Closed Thread
Page 1 of 9 1234 ... Last
  1. #1
    Administrator

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,480

    Default Training Officer Charged

    What do you think about the NY training officer charged in the death of a firefighter last year?

    Are the charges justified? Should others be charged as well, or instead? Have you managed live burns and how do you handle them?

    We'd like to hear your opinions.

    Read the full story at
    http://www.firehouse.com/training/ne..._Pcharges.html

    -WebTeam

  2. #2
    Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    73

    Default Was wondering if someone was going to discuss this....

    Last edited by jdm2267; 02-07-2002 at 10:48 PM.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    1,143

    Default

    "Moran concedes that several National Fire Protection Association safety guidelines were not followed during the fatal, live fire training exercise."

    "However, the Lairdsville firefighters were unaware of these NFPA standards, Moran said."

    "There may be proper guidelines or procedures but they're not known by these firefighters," he said.
    "Moran argues that these guidelines should have been distributed to fire departments by the state. "The guidelines should be given to every volunteer," he said. "They can't follow them if they can't find them."

    Hello??????? Gee, what are NFPA standards?? Gosh, where might one find these standards?

    This event was a tragedy, pure and simple. Should the Training Officer alone be held accountable? No way......why wasn't a Safety Officer assigned, who was Command? Who was freelancing upstairs by lighting another fire? Oh, forgot, these are all based on NFPA standards......the ones they've never heard of.

    A fine example of a cluster *uck that went horribly wrong and cost one man his life and two others almost followed.


    Sorry folks, but "It was a horrible accident" just doesn't cut it. No matter how badly everyone feels that it happened, the fact is, there is no such thing as an accident. Every event is predictable and preventable. When setting up poorly planned training such as this, the results are predictable and definately preventable.

    What's an even worse tragedy is that this won't be the last time this happens.

  4. #4
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    2

    Thumbs down Some great "Training Officer"

    I hope these charges stick, and send a message to the many other "training" officers out there. What was this moron thinking????
    Obviously common sense had left him. There is nothing more important than training, but nothing so important in that training that we should lose firefighters over.

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    DFW area of Texas
    Posts
    660

    Default

    From the original FH story on 9/29/01

    ``The couch just started burning out of control and (the flames) went right up the stairs,'' said Bob Walsh, first assistant chief of the Westmoreland Fire Department, which hosted the training.

    http://www.firehouse.com/lodd/2001/ny_Psep26.html

    Well just duh...

    How do you kill a firefighter in training?

    Stupidity.

    And, unfortunately it won't be the last time this happens, it certainly isn't the first...

    Just another of many:

    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/summ200027.html
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    dmleblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Not the end of the earth but I can see it from here...
    Posts
    2,318

    Default

    I don't believe that charges should be filed in this case (of course, I don't have all the details). But I do believe that, regardless of what NFPA says, common sense should have dictated better planning than what apparently was the case here. Seems like I remember hearing about this incident when it happened back in September. Someone at that time made the point that a) if you're going to have live fire, don't use live victims, and b) if you're going to use live victims, don't have live fire. It's just too much to keep track of and too much to go wrong. Keep the drill focused on one topic at a time. I've seen many drills go bad when, in the interest of "realism", the drill coordinator tries to add too many complex variables into it. At best, the drill is a clusterf*** and everyone misses the point the drill was about. At worst, someone gets hurt or killed. The point of a drill is to train on one particular skill or topic (in my opinion). If you want live fire training, then just do that...do a seperate drill for search and rescue. Inserting live victims into a live fire evolution was just wrong. Lighting a second fire simultaneously was also wrong. Any fire officer with any experience should realize that (especially in an acquired structure), you can lose control of the situation! In a heartbeat. Also, one has to wonder about the experience level of the victims. The deceased was only 19 years old. Seems I remember at the time that they said he had only 3 or 4 months with the department. Was he able to recognize that things were going bad and self-rescue before it got out of hand? I just wonder if putting someone with that little experience in that situation was a wise move. Just my 2 cents......

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    firecat1524's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    191

    Default

    After reading, thinking, re-reading, and rethinking...I feel that if the T/O is convicted the charges should stick. As the Training Officer and one of the senior officers on the scene, he was responsible for the safety and well-being of every firefighter on this training scene. He acted in a negligent manner before hand in not knowing the applicable NFPA standards, and during by setting multiple fires and using live victims in an uncontrolled fire. The fact that the FD didn't back him up is not a factor in this case, unless he can prove that his superiors were a factor in this tragic accident...even then he is still responsible.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    Several years ago, I was the lead investigator in a case where a fire department training class was utilizing an old school bus with metal plates welded over the windows and had the seats removed as a "smoke house". They placed an upholstered couch, several garbage bags of shredded paper, a truck tire, and two cut barrels with wood and a small amount of kerosene in the bus and set it on fire. They then sent recruits into the bus through the rear door and expected them to exit the front doors.

    Needless to say, the fire went to flashover rather quickly and trapped three recruit fire fighters inside. There were no chrged hoselines stretched, no rescue team, no EMS, no safety plan. In fact, the recruits essentially organized the rescue plan. The end result was two permanently disabled fire fighters. One of them had the turnout gear burned completely off his body.

    The reconstruction of the incident was done at NIST who estimated that the heat flux was about three times the maximum that the turnout gear would be expected to survive.

    We presented the case to a Grand Jury on the charges of attempted murder and arson. The Grand Jury elected not to indict but instead issued a presentment condemning NJ's system of fire training and calling for an overhaul. The rules regarding instructor training and live burn exercises we have today is a direct result of that Grand Jury's decision. I wrote an article in Fire Engineering about the case..March 1996 issue I think.

    I was disappointed that the Grand Jury did not indict in my case. I am delighted that the NY Grand Jury had the courage to indict in their case. Once you wear the title "Instructor" accidents like this are inexcusable. You have the time to plan out an exercise to eliminate surprises. NFPA 1403 is so clear on the execution of a live fire training drill in an acquired structure that you cannot go wrong if you follow it. The fire service must develop the attitude that we refuse to blindly accept deaths and serious injuries in training exercises.

    My guess would be that you should watch Harry Carter's web site. I am sure that my friend, the good Dr. Carter (who perhaps is the most brilliant fire service educator I have ever met) will have something to say about this one.

  9. #9
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    1,143

    Default

    George, may I say excellent post!!!

    I stuck my neck out on a previous post some time ago and stated that stupidity and recklessness were frequent causes of firefighter fatalities, and this only reinforces my opinion.

    As for not being aware of the relevant NFPA standards, I find this comment so incredibly asinine it's almost laughable. I bet they can quote any NFPA standard dealing with truck specs, or any other standard relating to the various toys used in the fire service......yet they weren't aware there were standards on how to run live burn training sessions? Or standards on Incident Safety? Or standards on Incident Command and accountability? Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and the same should apply here.

    Actually, the more I think about it, I seem to remember the thread I mentioned earlier dealt with NFPA standards, and how some felt they were too restrictive and paternalistic.

    Should these charges stick and go to trial, we will all see exactly what teeth NFPA standards have. No, they are not law......they are only recommendations and guidelines.......however, they have been "recommended" based on some of the most experienced consultants available, and usually come about because of an incident such as this. Personally I don't envy someone on the stand trying to justify why I didn't ensure training was to these standards. His excuse of not knowing they existed will probably last 30 seconds if he's lucky.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    shammrock54's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    445

    Default

    With training fires everyone must always remember its FIRE and just because we start it does not deminish the danger. incidents like this are horrible, but bound to happen to someone, i only hope that the lessons learned the hard way NY are taken to heart by the rest of us! as in any incident were FF's are hurt/killed we must not just block out their loss but make it our mission to see that we try to keep their fate from befalling others!
    Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
    New England FOOL
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

  11. #11
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    DFW area of Texas
    Posts
    660

    Default

    Don't mean to steal your thunder LadyCapn, but my personal obsevation is that the vast majority of firefighter fireground trauma deaths are because of stupidity or recklessness (murder such as 9/11 not withstanding). The point could even be further made that most firefighter medical related deaths fall along the same lines.

    As well, NFPA standards really don't mean spit in this case. They're just a "document that someone should have followed," giving more teeth to the legal side of the argument. They'll be throwing a bunch of others in there as well. 1910.134 (resp. standard for 2in/2 out) will probably be a big one.

    From the facts as presented here on FH.COM, it seems that the person/people in charge of this incident was stupid and careless, plain and simple and there really just ain't no law or standard about that.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    Originally posted by mongofire_99
    As well, NFPA standards really don't mean spit in this case. They're just a "document that someone should have followed," giving more teeth to the legal side of the argument. They'll be throwing a bunch of others in there as well. 1910.134 (resp. standard for 2in/2 out) will probably be a big one.

    From the facts as presented here on FH.COM, it seems that the person/people in charge of this incident was stupid and careless, plain and simple and there really just ain't no law or standard about that.
    Mongo, not so fast. It is true that these documents are not law, but NFPA 1403 is a Standard. And the NFPA is a world-wide, recognized leader in the field of fire protection. These are the only standards out there today. It will be virtually impossible to claim ignorance of them. And ignoring standards like that goes a long way toproving criminal reckelessness.

    And, lady, don't go hitching your wagons to me! I told you back then that your attitude about fire fighter deaths was ignorant. While training deaths are can not be tolerated, the majority of FF deaths are tragedies. Can some of them be prevented? Probably, but to consider them the product of stupidity is an insult to the many brave sols who have given their lives for this job.

  13. #13
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    DFW area of Texas
    Posts
    660

    Default

    I'm not trying to be too fast and personally I don't think it would be a reasonable excuse, but to be perfectly honest, I think one could claim ignorance of the existence of NFPA 1403 and make a reasonable arguement of it if there is no state or local guideline on live burns to reference it.

    NFPA is a private nonprofit independent organization that charges for its services and its "standards."

    If the state doesn't mention it, I can imagine the line of questioning to go like this...

    "Mr. Jones, did you know that NFPA has a standard for live fire evolutions?"

    "No."

    "Why not?"

    "Well, frankly they charge for their standards and we can't afford them. Nobody told us we needed to follow any standard and the "

    "What about NFPA 1901? A search of your residence turned up a copy of that."

    "Yes, we're looking at buying a new apparatus and one of the manufacturers gave us a copy of it, otherwise we wouldn't have it."

    And for the defense to hold this position until somebody slipped (if they knew) or the prosecution gave up on this path.

    What they did sounds stupid. In my personal opinion, and with what has been reported here, there is no excuse and someone should be held responsible.

    And I know that you hit at LadyCapn, and I agree with you that FF deaths are tragedies, but they are tragedies caused, I believe for the most part and in the vast majority of cases, because somebody did something stupid (it doesn't have to be the person that was killed fault).

    A door wasn't opened to give a second means of egress, they went in without a hose line, no accountability and the list goes on and on.

    Very rare is the case where everything was done like it was supposed to be and somebody ended up dead.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

  14. #14
    dazed and confused
    Resq14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,993

    Default re:

    I agree whole-heartedly with George.

    The argument can be made that NFPA is just a set of guidelines and not law, cuz it's true. You can make any argument you want. However, just like common sense suggests to most of us that the training scenario was unsafe, it should also scream at us that failing to follow a widely recognized standard isn't valid. Even if there aren't any state or local guidelines/laws to reference NFPA, it is still a national standard. Claiming ignorance is a defense, but it is so very weak.

    NFPA is the industry standard, and we should all be held to that standard. I'm sure people will comment on how if you have the cash, you too can add your own two cents to NFPA... and how it might be somewhat biased...etc. One can also point out that in many cases, deviation from NFPA isn't necessarily a bad thing, and that it's ok to pick and choose what you want to follow. Yeah, changing the layout of your aerial device's controls to a configuration that doesn't conform to NFPA can be done. But will it kill someone? Probably not. Should it play a role in the death of a firefighter though, look out.

    When someone is critically injured or dies, the above arguments just aren't good or strong enough. The person in charge of training--BY VIRTUE OF HIS/HER POSITION--MUST be aware of the standards for conducting said training. To say that this constitutes negligence is a major understatement. If the defendant wasn't the one in charge, then he shouldn't be in the hot seat. I can't tell who should be at fault from that department here. But someone needs to be in the hot seat here if Baird wasn't the one in charge. I'm not arguing Baird is a criminal. I am arguing that not following safety recommendations that result in deaths and injuries IS criminal behavior. Someone needs to be accountable in this siuation. Baird may be the scapegoat here. I don't have enough information to come form an opinion on that point.

    "The death and injuries of the other firefighters is definitely a tragedy and I think the prosecution is definitely a tragedy. It serves no purpose." - Bairds Lawyer
    I strongly disagree with this. The person in charge accepts the responsibility to provide training in accordance with established standards. The primary concern is always firefighter safety. What purpose would prosecution serve? How about to reinforce the notion that half-assed trainings that jeopordize lives will never be acceptable practice, and that freelancing training sessions without regard to safety will not be tolerated?

    It is silly for anyone to think that fire departments aren't held to NFPA standards, whether they can afford to purchase copies, aren't aware of them, or whatnot. You want to play the game? Then play by the rules suggested by the industry standard.
    Last edited by Resq14; 02-08-2002 at 03:49 AM.

  15. #15
    EuroFirefighter
    Batt18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    509

    Default

    The responsibility lies TOTALLY with the commissioners and Chief of the fire department involved. The training instructor SHOULD have been aware of live-burn guidelines but he wasn't - The hierarchy of this fire department are at fault for that and are ultimately responsible.

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber
    NCRSQ751's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Clemmons, NC
    Posts
    199

    Exclamation

    I don't think there is a simple answer here. Should they have known about NFPA standards? Yes. Should someone be held accountable? Yes. Who? Good question.

    Was the training officer a certified fire instructor? Did the department have an SOP that required the training officer to be an instructor and/or to follow NFPA standards? Were the firefighters killed trained through certification classes?

    In my neck of the woods, if you haven't completed your basic classes for entry level firefighter you don't go into a live burn. You can't run a live burn with just one training officer and they must be certified. Strict safety rules are adhered to.

    What I'm saying is that if the guy was a trained instructor he'd have had to be aware of the standards. Why would a department choose not to use someone certified and aware of safety standards? That would mean that not only is the instructor responsible, but so are the individuals that let him put their people in that position.

    Prosecute? I think it sends a good message - but I don't think that a jail term will help - I'd say that community service - through proper education and training - to train others would be a better sentance for all. Make something good come out of this.
    Susan Lounsbury
    Winston-Salem Rescue Squad
    Griffith Volunteer FD

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Schenectady, NY
    Posts
    464

    Default

    George the training incident to which you refer was on of the things that lead to all the training standards that we have today. Saying that he did not know about such things I have to ask "Does this officer ever read any trade periodicals".
    If this was a Fire District, with commissioners, the chief is not the one who spends the tax $$$. He can ask the commissioners to purchase this or that, but if 3 say "NO" it ain't gonna happen. In NYS the Board of Fire Commissioners control the tax money. They are elected by the tax payer to 5 year terms, and you only have to be a resident of the fire district to run for the position. Maybe there is a flaw in the system, I don't know.

  18. #18
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    1

    Exclamation More are responsible!

    We often train using live fire and controlled burns within structures. This is the only effective way to train interior firefighters and to give new members the opportunity to decide whether they want to fight fire or not. However, knowing that many of the people involved in this type of training are often new and inexperienced safety is extremely important.

    It appears that the simplest of safety precautions were not employed in this live fire training. Experienced safety teams on each floor with charged hoselines that can be used to quickly suppress the fire and protect the training participants is essential for a safe operation.

    Only one officer has been charged with manslaughter and assault. More than one officer and senior firefighters acted irresponsibly and contributed to the injuries and loss of life. The chief officer or OIC at the training is ultimately resposible but every participant has some responsibility to see that the operation is as safe as possible.

  19. #19
    Forum Member
    PAVolunteer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Dauphin County, PA
    Posts
    1,139

    Default

    First of all, I absolutely agree with the basic message of all the posts on here - that this was very, very stupid. It was a tragedy. Someone should be held accountable.

    Now, I have a question for everyone. In your experience with live burns, how many of you have done something stupid? How many of you have not been in accordance with NFPA Regs (even just a little bit), whether knowingly or simply not knowing? How many of you have been in situations that, with one twist, could have turned tragic. How many of you have been in a situation that seemed like it was fine at the time, but, looking back, could have gone terribly wrong?

    What happened in Lairdsville was probably done many times before. What's even scarier, is that it's probably been done somewhere in the U.S. since.

    I absolutely am not trying to justify what was done in this situation. What I am getting at is that we need to document close calls. In almost every tragedy, something similar undoubtedly happened in the past, without the tragic results. If the past occurrence wasn't documented, no one knows about it. It most likely gets swept under the rug, because there were no tragic consequences.

    Just something to think about.

    Stay Safe

  20. #20
    IACOJ Agitator
    Adze39's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    In a van down by the CT River!
    Posts
    2,771

    Default

    Should someone be held responsible in a court of law (whether the Training Officer of Chief? Yes, recklesness caused injury and death.

    Should the charge be second-degree manslaughter? I have mixed feelings on this one. Part of me thinks that is too severe of a charge, but then I say "well, someone did die". Is there another charge that would be more suitable than 2nd degree manslaughter?

  21. #21
    Temporarily/No Longer Active

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    223

    Arrow Wakeup Call

    I received this in my email this morning and although I don't know who wrote it, I felt it was more than worth passing along to you all.


    Here are the current state of affairs-essentially, a Fire Officer is now being charged with manslaughter after a firefighter was killed in a live fire burn training exercise. Although we can only comment based upon the newspaper article, we will also comment on some observations we have personally experienced. As always, our deepest sorrow and respect go out to all those involved in the below described situation in upstate New York.

    Over the past 25-30 years, several firefighters deaths have occurred during live-burn training. Now, without a doubt, live-burns are amongst the best way to get our folks trained with any sense of realism. We have personally been on the scene, conducted and lead numerous live burns. As any Fire Officer will tell you, live fire training allows us to give the troops "as close to reality" as possible experiences. Naturally, there are different kinds of
    live burns such as in a fire academy "burn building" as well as abandoned structures...thats what this one is about.

    One training burn we had a few years ago did go wrong-we had a fire burning in a barrel on the ground floor of a SFD (single family dwelling) and in just a few seconds, when the FF assigned to monitor it turned around, it took off very quickly, up some wallpaper lined stairs and forced several members to bail out windows. Fortunately, some quick thinking firefighters placed some ladders (that should have been there to begin with) and everyone got out w/1
    firefighter suffering minor burns. It was a mess-and we thought we were following the proper safety standards. Plenty of lessons learned on that one. Probably the most important one I personally learned was, if you are the Senior Officer on a scene (training or actual), it doesn't matter if you have "Command" or not-it is still your responsibility. Remember that the next time you hear someone say "I was on the scene, but I didn't take Command" or "I go to fires, but never take Command from my Jr. Officers"....I hear that from
    folks and wonder why that has become such a popular phrase!? Hell, if you are on scene, you ARE responsible so you AT MINIMUM better be functioning as SUPPORT to the IC (with the IC) as you still "own" that scene.

    The below training fire is a sad one. Here, the actual individual Fire Officer who lit the fire is being charged. I know (as you do) that THE LAST THING this Officer was thinking that evening was that he would be charged with MANSLAUGHTER following, what appears to be, an honest ATTEMPT TO TRAIN their firefighters. As you will read, one of his arguments will be that he wasn't the only Officer on the scene-what are the other Fire Officers responsibility? This story is far from over.

    Can a TRAINING BURN be even MORE dangerous than an actual fire? In some cases, YES. Especially when it comes to the "state of readiness" from a mental and psychological standpoint of those on the scene-at all ranks. In a real fire-the element of surprise kicks in initially and we are TRAINED be alert and aware within that element and those conditions. During a training activity, such as a live-burn, we are normally no where near in that state of "alert"....and You Know what I am talking about.At the live burn-no matter how hard you try, everyone KNOWS it is "just" a training situation so our "guard" gets let down-at varying degrees. Sure, we (hopefully) lay all the extra lines (hand and supply), have everyone assigned to crews, all accountability is set up, you'll probably have Officers falling
    on top of each other, you have Safety Officers in, out and above, you have those who "want" to be an officer tend to get "special jobs" at these burns like these so they too are involved-ALL in an effort to hopefully "do it right"....and still, we have firefighters getting injured and killed during live fire-burn training operations.

    So, what's the answer (in our opinion) to solve the lethargic attitude during training or related FD activites? While not at all reflecting on the below fire as we don't know anymore than what we have read, the answer generally is competent, trained, motivated and enthusiastic Fire Officers. FIRE OFFICERS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE and AWAKE, PAYING FULL ATTENTION with a constant "I DO give a damn attitude" while operating at a fire scene-training or actual....we need to constantly remind ourselves and others that we are
    absolutely responsible to send our crews home at the end of the run, shift or whatever. When their families or loved ones "turn them over to us" for a shift, when the tones go off or whatever-they are yours and must be returned in an equal or better condition than what ya got them in. Yeah....no kidding.

    The "lethargic" attitude that we can sometimes find ourselves or our crews in-is a killer. The "symptoms" include laziness, poor or no training, faulty equipment, unchecked tools and equipment, ill-equipped apparatus, poor reports, inadequate staffing, a sloppy firehouse, worn out recliner chairs, a desire to find out "whats on TV", focusing on "the meal" and on and on and on. It's the "it's someone else's problem to worry about" syndrome that you see everyday.

    So, how do you wake them up? Ya gonna sit and wait for "the front desk w/the wakeup call"...? Who "wakes" your troops up? Well, "someone" has to be the "Lou Holtz" of your FD! Someone has to CONSTANTLY be reminding every one of this kind of stuff, share the articles, watch the videos, learn from other FD's "lessons learned" and "Close Calls" etc etc without ever, ever giving up.

    That "someone" has to be the aggressive "coach" who will never let their folks down by getting into that "it's someone else's problem to worry about" mode. Quite simply-ya need someone to always preach to the others in your FD to "wake the hell up" and pay attention, close attention to what is going on in and outside their FD and how it applies within their FD so we can send the crews home safely.
    You (or that person) have got to be aggressive and creative in order to wake your folks up! Take relevant "lessons learned" related articles, underline the issues, make copies and put them in the mailbox of each of your folks-they can even serve as the basis for training's and drills...post articles on the bulletin boards for them to read-WAIT-better yet-NO ONE reads the bulletin boards, put them in the BATHROOMS of your firehouse...for the boys-post them over the urinals like they do the newspapers in sports bars.For the girls and others "on the throne", post them on the inside door....put
    training info in their pay check envelopes, send them info at home, in the mail, copy e-mail stuff and send it to them, discuss "real" issues over coffee, for the vollies-allow 15-20 minutes even during FD Meetings to cover a relevant structural firefighting training/safety issues...in other words, use every opportunity as a FIRE OFFICER to make it clear to your troops what your concerns are and how they will be taken care of by you during a fire
    activity-training or actual....and then keep doing it over and over without giving up. Become relentless in training, educating and communicating w/your troops and you'll get a reputation as the Fire Officer "who does give a damn"....Of course, the lack of a Fire Officer to do anything like the above also sends a message to the troops as well....it's essentially a message that
    tells them "they get to sleep in" and just forget about life for a while....

  22. #22
    Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Boston fire department
    Posts
    59

    Default

    My take on the issue. First what was the qual's of the training officer? Bet it was a vote in position. When the small town depts start putting qualified people in the positions things like this might stop. Any dept that votes in officers is a disgrace, and things like this will happen. Let it be a lesson, kissing butt does not make you qualified for the job at hand.
    ** The opionions are mine and mine alone, they are not that of my dept or the local**

  23. #23
    MembersZone Subscriber
    mtnfireguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    633

    Default

    First let me say to "Phildabox" well said brother!!!

    NFPA 1403 has been around for a long time, and we all know (or should know) why it came about.... cause we were killing firefighters in training burns... and still are!


    I have personally been involved with one incident where a firefighter was killed during a training fire( I will not discuss that on this fourm), and two incidents where firefighters were injuried and thankfully not seriously. The requirements in NFPA 1403 seem to be overkill, to much safety, its only a training fire.... thats what I hear time and time again. Well it kept me and my dept at the time out of a lawsuit when a firefighter was injured and two months later his family felt the need to blame someone. We followed 1403 to the best of our abilities and after we submitted our burn plan and all other associated documentation.... the issue was dropped.

    The most recent one I was involved with was a training fire where several firefighters suffered burns during live fire training. I was asked to investigate what and why it happened. The bottom line... the instructors were playing "John Wayne"... the ol' you thought that was hot, we'll show ya hot. It boiled down to attitude. That facility now has a training program for instructors and a solid live fire policy and had not had any injury since.

    Will firefighters get injured during live fire training... yes, But it is up to the instructors to do everything possible to make the training session safe, yet realistic and make sure everyone goes home with everything they came with.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Dalmatian90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,120

    Default

    Only one officer has been charged with manslaughter and assault. More than one officer and senior firefighters acted irresponsibly and contributed to the injuries and loss of life.

    The officer who *lit* the fire is probably criminally responsible. That doesn't mean the officers above him won't be found civilly liable. I'd also venture to guess to indict the superior fire officers would've involved everyone being indicted on a more serious charge like Murder and Conspiracy to Committ Murder.

    Let's think of this from a slightly different perspective --

    You're speeding to a call, recklessly disregarding safety. You hit and kill someone with your POV (or even fire apparatus).

    You should and probably will be arrested and prosecuted. "I was going to a fire!" is no excuse. Most likely your superior officers in the department would not be charged with your crime of recklessly driving a vehicle. However, there's a darn good chance they'll be sued alleging they failed to train and supervise you.

    Same situation here -- it's the Assistant Chief who actually lit the fire, so he's gonna bear the brunt of the criminal charges. But I would expect a lawsuit naming the department and other superior officers involved to also come about.
    ================

    Live burns in buildings are a very good thing -- it is the best training around. But god damn it folks, think about what we're doing and don't do reckless, stupid stuff. Be prepared for the worse before you strike that match.

  25. #25
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,584

    Default

    Live fire training is just like firefighting...inherently dangerous. The difference between live fire training and doing "the job" is that in training, you have the time to "line up all the ducks in a row" ...water supply, attack teams, search and rescue, RIT, etc. There is control over the situation.



    The charlie foxtrot in Lairdsville and the excuses given are an insult to the firefighting profession.

    An excerpt from the story on Firehouse.com

    Moran concedes that several National Fire Protection Association safety guidelines were not followed during the fatal, live fire training exercise. Volunteer firefighters were used to simulate victims while the NFPA strongly advises using mannequins, and two fires were set in the house while the NFPA says only one fire should be set during training.

    However, the Lairdsville firefighters were unaware of these NFPA standards, Moran said.

    "There may be proper guidelines or procedures but they're not known by these firefighters," he said.

    Moran argues that these guidelines should have been distributed to fire departments by the state. "The guidelines should be given to every volunteer," he said. "They can't follow them if they can't find them."


    Typical lawyerspeak and bovine scatology. The standards are available from the NFPA. Yes, they do charge for the literature. If a community is cannot afford the cost of the standards, they could share the costs with their surrounding communities. Some departments spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for new trucks and toys to "keep up with the Jones' Fire Department", but won't spend the money to ensure safe training for their personnel.

    The story also quoted Moran as saying that nobody knows who lit the second fire. Where was the accountability?

    The entire command staff should be held liable in this case.


    Phildabox, George Wendt, Dalmation 90 (read his tag line...it says it all) and others have made excellent points. I just hope the fire service learns from this case so history does not repeat itself!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

Closed Thread
Page 1 of 9 1234 ... Last

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register