1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Northeast,Kentucky
    Posts
    24

    Post Mayday given during barn fire

    A firefighter paramedic with the Montgomery County Fire Protection District (KY) transmits a mayday after becoming trapped in a enclosed tractor.
    Murphy law: While working a heavy envoled barn fire a firefighter attemted to move a John Deere Tractor parked beside the structure .The Tractor with a totally enclosed cab was starting to preheat.The firefighter who was familiar with farm equipment was going to start the tractor and move the equipment from the side of the barn.The owners was present and also encouraging the firefighter to attempt to start the tractor.We the firefighter enter the cab, somehow the cab door shut and would not reopen.The firefighter could not locate the door release.Gases were beginning to be produces within the tractor and smoke was entering from the barn fire.A mayday was given due to the condition inside the preheated cab.The Firefighter attemted to break glass with no success.Before help could arrived he was able to start the tractor and pull it away from the barn with tires smoking.This was a close call.
    The firefighter Paramedic was one of the first units.
    The little things can take a life.
    Last edited by ff emt-p bleve; 01-10-2003 at 05:01 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    FDNYRR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    336

    Default

    Reminds me of a post Captain 203 made in Airborne's thread---------"use your head first". Damn don't we have enough LODD's without self infliction?
    "All gave some...Some gave all!"
    9/11/01 Lest we forget!
    FDNYRR

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    1,143

    Default

    "Risk alot to save alot"........personally I don't consider a tractor worth a life. Thank God he's okay.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    RobbyJR307's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Ok First of all before i get into this thank god the ff is ok. now i think this ff showed 1 a great amount of courage and 2 smartness. If this tractor would of exploded due to the fire and heat there would of been a possiblity of more ff or the owners of the farm getting hurt. I think he made the right choice to try to move the tractor
    Rob
    FireFighter/EMT/VRT
    Engine Co 3
    Westmoreland City

    These opinions are mine and mine only nobody eles.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    gordoffemt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Greendale, IN, USA
    Posts
    290

    Default

    Robby, with all due respect, I'm glad you're a jr. FF and not out there making fireground decisions. Take this opportunity to learn something. Tractors don't explode. This one, most likely, contained some diesel fuel that may have burnt eventually, but not violently explode. People have insurance for this very reason. If the guy was so familiar with this type of equipment, why couldn't he get out? If the owner was so damn worried about his tractor, why didn't HE go move it? There is NOTHING courageous or smart about killing yourself trying to save a damn tractor! Ask the guy invovled if he would do it again. I'm guessing he say, ummmmm, "NEVER!"

    I agree with FDNYRR and LadyCapn 100%. We place ourselves in enough danger just doing our jobs. Let's not add to it for an inanimate object that can be replaced.
    Lt. D. Gordon
    Greendale Fire Department
    Greendale, IN

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    1,744

    Default

    'nuff said!

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,584

    Default

    Robby....

    What happens when a tractor is burnt up in a fire?
    The insurance company comes up with the replacement cost.
    The farmer goes to the local farm equipment dealer and orders a new tractor.

    The farmer gets a new tractor.

    What happens when a firefighter gets burnt up in a fire?
    If he/she is forunate enough survive the initial shock of the fire on the human body, and is fortunate enough to be located near a burn center, and he/she does not die from shock, fuid loss and sepsis within the first few hours, he/she literally will go through hell in their recovery period...debridement of burns, skin grafts, plastic surgery and both physical and emotional scarring from their injuries.

    It's risk versus benefit....

    Is is worth risking the life of a firefighter for the benefit of the farmer's tractor? I think not!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Borderstate
    Posts
    899

    Default

    Update

    1.This Firefighter paramedic arrived on an ambulance responding with a engine company.
    2. The action taken to move the tractor was done as attack lines were being extended.
    3. Rural area limited water supply
    4.The tractor was not in the barn but was parked nearby.
    5.save what you can? That the fire service motto.
    6. Until the door closed i am sure he felt that the risk was acceptably.
    7. He did not intend for the cab door to close.Murphy Law again.
    8. This all occured with seconds the decision to move the the tractor,the door closing,O **** i am trouble ,The attemp to break glass when it would not re-open,the mayday because of gases / smoke started to build up in the cab.Then the tractor finally did start and was driven out of harms way.
    9. The firefighter was shaken but un injured.
    10.After the fact. The door closing and locking was the big factor that made a simple job of moving a tractor out of harms into a dam, that's not very smart.
    Last edited by coldfront; 01-11-2003 at 02:37 PM.

  9. #9
    55 Years & Still Rolling
    hwoods's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
    Posts
    10,739

    Smile Hollywood! Hollywood!.....

    Robbie, Don't take anyones replies personally. One of the great advantages to being here participating in the forums is that they are often a learning experience. Most explosions in motor vehicles ARE PREVENTABLE and they occur after being set up on purpose. Why?? Because they are done in Hollywood on movie sets. A John Deere (I own one) that size would have to be diesel powered. As pointed out already, diesel tends to burn rather than explode. There is, of course, a chance that a plugged vent could cause a catastrophic tank failure, but those are rare. In the real world, you will not be seeing a lot of explosions, unless you get a job dealing with the field of bombs, rockets, etc. Many times over the years, I have had to calm bystanders at auto accidents who stood there yelling "Yank them out of the car, it's gonna blow." Of course the cars never blew. Stay Safe, and most Importantly, Learn Safe...
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    EMTfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    SESD
    Posts
    17

    Default Replacement

    I'm not a FF. Would I have attempted to move the tractor? Probably. Would it have been wise to do so? Probably not. However I'm a bit concerned about the assumption that the farmer merely turns a claim into his insurance and gets a new tractor. That attitude appears a bit naive as to what occurs in the real world.

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,584

    Default Re: Replacement

    Originally posted by EMTfarmer
    I'm not a FF. Would I have attempted to move the tractor? Probably. Would it have been wise to do so? Probably not. However I'm a bit concerned about the assumption that the farmer merely turns a claim into his insurance and gets a new tractor. That attitude appears a bit naive as to what occurs in the real world.
    Why don't you enlighten us? I work in a suburban fire department (although we do still have a farm in the city limits). I would imagine that a farmer would have his farm and equipment covered under a comprehensive policy to protect thenm in the event of a loss. I know it does not happen overnight...anyone who has deal with payment from an insurance company will testify to this.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  12. #12
    Disillusioned Subscriber
    Steamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,475

    Default

    So....what does this firefighter's family turn in, and to whom to get the firefighter replaced should he get killed, trying to save a tractor?
    Steve Gallagher
    IACOJ BOT
    ----------------------------
    "I don't apologize for anything. When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    EMTfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    SESD
    Posts
    17

    Default Differences

    The difference between turning in a claim and actually collecting can be huge. Also the differences between the value perceived by the owner and the insurance adjuster can be just as huge. If I was confident that I knew how to operate the tractor and I could save my neighbor's tractor that in all likelyhood cost more than a new decked out type I ambulance, I would attempt to do so.

    Granted this flies in the face of scene safety and everything we've been taught but I suspect I would revert to my farmer/neighbor mode in that situation. If I do not know how to operate the tractor, I have no business inside it at any time!

  14. #14
    IACOJ - Proud member.

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    122

    Default

    1.This Firefighter paramedic arrived on an ambulance responding with a engine company.
    Does this mean he was wearing NO turnout gear? If the answer to this questions is "No turnout gear", then I guess that would automatically answer question # 2 :"Wearing SCBA?" Which them leads to question # 3 :What about SOG's that say "If exposed to products of combustion, full PPE, including SCBA shall be worn."?


    The action taken to move the tractor was done as attack lines were being extended
    Seems to me that in this situation, helping pull the line would have been exposure protection as well.

    Been to a lot of barn fires over the years, grown up farming, so I've seen a lot and done a lot. I agree that the insurance companies will NEVER value the equipment at the same amount as what the farmer and his family do.

    But I also know that 95% of the time, you don't really save the barn that's burning, you protect exposures, i.e. house, other barns, equipment, animals, etc. I've also spent a lot of time either chasing people out or holding them back from attempting such things; (both Firefighter and civilians...) ain't nobody's life worth the value of a tractor or other equipment.
    Chief Jim Bator
    www.hopewellfire.org

    IACOJ
    Got Crust?
    FTM-PTB


    I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine. ~Kurt Vonnegut

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Dieppe, New Brunswick
    Posts
    121

    Question JJBat150 - My thoughts exactly!

    I would like to know if he was wearing protective gear. I'm guessing that he wasn't wearing any due to the farct that he was unable to break a some glass. Most, if not all of us have some type of tool in our gear that would be strong enought to break that glass. In our department, we live by my life before anything else! Even if I was confortable with a tractor, why not grab 2 or 3 people, shift into neutral & push if out! Again, I'm not familiar with farm equipment, but I'm sure that there are other options!
    Joel

    Lets never forget the events of 9-11

    If you sent us to HELL, WE'D PUT IT OUT!!

    **And of course these are only my opinion and only mine. Don't take it out on anyone else but me.**

  16. #16
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    98

    Default

    This is a tough topic for me. My family farmed for years, so I can understand the desire to move the tractor away from the barn. And it's very doubtful that you would want to push a farm tractor out of the way if the fire is already starting to smoke from preheating. They are heavy.

    As a fire fighter, I understand that preservation of life ALWAYS comes before property. And in a rural situation, a line dedicated to keeping the tractor cool isn't probable, due to the lack of water available.

    If you show up on a fire scene that I am in command of with no turnout gear, you can help with rehab or the EMS unit, but you WILL NOT be allowed to participate in any other fireground activity.

    Glad everyone went home safe as well.

    Arthur
    Another lifetime volunteer proud to serve my community.

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    48

    Post Timely Subject

    Just got in from 3 alarm barn fire that had us engaged for 7 hours. Tanker shuttled about 20,000 gallons of water. This fire involved 2 paralell barns 200 X 50 Ft with many 5x5 round bales in the upwind side of both barns and antique autos and tractors in the down wind side of them. There was also a two story shop connecting these two barns on the downwind end. The shop contained the diesel tank, lots of motor oil and welding equipment. This fire was paged out as a grass fire which is how it started and extended into the hay barn. Farmer was a little careless with the welder. As the folks stated early there were no explosions as the tractors or diesel fuel tank burnt but the autos were entertaining. The owner was attempting to rescue his equipment when we arrived and was ordered back as the fire spread. Typical farm barns contain a myriad of flammables and hazmat. I cant imagine some one being in one without PPE. I personally own a tractor and know its value to a full time farmer. If I could save it without endangering some one I would. There is however enough differences in equipment to cause a delay in getting equipment started if you are not familar with that model. The newer enclosed cab windows are a polymer type glass, more plastic than safety glass and would be difficult to break without proper tools. I drove a friends new John Deere just last week and this thread reminded me that I had some difficulty sorting out how to operate the new style door latches. Using four engines we were able to contain todays fire to one of the barns with substantial damage to the shop. We were blessed considering the fuel load a hay filled barn presents. This fire was another grim reminder to go prepared to deal with adjacent structures when paged to a grass fire.

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    EastKyFF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    3,090

    Default

    A few thoughts:

    1. Unless the farmer owed money on the tractor, it might not have been insured; times are tight in agriculture, and insurance is a "luxury" that many folks will minimize.

    It still isn't worth a life.

    2. Trying to drive the thing was a mistake, no doubt. I concur with the idea of trying to push it to safety. If things were that hot, after all, there could already be damage that would prevent starting (melted fuel lines, etc), and there's no guarantee that the thing would have started even without a fire. My dad has a tractor with an electrical short; they disconnect the negative cable every time they shut it off so that it won't drain the battery before the next use. Even if you owned a tractor identical to it, you wouldn't know that when you hopped in the seat and it would not start.

    If this is my fire, I'm reaching in to shift it into neutral and finding some personnel to push the thing or, topography prohibiting that, a second tractor and a long chain.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    --General James Mattis, USMC


  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber
    CJMinick390's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Sitting on my Laa Laa waiting for my Yaa Yaa
    Posts
    1,042

    Default

    Which is certainly a much better option if it's available to you.
    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

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    2,983

    Default

    I am glad that everyone went home safe and this did not turn into another senseless tragedy.
    Last edited by superchef; 01-13-2003 at 12:38 PM.

  21. #21
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    309

    Default

    This may be a stupid question but why was there not a hose line protecting the tractor as he was trying to remove it.(Just a question)

  22. #22
    Truckie
    SPFDRum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    2,516

    Default

    With all the monday morning quarterbacking aside, I'm glad he was smart enough to initiate a mayday call. Too may have been killed because they didn't...

    PS If my pole shed burned and they could get my tractors out, I know I would appreciate it.
    Last edited by SPFDRum; 01-14-2003 at 10:04 PM.
    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."
    George Mason
    Co-author of the Second Amendment
    during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
    Elevator Rescue Information

  23. #23
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    309

    Default

    Protection of peoples property is our job. STAY SAFE DOING IT

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register