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  1. #41
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    25 NW of the GW


    After some careful thought about this...I put myself in the downed firefighter position. If someone showed up and could only rescue one of us...and I was conscious, I would immediately point to the infant and say, "Save the child."

    The firefighter probably went in initially...looking to rescue the child...so go in and finish the original objective.

    What a tough question....one I hope to never be confronted with!
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
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  2. #42
    Senior Member NCFiremedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Havelock, NC

    Default Aint we silly?

    Now put the shoe on the other foot. What if you were the guy that was down and you had a victim (we will say a viable one) and a brother finds you from your pass device. What would you tell him???
    I ask this only becouse I believe everyone of us would say to take the victim. Funny how perspective chances things.
    The first scenerio I agree. Take the brother, but if I was the one down I'd want my partner to take out the victim and pray for the RIT to get to me....
    Dean Urquhart
    I used to only have One President, Charleton Heston, then came George. Now I'm lucky enough to have a third.... Capt Gonzo

  3. #43
    MembersZone Subscriber NCRSQ751's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Clemmons, NC


    Unless the other FF was obviously dead I'd take him.

    Like it or not it's not an unreasonable question. It's unlikely that you'd ever have to make that choice, but it is possible. You may also be injured and not have the capacity to take both out - this might be your partner you went in with.

    It's sad to think about, but others have said it correctly - bottom line is you and your fellow firefighters come first, always.

    If a firefighter doesn't go home, how many people will die in the future they may have saved, and for what? A victim that is most likely not even viable?

    We have to think with our heads and not with our hearts sometimes - period. That's what that interview question is all about - emotion vs. training.
    Susan Lounsbury
    Winston-Salem Rescue Squad
    Griffith Volunteer FD

  4. #44
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Lakes Region of NH


    My experience is that when this question is used as an oral board question the board wants and answer with the info you have been given. No debate, no if this, if that. If this was a real situation and it was grab one and go NOW you don't have time for analysis, a snap decision is needed. You are not always with a partner, always is such a tricky word. Nothing is absolute.

    I am with Iceman, rescue2bob,loco179 and Motown here. Make your decision and act. I grab the firefighter and get the hell out. Why? Doesn't matter, it wasn't what they asked. Conversly if it is an ethics class thesis paper then it would be a great debate for some people to expound on.
    Proud to be an American, Union Firefighter!

  5. #45
    Forum Member firemed9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001


    I would definitely take out the brother, and call for help for the the baby. I have always been taught, and now i teach that the life priority on the fireground is me, my partner, and then the public. We as firefighters have a trust in every other firefighter on the fireground that if something happened they would be there to get us out of the situation. That is the bond that firefighters share with one another.

    As for interviews, the last one I had, this question came up, and I think they were kind of shocked that I said firefighter before civilian.
    Lieutenant / EMT- Paramedic
    Protective Services Officer

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jul 2000

    Default Wow, Not alot to work with.

    Given the question at hand. The answer would have to be the firefighter. I understand that the interview board is trying to see where your priorities are and if you have the understanding that it is You, Your Brothers and then the Public.

    In reality it would be the first victim you come across. Then the rest of your search crew would be left to continue the search.

    If the downed firefighter was still concious I would pray that he had the strength and ability to keep the child in his arms.

    IN MY OPINION: Every situation will be different. You are to make the best decision possible at that time and then follow through with that decision. If "You"second guess yourself "You" could be the third victim.

  7. #47
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 1999


    I had an instructor who said this:
    "When the sh*t hits the fan you worry about things in this order
    1.Your own @$$
    2.Your buddy's @$$
    3.The person in the sh*t"
    Pretty simple and I guess I agree with it.

  8. #48
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001


    Save the firefighter! You-Partner-Bystander-Victim is what we are trained to go by for our own safety. Also, good points, the firefighter is in gear and if something was big enough to take down him/her, it has probably killed the 2 year old, or will shortly as they will decompensate very quickly once they start. Yes the child may grow up to take the place of the firefighter...but how many MORE lives may that very firefighter go on to save?

    Question to the question...why was the firefighter alone to start with? Where is his/her partner and are they down too?

    The first time in my training that I heard the victim is our LAST priority on a scene as far as safety I was caught off-guard. It seems counter-intuitive. However, after doing this for 10 years, I understand and place the safety of those I work with as paramount. This job is dangerous enough if we don't look out for each other.

    God bless and be safe.

  9. #49
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Greeley, Colorado


    I sure hope I'm never put in that situation. If I was, though, the brother is the one going home with me. I have to agree with the priorities of ME, MY FFs, and ALL OTHERS.

    Remember, if the house is fully involved when you arrive, the victims are probably already dead, if not circling the drain. There is nothing you could do to save them now, so go with your strongest save possibility. Think of it as triage at an MCI, if they are dead, or will be dead, tag them black and move on. The brother has a chance of survival with his protective equipment.

    Be Safe, and hope we never have to face this situation.

    "No one ever called the fire service because they did something intelligent."-Lt. Kevin Reilly

  10. #50
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Feb 2002


    It's a situation I hope never to be in How about 2in and 4 out

    Be safe the dragon still bites

  11. #51
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Conshohocken, PA

    Default Other possibilities

    Agree with many on this thread. Just some thoughts.

    1. While it's nice to think that you will always be with a partner, some times it isn't possible. I know what the book says, but to save a life sometimes you have to throw it out the window. If there is a lot at stake, risk a lot. That includes my life.

    2. I have served on interview boards before and the intent is to get the candidate to think. Sometimes the correct answer is provided by those who haven't ever served, and can think out of the box.

    3. When doing an interview, I always believed that my fire truck can fly, and pump zillions of gallons, unless the interviewers say that they can't. Just because your present apparatus doesn't have duece and a half preconnects doesn't mean that you should be limited by the present bosses lack of foresight in resources or procedures.

    Now to answer the question if ever presented with such a dilema; Fireground priority one is life safety. First me, then my partner then the civilian (who could have been intimately familiar with the ignition sequence). Therefore, assuming that the reason I only can get one because otherwise my safety would be compromised, I will call for help on my radio while attempting to rescue the other firefighter, reporting the location of the victim. I may also leave a lit flashlight at the location so that others may find the little one faster.

    Doesn't hurt that we all thought about this before the interview or the actual situation now does it?

  12. #52
    Forum Member Lewiston2FF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Niagara Falls, NY, USA


    'Nuff said.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

  13. #53
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    S.E. Idaho


    I have faced this question in the interview process. I choose the firefighter. I agree with the others that say, ME, MY PARTNER, THE CIVILIANS and then whatever comes next. If I were down, by all means, save the child. I will pull the firefighter out first and make a second attempt to effect the rescue of the child.


  14. #54
    Forum Member MOTOWN88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002


    Now put the shoe on the other foot. What if you were the guy that was down and you had a victim (we will say a viable one) and a brother finds you from your pass device. What would you tell him???

    If I am down I expect you to grab hold of anything possible and get me the HELL out. Others expect that from me and I return the favor.

    If a firefighter doesn't go home, how many people will die in the future they may have saved, and for what? A victim that is most likely not even viable?
    This is a perfect example of the hammer hitting the nail square on the head.


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