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. #126
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    Apparently reading comprehension wasn't taught at that college you went to either. I NEVER said you bragged about losing a victim. I said you bragged about not losing one second of sleep over it.

    I want no part of working with someone who is that cold blooded. you decide to write them off and feel nothing. I actually pity you with that attitude.

    Well that's your choice.

    I didn't in all likelihood know the person. In all likelihood I never met the person. I certainly feel sadness for the family but the passing of the victim does not represent a personal loss for me.

    I would not call it writing them off. I have never not made an effort. But there have been times when clearly making an aggressive effort to save them represents an extraordinary risk on our part which subjects our personnel - people I do know and have relationship with - and a positive outcome is highly unlikely.

    Removing emotion from the equation eliminates that you may decide to make an effort based on that emotion, not logic or facts.

    I really don't know what you want me to feel. People die in fires. Always have, Always will. And in most cases there is nothing we can do to change that.

    I am far more concerned about my people. And I would lose sleep over that if one of them were hurt or killed.


    It doesn't end there, you made a decision to not even try to save another human being. That may or may not have been the right choice. But to feel absolutely nothing about it afterwards is simply inhuman.

    Because there simply was nothing that could have been done with the resources we had. Nothing. After we used the little water we had, we had simply not knocked down enough fire to make entry with the experience level I had on scene. I made a decision to protect my folks even though that may have cost the victim her life, though given fire conditions, I highly doubt that she was still alive. So yes, in essence, I made a trade.

    It was another 10 minutes plus before the town FD could get the engine up the muddy driveway, and by that time there was simply no point in attempting make entry as clearly the victim was dead, and the building was no longer structurally sound. The officer from the town department on-scene fully agreed with that decision.

    Was I frustrated? Sure. But at the fact that I didn't have the water, but at the same time I realized that everything that could have been done, short of putting my crew into a high risk situation without water and a backup team, which would have been irresponsible, was done.

    We did everything that we could have done. There was no reason to feel emotional about it.




    Further as I have stated repeatedly if all you can get is 2 or 3 people during the day then you simply do NOT have a fire department. You have a sham and the community is being mislead.

    The community knows exactly what they are getting. Short of hiring, which simply is not an option unless the public wants to vote in a significant tax increase for a very limited number of occasions where manpower is an issue, there is little that we can do.

    The AMA agreement with the next city over will give us their 5 career members initially with about a 5 minute travel time to the district line, followed by, if available, under 4 volunteers.

    Is it the best solution, but right now, and likely for a very long time, it's the only solution.


    Again drama queen I never said I was torn apart, nice try at diverting and trying to make yourself look superior. In fact you come off cold and reptilian.

    Not making myself look superior, but yes, if you want to call me cold and reptilian, have at it. Everybody comes up with a way to deal, and for me, it works.


    You say you aren't saying it, yet you are saying it right here again. The difference is doing a size-up, checking for occupancy, fighting the fire, they all depend on structural stability, not on some pre-ordained "let it burn down and anybody inside die" policy.

    I have no issues with allowing abandoned structures to burn to the ground. The owner has already determined he is not going to maintain it, so obviously he will not repair it. And likely he won't even spend the money to bulldoze, so now you have a half-burned, even more dilapidated building sitting there just waiting to catch fire again, putting our members at even greater risk the next time it burns.

    There are several buildings in my volunteer district that I have already identified as buildings I likely won't even pull a line on. And the Chief has no issues with that.

    And that includes likely not checking for occupancy unless there is some external reason for making entry.


    As I have stated before... many times ... occupancy is simply not an issue here in abandoned structures. Abandoned structures are not worth the risk of injury to my personnel and never will be, short of a known rescue or exposure issue.

    I have simple policy. If it's abandoned, we're not going interior.

    I'm sorry that bothers you but I see no purpose in knocking down a fire in a building with zero value to the owner, who likely is no longer paying taxes on the building, irregardless of fire conditions.



    When you arrive in a timely fashion? Apparently that never happens with your volly FD. So is anything ever viable?

    [COLOR="#FF0000"]Actually it does. In fact, the last 2 structure fires were daytime and we made a stop in both cases. One in the attic and contained to the attic while the other started in the water heater closet and had minimal spread down the hallway.

    They were both in the village area, located quite close to both of our stations. We had 4-5 members respond plus AMA.

    I'm not going to get into a discussion here regarding what is viable and what is not as it very much depends on fire conditions vs. resources on hand. Simply put, if making entry puts the members at significant risk, no, in my book, it is not viable. If I have resources including a backup team, water supply and sufficient exterior support to feel comfortable, then yes, it is viable.

    For me, the decision comes down to resources, manpower and water supply, not fire conditions.

    As an example, if I have a working room and contents fire, and three members, including myself, that will be a no-go as entering without exterior backup is simply not acceptable to me. Give me another three man crew on scene when we are ready to make entry and it becomes quite viable.



    Once again, I would bet I have seen as many dead, and deformed bodies as you have, since I have been at this for 37 years. I didn't say they get inside my head or under my skin. I just said I don't cold bloodily look at it as apparently nothing like you do.

    That's either a good thing or a bad thing, depending upon each one's perspective.

    Honestly, I feel sorry for you, you are so delusional about almost everything in the fire service it is pathetic.

    Again, disagree, and I doubt I could find many that know me that would agree with you, but that's ok, and have an nice night.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 03-25-2013 at 08:43 PM.
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  2. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Interesting .....

    Since you have made some pretty significant accusations, prove them.

    Name one time where I have not attempted protected life and property within the limits of the qualifications and safety of my personnel.

    Name one time where I have not trained my personnel to the training standards as set and determined by the Command Staff of any fire department I have served on.

    name one time where I have lied about facts and figures.


    C'mon big boy. Prove what you have said.
    I don't have to.. your 8,965 posts have proved it for not only me but for everyone else to see.
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 03-25-2013 at 10:46 PM.
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  3. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    I don't have to.. your 8,965 posts have proved it for not only me but for everyone else to see.

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  4. #129
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    View Poll Results: Is it worth agressive interior attack on known vacant buildings?

    Voters
    17.

    Yes, it is worth the risk
    6 35.29%

    No, it is not worth the risk
    11 64.71%
    "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?

  5. #130
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    Bones.. the question as it is written (and misspelled) is quite vague. There is a difference between "vacant" and "abandoned".

    In theory, every time people send their kids off to school and leave for work, the structure becomes "vacant".

    A house on the real estate market that is unoccupied is "vacant"

    A boarded up, vandalized building is abandoned.

    Would you want your brothers in the PPBVFD to let your home burn because it was known that you were not home at the time of the fire? The way this question is worded, 11 of those voting would.
    ‎"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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  6. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    I don't have to.. your 8,965 posts have proved it for not only me but for everyone else to see.
    Nopeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
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  7. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Nopeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
    No pee? You should call a urologist...
    ‎"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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    Yes Gonz, that was discussed back on page 1 and 2....before it turned into another multi post, multi page, LA/FyredUp routine.

    Thought maybe posting the poll results could possibly bring it back on track....
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  9. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Yes Gonz, that was discussed back on page 1 and 2....before it turned into another multi post, multi page, LA/FyredUp routine.

    Thought maybe posting the poll results could possibly bring it back on track....
    Glad I could entertain you!

    Have a nice day!
    Last edited by FyredUp; 03-26-2013 at 10:07 AM.
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  10. #135
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    The issue is truly what is the definition of a vacant building versus and abandoned building. As Gonzo said any building that is normally occupied but has no one in it at that moment is vacant. An abandoned building should be a building that has no owner, or owner present that is maintaining the building. They are different as night and day and the priginal poster's question was so vague as to be almost ludicrous. The fact that they never came back to clarify the question and instead left in a huff leads me to wonder what the point of the question truly was in the first place. If you are looking for information for a supposed research paper why wouldn't you take note of the comments saying it is vague and try to reword it in such a manner to get valid responses.

    Whereas a vacant building may be in top top shape and in use daily, an abandoned building may be in good shape initially and deteriorate over time to become dilapidated. While occupancy in rural areas may be unlikely in an abandoned structure, it is not a absolute that some kids, whether youngsters exploring, or teens doing whatever teens do, aren't in there. The odds of occupancy increase in the more urban areas and especially in areas with a higher population of the poor and homeless.

    You see it is possible for both sides to be right in their opinion tha it happens all the time or rarely if at all in their area. The problem is one side trying to tell the other that they are wrong. The other issue is automatically writing off buildings without even a cursory glance to see if there is anyone inside. No one is recommending running willy nilly into buildings fully involved in fire, or on the verge of collapse. That was never the point I was attempting to make. We must still do an appropriate size-up and make good tactical decisions, no matter what the structure is or what it is used for.
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  11. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    The issue is truly what is the definition of a vacant building versus and abandoned building. As Gonzo said any building that is normally occupied but has no one in it at that moment is vacant. An abandoned building should be a building that has no owner, or owner present that is maintaining the building. They are different as night and day and the priginal poster's question was so vague as to be almost ludicrous. The fact that they never came back to clarify the question and instead left in a huff leads me to wonder what the point of the question truly was in the first place. If you are looking for information for a supposed research paper why wouldn't you take note of the comments saying it is vague and try to reword it in such a manner to get valid responses.

    Whereas a vacant building may be in top top shape and in use daily, an abandoned building may be in good shape initially and deteriorate over time to become dilapidated. While occupancy in rural areas may be unlikely in an abandoned structure, it is not a absolute that some kids, whether youngsters exploring, or teens doing whatever teens do, aren't in there. The odds of occupancy increase in the more urban areas and especially in areas with a higher population of the poor and homeless.

    You see it is possible for both sides to be right in their opinion tha it happens all the time or rarely if at all in their area. The problem is one side trying to tell the other that they are wrong. The other issue is automatically writing off buildings without even a cursory glance to see if there is anyone inside. No one is recommending running willy nilly into buildings fully involved in fire, or on the verge of collapse. That was never the point I was attempting to make. We must still do an appropriate size-up and make good tactical decisions, no matter what the structure is or what it is used for.
    A this is where the problem occurs. I can do a size-up from the exterior and simply look through the windows (which liklley will be already broken) for victims from the exterior to determine if there is occupancy. There is simply no need for me to commit members interior on a single story abandoned structure for search operations. Obviously on a two-story, the IC can't do that, but seeing as we have no such abandoned animals like that here, it's not an operational concern.

    As far as "writing buildgs off", once again, the owner has already done that when they decided to abandon the structure. Given he/she has already made that call, it's not my place to ask or request that my personnel make entry into a structure where the owner has already determined that it has no value.

    The fact is that deciding not to make entry because the building is abandoned is a solid tactical decsion. The goal is simply not to get anyone hurt in a building that the owner has determined has no value. The tactics to to conduct a defensive operation, or even possibly, not even put any water on the fire to eliminate the hazard and both perfectly sound and valid operations.
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  12. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    A this is where the problem occurs. I can do a size-up from the exterior and simply look through the windows (which liklley will be already broken) for victims from the exterior to determine if there is occupancy. There is simply no need for me to commit members interior on a single story abandoned structure for search operations. Obviously on a two-story, the IC can't do that, but seeing as we have no such abandoned animals like that here, it's not an operational concern.

    As far as "writing buildgs off", once again, the owner has already done that when they decided to abandon the structure. Given he/she has already made that call, it's not my place to ask or request that my personnel make entry into a structure where the owner has already determined that it has no value.

    The fact is that deciding not to make entry because the building is abandoned is a solid tactical decsion. The goal is simply not to get anyone hurt in a building that the owner has determined has no value. The tactics to to conduct a defensive operation, or even possibly, not even put any water on the fire to eliminate the hazard and both perfectly sound and valid operations.
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    ALL structures should be candidates for search. Even before we arrive, we should be making plans for life safety first. At the scene, command personnel should assess the situation and determine--based on the building condition and the degree of fire involvement--whether a search should be done.

    Abandoned structures are un-maintained structures, so before too many years they can have holes in the roof, broken or open windows, rotted floors, and other un-sound features that, first, can contribute to faster-than-normal fire spread and, second, make them more dangerous to search.

    Knowing what you are doing in fire scene size-up, and knowing the buildings of your district BEFORE they are spewing smoke, is key to knowing when to search and when not to. You have to know when that line has been crossed. All the arguing on this thread is about nothing more than where the line is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    ALL structures should be candidates for search. Even before we arrive, we should be making plans for life safety first. At the scene, command personnel should assess the situation and determine--based on the building condition and the degree of fire involvement--whether a search should be done.

    Abandoned structures are un-maintained structures, so before too many years they can have holes in the roof, broken or open windows, rotted floors, and other un-sound features that, first, can contribute to faster-than-normal fire spread and, second, make them more dangerous to search.

    Knowing what you are doing in fire scene size-up, and knowing the buildings of your district BEFORE they are spewing smoke, is key to knowing when to search and when not to. You have to know when that line has been crossed. All the arguing on this thread is about nothing more than where the line is.

    How many FD's go out and look at the abandoned and known vacant structures in their response districts and use a building marking system?

    We use the ones listed in 527 CMR 10.13 (7) fire prevention regulations. Buildings marked with a half slash / have limited interior operations due to known structural hazards Building marked with the X should have no interior operations whatsoever. The decision to make entry to do a perfunctory search rests with the incident commander.

    As many others have said... nobody in their right mind advocates a full banzai charge on a well involved or fully involved structure, but the fire started somehow and the fact is someone could be inside, whether they be transients, drug addicts or kids using the place to party. To me, nobody in their right mind could just say "screw it, it is vacant and we are not going in" when the fire is at a small incipient stage or a room and contents. Just because one states that it has never been an issue in their community does not mean it cannot happen.
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 03-26-2013 at 03:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I can do a size-up from the exterior and simply look through the windows (which liklley will be already broken) for victims from the exterior to determine if there is occupancy. There is simply no need for me to commit members interior on a single story abandoned structure for search operations. Obviously on a two-story, the IC can't do that, but seeing as we have no such abandoned animals like that here, it's not an operational concern.
    What the actual fcuk????

    You cannot be in the fire service.
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    I spoke with a fire chief 40 years ago whose philosophy on barn fires was that they weren't worth it. Let 'em burn. In the end, it's actually easier for the farmer whether it's abandoned or in full use.

    I think the whole LA thing is a difference in perception of what an unsafe environment is. There are brand-new houses I won't send my people into, because they are less structurally sound than that old barn before they even catch fire. And just like that old barn, they're built to burn. And most old barns were built to burn, to the ground. After things cooled down, the farmer could simply build a new one on the old foundation.

    I'd bet that if folks posted pictures of fires they didn't think LA would enter they'd be all over the place with regard to involvement. And if he posted pictures of buildings he wouldn't enter, many would agree they shouldn't be entered. Of course, all those pictures would have to be posted anonymously, or the results would be very predictable...

    I would call a building that is currently in use but has no one in it unoccupied, not vacant. To me a vacant is a usable building with no current tenant. At some point a vacant may well become abandoned. Exactly when serious deterioration sets in may vary - it could be because the owner abandoned it, or it could be the reason the owner abandoned it (ie, some failure occurs despite the building being otherwise maintained.

    And that raises another concern - are there buildings in your district you wouldn't sent people into even if they weren't on fire? If so, why would you send someone in if it was?
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    I'm not so sure about the let it burn. The farm stead where I pheasant hunt, letting the barn go would cost the milking parlor, 2 grain silos, a corn crib, the corn dryer, and the machine shed...be a million dollar plus fire....
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    How many FD's go out and look at the abandoned and known vacant structures in their response districts and use a building marking system?
    Ex-diddly-actly. Not nearly enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF View Post
    Ex-diddly-actly. Not nearly enough.
    Unfortunately, in my first due, any overt markings of abandonment would be an invitation for all manner of squatter, drug abuser, flop house types, or scrapper. Instead we use an internal notification system and on-line premise file system linked to our CAD.
    Last edited by SPFDRum; 03-27-2013 at 08:31 AM.
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    [QUOTE=MemphisE34a;1360997]As many have eluded, there is no such thing as a "known vacant building" except when the building is in fact occupied and the resident meets you in the yard and tells you that all of his family, workers, etc. are accounted for and out of the fire building.

    Even in this case, you don't know if someone is in the home. We stretched on the street I grew up on a few years back and everyone was out of the house. We ended up saving a woman and a baby from the back bedroom when we stumbled over the woman (which is usually how you find people). We dragged the woman out and the people on the lawn said something like " that my cousin, she here still??? her baby in there"
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    ...We use the ones listed in 527 CMR 10.13 (7) fire prevention regulations. Buildings marked with a half slash / have limited interior operations due to known structural hazards Building marked with the X should have no interior operations whatsoever. The decision to make entry to do a perfunctory search rests with the incident commander...
    Gonzo, side question on your marking system (we don't use one as we don't have abandonded buildings) is the building marked by FD? And is that in your CAD system? Reason I ask, can a homeowner mark the building them self and that marking not be in your system but have an effect on your operations? or does the mark have to co-incide with the CAD information?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Gonzo, side question on your marking system (we don't use one as we don't have abandonded buildings) is the building marked by FD? And is that in your CAD system? Reason I ask, can a homeowner mark the building them self and that marking not be in your system but have an effect on your operations? or does the mark have to co-incide with the CAD information?

    Before we mark a building, we do an inspection with Code Enforcement and determine how the structure will be classified, either as limited interior ops or no interior ops. We then mark the building attaching the sign with 3 inch long 9/16ths hex head screws. Once a building is marked, it goes on the Microsoft Excel generated list that I send out via email to all FD members. I will be adding the pictures of the buildings with the reasons they are marked in a powerpoint presentation onto one of the shared computer drives so that can be reviewed by the Department members if they want to see the structure.

    The information is also placed in the CAD system. We only had one complex of buildings that were marked with the X by the property owner, with our permission, It was the former Hewlett Packard complex, the power and water supplies to the building were shut down. The new owners marked every entrance door to the complex with an X. That complex is now being renovated, the F/A and sprinklers are up and running for one of the buildings that is being taken over by a medical device company.

    Homeowners are not allowed to mark their own buildings.
    ‎"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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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Bones.. the question as it is written (and misspelled) is quite vague. There is a difference between "vacant" and "abandoned".

    In theory, every time people send their kids off to school and leave for work, the structure becomes "vacant".

    A house on the real estate market that is unoccupied is "vacant"

    A boarded up, vandalized building is abandoned.

    Would you want your brothers in the PPBVFD to let your home burn because it was known that you were not home at the time of the fire? The way this question is worded, 11 of those voting would.
    And a boarded up vandalized building is an OCCUPIED building while it is being vandalized. That fire had to start somehow. Just sayin', for those would listen anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Before we mark a building, we do an inspection with Code Enforcement and determine how the structure will be classified, either as limited interior ops or no interior ops. We then mark the building attaching the sign with 3 inch long 9/16ths hex head screws. Once a building is marked, it goes on the Microsoft Excel generated list that I send out via email to all FD members. I will be adding the pictures of the buildings with the reasons they are marked in a powerpoint presentation onto one of the shared computer drives so that can be reviewed by the Department members if they want to see the structure.

    The information is also placed in the CAD system. We only had one complex of buildings that were marked with the X by the property owner, with our permission, It was the former Hewlett Packard complex, the power and water supplies to the building were shut down. The new owners marked every entrance door to the complex with an X. That complex is now being renovated, the F/A and sprinklers are up and running for one of the buildings that is being taken over by a medical device company.

    Homeowners are not allowed to mark their own buildings.
    So what do you do if you show up on scene and somebody tells you that somebody lives in there?

    Somebody lives in there now and then?

    Or somebody says thet they saw somebody going in there a few times over the past couple of months?

    Are those reports enough for you to disregard the hazards that caused you to mark the building with an "X" or even a "/"?
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    So what do you do if you show up on scene and somebody tells you that somebody lives in there?

    Somebody lives in there now and then?

    Or somebody says thet they saw somebody going in there a few times over the past couple of months?

    Are those reports enough for you to disregard the hazards that caused you to mark the building with an "X" or even a "/"?
    Well. one thing is for sure.. we certainly know what YOU would do in the situation...
    FyredUp and RFDACM02 like this.
    ‎"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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