1. #26
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    everyone is given a chance to comment on them when they are developed and it always amazes me at the people who complain yet have never bothered to contribute to fixing the problem. Thus the comments I hear about standards being "unrealistic" tend to rub me the wrong way.
    Good point Mick. As someone who has been involved in the process I believe in what you are saying. Given the opportunity we should all be involved or at least members of every department. The one problem, and others know this as well, is that on some standard committee's, the fire service is not welcomed. That should be a target of the fire service. However, doing nothing but complaining is no excuse. Action is the order of the day. Be a part of what has an effect on the job.

    Holding those accountable through the law is also the best way to reinforce the fact that leadership is not a title, but a responsibility.
    Last edited by JTL; 04-29-2002 at 10:47 PM.

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    JTL, could you expand on that? I'm curious as to which committees the fire service is not welcome on, I mean it's not like we don't have a vested interest in just about every standard the National FIRE Protection Association is developing or enhancing.

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    Alright ALS, we may just may to agree to disagree on this one.

    I think burn buildings are great. You can light 'em over and over, the degree of safety is there, and you can train for one story single family dwellings to high rise tactics.

    BUT (there's always a "but") what I'm getting from your last post is that we shouldn't allow burns in acquired structures because of injuries and fatalities in them versus burn buildings?

    Here's what I'm thinking, and I don't have research to back me up. Burn buildings are generally located in larger municipalities with full time instructors or at state training facilities. Many smaller departments (paid and volunteer) don't have the easy access to them. Therefore, they fall back on acquired structures. Thus, these smaller departments may not have the same level of training or experience that departments with burn buildings have. That, I figure, is where the injuries and fatalities come into play.

    Now, I'm not offering up excuses. But I don't think we should ban training in acquired structures just because some people are reckless. I think it does a disservice to those of us that use acquired structures responsibly.

    What I think should happen is that stronger penalities should exist for those that wantonly dismiss accepted standards on live fire exercises.

    An example: many, many people are killed every year by drunk drivers. Many, many, many more people drink responsibly and DON'T kill anyone. I don't think we should outlaw alcohol just because a few ignore the law. I think we should severely punish those that violate the law as an incentive not to. I know we're talking breaking a law versus not following a standard, but I hope you see my point.

    BTW, I have the same problem with the board saying I'm not logged on--copy the text before you hit that "submit" button.
    Bryan Beall
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    Cool Ignitable Liquids...... Why ????

    We do quite a few training burns, and we DO NOT USE gas, diesal or the like to get the fire going. We use pallets, straw and flares and the fires will get ripping without the use of accelerants, so why use them. There is an arson crew - that sets and monitors the fire's progress, an attack crew - that does the obvious and a backup crew that is in place if an additional line is needed.
    Live fire trainings is how I learned to fight fire and I am thankful I had the chance to learn it in a semi-controlled setting and not O.T.J. so to speak.
    Stay Safe & Bring 'em Home!
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    Eddie, it might be a good idea to refer to them as the "ignition team" in your operational plan and not "arson crew".

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    Default NO

    It is not time to stop training burns. Burns in an acquired structure are very beneficial.

    It is time to act mature, use common sense, practice safety, exercise good judgement and use recognized training standards.
    Oh yea...I left out one thing....

    BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE IF YOU ARE IN CHARGE AND DONT FOLLOW ACCEPTED NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED STANDARDS!
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  7. #32
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    Lady Cappy
    JTL, could you expand on that?
    Sure! For example, firefighters who serve on certain committees, are not welcomed because the industry wants their people on them. Business does not like the firefighter participating because we may ask for more stringent standards. This occurs throughout the standards world, not in every standard, but as a general practice. A group of us were told once that you "fire marshals" are a pain in the rear. Perhaps we were but we were advocating safety. So it does occur.

    If you need more elaboration I will email you some more specifics.

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    "From the naturalistic point of view, all men are equal. There are only two exceptions to this rule of naturalistic equality: geniuses and idiots".
    Mikhail Bakunin

    Clearly knowing which category that I fall in to, I believe that banning live burns for the reason stated would be like banning driving for everyone because some idiot can't obey the traffic laws!
    Establish the rules; then follow the rules(geniuses). If you break the rules; then expect to be held accountable(idiots).
    Someone please tell me: what is the difference between an arsonist who sets a fire and as a result, a firefighter dies while attempting to suppress it or a firefighter who sets a fire and as a result, a firefighter dies? Without bringing in the other issues involved with arson as a crime, the bottom line is that, in both examples, a fire was intentionally set and a firefighter died as a result. The arsonist will be charged with aggravated circumstances because of the firefighter death, but for some reason, the firefighter who set the fire believes that accidents happen; that our profession is dangerous, even when we train. Forget the fact that he used a high octane cocktail to start it and then fed it with furniture with a petroleum base and all the while, proclaiming that he didn't know what he was doing. All he knows is that he was following orders and someone else should pay for his stupidity. What a load of crap!
    Many think that national standards for live burn training isn't possible. Maybe we aren't looking at it from the right direction. Maybe we should be looking at it from the direction of the insurance companies. Perhaps they could offer help in getting everyone in this country on the same training page. Just a thought.
    The bottom line is that I am tired of feeling SAD AND ANGRY.
    We have to find a way to turn the idiots into geniuses. AND FAST.
    Just my opinion; I could be wrong.
    Please find a way to be safe!

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    Reason: Where have you been?



    Someone please tell me: what is the difference between an arsonist who sets a fire and as a result, a firefighter dies while attempting to suppress it or a firefighter who sets a fire and as a result, a firefighter dies?
    Actually we are getting into the philosophical realm here. The arsonist is getting some sort of gratification from his handiwork, be it power, sex, etc. While certainly some firefighters could be included here, I don't believe that Bobby Joe, the training officer, is necessarily benfitting from the act of setting the fire.

    George where are you??? Give us some guidance here.




    Perhaps they could offer help in getting everyone in this country on the same training page.
    Perhaps so Chief. Money hurts and that is a fact. However ignorance surpasses all fines.



    The bottom line is that I am tired of feeling SAD AND ANGRY.
    Same here brother!

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    If live burns stop because of this, then the Army's Basic Training should stop too. I hear a few trainees have died in the past. (nevermind the fact that they're training for WAR)
    Maybe they should stop the driving part of the Driver's License Test?
    What about all of those cops who practice shooting guns? I know that's dangerous.
    I guess Lifeguards could stop swimming too.

    Chief Reason, I have to agree with you on this one.

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    Before you read this please understand I am not trying to start a discussion about vol vs paid FF. It is just what is done here, and it seems to work.

    Several years ago the Justice Institute of BC (JI) implemented standards for vol depts. The JI is one of a hand full of fire academies that are recognised by our province for FF training. The training itself is not conducted at the academy, it is done within the jurisdiction of the Vol dept, by a group of experienced FF's (10+ yrs) from Loc 18. They go out, spend the day with these guys, make sure beyond any reasonable doubt that they know what they should be doing, and what they should do incase there is a problem. Then they do the burn. The FF's that go out are the ones that are in command of the scene. To my knowledge there has only been one serious injury that has happened at one of these training exercises, and it was because of a refusal to follow orders. The guy ended up having a small tree fall on him, and came out of it with a broken collar bone.

    I'm not saying its perfect, but is it possible?

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    George where are you??? Give us some guidance here.
    Oh sure, somebody asks the tough arson question and all of a sudden everybody looks to the bullpen for the big righty from Jersey.

    Someone please tell me: what is the difference between an arsonist who sets a fire and as a result, a firefighter dies while attempting to suppress it or a firefighter who sets a fire and as a result, a firefighter dies?
    I can only speak for Jersey law. In NJ, it is necessary to have a purposely set fire to get an arson charge. After that, the motivation of the firesetter actually determines the degree of the charge. If the fire is not purposely set, it is still possible to charge someone with criminal mischief if the fire purposely or knowingly damages tangible property of another and it was recklessly or negligently set.

    The death actually has little or nothing to do with it. There is a seperate charge of Felony Murder when a death occurs as a result of the commission of another crime. For example, I investigated a case where a moron set an old bus on fire. A Security Guard attempted to put out the fire and had an MI and died. The homeless maggot who set the fire was also charged with Felony Murder.

    I know that in many states, a death will be a factor which elevates the degree of the arson charge. However, in states like Jersey, where the statutes are based on Common Law, that is not the case.

    That being said, one of the problems I had in the Parsippany case was getting the fire to fit into one of the statutes. Yeah, I had an intentionally set fire, but I had no intent to harm anyone or destroy any property. Yeah, fire was used in a reckless or negligent manner, but it would be kind of hard to argue that the FD purposely or knowingly damaged the property. Besides, the property belonged to them.

    From a practical standpoint, they are vastly different. From an emotional standpoint, the fire fighter who sets this type of fire is far worse, because he SHOULD have known better and SHOULD be held to a higher standard.

    Please note, that laws in other states are probably different and there may be another side to this. I am speaking only of New Jersey law.

  13. #38
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    Thanks George. that helps me in my understanding and I agree with:
    From an emotional standpoint, the fire fighter who sets this type of fire is far worse, because he SHOULD have known better and SHOULD be held to a higher standard.
    Thanks for the response.

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    JTL:
    Been pretty busy as of late. I have only had time to read the threads; haven't had the time until now to respond.
    In my mind, a fire that is intentionally set, regardless of the motive, that injures or kills a public safety official should carry a serious penalty; period!
    George:
    I have a good working knowledge of the basis for a charge of arson. If there needs to be other factors in order to charge a person for setting a fire for the purpose of training that results in the death of the firefighter, how about "impersonating a training officer" or even "impersonating a fire officer". I think that that is a crime!
    All too often, you have people involved with acquired structure burns who don't have a basic knowledge of fire behavior setting fires for practice. Add to that a certain desire on the parts of some to give the newbies the impression that they have set huge fires a million times and you get firefighters dying in practice burns. There seems to be the end goal of misleading the newbies into believing that they will only be fighting the more glamorous, large structural fires, so setting the big fires is necessary. Smoke machines or small fires in half-barrels using proper fuels will not yield the desired results, which is to daze and amaze the newbies. It is that mentality that is killing firefighters and along with it, the practice of live burn training.
    I truly believe that if firefighters aren't allowed to hold practice burns that follow the same principles of the nation's fire colleges, more firefighters will be injured or killed. Not everyone can take off of work to go to fire college. Consequently, we have to simulate that type of training during evening hours during the week or on weekends. IT CAN BE DONE SAFELY! We have to remember that it is a crime in this country to knowingly allow a hazard to exist that causes the injury or death of a person. I think in the most recent training deaths, hazards were present that were not addressed. Care was not taken to minimize the safety risks. As a result, someone died, while others were seriously injured. The person responsible for insuring safety must be held accountable. That is a fact.
    Why is it that the only thing we learn from a firefighters' death is how to throw a better funeral? We are constantly reminding ourselves, that with each new firefighter death, we are smarter than that. And yet, the body count continues to rise.
    Apparently, we are giving ourselves too much credit.
    Just my opinion; I could be wrong.
    Stay safe.

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    Thumbs down

    I myself dont believe taht stopping live burn training in aquired houses should be stopped. I do believe that, that is one real good way to get realistic training. I also know that currently in Oneida county we are not even allowed to burn anything in the training towers either. Thanks to the recent accidents.

    I feel taht if you dont get a little live fire training that when you get put in a real fire you will panic. Not saying all will, but training is the only way to know for sure.
    Everything that I post is my opinion only, none of this should be taken as fact.

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    Default Good Point !!

    I wrote -
    There is an arson crew - that sets and monitors the fire's progress, an attack crew - that does the obvious and a backup crew that is in place if an additional line is needed.
    George writes -
    Eddie, it might be a good idea to refer to them as the "ignition team" in your operational plan and not "arson crew".

    I think that is a good idea George, I will let the boss know.

    Thanks

    Stay Safe & Bring 'em Home!
    Eddie C.
    I.A.F.F. Local 3008

    "Doin' it for lives n' property"

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and not that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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    Thumbs down

    I also know that currently in Oneida county we are not even allowed to burn anything in the training towers either. Thanks to the recent accidents.
    Holy smokes sfdlt5, that's like getting a drivers license with out ever having to drive... With recruits like that, stay low and watch your back Brother!
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    I learned a lot from doing live fire training in an acquired structure...my Recruit class at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy was the last one to actually to live fire training in an acquired structure. There are some things you just can't experience in a concrete burn building.

    When it comes to live fire training in an acquired structure, common sense should prevail....

    NFPA 1403 should be followed..it's not expensive, only $24 for members, $26.75 for non members...funerals and lawsuits cost a hell of a lot more!

    NO LIVE "VICTIMS"!!! (a training dummy can be made with some old hose and a pair of coveralls!)


    All hazmats should be removed from the structure prior to training.

    NO LIVE "VICTIMS"!!!

    No flammable liquids or furniture!

    NO LIVE "VICTIMS"!!!

    Experienced fire officers who have a clue to what they are doing should be placed in charge of safety.

    NO LIVE "VICTIMS"!!!

    No fires are to be lit without charged lines in place.

    NO LIVE "VICTIMS"!!!

    To paraphrase a MasterCard commercial...

    A copy of NFPA 1403....$27
    An old pair of coveralls.... $25
    some junk hose.... $50

    Knowing that you are training your personnel safely....Pricele$$
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 05-04-2002 at 11:55 AM.
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    Capt Gonzo... priceless and perfect

    sfdlt5,

    That is really SCAREY!!! How do they expect that new recruits are going to have a clue, and NOT panic when they have to go into an actual fire situation, if you can't even burn in the tower? Do the decision makers in your neck of the woods have some power over fires that none of the rest of us know about? I think the next time you have to go to a fire, you should ask your dispatch to call them and tell them to come down, since they seem to think it isn't something that you need REAL training for maybe they'd like to give it a shot!!!

    Hopefully you work with experienced people. Stay safe.

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    I have a good working knowledge of the basis for a charge of arson. If there needs to be other factors in order to charge a person for setting a fire for the purpose of training that results in the death of the firefighter, how about "impersonating a training officer" or even "impersonating a fire officer". I think that that is a crime!
    Perceptually, I agree with you. If stupidity, ignorance and incompetence were crimes, we'd have to wall off entire states as prisons.

    All too often, you have people involved with acquired structure burns who don't have a basic knowledge of fire behavior setting fires for practice. Add to that a certain desire on the parts of some to give the newbies the impression that they have set huge fires a million times and you get firefighters dying in practice burns. There seems to be the end goal of misleading the newbies into believing that they will only be fighting the more glamorous, large structural fires, so setting the big fires is necessary. Smoke machines or small fires in half-barrels using proper fuels will not yield the desired results, which is to daze and amaze the newbies. It is that mentality that is killing firefighters and along with it, the practice of live burn training.
    I couldn't possibly agree with you more. Interestingly, I started a thread on this very subject awhile back and the popular opinion was that this type of knowledge was not necessary when compaered to "experience". How wrong they are.

    IT CAN BE DONE SAFELY!
    Amen.

    Why is it that the only thing we learn from a firefighters' death is how to throw a better funeral? We are constantly reminding ourselves, that with each new firefighter death, we are smarter than that. And yet, the body count continues to rise.
    Here's where I stir up some crap. I believe part of the reason is we are giving ourselves toomuch credit. Part of the reason is we, as a profession refuse to change. Part of the reason is that there is too damn much romanticism of the dangers of this job and too little emphasis on doing the job right and safely. Even if it means writing off the building and letting it burn.

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    Hey Temptaker

    Well Iam somewhat lucky to have about 6 other guys with experience with real fire. WE also have an excellent nieghboring dept. with some great guys also. We are lucky that we all can work together with out any problems. I am very scared that without being able to put probies into real fire, moer tragedies may accur. I hope that they find a way to change the rules back. We should not all be punished cause of others ignorance.

    The people who made the no burn rule are the county coordinators. They do come to most fires. Usually they sit on the back of a truck and drink coffe and talk with old buddies. What kind of help is that.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence.
    Everything that I post is my opinion only, none of this should be taken as fact.

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    sfdlt5

    Typical.. the people who make the rules don't have a clue. I'm impressed that they actually show up at fires. Try handing them a hose next time and asking them if they want to help, if they say I'm not trained for this, smile and say neither are any of my probies thanks to your rule.

    At least you have experienced guys to work with. Can't even imagine the 'pucker factor' if you didn't.

    Maybe someone else knows how to get these guys to wake up... Chief Reason... Capt Gonzo... JTL... George

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    sfdlt5:
    Exactly, what is a county coordinator? Why do they go to the fires?
    Are they elected or appointed? Do they have any fire service experience? I might be able to offer some suggestions if I know the functions of county coordinators.
    As you may know, I am a strong supporter of acquired structure burns for practice, but they must be done safely.
    Where I come from, they actually serve two purposes; 1) The property owner saves a bundle on demolition and 2) Invaluable live burn training for newbies and vets alike. Our department has been involved in over 100 live burns and NO SERIOUS INJURIES! Band aid cases, yes; no maydays; no close calls and the reason is simple; if the building starts to get away from us, we set up defensive tactics school. We will not risk it for a practice burn, period.
    Experienced people from our department, state instructors and friends from career departments help out and it pays in spades.
    What I would suggest is that someone from your fire college comes and speaks with your county coordinators. They may convince them that live burns can be done safely and are a very important segment of the learning experience for firefighters.
    Countless numbers of live burns are being done all over the country. Most are being done without incident, but unfortunately, the few that go wrong are the ones that make the headlines. It's important to know about the ones that go wrong, but it is wrong to ban them because a department didn't follow acceptable practices to insure safety. And they can be done safely. The record of my department speaks for itself. We didn't get there by relying on Lady Luck. We got there by following safe practice.
    Get back to me on my questions. They almost sound like trustees. I have some experience with them.
    Stay safe.

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    sfdlt5, I feel for you brother. Our county coordinators are pretty proactive, and know their place...to assist the IC with mutual aid and resources. What you coordinators did was overy drastic. The only way I could slightly agree with them is if they realized they had no SOG's for any type of live burn. However, if they stopped them it wouldn't take anymore then 3 days to write a county policy, have it checked by legal and distributed. And I'm being conservative in my opinion on time, it doesn't take much to write a policy that says you will follow NFPA 1403 at all times. Hope it all works out for you guys soon. No live fire training is absolutely ridiculous. Kinda like taking a driving test without every driving a car, or swim lessons without ever going into the water.

    FirefighterMO made good points of other "dangerous" training operations that help support my opinion of anti-acquired structure live fire training. Yes, the military trains men and women for war, in very controlled situations, just like police officers on a range, controlled. The military and PD's don't have their guys shooting at each other, yes fatalities happen, and usually do to a stupid act or accident, and the military investigates them very tediously to change things or reprimand people. That is one of the reasons I believe in live fire training, but only in burn buildings. Regardless of what you do, no one should die during training.

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    Default Some follow up info to sfdlt5's post

    Just a little more info from Oneida county, or to many in the fire service the home of incompetent fireman. The Ban on buring so speak is actually more of a reaction to the pending legle action as a result of the lairdsville incident....it is not a set ban on burning as there have been departments in the county that have continued to do live burns of some sort. As it pertains to the towers, what has come done is a sog from the county levle that needs to be reviewed and singed off on by the department chief....it does allow for the burning of hay in a barrle for smoke purposes but that is about it. Having been part of a a handfull of live burn traingings myself, i belive that they are a essential part of what we do. How are u supposed to be able to perform your job if u are not trained in how to do it. As for the County co-ordinators they are appointed i belive by the County's Board of legislators or the Head of the county's emergency services. ANd yes they are quite famous for coming to a call...they only respond to multi agency fires, and sipping on there coffe while wearing only a fire coat for gear....and most people are afraid to approach them to put on more gear as they fear that they are of a higher power, when even if they are on the scene the incident commander is still in charge. The bigger problem here is still the shape of the fire system in NYS and the districts that have fire commisioners....Hopefully the state will step up to the plate and realize that they need to be more pro active and help the rest of us and not just FDNY.

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