1. #26
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    Don't quite jump on Larry S. yet. It is someone else (Firewalker 1) I believe in the previous number of posts. After some checking around, I believe I know who it is. Maybe a former North Side Pumper Chauffeur?
    Last edited by STATION2; 11-01-2002 at 02:28 PM.
    Stay low and move it in.

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    Larry

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    Twin Cities:
    HFD has a policy that prohibits any ff from entering a potentially hazardous area without PPE. The E/O from E-2 stated he was helping to bring up equipment. Other trucks began arriving at the same time.Other firefighters entered the building with nothing in their hands. It sounds like so much equipment was brought to the fire floor. The fact is not much equipment was brought up, not enoughf to constitute a firefighter entering a potentially hazardous area without gear. With the amount of fire load in the apartment had the door failed the E/O could have been caught in the flashover, "could have". You see, like so many other fires there are many could haves.
    SOP's we die by not following them.

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    Default The truth

    So the truth, we are more concirned about who is sayin what, rather than asking what is being said is factual. Ask your self, looking back would you have done what the supporting crews did?

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    Default theres all ways more to it

    I really didn't want to voice my opinion about this topic it is kind of a taboo subject around the fire house Well at least my thoughts are.

    Station 2 is correct manpower does play a huge roll in this. I am a firm believer that a city the size of Houston should have 5 men on the pumper and 6 on the truck. Of course this will never happen But the problems with Houston as well as Jays death go deeper then anyone wants to admit.. I was there at the fire. I saw first hand the great things done by my brothers as well as the screw ups and yes there were screw ups, but for anyone to say to me that the have never seen **** go wrong at a fire...to me has never been to a fire. What we do on a daily basis amazes me that more don't die. Thats why we train day in day out. I love HFD and am a proud member. I would put our engine crews up against any pumper crew in this country any day of the week. I have fought fire from the northeast to the west to Houston and Houston does in MY Opinion have the best engine company's in town...but the problem is thats where it stops. No body like to admit there's problems with there department, but the first step to fixing problems is to admit that they are there. I believe one of the biggest problems in Houston on the fire ground is truck companies and lack of training. Houston does not know how to run there truck companies and I will argue this point with anyone. I have been to many fires where the truck companies where not used correctly. I was at a fire two nights ago and I was riding first line and I was the one to force entry with a saw...the truck was there had 2 firefighters on it. So manpower was not an issue. Why did this happen? Why do most guys on trucks try to fight fire...it's not there job....lack of training...leadership...and commitment to truck companies is half the problem. I can go on from there.
    There are many problems in the department that the old heads at the union hall don't want to address. Downtown maybe be saying them, but not because they want to fix them, but to make us look bad and place blame. Yes our own Chief rather place blame and kiss up to the mayor then to fix problems that could save not only firefighters lives but the lives of the people we protect. Like I said I was at the fire and walked just about every floor of that building, including the 5th floor. And what I saw tells me two things. 1) Both reports have things we need to look at. 2) No matter what you do in this city. Some things just won't change...
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

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    xxxx(Enter stage left): Larry S. makes an appearance (as expected).

    You think so huh? Why donít you call him at home and if you like I will call you from Houston. Iím sure the webteam can look up my IP and confirm Iím in Houston you can call larry at home and see if he is thereÖ.

    xxx(as expected).

    Him all anyone here is doing now is keeping their traps shut and are no longer defending the pathetic actions of HFD including you a member of HFD. Facts are hard to dispute.

    xxxxxDon't quite jump on Larry S. yet. It is someone else (Firewalker 1) I believe in the previous number of posts. After some checking around, I believe I know who it is. Maybe a former North Side Pumper Chauffeur?

    As hard as the hold the union line mentality is in the HFD after 4 years without a contract and having lost almost 24,000 dollars because the thugs in Union leadership wonít allow parity with PD, their awesome of us left who give a damn and want to see some of these firefighters and officers hang for their incompetence. Staffing didnít kill anyone. A bunch of no good wastes of gravity who only care about retirement not their fellow brothers are knocking off the good firefighters one at a time, 4 deaths in 3 yearsÖ..

    Come on Station2 you for more of the same or you want to see some people hang?? Do you really want these guys in charge of you? Hung out to dry?

    You know Station2, it doesnít matter who is or isnít writing these posts, is it fact or isnít it? Can you defend the actions of your fellow firefighters and officers or canít you? Are part of the cover up of the facts too?

    Should L-28 officer have received a purple heart from the Union last week as a hero for dropping his portable radio and running away from the fire leaving Jay? He didnít even try to call for help leaving Jay to die.

    You think he made a good decision leaving 1/3 of his crew behind Did jay make a big mistake leaving one third of his crew behind too!

    Why was he found cowering in the fetal position near the stairs until another firefighter comes up to him and asks him a question and he magically gets up and walks down five flights of stairs. So what really went on?

  6. #31
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    Firewalker1: Our SOP's on entering the hazard zone and equipment requirements sound very simular (ie. don't leave the apperatus without something in your hand). PPE also needs to worn, and just as important, worn right.
    SOP's we die by not following them.
    Many have died to get them implemented, too...
    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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    Hey Staion2 This Larry Stevens you keep talking about, Didnít he help your volunteer department go from a Class 6 to a Class 2 and your rural area from a Class 9/10 to a Class 2 as well??? And isnít he the one who got us a Class 1 from a Class 3 and took out Class 9 and 10 areas that existed for 90 years and made them a Class 1 as well.

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    HFD838, I agree with you brother with one exception. There are some HFD Truck Co.'s who hit the ground running and do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. On everything else your right.

    Firewalker 1, I never once stated in here that there were not mistakes made. Every fire I go to there are mistakes made by people of all ranks. We learn and implement their lessons the next time. I do believe that there are lessons to be learned from Four Leaf. The point of this thread was manpower. I personally believe that manpower was the biggest factors of all the factors on that morning.
    However, my opinions of who should or should not hang and what companies did well and which ones didn't do well is not something to present to the world. I have more pride in my organization than to air dirty laundry here. You might have well used their names. The facts, as you like to say, are important and need to be shared with others so hopefully this situation will not be replicated again and another fire fighters family devistated. But to "out" them here is irresponsible and unnecessary. In house is one thing, here the facts need to be passed on as I said and let it go from there. As for me contacting Larry S., I just recieved an e-mail from him and I know you are not him. I know alot more than you think about who made up the adhoc internal report writing group. Did Larry S. help my volunteer department? Hell yes he did. As I have said many times over, Larry S. and I have been having debates and disagreements since before HFD heard of him. He knows ISO well and helped us greatly. The nice thing about Larry S. is, when he was helping us it was just that. Helping our organization with little talk of HFD. I appreciate the help he gave us on our ISO rating. And by the way, we are going from a 5 to a 1in the 2 cities we cover, and from a 9/10 to a 2 in the county areas. That will make us the 1st Houston area Class 1 fire department ahead of other volunteer and career departments both large and small. Ain't it great? On the flip side, when Larry S. is in town for his weekly work in Houston, it is just that, working for HFD. I disagree with the downplaying of the manpower issue in the internal report as well as the state fire marshals report. It is as simple as that.
    Last edited by STATION2; 11-01-2002 at 04:19 PM.
    Stay low and move it in.

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    Larry

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    Twin Cities: You are so right about firefighters paying the price for SOP's. Why can't we learn? Like a drug addicted individual we must admit there is a problem befor we can fix the problem.

    To the others: It is sure quiet. The topic is switching to Stevens. It reminds me of when you argue with someone and they start cursing because they have no argument and switch the argument to a personal one. I hate to argue with an unarmed individual. It is to easy. I still have no answere "Would you do what thoes crews did that night"?
    Staffing was brought up at the McDonalds fire and befor that when the police officer was shot and killed. The local ff president went to the police local and asked for their support saying staffing attributed to the death of the police officer. They threw him out. Not a bad idea. Their comment was you"NEVER POLITICIZE THE DEATH OF A FALLEN OFFICER" The union needs to learn and move on to the next issue. The problem is they do not know what that is. Give you a hent "CONTRACT". Check with that north side E/O he might know something about that issue. For the record. Iwould not have left a confused and excited firefighter to find his own way.

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    Station 2 you are right lets take 7's they are one of the best trucks in the city and there are a few more. I have a lot of respect for them and wish other companyís would follow them.

    Firewalker you make a lot of good points as well. To bad downtown didn't spend so much time blaming us and spend more time fixing some of the problems. But as we all know we are to busy fighting among ourselves to take a good hard look at the problems and fix them. In your profile you state that youíre a Sr. Dispatcher. I respect you for taking a job that most people don't want and look down at. But I all so have said that like the chiefs downtown you have forgotten what it's like out on the streets and in the station. I don't know how long you have been at dispatch and am in no ways disrespecting your choice to be there. But if you have any influence with the chiefís downtown then maybe you could have them come spend some time again on the front lines and get back in touch with us and why they are here. So we can start to fix some of the problems that even you have stated.
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

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    As for the McDonalds fire, I was there and staffing WAS a problem. They didn't get a 4 man Truck Co. until the 4-11 and that was Ladder Co. 28. The only way they got a 4th man was because Ladder Co. 28 was listening to the fire, knew there were missing fire fighters and took someone off the Engine Co. when they left on the 4th. The manpower rundown on the original box:

    E-76 - 4
    E-73 - 4
    E-75 - 4
    E-10 - 4
    L-76 - 3
    L-75 - 3
    D-10 - 1

    Thats just the box. The DC (I know him personally and he is an excellant IC) was by himself and expected to handle Strategic Planning for the incident, Accountability, Water Supply, Resource Management, Staging (When it went to a 2-11), etc. But we don't need Chiefs Assistants or whatever you want to call them.
    Stay low and move it in.

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    Larry

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    This is where I get mad at the manpower issue. Taking away the chiefs e/o and the booster e/o is wrong for so many reason. The other night durning the storm an engine company was screaming for a rescue boat and a booster, but dispatch told them they had no one to drive the booster...but again we don't have a manpower problem do we???? From what I heard they had 6 people trapped in high water. Hope they all made it out.
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

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    SPFD: Have I ever fought a high-rise fire? No, not a "high-rise." But my department protects a Correctional Institution with building ranging from the late 1800s to a 600 inmate facility built in 1990. Since they're very similiar to high-rises with the exception of elevation. Operations are very similiar -- slow down, take a deep breath, assemble the forces and tools you need, move to a forward command & staging area, then begin to move on the fire. These are not buildings we can make a quick escape from if things go south, so you have to make sure your ducks are in a row before entering. You only have one shot at being safe.
    -----
    As for the McDonalds fire, I was there and staffing WAS a problem.
    E-76 - 4
    E-73 - 4
    E-75 - 4
    E-10 - 4
    L-76 - 3
    L-75 - 3
    D-10 - 1

    22 Firefighters and a Chief on the initial alarm and staffing was a problem? How many firefighters does it take to hit a hydrant and stretch a line -- even if you're going inside with a line, it's not like fast food restaurants have the most difficult floor plans to crawl through. Provided you even go in -- I'd hope most of us finding heavy fire in a fast food restaurant at three in the morning would use one engine, one ladder. Hit the hydrant, wait a couple minutes for the a/c to predicatbly come through the truss roof, open up the pipe and hydraulically overhaul. There's nothing in there to save.

    The only possible manpower issue was lack of Command staff. Chief's Aides are important. So is having more than one command level officer even on routine incidents. I don't mind having an aggressive Chief take a forward command, but he best be backed up within minutes by another Chief who establishes an Incident Command with an outside view of the fire.

    -----
    Many, many factors influence what happens. It's a miracle sometimes what can get accomplished, and every department has great companies, great officers, great Chiefs. But sometimes things just plain go to *****. And that's when making sure everything you possibly could have in order is in order so you don't start having failure after failure leading to tragedy.

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    Operations are very similiar -- slow down, take a deep breath, assemble the forces and tools you need, move to a forward command & staging area, then begin to move on the fire.
    Thanks, Dal.
    Hope you don't think I was slamming you with the question, as I posted, your insight is right on target...
    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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    Default All is quiet

    Well the facts are in and all three reports say the same thing. HFD finally released an internal reoprt, the McDonalds report disappeared, go figure. Will we learn? I am glad to have had the oppertunity to respond to the comments made on this issue. There are many firefighters in HFD that will not say openly but know what happened and have the smarts and know not any one thing kills a firefighter. I hope we all can LIVE and learn.

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    Dalmation 90, walk a mile in the shoes of the man before you speak for him. Lets look at the basics for a moment. 30 years ago fires were fought in a way far different from now. Then fire fighters wore canvas coats, hip boots and leather helmets with little else. They fought fire by skeeting water in windows. Those were accepted ways of doing business with the equipment of the day. Today the fire service has the best PPE ever developed, boots that are becoming better by the day, glove technology that improves every week, SCBA that tell you everything about you and the environment your in, etc. Today we push to the seat of the fire to contain and extinguish it while other crews are ventilating and searching for occupants. Then most products inside an average house where Class "A" combustibles. Today they are more often than not a derivative of petrolium. Then flashover, backdrafts and explosive fire spread were rare. Today it is not a matter of if they will occur, but when and to what degree. This is all relevant to the points you try and avoid in your attempts to prop up your positions. Back then accountability, the IMS, etc. were unheard of in structural fire fighting. Today they are common if not mandatory in most departments with some being law. Back then most departments had more companies with more men on them to get the job done. Today alot of cities have fewer companies with fewer men on them to do the same functions in environments that are far more likely to go bad quicker. Don't the citizens we are sworn to protect deserve the same level of service, as a minimum, today that they recieved back then? I think so. We as a fire service today are led by people who mandate that we do more with less. Who drop buzz words and catch phrases like "Aggressive interior attack", "State of the art" and "Cutting edge technology" like they are candy and with little understanding of them. These are the men and women who are trying to turn our careers into white collar office jobs which they never have been and never truly will be. In my department we are expected to take advantage of the PPE, SCBA and equipment available to us and be ready to rock and roll when we arrive. No BS'ing around and you hit the ground running. The mindset of a fast attack on tank water, going further, faster and staying longer is instilled into us from the beginning. Then when something goes wrong people from places near and far start with their "expert" opinions. The fire at McDonalds mentioned earlier is a good example. Those fire fighters hit the ground running and were doing there jobs. Even IF the Chief had an assistant on this fire, the fire ground was understaffed from a task oriented point of view. There were and are set tasks that need to be accomplished and these tasks take a certain number of people to achieve them in an acceptable time frame. The 1st arriving Engine Co. (E76) and 1st arriving Truck Co. (L76) arrived within seconds of each other. The initial IC (L76 Officer) decided that an offensive attack was in order given the conditions presenting upon his arrival. Contrary to what you believe, there was no HEAVY FIRE from the building. There was a small amount of fire showing from around a roof vent with a heavy smoke condition from the building. Small insignificant grease and other type fires have presented like this time and time again requiring no more that a portable extinguisher and a fan. You then take fire fighters who are oriented department wide to getting INSIDE to do their job (Not stand outside) and expect them to change for this one fire for no better reason than because you think so and/or your inexperince with these types of fires. Fires like this one had been fought time and time again with these tactics which had been proven sound under fire before. Then when something goes wrong you and others want to say they were wrong and "they should have done this" or "they should have done that". Ladder Co. 76 had 1 fire fighter on the back to perform Truck Co. functions on the fireground. He was doing exterior forcible entry, ventialtion, setting up lights etc. because his entry partner was outside as the IC. Had there been 2 fire fighters on the back of the rig then they would have been inside to assist the injured fire fighters when things went wrong and they needed help. It is inconcievable to me how you can do this. How many high rise, fast food business, MD and SFD fires have you been to? How many have you been in command of? Its kinda different when your hot, can't see and you have to work huh? You mention floor plans. I'll have you walk thru the same building everyday for a month. Then for a week you don't go inside it. A day later I put you inside it at 03:00hrs with smoke down to the floor. I bet you a dollar to a dozen donughts that the door to wall distance you remembered is vastly different from what you percieve when your in there. That the location of the serving counter is 4 feet further in than you remembered it being. The passage way to the prep area is supposed to be somewhere else closer than where you find it and so on. Now go in a different building (How about a McDonalds) 4 times over the course of one year. You gonna know your way around like Rand-McNally? I think not. Don't try and say that all floor plans are the same for all type structures and that they should know them from memory. Your only kidding yourself. As for your other "expert" opinions, attempt to impress someone else. Please don't continue to spew forth the venemous and rancid comments from far, far away about an incident you know nothing about, you were not at and with questionable information you gleaned from the internet, rumors and one sided reports. Your ability and desire to regurgitate this information only serves to cheapen the memory of those lost and those that continue to do the job day in and day out.
    Last edited by STATION2; 11-02-2002 at 12:52 AM.
    Stay low and move it in.

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    Larry

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    One more thing real quick: For the record, my comments on these forums are my opinions and mine alone. They are not representitive of any department, organization our association I am a member of. They are not intended to offend, aggravate or demean anyone. Like myself, everyone is entitled to their own.

    HFD838, what quandrant, district or station do you work in if you don't mind putting it on here? If so, e-mail me.
    Last edited by STATION2; 11-02-2002 at 01:00 AM.
    Stay low and move it in.

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    Larry

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    xxxBut to "out" them here is irresponsible and unnecessary.

    The Union went on a national attack against the mayor and the fire chief. Did the Union really think there would be no reply? To send Firehouse.com two stories packed with lies and falsehoods. What is left for the elected officials to do that offer up ALL THE FACTS????

    The UNION has opened pandoras box, and now you are going to watch guys lose their jobs over this event and others get prosecuted for false reports. Canít happen look at the Houston PD chief right now.

    XXXXIn house is one thing, here the facts need to be passed on as I said and let it go from there.

    Nah, wouldnít be right. Not after the IAFF president came out and said NIOSH singled out staffing when in fact staffing was one of just 11 findings. And you and I know, 4 guys times three is 12 and 14 or 15 could have made the floor not 4 it was a choice made by so called experienced professionals

    xxxxx I know alot more than you think about who made up the adhoc internal report writing group.

    Really tell us about it. Who made up the city report, the state report eth NIOSH reports???? What are their agendas. Where in these reports were the facts as the international association of fire fighters president and HFD union president say WHITE WASHED??? Isnít the real white wash not telling the truth about what really happened?

    xxxI disagree with the downplaying of the manpower issue in the internal report as well as the state fire marshals report.

    Where is it understated? It is one of 10, 11 or 15 points depending on the report.

    True or false, one incident commander with a clue of what is going on could have said 6th floor companies move down to the 5th floor to support the attack. In what 60 seconds the problem is over right? So command having a clue isnít as significant as staffing?

    The company officers cold have told everyone on their rigs to go up right? Problem solved, just as significant as staffing or having a clue right?

    Turing your radio on the right channel saves the day right?

    Listening to what you are told to do saves the day right?

    Following Sops saves the day right?

    Getting out of your truck and taking 11 minutes to get where other crews traveled in 6 saved the day correct?

    First in rig saying well the IC wonít send us help and getting on the radio and saying the floor is clear deck gun or ladder pipe the involved unit form the exterior we are withdrawling until we have sufficient resources saves the day right?

    Taking 60 minute bottles saves the day.

    Taking any spare bottles would have saved the day.

    Closing the apartment door lie you are trained saves the day.

    Bring your imager with you saves the day.

    One guy wearing gear instead of street clothes saves the day.

    Following the 1970 UBC/UFC saves the day.

    Using a piercing nozzle saves the day.

    Command actually tracking personnel and assignments saves the day because the RIT team would have been their as would E-3, right?

    Dispatch could have called a second on report of multiple calls and the problem goes away.

    SO ONLY ONE IS REALLY SIGNIFICANT??? I DONíT THINK SO. And none of the reports aggress with you.

    Fried said, when all else fails put the fire out.
    xxxx To bad downtown didn't spend so much time blaming us and spend more time fixing some of the problems.
    Ok youíve got 9 chiefs, 4 appointed untouchables. So what are 5 guys supposed to do? Have any constructive ideas? What do you suggest?
    xxxxxBut as we all know we are to busy fighting among ourselves to take a good hard look at the problems and fix them.
    How is admin fighting the troops in the field? Sure we can all see the Unions attacks.
    xxxx. But I all so have said that like the chiefs downtown you have forgotten what it's like out on the streets and in the station.
    So, what do you suggest? What needs to occur?
    xxxxBut if you have any influence with the chiefís downtown then maybe you could have them come spend some time again on the front lines and get back in touch with us and why they are here. So we can start to fix some of the problems that even you have stated.
    Any examples you can give of what is broken??

    XXXXAs for the McDonalds fire, I was there and staffing WAS a problem
    That is wonderful! You left out the staffing of all of the ambulances, so you had more than four per company. True or false the life expectancy at a McDonalds at 2 in the morning is ZERO? So what excuse are you going to use now, here Iíll give you a few FACTS.
    There were not signs of entry into the store on arrival TRUE OR FALSE?
    The only life hazard in McDonalds was the firefighters and company officers that command allowed to work under a heavily involved truss space RIGHT?
    Does Mr Brannigan one of the required texts for promotion in HFD say you donít belong on or under a truss? Having 70 some odd firemen died doing just that? Are the rules of Physics different in HOUSTON?
    Does every McDonalds in the U.S. have the HVAC system on the roof?
    What fire service text book does it call for sending three hose lines through the same door way?
    How many doors are on a McDonalds? Why is it one of those doors was never opened with90 firefighters on scene?
    Why is it 1/3 of every crew did not participate in fire ground activities?
    Why is it the crew died inside without their captain?
    With two portable radios per rig why is it the two people who died donít have a portable radio but their captain who is not anywhere near his crew does and so does their EO equipment operator out in the street?
    Why is it the captain never knew his crew was missing until 15 minutes after the collapse? What does a captain in HFD do? Is the EO in charge of crew safety or the individual firefighters? Why was the first accountability on a 3000 foot building done 30 minutes into the call?
    Why is it firefighters crawl under the panic hardware and push bars on tubular doors? Canít that be removed?
    You were there why didnít anyone apply any water from the exterior to stop the fire spread until it was way to late?
    Oh that door that never got opened, one HFD firefighter crawled around inside without a radio because the EO and the captain outside needed it more than her, and she came to the door because she knew how many doors there are in a McDonalds and she got to that door to find it locked, thank God the pros at HFD forced that door 1 hour and 10 minutes into the fire to find her lifeless body.
    Yeah I have the video from all angles on this too, you know 3 guys to operate a deck gun at McDonalds in HFD and 6 to stand on a turntable at Four Leaf? Staffing was a real problem wasnít it? How about the crawl in and 16 watch, yeah that is on video too, and 1 in 4 guys in turnout gear. Oh what is that line in Back Draft, oh yeah, ďyouíre doing it wrong!Ē
    Heck that was the Union president turned chief, you couldnít possibly have a staffing or training problem, he was your guy!!!!!!!!!
    Why like Lardsville wasnít someone charged for their stupidity on the McDonaldís event?
    Maybe HFD should stop blaming staffing and look at what the heck is wrong with every engine and ladder company crews, ever chief and captain and why command canít command.
    When you are running four engines, two ladders, two ambulances, a chief and a safety on all structure fires with 30 guys or more, no one in the rest of the fire service is going to accept staffing as an issue. Then you got another 30 on the 2nd and the third. Three alarms on a McDonalds? What the hell is wrong with you? 99% of the worlds volunteers donít get that in an hour, 60% of the nations fire service gets 9 or less on just three rigs. 90 friggin guys and you get two firefighters killed? Give me a break! Yeah t was staffing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    MAYBE YO OUGHT TO LEARN HOW TO DO YOU JOBS!
    xxxxThe DC (I know him personally and he is an excellant IC)
    So he letís them go in under a well involved flaming truss. That makes an excellent IC?
    He doesnít keep track of his people that makes him a good IC?
    He doesnít require his Captains to maintain contact with their crews, that makes him a good IC?
    He allows three lines through the same door and 12 guys so none of the lines can move, that makes him a good IC?
    He allows 1/3 of the members on the fire ground not to wear protective clothing?
    Allows his officers not to support department regulations on protective clothing?
    He wonít have any of his thermal imager equipped crews, 2 to 6 depending upon the time to take a look at the involvement in the building, heck flames were through the roof on arrival and he lets crews go in? To do what, you are going to have to reroof the place anyway, all the water is trashing the place weather you are inside or outside, spraying water the place was history. So the only other options were to get firefighters hurt and or dead.
    It takes him one hour to determine how many are missing that makes him a good IC?
    And he himself is standing next to the building under the eves, in the smoke in shirt sleeves that must be what makes him a pro IC?
    That kinda crap will get you kicked off a volunteer fire department!
    xxxHe was by himself and expected to handle Strategic Planning for the incident, Accountability, Water Supply, Resource Management, Staging (When it went to a 2-11), etc. But we don't need Chiefs Assistants or whatever you want to call them.
    Not exactly true, the first in ladder took command with silly HFD rules that means the other three guys with the thermal imaging camera on board are not allowed to act because they donít have an officer. So the IC has three helpers when the DC arrives if he is as you say way over his head he can keep all four guys with him and manage the event. Did he know! You do that at high rise fires.
    Your UNION and your District Chiefs asked for 4 guys per rig not the return of the long gone Chiefs drivers, the booster drivers, etc. If you ask for four and that is all they asked for and you get it you either need to be happy, or learn from it for next time. Pretty hard to go back to the public and say we mean 5 or 6 oh yeah and these other 20 guys and I mean we want 6 and 33 other guys, oh and the ambulance I mean the squad guys and a few more ambulances, I mean what we really need well I think we really mean is. Ö.
    xxxxThis is where I get mad at the manpower issue. Taking away the chiefs e/o
    That happened a decade ago when the union and admin agreed to go to four shifts instead of three shifts. If you remember the promise was a better trained department. So that doesnít effect this fire, there were six chiefs and two aids command before the May Days.
    XXXXXand the booster e/o is wrong for so many reason.
    Well, that happened after Four Leafs, this July to be exact. Doesnít have any effect on 4 on an engine or truck does it?
    xxxxxxThe other night durning the storm an engine company was screaming for a rescue boat and a booster, but dispatch told them they had no one to drive the booster...but again we don't have a manpower problem do we???? From what I heard they had 6 people trapped in high water. Hope they all made it out.
    Gee, I almost cried reading the above, 656 guys per tour. Cross manning specialty apparatus especially in a rain storm like a brush truck is one of the most common assignments in the fire service. You donít staff your boats either.
    If boats are real importantly how about put them on a motorized chassis like real fire departments do?


    As for the McDonalds fire, I was there and staffing WAS a problem.
    E-76 - 4
    E-73 - 4
    E-75 - 4
    E-10 - 4
    L-76 - 3
    L-75 - 3
    D-10 - 1

    XXXXX22 Firefighters and a Chief on the initial alarm and staffing was a problem? How many firefighters does it take to hit a hydrant and stretch a line -- even if you're going inside with a line, it's not like fast food restaurants have the most difficult floor plans to crawl through.

    Dalmation, What is wrong with you? Have you ever fought a McDonaldís fire? You just donít understand! These guys are having to fight fires without a contract! There average salary is barely $35 an hour. They can only sleep 2/3rd of each shift. They are having to work almost 7 shift a month leaving them barely 23 days off to work as part-paid firefighters in the surrounding fire departments for 10 to 13 dollars and hours without benefits or life or hazard insurance(like Lake Worth where the guys died as volunteers and wanted their city job to pay retirement and disability). Of course in the suburbs the staffing is 2 or 3 but that is alight because theyíre off. And one or two rigs is all that will get there the first 10 to 15 minutes.

    xxxxx Provided you even go in -- I'd hope most of us finding heavy fire in a fast food restaurant at three in the morning would use one engine, one ladder. Hit the hydrant, wait a couple minutes for the a/c to predicatbly come through the truss roof, open up the pipe and hydraulically overhaul. There's nothing in there to save.

    There you go again! Have you ever fought a working McDonalds fire with 30 guys? NO! HFD is a very aggressive interior attack fire department, even if a building is fully involved a primary and secondary search has to occur no matter how many firefighters have to die!

    See if no one is out their looking out for the troops and they arenít thinking which seems to be the case on these two fires, then you have to have deaths. Everyone was a hero, it couldnít have been avoided, if it could the UNION would have said so. After all it is the political office for the fire department.

    XXXXThe only possible manpower issue was lack of Command staff.

    Impossible the union would have said so if that was the case. Can we take a moment here and bow down towards union hall and then carry on? How dare you a volunteer thing you could have fought this fire and left a smoking hole in the ground like HFD and not lost two fire fighters.

    See what the new chief is up against?

    No wonder the Union wasnít going to let the Fire Chief speak at the International Fire Chiefs this year, the truth hurts!

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    Dalmation90

    I am sorry you have such a problem with this issue. One would think based on the response that it was you who wrote the reports.

    As for your lack of interest in RIT, I get the impression that you are a veteran of many years and have never had a fire do the unexpected or a building do the unexpected. Quite frankly there are times in our profession the **** HAPPENS.

    Your commitment to the BASICS is commendable!! I wish every firefighter in this country and around the world took your approach. Reality is they don't. We should always prepare to do the job, but all the emphasis in the world on basics will not prevent the fire from taking unexpected turns, the owners of buildings from modifying the structural components or terrorist from setting us up.

    So a simple commitment to rescuing our own I don't think is to much to ask.

    Be safe
    Michael R Rehfeld
    IAFF Local 1311
    Baltimore Co. Fire

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    So a simple commitment to rescuing our own I don't think is to much to ask.
    Amen Brother...except you are both right...The Basics and RIT should be the same thing. Every guy certified as FF1 (or whatever you want to call it) ought to have the basics of saving himself(herself) and our own. Period.

    As for the rest of this, I read with interest. Not having any first hand knowledge, I will defer to those from Houston.

    Remembering those that have fallen,

    Dave

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    I wasn't at these fires, so I jave no specific comments on them. I have three general comments.

    1.
    Lets look at the basics for a moment. 30 years ago fires were fought in a way far different from now...
    The main difference is that we know ALOT more about fire today than we did 30 years ago. AND we kill more FF per capia (based on the much lower number of fires) than we did 30 years ago. I am not advocating turning fire fighting into a white collar job, but maybe it's this macho BS attitude that prevents us from changing tactics and results in killing our own. Any other industry would devote a ton of resources to cutting the deaths. Some here seem to say it's a price we pay.

    2. I think that one of the weak points of the NIOSH reports, as well as other well-meaning government agencies' reports is that they are not into fixing blame. They are into "fact finding" and "recommendations". While it may make people feel good, it does nothing to jold people accountable. i would bet that if you studied all the NIOSH reports, there is a boiler-plate recommendation about staffing in each one. Unfortunately, the union jumped on it this time out of their own self-interest.

    3. Dal, the profanity is very unbecoming. I am surpirsed at you.

  22. #47
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    Default HFD and NIOSH Report

    Manning is always an issue with regards to safety and fireground performance - as it should be. However, it does sound like the H.F.D. needs some serious re-training in their High Rise SOP's. You could have had 300 firefighters on that scene and it wouldn't have made a difference in the outcome because the proper and basic fire ground rules were not followed.

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    Default Different City, Similar Incident

    The attached is from the St. Thomas Times-Journal in St. Thomas Ontario Canada. An inquest is presently being held into the deaths of a Fire Captain and a building resident during a fire in Jan 2001.


    " In other testimony Thursday, the positive and negative impacts that helped influence or helped sustain the fire damage were revealed.
    John OíHalloran, who co-ordinated the Ontario Fire Marshalís Office investigation presented his findings.
    In terms of negative impacts, OíHalloran reiterated much of what has already been revealed throughout the inquest.
    - Firefighters were not properly informed of a confirmed fire on the third floor. There has been varying testimony as to whether Redman was aware of where the fire was.
    - Firefighters rode the elevator with a civilian, instead of taking the stairs. St. Thomas Fire Department guidelines state that an elevator should be taken to two floors below the fire and then stairs be used. And if the fire is on the third floor or lower, stairs should always be used.
    - At least one firefighter was not wearing proper equipment. Redman did not have proper breathing equipment on and two firefighter helmets and a pair of gloves were retrieved from the elevator after the fire.
    - The number of responding personnel was not sufficient. Only seven firefighters initially responded to the call and after quickly realizing they would need help, Redman immediately requested a full call-back.
    - There was a lack of vehicle access to one side of the building. Fire trucks were not able to reach the far end of the building, impeding rescue efforts of those residents.
    On the positive side, the high level of automatic fire detection at 200 Chestnut, including early detection and sounding of fire alarms, and the quick alerting of the fire department, were noted. OíHalloran also said the solid wood doors on the units helped prevent the spread of fire."

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    The Mayor and Fire Chief validated the staffing issue when they MANDATED four per apparatus the day of Jay's funeral!

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    Default It ain't easy!

    Wow - when things go wrong in this profession it causes an awful lot of 'hurt'! It ain't easy! It is beyond doubt that procedures failed at this fire but - it ain't easy!! Arriving first-in on a fire like this; three man crew; person reported trapped in the fire apartment; confusion caused by fire's observed location (not the first time and won't be the last - it was a big building); wind shifts at vital time causing a blow-torch effect....damn! It ain't easy!! I have experienced ALL these variables at high-rise fires but NEVER together at the same incident! These poor people had a whole bunch of stuff to contend with.

    With hindsight we can all sit back and see where the approach could have (SHOULD HAVE)been actioned according to procedure. Manning levels? Procedures? Air bottles? TICs? Staging? But when events occur such as they did - it ain't easy!!

    Three things stick out here -

    1. It took FIVE MINUTES to despatch the first response to the scene from TOC (Time of first call for help) - THAT'S TERRIBLE!!! That's a manning problem surely?

    2. Operational support and back-up to the fire floor was restricted due to confusion in fire location and poor communication coming from the fire floor itself.

    3. The blow-torch effect is something that has to be seen to be believed! It's something that can severely hinder procedure for a few minutes.

    There are MANY factors that will come out of this fire that we MUST ALL learn from if we have high-rise in our despatch area. This same fire could have occurred anywhere with the SAME outcome! Preventing it happening again? It ain't easy!! 'What if' ALL procedures were followed by the book and no confusion had been allowed to develop? That wind-shift might STILL have caused loss of life.

    This job ain't easy.........

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