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  1. #1
    truck12tillerman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry lack of aggressiveness in todays fire departments

    I am seeing a disturbing trend in todays fire service. A basic room and contents fire that 5-10 years ago would have taken 2 engines and a truck is now taking 4-5 engine, 2 trucks and a rescue squad, not counting the 400 Chiefs that show up. Then, the firefighters (because of course its not PC to call anyone a fireman) must establish 2 in-2 out, a rit team, get all of the thermal imaging cameras out and by this time a simple room and contents job has turned into a fully involved structure fire!! Also, the new firefighter that are coming in now move slow, don't think ahead and are ever more reliant on technology and book smarts rather than experiance and their officers. As a result more firefighters are getting hurt and killed that I ever can remember in my career. If we are aggressive, SAFE, but aggressive, fires are smaller, safer and we save more lives and property. For all of these departments out there that are extremely unaggressive, and rarely make an interior attack making the argument that property is not worth the risk of an interior attack: what happens when you have 3 kids trapped and no one on the fireground has ever been inside a working fire in their entire career? How many firefighter are going to get injured and killed then, let alone the victims? It makes me absolutely SICK!!


  2. #2
    Gill
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I feel you pain man. This is one of two reasons why I left my old department for the one I am currently employed with. The other reason of course is wages. If a department has the personnel to be able to conduct an aggressive attack, I don't see any reason why they shouldn't. As for those firemen that think they should not risk their lives for property...get a new job or learn risk/benefit analysis. Of course there are some fires that should not be entered or attacked aggressively. Yet, there are many that should. Remember, our job as firemen is to save LIVES and PROPERTY! Not just lives.

    ------------------
    I LOVE THIS JOB!

  3. #3
    truck12tillerman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    amen brother!! the fire service needs more people like you

  4. #4
    FP&LS Guy
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    It is always easier to be aggressive when you have the experience to back you up. With the amount of calls in some communities today, it may be possible to get promoted without being first-in on a significant fire. In addition, many departments are giving hiring preference to paramedics. These guys ride the wagon for a few years, then become company officers without ever being assigned to an engine/truck. God forbid you recommend having seperate fire and EMS divisions. They have to move to the fire side to get promoted, but everyone blames them when they get in over their heads.

  5. #5
    Nate Marshall
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Every area of the country is different, and believe me there is a world of difference between a nyc highrise and a 10,000 square foot home that you cant search without an image in enough time to save anyone who is in the house and couldnt get out.

    You assume that people arent aggressive or dont see enough fire, they may not see your fires but they say theirs. How many firefighters back east see wildland interface fires, very few probably, its a whole different arena than structural. You have to track more resources, change tactics on a dime depending on winds and other anomolies.

    Bottom line is when you assume you are more aggressive or know it all you may not know anything at all save for your own commmunity.

  6. #6
    Corvin
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    12 Truck

    Amen!

    The change in the fire service (esp the career side) is one of the reasons I'm in my last couple of weeks of employment.

    Over and over we hear Safety First and Only. Why don't we just have the public lower their insurance deductibles, pay for the higher premiums out of the dept budget and lay everyone off?

    Over and over we write off buildings that can be extinguished but because much of our supervisory staff have barely had the exposure to one line fire attack, as soon as a coordinated, multi-line, multi-sector attack is needed the system breaks down.

    Over and over if the first engine, with the first line, with the first guy on the nozzle can put it out we do, otherwise the rest of the system, RIT, IC, SAFETY, PIO, COMMAND AIDES, OPERATIONS OFFICER are all established and we are done. Get the rehab bus, soda pop and portable ****ters ordered.

    It boils down to expectations. I can get in trouble for not completing my inspections but if I fail to check for extension on a fire and it doubles or triples the damage after I thought it was out, who cares. No ones going to say a word.

    If my uniform is subpar or personal grooming is poor a comment will be made. If I forget to fill the booster tank - ah accidents will happen.

    Every day the core of the emergency services looses focus. I understand why one other poster thought EMS is a cancer to the fire service, but it's beyond that. Every day I look at the activities taking place around me and see that they have less and less to due with the old core of the mission. Perhaps I am the one not able to adjust, but I'm leaving.

    I'll still pull some trips with my vollie town, but even now it has less appeal. I'm off to try a business for myself and you know what?

    I doubt I'll succeed. I already know I'm not cut out for a business. But I want to try an exercise in matching focus, where wasted energy, techo gadgets, lack of emphasis on the goal will cause me to fail.

    I'll probably fail. But I'll fail honest. That's how the fire service has been making me feel.

    Dishonest

    Good luck
    Chris

  7. #7
    mtnfireguy
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by Corvin:
    12 Truck

    .

    Over and over we hear Safety First and Only. Why don't we just have the public lower their insurance deductibles, pay for the higher premiums out of the dept budget and lay everyone off?


    Good luck
    Chris
    Be careful what your wish for, there are some people/politicians that think that might not be a bad idea.

  8. #8
    Captain Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    I posted on this thread on the Firefighting forum, and I checked out the posts on this side.


    Corvin...the mission is the same...to protect lives and property. Everything changes...and as we as the fire service has to adapt to that change to keep ourselves focused on the mission.

    Our department does aggressive interior fire attack...it can be done and done safely. There is a certain amount of risk vs. benefit in every fire. For example, if you have a "disposable building" that is well involved, you can't risk personnel to save what was essentially designed to be "disposable". As a company officer, I am responsible for the safety of my personnel as well protecting life and property. I've been to my share of firefighter's funerals and memorial services...and I hope I will never have to go through that again in my career.

    As I posted in the other forum, you have to know your limitations and that of the crew you are working with. It's true we do not have as many fires as in the past...sophisticated alarm systems and smoke detectors alert us to fires while they are still in their incipent stages; public fire education and prevention efforts have decreased the numbers of the "big ones"...but we still and will have fires.

    Corvin...I don't know you and I won't pretend to know you. I am truly sorry that you feel that you have to leave the fire service. I have to tell you though...you have to change your attitude. If you are going into a business with the mindset that you will fail...you will.

    I wish you the best of luck...I mean that.


    ------------------
    Firefighters: rising to accept the challenge!
    Captain Gonzo


    [This message has been edited by Captain Gonzo (edited 04-28-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by Captain Gonzo (edited 04-28-2001).]

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