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  1. #1
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    Default save the baby or save the fireman?

    "You are ordered to go into a burning structure and bring out anyone inside, you come across a fellow firefighter, and a two year old child. You only have time to rescue one, the other one will perish...which do you choose to save? Why?"
    Last edited by exsilio; 07-08-2002 at 01:59 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Hope I'm never in the situation.

    I would like to think that if I was the guy laying on the floor, that I would want my partner to take the child out first. I would expect the same from other firefighters.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  3. #3
    Forum Member BCmdepas3280's Avatar
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    Default

    Save the one that will live
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  4. #4
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    Lightbulb

    Boy, what a question.

    I hope to never bwe in that situation but, i would do my best to save them both. Seeing that the average 2 yr old wieghs in at about 30 lbs9 I know cause I have one) and that is not too much I would say go for the gusto. Try to save them both. Dont be stupid though if you can get them both close enough to the door lweave the fireman and safe the child. THe firefighter has lived out some of his life and knows he may die doing his job. The two year old will hopefully grow up and take his place.

    Dont ask these questions you are making me think.
    Everything that I post is my opinion only, none of this should be taken as fact.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber CJMinick390's Avatar
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    Default

    Gotta go with Brian (Silver City 4) on this one.
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
    Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

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  6. #6
    Forum Member MOTOWN88's Avatar
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    Default

    Where did you dig up this interview question, because that is what it is. The correct answer is the fire fighter according to the official books.

    My answer is the fire fighter its really quite a simple choice. The order to the public is LIFE, PROPERTY, ENVIORMENT when in all actuality and in the real world is ME, MY PARTNER, EVERYONE ELSE Now I will field all comments about me being a cold cruel S.O.B.
    I.A.C.O.J IRISH TATTOOED-HOOLIGAN

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  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Default

    Not a nice thought for first thing in the morning, but here goes.

    First answer, I agree with SilveCity, mostly. Grab the one who is most likely to live.

    However, there is a second answer: if there could be a way to tie the two of them together, then I will attempt to drag them both. Hopefully they are co-located to begin with.

    I hope I never come to have to make that kind a of a decision though, cuz I think it would haunt me forever after that. "Did I do the right choice?"
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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  8. #8
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    Angry

    First of all Motown88 Im not going to call you a bad person cause you wouldnt save a 2 yr old. I am just curious of why you would not try to save them both. I know that when the adrenaline is there not much can get in the way. Maybe you need a boost of it. Go for the gusto save them both man and have a beer with your brother later. I have to agree it makes sense to safe the one who will live.
    Everything that I post is my opinion only, none of this should be taken as fact.

  9. #9
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    Default

    I am just curious of why you would not try to save them both.
    Im pretty sure the answer to that is right in the question:
    You only have time to rescue one

    I have to say, it certainly is a tough call either way.

  10. #10
    Forum Member MOTOWN88's Avatar
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    Default

    First of all this is a well used interview question. They are trying to see the "hero" mentality you possess, the trick is you cannot save both. You have to fully understand the question. If you answer "both" you have just lost the question.

    MOTOWN'S take on this, the same reason I will step over civilians on the ground to get to the cop who was just shot or walk past burn victims to get to the brother who collapsed in the front yard HE'S MY BROTHER, HE'S A FELLOW FIRE FIGHTER, HE'S WEARING THE SAME UNIFORM.

    I know the pain that is involved in losing a 2 year old in a fire and I know the pain of losing a brother, given the choice I will take the pain of a 2 year old.
    I.A.C.O.J IRISH TATTOOED-HOOLIGAN

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  11. #11
    Senior Member jiffy911's Avatar
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    Default

    Hmmmm. What a tough situation that would be! I honestly don't know what I would do; I am tempted to go with Silver on this one, but I could never give a definite answer, having never actually been put in that spot. Two things that popped into my head:
    1.) You save your fellow firefighter and let the baby die. What kind of public reaction would you receive?? Seems to me the media would probably have a field day with that one. It could have a negative effect on your department...who knows?
    2.) You save the baby and leave the firefighter behind. How would everyone in your department react? You may face some adversity from them. What kind of effect would this have on your job? Your morale? Your mental state? Etc, etc, etc...you get the point.
    Just something to think about.
    Jen, EMT-B
    "I got lost in thought...it was unfamiliar territory."
    "I love mankind--it's people I can't stand" --Linus

  12. #12
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Default

    First choice (not interviewing) would be both. Second choice would be firefighter. Reasoning - the baby has already been in the bad environment before FD arrival and chances are it's in worse shape if not gone already. Firefighter (hopefully) has not been in area as long and has better chance of recovery. I would not want to leave a "recoverable" firefighter behind to rescue a "nonrecoverable" victim. I will now go hug and kiss my 21 month old very much and hope to never have to make this choice for real.

  13. #13
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    Firefighter. Chances are if you have two collapsed people, a fit firefighter in full turnouts and a (comparatively) weak child in street clothes, the one with greatest chance of survival is the FF. Of course, the emotions involved with kids are hard to overcome. Just look at our three lost brothers in NJ...

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Default

    Gotta agree 100% with Motown on this.

  15. #15
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Default

    I would call for HELP and save the one that was most likely to survive. You don't give much information here.... But that is my take.

    It would be hard to leave either one. But...as someone said...the firefighter is better protected...(assuming the reason he is down is not cardiac arrest)...he may have more chances to survive.

    However, even though you say I could only get one out....if they are both in the same area.....I can almost bet you that my adrenaline would let me get em both!
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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  16. #16
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    Default

    Maybe this is why I seem to have so much trouble with the interview part of the selection process...

    What makes this question interesting is the assumptions that each of us made.

    I assumed, as I think everyone else has, that the "fellow firefighter" is someone who came to the call with you and is in protective equipment. I also assumed that we are rescuing the victims from the heat, smoke and fire in the structure.

    It could very well be an off-duty firefighter's house and his 2 year old child. It may be a collapse in another part of the structure. Anyway, not trying split hairs here, just thought it was interesting that we all seem to be thinking of the same situation.

    I agree that "both" is the wrong answer. It's in the question that you only have time for one. And yes, it is me, my partner and everyone else...tough choice you'll have to live with either way. I hope no one is ever in that situation.
    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  17. #17
    iceman4442
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    Unhappy

    MOTOWN nailed it - the public doesn't really want to hear this, but it's a progression:

    1. Me,
    2. My partner(s),
    3. Other FF's / Emergency Services personnel,
    4. Civilians.

    Wouldn't be popular in public circles, but other points brought out above factor in also - FF in turnouts & hopefully SCBA vs. baby unprotected; longer exposure for the baby, etc.

    I think any FF would try and save both given the chance, but the question spelled out that you can only save one. Not an easy or good choice!

    WAY TO GO WINGS!

  18. #18
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
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    Default

    Agree with Mowtown, Partner first, sound the PASS or DSU, if you have got a length of personal line, tie the baby on to partner and go.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member NCFiremedic's Avatar
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    Default Here's a thought...

    Real life or not...
    I don't go in without a partner...
    Think about it!
    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

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    Default

    Sorry, I think it's a stupid question. They're both coming out unless there's only two of us there to begin with. Given no choice at all. The brother comes first.

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