Well Guys and Gals seems we are still at it, but nice to see the world of FH hasn't stopped why I was away lol. But one quick ? do you ever feel like you are just beating your head against a brick wall trying to talk some sense into LA. Ok Ok I should have know the answer to that one sorry. But any way I was wondering if LA has every heard of a transitional attack? Now for case study sake I will use my own Dept. for this one, just the other day last Thursday to be exact we were toned out for a residential fire. Tone time was 13:00 hrs responded with am 3 man engine crew and the Fire Chief went pov, other members were enroute to the station and were to respond the tanker. When the tones dropped we did call for mutual aid from the paid dept. down the road. Chief get's on scene and does his 360 and notifies income units that there is heavy smoke and flames showing from the gable above the garage. The engine check's on scene and one member pulls the 1 3/4 inch attack line with the other pumps the engine and the third grabs tools and heads to the front door when the member that was laying out hose gets to the door they do an interior primary search while the Fire Chief does an exterior attack on the attic fire. Mutual aid engine arrives and they are also running a 3 man crew at the same time our tanker arrives with 2 more members. So just to make sure we are all on the same page we now have 9 people on scene only 8 are certified firefighters, so lets take the chief out of this and we are now down to 7 certified people on scene as manpower became available we did do an interior attack and saved over 95% of the house. So lesson on this call if you do something with little it just might save something big in the end. We also know that a transitional attack were you go from exterior to interior saves property. So to sum it all up 7 FireFighter's saved a house by using Training and Motivation. Oh and by the way just as a side note no one got even the smallest boo-boo doing any of this.
My VFD implemented transitional attack about a year ago, led by myself and the Training Captain after I attended FDIC and took a class on the topic.
We have a 100 2.5" line with a smooth-bore tip on every engine dedicated to this purpose.
It was becoming apparent that our manpower levels were dropping and that an exterior attack while waiting for either more manpower from our own department or the closest mutual aid engine was the way to knock down the fire without having to make entry short staffed, while waiting for more resources.
Since then, our responding manpower has dropped even further and we have implemented formal automatic mutual aid with the neighboring department on every structural call.
In fact we transitional attack with an 1 3/4" line at our last structure fire, and it knocked own the majority of the fire while we waited for the AMA engine from the neighboring small city as we did not have enough interior personnel, without committing the only officer, who was in command, interior on the line.
The fact is that in most cases we no longer have the manpower to make entry initially without committing the incident commander on the handline.
I have no expectations that our manpower situation is going to change in the short-term, and quite frankly have no expectations for any significant long term manpower changes either, so this is the way that we will likely have to operate for the foreseeable future.
The fact is that I will not risk any injury to my men for property. The priority for me at least is that they all are fully able to report to their full-time jobs the next morning, and the sad reality is that in our area, given the travel times, it is highly unlikely that any trapped occupants would be viable by the time we arrived, and simply again, not worth the risk to my personnel given the likely volume of fire on arrival.
Think of it this way, you were born as a male I presume. Science specifically and society to a large extent have defined what constitutes a human male and human female. You could start wearing dresses and make up, acting like and calling yourself a female (assuming you don't already do any of these things :D), but the hard reality is that until your outie becomes an innie, you ARE a male.
And I have no issues with admitting that in most, but not all, cases we simply don't have the interior trained manpower to operate as we would like, and that we have made arrangements to have an additional department respond that can provide that manpower.
There is no shame at all in that.
Secondly, we are the priority. Always will be.
That doesn't mean that protecting the public isn't critical, but the bottom line is I have an obligation to protect my members first and foremost. Then I worry about the needs of the citizens.
Look, I'm a pretty reasonable guy and having put 32 years (and counting) into my dept. I've been around the block a few times.
I do understand your position in terms of resources and manpower, but what I don't understand is your attitude.
I care a great deal about the guys I work with. I have a far closer bond with them than you have with your men (based on a recent post where you said there is not much time for bonding). I've spent decades with these guys in the fire house and off the job. I'm sure as hell not going to risk anyone's life over nothing.
But at the same time we've got a job to do and there is risk associated with that job.
For some reason you seem to want to make your views and philosophies the standard by which we should all be aiming for. By why would any of us want to set our sights so low?
You've got a completely disinterested membership that you have great difficulty motivating (perhaps you might want to rethink your training and leadership skills). You have poor response, poor training and poor attitude.
Why do you insist on trying to paint us with the same brush?
The truth is you have nothing to offer any of us, and yet you insist on flooding these boards. You are a pretender in so many ways I don't have the time or energy to list them all.
We get it- your dept. stinks, your response stinks, your membership stinks, everyone is more concerned with their day jobs than with firefighting, blah, blah, blah.
That is the personal hell you are assigned to. You seem unwilling/unable to try to change it and so you seek to drag us along for the ride.
Sorry, but this ride you take alone.
Where did I say that we have no duty to act?
I will act, but only after I have assured the safety of my crew.
And yes, in some cases that very well mean delaying interior operations until there are sufficient personnel on scene to staff backup lines and be able to perform RIT functions.
Our safety comes first. Always.
You have said repeatedly that you WON'T act. If you WON'T act surely you must believe you don't have a duty to act.
And where have I said that I will not act?
Even if there is not enough of our interior manpower on-scene before the AMA engine I will order forcible entry. I will order an exterior attack. I will control utilities.
So I will act. I just will not act in manner that you want me to before there is enough members on scene to assure their safety.
It is absolutely, undeniably, impossible, to 100% assure the safety of your crew during response, during actions on the fireground, and while returning.
True, but acting without sufficient manpower simply to meet the expectations of the public is not the way to assure a high level of safety.
I will operate interior when I have an adequate number of personnel to insure that they are operating in a safe a manner possible, especially when simply saving property.
And that takes priority over the needs of the public.
The only instance where you haven't "delayed" was where your chief violated every single safety rule you preach about and went in and put the fire out. Otherwise the rest of what you talk about here NEVER occurs unless your AMA FD is on scene.
And that will be the reality for the foreseeable future at the majority of our structural fires.
Then quit and learn basket weaving or knitting. Because whether you like it or not firefighting, even done as safely as possible is still inherently a dangerous job. You are delusional if you believe otherwise.
What I believe if that my tactics are driven by the resources on scene and not by the incident, I can keep my members safe.
If that means exterior attack only, fine. if that means waiting for the AMA engine, fine. if that means not entering a building that others may make an interior attack on, I'm OK with that as well.
You were the kind of kid that your mom had to put bacon in your pocket to get the dog to play with you...
The problem is probably every bit as big as LA thinks it is. If you allow yourself to be ruled by fear you can find about a million reasons to not do the job. Thankfully, Rural VFD's may be screwed up but at least a lot of them still do the job everyday.
Certainly I'm not the only one that caught "I will order forceable entry.." Opening a flow path and venting the building so it will burn faster?