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  1. #1
    Forum Member OSUfirepro's Avatar
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    Question Houston FD and NIOSH

    I seen that the NIOSH report came out on the Houston Four Leaf Tower fire. The report stated that staffing problems were a major factor in the death of Capt. Jahnke. When the HFD released their own report it was stated that staffing was not a factor. I was wondering what if anything is going on down there now; or if this NIOSH report will have an effect of HFD?
    Shawn Clark
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    Tulsa Fire Dept. E-23 "C Platoon"
    I.A.F.F. Local 176
    Tulsa, OK


  2. #2
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    I'm pasting in a reply I sent to Fire-L on nearly the same subject.

    If you think staffing was the problem in Houston, you're not seeing the forest for the trees.

    "NIOSH Singles Out Staffing as Cause of Houston Fire Captain's Death"


    Huh?


    Did you read the link,
    >Read the NIOSH report..
    >http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/face200133.html
    before chosing that as the title?


    Staffing is eight positions down on their top nine list.


    Moreover, let's look at some of the points:


    What was the staffing at the time of the problem?
    0448 First Alarm,
    5 Engines, 3 Ladders (26 Officers & men combined); 3 District Chiefs, 2
    Safety Officers, 1 Ambulance
    0456 Second Alarm
    4 Engines, 3 Ladders, 1 Rescue (25 Officers & men combined); 3 District
    Chiefs, 1 Air Unit, 1 Rehab Unit


    So we have 6 Command Officers, 2 Safety Officers, and over 50 firefighters at
    this point...


    0454:
    Lobby sector informed the crew of Engine 3 that the fire was on the third
    floor. NOTE: From the exterior of the building, the fire reportedly
    appeared to be on the third floor. This conflicted with the initial reports
    given to Central Dispatch by the building residents, who reported that the
    fire was on the fifth floor.



    Hmmm, so we already have a confused situation...


    0501:
    victim advised command that they were on the fire floor (fifth), had laid a
    hoseline, and would lay another. Note: At approximately this time a weather
    front was passing through the region with wind speeds increasing and gusts
    exceeding 17 knots (19 mph). At 0502 hours, the victim radioed command
    asking for a second company. The IC replied that Engine 3 should be there
    backing him up.



    Things going bad to worse -- commanders are confused were their troops are
    and the fire weather is changing.


    0505:
    the Captain (Captain #1) from Ladder 28 and his fire fighter (Fire Fighter
    #2) reached the fifth floor and met with the victim and Fire Fighter #1.
    Fire Fighter #2 informed Captain #1 that he had forgotten the thermal
    imaging camera (TIC). Fire Fighter #2 went to the stairwell and asked the
    engineer/operator from Engine 2 to retrieve the TIC. Note: The Engine 2
    engineer/operator was unable to return to the fifth floor because he was
    not wearing any personal protective equipment or a self-contained breathing
    apparatus (SCBA). The engineer/operator had passed the TIC to another fire
    fighter on the second floor landing but the TIC did not make it to Captain
    #1. Fire Fighter #2 then returned and remained at the entrance to the fire
    apartment.



    Training note for all you training officers out there: Your crews should
    come off the trucks at drills prepared to work. Forgetting tools, not
    wearing PPE inside a fire building shouldn't be happening.


    0505 (about):
    While attempting to locate the seat of the fire, Fire Fighter #1 informed
    his Captain (the victim) that he was low on air and had to leave. Fire
    Fighter #1 passed the nozzle to Captain #1 and exited the apartment with
    Fire Fighter #2.



    0507 (about)

    Approximately 2 minutes later, the victim informed Captain #1 that they
    needed to leave because he was running low on air. The victim and Captain
    #1 followed the hoseline down the hallway toward the emergency stairwell
    (Photo 3). The victim told Captain #1 that they were going the wrong way.
    NOTE: The hose was laid throughout the common area near the elevators in
    large loops and was piled in the hallway (Diagram 2 and 3). Intense heat
    and zero visibility at the opposite end of the hallway from the fire
    apartment may have made it appear to the victim that they had gotten turned
    around and were heading back toward the apartment and not the emergency
    stairwell.


    Come in as a team, leave as a team. If your firefighter is low on air, you
    probably are too -- you've both been on bottles for the same length of time.

    It's 0507, 19 minutes after the first alarm and 11 minutes after the second
    alarm. 9 Engine companies, and we can't keep a single hose line operating
    on a fire on the fifth floor?


    0509
    Emergency, we need help on the fifth floor." Central Dispatch advised
    command that they had a call for help on the fifth floor. At 0510 hours,
    the victim radioed, "Engine 2, we're trapped on the fifth floor. Engine 2,
    help."



    0527
    IC reported that all fire fighters were accounted for except the Captain
    (the victim) on Engine 2. Crew members from Engine 60 and Rescue 11 made it
    to the fifth floor to search for the victim



    Note: E60 & R11 were both second alarm units


    At 0536 hours, rescue crews brought the victim down to the ground floor



    Failure to follow SOPs on high-rise operations
    leading to
    Failure to maintain teams
    leading to
    Failure to maintain an offensive hoseline
    combined with
    Change in wind direction
    were much more the cause of the Captain's death then "staffing"


    We can push on fire aggressively -- but part of being aggressive means not
    letting ourselves be caught with out pants down.


    The staffing criticisms in the NIOSH report are there -- basically NFPA
    1710 and using 4 man companies and 5/6 man companies in high-risk
    areas. No doubt 5 man engines can move big lines on fires quicker.


    But look at the totals, too. Houston responded with an average of 3-1/4
    men on the Engines/Ladders. We had 50 firefighters on scene when the
    Captain got into trouble. Does it matter that much if you have 10
    companies with 50 men or 16 companies with 50 men when the problem occurs
    20 minutes into the incident?


    There are much, much more important lessons to be learned from this NIOSH
    report than believing it, "singles out staffing." Train as if your life
    depends on it.


    Matt

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber CJMinick390's Avatar
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    I pretty much got the same impressions from the report when I read it as well. Seems like they had the people there, they just didn't seem to be in the right place.
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
    Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

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

  4. #4
    Forum Member OSUfirepro's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. We discussed this incident alot in a class I had last semester. I was just wondering if this NIOSH report will effect HFD staffing or procedures in the future. We have been kind of analizing HFD in this one class because the teacher was on the chiefs list down there.
    Shawn Clark
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    Tulsa Fire Dept. E-23 "C Platoon"
    I.A.F.F. Local 176
    Tulsa, OK

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    OSUfirepro, yes it already has affected HFD staffing levels. Only a few days after Capt. Jahnkes death, the city decided that 4 minimum was the way to go. They announced that all over the news on the day of his funeral. A total slap in the face of his family and his brother and sister fire fighters. We now ride 4 minimum, no excuse or anything allows the officers to deviate from that. They cover it with O/T to see that it stays that way. Other changes have come forth as well. We now have a revised high rise policy (The 3rd revision I believe) that is being reviewed and drilled by the companies on an almost daily basis. They are in the process of purchasing more portable radios, an electronic accountability system, etc.

    Dalmation 90, come down here and stand side by side with me in our forest and you tell me how many trees you see. I am appauled, outraged, a screaming mad that someone not even familiar with our department, our personnel, our apparatus, our SOP's or anything about our department would sit from afar and question what happened at that tragic incident and presume to know that staffing was not an issue. I knew Capt. Jahkne personnaly as did alot of men and women in our department. I also know the men that responded to that incident and what they are capable of in this line of work. The Rescue Co. that finally removed him from the building is led by a great officer and made up of excellent fire fighters who did what it took. All the companies there did an excellent job under trying conditions. Let me stick you there and see what what you would do different. Monday morning quarter backs are excellent at talking about what went wrong, but seldom can do it right themselves when it counts on the nozzle or above the fire floor. The IC of that incident has run hundreds, if not thousands, of fires and is great at what he does - MANAGING FIRES. Explain to me how manpower was not a factor. 3 + 3 still equals 6. Engine Co. 2 (1st in) and Ladder Co. 28 (2nd in) were both riding with 1 Officer, 1 Engineer and 1 Fire Fighter for a total of 3 per rig. Carrying all the highrise equipment up to the fire floor, forcing entry to the other 5th floor apartments, stretching the line, getting in the fire apartment, operating the line, conducting a primary search of ALL the other 5th floor apartments, etc. with a total of 4 personnel. You cannot, like our Fire Chief tried, explain away how 2 extra fire fighters on the fire floor wouldn't make a difference. That is 2 extra sets of hands to move the line, to conduct the search, to make sure everyone gets out when they have to, to allow a Captain to do his job and not be on the line because his crew is riding short. Those extra guys would have made a difference in finding the stairwell a few seconds faster or pushing in another foot and knocking the fire down. You say "Look at all the people that were there", who cares? If they are not together as you yourself preached, then it does no good. Send up all the fragmented and short companies you have, when they get to the fire floor they are still going to have to join forces to accomplish individual tasks. Then these combined crews are duplicating some equipment they have with them and forgetting other items between the crews, not even mentioning the SCBA levels from arriving seperate and not having the same amounts of air. ALl that and you still won't have crews as productive as you would if they were fully staffed and arriving together. Have you ever made a WORKING high rise fire? I have, a few of them, and they are not easy in any shape or form. Suppression, evacuation, logistics, communications, etc. are always hampered. From a company arriving on scene to making the fire floor is about 6-9 minutes and that is to the 5th floor. Keep in mind they had a report of people trapped up there when they rolled up. They went up there and did there job as best they could given them being shorthanded. My point is, don't judge the actions of a man and his personnel until you have been in his exact position and had to make the hard call. To do so with no personal knowledge of the department and its personnel is a further slap in the face. Staffing was not the only factor, but by far the largest factor.
    Last edited by STATION2; 10-31-2002 at 03:49 PM.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Explain to me how manpower was not a factor.

    Undoubtedly, manpower was a factor.

    But even a report from a union-friendly organization like NIOSH list it as number 8 of 9, and I'd strongly agree with that.

    Equipment selection & readiness was a factor. My understanding is that 60 minute SCBA bottles were available, but not used. Further, the 30 minute SCBA bottles worn were not full (at least 2 Firefighters left the fire floor with low-air alarms after six minutes on air). TICs were left behind on trucks. The Firefighter asked to retrieve the TIC was unable to return it in person due to lack of PPE.

    Fire & Weather conditions were a factor. Window broke, wind blew in, fire intensified.

    Communications were an issue. The backup team was sent to the wrong floor then had radio-communication problems getting redirected to the right location.

    With over 50 firefighters on the scene when Captain Jahnke got in trouble, but only two left on the fire floor and they having to abandon the attack line due to small, under-filled SCBA bottles I don't see how company staffing or overall department strength played a major role.

    There are tangible things we can easily control -- like SCBAs being filled. Even if Houston's policy at the time allowed them to go down to 3000psi, that was a bad policy that should've been changed.

    There are things we can train to control -- like bringing the appropriate tools or switching to the appropriate bottles.

    There are things we can only anticipate and react to -- like windows breaking and wind-driven fire conditions worsening.

    We, in the fire service, have to adjust our tactics at any given incident to the manpower we have available. While career, urban services often have an advantage in being able to consistently deliver manpower in a timely manner that doesn't always happen. Multiple incidents happen, weather happens.

    Even with four man companies, you could still find yourself short-handed and need to make sure the other things are in place and adjust as needed. Captain Jahnke's death may have become a rallying cry for more manpower, but let's not fool ourselves into thinking his death was caused by a lack of manpower. There were far too many other factors involved.

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    Engine Co. 2 is assigned a 1996 Spartan/Quality with provision for 4 spare 30 minute bottles. Those Engine Co.'s were not speced and did not carry 1 hour bottles at the time of the fire. (I know this because I helped spec 19 of them). Ladder Co. 28 was equipped with between 2 and 4 1 hour bottles (Depending on availability city wide). The availability of the other closest 1 hour bottles is on Cascade 2 which is not dispatched until a 2-11.

    Engine Co. 2 is not assigned a TIC. All Truck Co.'s, Rescue Co.'s, Haz Mat Co.'s, Safety Officers and select Engine Co.'s have them. Ladder Co. 28 does have one.

    Weather was a HUGE factor. Acted like a blowtorch pushing heat and smoke out of the apartment into common areas causing visibility to dramatically decrease.

    Communications is always an issue here. Poor, antiquated radio system overburdoned with too many radios and units on to few channels. The back up crew (Engine Co. 3) was misdirected not because of radio problems but by an officer who face to face directed them to the 3rd floor mistakingly.

    The attack line was not abandoned until the 2 remaining officers (Of Engine Co. 2 and Ladder Co. 28) pulled out of the fire apartment. When they pulled back the windows had already let go and the blowtorch effect was happening causing their withdrawal.

    SCBA levels, I don't think anyone knows what they went up with with any degree of certainty. Captain Jahnke ran a good ship and his crew, rig and tools were always ready to go. Period.

    Take the time to switch bottles. Personal decision. Gotta be there to know what presented and what the considerations were. Plus you gotta have the 1 hours to change into.

    Fire was already showing on arrival. I would have possibly thought they had no reason to believe a wind shift was coming. Our rigs don't carry weather stations to determine wind shifts nor do our chiefs cars and then we lack the personnel to monitor them if they did. Our Chiefs don't have assistants who ride with them and assist with the IMS.

    We can "what if" on the multiple incidents theory, but on this morning the normal box alarm was running. As for the weather that early morning, as I said before we are fire fighters not weather men.

    A rallying cry for manpower that has gone only partly answered. A city funded independent study of the department recognized staffing as an issue over a year before this fire and recommended the following:

    Engine Co.'s making over 4000 runs a year should have a second section Engine Co. in their quarters to relieve some of the call volume. That hasn't happened.

    Engine Co.'s with target hazards due to occupancy type, contruction, life hazard, etc. should run with 5. That hasn't happened either.

    Truck Co.'s with certain hazards due to occupancy type, construction, life hazard, etc. should run with 6. When I worked yesterday we ran with a total 4 so that has not happened yet either.

    The number of Rescue Co.'s needs to be increased. Still only 2 as of 06:30hrs this morning unless they put one in service last night when we were trying to sleep. And I emphasize trying.

    The study that was paid for by the city has been picked over and they have chosen to implement "pet" progects that wanted to do and overlooked others. One of the over looked ones was MANPOWER.

    As I said before, I agree that there were other factors. But manpower was the biggest one.

    I respect your opinion and your right to disagree, but understand mine. Its not your department and you don't know first hand. Until you do, please minimize your comments about a great mans death.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    When they pulled back the windows had already let go and the blowtorch effect was happening causing their withdrawal.

    From the NIOSH report:
    While attempting to locate the seat of the fire, Fire Fighter #1 informed his Captain (the victim) that he was low on air and had to leave. Fire Fighter #1 passed the nozzle to Captain #1 and exited the apartment with Fire Fighter #2. Approximately 2 minutes later, the victim informed Captain #1 that they needed to leave because he was running low on air.

    The City's report said Firefighter 1 had been on air approx. 6 minutes. So the Captain would've gotten about 8 minutes I'm taking an educated guess at. A full 30 minute bottle should get you 'bout 15 minutes of work before alarming.

    Its not your department and you don't know first hand. Until you do, please minimize your comments about a great mans death.

    No disrespect to Captain Jahnke.

    Manning was not the significant issue in his death according to the reports. We do everyone a dis-service with press releases and hyperbole that says it was when there are much more fundemental lessons to learn & reinforce in his memory.

    Matt

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    I don't know about anybody else here......but:

    A) I am sure as heck am going to be skeptical about any report. One cannot accurately detail all the specifics so as to pass on exactly what occured.

    B) If I have a fellow firefighter giving me information on his or her department I am sure as hell going respect what he has to say over the information presented by an outside agency. If I beg to differ, fine. I am not gonna wave a fricken report in that firefighters face and say" See this here? This says you're wrong."

    C) And as long as I am there- In reference to the news article posted on the home page: I am sure as heck not gonna believe anything spewing outta Larry Stevens mouth....."Every firefighter on scene screwed up big time" per Larry S.....nice , does he consult or insult?

    We can speculate all we want about what we think happened. The only ones who know for sure are down in Houston-still on the job, doing what they are supposed to. Seeing as that most every other department is hurting for manpower I don't think it a stretch to say that manpower had a role to play here. Can anybody definitavely say that 2 more firefighters wouldn't have made a difference?
    Last edited by RSchmidt; 11-01-2002 at 01:31 AM.
    Rob

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

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    Gang,

    Just to add my 2 cents on this issue

    Although staffing has been placed at the forefront of this unfortunante loss of a brother, it most curtainly is not the only contibuting factor!
    As with just about every fire ground LODD far more than one critical turn of events has led to the losses we suffer. As staffing is a critical factor and has been a factor in a number of LODD's on just about every internal and external review of these events, also pionted out has been
    *lack of command & control,
    *accountabilty
    *and what I believe to be the most critical, the lack of a properly timed, trained and staffed Rapid Intervention Team.

    As the years role by we as a fire service continue to focus on the suppression of fires, EMS and Haz-mat training far more than on providing quality firefighter survival and firefighter rescue skills. Incident Commanders continue to overlook or place as secondary and even ignore the need of Rapid Intervention or Firefighter rescue teams on every conceivable type of incident.

    Until we adjust our way of prioritizing our tactics and placing firefighter life safety on an even par with civilian life safety I fear we will continue to visit these forums.

    Please be safe and lets take care of each other.
    Michael R Rehfeld
    IAFF Local 1311
    Baltimore Co. Fire

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    So should we simply throw out the NIOSH reports and NFPA reports when they are done? I suppose we should just stop bothering with the NIOSH Firefighter Safety studies then.

    Should we believe individuals posting, or a report that collects and coallates from many individuals? (And please, I'm not dishing Station2 -- I respect his opinion. But it's one set.)

    In every firefighter death, there are lessons to be learned. Even when their is heroism, there are lessons to be learned. We have to look for the right lessons.

    Captain Jahnke died a little more than a year ago. Since then we've probably lost another 40 firefighters to trauma and suffocation. Wednesday the United Kingdom, with a quarter of our population, lost their first firefighter since 1999.

    Something is very wrong in the United States, and it's not an individual fire department, or individuals. It's us as a fire service. We are failing to prepare ourselves, to keep ourselves prepared, to train properly. You find situations were people are going way more aggressive than their resources allow, and at the other end of the spectrum people who stand around with their thumbs up the butts assembling eight man teams for a room & contents in a single family residential.

    We may be a brotherhood, but you don't solve problems by keeping family secrets hidden or making excuses.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    and what I believe to be the most critical, the lack of a properly timed, trained and staffed Rapid Intervention Team

    That doesn't even matter until we stop fķcking up the basics.

    We're not making good decisions on when we can aggressively push lines in on a fire. We're not making good decision on truck work. We're not making good decisions on when to search ahead/over the hoselines. We're not putting the fires out but continue staying in the building till it collapses around us. We do, more or less, account for bodies after they're lost, but we have weak to non-existent entry control.

    Far too often we're sending guys into smoke who randomly spray & play while the fire outflanks them, trapping them, burning out the floor underneath them.

    Don't even bother taking time to train for a RIT until you've mastered the basics, and then you know what, you won't need the RIT.

    We have what I dare say is the vast majority of the fire service that fundementally doesn't understand tactics, that don't understand fire behavior, and aren't led by people who do. And unfortunately, many of them simply don't care either.

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    If staffing wasn't an issue, why was an operator on the fire floor?
    Dal, have you ever been to a high-rise fire?
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    I have never been to (and probably won't) a high rise fire. I read the reports. I read the information posted here. I don't see one thing as the cause for this death, I see a bunch. As was said earlier, there are things to be learned here. Why is anyone so hell bent on pointing out one cause? Does anyone honestly belive staffing was the only problem? Does anyone honestly believe that if they had 6 guys on each engine that everything would have gone smoothly? Sorry, I don't feel that way. My opinion (worthless to anyone but me) is there were many problems, not just one.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    I am a back-peddalin' fool....well kind of...

    I am not saying that we shouldn't gleen something form this event-each of us will take something from it-whatever we feel is correct. We all have a responsibility to learn...No blinders on here.

    There were several factors in play here-some more important than others. What steams my arse is that the administration and an outside consultant is trying to cheapen the manpower angle as being "less" because they think there were other factors that played more of a role.

    I don't know if a couple of firefighters coulda made a difference. Maybe training wasn't what it could have been. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Several key points were id'd in the report(s) and by firefighters on the fireground. The important thing is to take the information and improve/adapt to the situation so that it does not happen again.

    And I hate to have another buttercup moment but... The comments made by one overweight, pompous, quint-drivin', firefighter/chief/guru wanna-be windbag "consultant" in reference to the performance of those on scene is pure bovine scatology....
    Rob

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

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    Gee Rob,

    xxxxA) I am sure as heck am going to be skeptical about any report. One cannot accurately detail all the specifics so as to pass on exactly what occurred.

    Interviews of every firefighter involved by three agencies isnít enough eh? Review of video tapes taken from all angled canít be trusted either right? You know like Engine 3 saying they are too busy to saved downed firefighters but are captured and time stamped carrying out a dog. Can you say chickens, scared, afraid????

    xxxxB) If I have a fellow firefighter giving me information on his department I am
    sure as hell going respect what he has to say over the information presented by an outside agency. If I beg to differ, fine. I am not going to wave a fricken report in that firefighters face and say" See this here? This says you're wrong."
    Even over exact quotes and verified lies by your own members??

    XXXXXC) And as long as I am there- I am sure as heck not gonna believe anything spewing outta Larry Stevens mouth.....
    Of course youíve never met Mr. Stevens, who do you suppose got the money to increase staffing in Houston by 25%, yeah him! Did Tri-Data find the city the money? No, did they suggest how long it should take? No! I guess if you want to get something done fast you got to bring in the right people, like Houston did.

    xxxxxWe can speculate all we want about what we think happened.
    Not speculation it is absolute fact being posted.
    xxxxThe only ones who know for sure are down in Houston-still on the job, doing what they are supposed to.
    Gee, the reports are their words. You know, gee captain did your guy really show up on the fire floor in street clothes? Gee captain why is it there are five guys on your rig and you are told to go save a downed firefighter and have lost three of your members? Gee chief when the company yelled for help did you really ell them as we hear on the tape, ďwell engine three ought to be thereĒ versus get them some help. Gee chief did you really say what is on this tape, ďL-28 what is the situation up there?Ē and they donít answer and that is good enough for you? Gee are you crews really saying that E-3, E-11 and the first in second alarm engine unit did not complete or even attempt your given assignments? Are you telling me chief that E-3 is two floors below the fire and four crews are waiting in the lobby and you send all of them to save the downed crew and E-3 runs out of air changes their bottle by doing down five flights of stairs and still beats the outer four crews to the fire floor, then goes downr fills their bottles again and helps the other crews bring the victim down. YEAH YOU DONíT WANT TO TAKE THE WORDS OF THE GUYS WHO ARE THERE.
    xxxxSeeing as that most every other department is hurting for manpower I don't think it a stretch to say that manpower had a role to play here. Can anybody definitavely say that 2 more firefighters wouldn't have made a difference?
    FIFTY GUYS ON SCENE AND YOU CAN ONLY GET 4 TO THE FIRE FLOOR FOR FOR 6 MINUTES ON AIR THEN THE NEXT TWO MINUTES ONLY 2 ON AIR ON THE FIRE FLOOR. SO YOU APPLY WATER ON THE FIRE FOR 8 MINUTES MAX IN THE FIRST 30 MINUTES THEN IT TAKES ONE HOUR AND 40 MINUTES TO APPLY WATER AGAIN.
    No one in the FD refutes any of this it really happened.
    Oh if you want to talk to larry call him at home in nevada, you can ask Firehouse dot come if this post came from within the HFD, it did.

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    XXXXEngine Co. 2 is assigned a 1996 Spartan/Quality with provision for 4 spare 30 minute bottles. Those Engine Co.'s were not speced and did not carry 1 hour bottles at the time of the fire. (I know this because I helped spec 19 of them). Ladder Co. 28 was equipped with between 2 and 4 1 hour bottles (Depending on availability city wide). The availability of the other closest 1 hour bottles is on Cascade 2 which is not dispatched until a 2-11.
    So, E-2 doesnít borrow bottles off the air wagon or from supply instead decide to wait for a new rig with 8 air packs 4-30ís and 4-60ís. That is a choice, So what is L-28ís excuse for not using their four 60ís???? They have none. Dang that would double the fire attack force wouldnít it?

    XXXXEngine Co. 2 is not assigned a TIC. All Truck Co.'s, Rescue Co.'s, Haz Mat Co.'s, Safety Officers and select Engine Co.'s have them. Ladder Co. 28 does have one.
    So why does E-2 send their EO to get L-28ís TIC, when L-28 EO is sitting there doing nothing, why reduce your crew strength, ohE-2 EO never comes back with it! So what is the excuse for not bring a stinking spare 30 or 60 minute bottles with you???? There is none.

    xxxxWeather was a HUGE factor. Acted like a blowtorch pushing heat and smoke out of the apartment into common areas causing visibility to dramatically decrease.
    Yeah it is right up there with having your hose crew walk out on you like happened in this case. Look at L-28 captains burnsÖ.wasnít too bad was it? Overstated case right?

    XXXXCommunications is always an issue here. Poor, antiquated radio system overburdoned with too many radios and units on to few channels.
    Wrong, not having your radio on the right channel is not radio problems. There were not other significant events working. Just lots of firefighters and officers withone way speak and no replies given or expected.
    XXXXThe back up crew (Engine Co. 3) was misdirected not because of radio problems but by an officer who face to face directed them to the 3rd floor mistakingly.
    Not true, it is all captured on video floor five, five fingers up even called L-3 officer by name, Bill even told him the room number twoce 52, 52,

    xxxThe attack line was not abandoned until the 2 remaining officers (Of Engine Co. 2 and Ladder Co. 28) pulled out of the fire apartment. When they pulled back the windows had already let go and the blowtorch effect was happening causing their withdrawal.
    Not true all the reports are clear the captains did the search the hose guys shut down and left.

    XXXXSCBA levels, I don't think anyone knows what they went up with with any degree of certainty. Captain Jahnke ran a good ship and his crew, rig and tools were always ready to go. Period.
    Actually, a check of all SCBA in the FD was performed and found 3000 psi norms

    XXXTake the time to switch bottles. Personal decision. Gotta be there to know what presented and what the considerations were. Plus you gotta have the 1 hours to change into.
    There were 12 SCBA on the DC rigs, 32 SCBA on engines(24 60ís bottles), and 18 on ladders with 18 60ís bottles. Plus two more scba on the safetys. Grab a spare bottle, grab a 60 preferable.
    NIOSH made 11 recommendations not ONE.

    xxxxxFire was already showing on arrival. I would have possibly thought they had no reason to believe a wind shift was coming. Our rigs don't carry weather stations to determine wind shifts nor do our chiefs cars and then we lack the personnel to monitor them if they did. Our Chiefs don't have assistants who ride with them and assist with the IMS.

    And with all the command officers inside in the lobby the experienced officers donít think weather is a factor, canít question pros you know.

    XXXXWe can "what if" on the multiple incidents theory, but on this morning the normal box alarm was running. As for the weather that early morning, as I said before we are fire fighters not weather men.
    You donít have to what if when you follow the rules.

    xxxxxA rallying cry for manpower that has gone only partly answered. A city funded independent study of the department recognized staffing as an issue over a year before this fire and recommended the following:

    Engine Co.'s making over 4000 runs a year should have a second section Engine Co. in their quarters to relieve some of the call volume. That hasn't happened.

    Sure shut down the company that runs less than 500

    XXXXEngine Co.'s with target hazards due to occupancy type, contruction, life hazard, etc. should run with 5. That hasn't happened either.

    XXXXTruck Co.'s with certain hazards due to occupancy type, construction, life hazard, etc. should run with 6. When I worked yesterday we ran with a total 4 so that has not happened yet either.

    YOU CANíT SPEAK OUT OF BOTH SIDES OF YOR MOUTH, UNION RULES IN THE CITY OF HOUSTON FORBID MORE THAN 4 FIREFIGHTERS AND LESS THAN THREE FIREFIGHTERS ON A RIG. SO, there is only one possible lesson here all these experience pros who drew up the last contract that said the maximum number of firefighters on a fire tuck shall be 4 must know what they are talking about. Anything more than 4 must be wring, your own union contract says so!

    XXXXThe study that was paid for by the city has been picked over and they have chosen to implement "pet" progects that wanted to do and overlooked others. One of the over looked ones was MANPOWER.
    So, tell us what other city after a death of a firefighter ever increased staffing by 25% Go ahead name a few. Yeah they ignored staffing! WRONG

    XXXXAs I said before, I agree that there were other factors. But manpower was the biggest one.
    Like so many on scene firefighters who tired to escape couldnít get out the exit doors because too many firefighters were standing behind the doors.

    XXXXI respect your opinion and your right to disagree, but understand mine. Its not your department and you don't know first hand. Until you do, please minimize your comments about a great mans death.
    Well it is mine and I sure do!
    True or false with 2000 spare bottles in the FD did the deceased have an out of hydro bottle on? YES Did he sign off on the departments interoffice reporting system that his crew had taken all out of hydro bottles marked by a huge ring on the cylinder head out of service? YES This isnít about good men, it is about maintaining focus on the job at hand and doing things right everytime.
    Station 2, in your time at HFD have you ever seen a company officer write a firefighter up for an unsafe act? Have you ever seen a DC write up a captain or senior captain. Iíd be happy to email the video of McDonalds and Four Leaf towers and you can all see dozens of unsafe acts, guy without gear, and 1/3 to Ĺ the firefighters not where they are supposed to be, not where they said they were to the investigators.

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    XXXXXThere were several factors in play here-some more important than others. What steams my arse is that the administration and an outside consultant is trying to cheapen the manpower angle as being "less" because they think there were other factors that played more of a role.
    Really, so youíve seen all the changes in fire department policies since the event? The consultant got the money everyone said wasnít there so they could immediately increased staffing by 25%. Hey donít lose sight of the facts, three of the first 6 engines did not do what they were ordered to do. Donít miss the fact, sure one engine had 3 the other 5 and the ladder four. That is four per rig. The DC who was supposed to be on the fire floor was there not where he was supposed to be. The ambulance assigned to station 28 was there. So you tell me with 15 assigned to the fire floor and only 4 bother to do their job that there is some kind of a staffing problem? Yeah that is admins and the consultants fault!!!

    XXXXI don't know if a couple of firefighters coulda made a difference.
    That is right you donít know a thing!
    XXXThe important thing is to take the information and improve/adapt to the situation so that it does not happen again.
    That is exactly what admin and the consultant did, but of course you donít know what happened in HFD do you?

    XXXXXThe comments made by one overweight, pompous, quint-drivin', firefighter/chief/guru wanna-be windbag "consultant" in reference to the performance of those on scene is pure bovine scatology....
    Yeah, you canít stand the truth. The whole truth supported by radio traffic, SOPs and video and audio tape can you!!!!!!!!

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    NIOSH did not single out staffing

    Every engine and ladder in Houston has been staffed at 4 for over a year.

    Station 2, L-28 had four.

    xxxxxOnly a few days after Capt. Jahnkes death, the city decided that 4 minimum was the way to go. They announced that all over the news on the day of his funeral. A total slap in the face of his family and his brother and sister fire fighters.
    YES HOW DARE THE CITY GIVE THE FIREFIGHTERS WHAT THEY WERE ASKING FOR! The reality is the city had been working on a funding source to staff the rigs. It started as a 11 year plan, then 6 year and finally someone found an unlimited funding source and that was it. As you well know mayorís donít just increase staffing 25% in the 4th largest fire department the U.S. or anywhere else, there is more to government than that (council) and without the dollars noting could or would happen.
    xxxxx We now have a revised high rise policy (The 3rd revision I believe) that is being reviewed and drilled by the companies on an almost daily basis.
    You had a high-rise policy at the time of the fire as well with three of the first in six engine companies not fulfilling their assignments. You know what is really silly about all of this? The union is blaming staffing thus the fire chief and city, but could careless about the actions of their own members at this fire. Come on Station 2, youíve heard the rumours that most would say are known facts about Captains running away, hiding, not hearing radio traffic and being derelict of duty.
    Please give all of us one good reason why a RIT team was not set up by the 5th in company? Seen in the lobby and using the excuse the rain delayed us.
    Give us a good excuse why E-3 was not where they were told to go?
    Tell us why E-2ís Captain allowed his driver to walk up to the fire floor in street clothes?
    Letís do the math, 5 guys on E-3ís team, 3 guys on E-2Ö.isnít that 8?
    Why didnít L-28 have their driver come up?
    Didnít the company officers create the staffing problem, driver you stay here, you donít need to dress, dang two conscious decisions reduce staffing 25%.
    Why is it officers in Houston talk in the blind. You know, engine 3 get up there. No answer. L-28 whatís going on up there? No reply and none asked for in either case.
    XXXXThey are in the process of purchasing more portable radios
    There were enough for every member of the fire department at Four Leaf. Why is it that 40% of the intial attack companies either forgot their portable radios or were on the wrong channel?
    Why doesnít your union the one you are a member of kick these guys tails? Force them to resign, black ball them, something?
    xxxI am appauled, outraged, a screaming mad that someone not even familiar with our department, our personnel, our apparatus, our SOP's or anything about our department would sit from afar and question what happened at that tragic incident and presume to know that staffing was not an issue.
    Well all the reports support Dalmation Claims. NIOSH doesnít do reports on departments with their act together.

    xxxxI knew Capt. Jahkne personnaly as did alot of men and women in our department. I also know the men that responded to that incident and what they are capable of in this line of work.
    Capable and actual performance on this fire are two different things. Allowing his crew to have bottles 1/3 to Ĺ empty. Not wearing gear, out of hydro SCBA when 300 god ones are 10 feet from his engine.
    xxxx The Rescue Co. that finally removed him from the building is led by a great officer and made up of excellent fire fighters who did what it took. All the companies there did an excellent job under trying conditions.
    Ok letís talk about R-11, according to the report with eight guys they couldnít move the downed firefighter. Then two members of R-11 get lost, and call a mayday. This in spite of the fact they placed a rescue rope and didnít have an imager in their hands. Gee they carry an imager on the rig, why donít they use their assigned equipment? It wasnít until 46 minutes into the event command had accountability.
    xxxLet me stick you there and see what what you would do different.
    Sure, you arrive as Captain and you follow department SOPs. That means a 60 minute bottle, E-2 has an air wagon in the station, plenty there, plenty of room on the rig to carry more, plus there are 600 in supply for any Captain who wants to fill out the sheet to get them.
    XXXXMonday morning quarter backs are excellent at talking about what went wrong,
    Nah, facts are facts. A company asks for help, doesnít get it, should have suspended the attack, when you two members of your group to putdown the nozzle that is keeping the joint from flashing over and leave shame on you. They should have followed them out.
    XXXbut seldom can do it right themselves when it counts on the nozzle or above the fire floor.
    Oh, I see, so why are all these other departments killing firefighters?
    xxxxx The IC of that incident has run hundreds, if not thousands, of fires and is great at what he does - MANAGING FIRES.
    Oh I see that is why is less than an hour he knew where E-3 crew was, why he never asked or got progress reports, why he was slow getting one of the other three chiefs to the fire floor, why he allowed 50% of his initial attack force not to follow policy and procedures, why he wanted his guys to climb up and down 5 flights of stairs every time an air bottle needed to be changed out, why he didnít want anyone to use 60 minute bottles, why he never setup staging on the floors below the fire and why it took him one hour and 40 minutes to regroup and spray water on the fire, why he never called for an extra alarm even though he had hundreds trapped above the fire floor at 5 in the monring in a 42 story building..

    See I always thought that was malfeasance not EXPERIENCE.
    XXXXExplain to me how manpower was not a factor. 3 + 3 still equals 6.
    Ok, fire floor SOP says Ladder 28, Engine 2, and Engine 3 go up that is 11. Eleven firefighters plus a chief for 12 for initial attack. But with the EXPERIENCED chief only FOUR not TWELVE make the attack. Of course non of those crews asked for extra staffing, L-28 could have easily told the two certified firefighters on his ambulance in his station, that got there the sametime as him to mask up and follow him that would be FOURTEEN GUYS not FOUR.
    So Station 2 you say 12 not 11 or 12 not 14 is a better number?
    You see Station 2, these guys had plenty on scene, but mismanaged what they had at ever possible level.
    xxxxxEngine Co. 2 (1st in) and Ladder Co. 28 (2nd in) were both riding with 1 Officer, 1 Engineer and 1 Fire Fighter for a total of 3 per rig.
    Sorta true, the first act both officers did was to reduce their staffing 30% buy sending guys down and not bring guys up.
    You know if these experienced guys simply leave the room door closed no one dies. But no even that basic tenant of firefighting wasnít followed when they left the apartment, they blocked the door open.
    XXXCarrying all the highrise equipment up to the fire floor, forcing entry to the other 5th floor apartments, stretching the line,
    Sorry that isnít what happened. One guy stretched the hose, one guy did all the searches alone. They E-2 carried hose and pretty much nothing else. L-28 brought themselves forgetting everything that they were supposed to bring. And E-3 stayed as far from the fire as possible. The Chief got there after everything fell apart. The ambulance had a nice time down stairs watching. Yeah I can tell you what everyone carried and where they were, isnít time stamped video great?
    XXX getting in the fire apartment, operating the line, conducting a primary search of ALL the other 5th floor apartments, etc. with a total of 4 personnel.
    Not really done with two guys in air packs up to the attack part.
    XXXX You cannot, like our Fire Chief tried, explain away how 2 extra fire fighters on the fire floor wouldn't make a difference.
    Sure I can, your own company officers decided in advance that staffing was not important that is why they did not want 3% of their crews involved. No one forced them to attack the fire with 1/3 to Ĺ empty air bottles. That was a choice they made. No one said attack before a back up line was in place. Before a back up crew was in place. NO one said violate the integrity of the corridor by opening a door. It was all of their experience
    XXXXThat is 2 extra sets of hands to move the line, to conduct the search, to make sure everyone gets out when they have to, to allow a Captain to do his job and not be on the line because his crew is riding short.
    Nah, see the proof is in the pudding and in the upcoming law suit. The engineer of E-2 would have stayed down stairs and not done a thing like most of the other EOís. The Ladder might have gained a guy, but heck that guy was always available by taking the ambulance guys up. RIGHT? No they made choices lots of them most of them really bad!
    XXX Those extra guys would have made a difference in finding the stairwell a few seconds faster or pushing in another foot and knocking the fire down.
    Nah, proof is in the pudding here two, the guys sitting hold a nozzle are the ones who ran out of air, not the guys doing the search, who searched all the other rooms who stretched the hose. The guys who did the least who left their partners ran out, so more guys, more guys run out of air.
    The largest crew, 5 guys on E-3 never get to the fire, so the strength in numbers thing doesnít work.
    XXXYou say "Look at all the people that were there", who cares? If they are not together as you yourself preached, then it does no good. Send up all the fragmented and short companies you have, when they get to the fire floor they are still going to have to join forces to accomplish individual tasks.
    Youíre right 20 guys in the lobby and looking at the fire from the ground floor is the best use of those resources during the initial attack phase, they canít get hurt.
    XXXX Then these combined crews are duplicating some equipment they have with them and forgetting other items between the crews, not even mentioning the SCBA levels from arriving seperate and not having the same amounts of air.
    Come on, the whole event was a cluster, come clean stop defending the actions. Poor command, poor company leadership, lax safety, no RIT, no backup, wrong air bottles, and total disregard for company policy and procedure, you are damn lucky you didnít kill 6!!!!!
    XXXALl that and you still won't have crews as productive as you would if they were fully staffed and arriving together.
    That all sounds good if they were actually saving lives. Do you know what one of the lost members of E-3 was quoted as saying when his crew was called to find E-2 captain? I helped bring a dog out. Yep he did too! Instead of going to the crew that called for help, I guess one in the hand is better than two on a fire floor.
    XXX Have you ever made a WORKING high rise fire? I have, a few of them, and they are not easy in any shape or form.
    Well last weekís highrise in Houston everyone wore their 60ís and no one died. Heck you didnít even stuff the ladder pipe through the window this time.
    XXXX Suppression, evacuation, logistics, communications, etc. are always hampered. From a company arriving on scene to making the fire floor is about 6-9 minutes and that is to the 5th floor. Keep in mind they had a report of people trapped up there when they rolled up.
    So why is yor crews donít go where they are told to go? 5th floor 52 52, instead the crews says they took an elevator to the second floor, then came back down and went out in the street, then took an elevator to the third floor, hooked up a line in a hall with no smoke and no other companies there. Donít you or your union want a better answer than it took us 30 minutes to find the 5th floor.
    XXXXThey went up there and did there job as best they could given them being shorthanded.
    No they didnít you canít nor can anyone else defend their actions.
    xxx My point is, don't judge the actions of a man and his personnel until you have been in his exact position and had to make the hard call
    Yeah every fire is different, following SOP is dangerous, wing every call and hope you donít get dead, oops, for the third fire youíve lost firefighters.
    XXXXTo do so with no personal knowledge of the department and its personnel is a further slap in the face.
    They need a boot up there axe not a slap, 1/3 of the guys should have been fired!
    XXXStaffing was not the only factor, but by far the largest factor.
    Please fid any source that will support you on that! NIOSH wonít, the State thinks you are dangerous and your own union thinks you were perfect heros. Well the facts are out and you stink! And in a court of law you are going to loose bad!!!!!!
    You know Station 2, sticking the Tower(69) pipe through the 5th floor window 2 hours into the event and putting the fire out isnít how anyone else on fire with so much experience deals with high rise fires.

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    NIOSH SINGLE OUT STAFFING

    Nothing like the union writing their version of the NIOSH report and grandstanding over the death of a firefighter. Good job Firehouse.com for seeing that it was totally biased. Three different reports were published on this tragic event. One by NIOSH the most milk toast version, one by the fire department and one by the Texas State Fire Marshal. Having as much access to all the data as anyone on earth I thought I might make a few observations and tell the truth about what really happened.

    Here are the links:

    State Fire Marshal: http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/general/pdf/fmloddjahnke.pdf

    City report: http://www.ci.houston.tx.us/hfd/fltr.doc

    NIOSH: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/face200133.html


    So what were the lessons learned?

    1.Firefighters should follow the written SOPs of the department.

    2.If sufficient firefighters do not make the fire floor, do not attack the fire.

    3.If you crew dissolves, notify command and withdrawl.

    4.Crews need to stay together.

    5.60 minute bottles last longer than 30ís.

    6.All fire departments have members who avoid firefighting at all cost.


    So what really happened?

    1.A lot of firefighters entered the building without full air cylinders, including the initial attack ladder and engine. FD policy aid fill them when less than 3000 psi. So, they started out with 1/3 less air than the pack rating. NIOSHs wishy-washy report fails to mention that 6 to 8 minutes into the attack, from the time crews actually started breathing air that one firefighters alarm sounded, the seconds sounded just 2 minutes later and the deceased 2 minutes after that. No way did they start with full packs.

    2.None, NONE of the attack crews brought spare bottles with them. That required all companies to withdrawl to the 1st floor to change bottles. In other words they had to climb down five flights of stairs then back up. SOP was clear carry bottles and drop two floors to staging. If you had a choice do you want to descend and ascend 5 flights or two flights?

    3.None, NONE of the attack crews used the 60 minute bottles or 60 minute air packs carried on their apparatus for high rise firefighting. They all violated department SOPs. The captain who died engine did not carry 60 minute bottles, but the air truck right next to it in the fire station had hundreds. Over 50 engines in the Houston fire department have highrise compartments. In that compartment are four 60 minute air packs and four 60 minute spare bottles as well as all the hose packs. These air packs are in addition to the 30 minute air packs in the cab. So, the crews arriving to the highrise fire with flames blowing out of three windows chose NOT to wear what was required by SOP to fight a highrise fire in the city of Houston

    4.No One, NONE, followed proper radio procedures from the attack crews to the officers in command.

    5.The failure of company officers captains and senior captains to do there job is why there was a death and four near misses and two maydays at this event.

    Examples, the deceased allowed his driver to make the fire floor without any protective clothing on. Is that a staffing problem or lack of accountability?

    E-3ís crew didnít even have their radio on the right channel, a violation of SOPS.

    E-3 never told command they were not where they were supposed to be, BACKING UP THE ATTACK CREW ON THE FIRE GROUND. In fact time stamped video shows them not where they say they were in the reports but standing out in front of the building in the rain breathing air!

    L-28 didnít bring their imager with them and left 25% of their crew at the fire truck.

    None of the crews wore 60 minute bottles or brought spare bottles.

    L-28 Captain put down his portable radio and flashlite thus was not able to call for help.

    One firefighter after another made a conscious decision not to follow SOPs in place.

    Captains and senior captains did not enforce the rules.

    None of the ladders brought thermal imagers with them.

    SOP says not to use elevators within 5 floors of the fire floor, half the crews used elevators.

    Company officers didnít give progress reports and command didnít demand any either.

    E-3 Captain loses half his crew.

    E-3 captain never tells command via radio he has found a downed firefighter.

    E-3ís drew uses up three bottles of air in less than 30 minutes(including the time to change out the bottles), is that possible?

    Some how we are supposed to believe this is a professional fire department? No wonder the department is being sued!


    6.HFD policy states the first engine and ladder are the investigation team. That means 7 guys in gear not the 4 who bothered to walkup to the fire on this incident. Yes, two guilty officers allowed almost half their crew not to participate.

    7.The second in engine by SOP is the traffic cop in the lobby making sure crews went to the right floor. So, how is it everyone was sent to the fire on the 3rd floor when crews up stairs are yelling for help on the5th floor where dispatch repeated 10 times the fire was on the5th floor. Did the 2nd engine do their job? How did E-3 crew five guys get lost if the 2nd engine did their job of traffic cop?

    8.3nd engine by SOP backs up the initial attack engine and ladder if a confirmed fire is reported. After 17 minutes they still had not made the fire floor. Command asks E-3 where they are and 10 minutes later still has not assigned another company to fulfill the mission of the AWOL company.

    9.The 4th (38ís)engine and 2nd (38) ladder shall go above the fire. No one says why they were not re-assigned to support the initial attack when no one can find E-3ís crew.

    10.3rd ladder (301) is supposed to vent the roof and did.

    11.The 5th engine is the RIT team. WHERE WAS THE RIT TEAM E-11 told NIOSH he was DELAYED BY RAIN AND IT WAS NEVER ESTABLISHED. THAT IS CALLED AWOL ISNíT IT? Every other company drove through the rain to get there.

    12.SOP says district 5 to fire floor and did.

    13.SOPS indicate the 3rd floor is suppoed to be assigned to the first arriving 2nd alarm engine

    Command broadcasting endlessly in the blind, never getting responses from the crews they are talking to.

    Talked to the writer of NIOSH report today and asked him, are you saying Jay died because of lack of staffing and he said NO!

    The time stamped video of the event shows, Safety 2, in charge of directing companies in the lobby who asks the wife of the citizen who died upstairs, whoís apartment is burning ďwhat floor were you onĒ she says the fifth floor he turns and goes to E-3 captain and holds up five fingers to E-3 Captain and says. ďhey Bill, the victim is on floor 5 in room 5252Ē . The person holding the video camera says out loud the HFD doesnít have a clue what they are doing. So how is it E-3 never makes it to back up the attack crew? After 30 minutes they finally make the fire floor with only 2 of the 5 members of their crew??????? So how is it E-2 and L-28 only take 6 and 8 minutes to make the fire floor and E-3 takes 30 minutes plus??




    NIOSH report in full:

    Do you know that the fire was allowed to burn for ONE HOUR AND FORTY MINUTES after the mayday before anyone else ever sprayed any water on it again? Remember, why all of this is going on their re a few hundred people above the unchecked fire at 5 in the morning.

    The only staffing issues I could find were, twice during the fire their were so many firefighters ďcongregatedĒ outside the fire floor doors that two firefighter who had run out of air in their 30 minute SCBA could not open the doors to get out the stairs because too many firefighters were blocking the doors.

    The big question remains. If staffing is the real issuer here as the union states. With over 50 firefighters onscene, how is it command can only get 4 firefighters to the fire floor? After endless requests for help and only 6 minutes later after the attack starts, only two firefighters are on the fire floor. And three of the four are in dire air supply situations. Does having say 100 onscene insure that that 8 would have made the fire floor and four would have been left and only 6 would have been in dire air supply need?

    If you cannot manage your resources, if you have Captains and Senior Captains who will not enforce crew safety, and chief officers who allow their Captains to run dysfunctional dangerous crews how can you possibly fight fire and not get guys killed. Very little changed since the last two HFD members died the same disregard for safety endemic in the organization was still rampant. The lessons from McDonalds fire was everyone needs a radio and all rescues and ladders need imagers. So now the HFD has all of that. Companies proved they donít know how to use their radios, wonít bring the imagers in and put their radios down. Even during a mayday there were almost 1000 non-sense bits of radio tr5affic clogging the air.

    Command does not control itís crews. This is the same FD just a few years ago left member of their crew a fellow firefighter in a building and found him during overhaul.

    After reading the above, tell me why guys were fired, suspended, and demoted?

    What you have is anything you do on the fire ground is acceptable and there are no consequences for all these stupid acts.

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