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  1. #1
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    Default Simple fire in a 5 story building

    Whoa! Are we loosing it?
    This is a simple fire that is getting compounded by poor thinking. The sad part is that it is not centered in Spain but is cropping up all over with the wizards that don't walk the talk or even talk the talk until they are confronted by the "surprise event" that they are sworn to positively effect - fire in a routine occupied building.
    I have to put the forcible entry nonsense aside. I agree and 8 pound anything and a great halligan type tool should do almost all doors. Severe problems (I hate to say it - take the hinges! At worst always remember strong doors are almost always hung on weak walls! The rabbit tool is great in construction that utilizes SETS of metal entrance doors!
    Your problems are not fire spread in the rooms of the apartment on fire it is
    1. A quick stop to prevent extension to above - channels, voids, ceiling openings and auto exposure.
    2. Prevent fire spread to the public hall of the third floor - God forbid you shut down the egress from two floors of tenants and brave firefighters that are attempting to search the interior of floors 4 and 5 directly over the fire.
    3. The first line is ALWAYS to protect the interior stairs and the hall to the fire door. If it can't get in (back to school boys) than stand fast to prevent the conditions above while a second means is attacked - much like stubborn cellar fires.
    4 The additional truck operations at the "rear of the fire" coordinated with the stretching/charging/and advance of the line from the front door is world class operations and not bon-ton.
    Here the firefighters can search behind the fire where the people truly trapped are to be found and rescued - BEFORE WATER AND BEFORE FANS FOR SURE!
    The secondary effects of a truck operation in the rear of the apartment is to provide additional ventilation via portable ladder and an exit for the searching firefighters that get in trouble.
    The fire is on the third floor and there is no excuse for not providing that ladder.
    We are oversophisticating a simple process at a simple basic fire.
    Last edited by 111truck; 09-03-2002 at 11:49 AM.


  2. #2
    Forum Member dfd3dfd3's Avatar
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    I had a couple questions for u about searching behind a fire. When u are behind the fire and the engine company is ready to hit the fire, do u as a truck fall back to the room u entered, shut the door, and wait until the fire is knocked? How far will the fire get puched back onto u by the fire hose, i guess it all depends on the circumstances, but in general. And also can, for example in a shotgun style house or apt, safely search the rear or will the steam and fire be pushed all the way back to u?

  3. #3
    Senior Member shammrock54's Avatar
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    Just a reminder to all, I was always taught that whenever you think of any fire as "simple" thats the one that could very well eat your lunch.
    Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
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    As always these are strictly my own opinions and views

  4. #4
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    Shamrock,
    Basically you are correct about the thought process getting checked off by the "simple fire" routine. BUT - It is hard to watch our brothers and sisters oversophisticate this process to a point where they clog the ability to see the tree!
    After 20 to 30 thousand of these I have to say some are simple and routine when you get there. It is up to you to 'get the key" and make a difference that you showed up!
    There are routine operations that are simple to handle for sure.

  5. #5
    Member SquadHog's Avatar
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    Originally posted by shammrock54
    Just a reminder to all, I was always taught that whenever you think of any fire as "simple" thats the one that could very well eat your lunch.
    Shamrock:
    In so far as no fire is "routine" until it's out and everyone goes home in one piece, you are correct. However, 111Truck is more on point in that sadly, many of us seem to be failing at the basics. Line placement is basic. Forcible entry is basic. When you cut through everything, this sounds very much like a bread and butter fire.
    "Go ugly early."

  6. #6
    Senior Member shammrock54's Avatar
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    I agree w/ both of the above and the basics are extremly important i was pointing out that "simple fire" should not be in our mind, you do your basics, get the fire out but be ever on the look out for Murphys Law, not become complacent.
    Member IACOJ & IACOJ EMS Bureau
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  7. #7
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    'Bread & butter fire'........'over sophistication of the firefighting process'........'simple fire compounded by poor thinking'.....?

    This fire is all of that - however, there are issues that complicate the routine approach and I sympathise with the Spanish firefighter who posed the original question.

    Multi-lock, double steel skinned doors, often with a security mesh outer door, require special tools to force entry. In London our guys are now evaluating tools that enable an 11 second entry through such doors - but for the past 15 years there has been a problem. In Madrid too it seems these high-security doors have been causing problems because the firefighters are not provided with the tools to match the job.

    When the clock is ticking and entry is not happening then there has to be an alternative approach. I think the question was well composed and the answers certainly not compounded by 'poor thinking'. In these circumstances the line placement provides alternatives to the basic approach and this prompted debate.

    I agree with all that Truck 111 has to say on containment and preserving escape routes, as well as 'rear of fire' actions. However, the case discussed was, I think, not the routine 'bread & butter' fire.

  8. #8
    Forum Member dfd3dfd3's Avatar
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    I still believe that this is a matter of simple basics not being performed. I havent seen these doors, but with the minimal or no smoke in the front you should have been able to use a circular saw to gain access or using a rabbit tool or like 111truck mentioned sometimes going through the wall may be easier and quicker than trying the door. I wasnt there so this is a bit of arm chair quarterbacking but id venture to say that on that fire they tried to use forcible entry tactics that they always use and stayed with that even thought it wasnt working. What I gain from this example, is not the need to make up something new to solve this or that, but the need to be well trained in solid basic fundemntals and to always use a diff angle of attack when attempting to force a problem door. To not get tunnel visioned into something that isnt working.

  9. #9
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    dfd3

    Simple 'basics' not being performed?

    A team of firefighters can only function within certain limitations in relation to their manpower availability and equipment on the trucks. In this respect it was an equipment problem....what is a circular saw? or a rabbit tool (we have those now)!

    Going through the wall? You try that on european brick and concrete construction

    Don't get me wrong - we get plenty of MVAs and our equipment is top of the range - but when these doors first came on the scene - we had nothing!

    Believe me - if the door isn't gonna go and the ladder crew at the rear can reach the fire - that's not a form of 'tunnel vision'!

  10. #10
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    For information and interest -

    FDNY Engine Company Operations SOPs
    8.2.4 Other Hoseline Placement Guidelines

    'Difficulty might be encountered at some fire situations in conducting a direct attack through an apartment doorway due to a heavy volume of fire, wind conditions or forcible entry problems. A possible tactic to overcome these problems is to utilize the fire escape to conduct a fire attack into the apartment. BEFORE THIS IS INITIATED, members in the apartment must exit to a safe area of refuge and the apartment door must be closed in order to preserve the integrity of the hallway and interior stairs'.

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