1. #51
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    Sorry Station2, but I'm not the one trying to obfuscate to protect my position. My position is the one supported by the reports. Are they all wrong?

    Dalmation 90, walk a mile in the shoes of the man before you speak for him.

    Who am I speaking for other than myself?

    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.

    Take a look at this http://www.mortlake.org/Mortlake/App..._Apparatus.htm

    Up first is our 1927 Packard. The box on the running board had a matching one on the other side. It's a Scott Airpack. Since we retired that truck in 1953, we've been wearing airpacks up here at a little rural fire company in Connecticut for over fifty years.

    Why twenty years later people still had a hard time wearing them, well, I can't speak for that.

    They fought fire by skeeting water in windows. Those were accepted ways of doing business with the equipment of the day.

    That was acceptable 30 years ago, in the 1970s? Reference the airpack above. Or a nearby department that had OBAs. Kinda wish I had online a photo of Chief Ennis, who retired in 1965, directing the airpack guys advancing the line into a house fire.

    Was even at the local fire school yesterday. Four story burn tower and 2.5 story burn house had a corner-stone dates of 1956. You don't need that stuff if you stay outside. You need that stuff if you're training to go inside and get to fire.

    Sorry to bust any myths, but squirting water in windows was not standard or acceptable practice 30, 40, 50, or more years ago.

    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.

    Yep, no doubt about it gear is much better (if unfortunately bulkier) than ever before.

    Of course, we've had axes for ever and K-12s since, what the early 1960s? What were we venting for if not to push to the fire?

    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.

    Ok, at some point in the fire service we have to recognize when things are "new."

    It is true we have a higher fire load today than in the past from plastics -- which started becoming common after WWII. That was a change for 1960s firefighters, not todays. Whoops, am I doing it again, busting myths? Our building are higher fuel load than pre-WWII. Not pre-1980s.

    A similiar one that people keep saying is a "new" development is energy efficient windows. When was the first energy crisis? 1973. It was a new issue for 1970s firefighters, not those of the 21st century. (Hey, did I bust another myth?)

    This is all relevant to the points you try and avoid in your attempts to prop up your positions.
    What am I trying to avoid? My position isn't the untenable, unsupported one.

    As for relevancy, they ain't 'cause they're myths.
    30 years ago, hell 50 years ago, going inside in SCBA was accepted practice.
    30 years ago we didn't wear the same quality gear -- maybe at a cost of higher minor injuries?
    30 years ago we did vent -- so those guys in canvas & hip boots could push in on the fire.
    30 years ago we had lots of plastics in houses -- certainly any room you bought all new furnishing for in 1970 would have the fuel load of plastics equal, if not more, than today.


    Back then accountability, the IMS, etc. were unheard of in structural fire fighting.
    Accountability was unheard of?
    IMS was unheard of? All incidents are managed. There's a Chief, there's a Deputy, down to Lieutenants. Hell, since the 1950s up in this corner of podunk Connecticut we've had Chiefs, Officers, and Apparatus all using common radio frequencies and unit designations so you knew who and how to talk to each other.

    Today they are common if not mandatory in most departments with some being law.
    Isn't it sad someone had to mandate that fire departments had to have a command structure 'cause so many had screwed up.

    We won't get into U.S. accountability systems. They account for bodies, not lives.

    Back then most departments had more companies with more men on them to get the job done.
    In the early 1970s?

    I have a handful of Fire Engineering and Fire Chief magazines from 1967. Did a quick check today -- they were talking of four-man engines back then, not 5 or 6. Maybe back in the days before three and four platoons fire companies typically ran the higher staffing, but it's not been common since the 1950s at the latest.

    Interestingly aside, they also bemoan the lack of manpower (career & volunteer), while talking about things like Hazardous Materials, medical care, and foam. Not much different than today.

    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.
    Bad quicker than wood frame cities that would burn to the ground? We used to see that on a regular basis. Fewer companies, fewer men thanks to less fires, better buildings yielding smaller fires, expanding cities spreading out their forces thinner, expansion in platoons.

    Bad quicker if you over-commit yourselves?

    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.

    More with less, or more with the same?

    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.

    That's the way it should be.

    But obviously it didn't happen in Captain Jahnke's incident. Firefighters who made it to the fire floor were not wearing PPE. SCBA were not filled. Equipment like TICs weren't used. Better equipment like 60 minute bottles weren't used. Four guys out of fifty made it to the fifth floor fire. Is that being ready to rock and roll?

    Manpower was not the problem. If you had eight guys make it to the fire floor, and they all ran out of air in eight minutes 'cause they had underfilled cylinders, we might be counting more bodies now.

    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.

    Hopefully you also train to think about the situation. Rushing into
    a highrise is not the same as rushing into an occupied single family structure.

    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.

    Then you better get better job descriptions. Putting yourselves under heavily involved trusses when there it is reasonable to believe neither life nor property is in danger is simply unacceptable.

    A McDonalds, closed, at 2am has very low life safety. With any heavy fire, the property damage is complete -- the health department will condem the facilities and stock, the insurance will total the building no matter how much is "saved," and any intangible business records are backed up to corporate each day.

    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.


    Ok, so we got 7 guys, one being an IC.

    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.

    Well, bit confused. Fire showing from a roof vent might be grease. Fire showing around a roof vent indicates you have fire taken hold in the roof. Between pre-plans and training you should expect these buildings to have unprotected truss roofs. Any fire in the roof is going to be an event.

    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.

    Ok, so if these fires are usually handled with an extinguisher and a fan, how did firefighters end up dying? I'd assume you send in a crew with an extinguisher, they pull the ceiling, say OH SHCNIKES, and retreat.

    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".

    Proven lucky, not sound. There's a big difference.

    Commercial truss roofs, heavy fire kills. Hackensack was big when I joined the fire service 17 years ago. We've known it for a long time. Francis Brannigan keeps writing articles on dangerous buildings and stupid decisions all the way back to WWII sixty years ago.

    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.

    What does your ladder driver do at a McDonalds fire? Standby on the turntable in case someone shows up on the second floor window?

    It is inconcievable to me how you can do this.
    What is the driver doing?

    What is the engine crew doing? Are they stretching a line, I don't know why they would if the IC thought it was a small fire that an extinguisher could take care of.

    What, for that matter, what would change if you were first due to the McD's from a single-engine house. I'm sure we'd all love to run out of stations with two 5 man engines and a six man truck. The reality is most career stations are single engine houses. You think 7 guys is a manpower problem, what happens when you only have four and a engine, or even from the Engine/Truck houses -- what happens when the engine's working one call and the truck arrives alone with three. You have to make good decisions based on your resources on hand, not what you should have in theory.

    Your story isn't adding up. If it was a fire you typically handle with an extinguisher, how could those first 7 guys not handle it?


    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?

    Fires, a fair number. Less than many, more than most. SFDs, MFDs, commercial buildings, agricultural buildings, buildings from a 12x12 shed that kicked our butts to a 600x50 that we stopped in it's tracks. Been to fires that have gone south, been to fires that everything clicked. Been to calls that amazed, been to calls that my New Yorker got chucked across the street in frustration.

    Been around enough to see how to run an incident, what works, what doesn't. Been around enough to see screws ups that we were our fault, that were other companies faults, that were simply unanticipated.

    Command? None, for the entire incident. Initial command & apparatus placement several times until relieved by an officer, relatively often.

    Last structure fire, two weeks ago, afterwards I was getting kudos from a retired Chief and newbies saying they wanted to see me get bunked up since they couldn't figure out how I got geared up (drove a support truck to the scene behind our attack piece), got in an airpack, and got the nob on the attack line and had it in the door so fast. My answer was "practice." The better answer was practice in the skills, and the experience to size up the situation while getting bunked up. Sometimes it's clear what needs to be done. Other times I've had to stop, clear my mind while taking a breath, and then key a mic with orders before leaving the driver's seat of the truck.

    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.

    This may sound cocky or trite, but I come from a computer gaming generation. It may sound weird, but when I'm in the dark, I'm fighting the fire like I play Doom. Remember which way I was going, listen to what's happening.

    I mentioned floor plans not to know them in advance, but because they're easy to remember when you're doing it. I can think of many, many more complicated places to crawl through than a restaurant (although the tables can be a bitch).

    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.

    No, it's not -- because I have the skills, training, experience, and ability to follow my way in. I've also had the experience of getting disoriented, and having to sit down, slow my breath, and start listening to the scene around me and make a plan to work my way back out. It's incredibly scary to find yourself in that position, I and I felt myself feeling very lucky afterwards and very appreciative of the advice of an old Chief who had years earlier taught me what to do when you get seperated and disoriented.

    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.

    Bull****. I will not dishonor those by not learning from what happened. If those reports are one-sided, where's your reports? Or are they just union press releases focusing on a single, minor issue?

    Sorry, I'm not venemous or rancid. But what I'm passionate about is not letting younger firefighters get fed a line that manning was the cause of this.

    We have to adjust our manning to what we have. We have to have our equipment ready. We have to follow standard procedures.

    Would more manning help make most operations more efficient? Yes. But we have to recognize limits. Some situations dictate a rapid attack to keep the situation from getting worse. Some situations you're already at, "This is bad..." and you have assemble the forces to attack bad before you make a difference.

    Then we can be in the strong position, if not one glorious and press worthy, of explaining how a bad fire got worse waiting for us to assemble to resources we needed to attack it without undue risk. And then hand the press the supporting materials of your efforts to get more manpower and let them crucify the Mayor & Council.

    We're not and should not be in the business of trading lives for lives.

    Matt
    Last edited by Dalmatian90; 11-03-2002 at 09:53 PM.

  2. #52
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    Bull****. I will not dishonor those by not learning from what happened.
    Maybe the best statement of the whole debate...
    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
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
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    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
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  3. #53
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    Station TWO
    xxxxThey fought fire by skeeting water in windows.
    Like the way the Four Leaf Towers fire was fought.
    xxxx Today the fire service has the best PPE ever developed, boots that are becoming better by the day, glove technology that improves every week,
    And your FD still doesn’t wear it all.
    xxxxSCBA that tell you everything about you and the environment your in, etc.
    And when not full don’t last long, and when you don’t take the right bottle you die, ala four leaf towers.
    xxxxToday we push to the seat of the fire to contain and extinguish it while other crews are ventilating and searching for occupants.
    You actually trust your own crews in HFD after reading the FLT report? Dang 50% didn’t even
    complete their assignments! Or tell command they wouldn’t either. Command never bothered to support the request of the attack crew, it was an absolute free for all anything goes! Only 1 hour 40 minutes to spray water on a fire that is not too bad for Union Professionals.
    xxxxToday they are common if not mandatory in most departments with some being law.
    Oh really, explain the accountability system in effect at McDonalds and at FLT fires. You don’t have an accountability system at HFD do you?
    xxxx 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.
    So what happened at FLT fire? Guys without gear, approved by their captions on the fire floor seen by chiefs and safety officers. Just a great big party their right????
    xxxxxNo 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.
    Not exactly, your SOP say during sizeup to select a strategy, interior or exterior based upon safety. So, if you never responded to McDonalds would the damage have been any greater? NO! But two died to that end.
    xxxThen when something goes wrong people from places near and far start with their "expert" opinions.
    You only bring them in when in the eyes of your own elected officials and leaders are deemed as incompetent. McD and FLT are examples of those feels in your own government. Heck you all even forgot a guy in a house fire to find him an hour later.
    xxxxxthe fire ground was understaffed from a task oriented point of view.
    Yes only 27 guys onscene in 4 minutes. Must have been horrible. The almost whole world is happy with 7 on first alarm. Maybe you ought to consider becoming volunteers.
    XXXXThere 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.
    Like 27 guys to get out the thermal imager and see it was throughout the attic? DID YO KNOW NO FIRE DEPARTMENT IN THE US or the WORLD HAD MORE IMAGER THAN HOUSTON?? AND ON TWO LODD FIRES DIDN’T USETHEM ON ATTACK!!!!!!!!!!!!
    xxxThe initial IC (L76 Officer) decided that an offensive attack was in order given the conditions presenting upon his arrival.
    You mean the officer who wouldn’t use the imager. Yeah he put everyone’s tail at risk for what??
    XXXXXContrary to what you believe, there was no HEAVY FIRE from the building.
    No, not at all the roof just collapsed on its own crushing a firefighter, there were only 3 1 ¾ inch lines inside at the time, SOUNDS like a real small fire to me!
    xxxxxThere was a small amount of fire showing from around a roof vent with a heavy smoke condition from the building.
    And that was a truss space, no one looked in huh? All that time no one saw any fire, no one looked right?
    XXXXSmall insignificant grease and other type fires have presented like this time and time again requiring no more that a portable extinguisher and a fan.
    SO EXPLAIN THE THREE 1 ¾ INCH LINES IN USE PLEASE! Was the extinguisher missing on the rig?
    xxxxYou 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.
    So, one month later the same fire at McD occurred in the city and it was allowed to be exterior and no one complained. Why? Better sizeup.
    XXXXThen 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".
    Well if people don’t die no one cares how you fight the fire. You invite over site when you are dangerous about the way you do your jobs!
    XXXX Ladder Co. 76 had 1 fire fighter on the back to perform Truck Co. functions on the fireground. He was doing exterior forcible entry, etc.
    You are so full of it! There were three doors, two had the glass broken out, they were not forced. The door where the firefighter was trapped behind wasn’t opened for an hour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Forcing means pulling the lock on an aluminum channel door, one hour into the fire crews were ducking under the center rail because the dor wasn’t opened.
    xxxx He was doing lighting. Sorry 3 of the first four engines never turned on their flood lights nor did the first two ladders. So what was he really doing? At FTL the tower finally after 2 hours turned his on.
    Xxxx He was venting????
    Really tell us how you vent lightweight construction, with heavy truss involvement and not see the HVAC unit on the roof and not warn companies? Oh that is right he didn’t vent either.
    xxxxbecause his entry partner was outside as the IC.
    Gee only one guy on the rig….. did the driver fall off on the way there? Why did he need to enter???? The guys on the 4 man engine can’t pull the heavy styrofoam ceiling panels at 8 feet?
    XXXXXHad 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
    Then who would have vented? Forced entry? Put the lights up that never happened? Strung blowers?
    xxxand they needed help.
    Would you like to go down to the coroners office with me tomorrow and ask him if he lied about the firefighter being crushed by the HVAC??? Nothing anyone could do about that, however, that door the ladder did not force would have made all the difference in the world, she would have gotten out by her self. You guys believe your Union political officers and are thinking poor you and dogging it at every fire. Go into any HFD station and listen to the bittching!~ Poor us poor us poor us.
    xxxHow many high rise, fast food business, MD and SFD fires have you been to?
    Enough to know that you guys suck!
    xxxxYou mention floor plans.
    Come on it was a 3000 square foot building!
    xxxxYour only kidding yourself.
    No one is buying it sport, 27 guys and you couldn’t command a fire, couldn’t open the doors, couldn’t spray water and killed two firefighters!!!
    xxxxYour 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.
    Actually, your effort to defend their actions is a slap in the face of the dead.

    Now onto four leaf towers
    xxxxx The Mayor and Fire Chief validated the staffing issue when they MANDATED four per apparatus the day of Jay's funeral!
    NFPA 1710 does not require four firefighters on a fire truck. Per NFPA 1710 their were 4.15 members per at FLT!!!!
    XXXX Arriving first-in on a fire like this; three man crew; person reported trapped in the fire
    So why would you go to the fire floor with only two of your guys if staffing is important???
    xxxconfusion caused by fire's observed location (not the first time and won't be the last - it was a big building);
    There was no confusion by L-28 or E-3 as to the fires location but both officers being their saw the fire could like anyone else count to five and see flames and heard dispatch say the fire was on floor 56 , 10 times before their arrival onscene.
    Only E-3 officer says he didn’t know the fire was on floor 5, even though the dispatch was heard, the face to face conversation was video taped where he was told and shown what floor to go to. So sounds like a cover up, especially when the members of his team all knew the fire was on FIVE.
    xxxxwind shifts at vital time causing a blow-torch effect
    The blow torch effect is an over blown theory. The injuries on both firefighters don’t support it either. And withdrawling to a sprinkled hallway makes it hard to get burnt. If this so called blow torch thing really happened why did apartment burn for another 2 hours???
    The increase in fire volume was clearly a function of not applying any water on the fire. You know shutting the lie off and running away, leaving the twi firefighters without support. Three firefighters all said the line was needed to keep the fire from coming over the rescue crews head. So you have to ask, then why did you shut it off without telling them?
    xxxx These poor people had a whole bunch of stuff to contend with.
    Here lets all take a test. QUESTION: If you don’t apply water on the fire it gets”
    a. Bigger
    b. Smaller
    c. Makes more smoke endangering occupants and gets bigger
    d. Kills the people in the apartment, gets bigger, endangers more people in the building and hurts firefighters.

    xxxxxxWith hindsight we can all sit back and see where the approach could have (SHOULD HAVE)been actioned acc

    xxxxOperational 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.
    Untrue Command knew what floor E-2 was asking for help he started and ended his transmission saying on floor 5. The poor communication was Commands one way communications with E-3 and Command said go to floor 5.


    xxxxThere 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.
    There is no learning occurring when the firefighters Union won’t standup and say our guys messed up and shift the blame to a staffing only argument.
    xxxx'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.
    Can you do positive pressure ventilation without a vent opening? NO you can’t have a blow torch effect with out an outlet for the wind.
    Last edited by Firewalker1; 11-04-2002 at 10:42 AM.

  4. #54
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    NIOSH recommendation #1 SOPs) are followed and refresher training is provided

    So what are they talking about? The SOPS say:

    First engine take all your guys with you not 66% like occurred in this event. Take spare bottle up, they didn’t. Where your protective clothing, didn’t happen either. There was no doubt they were going into a working fire, you could see it blocks away. Of course other rules state have full bottles, almost none of the crews did. Wear your gear, make sure your equipment is safe and useable the captain didn’t do that or insure his crew did. And never leave your own crew without checking out or notifying command.

    All companies, if you are housed with a medic or ambulance take them too, increasing staffing as a two piece company by 40%,

    First in ladder take your entire crew with you not like this fire 66%. Take your gear, don’t leave your imager and spare bottles like they did on this event.

    3rd in engine go where you are told not where you want to go, stay in contact with command if you are having trouble fulfilling your assignment. Take the 2nd in engines excess firefighters, which did happened in this event. Turn your radio to the SOP channel like you have to every fire you’ve fought for the last 20 plus years, didn’t happen this fire.

    The 4th engine and ladder by SOP are supposed to drop off spare bottles on the 3rd floor, they never did that. So from that point on everyone has to go 5 floors down and 5 floors up to change bottles.

    The 5th engine immediately proceed to the resource staging floor two floors below the fire with four firefighters, one spare SCBA and a spare bottle for all members. If you have an ambulance assigned to your station have them come up too, increasing staffing 30 to 40%. Of course, E-11 stayed with their rig, never setup a RIT team and a RIT was never ever created at this event. The spare air pack and bottles which would have been so handy never made it either. Think how fast the 5th floor guys short of air could have simply put the spare air pack on and returned to the fire floor, could have told RIT there are only two guys up there without hose line support. But of course, at that point of the fire per SOP there would have been at least 13 spare bottles on the resource floor.

    The 6th engine, oh who cares they didn’t do what they were assigned to do either.

    So was it a staffing issue when 50% of the first 6 engines didn’t bother to attempt or even complete their assignments and never made an effort to inform command? Is it a staffing problem when plenty of resources are onscene to complete the simple task of putting out an apartment fire in a fire resistive building when the company officers and IC don’t follow SOPs and accomplish setting up a resource sector was never established, that RIT never happened, the backup was never provided, that no feed back to or from command was ever occurred until long after it was too late.

    And speaking of command aren’t they supposed to insure the tasks are carried out? If task one isn’t completed or staffed you continue to assign and verify until the task is completed. Not the case in this event.

    Lack of a command presence and working with officers you cannot trust to complete their assignments and keep command informed is what went on at this fire.


    FACT: NIOSH recommendation number #2 says keep team continuity

    Firefighters throughout the incident come and go alone.

    Two collapse out of air,

    Another abandons his fellow firefighter, still another becomes confused and tells his partner that and is allowed to go the wrong way to die, without his partner getting on the radio and asking for help.

    E-3 loses half his crew, all of which have portable radios assigned to them.

    Is this a staffing issue when you have by choice 50% of the staffing on the first two companies not come to the fire floor? Can you say don’t freelance!!!


    NIOSH recommendation #3 Fire departments should ensure that personnel are in position to maintain an offensive attack.

    FACT: The fire was never attacked from the interior. It was allowed to free burn.

    FACT: There is no greater example of loss of control of the firefighters onscene than the fact that a full 1 hour and 17 minutes passed before any effort was made with almost 100 firefighters onscene to put water on the fire. Only after 189 firefighters were assembled was the fire attacked. One firefighter and a nozzle knocked the fire down in less than 5 minutes when allowed to do so! The method employed to attack the fire cold have occurred 2 hours and 25 minutes sooner with a quicker knockdown time.

    I wonder if that means if 13 guys are assigned to the fire floor and 5 are supposed to be standing by in RIT and 4 more are on the way from the 6th engine that is what 22 firefighters THAT IS DOES NOT MEAN to begin with 4 then drop to 2??? Yeah that must be it! And it does not mean start early, wing it and not keep command informed or withdrawl your attack due to insufficient resources.

    In addition in means, IC if they ask they have a need and it should be your highest priority to fulfill that need even if it means stopping all the lower priorities of the fire. It does not mean for the IC to broadcast in the blind and never ask for and receive a reply.

    NIOSH recommendation #4 Fire departments should ensure that a lifeline is in place to guide fire fighters to an emergency stairwell. 5, 6
    FACT: No back up crew ever arrives. No backup line is stretched. Why?

    E-3 talked face to face with Safety who told him/them that the fire was on the 5th floor five fingers up, and told him the room number twice. Wonder why the FD is getting sued? The apartment owner saw the communication and the crews disorganized. Saw the fire burn for over two and one half hours without knockdown.

    At no time after being sent to be the back up crew did E-3 make any effort to tell command his crew would be delayed.

    At no time did command get a reply from E-3

    At no time did command decide to send another crew to back E-2 L-28 after loss of contact with E-3

    After 10, 15, 20 or 25, 30 minutes on the fire ground with no communications with one of your companies E-3 do you think command should have asked for a head count? Sent in a RIT team for E-3??? Or can they hold their breath longer than most crews?

    E-3 arrives on the third floor and hoods to a standpipe connection and doesn’t see anyone else on the floor. So why aren’t they asking for backup, why aren’t they talking on the radio, sending a runner? Something to talk to command? They have not heard a thing on their radio.
    Is this a staffing issue that 1/3 of the first 3 companies don’t make the fire floor to begin attack?
    Recommendation #5: Fire departments should instruct and train fire fighters on initiating emergency traffic (Mayday-Mayday) when they become lost, disoriented, or trapped. 2, 7
    FACT: Members continued to send useless information over the radio.
    Recommendation #6: Fire departments should ensure that a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) is established and in position. 1, 8
    E-11 sat in the cab of their truck for 7 minutes ignoring SOP which says they are the RIT and should be in the building 2 floors below the fire. E-11 had 11 minutes to get into position.
    FACT: A RIT team was never established.
    Recommendation #7: Fire departments should ensure that a backup line is manned and in position to protect exit routes. 5
    FACT: No backup line is stretched. Why?

    E-3 talked face to face with Safety who told him/them that the fire was on the 5th floor five fingers up, and told him the room number twice. Wonder why the FD is getting sued? The apartment owner saw the communication and the crews disorganized. Saw the fire burn for over two and one half hours without knockdown.

    At no time after being sent to be the back up crew did E-3 make any effort to tell command his crew would be delayed.

    At no time did command get a reply from E-3

    At no time did command decide to send another crew to back E-2 L-28 after loss of contact with E-3

    E-3 arrives on the third floor and hoods to a standpipe connection and doesn’t see anyone else on the floor. So why aren’t they asking for backup, why aren’t they talking on the radio, sending a runner? Something to talk to command? They have not heard a thing on their radio.

    Recommendation #8: Fire departments should ensure that adequate numbers of staff are available to immediately respond to emergency incidents. 9
    FACT: The staffing problems were resolved over one year ago, all engine and ladder companies in Houston run 4 members. One of the biggest misconceptions about NFPA 1710 is that it requires four-person staffing of every rig. In fact, NFPA 1710's definition of company in section 3.8.1 indicates that the engine-company complement may arrive on different pieces of apparatus as long as they are dispatched and arrive at the same time, continuously operate together and are managed by one company officer. For example, a two-person engine and two-person medic dispatched at the same time and arriving together would be in compliance.


    The Union spin goes on to say the report, “repudiates an earlier explanation released by the City.”

    FACT: The HFD report also calls for following NFPA 1710 with 4 per ladder and engine as does the State report.


    FACT: Contrary to the headline of the FireHouse.com article NIOSH did not single out staffing in the death of a Houston Fire Captain. In fact, it the 8th of 11 recommendations offered. The city report made 27 recommendations and the state 32. None is greater than any other.

    NIOSH said, “NFPA 1710 recommends that a minimum acceptable fire company staffing level should be four members responding on or arriving with each engine and each ladder company responding to any type of fire.”


    FACT: NFPA is a guideline, Houston Fire Department chooses to run substantially more engines and ladders on a high rise fire than 95% of the nation’s fire service and requires a 2nd alarm on any confirmed fire. Thus at least 9 engines, 6 ladders, a heavy rescue, 6 chiefs, two safety officers, an ambulance, a medic squad, a senior captain, a rehab unit, and an air supply vehicle staffed with a total of 79 members.


    FACT: HFD response to Four Leaf Towers “arriving with” was 4.25 per company. With company officers making a decision to in their stations not to respond with 4.77 per company. The second alarm “arriving with” with 5.14 members. Somehow NIOSH left that out of their report. The spirit of NFPA 1710 is exceeded. The actual response was in the top two of any fire department in the nation.


    NIOSH goes on to say: “And ensure that adequate numbers of staff are available to immediately respond to emergency incidents”

    FACT: There was no delay in the response.


    NIOSH states: “It also recommends that for companies responding in high-risk areas, a minimum of five or six members responding or arriving with each engine and each ladder company.”

    FACT: NFPA doesn’t nor does NIOSH define a high risk occupancy. Is a partially sprinkled high rise building a high risk occupancy? With only three cities in the U.S. staffing engines and ladders with 5 or 6 members and over 80% staffing at 3 or it appears Houston is at the same level as the rest of the fire service.


    FACT: What the UNION leadership is not willing to tell you is the last contract they willingly signed and their membership ratified with the city puts an absolute limit on the staffing on engine and ladders companies of 4 members. The UNION did not walk away from the contract. They signed it. In addition, the union President has been quoted in the press over 300 times asking for ONLY four per rig. The city provided exactly what he asked for.


    NIOSH goes on to say about staffing: “Suboptimal staffing of arriving units MAY have delayed such an attack, thus allowing the fire progress to more dangerous conditions for fire fighters and civilians.”

    It clearly say MAY HAVE delayed the attack. That is non-sense because the attack started without delay, if anything crews not making their assigned areas of responsibility and following SOPs requiring 60 minute air packs ABSOLUTELY resulted in the abandonment of the attack. In no way was the attack delayed.

    NIOSH goes on to say: “Rapid and aggressive interior attack of structure fires, as close as possible to the point of origin, can reduce human and property losses. Suboptimal staffing of arriving units may have delayed such an attack, thus allowing the fire progress to more dangerous conditions for fire fighters and civilians.”

    FACT: There is no greater example of loss of control of the firefighters onscene than the fact that a full 2 hours and 31 minutes passed before any effort was made with almost 100 firefighters onscene to put water on the fire. Only after 189 firefighters were assembled was the fire attacked. One firefighter and a nozzle knocked the fire down in less than 5 minutes when allowed to do so! The method employed to attack the fire cold have occurred 2 hours and 25 minutes sooner with a quicker knockdown time.

    FACT: The first three responding companies had 13 firefighters available to make the fire floor and attack the fire, only four went to their assigned positions. That was a choice made by the company officers not to take bring what was needed by SOP to do the job. You can’t blame lack of staffing for excess companies.


    FACT: The company officer is free to tell the ambulance crew or crews in his station to respond even when they are not on the dispatch. It is common practice throughout the city. Many ambulances from the stations respond with their engine and ladder crews even when not on the box the only rule prohibiting the response is when the department is in resource management which it was not in effect at the time of this fire.


    FACT: At least 56 firefighters were oscene and only two were on the fire floor. That is not a staffing problem it is a failure of the IC to manage his companies, a failure of 50% of the engines company captains not to make any real attempt to reach their objectives, it is about individual firefighters not caring enough to take their jobs seriously and follow the rules. Show us two fire departments out of the 27,000 in the U.S. with that many firefighters onscene who can’t keep more than two firefighters on the fire floor on a simple apartment fire. Most departments in the country run two 3 man engines and no ladder company probably would have put this fire out.


    FACT: With a confirmed fire in a 41 story occupied building at 5 in the morning with numerous confirmations broadcast over the radio to all stations and responding companies shouldn’t the ambulance crews who are housed in the responding ladders and engine stations who are all trained firefighters have to get out of bed and earned their pay?

    FACT: So what does the ambulances responding mean in real terms at this fire? 18 additional firefighters on initial attack and even more on the 2nd alarm. The first in Engine could have brought four extra certified and equipped firefighters with it. The first in ladder four. And the assigned RIT engine could have had 3 additional. The fourth engine 2 more and the first in 2nd alarm engine who was responsible for expanding the resource sector on floor three had 5 extra guys at its disposal.

    All that was required was for the company officer to think and act!

    Recommendation #9: Fire departments should ensure that the Incident Commander (IC) continuously evaluates the present weather conditions (i.e., high winds) during igh-rise fire operations.
    Fact: All command officers were inside the building. Please note for the so called blow up to have occurred there is no damage to the painted walls in the hall of the fire floor.

    Recommendation #10: Fire departments should establish and enforce standard operating procedures on the use of thermal imaging cameras for search-and-rescue operations.
    FACT: Thermal imaging cameras were assigned to all ladder trucks. Thermal imaging cameras with transmitters were assigned to rescue trucks, hazmat units, and the command van. No one bothered to carry them up until it was too late.

    Recommendation #11: The authority having jurisdiction shall ensure that the receipt and processing of alarms is completed in a timely manner.
    FACT: It was terrible and there is no excuse.

    THINGS NIOSH FORGET TO SAY
    Close the door when you are retreating.
    Fill your air pack to NIOSH standards not 3000 but 4500!
    Don’t leave your radio and light behind so you can’t call for help.
    When your buddy says he is confused, help him don’t leave him..
    Finding a downed firefighter when his exact position is known in 24 minutes in not acceptable.

    If you can’t carry out your assignment in a timely manner let command know.

    Communications in the blind is not communications

    If you don’t have sufficient forces don’t attack.

    If you don’t have a back up line, don’t attack

    If 50% of your crew bails, stop the attack.

    You need to apply water in less than 1 hours and 17 minutes on the fire.

    EMS workers should try to take less than 27 minutes to get to a trauma center in a major city.


    Air packs running out of air in 5 minutes means they could not possibly have been full.

    Engine 3 captain and L-28 captain felt sure other firefighters would find him “he was only 10 feet away” and left him, even though they were not low of air.

    The survivor had two small burns the deceased had hand and forearm burns so what is all this talk about blow torch effect and what possible difference did it make in anything?

    If you pull up on a 41 story high rise giving it 15 footers out 3 windows at 5 am consider asking for more than a 2nd.

    COMMAND NEVER TRIED TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE DOWNED FIREFIGHTER.

    Stay together as a team,

    Proper utilization of personnel is as important as proper staffing according the State report

    All firefighters should notify the command staff they are retreating or running out of air.

    Over 100 radio transmissions not related to locating the downed firefighter were made during the may day period.

    Accountability calls every 34 minutes accomplishes nothing.

    Command should have a presence and maintain and require updates

    Consider wearing your department supplied protective clothing when on the fire floor.


    Engineers not assigned to pumping or aerial operations should go with their crew.

    In essence a majority of this fire was a total free lance unencumbered by SOPs.
    The Union is being disingenuous.


    Here are some irrefutable facts the UNION is leaving out:

    The Union spin in the Firehouse.com article written by International Association of Fire Fighters says, “The report points the finger directly at the city’s unresolved staffing problems”

    FACT: The staffing problems were resolved over one year ago, all engine and ladder companies in Houston run 4 members. One of the biggest misconceptions about NFPA 1710 is that it requires four-person staffing of every rig. In fact, NFPA 1710's definition of company in section 3.8.1 indicates that the engine-company complement may arrive on different pieces of apparatus as long as they are dispatched and arrive at the same time, continuously operate together and are managed by one company officer. For example, a two-person engine and two-person medic dispatched at the same time and arriving together would be in compliance.


    The Union spin goes on to say the report, “repudiates an earlier explanation released by the City.”

    FACT: The HFD report also calls for following NFPA 1710 with 4 per ladder and engine as does the State report.


    FACT: Contrary to the headline of the FireHouse.com article NIOSH did not single out staffing in the death of a Houston Fire Captain. In fact, it the 8th of 11 recommendations offered. The city report made 27 recommendations and the state 32. None is greater than any other.

    NIOSH said, “NFPA 1710 recommends that a minimum acceptable fire company staffing level should be four members responding on or arriving with each engine and each ladder company responding to any type of fire.”


    FACT: NFPA is a guideline, Houston Fire Department chooses to run substantially more engines and ladders on a high rise fire than 95% of the nation’s fire service and requires a 2nd alarm on any confirmed fire. Thus at least 9 engines, 6 ladders, a heavy rescue, 6 chiefs, two safety officers, an ambulance, a medic squad, a senior captain, a rehab unit, and an air supply vehicle staffed with a total of 79 members.


    FACT: HFD response to Four Leaf Towers “arriving with” was 4.25 per company. With company officers making a decision to in their stations not to respond with 4.77 per company. The second alarm “arriving with” with 5.14 members. Somehow NIOSH left that out of their report. The spirit of NFPA 1710 is exceeded. The actual response was in the top two of any fire department in the nation.


    NIOSH goes on to say: “And ensure that adequate numbers of staff are available to immediately respond to emergency incidents”

    FACT: There was no delay in the response.


    NIOSH states: “It also recommends that for companies responding in high-risk areas, a minimum of five or six members responding or arriving with each engine and each ladder company.”

    FACT: NFPA doesn’t nor does NIOSH define a high risk occupancy. Is a partially sprinkled high rise building a high risk occupancy? With only three cities in the U.S. staffing engines and ladders with 5 or 6 members and over 80% staffing at 3 or it appears Houston is at the same level as the rest of the fire service.


    FACT: What the UNION leadership is not willing to tell you is the last contract they willingly signed and their membership ratified with the city puts an absolute limit on the staffing on engine and ladders companies of 4 members. The UNION did not walk away from the contract. They signed it. In addition, the union President has been quoted in the press over 300 times asking for ONLY four per rig. The city provided exactly what he asked for.


    NIOSH goes on to say about staffing: “Suboptimal staffing of arriving units MAY have delayed such an attack, thus allowing the fire progress to more dangerous conditions for fire fighters and civilians.”

    It clearly say MAY HAVE delayed the attack. That is non-sense because the attack started without delay, if anything crews not making their assigned areas of responsibility and following SOPs requiring 60 minute air packs ABSOLUTELY resulted in the abandonment of the attack. In no way was the attack delayed.


    The Union spins on firehouse.com says: “that the NIOSH report vindicates the claims of fire officers who have been demoted…for failing to back the City’s fatuous claims.

    FACT: NO one was demoted.


    The Union spin goes on to report, “that the earlier HFD internal investigation and report on the tower fire put the blame squarely on individual fire fighters, including Jahnke.”

    FACT: The NIOSH report, HFD report and Texas State Fire Marshal report all clearly list at least 10 items pointing the blame on individual firefighters. The fire department report made 27 recommendations.


    FACT: The first three responding companies had 13 firefighters available to make the fire floor and attack the fire, only four went to their assigned positions. That was a choice made by the company officers not to take bring what was needed by SOP to do the job. You can’t blame lack of staffing for excess companies.


    FACT: The RIT engine was onscene with 11 minutes to spare and never bothered to go to their assigned position and stayed on ground level. That is dereliction of duty not a staffing issue.


    FACT the 3rd engine and 2nd ladder did not as SOP states setup the resource floor with spare bottles requiring companies to descend and then ascend 5 floors for air versus two...


    FACT: Command did not insure companies were in place, filling assigned roles or keeping up with crew progress or lack of progress. They lost control of the incident and were late reacting not proactive.


    FACT: When fire floor companies asked for reinforcements Command did not see to it they ever got support, dooming the attack. That is a lack of utilization of staffing not a lack of staffing issue.


    FACT: Crews did not have full air bottles, did not take wear their assigned 60 minute bottles and failed to carry spare bottles aloft as clearly stated in department SOPS. That is not staffing related.


    FACT: NIOSH report was wrong stating: “the back-up crew was sent to the wrong floor” Video evidence of the face to face communication with E-3 Captain and Safety 2 proves otherwise. And it does not excuse the crew from being on the wrong radio channel and not staying in contact with command and not telling command they are not fulfilling their assignment.


    FACT: The company officer is free to tell the ambulance crew or crews in his station to respond even when they are not on the dispatch. It is common practice throughout the city. Many ambulances from the stations respond with their engine and ladder crews even when not on the box the only rule prohibiting the response is when the department is in resource management which it was not in effect at the time of this fire.


    FACT: At least 56 firefighters were oscene and only two were on the fire floor. That is not a staffing problem it is a failure of the IC to manage his companies, a failure of 50% of the engines company captains not to make any real attempt to reach their objectives, it is about individual firefighters not caring enough to take their jobs seriously and follow the rules. Show us two fire departments out of the 27,000 in the U.S. with that many firefighters onscene who can’t keep more than two firefighters on the fire floor on a simple apartment fire. Most departments in the country run two 3 man engines and no ladder company probably would have put this fire out.


    FACT: The fire was never attacked from the interior. It was allowed to free burn.


    FACT: No discipline was ever handed out to any offending firefighters, officers or chiefs


    FACT: With a confirmed fire in a 41 story occupied building at 5 in the morning with numerous confirmations broadcast over the radio to all stations and responding companies shouldn’t the ambulance crews who are housed in the responding ladders and engine stations who are all trained firefighters have to get out of bed and earned their pay?

    FACT: So what does the ambulances responding mean in real terms at this fire? 18 additional firefighters on initial attack and even more on the 2nd alarm. The first in Engine could have brought four extra certified and equipped firefighters with it. The first in ladder four. And the assigned RIT engine could have had 3 additional. The fourth engine 2 more and the first in 2nd alarm engine who was responsible for expanding the resource sector on floor three had 5 extra guys at its disposal.

    All that was required was for the company officer to think and act!


    FACT: HFD SOP says clearly there are only two requirements for officers at a high rise fire.

    The first is “MUST keep their companies intact.” It goes on to say, “Fragmented companies create an accountability problem that will paralyze the entire operation.” The first accountability check was not performed until 45 minutes into the incident. That is exactly the problem at Four Leaf Towers and was envisioned by the members who wrote the SOPS.

    Second: “officer must tell the IC when the assignment is complete.” “If the officer cannot complete an assignment he must tell IC why.” These types of communications never happened until it was too late for the attack force.


    NIOSH goes on to say: “Rapid and aggressive interior attack of structure fires, as close as possible to the point of origin, can reduce human and property losses. Suboptimal staffing of arriving units may have delayed such an attack, thus allowing the fire progress to more dangerous conditions for fire fighters and civilians.”

    Fact: COMMAND NEVER TRIED TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE DOWNED FIREFIGHTER making the May Day..

    FACT: There is no greater example of loss of control of the firefighters onscene than the fact that a full 1 hour and 17 minutes passed before any effort was made with almost 100 firefighters onscene to put water on the fire. Only after 189 firefighters were assembled was the fire attacked. One firefighter and a nozzle knocked the fire down in less than 5 minutes when allowed to do so! The method employed to attack the fire could have occurred 2 hours and 25 minutes sooner with a quicker knockdown time.


    Finally, the Union leadership is condoning these unsafe violation of SOP day in and day out trying to spin the story to say it was totally staffing related. The Union needs to stand up and say yeah we made major mistakes and we will work with the Fire Chief to make sure these training, operations and personnel issues are resolved. Further the Union should expect its membership to be written up, reprimanded, disciplined and even discharged for the overall good of the Houston Fire Department if they fail to comply to written orders.

    It is high time for the Mayor to take the gloves off and empower the chief to clean house of anyone who will not follow the rules and regulations and stop this tragic trend of three fatal fires in four years.

    If everyone freelances and will not follow department SOPS and command won’t verify that assignments are being completed, who cares how many firefighters are onscene not focused on the strategic plan? That is known as freelancing. If the members can’t follow the rules and are not trainable they should be removed from the organization.

  5. #55
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    Firewalker 1, your so knowledgable and in the "Know", give me your background, history in the fire service, current assignment and number of years you have been doing your current assignment. I know your gonna say "What does that matter." But humor me and post your expansive resume before you go on with your long winded, machine gun style, speak and don't listen style of debate.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

  6. #56
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    Thumbs down Firewalker 1

    Firewalker 1

    My bet is that Firewalker 1 will not identify himself or
    his background. But, If you are afraid of what you are saying
    you probably would not want anyone to know who you are.

    NOT AFRAID
    David Crawford
    Captain
    Houston Fire Dept.
    Station 20 D

  7. #57
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    Dalmation 90,

    Mortlake and SCBA: Great, I'm glad you had them back then.

    K-12's: First used by FDNY Rescue Co. 02 on trials. Not widely used, fire service wide, until the '70's at the VERY earliest.

    IMS: Don't confuse a rank structure with an Incident Management System.

    Wood Cities that would burn to the ground: That were not filled with every variety of plastics in every form.

    McDonalds: Presented like a BS fire. I am not advocating the belief that every fire is the same for I know better then that. I am saying many fires before had presented itself like that. Spin it to someone else who you can confuse.

    Your turn.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

  8. #58
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    HFDCAPTAIN20, Your probably right. His "expansive knowledge" of fireground activities is probably limited. Probably from a support division. But he can tell everyone on the apparatus how to do it better. And I can only think of 1 "Sr. Dispatcher" who can be this much in the loop. You probably know who I am thinking of.
    Last edited by STATION2; 11-04-2002 at 11:54 AM.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

  9. #59
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    Station 2, I'm in the command staff. this is my 28th year. YOu know my rank. I have clearly dispelled all of your arguments with facts. Ihave video evidence to support all my claims.

    How much experience does one need to assemble 179 firefighters waiting 1 hour 17 minutes before applying water to a high rise fire and and stick a nozzle through a window and knock it down? Come on Station 2 you've been asked a dozen direct questions and there is no way you can defend your posts with facts.

    Tell us about the entire crew on top the engine watching it burn through the roof at McDonalds yelling at every one to get out. Tell me abot four guys on a ladder turntable watching the fireburn. If 7 guys before the evacuation are just watching how big a staffing problem didyo really have. Why is it at FLT at any given time half the firefighters were in the lobby and not at their assigned positions? What is the backup company doing watching the fire with the RIT team outside the building?

    You still want to defend these guys actions eh?

    NIOSH stated, “the fifth Engine Company dispatched on the first alarm arrived on the scene as the initial Mayday was called by the victim. The Engine Company’s response to the scene had been delayed due to the heavy rain.”

    FACT: That is simply not true. E-11 the fifth in engine assigned by SOP to RIT. Arrived just a few minutes after Ladder-28, they stayed with their apparatus for 7 minutes, they never attempted to establish rapid intervention 2 floors below the fire. They were on scene 11 minutes before the mayday and had a full 11 minutes to get to their position and never bothered. Command didn’t bother to ask if E-11 was at their assigned location. If Command won’t verify crews are in position doing their assigned tasks one has to ask what was Command doing?


    NIOSH stated, “At 0459 hours, District Chief 6 (DC 6) arrived on the scene and assumed lobby sector. The Engine 28 Captain (former lobby Sector) informed DC 6 that Engine 2, Engine 3, and Ladder 28 were on the fire floor.”

    FACT: E-28 Captain was not tracking E-3’s movements, E-3 had never told him or anyone else they were on the fire floor. E-3 never arrived on the fire floor to do there job in fact the Captain of E-3 lost half his crew. Engine 28’s Captains assumption presented as fact mis-informed command that all the players were where they were supposed to be. Command never verified by radio that his backup engine was in place.


    NIOSH reports, “At 0501 hours, the victim advised command that they were on the fire floor (fifth), had laid a hoseline, and would lay another.”

    FACT: Obviously the attack crew knew backup line was essential to proper highrise firefighting but never carried through with what they told Command they were going to do. In addition, they never told Command they did not complete that task. E-2 knowing a backup was essential should not have begun fire attack until the line was laid and staffed.


    The back up crew E-3 according to the NIOSH report, “The Engine 3 crew located and assisted a civilian to the elevator and down to the lobby.”

    FACT: Engine 3 had an assignment and chose not to fulfill it and did not let Command or the attack crews know. Citizens below the fire floor are not in any danger and certainly were not at this time. E-3’s freelancing insured failure of the search and fire attack plan. Engine 3 violated SOPs riding elevators as well.
    Last edited by Firewalker1; 11-04-2002 at 11:56 AM.

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    One sided arguments from information that was only seen by the priveleged few. If it is so "damning" then allow all to see it. I am speaking of your videotape footage with time stamping and audio tapes before they were coreographed to your side of the story. Throw it all out there and let everyone hear and see it. Oh, thats already been done hasn't it? Its called a NIOSH report and they list staffing as an issue now don't they? As for the Command Staff it is made up of the Fire Chief, Assistant Chiefs, Civilian Equivilants to the Assistant Chiefs rank and thats about it. I just went through the Divisions on the HFD web site and their are no Sr. Dispatchers listed as Division Heads. Which division are you in charge of? Oh, and I caught the change to your profile eliminating your rank. Have a good day.
    Last edited by STATION2; 11-04-2002 at 12:07 PM.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    You know the proof in the pudding here is the same after both fires, the department has a very tough time getting anyone to work with two particular
    Captains. Then they gave him a Purple Heart. You know the Captain who wasn’t short of air who with another Captain E-3 decided to simply walk away from a firefighter by their own words “just 10 feet away” of course E-2 Captain died. Neither Captain bothered to tell Command on the radio he was down. I wonder why no one wants to be on their crews. Has anyone asked how the Jahnke
    family feels about this guy? Or guys, they will tell you would you like her number?

    Of course no one wants to ride with the McDonalds captain either.

    OK, I’ll say it COWARDICE, yeah that is the word left out here. What happened to you go I go? To quote E-3 and L-28 Captains, “another crew will find them.” Sure did 25 minutes later. Oh well, not there fault he can’t hold his breath that long.


    Station 2

    xxxxOne sided arguments from information that was only seen by the priveleged few.

    TV news footage, is available to all.

    XXXX If it is so "damning" then allow all to see it.

    Ok let me figure out how to post the audi and video on here or provide a web link. YOu are sure you want the whole fire service to see how silly you are at work?

    xxxxI am speaking of your videotape footage with time stamping and audio tapes before they were coreographed to your side of the story.

    Hmm, three written reports all agree it is accurate, the sad thing is hearing the building occupants on tape say HFD doesn't know what they are doing.

    XXXThrow it all out there and let everyone hear and see it.

    Before the day is over I will.

    If you were any kind of firefighter Station 2 and your other HFD cronies you would be able to defend the actions takn that day, but the state of things on the street is so poor there is no defense. Nice boys club though!!!!

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    Your asking me if I want the whole world to see it? You have come on here and totally blasted the fire fighters on the rigs doing the job, the job itself and the people who have been lost doing the job and you ask me if I want it posted on here? You answered your own questions the other day when you came on here. At this point it can't get any worse. Well, my cronies & I just believe in doing our jobs and doing them to the best of our ability. If the "things on the street are so poor", ask yourself why? I mean really do some soul searching and ask yourself why it is? Again, I bid you farewell and have a great day.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Firewalker - using the PPV analogy demonstrates you cannot possibly, in any way or form, comprehend what a high-rise 'blow-torch' efect is like! SFMO LODD Investigation # 02-50-10 Page 12 -

    Upon making entry to Unit 52 moderate smoke was observed initially, rapidly changing to heavy smoke and zero visibility within seconds. This may coincide with the failure of the windows in the master bedroom. Firefighters reported that the level of heat seemed to intensify right at the doorway of Unit 52. Firefighters reported the heat level significantly decreased by distance on either side of the
    opening.

    This intensification in heat may be due in part to the Venturi Effect. The gusty north winds entering the large opening created by the broken north and west windows would tend to accelerate as the air currents passed through the significantly smaller door opening into the corridor. The rate of wind acceleration is inversely proportional when comparing the speed of the wind passing through the large open windows to the speed of the wind passing through the small doorway opening. For example: Under laboratory conditions, a 30 mph wind passing through a 60 square foot opening into a confined area would tend to accelerate to 90 mph when passing through a 20 square foot opening at the other end of the confined area (30/60 à 90/20.) As the air moving through the doorway of Unit 52 into the corridor increased in velocity, the air at the doorway would decrease in pressure, causing even more heat, smoke, and fire gases to be pulled from
    the interior of the condominium and expelled into the corridor.

    I have seen firefighters become extremely disorientated under such conditions - to the extent where they have lost their partners - and exited of their own will and accord. Until YOU have been in that situation then the term 'cowardice' is inappropriate and so are your opinions of what occurred on the fire floor.

    The SFM report suggests video footage of pressurised smoke exiting at gradient level - what can push smoke and heat DOWN in a high-rise fire in such a way? What can cause heat to MELT hardened plastic two floors below a fire floor?

    With mutiple reports of firefighters becoming trapped on the fire floor where a fire is escalating out of control and not being fought, with pressurised smoke reportedly moving DOWNWARDS in the building - what is an IC to do? Regroup his forces? Thats what he appeared to do. I am not defending - I was not at the incident but I emphasise again, such conditions are likely to create havoc and totally de-stabilise the SOP.

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    What I find unbelievable is the RIT team was never established. When they were interviewed their reply was, “it was raining”. The news videos showed firefighters going up into the building that was on fire, with nothing in their hands (9 firefighters in one picture). If I remember correctly one of the big arguments to staffing was there were not enough firefighters to carry equipment. When this was first posted our Houston firefighters were more concerned about who was saying what rather than the information being factual. Now the responses from the Houston firefighters are few if any. Last Saturday the Valor committee made a hero out of the L-28 Captain who left the other captain behind. What a joke! There is still no response to the question “ Who would leave any firefighter who was described as being confused and excited? Houston has been very lucky only losing three firefighters in two years. I believe unless things change it is a matter of time before another firefighter is lost. I would be willing to bet the IAF will blame staffing. I am an IAF member and I am willing to accept my wrong and prevent it from happening again thats what professionals do. LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES! Why can't the IAF do the same.

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    Have to agree, have no choice but to agree with SPFD on Dal's quote.Hands down the best words spoken yet.

    I really hope nobody here thinks that manpower was the only and most important factor involved here. It was one, and might've been a crucial one.The very same can be said for operations and training.

    Dal I don't think that anybody had a problem with what you were saying-just so much as you're up there in CT.Those guys are obviously down south a 'bit. The point being that you are not one of them.I suspect that if I had lost some mates the very last thing that I would want to hear is statements about that very same incident coming from somebody hundreds of miles away-right or wrong.For what it's worth I agree with a majority of what you said. Being passionate is ok too-unfortunately geography and time seperates you from the actual incident. One cannot make a truly accurate assessment based on a , written two-dimensional report. The facts,maybe- percieved by individuals who weren't there and/or formed opinions on the testimony of others who were there. I will not put my faith into reports. Call me stupid, call me loopy diaper. Irregardless we still all have the responsibility to learn and improve. It not only benefits us as firefighters, but those we are sworn to protect.

    Firewalker1. If you aren't Larry Stevens you have got to be somewhere on the Stevens tree.. I am guessing somewhere down towards the bottom-like, in the dirt.Don't even try the"I am the root system-holding the rest of you pathetic firefighters up" parry either. Plenty of trees rot from the roots... SOP warrior. Got 'em in the fire service, got 'em in the military.The spirit and tradition of the fire service lends itself to all that we do. I will tell you that given the choice between SOP's and the knob I am going for the knob every time. SOP's are and should be apart of every department-and we should all follow them as closely as we can. There will come a time and a situation where the answer isn't gonna be in the book. That's where tradition, spirit- what makes us do what we do-kicks in.The military has got to be one of the most SOP, rule and reg heavy institutions I have worked for. Most of their SOP's are written in blood, after the fact. Even in peacetime, in training, just doing what they do-lives are lost. Is it acceptable?No.It is the price we pay.Mistakes happen- sometimes operator error, sometimes equipment malfunction, sometimes a GOD event.Another SOP is written if some unlucky soul dies in a way not covered by existing SOP. There isnt enough paper, pal. People die doing what we do. Is there room for improvement?Hell yes, until nobody loses thier life we can improve.Should we learn from every event? Hell yes, until our noggins' explode.

    This job is gonna kill firefighters until we no longer rely on air to breathe, until we can't be crushed, until our flesh does not burn....Course, guess we could just remove ourselves from that environment couldn't we? Then we'd be less like firefighters and more like Firewalker's!


    Stay Safe folks!
    Last edited by RSchmidt; 11-04-2002 at 02:22 PM.
    Rob

    "Well done is better than well said" - B. Franklin

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    Thump thump thump, the sound of Station 2 running away from the truth

    Station 2 and other HFD posters….

    One common tactic when you can’t support your position or claims is to attack the poster. Well, knock yourself out. Everyone else can read right through it. You’ll note, I post the citation of the report supported by video, interviews of the members and radio traffic log times. And you support your claims by saying you know the guys, or were there, or he’s a good guy.

    Who needs video time stamped. NIOSH says E-11 did not arrive until after the mayday which was a 5:09. E-11 says on radio they are on scene at 4:59. The next radio communication is Command asking them to get out of their truck and come to the lobby at 5:07. Gee who is RIT, those guys sitting in the cab of their truck afraid to get wet in the rain. The only excuse they had was it was raining we were delayed in our response.

    So support there actions

    How about E-3 rescuing a dog instead of providing back up to the attack as ordered.

    Support that …

    How about none of the crews taking spare bottles up.

    Supportthat

    Support not wearing gear

    Support not using 60 minute bottles.

    Support Command arguing with the request for back up

    Support Command not talking with the mayday firefighter

    Support why it took 25 minutes to find a guy who told you exactly where he was.

    Support why 189 firefighters cannot get water on the fire in less than 1 hour and 17 minutes.

    SUPPORT WALKING AWAY FROM A FIREFIGHTER LOW ON AIR WHEN YO AND YOUR BUDDY AREN’T LOW ON AIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THE WHOLE FIRE SERVICE, ALMOST 2000 READERS TO THIS POSTING SO FAR WANT TO HEAR YOUR LAME EXCUSES….

    COME ON….. THIS OUGHT TO BE GOOD!

    We all need a laugh give us a few more!

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    Thump, thump, thump... thats not me running away ace. Thats the door hitting you when you left suppression. You never told me, what division are you in? What capacity do you serve in on the Command Staff? TELL US. Your profile onece said Sr. Dipscther with 20 years of service. No you tell me and others here that you have 28 years, are a member of the Command Staff and you change your profile. Were you lying then or lying now? That is important because it builds or damages credibility.

    As for facts, your time stamps and time frames don't hold water. You have some things that say one time and somethings that say another. You forget one thing that never helps HFD times. Its a MAST (Or a poor mans MDT). That there will account for time discrepancies because the button is pushed and the mic not keyed for a minute, or vice versa. Is it right no. Does it happen yes. As for everything else...your on a rant. Your never concede to any points I or others put on here because your the almighty and all knowing. You tell us how it was and how it will be, but fail to build credibility before doing so. You rattle on about issues that need to be addressed in house and not in the public forum. You have used words like coward, you have said we "suck", you have mentioned that large groups of people should be fired, that we don't know our jobs, and the list goes on. If you have the overwhelming desire to prevent this from happening again, then use that drive for good. Not for libalous attacks here and against those that were there and know different. Take a Captains test and come out to the real world and be the one who has to make decisions and get it done right the first time. It is easy to hide behind a desk and tell everyone what they did was wrong and what they didn't do at all. Come on. Actually do what the patch on your shirt says WE DO. I say we speaking of the 3000+ of us that do. Not you and your cronies who know everything from sources unknown. Your the man, or say you say. Lets get together at the academy. Show me you can do what you say needs to be done. Lets set up a fire simulation and you be the IC. Then I'll go and we'll see who messes up more. Might make you feel not so perfect. Bottom line where mistakes made at FLT? Yes. Are there areas for improvement? Yes. Is it right for you to attack officers, fire fighters and whole companies here, in public? Absolutely not. There are ways to convey lessons learned to the outside world without dragging the integrity of the whole department down. Have you no shame? I know the answer to that. You probably came up in EMS, drove an Engine Co. for a little while, then took the Dispatchers test and stayed there. That gives you the right to slam the efforts of the very men and women who served side by side with you in your past. I say past, because your not with them anymore. There still doing the job and getting ridden by people like you in their glass toweres for mistakes they make. As soon as people downtown are perfect, then you can hold us all to that standard. Have a good day.
    Last edited by STATION2; 11-04-2002 at 01:12 PM.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Thumbs down

    Originally posted by Firewalker1

    We all need a laugh give us a few more!
    No. What I really need is to learn. Pathetic. Are you sure you're in the right forum?
    Rob

    "Well done is better than well said" - B. Franklin

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    Thumbs down Come out and play firewalker1

    In response to Firewalker1, it is obvious that the only thing you know about firewalking is in your sign on name.

    Point 1 Fire coming from a 5th floor high-rise and you and the command staff blame the firefighters for not changing out to one-hour air bottle? You must have been one hell of a fire fighter. “Hold on people I have to get something before saving you” The question should be why doesn’t HFD have 1-hour air-packs ready to go? Oh I know “Money”

    Point 2 Thermal Imaging Cameras
    I do not know why the Sr. Capt did not immediately bring his thermal Imager with him but how about this novel idea….. Give all apparatus’s Thermal Imagers? Oh I know “MONEY”

    Let’s talk about crews and accountability- you are a fool if you think you can do a better job or even the same job with 3 firefighters verses four firefighters every “Professional” knows this it, is a given” to argue this point just shows your lack of knowledge or just plain ignorance.

    Again another idea that this administration is still fighting and holding against the men and women of the Houston Fire Dept is the fourth man. Oh I know why “MONEY”

    Our accountability system is stone-age - every Captain count you men – report to sector officer who reports this to operations who reports this to Incident command. Oh yea this is a quick and easy operation. That’s right and incident command is ONE PERSON!!!
    Again “MONEY”

    The only thing that has changed in HFD since Capt Jahnke’s death is the fourth man and that cost us Capt. Jahnke, all the other problems are still there. The Administration in Houston is aware of all of these problems stated here but you know what? ---- They are not responsible – The men and women of HFD are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All those we read this should have come to the same conclusion the life of a Houston Firefigher is CHEAP the cost is - Thermal imagers for every apparatus, one hour air packs ready to go (on their own harness), and a decent accountability system and Chief Aids to monitor it. But we all know the answer “MONEY”

    And last but not least

    If you are man enough to make accusations of cowardice, are you brave enough to identify yourself?

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    Dal I don't think that anybody had a problem with what you were saying-just so much as you're up there in CT.

    Thanks Schmidt, and I agree. It may seem insensitive, but we have to balance sympathy with reason. Calling something black when it is white, will not make it black no many how times you say it. We may meet in the middle sometimes and decide something's really a shade of gray.


    K-12's: First used by FDNY Rescue Co. 02 on trials. Not widely used, fire service wide, until the '70's at the VERY earliest.

    I'll try and scan in the ads I have from 1967 for them. Sorry to blow out any myths, and the real point is we vented fires back then. You don't vent fires unless you're planning to work them from the inside, blowing out the myth of no aggressive interior attacks before thirty years ago.
    Besides, before small two cycle chainsaw engines became common, we always had an axe.

    IMS: Don't confuse a rank structure with an Incident Management System.
    Rank structure, by definition, is an incident managment system. I give you orders, you follow. Terms may vary, but the ideas like span of control and specialization are there. Maybe you called the ranking officer the Officer-in-Charge instead of Incident Commander (note, one indicates your responsible for your men & equipment and the actions they take, the other makes you think your a God who can control the incident by waving your vest around.). We had specialization -- I don't think there's a rural area that creates effective water supply without designating a Water Supply Officer. We had functional divisions -- Attack, Water Supply, Salvage & Overhaul. We had span of control -- no need for Lieutenants and Captains if you only had a Chief spewing orders.

    ICS, then IMS, came about in efforts to reinforce the basics and maybe make some improvements on the side.


    McDonalds: Presented like a BS fire. I am not advocating the belief that every fire is the same for I know better then that. I am saying many fires before had presented itself like that. Spin it to someone else who you can confuse.

    Uh oh, I just went myth-busting again.

    Station 2, I quote you, "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."

    And that's what I based by response on. Silly me, today I actually went to check the NIOSH Report,
    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/face200013.html

    Medic 73 was first to arrive on the scene, followed by Engine 76 (Captain, Fire Apparatus Operator (FAO), and two fire fighters (Victim #1 and Victim #2). Upon arrival, dispatch was notified by the two companies that there was visible fire emitting through the roof. The Captain on Engine 76 radioed dispatch reporting that he and his crew were going to complete a "fast attack" (enter the structure with a 1¾-inch hoseline and knock down the fire with the water from their engine). Approximately 2 minutes later, Ladder 76 (Captain, FAO, and one fire fighter) arrived on the scene and the Captain assumed Incident Command (IC).

    Let's see, so the Ladder & Engine didn't arrive together according to the reports, the Engine officer made the call on the fast attack, and 6' flames need a significant amount fuel -- whether it's grease or a lot of heat off-gassing the trusses. Grease fires we fight with dry chem extinguishers, so I think most of us can make an educated guess what the Captain thought was burning when he stretched an 1.75".

    0438 Medic 73 reports 6' flames venting from roof
    0439 (approx.) Engine 76 arrives
    0440 (approx.) Ladder 76 arrives
    (Remember you could have nearly 2 minutes go by like the report states and still have times looking only a minute apart)
    FAO & FF from Ladder 76 go to force entry (hey look, they did use the driver!), find the engine crew had already broken out a glass panel to do so.
    Soon after, the Captain from Engine 76 entered the building and stated that it was filled with thick, black smoke which had banked down to the floor. He also stated that there was very little heat and no visible fire.

    Sure this is a fire without heavy fire. Sure it is. Let people read the reports and figure out who is spinning and confusing here, Station2.

    I respect your opinions Larry (Station2), but they're just not jiving with multiple official reports.

    Matt

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    Captain 20
    You are way out of your league.
    First : refer to your own internal Bulletin dated November 1999 about Thermal Imagers.

    Second: Houston received a grant for $ 750 000. to purchase an accountability system. Check the council agenda its on there this week. I might add the test was skewed to make one particular system look better that the other, so Houston is buying obsolete equipment to begin with. No surprise there. That can be your next excuse for not doing your job.

    Third : The city is spending $ 120,00 a day in overtime to put 4 on a rig. The first thing out of every ones mouth is we want 5 & 6 now. So yes money is a problem. There is only so many tax dollars. The fire chief has no say over that. As firefighters we do with what we have to do it with. Ask volunteers how many show up at their scene. Who ever shows up they are properly utilized. Doesn’t it state that somewhere in NFPA about proper utilization of personnel on the fire ground.

    Fourth: Lets talk about crew accountability. The back up crew with 4 firefighters never completes their assignment, according to the report, the captain cannot account for his crew after the first bottle change. More disturbing was the I.C. was never notified of this. Could you have lost more firefighters? YES! And who would have known?

    Fifth: If the problems are still there why are you not doing anything to help change? You are an officer and just as responsible. Why is it the administrations fault? You are the one on the line. How much training do you do with your crew? HONESTLY? And how many fall a sleep while your giving a class. I will ask you:
    Do you allow your firefighters to exit the rig with nothing in there hand?
    When you ride the ladder, do you take the thermal imager in to a structure fire?
    Would you leave a behind a firefighter who you describe as confused and excited?

    The Four Leaf fire should have been the greatest rescue effort by a fire department, but as stated many times a lot of things went wrong which took a great firefighters life.

    Ask yourself what can I do to keep this from happening to my crew?

    You are way out of you league. Next time arm yourself before replying

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    Gee Schmidt, the whistle blowers, truth tellers are always unpopular but remember this whole thread is about the International Union saying NISOH singled out staffing as the cause of the firefighters death. That is simply untrue, NIOSH didn’t single out squat!

    But as you can clearly see, NIOSH made 11 recommendations and a few errors and left out a few things. The city report made 27 recommendations and the State 32. Like the state report said improper utilization of staffing is as bad as insufficient staffing. Who made up the state report a whole mess of fire officers from around the state. Apparently, people in Texas like what they and the city write because since the reports publish date both have been asked to critically review other LODD deaths in the state.

    HFD members didn’t learn a thing from McD’s except the montra, staffing killed them. HFD members haven’t learned a thing after FLT either except to chant staffing killed Jay.

    The lessons are simple, we have cowards among us! In our midst. We have a selection of incompetent company officers and district chiefs. We have a lot of unsafe members. We have officers who will not follow rules.




    xxxxYour asking me if I want the whole world to see it?
    You suggested it so I’m simply complying with your request, thanks for the great idea.
    xxxxYou have come on here and totally blasted the fire fighters on the rigs doing the job,
    Not really I simply posted citations from three written reports that are accepted as fact, and where there was an obvious error pointed it out with supporting data. If telling the truth, posting a report is blasting, I’m sorry. I posted the facts with references.
    xxxxthe job itself and the people who have been lost doing the job and you ask me if I want it posted on here?
    You suggested posting it! You are right all the facts need to come out for all the world to see. It should make you real popular at the fire station.
    xxxx At this point it can't get any worse.
    Sure it can, right now everyone has their own visual picture of what happened it will be replaced with the raw truth.
    xxxxWell, my cronies & I just believe in doing our jobs and doing them to the best of our ability.
    Which isn’t too awfully professional. Three fires and four deaths and four very near misses. Seems like a habit is forming. And everyone is pointing to Staffing and anything else ion Monday morning quarterbacking.
    XXXX If the "things on the street are so poor", ask yourself why?
    You have cowards in charge of some crews, you have members who won’t follow the rules from wearing gear to using a radio. Etc. You have people at work doing their 7 days a month and not focusing on the job and most are focused on retirement.
    How else do you explain firefighters falling asleep while driving a fire truck code 3 to a call totaling the rig? EMS units with a severely injured stabbing patient in the back stopping for donuts on the way to the hospital? Medics stopping their unit on the highway and beating the tar out of each other requiring an EMS response? EMS units turning down transport on a baby for mosquito bites who dies from them in hours? !0 minute dispatch times to structure fires. Posting racist information on department computers? Firefighters creating anthrax calls. EMS units not transporting injured children in severe pain who die within hours? Deaf guys assigned to dispatch sending ambulances 16 blocks the wrong direction? Firefighters abandoning their fellow firefighters. Captains afraid to go inside with their crews. Captains at fires not letting command know 15 minutes after an evacuation that he can’t find his crew. Chiefs arguing with officers asking for help. Crews that won’t get out of the truck because it is raining at a working fire with crews trapped. A company forgetting to bring their thermal imager out of the building. Company officers forgetting one of the members of his own crew in a fire.
    You’ve got excellent Union leadership, they walked away from the table on a 16% raise. Haven’t got you a raise in 4 years will be at least 5 now. And won’t even post the name of a firefighter who died in the line of duty just four years ago on the firefighter memorial statue BECAUSE HE WAS A VOLUNTEER!
    You get the kind of Union leadership you deserve and elect and it seems as ragged as your fire ground operations.
    xxxxxThats the door hitting you when you left suppression.
    Ge I never left, I bet I’ve made more fires than you this year and certainly 20 times more than your entire career, but that is just me spewing more facts.

    XXXXAs for facts, your time stamps and time frames don't hold water.
    Tell you what, ask a specific question to what doesn’t hold water and I will get you the exact data to support any claim I’ve made. Fair enough?
    xxxYour never concede to any points I or others put on here because your the almighty and all knowing.
    And what points have you conceded?
    XXXXXYou tell us how it was and how it will be, but fail to build credibility before doing so.
    I see unless the reported is a firefighter with more experience than you they don’t have credibility??
    XXXYou rattle on about issues that need to be addressed in house and not in the public forum.
    Sorry son, you are a member of the Union your union went public, I’m simply refuting their false charges.
    xxxx You have used words like coward, you have said we "suck", you have mentioned that large groups of people If you have the overwhelming desire to prevent this from happening again,
    Oh I see, no consequences for your actions what a concept, no that is how we go this far.
    xxxxNot for libalous attacks here and against those that were there and know different.
    Well put up, name one thing I said is not correct and make me prove it.
    XXXX Take a Captains test and come out to the real world and be the one who has to make decisions and get it done right the first time.
    Dang that was 13 years ago. I thought you noted I was a rank higher than that.
    xxxxActually do what the patch on your shirt says WE DO. I say we speaking of the 3000+ of us that do.
    Coming from a guy who just said if you aren’t on the floor your words don’t count.
    xxxxYour the man, or say you say. Lets get together at the academy. Show me you can do what you say needs to be done. Lets set up a fire simulation and you be the IC. Then I'll go and we'll see who messes up more.
    So that will brings these guys and gal back then???
    XXXXIs it right for you to attack officers, fire fighters and whole companies here, in public? Absolutely not.
    But it is OK for your Union to do it without any response to the truth?
    xxxxThere are ways to convey lessons learned to the outside world without dragging the integrity of the whole department down.
    Yeah I noticed your Union simply lies! Let’s all lie, will feel better about the gallant deaths of our firefighters. God meant it to happen so who are we to question anything? Let the coward Captains continue their careers and hope they don’t knock off a few more.
    If you are really into FD history, what Captain has had two LODD fires where he has lost members of his crew?
    XXXXHave you no shame?
    Can’t say I do, not until some of these jerks are let go and the Union and the Union membership say they won’t support these continued transgressions of their membership.
    Hey Larry, the Mayor hasn’t cut loose yet. What happens if you falsify a report??
    xxxxThere still doing the job and getting ridden by people like you in their glass toweres for mistakes they make.
    Yes we are all good people and just because this guy or that guy abandoned his fellow firefighters isn’t enough reason to get rid of them. They should be relocated, because the chance of being in that position again isn’t likely. Even though 2 of the last 3 LODD events involve the same reassigned company officer. And heck anyone can forget to wear his gear up to the fire floor, street clothes look better. And hey, everyone falls a sleep diving a ladder truck code 3 once in a while. And hey, so the crew didn’t like their assignment, why should they have to complete it? Everyone from time to time needs an excuse not to go up and work so taking that dog down was a great idea so a guy died, at least the dog that wasn’t in danger is in the lobby. And us modern fire fighters can’t be expected to wear those heavy 60 minute bottles they weight the same as the 30 minute jobs I fought fire in 10 years before you ever squirted water on a fire. Sure make your rules up as you go, work you 7 days a month and nothing will be expected of you!

    xxxxxPoint 1 Fire coming from a 5th floor high-rise and you and the command staff blame the firefighters for not changing out to one-hour air bottle? You must have been one hell of a fire fighter. “Hold on people I have to get something before saving you” The question should be why doesn’t HFD have 1-hour air-packs ready to go? Oh I know “Money”

    Nice post, here are the facts 50 engines, all have four extra air packs with 60 minute bottles. It is in the HIGHRISE compartment. That is where the HIGHRISE hose packs are stored. That is where you get your HIGH RISE gear. Only 16 of the20 some odd engines there had 60 minute air packs. Not money now is it?

    Every ladder, haz mat and rescue in the city has 60’s. Any company that wants more bottles or 60’s can simply fill out a form and get all they need. We currently own 1200 and have 1000 more coming. HFD’’S officers inability to follow the rules has resulted in all air packs being bottled with 60’s, the days of 30 are over.

    xxxxPoint 2 Thermal Imaging Cameras
    I do not know why the Sr. Capt did not immediately bring his thermal Imager with him but how about this novel idea….. Give all apparatus’s Thermal Imagers? Oh I know “MONEY”

    The city of Houston at the time of the fire had more Imagers than any other fire department in the WORLD! They are and were on all ladders, haz mat, rescues and command van. Here let me give you the quote from L-28 on why he didn’t bring his from the NIOSH, State and City report: “he forgot to bring it” His solution, send someone else down to do his job. You can verify all of this it is in all three reports.

    XXXXLet’s talk about crews and accountability- you are a fool if you think you can do a better job or even the same job with 3 firefighters verses four firefighters every “Professional” knows this it, is a given” to argue this point just shows your lack of knowledge or just plain ignorance.

    Well of course I can. Here is how you do it. One if there are three on your crew take all three! If you have a crew of three have all three dress out! The first two crews decided not to do that. Thus they reduced staffing by 33%. The next in rig had FOUR, but he lost half his crew, so he only had 50% to work with. E-11 had 4 he wouldn’t let the crew out of the rig to do their job thus a 100% reduction in crew strength.

    So let’s do the math. Four crews, two with 4 two with 3. The 3’s beat the 4’s. Of course this is based upon actual fire events not some book crap. Like the state report said, misuse of staffing is as bad or worse as lack of staffing.

    But heck, we’re all friends here, lets say you’ve got three on your rig and you get a dispatch for a high rise with confirmed fire. You are the Captain or Senior Captian just reach over to the EMS crew next to your bed and say get you lazy axes up and go. Now your 3 man crew is 5 or 6! Or you could just let them sleep like all the officers did in this case. There were plenty of guys just lousy utilization of them. 56 onscene, 74 who could have been there and only two on the fire floor. SFAFFING PROBLEM EH???

    xxxxin another idea that this administration is still fighting and holding against the men and women of the Houston Fire Dept is the fourth man. Oh I know why “MONEY”

    Sir, you must not be from around here! Every company in the city has been running four for 13 months! There is no NFPA requirement for 4 on an engine or ladder.

    xxxxOur accountability system is stone-age - every Captain count you men – report to sector officer who reports this to operations who reports this to Incident command. Oh yea this is a quick and easy operation. That’s right and incident command is ONE PERSON!!!

    Sorry sport you had three in command positions and three support staff at this call before the apartment door was opened. Your own L-38 officer mis-informed command about crew locations. Shame shame. I t is all in the all three reports.

    xxxxThe only thing that has changed in HFD since Capt Jahnke’s death is the fourth man and that cost us Capt. Jahnke, all the other problems are still there.

    So last week at the high rise job why did everyone wear 60’s? Why did the crews respond as per SOP to their areas and not freelance if nothing has changed??? You just lied!

    XxxxxxThe Administration in Houston is aware of all of these problems stated here but you know what? ---- They are not responsible – The men and women of HFD are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That’s right it is administrations job to make sure L-38 doesn’t lie to command. To make sure you carry your imager and not forget it. It is admins job to show yo the high rise compartment. To read you the SOPS, to dress you, to hand carry you to your assignments, to keep your crew together, to teach you to count to five by ones, to baby sit your every action.

    xxxxAll those we read this should have come to the same conclusion the life of a Houston Firefigher is CHEAP the cost is - Thermal imagers for every apparatus, one hour air packs ready to go (on their own harness), and a decent accountability system and Chief Aids to monitor it. But we all know the answer “MONEY”

    Imager for every rig? That won’t save lives, of the first 9 ladders only one imager was carried a lot! Ownership doesn’t insure use, you’all proved that!!!! Damn boy!

    60 minute pack per member, we own enough for every member to wear two at once, see ownership isn’t enough you have to put it on! How do you explain no one carrying a spare bottle in with them?

    Yeah admin those horrible guys had ordered the worlds best accountability system before the fire, your own firefighters safety committee suggested dog tags. Now they want the worst system on earth. There were plenty of bottles before the fire. And every rig will have imagers a lot of good that will do if no one remembers to bring it. Makes you wonder why we pay the big dollars to officers to not be able to remember.

    XXXXIf you are man enough to make accusations of cowardice, are you brave enough to identify yourself?

    You aren’t curious at all if there is any truth to that? What do you call it when you leave your PARTNER when you are not short of air and he is??? Who was Jay paired up with? What did his firefighter say to L-28 Captain before he left? “Approximately three minutes have elapsed since the windows were blown out. The E-2 firefighter closed his nozzle; handed it to the L-28 captain. He explained to this captain that he is running out of air and that he needs to get out. The E-2 firefighter twice asked this captain as follows: “You have got E-2 captain, right?” After an affirmative response from the L-28 captain, E-2 firefighter leaves the apartment. The L-28 firefighter volunteers to take the E-2 firefighter to the stairwell “ Amazing you guys wear 3 minute air packs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hey don’t take my word it is all in writing in three reports!! Dang you guys are horrible out there….

    Shame on you MATT, for pointing out the truth, what are your qualifications to read that report? How many reports have you read? Come down here and take the captains test, meet me at the academy and see if it reads differently! Dang Dalmation90, anyone can clearly see it is a UNION staffing issue which is totally different than not having enough guys to do the job!! See they don’t want to do the job, they want excuses and staffing is the excuse. The Union supported the wrong mayorial candidate for the third time.

  23. #73
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    Just for the rest of the world to know that is reading this. Not all of HFD is as messed up as it sounds....we do have a lot of great firemen in our department that are committed to there jobs and the people we serve.

    Like I stated before. There where a lot of problems on this fire. I was there and saw first hand. To say there wasn't would be a dishonor to Jay. I could only imagine some of the things he would have said to his men after the fire if he had lived.
    I got off the engine and this is what I had with me. A 60 minute bottle on my back. A spare 60 minute bottle on my shoulder. A halligan bar and a flat head axe. That’s what I had. Oh and a flash light strapped around me. So to say everyone at the fire was not prepared is wrong. But at the same time I did see a lot of firemen standing around doing nothing.
    I know what I am about to say is going to fuel the fire more but like I said I was there in the building and if you weren't then I really don't think you know what it was like, but where forgetting something and that is the date. Yes the date was only just a month after 9/11 and I tell you I saw a lot of firefighters that I know to be aggressive just standing outside. Where they afraid to go in, yes I think some might have been. So close after 9/11. I saw a captain on the inside. a guy that I would trust my life with freeze up on the inside stair well, because like he said "I can't get the towers out of my head" is he a bad guy NO is he a bad firefighter No I’m just saying it's one more piece to this messed up fire. Does it make it right, No. So much went wrong and ALL parties have to be honest. Does Houston have a staffing problem YES. Does Houston have problems with SOP YES. Does Houston have other problems YES. So I’m asking you what we should do about it. I'm not a captain or a chief. I'm just a firefighter you know the one that goes in there and does the grunt work. So could I just walk into the union and say, hey you guys are screwing up or could I get the chief and mayor to listen to my ideas hell No, because I don't have 30 years in and haven't taken any tests I must be a dumb ***** well maybe I am, maybe I don't have a clue and only because I have only fought 300+ fires and not the 1000's you all have seem to, but it's getting to the point now that no one in this department wants to look at the truth. Everyone on here has good and bad points...right and wrong views...So my question to all you HFD brothers out there is what do we do about it. Firewalker I would be more then happy to write a list of things I think we should do, but again I’m not a captain so who would even listen.
    Last edited by hfd838; 11-04-2002 at 03:24 PM.
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

  24. #74
    Junior Member

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    Default Last chance

    Again you do not identify yourself? Are you really an employee of HFD, or just some yahoo who wants to trash the men and women of the Houston Fire Department, because the half-truths and out right lies you have posted no longer deserve our attention!!
    STAND UP AND SIGN YOUR NEXT POSTING!!

  25. #75
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    xxxxsome yahoo who wants to trash the men and women of the Houston Fire Department, because the half-truths and out right lies you have posted no longer deserve our attention!!

    Well as before, please single out the outright lies. The half truths and I’ll be happy to support my data. As usual, you guys care more about who is saying things than what is being said. SO put up, you say there is a lie a half truth, identify it support your claims.

    I’vwe posted great deal to support everything I’ve said, and you have not!

    Note that Station 2 went down in flames on McD’s so you care too as well?

    SO PUT UP OR SHUT UP!!!!!!!!! There appears to be a ton of data supporting my posts!!!!

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