland guy getting NWCG certifications. You think you're the man because you finally got your crew boss task book filled out and submitted, only to get kicked back by your certifying AHJ because your incident experience is not comprehensive enough. Of course we couldn't do that with structure FF's, arsons would go through the roof!

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    Quote Originally Posted by frostymug1001 View Post
    I know it's a philosophical argument, and I shouldn't even get drawn into it, but you got me with this one. So is this kid supposed to hope that he doesn't get any fires, so he can promote to company officer level, with rookies lives depending on his decision making abilities, and only have academy training, dragging hose at the drill field, and live fire training? I don't. I hope he cuts his teeth on some good fires under a safe officer, and becomes one himself. We structure guys get off pretty easy because Nowhere in the progression of our paper certifications is actual experience required. Try being a wildland guy getting NWCG certifications. You think you're the man because you finally got your crew boss task book filled out and submitted, only to get kicked back by your certifying AHJ because your incident experience is not comprehensive enough. Of course we couldn't do that with structure FF's, arsons would go through the roof!
    Yes a young firefighter needs to be in fires to gain experience for promotion, trust, knowledge and possible leadership abilities. I am sure he doesn't mean that he hopes a structure burns down.

    But my point is the wording was off. I have seen a number of firefighters, and hence fire departments, embarrassed by statements that firefighters hope for fires, car wrecks and whatever.

    I would say that I hope that when his first structure fire occurs he or any other firefighter is able to perform at the top of their game during a fire and learn from the experience. The only way he can do this is to have a structure fire.

    It is shameful that we have to be so "word perfect" when saying something public, but such is the culture now.

    With so many cases in the past years of firefighters starting fires to be able to fight a fire, it makes me shutter when I hear one of us hoping for a big fire.

    Also there is nothing wrong with wondering when your first fire will be. I wondered the same thing when I started. Structure fires a a fact of life in our world. If they weren't there would not be firefighters. Yours will come I am sure.

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    Why would you not want to do your job? Are you afraid? Not confident in yourself or your crew? When I was in Iraq, I would wish for enemy contact every day, our platoon motto was "pray for war". I became a firefighter to fight fires. I train to apply learning to real world situations. Some of you need to YouTube Ray McCormick's FDIC keynote speech. I didn't join the army to sit on the FOB and play XBox, and I didn't become a firefighter to not fight fires.

    Kind of like the plumber sitting by the phone scared to death going " oh god, I hope no one's pipes bust today" or the tow truck driver who drives to work thinking " jeez, I hope no ones car breaks down.." Get off your high horse if the kid gets excited riding the big red fire truck going to a fire then so be it.. When you graduate the academy you pray to go to a busy company so you can see action, and learn from the vets.

    There was nothing wrong with what he said, now if he said " I am going to light fires so I can go fight the big 1" then there would be an issue. We need fires to keep our skills sharp.. Old vets and rookies alike..so when we get the big 1 with multiple entrapment we don't fall on our faces looking like idiots..

    If my house goes up give me an aggressive firefighter from an aggressive dept that sees lots of fire then someone who does not want fires.
    Last edited by BigGriffC12; 10-15-2012 at 03:39 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigGriffC12 View Post
    Why would you not want to do your job? Are you afraid? Not confident in yourself or your crew? When I was in Iraq, I would wish for enemy contact every day, our platoon motto was "pray for war". I became a firefighter to fight fires. I train to apply learning to real world situations. Some of you need to YouTube Ray McCormick's FDIC keynote speech. I didn't join the army to sit on the FOB and play XBox, and I didn't become a firefighter to not fight fires.
    I think there's a distinct difference between wanting to do your job well when the need arises and wishing bad things to happen. I'm not certain the OP meant anything different than the former, but I think BSFD figured it was the latter. I for one would bring down harsh and immediate discipline if one of my crew were to ever publicly utter "we're just hoping for a good house fire one of these days" or one of my paramedics to say "just hoping for somebody to kick over from a cardiac arrest some day soon so I can use our fancy new ACLS drugs." Neither would go over well in my community and I'd stand a fair chance of getting disciplined myself from the Mayor for my crew not having a slightly better level of maturity than a 15 year old. Inside the firehouse bravado is one thing (although I don't like it much better), but outside the firehouse is absolutely inexcusable as far as I'm concerned. It's the people that can't tell the difference that concern me the most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief_Roy View Post
    I think there's a distinct difference between wanting to do your job well when the need arises and wishing bad things to happen. I'm not certain the OP meant anything different than the former, but I think BSFD figured it was the latter. I for one would bring down harsh and immediate discipline if one of my crew were to ever publicly utter "we're just hoping for a good house fire one of these days" or one of my paramedics to say "just hoping for somebody to kick over from a cardiac arrest some day soon so I can use our fancy new ACLS drugs." Neither would go over well in my community and I'd stand a fair chance of getting disciplined myself from the Mayor for my crew not having a slightly better level of maturity than a 15 year old. Inside the firehouse bravado is one thing (although I don't like it much better), but outside the firehouse is absolutely inexcusable as far as I'm concerned. It's the people that can't tell the difference that concern me the most.
    I'm not saying go out on a news interview saying "we need more fires" but if I'm BSing with the guys and someone goes " HAvnt had a fire in a long time" or something of that sort I'm not gonna scream arson... A firefighter should want to go to fires, and not be ashamed of it, just like a paramedic should want a code every shift.. I look at it like that person chose a trade, and enjoys it , and when someone enjoys something and are confident in their ability I take that as a good thing.

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    I get what you're saying and maybe it's just me being ornery. Even in the firehouse, when I was on the line, it used to annoy me when people would go around wishing for a good fire. As a longtime medic, I never wished for cardiac arrests just so I could use my skills. I prayed NOT to have one. They were long, messy, difficult, and usually did not have a good outcome. Each one likely represented someone or perhaps an entire family's life being torn apart. I didn't want that, not for my community and certainly not for myself. I felt the same way about fires. When some kid would go around the station chirping about wanting a big fire, I'd glare at them and say, "Maybe it will be yours, eh? Maybe while you're at work and your family is home alone? No? Then why are you hoping that happens to someone else?" That would usually quiet them down.

    Like I said, I'm probably just being ornery. I was just never in to the rah-rah-rah club. Most admittedly were, but I just didn't get it.
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