1. #1
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    Question Is Too Much Fire Prevention Bad?

    In the City that I live, the fire rate has dropped significantly over the past 15 or so years. Of the last 5 or so years, it has remiained at a fairly constant level. This is primarialy due to the increased role of our Fire Prevention Division.

    I believe that this increased role in fire prevention has had a negative impact on our firefighters and Fire Operations in general. Meaning, that when a fire does hit, it seems that the Brothers aren't as efficient as they should or could be.

    Those departments that have opportunities to fight fires on a regular basis have honed their firefighting skills due to this real world experience. This is regardless of training. I believe that our department is one of the best when it comes to training and quality thereof. But training is no substitute for real fire experience.

    I am NOT advocating against fire prevention divisions at all. I believe that fire prevention has an extremely important role in the overall functions of a fire department and the community it protects.
    This post is just intended to get the opinions/constructive criticism of peers.

    So what say you? Do you believe that too much fire prevention may play a role in the quality of firefighting?

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    I don't know how to react to your statement..... BUT
    We are intrusted to save life and property. Fire prevention is a big part of that. I hope I never see another fire for the rest of my career. But I know it will come. So I drill for that day. So be careful in what you wish for.

    "Do you believe that too much fire prevention may play a role in the quality of firefighting?"

    No, It will save lives and property.BOTTOM-LINE
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    Is Too Much Fire Prevention Bad?

    In the wildland environment, yes. You've got to have some fires to reduce the threat of larger, uncontrolled fires.

    EVERYWHERE else, ABSOLUTELY NOT!

    A very similar question was addressed in a recent thread about residential sprinklers . As was pointed out in that thread, our job is to protect lives and property. The best way to do that is to stop fires before they start.

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    I think I have a different take on what smitty is asking.

    I think the "Is too much fire prevention bad" question is meant to be somewhat facetious. I think the real point he was trying to make is in the days of high run totals you had firefighters with much real world practical experience. Today with lower run totals you have firefighters who are well versed in theory and training ground evolutions but with not much real world firefighting experience.

    Now I may be wrong in that assumption, heck I've been wrong today more times than I can count. But I think that is his point.

    I tend to agree with that point. While theory and training are more important than ever it can't replace the knowledge you get on real calls, working real fires. Training tower fires to me are a perfect example, usually clean fires, devoid of much smoke or even a good amount of heat. Despite my best efforts to instill the real world picture of smoke banking down and overbearing heat at the upper levels of a room, I have had students come back to me regularly and say how different the real thing was from the tower.

    Experience comes from just that experience. But am I calling for a return to those high run total days? Heck no because as it has been stated above our job is too save lives and protect property, if the prevention bureau prevented the fire from occurring our task was accomplished.

    FyredUp

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    I was a little dismayed to read this to say the least, Fire Prevention is a wonderful thing. If the fire rate where you live has dropped that's great ...... no one in dying from smoke inhalation, no one is being burned to death or having to go thru months of rehabilitaion and surgeries to repair the damage of burns, no one has lost property, no one has lost years worth of memories when their house goes up ........ etc. I don't think I need go on.

    Worried that the firefighters aren't as "efficient" as they could be?? That's ludicrous...... TRAIN...... TRAIN ........ AND TRAIN SOME MORE. True you can never be FULLY prepared for the real thing, but with proper training you can be as prepared as possible. I'd far rather train and not have to use it, than to not have fire prevention keeping the numbers down.
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    From what you describe, the problem is not with the fire prevention program, it is with the training program.
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    Default Ditto ullrichk

    I believe that this increased role in fire prevention has had a negative impact on our firefighters and Fire Operations in general. Meaning, that when a fire does hit, it seems that the Brothers aren't as efficient as they should or could be.
    One of the dumbest posts I have seen outside of the Jr.'s page.

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    Cant ever have too much.

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    Knew a feller up in the hills from me--- feller wanted ta be one of them doctorsurgeon fellers--- kinda made a point
    ta be acarless when he was a whittlin. Got him a lotta practice--wuz gettin where he could stitch a cut purtier tan ma could a quilt. Woulda been real good but he up and run out of thread -- and up and bled ta death.

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    Lightbulb WAIT A SECOND

    Everyone take a second and review the questions smitty asked and see Fryedup's comment..... Maybe it wasn't worded the best, but I don't believe Smitty was sayinjg anything against fire prevention or training.... He was putting forth the hypothesis that without as many "real" fires are we loosing valuable expierence, as when we fought more fires, before we got so good at prevention. I don't think he is saying that we should do away with or decrease fire prevention, just asking if the lack of real life expierence, decreases the 'fine edge' that only true 'been there done that' can provide.
    Its not all about expierence, but it sure helps.


    Everybody be safe out there.

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    Let me add that I wasn't suggesting that the blame lies entirely with smitty91's training department. Given the technology available and the ability to use it safely, we accept some pretty second rate training.

    Think Hollywood would be so famous if their effects weren't pretty realistic?
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    The best FD in the world never goes to a fire. Fire prevention is the name of the game. Police departments are charged with crime prevention. To follow this convuluted logic, too much crime prevention would be bad because the SWAT Team, or the Vice Squad or the Homicide Unit would be out of practice in dealing with these activities.

    With a reduction in fire activity, it stands to reason that the FD should actually have MORE time to train and should be BETTER trained because of the efforts of the FPB. If the training is not keeping the guys sharp, change (improve)the training.

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    The subject of Fire Prevention has been one that has gone round and round in the fire service for many years over here. Do we spend lots of money and resources (staff) on educating the public at large, or do we use the money to provide more firefighters, vehicles and equipment to respond to the fires that will occur if we dont.

    In this country, we have tried for years to achieve a balance of providing the necessary education to the population in order to reduce the number of fires, especially domestic ones, whilst staving off the reduction in funding that less fires brings us.

    The UK fire services are funded centrally by Government and by local community charges. If you are successful in reducing fires, malicious calls, and calls for assistance, the amount of funding is reduced, as in the Governments eyes,"if you are'nt doing as much, you don't need as much".

    Therefore, we are in a Catch22 situation, do we have lots of fires, putting ourselves and the public at risk, and get lots of money for doing it, or do we eradicate fire risk through education, and suffer the financial penalty for being very good at that also?

    In answer to the original question, every fire is different, so even if you are attending lots of them, there will always be some that will make even the most experienced f/f stop and think. Training to go to fires, as well as training the public not to have them is the balance you have to achieve.
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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    Assuming Smitty's real question was... will less fires equal less cabable FF's? I would say a resounding yes and I believe it will lead to an increase of FF deaths over the years. However I am of the unpopular opinion that five additional line of duty deaths a year would be worth the thousand or so saved lives by having an informed public.....flame away!

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    One fire prevention officer and a code book can save more life and property than 15 engines, and 100 firefighters. Protecting life and Property is our job. God bless Fire Prevention in the Fire Service.

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    will less fires equal less cabable FF's? I would say a resounding yes and I believe it will lead to an increase of FF deaths over the years
    It doesn't have to be that way! It is overly simplistic to say that we can't be as good as previous generations because we don't get to experience fires as often. Training can to a great extent supplant the loss of experience opportunities. The US military is a shining example. They take kids with mostly no experience with weapons or warfare and in a few month's time create the best soldiers on the planet. Training, equipment, and dedication are the determining factors that give them the ability to adapt to different challenges like fighting guys in Toyotas when they expected guys in T-72s.

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    Originally posted by engine23ccvfd
    Assuming Smitty's real question was... will less fires equal less cabable FF's? I would say a resounding yes and I believe it will lead to an increase of FF deaths over the years. However I am of the unpopular opinion that five additional line of duty deaths a year would be worth the thousand or so saved lives by having an informed public.....flame away!
    Two questions....
    what freakin' planet are you on?
    Are you willing to be one of the 5 additional LODD's?

    Maybe you have never been to a LODD funeral or memorial service. I have been to way too many in my career, and unfortunately I will probably be to a few more by the time I retire.


    Fire prevention is as important as suppression and training. If we can educate John and Jane Q. to be a little more careful, and we can do a better job of training, it reduces the risk of being a potential LODD. It doesn't take an Einstein to go figure that out!
    ‎"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."
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    I would like to clear up a pretty common misconception... "We dont get any fires anymore"..It may be true in some parts of the U.S.A. but around here, the number of fires is INCREASING... This despite our efforts to educate the public to the dangers of fire from the time they are "wee ones" through the "golden years". You CANNOT have too much prevention and public education. However, you can't be in everyones homes "holding their hands" and preventing them from doing stupid and sometimes criminal things. You also can't paint our Country with a broad brush. Each area of the U.S. has unique issues when it comes to fires and preventing them. Smoke detectors and better pub ed have lead to a HUGE decrease in the number of fire deaths in our nation. We still lose way too many people to fire. Lets discuss the nature of the urban area leaving its traditional inner city setting and moving to the suburbs. This is happening around Chicago and from the looks of it around other parts of the U.S. too. So yes, most inner city companies aren't running several working fires each and every day. But the fire problem has moved around a bit, the economy is not the greatest and demographics are constantly changing. To say that too much fire pervention is somehow wrong, is short-sighted and does the public and ourselves a great disservice.

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    DUFFMAN You Da Man!!!

    smitty91
    Since you have all that extra time not going to fires, pick up a book or a video, better yet go out back and pick up the saw a practice cut on a few palettes or somthing. I'll tell you why training is better that the real thing... If you don't do somthing right, 99% of the time you can get away with it on the scene. In a training senario you can learn to do it right. Doing it right is what saves lives...not lowering your Prevention standards to get more fires.

    I'm can't believe you actually wrote that! Next thing you'll tell us is that Firefighter Arsonists are good because they give us practice!

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    Default Put the Bong down and slowly back away

    Assuming Smitty's real question was... will less fires equal less cabable FF's? I would say a resounding yes and I believe it will lead to an increase of FF deaths over the years. However I am of the unpopular opinion that five additional line of duty deaths a year would be worth the thousand or so saved lives by having an informed public.....flame away!
    If you think "five additional line of duty deaths a year" would make any difference in how informed the public is think again. As far as fewer fires menaing less capable FF's, I will say this. The fewer fires you have the more time you have to train, and train you should.

    According to your logic the problem will solve itself. More firefighters will die because we have fewer fires, and because a few more die thousands of lives will be saved. Where do you come up with this garbage?
    "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."

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    Gonzo dont assume to know how many LODDS I have been to or how close I was to those lost both in my career as a LEO and as a volunteer in the fire service.

    Training sure its great and gives us the basics but nothing can simulate the stress, heat, urgency, and more intense fire/gasses modern furnishings create. We blast each other for training deaths and then wonder why our skills are eroding. Can each of you honestly say you would not enter that iffy structure fire in order to save that confirmed entrapment?

    Many districts in large cities have scene a reduction in fires but arrive to more intense situations than ten years ago due in large part to PR and public education. We have made great strides with command structures safety officers and all the new equipment which gives us a greater sense of control. However I firmly believe the lower amount of civilian deaths each year and the yearly avg of LODDS remaining the same every year (9-11 excluded) is a direct result of the point I tried to make earlier. We are already losing brothers and sisters to fires while saving more lives. This trend will increase IMO.

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    Until the whistles stop blowing, the pagers stop beeping and the alarms stop ringing.... There isn't enough fire prevention going around to stop teaching our communities. Fires can be prevented. Most Fires. If you really think about how every fire you have starts. I bet at least 90% of them can be prevented.

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    OUCH!! That had to hurt! With all the fires across the country everyday, the LODD rate at 100 per year is low, but still in no way acceptable. I can't imagine what the number would be without good fire prevention programs and adequate training. Training live or not teaches you how to use the tools of the trade. If you can become comfortable with the use of these tools (frequency) you should not have any problem applying what you already know. Emotions and adrenaline are things you need to be able to control. If you are not mentally prepared for the task at hand you become an added liability to an already unstable situation.
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    Do we have less fires now than say, 20 years ago?

    On an annual average, I'd say yes. But my department just had a "run" of 16 working 1 or 2 alarm fires in a 14 day period of time...

    Yes, Prevention is important... And necessary and valued and all that. However, so is Training, and Code Enforcement, and Fleet Maintenance and Hydrant Maintenance and the list goes on and on...

    No, Gonzo, I would NOT be willing to be one of those 5 LODD's in exchange for 1,000 lives saved by having an informed public. That is really an idiotic comparison. Prevention should be saving those 1,000 lives totally independently from our operations.

    We are only called upon when someone who isn't in that group of 1,000 that Prevention has "reached" does something stupid (that Prevention would have obviously taught them not to do) and creates a fire, right?

    Apples to Oranges... Prevention does their job, we do ours....
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    2) Pump at 150...
    3) When in doubt, isolate and deny entry...
    4) When in trouble, claim lack of adult supervision.

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    Prevention should be saving those 1,000 lives totally independently from our operations.
    EXACTLY!

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