01-19-1999, 07:14 PM #1painterFirehouse.com Guest
i am currently with a department made up of around 100 volunteers 1 paid chief and 1 paid fire fighter (myself)and 2 paid ems stations. i understand the 2/2 concept and think it is a good plan, but i don't think osha gave much consideration to volunteer departments. our department has a pretty good response time, but due to the fact that personnel are responding from different locations at different distances it is not always that enough personnel are on the scene in time for the initial attack. generally most of the ems personnel are cross trained firefighters and respond on all structure fires. if there is not enough personnel on scene when ems gets to the scene the medics usually bunker out and assist in fireground operations (usually resulting in the loss of medical control.
this is not usually the case except for daytime hours when most people are at work. i dont want anyone to think that i am knocking the 2in/2out plan , i really do appreciate the fact osha is up there trying to look out for our safety and well being, but in the world we live in time is of the essence and every second counts. i would appreciate any input on how agencies with the same type circumstances operate with the 2in/2out
01-19-1999, 09:23 PM #2fmanFirehouse.com Guest
I can understand your concerns, my department, although quite a bit larger, has a similar situation in some of our more rural areas. Hopefully this will increase the availability of jobs, but at the same time what about the two man squad that has a 30 minute response from the next guaranteed crew. During the day that can be a long time, believe me I have been there.
01-21-1999, 12:08 AM #3Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
I can understand your concerns ref: not enough people early enough for the initial attack. Our area is primarily volunteer as well, however we are fortunate to have quite a few departments in a relatively small area. If you can, I think increasing the companies on the 1st alarm would help. The thing to consider here is that OSHA allows immediate rescue to be made, so if you have that indication you can enter, if not, you have to consider the risk. What happens to the 2 guys inside when something happens and no one is there to help. When I teach this, I remind the classes of Haz Mat and Confined Space incidents. No one has ever questioned the need for a back up team there prior to entry. I feel a structure that is burning is at least as hazardous as those.
01-21-1999, 08:37 PM #4ZimFirehouse.com Guest
I am on a small volunteer fire department with only 10-15 active members. I have been at fires where there are only 3-4 of us fighting fire. 90% of the house fires we respond to are ballon frame construction and average 50-100 years old. If water is not put on the fire pronto, the house is obviously lost along with the house that is less than 5 feet away. I have heard most of the reasons why 2in/2out should be followed, but in my departments case the fire needs to be put out before the whole neighborhood burns to the ground. I know that we risk the chance of being burned and killed, but that is the risk we take when we join the fireservice. If a person is not capable of taking that risk, then they should rethink about joining the fire department.
I find it funny that we spend so much time on making laws on how to fight fires so we can save firefighters lives. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the most common cause of firefighter death is heart attacks. Where is the obesity laws, the out of shape laws, and the laws that will keep people not suitable for the job out of the fireservice. This is one topic that the fireservice plays strong lip service to. If we truly want to save firefighters lets focus on the number one killer.
01-21-1999, 10:29 PM #5Dalmation90Firehouse.com Guest
Have to agree with Zim...
To my mind, there is a greater danger in allowing a fire to grow larger, and further weaken the structure, while waiting for a couple extra guys.
As I recall, the top two causes are heart attacks, and vehicle accidents. Those two account for over half (?) the LODDs...eliminate them because they're the stupid ways to die. Firefighting is dangerous, and you can't legislate that away.
01-22-1999, 10:43 AM #6Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
I forget who said it, but "We will risk alot to save alot, we will risk little to save nothing"
Alot = Lives, Little = Property Only. As I stated in the earlier post, would you charge into a haz mat or a confined space or a trench because you couldn't take the couple of extra minutes? In the end, its real simple, you either plan to make your operation work with 2 in/2 out or you let your elected officials know you need more resources and your taxpayers and firefighters are endangered due to a federal law.
01-22-1999, 12:30 PM #7painterFirehouse.com Guest
halligan84 this an excellent way to show the official just how bad we do infact need more funding for resources i have to agree. i also did not want to give you the wrong idea about the way we sometimes have to operate. it is not very often that this situation occurs,but when it does before any attack is made we try to determine occupancy and also building integrity. i did not want you the idea that we are a john wayne fire dept and i thank you for your input
01-22-1999, 03:31 PM #8Dalmation90Firehouse.com Guest
would you charge into a haz mat or a confined space or a trench because you couldn't take the couple of extra minutes?
The fundemental differences are that generally the hazmat, confined space, or trench rescue are:
a) Not making the situation worse be leaving it alone. The fire is or will be attacking the structure of the buidling, weakening the structure making future efforts to fight it less successful and more dangerous.
b) Immediate action is not generally needed to mitigate the three examples you cited. In a fire situation, you can have people trapped remote from the origin. Generally, in those three, and especially confined space and trench, the only people who will ever be in trouble, already are...that's why you were called. If it's an IDLH, the damage has probably already been done, and won't get worse taking an extra few minutes to prepare special equipment.
I guess it just comes down to a fundamental philosophy in me -- use your head. I don't believe in mandating things such as 2in/2out. Those are decisions that should be left to the those on the fireground to decide their comfort with the situation, and their tools, training, and techniques to decide.
01-24-1999, 08:29 PM #9BlitzattakFirehouse.com Guest
I am all for 2in-2out. We have to remember that we are not on suicide missions. Our mission is to save lives and protect property. We must not be in the business of sacrificing lives for lives. If it means waiting a couple of minutes to be safe we should be doing it. OHSA allows us to go in before 4 are on the fireground in life or death situations, but remember whose live are we saving, the public or ourselves. Lets start thinking about ourselves for once and forget the macho FF image. I have fought fire for 30+ years and saved a lot property over the years. I really think its time to save ourselves by learning self-rescue techniques and by having stand-by rescue teams FAST or RIT or what ever it takes to save our brothers and if it takes a couple of more minutes to do it, so be it. Wayne
01-25-1999, 11:03 AM #10HHoffmanFirehouse.com Guest
Dalmation think about your post. Haz Mat's don't become more dangerous with time? The incident will not effect more people then those that called? Most times we have an IDLH situation inside the structure. I think if the 2 in and 2 out along with RIT are used we can save some lives ( Our own people ). Stay Safe Brothers and Sisters !!!
01-25-1999, 11:43 PM #11Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
Dalmation, I generally agree with you even though we don't see eye to eye. Its true that fires in quite a few cases require immediate action, like I said, I think most places can make a plan to deal with this. I also don't like the idea of a federal mandate for everything we do, I think a good, trained firefighter can make a good risk analysis and do what he has to, BUT.. this law protects US and forces our administrations and elected officials to pay attention. In Jersey there were alot of companies wearing junk PPE prior to PEOSHA in the late 80's, the state mandated proper equipment and took away the town's excuse by allowing them to exceed budget caps to make the purchase. Something like this could have a similar effect
01-27-1999, 10:54 AM #12cla123Firehouse.com Guest
Every time we try to improve the margin of safety in our dangerous profession, some fossil steps up to shoot us all in the foot. "We never had that minimum manning (SCBA, turnout gear, etc. etc.) and WE always put the fire out." That's true- it's just that more guys got killed doing it. You might as well say we don't need penicillin because a lot of people recovered from illnesses without it. We all know, and studies have shown, that fire engines and ladder trucks just can't do the jobs required of them SAFELY unless four people arrive on them at a working fire. 2in/2out will go a long way toward preventing cities and towns from staging "parades" of empty apparatus responding to alarms. If your town is full of 5' exposures and you're relying on a dept. that might respond with adequate manpower and might not, then you've got problems-and I don't mean with the Feds.
01-27-1999, 12:55 PM #13ECBURTFirehouse.com Guest
<2in/2out will go a long way toward preventing cities and towns from staging "parades" of empty apparatus responding to alarms. >
Over the last 20 years 2 in 2 out would have effected maybe 9% of the fatalities but further review shows 74 deaths over 20 years or 3.5 a year. Of course the IAFF says it will save 30 or 40 a year. There never have been 30 2 in 2 out deaths in year and maybe not in the last 20 years either.
50% of firefighter deaths every year are due to life style. Heart attack, did you read how many 70 year old heart attacks there were last year, big surprise they'd die from a heart attach eh? When do we get a federal government mandate Twinky bill?
15% of the deaths are responding to and returning from calls. Half of those are in peoples own vehicles. We need a 1901 from the government that madades 4 door cabs for cars, and gauges, and red lights, and seat belts, and , and and. That would save us from our stupidity. Look how many deaths occur responding to non-sense calls.
For every 2 in 2 out death which by the way those 74 deaths over 90% had 2 out onscene some were even RIC teams with good accountability ...5 times that number each year die walking in parades, turning on fire hydrants, die in the station, teaching classes, etc.
So should we expect last months non-2 in 2 out death fire department to get sued, fined and officer's locked up? It will never happen. Where has OSHA ever collected a fine or pushed an public enitiy into anything? Seattle was fined, never paid them and they were later dropped, politics I guess. Any others?
9 guys died to bleve's in the last 3 years, where is our government mandate to stop being stupid on the fireground? Popularity contest elections and beer allow results like that on the fire ground.
Who in the country follows NFPA to the letter? All of it? Half of it? Even a handful of it? ZILCH!
We despirately need more rules we don't follow. Government will take care of us.
01-27-1999, 02:11 PM #14cla123Firehouse.com Guest
Has anyone in this group thought that the 50% heart attack death rate rate might not all be from "lifestyle issues"(twinkies),but that some of it might be due to the stress, mental and physical, of doing the work of several firefighters at an undermanned scene? As far as deaths from MVA's, the safest way to arrive at a fire or incident is properly turned out and in an engine or ladder. Backfilling stations during an incident is one thing, but having half(or all) the dept. racing around town in their own cars is just asking for trouble. "2in/2out deaths" aren't limited to guys responding to a fire alone and getting lost in a bldg or having a roof collapse on them.
01-27-1999, 09:45 PM #15Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
Interesting point on the stress deaths.. any feeling that we could also increase our save rate on the stress related sudden deaths that occur on the fireground? Firefighters that are at least first responder trained with AED's could provide rapid intervention in medical emergencies too. I wonder how many guys went down inside of the building with a heart attack and died because the removal effort took too long?
01-27-1999, 10:14 PM #16ECBURTFirehouse.com Guest
I'm sure their had to be at least one.
01-30-1999, 12:54 PM #17HarryRCarterPhDFirehouse.com Guest
This is topic of great importance to us all. As a Battalion Commander in the Newark, NJ FD, I am frequently the first command-level officer to arrive on location. I have great faith in the company commanders who work for both my brother, also a BC, and me. I am working with them to create an understanding of the situations which call for a use of the less than 2-in/2-out exception. In many of my firefighting magazine articles, and in my new textbook from IFSTA, I stress that Incident Commanders must be careful in their commitment of fire personnel to a hazardous environment. It is our job to create order where chaos exists. It is not our job to hurl the bodies of firefighters at burning buildings. I applaud the introduction of the new regulations into my state and will work diligently to insure that no firefighter under my command will KNOWINGLY violate this rule. I urge all to work for compliance, and, as one of the previous respondants to this thread stated, use it to assist you in resource and budgeting battles. To my fellow volunteers (yes, I still do this in the suburbs) I urge you to be careful. I have never seen a burning building say thank you to a fallen firefighter. There is no rule that states we have to come back alive. One of the best SOP's I have seen for 2-in/2-out comes from Chief Bill Dukes in Mt. Laurel, NJ. Take care.
[This message has been edited by HarryRCarterPhD (edited 01-30-99).]
01-31-1999, 12:03 PM #18BCFD761Firehouse.com Guest
THIS IS REGARDING TH 2/2 RULE, THINK ABOUT IT,THERE IS A REASON FOR THIS, THE SAFETY OF ALL YOUR MEN,THIS SHOULD BE FIRST PRIORITY. I BELONG TO A SMALL DEPT. AS WELL, AND I KNOW HOW IT CAN BE AT TIMES, 2 OR 3 OF US THERE AND NO ONE ELSE INSIGHT, BUT THE NEXT TIME THIS HAPPENS,PLEASE TAKE A SECOND AND THINK.
02-01-1999, 12:22 AM #19PhredFirehouse.com Guest
Can you give more details re: Mt. Laurel, NJ Chief Duke's 2-in/2-out SOP's? How can he be reached and is either he or you willing and able to sent copies of the SOP? It's probably too much to run as a post, but if it could be e-mailed or looked at on a web site some of us would appreciate it. Thankx!
Phred at Phred322@aol.com
[This message has been edited by Phred (edited 01-31-99).]
02-09-1999, 01:48 AM #20IckymowFirehouse.com Guest
This has been a great discussion. I would like to know about Mt. Laurals SOPs also. I am a captain in a moderate sized department in central New York and we just put our own set of SOPs reguarding 2/2 and the use of RIT in place a couple months ago. I would like to remind every one that OSHA is attempting to help us and trying to instute some laws to protect us. This is some thing new to many of us and weather we like it or not, OSHA is here to stay. Our department desided to comply and to attempt to do our best to meet the standard. I would be glad to share what we came up with any one who would like to see them. Thanks for the great insight all of you.
02-12-1999, 11:59 PM #21Chief51Firehouse.com Guest
I agree with Halligan's comments on risk analysis. Firefighters working short handed must be able to assess their scenes intelligently and not put themselves at undue risk. I work in a community which is predominately older buildings and row homes with little or no fire stopping. The potential for creating even more dangerous conditions exists by delaying an attack on the fire. I am not condoning a total disregard for our personal safety but, rather, educating our firefighters better so that they are smart enough to know when to take action and when to hold back until more help arrives. Therefore it is the responsibility of every chief to see that his people are properly educated. I would LOVE to have 4 firefighters on my first due engine but that is never going to happen in a lot of communities due to the age old problem (or should I say excuse?) of economics. Sure, everyone says to pressure the politicians but over 24 years I have seen them come and go. The faces change but the attitudes stay the same; the apathy carries on. Hey, sometimes you can even fire up the citizens, particularly after a serious fire, but as time goes by they too forget and their only concern is how can the tax rate be held down. Fortunately for me our first due mutual aid company is a fully paid department. Now, when we are dispatched to a working structure fire, I get them rolling at the same time. Maybe it's not a good practice to always rely on mutual aid but until a better solution comes along for us, it's the next best thing.
02-13-1999, 09:57 AM #22Medic019Firehouse.com Guest
My feelings about the 2in/2out mandate being handed down from OSHA are mixed. First, I agree that Firefighter Safety is a major priority However, like many other departments my department is located in a small community with only 15 to 20 active volunteer members and 2in/2out will hamper operations at times. A firefighter's risk analysist of the incident is a key factor in whether to procede with an offense attack with lacking manpower while awaiting of the arrival of the next due companies from the first alarm assignment. Our Department builds practice our risk analysis during training session, building Safety into each other minds. This seems to have worked so far, as that we have not had any John Wayne style operations for unnesseciated reasons.
02-16-1999, 12:22 AM #23firesmithFirehouse.com Guest
With the threat of appearing sarcastic, if I can't protect my own, I've got no business protecting anything else. I work in a career company which under most circumstances can meet this "minimum" standard, but I also volunteer for a small company who is like most, is trying every day to do more with less. Yes, I work those fires with only 4 or 5 people...but I continue to ask myself, risk vs. gain, what should we risk to gain a "structure." If its a rescue situation, OSHA allows for dievation from the standard, that is not an issue. We as a family, must look beyond the term REGULATION and focus on our most valuable resource, our own personnel. If we are not careful some of those traditions that render our service static every day, will prevent us from making tremendous strides in the protection of our own. We don't have any business kidding ourselves thinking it won't happen to me. As I write this I am looking at the posting of three lost brothers, today. My thoughts and prayers to the brothers and their families.
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02-16-1999, 06:35 PM #24Dalmation90Firehouse.com Guest
Protecting our own is certaintly very important. And the most critical assest there is to protecting yourself and your co-workers is your head.
The risk analysis points hit it on the head -- you have to be able to rationally analyze the risks. 2in/2out says you can't -- it makes a decision for you without any reference what so ever to the situation that is before you.
02-24-1999, 06:36 PM #25Wolf2980Firehouse.com Guest
I think it is real easy for Dr. Newark-Battalion Chief to say that his FF will not violate the 2/2 rule. After all he gets paid one way or the other. In a community where the victims could be my family and neighbors, the decision to go in must be made based on the situation on hand. Firefighting is dangerous, I think we should be more concerned with saving lives then saving property.
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