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    Post 2-In/2-Out

    First things first, I want to say that by putting in this quote, it is not a criticism of the department in question, but rather a request for clarification.

    This quote is from a Firehouse mainpage article about a Christmas tree fire that turned fatal.

    "Colbert noted that the first engine arrived driver-only and was unable to enter the structure due to "two-in, two-out" rules. Firefighters knocked the fire down and then used a thermal imager locate the body of the child."

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't 2-in/2-out out the window if there is confirmed entrapment? Looking for clarification, anybody have any?

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    In cases of rescue, 2 in/2 out does not apply. Once a rescue/recovery has been made...operations have to immediately cease if there still is not enough personnel for 2 in/2 out. What the OSHA inspector told us here is it has to be a feasable situation.....citizen reports of the residents being home, visual confirmation, or other concrete evidence....none of this " Well, we saw a car in the garage and figured someone was trapped..etc"
    I think if this was the entire reason that this incident happened it is a tragedy...but with all the misinformation out there regarding standards it's not unconcievable that this could have happened.

    [ 12-20-2001: Message edited by: firecat1524 ]


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    [quote] Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't 2-in/2-out out the window if there is confirmed entrapment? Looking for clarification, anybody have any?


    You are right. If there is a person traped 2/2 does not apply. I can see it being a gray area though. Like if someone said well "I think" somebody is in there. Then I do not know how it would be ruled. To be honest I have never met a firefighter that would not hesitate to go in anyway. Especially if it might be a child.
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    Wow, finally a topic I have been wanting to vent over. This topic can be read a couple of ways. My FD does have a 2 in/2 out rule in place, and is pretty much the same as above, unless a bystander tells you theres someone inside or it is obvious that there is someone to be rescued you are to stay outside til there our four personell onscene even if it means that the shift commander and the driver(of the first in engine) have to be the two out. Now we all know that the two out shouldnt be the driver of the first arriving engine or even the shift commander. The two people outside should there just for that reason. So saying all that i'll tell you what i really think, this whole 2 in/ 2 out rule is an excuse for a city or municipality to point fingers at someone other than themselves, for not having enough manpower.

    Now I do realize that times are changing and we in the fire service dont do all of the crazy things that use to be done by our predecessors. However I joined this job knowing that it is inherently dangerous. And i wait for the day that a department gets sued for not going in and dowsing a fire from the interior that could have been extinguished had someone gone in. Its a very gray line we walk across with this issue and I personally dont like it. But ya know what they say opinions are everywhere and we've all got one.

    God Bless our fallen brothers of FDNY. There's not a day that goes by that I dont get choked up wishing that day never happened.



    I would like to say everything expressed in this post is my opinion and not that of my department.

    If anyone has a reason for me to feel differently about 2 in/ 2 out please feel free to e-mail me and try to enlighten me further, as i do accept constructive critisizm.

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    I agree the 2-In / 2-Out rule can be very confusing at times. Personally I don't like the rule. That being said I can't argue that it will not save firefighters lives. However unlike hydrantkatcher I do not think this rule was pushed by any city administrations. Texas not being an OSHA state was not required to abide by this ruling. Then the legislature of our great state adopted Senate Bill 382 which mandates all departments in Texas that are regulated by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection will, among other things, abide by the 2-In / 2-Out rule! There are exceptions included in the legislation. If the fire is in its early stages where the fire can be extinguished with a small hand line or an SCBA is not needed to enter, or a rescue may be indicated, the the rule is out the window. Any department required to abide by this rule that is caught not abiding by the rule is subject to a fine. I would sure like to he an opinion from Mongo on this subject. So far my department has not run into any instance where we were faced with making a decision on whether to enter or not. Can't always depend on luck. Our department is steadily working with our city administration to find the funding necessary to increase staffing. Too many words - gonna shut up now. Let's hear from Mongo.

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    [quote]Originally posted by hydrantkatcher:
    til there our four personell onscene even if it means that the shift commander and the driver(of the first in engine) have to be the two out. Now we all know that the two out shouldnt be the driver of the first arriving engine or even the shift commander. The two people outside should there just for that reason.


    Actually, only one person has to specifically be there to monitor the interior crew. The other "2 out" person can do something else such as pump operator or incident commander.

    The following is from a Q&A report from the IAFF/IAFC:
    [quote]Aside from this individual dedicated to tracking interior personnel, the other designated person(s) is permitted to take on other roles, such as incident command in charge of the emergency incident, safety officer or equipment operator. However, the other designated outside person(s) cannot be assigned tasks that are critical to the safety and health of any other employee working at the incident


    The following is from the "Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Revised Respiratory Protection Standard" Appendix A, Page 37 from OSHA:
    [quote]Q: What duties may the outside firefighters perform in adition to monitoring the inside firefighters?

    A: One of the outside firefighters must actively monitor the status of the inside firefighters and may not be assigned additional duties. The second outside firefighter may be involved in a wide variety of activities. (Skipping to second paragraph)

    Some examples of other activities or duties that are commonly performed by firefighters and amy be performed by one of the outside team members include: pump operations, incident command, the feeding and direction of hose to the entry team, hydrant operations, and outside hose line operation. (Skipping a sentence) Outside firefighters additional duties must be able to immediately discontinue their other work assignments to perform rescue. (Skipping rest of paragraph)


    Ok, so here is what I don't get..."the other designated outside person(s) cannot be assigned tasks that are critical to the safety and health of any other employee working at the incident" but they can be incident command. pump ops, etc...doesn't that seem a little contradicting?
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    this is in my opinion #1 rule of firefighting
    If a guy goes down in a fire you either get him out or stay with him/or her.

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    Cool

    I have to agree with you Adze it is contradicting, which is why I had made the comment that Chief79 alluded to. Ya see it wasnt too long ago when the league of cities in Florida faught the two in two out ruling in Tallahassee saying that they would have to supply more manpower to abide by it the way it should be. Don't ya just love how politics and our job go's hand in hand. lol



    I would like to say everything expressed in this post is my opinion and not that of my department.

    [ 12-20-2001: Message edited by: hydrantkatcher ]


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    Hey guys what are they gonna do , give you a
    10 yard penalty for not having enough players
    on the field.. EVERY STRUCTURE IS OCCUPIED UNTILL
    SEARCHED..Let the officials in the booth worry
    about this crap. If your on the scene you got the ball, run your route and go for the touchdown.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A SAFE NEW YEAR

    STAY LOW -STAY SAFE

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    I like the theory of 2/2. As a fedral firefighter, I am required to abide by it. However, what about the small volunteer departments that are lucky to have 3 show up for a day time fire? If they are the most proficient firefighters possible, it still comes down to resource.

    I think that some of these standards are written by people that are use to a > $5,000,000 budget and resources out the whazzzer. Now let the state mandate these standards. Where does that put the fire department running on a $5,000 per year budget?

    In reality, I am like any other Firefighter. Even if it meant my job, let alone my skinny little life, I would do everything in my power to go after a confirmed victim.

    Be safe.

    Merry Christmas everyone.

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    [quote]Originally posted by Torched Medic:
    In reality, I am like any other Firefighter. Even if it meant my job, let alone my skinny little life, I would do everything in my power to go after a confirmed victim.


    The only exception to the rule is if immediate action is needed to save a life. ie You and one other guy show up and there is someone trapped inside, then the rule is void.
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    Ok, my question is why would you even take a rig to a fire with only a driver. It happens alot in departments surrounding mine. I find it to be relatively ignorant. I am not trying to step on toes as I don't know everything about the call, or anything about the dept. but my dept. will not run with less than 2 on a rig and that is depending on the call, and the driver always stays with the rig.
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    One of the most compelling reasons for not responding with only a driver to an incident is chronicled in this tragic event. While I agree that there was an incorrect interpretation of the '2in/2out' standard in this instance, it also shows the folly of sending one firefighter to do the job of a fully staffed company.

    If this individual had decided to attempt a rescue, in compliance with the OSHA regulation (assuming the adult male who escaped the trailer had notified the firefighter of the child trapped), he would have placed himself in great danger. Most of us, in the same circumstance, would go for the rescue if there was any possibility of effecting it. That is the insidious part of the 'short-staff' mentality of many jurisdictions.

    It is unfair to this firefighter and his department for the fire service community to criticize from the security of our armchairs. It IS eminently fair for us to criticize the policies of municipalities that allow this situation to occur in the first place.

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    Try this website. It's a FAQ for the 2-in/2-out rule. Hopes this helps somehow.

    http://www.iaff.org/safe/pdfs/2in2out.pdf

    This requires that Adobe Acrobat program.

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    In response to kevin37truck's reply, in Texas any department required to abide by the 2-In / 2-Out that is found to be in violation of the rule is subject to a fine. I have not heard of any department being fined as of yet but the law only became effective September 1, 2001. The Texas Commission on Fire Protection is the agency responsible to ensure compliance in Texas. They may at any time inspect run reports or show up on a scene to determine compliance. I agree with the thought that every building is occupied until searched but I'm not sure how the Texas Commission on Fire Protection would view that statement.

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    Since SC is not an OSHA state we adopted a 2 in 1 out rule statewide. There are a few stipulations though. The 1 out must be structural certified and also certified in Incident Command. However That 1 out cannot be engaged in any other activity such as pump operator. However if you look at the book and paid attention in class it states that the engineer can be the 2nd man out, which basicly says the 2 in 1 out isn't viable. Go figure.
    When the defecation hits the oscillation I'll be there.

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    Re.Chief79: The Texas Commision on Fire Protection
    should view the "every structure is occupied until searched" as FACT . The TCFP should be putting the pressure on local depts. to ensure
    they have proper man power 24/7. Not just running
    around spot checking after the fact.The OSHA 2/2
    rule didnt go far enough.Thier should be nation wide standards on minimum maning .Maybe one day.
    Until then do what you got to do . Let the Depts
    pay the fine , its probaly cheaper for them then
    adding more manpower. No criticism intended towards firefighters. Fire fighting is a learning process, but as far as the officials in the booth
    they can take it any way they want...
    Chief like your number 79......
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS
    STAY LOW-STAY SAFE

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    The "2-in/2-out" rule was put in place for OUR safety. It was initiated by firefighters for firefighters. It was not some mandate that was handed down just to keep us from running into burning buildings! Our safety, and the safety of our members should be our number 1 priority.

    The 2&2 applies for any IDLH atmosphere. I think it is important to remember that if you do not have the 2&2 assembled, you CAN still perform other activities - as long as those activities are not in the IDLH atmosphere.

    Yes, the 2&2 can be set aside if action can be taken that will save a life or reduce potential injury. However, you are still required to enter with a partner. You must have that minimum "team of 2", utilizing the buddy system, for rescue if operating under an exemption, it is just the 2-out that is set aside for the rescue.

    It is no longer accepted that the "building is not clear until we (FD) say it is clear." Kevin37Truck - I must respectfully say that you are incorrect in the assumption of occupancy. Unfortunately, the rules you played with before you retired no longer apply.

    Why not just do what you have to do and let those "in the booth" sort it out? My answer is that I have responsibility. I am responsible for my members safety and welfare. I am responsible for compliance with departmental rules, regulations, and SOPs. I am responsible to comply with the law. This whole deal is a law. Responsibility means accountability. Accountability means responsibility. As a fire officer I have both. Got them when I raised my right hand and got "sworn" at. Failure to take these responsibilites can result in civil suits, if not criminal negligence, should one of my members get injured or killed because I didn't think I should have to follow the rules.

    The 2&2 is not a hard rule to follow. It is understanding and implimentation that we make difficult for ourselves.

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    [quote]Originally posted by RyanEMVFD:
    Try this website. It's a FAQ for the 2-in/2-out rule. Hopes this helps somehow.

    http://www.iaff.org/safe/pdfs/2in2out.pdf

    This requires that Adobe Acrobat program.



    Yeah...the IAFF thing I quoted above is found on page 4 of that document
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    Good day all,
    I admire FIREMAN077 for his post in his beliefs on 2/2. I also agree wholeheartedly with his entire statement. 2/2 was created for US to provide a rule that will help to bring you and me home after the fire. It is not a difficult rule to follow if approached correctly AND honestly. I agree that it is more difficult for some to comply with than others but even the small, rural departments can assemble an adequate firefighting complement if the details are worked out beforehand. If mutual aid departments are only pulling 2 or 3 firefighters each, make the initial dispatch a 5 or 6 department response. This will give you 10 to 18 firefighters on the first alarm. Each department could respond one piece of apparatus or specialty apparatus (aerial or rescue, etc) and make the initial response at least respectable. This will give you the 2/2 and even provide an initial RIT for the first 20 minutes of the fire which is usually the most hazardous. As always, not every situation is the same and other factors always apply such as response times, levels of experience of the firefighters you are getting, etc., but on average the 2/2 rule can be met and should be the initial priority after rescue. I am a firm believer in 2/2 and rapid intervention. I believe that WE should be taking care of US first. It's time we all take a step back and look at ourselves and our departments and decide if we are at risk with our firefighter rescue program. If you are not prepared to handle a firefighter rescue situation either through 2/2 or a dedicated RIT within the first 10 minutes of your arrival time, you had better seriously consider the situations that your firefighters are being placed into. I personally don't know any of you but I care for your lives and your safety. Let's ALL perform 2/2 and rapid intervention at every fire and take care of US first, so we can take care of THEM...

    Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Jim Crawford
    Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire
    James K. Crawford
    Assistant Fire Chief
    Midway Fire Rescue
    Pawleys Island, SC

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    Re. Fireman077: Interesting response .The point
    of my statement is minimum manning, thats what
    needs to be addressed .The strategy of 2/2 is
    good safe tactics, but it brings you back to manning . If depts.were sufficiently manned we
    would not be be having this discussion. I was
    fortunate to work for a dept. that had minimum manning,but it was hard fought for over the years.
    The powers to be are not just going to give it to you. I have been retired less than a year so I have a little knowledge to pass on,senility has'nt
    set in yet. I also took a oath but mine was to protect life and property of the citizens .
    A structure is considered occupied until searched
    and that has not changed in certain depts.. The people in the booth need to become adocates for minimum manning then they will truly be helping firefighters do the job safely......

    HAS THE TACTIC OF STAY LOW-STAY SAFE CHANGED

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    If ya wanna go in and don't have four, send someone around back to yell help. Then it's a rescue situation.

    The cops learned this way around search warrants long ago: "come in, kind sir" from the cop in the rear.

    Just have your stories straight.

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    PBFTRK33 thanks for the kind words. As a RIT instructor-trainer in Virginia, I have kept up with your work in P-burgh. You guys do awesome work and seem to have an aggressive program.

    Kevin37Truck - thanks for the reply. Didn't mean to put you in the senility group yet! I agree staffing and minimum manning would assist in placing the right number of resources on the scene to manage the 2&2. However, willingness to implement and comply by the first arriving units probably is the harder sell.

    My department (all career) has minimum staffing of 4 per engine and 3 per ladder. In our experience, when these 2 companies arrive together, before the balance of the alarm, it is honestly difficult to say we will comply with the 2&2. How is that, you may ask, when we pull up with 7 before the rest of the calvary arrives? When the structure is "lit-off", I can tell you the engine crew wants to get in and go to work, and the ladder crew isn't going to stand-by. Typically, we end up with 6-in and 1-out for the first few minutes. I know it sounds out of balance - and it is. Trying to get a group of action oriented members to comply is like the proverbial "trying to teach an old dog new tricks." It is a huge cultural change. I am sure that my dept is not the only one where this happens. We are working for change, but like anything, it will take a while. So I agree inital staffing is important, but having the members carry out the mission, for the right reasons, is just as important.

    Of course this leads to the need to establishment the initial rescue team (which is really the 2-out) and the RIT once the 2nd crew enters the IDLH. We have come a long way in a fairly short time in regards to taking care of our own. We need to keep the momentum moving in the right direction!

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    Let's say you pull up on a scene of a single family dwelling with a mattress fire in one bed room. The fire has been smoldering for some time and has filled the structure with smoke. Since an SCBA is required to enter the 2-In / 2-Out now applies. Since I only have three personnel on the apparatus I have to wait for a mutual-aid company to arrive. The mutual aid company arrives 10 minutes later, now instead of a mattress fire I have three rooms burning. Is it now safer for my personnel to enter to extinguish a three room fire than it would have been for my personnel to enter and extinguish a mattress fire? Thanks to the 2-In / 2-Out rule the first arriving officer does not get to make a decision to attack while it is still a mattreee fire.

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    Ok thats a funny (sarcasticlly) picture.
    HOMEOWNER:Thank God your here! I have a couch on fire!!!
    FIRE CHIEF:Well we dont have enough to comply with 2/2
    HOMEOWNER:What does that mean???
    FC:Well means we have to stand here till we have enough help
    HOMEOWNER:
    Ok lets look at this that way.Are you now open for a lawsuit because you sat on your hands and more of this guys property was destroyed?Are you going to help pay his bills?I doubt it.So this guy is gonna sue now.Bet me and lose if he doesnt win.
    Now it is time for me to vent.Kevin has fought a lot of fire and retired one year ago.Now I am not saying 007 is wrong but he is.Norfolk does it their way, NYC does it their way,so on and so on.The house is occupied UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE!!!One of my pet peeves was the line"If there is someone trapped inside they are more than likely dead so we need not search"To hell with that line of thinking.Only people who do that kind of thinking in my book are armchair chiefs and those lazy ba5tards you cant get to do their jobs.
    On 9-11 we watched FDNY do their job on live TV and I have heard the armchair guys say "They should have stayed outside"Well in my humble opinion they should find another line of work.They were doing their job the way the FDNY has done its job for years.I find it sad that some members of the fire service can sit on high and shout down to us and say this is how it is going to be.Well what works for one will not work for all.Nuff said.

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