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. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    You owe me a Coca Cola......or a donut. Going on my 17th year on "A" shift.
    17 years on A shift? Man I had 8 years on C shift (Crew 3 here) and they moved me to B shift (Crew 2) for my last 6 months. You think they could have left me alone and with my long time crew to end my career. This is a good crew, but it sure ain't like the good old "Snake Pit" Crew 3 was!!
    Last edited by FyredUp; 03-18-2013 at 12:52 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Seriously, if you felt insulted by anything here heaven help you if you ever actually become a career firefighter and sit down at the kitchen table. Learn to take some ribbing and maybe you will learn something from the guys that have been around the block without their mom driving the mini-van!
    I dont think he intends to become a fireman, just another in the long line of "emergency managers"
    For his sake maybe they will invent a thick skin app for his smart phone.
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    Many jurisdictions have begun installing placards on known abandoned buildings. But that placard and 55 cents will get you a can of pop; all the placard means is "Nobody is supposed to be in here."

    This is where it helps to know your district. Which vacant buildings in your area are best candidates for squatters? There are some with such poor floor and roof conditions that the homeless are better off staying out of them. If you know which ones those are, that's another piece of the puzzle.

    And of course, the degree of fire involvement is key, just as in a building that is supposed to be occupied.

    The simple fact is that any tenable structure could have people in it. The building's official occupancy status, its standing with your city inspector, or any of a zillion other things don't mean Richard. If it's warmer and drier than being outside, there could be people in it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    Many jurisdictions have begun installing placards on known abandoned buildings. But that placard and 55 cents will get you a can of pop; all the placard means is "Nobody is supposed to be in here."
    Not disagreeing.. but the placards can give some useful info as well.. such as "electric is not supposed to be connected", "gas is not supposed to be connected", and other hazards "Unsafe structure/roof" or "mold". I agree most of it is 'shouldn't' not 'isn't' but there is info that should play into any risk assessment... both for the IC but also for the guys that might make entry.
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    I can see the advantages of a placard...
    But in my first due, it would be nothing more than an invitation to go in and steal every possible thing they could.
    Soon followed by the drug seeking squatters.
    Last edited by SPFDRum; 03-18-2013 at 04:12 PM.
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    Good points by the last two. The main thing I was highlighting is that a "Oh yeah, it's vacant" placard is worthless--and as SPFD points out, maybe even counterproductive--as you assess the likelihood of occupants being in a structure.
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    Post Sandy...there are a lot of vacant homes in my area. We still enter and search when possible.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    As already pointed out, you don't need to run away from the discussion. You just have to understand that you asked a "loaded question" and got replies that reflect that.
    I'd catergorize it as more of an EXTREMELY VAGUE question. There are almost enless variables to that scenario.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    Many jurisdictions have begun installing placards on known abandoned buildings. But that placard and 55 cents will get you a can of pop; all the placard means is "Nobody is supposed to be in here."

    This is where it helps to know your district. Which vacant buildings in your area are best candidates for squatters? There are some with such poor floor and roof conditions that the homeless are better off staying out of them. If you know which ones those are, that's another piece of the puzzle.

    And of course, the degree of fire involvement is key, just as in a building that is supposed to be occupied.

    The simple fact is that any tenable structure could have people in it. The building's official occupancy status, its standing with your city inspector, or any of a zillion other things don't mean Richard. If it's warmer and drier than being outside, there could be people in it.
    The only time a placard is good is when it tells you that the building should not be entered under any circumstances. Of course if it's that bad, it needs to be torn down ASAP.

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    I disagree with most of the posters, but apprently not the majority that have answered your poll.

    I won't get into the details here in the open forum as in the past it's gotten some of the posters in quite a lather, but if you want details, just shoot me a PM and I'll be happy to talk about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I won't get into the details here in the open forum as in the past it's gotten some of the posters in quite a lather, but if you want details, just shoot me a PM and I'll be happy to talk about it.
    I highly recommend against this. If you have been around here long enough, you already understand that the man does not possess the credibility to counsel a Boy Scout through a "Firemanship" merit badge, much less be an authority on structural firefighting; and that he has proven it time and time again.
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    I voted no. But in reading the posts i have changed my mind. Being the new guy has its disadvantages! I realize now that a building abandoned or not is not "vacant" untill proven otherwise, right? But the same rules apply with the risk managment process. Fire load, building construction, arival observations all have the same importance wether it is vacant or not when it comes to a search, yes...I am begining to see!

  13. #38
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    I won't get into the details here in the open forum as in the past it's gotten some of the posters in quite a lather, but if you want details, just shoot me a PM and I'll be happy to talk about it.
    With the OP's question as open ended and obtuse as it is, it's a good bet they are just as clueless....
    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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    Ahhhh yes, the ole' attack and degrade.

    Are you an Obama supporter by any chance?
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    CheeseFF/EMT...

    You have to ask yourself WHY this poster won't post his opinion here in the open forum. While the rest of us had no problem doing so.

    The reason is on this topic he is so FAR out of the mainstream of the fire service as to be eliminated from any serious consideration as a resource for any relevant information.



    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I disagree with most of the posters, but apprently not the majority that have answered your poll.

    I won't get into the details here in the open forum as in the past it's gotten some of the posters in quite a lather, but if you want details, just shoot me a PM and I'll be happy to talk about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    CheeseFF/EMT...

    You have to ask yourself WHY this poster won't post his opinion here in the open forum. While the rest of us had no problem doing so.

    [B[/B].

    The reason is on this topic he is so FAR out of the mainstream of the fire service as to be eliminated from any serious consideration as a resource for any relevant information.
    Simply because I don't want to deal with the anadotal and fire service cultural nonsense that most in here throw out in defense of this truly dangerous practice of entering abandoned structures in communities where there is no historical data to justify the risk.

    As I have said, if you can look at the widow and the kids of a firefighter killed operating in abandoned building, and feel thtn you can truly justify the risk of entering based on the realistic possibility of that building being occupied, have at it.

    You are the one that will have to sleep at night.

    But there is not one community in which I have served where the historical and statistical data can even come close the justifying that risk, and no, I could not look them in the eye and even come close top justify thier husband or father being in that structure, unless we have a direct, relaible and current report of occupancy or clear exterior evidence of such.

    It is not part of our job - career or volunteer - to die in such low probability operations.

    Actually, if you look at the trends nationwide and how many departments are starting to approach abondoned buildings, I'm not.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 03-21-2013 at 05:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Actually, if you look at the trends nationwide and how many departments are starting to approach abondoned buildings, I'm not.
    Care to list 10 of those departments and what their "new" approach is?

    Please keep in mind though that "abandoned" and "vacant" are not fully interchangeable terms and neither specifically means the building is in poor condition and structurally unstable.

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    We don't even use the word "abandoned" here. That would indicate that we know who and/or where the owner is. Assuming nobody is inside is not our call. If we are met outside by someone who can confirm the vacant structure is unoccupied, we will switch attack modes, but that also depends upon how involved in fire the building is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Simply because I don't want to deal with the anadotal and fire service cultural nonsense that most in here throw out in defense of this truly dangerous practice of entering abandoned structures in communities where there is no historical data to justify the risk.

    First of all, what college did you go to again? The word is ANECDOTAL.

    The fact is, despite your belief that things only happen the way they do in your 1/4 inch of the universe, that in many areas, most medium to large sized cities, there is really no such thing as an abandoned structure. They have squatters, homeless, drug users, kids drinking, drugging, or doing whatever it is that kids do. If a structure is abandoned, with no utilities, how did it catch on fire? A miracle? Spontaneous combustion? HOW? And since it is now on fire how do we know that those that started the fire aren't still in there?

    Frankly, I don't give a damn and 5/16ths what you do in Bossier Parrish Louisiana, and really neither does anybody else on here. If you truly believe that you will NEVER have anyone in an abandoned structure that miraculously catches on fire then go with that. Hopefully YOU can look in Mom and Dad's eyes and say
    someting meaningful to explain why you didn't even try to save junior who was in the building screwing around.

    Further no one is saying to enter ANY building with wreckless abandon on a suicide mission. If the building is deemed safe to enter then entry is made, if not then it isn't. Your definition is any building that YOU deem vacant is automatically written off, sorry that is not how the rest of the world works.



    As I have said, if you can look at the widow and the kids of a firefighter killed operating in abandoned building, and feel thtn you can truly justify the risk of entering based on the realistic possibility of that building being occupied, have at it.

    Like I said above, if you can look Mom and Dad in the eye and say "Well, even though the building was standing and probably one hose line could have put out the fire initially we just don't enter abandoned buildings so sorry your kid died. Maybe if there had been a smoke detector he would have known to leave." Then you can justify NOT EVEN TRYING to determine if the structure is actually vacant or not.

    If conditions allowed I would have not one second thought about entering with my firefighters to do a quick search. Why? Because it is my job. It is that simple to me. If conditions do not allow then we don't enter. WHY? Because that is common sense that a well trained and experienced fire officer uses to make tactical decisions.


    You are the one that will have to sleep at night.

    I sleep very well thank you and frankly if you don't have the guts to make tough decisions then you shouldn't be a command officer.

    But there is not one community in which I have served where the historical and statistical data can even come close the justifying that risk, and no, I could not look them in the eye and even come close top justify thier husband or father being in that structure, unless we have a direct, relaible and current report of occupancy or clear exterior evidence of such.

    And again, good for you. Then say that when you spread your absolute yard breather nonsense here. Don't make it sound like your community is the way it is everywhere.

    It is not part of our job - career or volunteer - to die in such low probability operations.

    It is also not part of our job to stand outside, in situations where a search is possible, and write people off because we don't have the guts to do the job.

    Actually, if you look at the trends nationwide and how many departments are starting to approach abondoned buildings, I'm not.

    YES, you are. Because you automatically write off a building, because it is an "abandoned building." You simply can't do that in more urban areas where they are more than likely occupied.
    Just wondering what college did you go to?
    Last edited by FyredUp; 03-22-2013 at 01:31 AM.
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    Fryed ...

    Funny thing is that I have asked the "urban guys" many, many times to give me a number ... a percentage ...that they find squatters in abondoned buildings, and I have yet to get one firm, hard, staistically based answer. Ya, I have heard a bunch of "one time at fire camp" stories, but I have never gotten a percentage based on run data. Not once.

    I have even asked for a guesstimate .. 5% of the time .... 10% .... but I can't even get that out of them.

    Problem is that you want to tell me how often it happens but nobody seems to be able to give me a number so that we can truly analyze the issue with actual, real data rather than stories ,emotions and "It's our job".

    So Fryed, what percentage of the time do you find squatters still in the building when you respond to fires in abandon's in your "urban" career gig?

    When I get some firm data, I'll admit I'm wrong if the percentage is significant enough to justify the risk. The problem is ... I'm still waiting on data.

    Fact is in my communties, over a 33 year career, the answer is 0%. Not once. So based on that, I'm damn sure not going to asssume that the next time will be the first time. And if it's a run where I am in command, I'm damn sure not going to send anyone inside, especuially if it's a structure where the owner has decided to longer maintain and allow to fall to the ground. It's simply not worth the price my member's kids and spouse may have to pay if things go wrong.

    Siometimes it takes more guts to do what is not typical and do what is right for the troops. And sometimes that means letting a building burn, even if you may have been able to knock it out, to protect them from the unknown dangers.

    And by the way, I would have a much easier time looking in the face of Mom and Dad then the faces of the family of one of our members. Call that cold. Call it heartless, but yes, WE do come first, and abandon's and vacant's simply aren't worth it unless somebody can TELL me that it's occupied.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 03-22-2013 at 10:20 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    Care to list 10 of those departments and what their "new" approach is?

    Please keep in mind though that "abandoned" and "vacant" are not fully interchangeable terms and neither specifically means the building is in poor condition and structurally unstable.
    Fully agree, which is why I have stated numerous times that I have no issues entering vacants , which in our nomanclature means that the building is till structurally sound and maintained, and could be occupied but currently is not, under specific fire and response conditions.

    Abandoned means that the building is no longer being mainatained and that the building may not be structurally safe and habitable.

    Those buildings should not be entered, IMO, unless there is a reported and known occupancy, and that includes even to extinguish a small fire, unless there are exposure issues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I won't get into the details here in the open forum as in the past it's gotten some of the posters in quite a lather, but if you want details, just shoot me a PM and I'll be happy to talk about it.
    ...followed by several posts of your usual "details."
    You are such a useless liar.

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    A couple of points before I start ignoring this useless thread:

    When cops process people they arrest, they don't use "data" to determine who is likely to be carrying a weapon; everybody gets searched. If you think you can live with yourself after not at least making an attempt to search, and some kids or an elderly homeless person is found the next morning, then get the hell out of the fire service...you don't belong here.

    This entire thread is a joke. No legitimate college student would even begin to think this crap would be accepted as a good source or reliable poll. It was either started by a complete idiot, or a troll...or both.
    Last edited by ThNozzleman; 03-22-2013 at 11:21 AM. Reason: I felt like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Fryed ...

    Funny thing is that I have asked the "urban guys" many, many times to give me a number ... a percentage ...that they find squatters in abondoned buildings, and I have yet to get one firm, hard, staistically based answer. Ya, I have heard a bunch of "one time at fire camp" stories, but I have never gotten a percentage based on run data. Not once.

    I have even asked for a guesstimate .. 5% of the time .... 10% .... but I can't even get that out of them.

    Problem is that you want to tell me how often it happens but nobody seems to be able to give me a number so that we can truly analyze the issue with actual, real data rather than stories ,emotions and "It's our job".

    So Fryed, what percentage of the time do you find squatters still in the building when you respond to fires in abandon's in your "urban" career gig?

    When I get some firm data, I'll admit I'm wrong if the percentage is significant enough to justify the risk. The problem is ... I'm still waiting on data.

    Fact is in my communties, over a 33 year career, the answer is 0%. Not once. So based on that, I'm damn sure not going to asssume that the next time will be the first time. And if it's a run where I am in command, I'm damn sure not going to send anyone inside, especuially if it's a structure where the owner has decided to longer maintain and allow to fall to the ground. It's simply not worth the price my member's kids and spouse may have to pay if things go wrong.

    Siometimes it takes more guts to do what is not typical and do what is right for the troops. And sometimes that means letting a building burn, even if you may have been able to knock it out, to protect them from the unknown dangers.

    And by the way, I would have a much easier time looking in the face of Mom and Dad then the faces of the family of one of our members. Call that cold. Call it heartless, but yes, WE do come first, and abandon's and vacant's simply aren't worth it unless somebody can TELL me that it's occupied.
    This kind of post is EXACTLY why you will NEVER be taken seriously here by the majority of the members of this forum. Once again you post absolutely ludicrous crap about suicidal Banzai charges into "abandoned" buildings on the verge of collapse fully involved in fire. Who said they would do that? Show me one poster who said they would enter a building like that. In fact the opposite is true, everyone has said CLEARLY, REPEATEDLY, they would search IF CONDITIONS ALLOWED. So how about you hop off the drama train and try to have a serious discussion on this topic just once. Or is being the drama queen clown just easier for you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    A couple of points before I start ignoring this useless thread:

    When cops process people they arrest, they don't use "data" to determine who is likely to be carrying a weapon; everybody gets searched. If you think you can live with yourself after not at least making an attempt to search, and some kids or an elderly homeless person is found the next morning, then get the hell out of the fire service...you don't belong here.

    This entire thread is a joke. No legitimate college student would even begin to think this crap would be accepted as a good source or reliable poll. It was either started by a complete idiot, or a troll...or both.
    Not even the same thing. Once somebody is in custody they are searched for the safety of the police officers and others in the vicinity.

    As far as who gets stopped, yes, smart cops do use data and historocal evidence to determine who they suspect may be committing criminal activity. Smart firefighters do the same thing. We profile the structure and yes, historical data in the district or that part of town to make a determination on the probability of occupancy, and then all other decisions work from that starting point.

    And yes, I could sleep at night if a civilian died in an abandoned building and I made the call not to search it. I have no control over the decsions they make regarding personal safety or a parents call regarding the supervision of thier kids, but I do have complete control over the safety of the personnel under me, and I could not sleep at night knowing that i sent somebody in my command into a situation where they were killed for no meaningful purpose.
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