View Poll Results: Is it worth agressive interior attack on known vacant buildings?

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  • Yes, it is worth the risk

    20 55.56%
  • No, it is not worth the risk

    16 44.44%
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Thread: Risk/Reward Interior attack vacant buildings presentation

  1. #301
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And my point is that we can still do the job without taking the risks.
    As a generalized statement, this couldn't be any further away from being the truth.

    Abandoned buildings, which is theme of this thread in my area, and many other areas in this country is an example.

    There is NO need in my areas to enter abandoned buildings to seacrgh for occupants. There is no need to enter and perform offensive operations as exposures are rarely an issue. I contend that not performing these actions is still doing the job as we have responded and determined that the risk v. benefit says that it is perfectly OK not to enter. You, and many of the other posters disagree.

    I see no issues with not engaging in operations with minimal benefit and yes, we are still "doing the job".
    A lot of the disconnect on the topic between you and the rest of the world IMO has to do with what appears to be a firm black/white and extremely conservative stance on the subject by you. You seem to make your decisions based more on history than the present situation and allow no room for the gray areas and the possibility that the current situation could be the exception rather than the rule.
    Last edited by FireMedic049; 04-04-2013 at 11:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Yeah, they're entering because the building is on fire and that is what actual firefighters do. Lightweight construction in and of itself is not sufficient reason to just stand around outside lobbing water at the building.

    100% disagree. It's our job to train, prepare the appratus for response, and respond in a timely fashion .Once we arrive, making entry is not an obligatory part of our job. Unless you can 100% garantee me that fire has not penetrated into the overhead, we damn sure have the right to stand outside and lob water into a building that has the potebntial to collapse in a unpredicatble and rapid fashion.

    Please provide some proof to back up that statement, 5 years worth will be sufficient.
    Just did a quick review of the firefighter LODD data from the USFA from 2001-2004 and in none of LODD descriptions did it mention that the firefighters killed were conducting search operations. Ya, I know, it's 2001-2004 but those are the closest sources I have on hand right now, but I fully standby my statement.


    www.usfa.fema.gov/pdf/efop/efo42867.pdf .... Interesting papar I just ran into while doing a little reserach. It talks about the policies regarding vacants in some pretty big departments. Tale a peek, if you dare. Warning: It talks about a lot of concepts that may upset some here.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-04-2013 at 04:33 PM.
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  3. #303
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    As a generalized statement, this couldn't be any further away from being the truth.

    Disagree. In most situations, in fact, most of the situations encountered by any of the FDs I have worked with in my 33 years involve zero civilian life threat. And structural fires can always be handled as a no-go interior if there is unmanagable risk present. it's really not that difficult to mitiagate and manage much of the risk associatted with firefighting.

    Tradiotionalists may not like the way you do that though as it requires a significant change in how you respond and manage incidents.



    A lot of the disconnect on the topic between you and the rest of the world IMO has to do with what appears to be a firm black/white and extremely conservative stance on the subject by you. You seem to make your decisions based more on history than the present situation and allow no room for the gray areas and the possibility that the current situation could the exception rather than the rule.

    Black and white? No disagreement there.That is how I am. Conservative? Very. Very low tolerance for risk. It's my personality and always will be. I am by not nature type A risk taker like most firefighters. Always take the cauctious approach.

    Yes, I live in a very black and white world, and certainly that extends to my decsion-making at fires. At yes, in plays into how I think about abondoned structures. In this area, as well as my previous VFDs, there is simply no reason to beleive that an abandoned structure will be occupied unless there ar indicatos or current information indicating otherwise. If that sounds like a black and white statement that drives my decsion-making before I arrive, it is.

    I think primarily defensive before arrival, with switchover to offensive if building conditions, building occupancy, fire conditions, resources and training all permit or are required by information such as confirmed occupancy require, as compared to offensive switiching over or defensive based on the above.

    And yes, history is huge part of my decsion making process. No history of occupancy. History of extremely rapid fire spread in older mobile homes. History of unpredicted and rapid collapse withoit warning in lightweight truss buildings. History of low manpower at specific times.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-04-2013 at 04:41 PM.
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  4. #304
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    My firefighters, in my crews, will not be injured in a fire. And i will not put them in a position where they possibly could be injured.

    Then I strongly suggest you change your paging for calls protocol. Something like this "Attention Bossier Parrish Firefighters we have a call at 123 XYZ Street, but we don't want you to respond because you could get injured or killed in a vehicle accident." Because you can no more guarantee they won't be injured responding to the station in their POV, fall on the apparatus floor and be injured, get in an accident in route on fire apparatus, slip and fall at the scene and be injured, have a piece of hose break and hit them injuring them, or something fall on them and injure them, or that they won't pull a muscle or blow out a knee humping hose or putting up ladders, or get injured doing a search or interior fire attack. You see, accident avoidance techniques and trying to do operations safer MAY lead to less injuries, but the truth is there is NO GUARANTEE EVER that no injuries will occur. People slip,trip and fall all the time in their very own homes doing nothing more than the normal daily activities of their lives and get injured. So it isn't that we don't believe in safety, it is that your vision of safety is absolutely unrealistic. IF you are truly a firefighter you know that the mere fact that you ARE a firefighter increases the odds of injury by circumstances out of your control. You can stop at the stop sign and have the right of way, pull out and still get blasted by a drunk driver, or a teen drag racing, or Dad hollering at the kids. That doesn't mean we say "Que Sera, Sera" (If you don't know what that means google it). It means "Schitt Happens" and we have to look at possible ways to prevent it. But paralysis and inaction in the face of danger is simply not acceptable if circumstances allow entry for search and fire attack.

    Again, there are viable lives to save or there is property of value to save, and the the resources are at hand to make that happen, I will take risk in structures where the building construction itself does not pose an undue risk such as rapid collpase or rapid fire spread.. Otherwise, the crew is the the priority.

    I haven't seen you ever mention a viable life that YOU would make an attempt to save, including your own family. Now in an earlier post you are writing off buildings and people based merely on construction features. No mention of additional size up info like location and extent of the fire...Just "NOPE, not going in there."
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  5. #305
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    Quote Originally Posted by lafireeducator View Post
    and my point is that we can still do the job without taking the risks.

    no you can't. Well unless you never go inside and spray water from the lawn. But even that entails risk. The trip to the fd, the trip to the fire, laying out hoselines, flowing water...they all have inherent dangers.

    abandoned buildings, which is theme of this thread in my area, and many other areas in this country is an example.

    again, learn to listen...

    there is no need in my areas to enter abandoned buildings to seacrgh for occupants. There is no need to enter and perform offensive operations as exposures are rarely an issue. I contend that not performing these actions is still doing the job as we have responded and determined that the risk v. Benefit says that it is perfectly ok not to enter. You, and many of the other posters disagree.

    then don't do it. No one cares because you don't care about your citizens.

    i see no issues with not engaging in operations with minimal benefit and yes, we are still "doing the job".

    no one asked you to. Frankly, you cavalier write off the building due to construction methods even if occupied speaks volumes about you because you weren't talking about abandoned buildings then.
    just stop!
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  6. #306
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    just stop!
    I'll be more than happy to stop discussing this with you as we have very different perspectives on this subject.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I'll be more than happy to stop discussing this with you as we have very different perspectives on this subject.
    No LA, as long as you keep posting BS, lying about what others have said, and continue to pretend to actually be an authority on anything I will counter what you post on this topic.
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  8. #308
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Yeah, they're entering because the building is on fire and that is what actual firefighters do. Lightweight construction in and of itself is not sufficient reason to just stand around outside lobbing water at the building.

    100% disagree. It's our job to train, prepare the appratus for response, and respond in a timely fashion .Once we arrive, making entry is not an obligatory part of our job. Unless you can 100% garantee me that fire has not penetrated into the overhead, we damn sure have the right to stand outside and lob water into a building that has the potebntial to collapse in a unpredicatble and rapid fashion.
    You are correct that it is our job to train and prepare for responses. There will be times in which entry simply isn't possible based on the conditions encountered and when that is the case we certainly do not have an obligation to charge in on a suicide mission. However, once we arrive, if conditions allow for it, entry into the building to address a life safety issue is absolutely an obligatory part of the job for a firefighter. In many of these situations entry for fire attack is also an obligatory part of the job. For firefighters to do anything to the contrary in these situations, whether individually or collectively, is perpetuating a fraud upon your community.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    As a generalized statement, this couldn't be any further away from being the truth.

    Disagree. In most situations, in fact, most of the situations encountered by any of the FDs I have worked with in my 33 years involve zero civilian life threat. And structural fires can always be handled as a no-go interior if there is unmanagable risk present. it's really not that difficult to mitiagate and manage much of the risk associatted with firefighting.

    Tradiotionalists may not like the way you do that though as it requires a significant change in how you respond and manage incidents.
    I know you disagree with my comment and wouldn't expect anything different from you, but the fact is you are wrong. Actually doing the job involves an inherent amount of risk.

    You're only partially correct that it is not difficult to "mitigate and manage much of the risk associated with firefighting". Doing so isn't so much the problem, it's what the results of those efforts will look like that would be the problem.

    We could "mitigate and manage" a lot of the risk by responding to all of our calls in a non-emergent fashion, not enter buildings that are on fire (even if victims are present) and use garden hoses to fight them from outside the hot/warm zones instead of using high pressure hoses, but if that's the case, what's the point in even showing up?

  10. #310
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    You are correct that it is our job to train and prepare for responses. There will be times in which entry simply isn't possible based on the conditions encountered and when that is the case we certainly do not have an obligation to charge in on a suicide mission. However, once we arrive, if conditions allow for it, entry into the building to address a life safety issue is absolutely an obligatory part of the job for a firefighter. In many of these situations entry for fire attack is also an obligatory part of the job. For firefighters to do anything to the contrary in these situations, whether individually or collectively, is perpetuating a fraud upon your community.
    And that is your opinion.

    I disagree. We have the right to not make entry if we feel that there is structural instability, the danger of rapid collapse or the victim may not be viable.

    Again, let's just agree to disagree as it's unlikely further discussion will change either one of our minds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    And that is your opinion.
    Yes, but I'd bet a paycheck that it's one that's shared by the vast majority of the fire service unlike yours.

    I disagree. We have the right to not make entry if we feel that there is structural instability, the danger of rapid collapse or the victim may not be viable.

    Again, let's just agree to disagree as it's unlikely further discussion will change either one of our minds.
    It's kind of funny how you keep interjecting your views into various threads. Several posters vigorously debate your views, call you out on a lot of the assertions that you make, you rarely have any evidence to back up your claims and often have no rebuttal when someone call BS. Pretty much NOBODY EVER supports your opinions and views. Eventually you throw in the towel with the "let's agree to disagree" line claiming that nobody is going to change their minds.

    Do you not see the pattern here?

    It'd probably be a whole lot more efficient if you just didn't start posting in the first place in a lot of these threads.
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  12. #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by FF-Andy View Post
    LAFireEducator:

    Do the citizens of Bossier Parrish, LA realize they basically have no fire department?

    If you're going to remain in a rank or managerial capacity, have the human decency to do a mass mailing and let residents know that if they are ever trapped in a burning building they are gonna die. Hey, screw 'em its their fault for being in a burning structure; right?

    Sir if you were one of us, no explanation would be necessary. Since you're not one of us, no explanation is even possible. I'm glad there are still MEN out there willing to lay it all on the line for their fellow man. This board is full of such men, and so is the fire service. You wouldn't know a flipping thing about it.
    Hey Andy ...

    Combo department had a single-wide mobile home fire this AM ... About 30 years old .. the extra wide kind they used to make back in the day.

    The 2 live-in volunteers at the closest 2 stations got thier engines up in less than a minute. Arrived at the same time about 3 minutes later with occupants outside. Stretched a line and knocked down the fire in the fully involved master bedroom through the burned out wall. One packed up and knocked down the fire extending into about halfway into the living room from the door. A POV volunteer joined him and they went interior and finished up knocking down the fire. They called the fire "under control" 3 minutes after arrival - just as the paid staff was pulling up with another engine and the rescue truck.

    Overhauled and went home. Fire put out and overhauled with the water from the first engine - less than 1000g. 3000g tanker, 3000g engine-tanker and 2 other 1000g engines water never used. 16 volunteers plus the 2 paid staff. Heat and smoke damage to the kitchen and hall but no damage to the other 2 bedrooms so contents there was a save.

    So yes, that is how we generally operate. Much to aggressive, generally, for my tastes, but that is a typical operation for us.

    So yes, we have one hell of a fire department.

    Now my VFD, which faces staffing, training and experience challenges, in addition to longer response times due to no paid or live-in volunteer staff, would likely have been a differrent outcome with much more fire on arrival and far fewer resources, meaning an exterior operation. Even if I had found the exact same fire situation that my combo department found this AM on my VFD, yes, I would have likely ordered an exterior attack event hough the trailer would have been slightly less than 50% involved. Older trailer. Fewer resources. Less experience. Less training. Just makes sense not to commit.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-05-2013 at 10:10 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Yes, but I'd bet a paycheck that it's one that's shared by the vast majority of the fire service unlike yours.


    It's kind of funny how you keep interjecting your views into various threads. Several posters vigorously debate your views, call you out on a lot of the assertions that you make, you rarely have any evidence to back up your claims and often have no rebuttal when someone call BS. Pretty much NOBODY EVER supports your opinions and views. Eventually you throw in the towel with the "let's agree to disagree" line claiming that nobody is going to change their minds.

    Do you not see the pattern here?

    It'd probably be a whole lot more efficient if you just didn't start posting in the first place in a lot of these threads.
    No, it's just obvious that nobody posting here is going to change thier minds about how to operate when responding to abandoned building fire.

    I will never go in unless there is a credible report or visual exterior indicators of occupancy. You will. Have at it, but to me it will never be worth the risk of even minor injuries to my volunteers that likely have to show up to work the next day.

    No point in jabbing back and forth about it anymore.

    Besides, I'm off the Texas A & M for the weekend for some aircraft firefighting training with a crew from my VFD (who are taking structural classes) and won't be near a computer.

    Imageine that ... me .. near a fire.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-05-2013 at 10:08 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    No, it's just obvious that nobody posting here is going to change thier minds about how to operate when responding to abandoned building fire.

    I will never go in unless there is a credible report or visual exterior indicators of occupancy. You will. have at it but to me it will never be worth the risk of even minor injuries to my volunteers that likely have to show up to work the next day.

    No point in jabbing back and forth about it anymore.

    Besides, I'm off the Texas A & M for the weekend for some aircraft firefighting training with a crew from my VFD (who are taking structural classes) and won't be near a computer.

    Imageine that ... me .. near a fire.
    You, tooting your own horn and being an attention whore... yeah, who would have thought of that?
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    Propane fed valve controlled flames are for grilling steaks, you probably get all spun up and think you're in an actual fire. It's nice to play pretend firefighter. "near a fire", Jesus rollerskating Christ.
    Last edited by snowball; 04-05-2013 at 11:34 AM. Reason: smell my finger
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    According to the Texas A&M/ s PDF on course dates for ARFF, the dates are as follows for April...
    Apr. 15-19, 2013

    Links here...
    http://www.teex.com/teex.cfm pageid=ESTIprog&area=ESTI&templateid=1406

    http://teexweb.tamu.edu/file/ESTI/ARFF_Courses_13.pdf

    Since today is the 5th of April 5th, there are no ARFF courses going on. What's the deal?
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 04-05-2013 at 11:36 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    According to the Texas A&M/ s PDF on course dates for ARFF, the dates are as follows for April...
    Apr. 15-19, 2013

    Link here... http://teexweb.tamu.edu/file/ESTI/ARFF_Courses_13.pdf



    Since today is the 5th of April 5th, there are no ARFF courses going on. What's the deal?
    Not ARFF ...

    It's a aircraft emergency and firefighting class for structural firefighters as part of a scheduled weeked regional fire school. It also involves some fireifghting scenarios involving passneger rail trains.

    But thanks for taking the time to look that up .... It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy that you care enough to take the time to look that up.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 04-05-2013 at 11:40 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Not ARFF ...

    It's a aircraft emergency and firefighting class for structural firefighters as part of a scheduled weeked regional fire school. It also involves some fireifghting scenarios involving passneger rail trains.

    But thanks for taking the time to look that up .... It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy that you care enough to take the time to look that up.
    Hope you enjoy what College Station has to offer this weekend. Might I suggest Chuy's Mexican off of 6, they have great food and beer-aritas for drinks too. Sodolak Beefmasters on HWY 21 serves some huge steaks, cold beer and deep fried bacon. Enjoy. Then leave. Get out of my State.

    I find it hillarious that a man until a few posts ago was against FFI&II ( http://www.firehouse.com/forums/t124288/ (Sorta What I have Been Thinkin') )because they were not relivent to his department and has a signature line "Train to fight the fires you fight" is worried about an aircraft falling out of the sky in Bossier.

    You sir are a tool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post

    You sir are a tool.
    You've got it wrong, sir. Tools work and are useful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    No, it's just obvious that nobody posting here is going to change thier minds about how to operate when responding to abandoned building fire.
    I wouldn't exactly say that's the case. I'd say it's more a case of not changing how we operate to match your uber-conservative views.

    I will never go in unless there is a credible report or visual exterior indicators of occupancy.
    Yeah, but you've also made it very clear that even with a credible report, there's still a better chance of you not going in than actually attempting a rescue.

    You will.
    That is correct, but as has been clearly stated by multiple people, the decision to do so will be based on actual building conditions and fire involvement observed and encountered rather than a blanket "no go" decision made before the alarm comes in.

    No point in jabbing back and forth about it anymore.

    Besides, I'm off the Texas A & M for the weekend for some aircraft firefighting training with a crew from my VFD (who are taking structural classes) and won't be near a computer.

    Imageine that ... me .. near a fire.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Not ARFF ...

    It's a aircraft emergency and firefighting class for structural firefighters as part of a scheduled weeked regional fire school. It also involves some fireifghting scenarios involving passneger rail trains.

    But thanks for taking the time to look that up .... It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy that you care enough to take the time to look that up.
    You don't have a heart... and I do not care.
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 04-06-2013 at 08:21 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FiremanLyman View Post
    I find it hillarious that a man until a few posts ago was against FFI&II ( http://www.firehouse.com/forums/t124288/ (Sorta What I have Been Thinkin') )because they were not relivent to his department and has a signature line "Train to fight the fires you fight" is worried about an aircraft falling out of the sky in Bossier.

    You sir are a tool.
    Excellent points. They get how many aircraft and railway incidents in BPLa? Snookering the department for a padded resumè so he can move on and infect another area. The fire zombie apocalypse is near.
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    I was reading an article in the April 2013 issue of Firehouse Magazine about fires in vacant buildings (Fire Studies by James P. Smith, a retired Deputy Chief from the Philadelphia FD and the author of "Strategic and Tactical Considerations on the Fireground"). In his article, Chief Smith wrote the following:

    No building, vacant or otherwise, is worth the life of or injury to a firefighter. However, all buildings must be sized up and the size up factors weighed as to the best method of protecting life while controlling and extinguishing the fire.

    A vacant building with known or suspected occupants must be treated the same as any occupied structure.

    It is not realistic to automatically fight every vacant building fire in a defensive mode due to the potential life hazard to firefighters that could exist. The incident commander must apply common sense while controlling the aggressiveness of the firefighters to ensure safe operation.
    ‎"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."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    For all of his talk about using statistics, he ignores a few simple facts.

    Thousands of unoccupied (formerly called abandoned) structures are searched every year with no injuries or firefigther deaths.

    As has been pointed out, the deaths in lightweight construction buildings from collapse are minimal.

    More die from heart attacks and MVC's.

    But why complicate the story with facts.

    See, this is what happens when you have very little real life experience and simply buy the latest and smartest sounding theory that comes along... and then apply it in a way never intended.

    It's the dumbing down of the fire service.
    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."

  25. #325
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    No, it's just obvious that nobody posting here is going to change thier minds about how to operate when responding to abandoned building fire.

    The problem is when you lost that battle you expanded your refusal to enter, and do the job of firefighter, to include ANY building where the construction methods didn't meet with your approval.

    I will never go in unless there is a credible report or visual exterior indicators of occupancy. You will. Have at it, but to me it will never be worth the risk of even minor injuries to my volunteers that likely have to show up to work the next day.

    If you just leave your sentence like this it would be more truthful, "I will never go in." You have made it clear that whenever you arrive at a structure fire you are immediately doing a size-up to determine a justification, in your mind anyways, for not doing interior operations.

    No point in jabbing back and forth about it anymore.

    This quote should be on your wall...

    “Be wise enough not to be reckless, but brave enough to take great risks.”
    -Frank Warren

    That quote shows your major flaw. You believe you are a firefighting guru, but the reality is you hide your lack of knowledge by calling almost all interior operations reckless and spreading your uber safety culture of fear. KNOWLEDGE is king everywhere, but especially in the fire service, and too many today try to hide their lack of actual firefighting knowledge behind the new wave safety craze.


    Besides, I'm off the Texas A & M for the weekend for some aircraft firefighting training with a crew from my VFD (who are taking structural classes) and won't be near a computer.

    Statistically, what is the percentage of aircraft incidents annually in Bossier Parrish? And if you did what new techniques would you need anyways? I was an ARFF firefighter for 7 years and the truth is the skin of an aircraft fully involved in fire will last roughly 90 seconds. So what new tactics do you need for that that you don't already use on the structures you won't enter? We trained to enter aircraft on fire, after an initial hit with the crash truck mounted turrets, to effect final extinguishment and for rescue of any survivors. My belief is if you won't enter buildings on fire you for damn sure won't enter an aircraft on fire. So what new things did you need to learn that you will never use?


    Imageine that ... me .. near a fire.

    Laughing my a s s off...These are TRAINING FIRES, everything is controlled, and if they are aircraft mock ups they are all most likely propane fueled with a safety person at the controls to kill the fuel if something goes wrong. So yes, it is easy to imagine you there, where it all is 100% controlled and the chance of anything going wrong is minimal.
    I can't see you being closer than 100 yards to an aircraft on fire in the first place. It is chaotic, intense, and there is no time for standing around contemplating your navel. If there is any hope of saving survivors immediate action must be taken, rapid application of foam from high flow appliances to knock down the fire and create a rescue path, foam handlines to complete extinguishment and protect the rescue crews. I don't see you have the experience or the wherewithal to make those types of command decisions, or if a crew member, to be able to actually accomplish them.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 04-06-2013 at 06:25 PM. Reason: meaning...
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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