Thread: Risk Benefit?

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    Default Risk Benefit?

    Risk benefit analysis as often taught in classes “We will risk a lot to save a lot, We will risk little to save little, We will risk nothing to save nothing.” It sounds good and makes sense but what exactly does it really mean to you?

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    Just what it says...so everyone goes home at the end of the tour!
    ‎"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."
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    To me, it means buildings can be rebuilt. Our brothers who die can't be replaced.
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
    Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

    These statements are mine and mine alone
    I.A.C.O.J. Building crust and proud of it

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    To me it means you don't shoot water through the windows on a room & contents fire, you go in and get it but at the same time you don't go charging into a fully involved truss construction building. There's nothing left to save there, save the exposures.

    It also means (like the Captain said) "Everybody goes home!"
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    Gonzo's right...the main objective is for everyone to go home in one piece. We waste alot of time and resources on vacant buildings. if there is no exposure problem...let it burn.

    I think the saying speaks for itself.

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    if there is no exposure problem...let it burn.

    Support your local buffs!

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    Support your local buffs!
    Yeah. That's what my post said! It said volunteers should let it burn! The paid guys are so much more real fire fighters that they can run right in there and put those bad boys out with no risk to themselves. God, you impress me.

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    Go ahead George, show me where I mentioned what kind of firefighters should do what with buildings as opposed to other kinds of firegighters. I'll wait.

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    For me it means you push a little further, go a little deeper when a life is at stake. It means that no building is worth a firefighter.

    The goal is to get everyone home safe and sound, but firefighters will risk their own well being to save someone. That is were experience comes in. We should all know that a victim can not survive flashover, so why do we see firefighters try to enter a fully involved home?
    “We will risk a lot to save a lot, We will risk little to save little, We will risk nothing to save nothing.”
    That statement indicates a level of cognative thinking that we have to do on the fireground.

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    Here is a good "risk nothing to save nothing example." There should essentially no risk taken on such an incident, including response and fireground as well as not placing any other civilians during response at risk.
    http://www.firehouse.com/hotshots/ph...2/10/1_tx.html

    And here's a risk a lot to save a lot example
    http://webpublisher.lexisnexis.com/i...-C22N-00000-00

    Despite the best efforts of WFD, the child did die from the fire. There was an Albany, NY rescue a week or so with a successful outcome.

    I think the fire service needs to look far more deeply into risk. Risk is the product of consequence and likelihood (probability). I think we have a problem with both. First of all consequence - life safety, both civilian and firefighter is of high consequence (death). Most property exposures, medium at best, mostly low. The other issue is likelihood or probability. If you are talking risk, you have to inlcude both. The fire service does a real poor job on likelihood. We more typically play the "what if" game. Many times we say that we must take a fair amount of risk (sometimes a lot) becuase of a very low probability "what if" scenario.

    If you look at the Worcester cold storage fire - was there any property consequence - I would say no. Building owner, City of Worcester didn't care about that building burning down - why should responding firefighters put their lives at risk when no one else has any interest in the property. Was there a life safety consequence? Very much so - the life safety consequence tragically resulted in the death of 6 firefighters. But how about a civilian life safety consequence? If civilians were in the building, would they have died? Probably yes. What was the likelihood that civilians would have been in that position? These are obviously judgments to some degree - I would say low. So your civilain life safety risk is a high consequence with a low probability. You put firefighters into these very hazardous bldgs and the life safety consequence remains high, and now the likelihood moves into the medium to high category as well. You had a high consequence/low probability civilian life safety hazard before the FD arrived. Now depending on how the FD responds, you can take the life safety risk to high/high with firefighters instead of civilians.
    We need to look at the data and risk and make a judgment. Everyone probably looks at it different, but at least we should consider the risks. If you are a firefighter and want to take a high/high risk for a high/low civilian risk, that's somewhat a personal decision although somehow these decisions need to be part of strategic command decision-making. Maybe some feel that in a Worcester scenario there is a high/high civilian risk and a high/medium or low firefighter risk - that's fine, no one is going to look at it the same. However, the results of that fire indicated that the civilian risk was in fact low and the firefighter risk quite high. At least use this outcome information as you make future risk judgments.

    After you have evaluated the property and life safety risks to civilains, you need to look at whether the FD can mitigate any of that risk and not create an even greater life safety risk with responding firefighters.

    Only about 100 civilians die every year in non-residential building fires. This means there is an extremely low probability of a civilian life safety risk in non-residential buildigns. Yet firefighters die in non-residential buildings far too often. To me, these deaths should be nealry 100% preventable. We shouldn't be risking firefighters lives for essentially property risks at best.

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    Excellent post cilfd!

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    Support your local buffs!
    Where I come from, "buff" is a mildly derogatory term for a gung-ho volunteer fire fighter. So, i interpret the above statement to be a sarcastic (after all, I AM the master of sarcasm) reference to volunteer fire fighters.

    If the term means something else in your corner of the world, please enlighten us.

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    George,
    I believe, and correct me if I am wrong CB, that buff in the context Collegebuff is using it is a term used for the people that show up on fire scenes, and perhaps photograph fire opperations, assist the firefighters if needed and the like. At least that is what I interpret from reading many of CB's posts.
    Shawn M. Cecula
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    George,
    I believe, and correct me if I am wrong CB, that buff in the context Collegebuff is using it is a term used for the people that show up on fire scenes, and perhaps photograph fire opperations, assist the firefighters if needed and the like. At least that is what I interpret from reading many of CB's posts.
    If that is the case, then I humbly apologize. It points up the problem of regional vernacular hindering fireground communcations.

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    #1 EVERYBODY goes home
    #2 Rescue/Protect exposures, but remember rule #1
    #3 If it's attainable, go get it, if in doubt, refer to rule #1
    #4 It ain't our problem, we are there to help, not die...rule #1
    #5 Any questions, see rule #1

    George, here in the midwest, fire buffs are the scanner jockies, fire chasers, amature fire photographers and the likes. In our case we have the EAATC that also does street locator books, fire department history books, department equipment updates, publish a newsletter and ect. This bunch is an educated group of buffers and good people. Check them out at: http://www.visi.com/community/eaatc/index.htm
    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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    It points up the problem of regional vernacular hindering fireground communcations.


    Hence the whole thread on just that!
    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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    One point that I feel I need to bring up about "vacant buildings". Vacant building fires just don't happen, and that is the problem. Someone started the fire, was it the homeless being careless, the owner trying to collect insurance, someone out to get us or someone trying to hide illegal activities.
    Some people advocate never entering a vacant building, and I've also heard that every building must be searched. A good accountability system along with good size-up is essential. Vacant buildings have hazards some intentional some accidental. People often use vacant buildings to hide illegal activities and convert them into drug dens, gang hideouts etc. then boobytrap the building. Floors can be cut, fire escapes damaged, traps can be set up at windows all to deter the curious. Vacant buildings also become dumping grounds and are looted for their parts often leaving open walls and floors that both contribute to un natural fire spread.
    Preplan the buildings in your district and work with your city to fix, tear down or at liest mark the hazardous vacant buildings we respond to.

    People may be in these buildings and if we have evidence that they may be trapped we need to make an attempt to enter and search. We just need to do it smarter then before. Use the tools that we have, use a search rope, a TIC, bring a line with you. Make sure that a RIT / FAST team is standing by, that the ICS, and accountability is established. We can fight fires in vacant buildings, we just need to look out for #1, us.

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    Lewiston2capt

    George,
    I believe, and correct me if I am wrong CB, that buff in the context Collegebuff is using it is a term used for the people that show up on fire scenes, and perhaps photograph fire opperations, assist the firefighters if needed and the like. At least that is what I interpret from reading many of CB's posts.


    George Wendt, CFI

    If that is the case, then I humbly apologize. It points up the problem of regional vernacular hindering fireground communcations.


    Lewiston2capt hit it pretty well. Put it this way George- its common in the Metro Boston area for buffs to call themselves "sparks" or "sparkers." ("I bin spahkin fiyuhs in Bahstin fo' yeeahs." ) Given that there are people such as yourself (investigators) on this board who might not be familiar with the terminology, the last thing I wanted to do was to go around on the internet talking about fires I "sparked!" I figured that "buff" wouldn't get me in trouble!!!

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    If that is the case, then I humbly apologize. It points up the problem of regional vernacular hindering fireground communcations.
    George.....must be a local thing.....I'm from Jersey and I knew what CB was talking about.

    To get back to the original post, I agree that the statements "It means what it says" and that "Everyone goes home" are true. But to me it means the use of common sense.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-RFB-KTF

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    Yeah but George is from the other side of Jerzy,where vernacular is one to it's own.Get up here to the tip of the northeast so I can teach ya to talk the Maine way.Hehe T.C.

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    How about "Risk Managment" this nifty little catch phrase is used by managment whenever they want to gable that something will not happen, so they can turn a blind eye whatever it is they do not wish to spend money on i.e. personel, equipment, etc. etc.

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    Another one for risking nothing - fully involved, totally destroyed
    http://www.firehouse.com/hotshots/ph...2/9/17_ct.html

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    Sometimes I like to think some buildings are worth a little more than others. (BUT still not worth a life) I think some of us would work a little harder on some local landmark or historical site than a vacant shanty. I know I work that much harder on the residential fires than some commercial jobs. It's not realy a conscious choice but the little voice we sometimes hear that says "Hey, someone lives here, lets give them a better chance at salvaging those irreplacable heirlooms". The time we take for salvage ops also factor into risk assessment if you are from a department with limited manpower too I think.


    PS; A buff in my part of the world is an antique fire truck collector.
    "What makes a person run into a building others are running out of?...Character."- Dennis Smith

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    If you don't want it to burn,sprinkle it.Sprinklers are probably the single nost effective property conservation device there is.T.C.

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    Yeah but George is from the other side of Jerzy,where vernacular is one to it's own.Get up here to the tip of the northeast so I can teach ya to talk the Maine way.Hehe T.C
    I have a very good friend from the Boston office of ATF who told me that the English Language, which he insisted began in Boston, was doing just fine until people from Jersey got ahold of it. I guess he was right.

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