1. #1
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    Lightbulb Protecting our own Fire Station... Comments

    As the author of the article, I want to thank all of you who wrote me with your comments...

    Lets post some of them here so we can all benefit from the discussion...

    Lt. Burton L. Robertson

    If you haven't read the article it can be viewed at:

    Protecting Our Own.... Fire Station - Article

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    Liked the article. Hopefully it will bring some people around to getting some type of systems at minimum. I had to battle with my company for 2 years to get an alarm system installed. Their arguement was to increase the building's fire insurance. When asked about all the 100+ year old items in our show cases, they said "Hope we don't have a fire". Adding sprinklers would be even better, but at least we went to a monitored alarm system. We are working on sprinklers....
    "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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    Good article!

    One of our old Captains (god, if he reads me calling him old, I'm so dead) keeps a reel of garden hose in his home's basement connected to the water tank -- might only be 15, 30 gallons of water in the tank but it's pressurized and a lot more than any extinguisher can do.

    ===========

    Oh, and Alarm Companies. We have ADT. God bless them, we have fire alarms and they give the our dispatchers the telephone equivelant of a blank stare when they're asked *which* station.

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    I completely understand the premise of your article. However, I have three problems with it.

    1.
    yet we forget to protect our own.
    We don't forget! "Forget" insinuates that it was an oversight. Fire suppression is our business and we deal with this stuff everyday. We do it because of bad attitudes, laziness, money (but I'll bet you have some really nice furniture and a real nice kitchen!), or an uncooperative governing body.

    2. The hose house idea is interesting. However, you are protecting what may be a small municipality's only emergency response assets. IN this day and age, doesn't that DEMAND proper protection? Not only from fire, but also from intrusion and theft?

    The hose house is a stop gap measure at best that could possibly lead to a false sense of security. I know you are only advocating it when a system approach is not a question, but it gives people an excuse not to include a system.

    3. "Rescue your vehicles"? What you are advocating is essentially unequipped and unprotected FF's enter a burning building to save property. Remember risk vs. gain analysis? If there is no life invloved, we should not be unecessarily risking peoplpe's lives to save proeprty. Add in to the equation that you are going to have people making irrational decisions because of the emotional nature of the incident, and you have a recipe for a disaster.

    My feeling here is, if you choose not to properly equip your stations with protective systems, do not ask your members to carelessly risk their lives to compensate for your short-sighted decisions.

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    Default A reply to GeorgeWendtCFI

    George...

    I understand what you are saying and the risk benefit is and always should be made by the Officer in Charge. Nowhere did I ever say or advocate unsafe firefighting operations...

    What I am trying to point out is a little equipment and some outside tactics might be of some help and keep a fire in check until help arrives. I too live in a metro area where help isn't very far away, but I use to live in an area where help was quite a distant away, and I beleive if an incident ever happened it wouldn't have hurt to have this equipment available.

    Also as for risk/benefit... you are assuming the worst case fire ie fully involved! What if the fire was a small fire detected early, in the offices or Kitchen area of your station... Some well place lines could keep the fire in check and give others time to "rescue" the Vehicles as well as other equipment on the other side of a firewall, rather than standing by and watching it burn unchecked until it has consumed everything.

    I do agree and advocate that a Sprinkler System, monitored by a remote station would be best, but let's face it most departments haven't even considered the possibility of a fire in the station, thus have you have so accurately pointed out it is an oversight of most! Not to mention that most communities fail to support their departments properly with needed funds even when it is shown to the public and politicians how much something may be needed. The General public just doesn't get it until it's too late. I can understand that problem many departments and Chiefs would have asking for a sprinkler system when his/her firefighters need new gear or SCBA...

    I also disagree that this, as you wrote and I quote" gives people an excuse not to include a system" If that wher true I would ask you...Do Fire Extinguishers do the same? No! but we still see the need for them in certain situations and require them throughout building everyday!

    I would like to quote from an email I received this morning from a Captain of the Lyndonville FD

    "Great job on the article. I wish I had read it a little earlier.... We just experienced a Fire at our headquarters on Friday. No one can imagine the stress associated with having no equipment to save your station and equipment. It's difficult to sit idle with ten aggressive interior fire fighters and watch everything you love burn." (The Article is still on Firehouse.com)

    Thanks for your comments George, if nothing else a topic long over due is getting discussed and for no other reason I stand proud for what I have written!

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    Thanks for your comments George, if nothing else a topic long over due is getting discussed and for no other reason I stand proud for what I have written!
    And you should. Just because we disagree does not mean that what you have written has no value. If I may add a few follow up comments.

    Nowhere did I ever say or advocate unsafe firefighting operations...
    I agree that you did not outwardly advocate it. But, in my opinion, having the equipment there with no PPE encourages the unsafeact of trying to suppress a fire while not wearing PPE.

    I do agree and advocate that a Sprinkler System, monitored by a remote station would be best, but let's face it most departments haven't even considered the possibility of a fire in the station, thus have you have so accurately pointed out it is an oversight of most! Not to mention that most communities fail to support their departments properly with needed funds even when it is shown to the public and politicians how much something may be needed. The General public just doesn't get it until it's too late. I can understand that problem many departments and Chiefs would have asking for a sprinkler system when his/her firefighters need new gear or SCBA...
    There is absolutely no dispute about this. I guess what I am trying to say is that the attitudes of the governing body, and if need be the citizenry, needs to be adjusted. If there is a terrorist attack, who will be the responders? The FBI? The military? No! It will be the FD.

    And I do not limit my comments to a sprinkler system. Intrusion alarms and, at a minimum an early detection system (smoke detection, monitored), should also be installed.

    The question comes down to this: Does the public want to leave what may be their sole means of emergency response completely unprotected?

    Do Fire Extinguishers do the same? No! but we still see the need for them in certain situations and require them throughout building everyday!
    They are different. FE'a are a first aid device. They are meant to be used by a building occupant t fight a fire in its incipient stage. The hose house is a defensive tool that is meant to fight a fire once someone arrives that has grown in proportion.

    You and I completely agree that most fire stations in the US are devoid of any type of fire protection while unoccuppied. While it is tragic, it should also be a source of embarrassment to the FD if their fire house burns due to the fact there was no protection in place.

    No blasting-just an alternative viewpoint. Stay safe.

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    Ltburt-
    Great article, but speaking from past experience, you forgot only one thing:

    Lightening rods!!!



    Omnis Cedo Domus

    www.hinckleyfd.org

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