1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool Fire Scenario...Four Ways :)

    Fire Scenario…times 4

    “Standard” Operating Procedures are great for tools, like a chainsaw. Pretty much each time you use, it starts the same way – I know on my Stihl, it’s lock in the throttle, set full choke, fourth pull it pops, set partial choke, next pull she starts. Flip it to run and have fun.

    SOPs for tactics…we’ll maybe that’s where the popular term of the day “Standard Operating Guidelines” come into play – they can’t be set in stone, ‘cause each fire you come across is different. Fires don’t exist in a burn building – they exist in the real world, and factors in the real world influence them – like local building practices, fire department staffing & training, and the make-up of the community.

    Of course, I wonder if there is also “TOPs” – or Trial Operating Policies when you want to experiment with new things or change currents ways of doing things, but that’s another discussion.

    For this fire scenario, let’s take the same building, same time of day, weather, staffing, apparatus, etc (staffing & apparatus can be assumed to be your local typical response). But let’s vary the life hazard and fire development…do you handle the situations the same? Do you vary the tactics & tools used?

    There is no right answer…some people and places might not even change their tactics from one situation to another. Some might…some may even say, we’ll maybe – but I’d have to be in front of the building to make the actual decision. You can probably also mix-and-match the fires and victim scenarios…even the time of day to come up with more different scenarios to evaluate.

    Building: 2.5 story wood-frame single-family residence, 16:00 hours. There are children’s toys in the yard. Ok folks, what do you have for apparatus & staffing; what size and where do the hoses go; search tactics & priority; any laddering; anything important I forgot???

    Scenario 1:
    On arrival, moderate smoke showing from the A-D corner windows, 1st floor (kitchen) , glow visible in the room.
    A person who seems credible tells you that she is the babysitter and everyone is out of the house.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.geocities.com/dalmation90/scenarioone.gif>

    Scenario 2:
    On arrival, moderate smoke showing from the A-D corner windows, 1st floor (kitchen), glow visible in the room.
    A neighbor who is there tells you that usually the kids and teenage babysitter are around this time of day…you look and don’t see a car in the driveway.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.geocities.com/dalmation90/scenarioone.gif>

    Scenario 3:
    On arrival, heavy fire and smoke is showing from the A-D corner windows, 1st floor, with a glow of fire extending towards the front door inside.
    A badly drawn stick-figure of a victim is yelling for help from the second floor, opposite from the fire.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.geocities.com/dalmation90/scenariothree.gif>

    Scenario 4:
    On arrival, the first floor A-D area of the fire building if belching flames, and heavy, black smoke is boiling out from all over the building.
    A badly drawn stick figure of a victim is on the 2nd floor, A side opposite the fire, and crouching in the window calling for help.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.geocities.com/dalmation90/scenariofour.gif>
    Now here’s an afterthoughts….

    Would your tactics change if the building was 19th century vintage v. 20 years old? Maybe change in some and not others?

    Play hard...have fun...stay safe.

    [This message has been edited by Dalmatian90 (edited August 30, 2000).]

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Basics for a single family dwelling here are usually a minimum of 2 engines and a truck with 12-14 firefighters, in most cases we get 3 engines and another truck. Basic tactics are: 1st engine (750 gwt/1200' 5") through the front door with 1 3/4" (185 gpm)1st truck gets forcible entry and the search underway officer has TIC and outside team does horizontal vent. 2nd engine picks up water supply.

    On each of the first 2 scenarios, my tactics are the same as above. Go right at the fire, horizontal vent and search the place then check for extension.

    On the third and fourth, I'd have the truck get the victims by ladder depending on fire conditions and then head inside depending on how far the second truck or third engine was behind. Regardless of the location within a dwelling, i consider all areas in a standard dwelling to be exposed due to open stairs and floor plan. In cases 3 and 4 with the volume of fire you'd have to consider the stairs lost or endangered, so i go for VES. Most likely be calling for help with this situation, extra alarm.

    You didn't give dimensions, so ill go with the standard house and stick with the 1 3/4, and on scenario 3 and 4 getting that second one into service rapidly.

    As far as the old house thing goes, not a ton of experience with them, scenario 3 and 4 would have me in the attic pretty quick/

    Good scenarios Matt!

  3. #3
    Jay Sonnenfeld
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Good Scenario, Our town has a automatic mutual aid response for that time of day. This could bring us 2 pumpers for a total of 4 . Manpower is tough because of the time of day. Scenario 1 & 2... 1st engine goes to scene 1 3/4 line pulled. Second pumper establishes water supply, sends manpower to scene. Second team goes to 2nd floor searches and checks for extension. Scenario 3 & 4...
    Here I am going to assume its 19th century. I'm going to select a 2 1/2 with 1 1/8 SB nozzle because of the amount of fire and confirmed entrapment. The line goes between fire and rescue team I would try an interior rescue all the while raising ground ladders to the second floor. (No aerials that close). At this time I would call for another Co. for mutual Aid.( Fast Team & additional manpower ) In this decision here I am assuming the stairs are intact. If not then its ladder rescue time. Like Halligan said 19th century its safe to say balloon construction. I have been told before no fire is exactly the same so strategy and tactics may differ. As long as the outcome is the same each and every time were Everybody goes home safe and alive.

    [This message has been edited by Jay Sonnenfeld (edited August 31, 2000).]

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    For the 4 scenarios, just for the tatics conversation, I am going to create a combo dept. of 3 person engine, and 2 person truck, and moderate volunteer response. Initial dispatch for all 4 scenarios would be a 2-1 with a mutual aid response from a neighboring dept. FAST (RIT). Also I am used to seeing very rapid response of an effective number of volunteer firefighters, so I will be using them in my scenario FD.

    With #'s 1 and 2...I agree with the the 1 3/4 through the front door, with horizontal ventilation once the attack team is in place, and a back-up line, outside in the event of any problems or extension to the upper floor. With that the second floor will be searched, from above the fire room, back, and the first floor with remaining personnel. Overhaul, ventilate, secondary search. The 1st due engine would lay a 5" supply line, with the 2nd due standing by at another water source, off the current main in use. (I know, perfect world stuff)

    For #3...basically the same with the others, however, the truck company would immediately raise a ladder to the victim on side 1. Once that is completed, continue the second floor primary, with a line stretched through the same window for protection in same fashion starting from above the fire back. Remaining personnel would throw ladders to the second floor on sides 1,2,3, for egress. Also, I would have the aerial set-up to the roof above the fire, in the event that heavy fire begun showing to the side 1,4 second floor for vertical ventilation. Both engines would pick up hydrants with 5". Again, overhaul, ventilation, secondary search.

    #4...The heavy black smoke, and no visible fire, sends out an alarm bell in my head. Upon arrival, an immediate request for an addtional engine,truck, and FAST would be made. Rescue of the side 1 victim via ladder, and immediate operation of (2) 1 3/4 lines put into operation, with a back up at the door. If possible, ask victim if any other occupants are known, and if possible locations. If lucky enough, primary searches to the second floor can be made via ladders..if not, again handline via ladder with search team, if conditions allow. Most tatics employed would follow Scenario #3. The second FAST would be in place in the event of worsening conditions, and if changing to a defensive position the original FAST engine could be put into use.

    As far as the time frame of the structure...to me the difference is balloon construction in the older model, with the possiblity of newspaper used as insulation, could become a problem. With a newer residential, my main concern would be of fatigue with scenario 4. Constant size-up and communcation with officers, crew chiefs would be the key with all 4 scenarios.

    Halligan, I thouroghly enjoyed reading your ideas on this!
    Please note that I made a fictational dept. similiar to my former dept. south of the mason-dixon line for this. I use these to keep my brain functioning with tactics. These are only my opinions and ideas, they mean, and reflect nothing to anyone, anything, or anyplace.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Matt - Let's forget all the types of lines, trucks and mutual aid - what kind of strategy and tactics would I use in general and how they apply to your scenarios. Nice drawing , BTW.

    Life Safety is always first
    Property Conservation is next
    No FF should risk their life to save a building

    Scenario #1
    Life - Risk is minimal, attack the fire
    Property - put the fire out safely and efficiently
    FF - Keep 2in and 2out, easy attack due to self vented fire

    Scenario #2
    Life - Risk is possible - attack the fire to keep any trapped occupants from being overcome and search above the fire for rescue after attack is initiated
    Property - Put the fire out
    FF - 2in and 2out is in effect due to lack of visible or known immediate life hazard

    Scenario #3
    Life - Obvious life risk, attack the fire first to stop smoke spread and VES to window with victim followed by primary search
    Property - put the fire out
    FF - 2 in 2out is NOT in effect due to obvious life hazard, first two FF attack fire, 2nd two FF VES

    Scenario #4
    Life - Obvious risk, immediate VES followed by fire attack from exterior
    Property - House may be history, if exterior attack knocks fire down, then follow up with vertical vent and interior attack - exterior attack can be done by the pump operator while everyone else searches, QUICKLY!
    FF - Take the risk, do the job, get the victims and get out! Attack should be centered around rescue, once rescue is complete, no FF enters unless headway was made from exterior. Watch your exterior attack - just knock the fire down - don't push the fire - straight stream or smooth bore only!

    Old versus new? If the house is of balloon frame era, consider the attic in your attack. New houses, consider the truss construction if venting on roof in scenario #4. Lastly, what about a basement - all of these could have started in the basement and would change your strategy significantly.(I know how much you love the basement questions)

    In conclusion, you use the same general priorities (SOP's?) for building fires (Life, Property, FF), but how much emphasis is placed in each area depends upon one thing...


    a good size up tells you what to do and replaces a poor SOP everytime!

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