Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27
  1. #1
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Post Lake Park Fla--Residents Take Issue with "2 In-2 Out"

    PALM BEACH POST

    Three firefighters show up, none goes in


    By Emily Minor, Palm Beach Post Columnist
    Tuesday, September 9, 2003



    It was Aug. 9, a Saturday.

    Larry Beckman, 53, was inside his Lake Park home just after noon when a storm started illuminating the afternoon skies.

    "There was a lot of lightning activity in the area, but we get this all the time," he said. "I didn't think anything of it."

    But then -- in a fluke that has side-tracked Beckman's life -- lightning apparently struck an electrical panel in the back of the three-bedroom house where Beckman and his wife, Maryanne, have lived for six years.

    "This charged the entire electrical system in the house," said Capt. Sean Pamplona, spokesman for Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue. "Fires started at several different points."

    The heat melted wall outlets, sparked flames in the attic and gave Beckman his first clue that something was amiss.

    "I smelled smoke, and I walked outside, and saw smoke coming out of the eaves," he said. "I walked back into the kitchen and picked up the phone to call 911, but the phone was dead."

    By this time, the neighbors near the Beckmans' house at 406 E. Ilex Drive had noticed the flames, and one of them made the first 911 call at 1:51 p.m.

    The next 10 minutes would be some of the longest of the Beckmans' lives.

    Lake Park, a coastal town in central Palm Beach County with a population of just under 9,000, gave up its own fire department about a year ago and started contracting for services from the county. Lake Park Town Manager Doug Drymon said the decision wasn't just about saving money.

    "The county had indicated they could bring more manpower and equipment to the scene than the town of Lake Park could," Drymon said.

    But when the county got there at 1:57 p.m. -- Rescue Engine 68, which operates inside the town limits -- there were only three men onboard. That would be key for the Beckmans.

    Beckman said he thought they'd -- you know -- run inside the burning house like they do in the movies. What he didn't know about was the "two in-two out" rule established three years ago by the National Fire Protection Association. Fire departments across the nation follow FPA standards like good Christians follow the Bible.

    The "two in-two out" rule works like this: When firefighters arrive at the scene of a fully engaged structure fire, there have to be two firefighters to go inside AND two firefighters to stay outside.

    "What those two guys on the outside do is they monitor the situation," Pamplona said. "And if the two guys on the inside get in trouble, you'll have those two guys on the outside."

    The only exception is if there is a chance someone is trapped inside. The only things inside Beckman's house that day were the couple's three house cats. Two died in the fire.

    Beckman says he wasn't thinking too much about the FPA or the "two in-two out" rule as he stood there.

    "How would you feel if your house was burning and no one did anything?" he said.

    When the initial 911 call came in, Station 68 -- the county's Lake Park station, which under its contract is obliged to have just three firefighters on duty at any given time -- immediately called for backup from Palm Beach Gardens. Rescue 62 and Engine 62 were on the scene at 2:01 and 2:03, respectively.

    By then, Beckman had been watching his house burn for 10 minutes -- and, still, no one was inside fighting the fire. He said they put a hose inside the front door and left it there.

    "It was at an idle," Beckman said. "It wasn't on full. You know how those hoses whip around.... It wasn't doing that."

    About this time, Pamplona said, firefighters heard something worrisome -- staccato popping coming from the house. Not sure what was causing it, and thinking it might be something chemically volatile, they decided to battle the fire from the outside. No crews ever went in.

    "Fire crews make these decisions every day," Pamplona said.

    Pamplona said he understands Beckman's anger at the scene. "We can certainly understand his agitation. Somebody's belongings are going up in smoke."

    At one point, Beckman tried to grab the hose himself, which resulted in "a bit of a struggle with Mr. Beckman," Pamplona said.

    "There were some words exchanged with the owner about the owner wanting us to go in and put the fire out," Pamplona said.

    He said they didn't file any charges because "we understand how he feels. We didn't want to drag this out and file official charges."

    The house fire that started a month ago today during an everyday summer storm ruined the inside of the Beckman house. The damage has been set at $80,000. But Beckman, who runs an aquarium business, says the contents of the house were grossly under insured. He says he might not be able to rebuild.

    At the Lake Park Town Council meeting last week, the Beckman house fire took up a big chunk of the time. Neighbors showed up, appalled that such a thing could happen. Pamplona said 10 other small stations, from Jupiter to Boca Raton, also are staffed by only three people.

    The county determines how many firefighters to place at a station based, among other things, on the number of past fire calls to the station and how close the nearest backup station is.

    By county standards, five people is considered fully staffed.

    "I would anticipate, based on the conversations, that I will be sitting down with the battalion chief and perhaps some of the other representatives," said Drymon, the town manager.

    "I don't think the commission is satisfied with the response time or the number of firefighters originally put on that scene."

    emily_minor@pbpost.com
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Eclectic (no, NOT electric), Alabama
    Posts
    1,510

    Default

    Anyone want to bet that if they suggest increasing staffing through some higher tax or fee, those same folks protesting the lack of personnel will lead the fight to defeat the proposal?

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hunterdon, NJ
    Posts
    26

    Default

    I thought 2-in 2-out rule stated that there must be 2 FF outside as soon as possible, in other words, I thought in this case, where the first in engine had 3 people it is acceptable to put FFs inside the building until the next engine got on scene at which point E2 would be the FAST team.

  4. #4
    Forum Member TCFire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Lockport, New York
    Posts
    417

    Default

    This might help.....it's one of the better '2 in-2 out' overviews that I've seen. It was developed by the IAFF/IAFC and is on Paul Grimwoods Firetactics site. The url will take you to an Accountability presentation. Appendix A is the '2 in-2 Out' overview.

    http://www.firetactics.com/fa-198.pdf

  5. #5
    Forum Member MidwayChief2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    Pawleys Island, SC
    Posts
    75

    Default

    According to the rule, noone can do interior ops until a minimum of 4 firefighters are on scene irregardless if you are the first engine on scene or not. The ONLY exception is if there is entrapment.
    James K. Crawford
    Assistant Fire Chief
    Midway Fire Rescue
    Pawleys Island, SC

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Western Canada
    Posts
    62

    Default

    Our department practices the “2 in 2 out” policy. That means a minimum of a 4 man (figure of speech) team, ready to go. There are enough unknowns at the scene to concern yourself with, without having to deal with the very real possibility that additional resources may be delayed for whatever reason. Having said that; I for one would not commit firefighters to a working fire without adequate backup.

    Our particular department is comprised of 100% volunteers, from the chief downward. There actually could be situations where the firefighters that respond do not have the adequate training and more importantly experience to enter a working structure fire environment with heavy smoke conditions. Once again I would not order these people into an above average dangerous situation if I felt they were not experienced enough. Actually I have had nightmares of this very situation. Think about arriving on scene with several rookies to a situation where you know that you have one solitary chance to make an aggressive attack, and if unsuccessful you must turn to a defensive strategy. Would you commit them or not?

    Living in a small bedroom community with 87% of workforce commuting to other places, we do not have the luxury of getting too picky when it comes to membership. There are thousands of places in this same situation, and the reality is that we pray every day that things will work out right. Hopefully our dedication to training, maintenance of our equipment, and wise decisions on adding new equipment with a limited budget is enough to make a difference.

  7. #7
    IACOJ Agitator Adze39's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    In a van down by the CT River!
    Posts
    2,771

    Default

    Stan, is Florida an OSHA state? They didn't mention OSHA at all, so I was wondering if the departments just follow the NFPA guidelines or if they have some law dictating their actions.
    IACOJ Agitator
    Fightin' Da Man Since '78!

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    156

    Default

    What the heck is the point of paying out salaries if you don't have enough manpower at a station to fight fire without mutual aid? Seriuosly, how much fire protection do you have under circumstances like this?

    Heck, most all volunteer departments can get more manpower on scene faster than that, and cost a whole lot less. Even a combo department is better than just having 3.

    If you can't afford to actually man a station to the point of being able to handle the basic tasks like a simple interior attack, than you are wasting money. Spend that salary money on better apparattus and an aggressive volunteer recruitment and incentive program. When you an man a station to the point of actually being effective, than go for it.

    Heck, even some volunteers who could have responded with thier gear in thier POV would have made a differance. My station is 100% volunteer and our worst ever showing for a structure fire was 9 firefighters, average is 20.

    It amazes me how many communities think having a few paid guys solves everything and completely do away with volunteer programs. I can't say if that was the case here, but if it was how much better would the outcome have been if just one volunteer available that day?

    I know for sure the publicity would have been much, much better.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,672

    Default

    From what I remember in earlier posts, they went to the contracted service because the volunteer membership was not able to respond to calls.

  10. #10
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Jefferson City, TN
    Posts
    4,334

    Default

    But when the county got there at 1:57 p.m. -- Rescue Engine 68, which operates inside the town limits -- there were only three men onboard.
    -- immediately called for backup from Palm Beach Gardens. Rescue 62 and Engine 62 were on the scene at 2:01 and 2:03, respectively.
    Distance from the stations to the house is not mentioned, nor is the number of staffing for the second engine and rescue. However, within five minutes of the arrival of the first due engine, an additional engine and a rescue were on the scene. I'd like to know how far away this house was from the responding stations.
    Beckman said he thought they'd -- you know -- run inside the burning house like they do in the movies.
    Suuuure...just run right in there. To hell with walk arounds, shutting down the gas, establishing water supply, pulling back up lines, etc. There was nobody in the home. The article reads like the damn thing was blazing away and possible fully involved when the first engine got there. I don't blame them for attacking from the exterior. This article leaves too many details out.

  11. #11
    Disillusioned Subscriber Steamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,475

    Default

    The damage has been set at $80,000. But Beckman, who runs an aquarium business, says the contents of the house were grossly under insured.
    If you're gonna save money by underfunding the fire department's budget, you probably better plan on putting it in the cost of your insurance coverage, or better yet a sprinkler system.

    There were addtional crews on the scene within 4 minutes. The story makes it sound like a hell of a lot longer.
    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

  12. #12
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Division 24
    Posts
    4,360

    Default

    Originally posted by radioguy
    What the heck is the point of paying out salaries if you don't have enough manpower at a station to fight fire without mutual aid? Seriuosly, how much fire protection do you have under circumstances like this?

    Heck, most all volunteer departments can get more manpower on scene faster than that, and cost a whole lot less. Even a combo department is better than just having 3.

    If you can't afford to actually man a station to the point of being able to handle the basic tasks like a simple interior attack, than you are wasting money. Spend that salary money on better apparattus and an aggressive volunteer recruitment and incentive program. When you an man a station to the point of actually being effective, than go for it.

    Heck, even some volunteers who could have responded with thier gear in thier POV would have made a differance. My station is 100% volunteer and our worst ever showing for a structure fire was 9 firefighters, average is 20.

    It amazes me how many communities think having a few paid guys solves everything and completely do away with volunteer programs. I can't say if that was the case here, but if it was how much better would the outcome have been if just one volunteer available that day?

    I know for sure the publicity would have been much, much better.
    Its great YOUR department can accomplish this. There are many more, including mine that can't. You say spend more money on better apparatus...Fire engines dont put fires out...FIREFIGHTERS do. Obviously the residents cannot or will not pay up for more personnel and dont seem to be breaking down the doors to volunteer. No one on these boards is stupid enough to think by hiring as you put it.."a few paid guys" is going to solve the problems of the fire service.
    Signed,
    A PAID GUY

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    156

    Default

    Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    Its great YOUR department can accomplish this. There are many more, including mine that can't. You say spend more money on better apparatus...Fire engines dont put fires out...FIREFIGHTERS do. Obviously the residents cannot or will not pay up for more personnel and dont seem to be breaking down the doors to volunteer. No one on these boards is stupid enough to think by hiring as you put it.."a few paid guys" is going to solve the problems of the fire service.
    Signed,
    A PAID GUY
    I have no doubt that nobody here thinks putting a few guys on the payroll will solve everyones problems, but I know a good deal of the public and a good number or local governments do however. I had one guy bragging how much better the FD in his town was than the one I volunteer for because "they have paid firefighters", yet that district is an ISO 6 and we are a 5, and they cannot handle a whole lot of tasks like extrication without calling mutual aid because they lack the equipment. But is Joe Publics eye because they have 3 men manning the staion he is automaticly better off.

    What drives me nuts is places that will totally disband or allow to deteriorate thier volunteer program the minute they get a handfull of paid FF's on the payroll, assuming thats enough. ANY station can maintain at least some volunteers if they wish, it is just a matter of recruiting and retention, and any area that has a good enough tax base to afford paid men surely has enough residents that you can find some willing volunteers.

    90% of the time when I hear folks say they can't find volunteers, it is not that there are not any who would do so out there, but that either the station leadership is not trying to recruit or retain them or that they end up getting treated like crap by the paid guys and leadership and leave. Any community can give you volunteers if you put forth a little effort.

    When you can afford to put a full crew on each truck, then you should figure it is time to forget about volunteers, but untill then why shun free help, in fact why not activley try to attract it?

    It's not the fault of the firefighters, but of the leadership and the local government.

    You are right, fire engines don't put out fires, firefighters do, but you have to have enough of them on scene or else nobody does.........
    Last edited by radioguy; 09-10-2003 at 08:36 PM.

  14. #14
    Forum Member PAVolunteer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Dauphin County, PA
    Posts
    1,139

    Default

    Lake Park Town Manager Doug Drymon said the decision wasn't just about saving money.

    "The county had indicated they could bring more manpower and equipment to the scene than the town of Lake Park could," Drymon said.
    When was the last time anyone, anywhere, contracted better service for better $$$$$$? And no, 2 for $2 at McDonald's doesn't count.
    Fire departments across the nation follow FPA standards like good Christians follow the Bible.
    The first quote established that the town has no idea what they are talking about. This quote establishes that the writer of this article has no idea what she is talking about.
    "How would you feel if your house was burning and no one did anything?" he said.
    How would you feel if the citizens of your community were too cheap to provide adequate fire protection (I'm guessing he probably knows how that feels now).
    You know how those hoses whip around.... It wasn't doing that.
    Like in the movies, right?
    But Beckman, who runs an aquarium business, says the contents of the house were grossly under insured.
    Funny, you never hear about a rational person, with enough intelligence to properly insure his possessions, crying about how the fire department dropped the ball. Hmmm ... motive?

    As in everything, you get what you pay for. No more ... no less. As with the rest of the world, they didn't care, until it was their house on fire.

    Stay Safe

  15. #15
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Division 24
    Posts
    4,360

    Default

    PA ...You and I have gone at it more then once...BUT, we also agree quite often..And you hit the nail on the head this time...

  16. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    9

    Default

    "How would you feel if your house was burning and no one did anything?"


    Umm how would you fell if two men went in, something went wrong and nobody came out, cause there wasn't anybody else there to help them. Just to save what, some walls, maybe a fiew fish, a cat or two? Read my signature. Controling the losses includeing loss of our Firefighters.
    - FF/NREMT-P
    Norton Shores, MI

    "We didn't cause the emergency, were just here to control the losses"
    Keep it safe

  17. #17
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Post

    Adze....I know there is Florida OSHA and we seem to say that we are follwing the OSHA Standards related to CFR1910.120 and we reference NFPA 472 & 473 and Discuss 1710 and 1721 and most folks refer to 1961 when ordering hose and 1971 when purchasing gear. The Wildland Standard is also referenced quite regularly in bidding processes.

    But I would venture to say that it varies in the state from north to south and from east to west as to what standards are used and followed. The makeup of the State goes from very large metropolitan departments to small 12-15 person volunteer departments and has every combination thereof in between. I do know that Florida IAFF drives the a lot of standards that relate to training and the Florida Fire College. That became painly obvious when they pushed for a mandatory program in the state for volunteers to have that most can not meet and one that is also not offered in a way that would make it convenient for the volunteers to take it.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  18. #18
    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

    Thumbs up WHAT HE SAID!!!!!

    Originally posted by radioguy



    What drives me nuts is places that will totally disband or allow to deteriorate thier volunteer program the minute they get a handfull of paid FF's on the payroll, assuming thats enough. ANY station can maintain at least some volunteers if they wish, it is just a matter of recruiting and retention, and any area that has a good enough tax base to afford paid men surely has enough residents that you can find some willing volunteers.

    90% of the time when I hear folks say they can't find volunteers, it is not that there are not any who would do so out there, but that either the station leadership is not trying to recruit or retain them or that they end up getting treated like crap by the paid guys and leadership and leave. Any community can give you volunteers if you put forth a little effort.




    It's not the fault of the firefighters, but of the leadership and the local government.
    EXACTLY!!!

    I don't remember when I've seen something stated this clearly. IMHO There is absolutely no excuse for not having Volunteers ANYWHERE. Stay Safe....
    Last edited by hwoods; 09-11-2003 at 12:55 AM.
    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

  19. #19
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    S.E. Idaho
    Posts
    915

    Default

    According to the Palm Beach County FD website:
    1114 career firefighters
    100 volunteer firefighters
    39 fire stations excluding Palm Beach Gardens & Pahokee
    197 minimum daily staffing
    653,104 population served
    $184 million FY 02/03
    87,512 total calls FY 01/02
    6 minutes 31 seconds average response time

    Lake Park Rescue-Engine 68 is a 1994 Freightliner FL80 built by Ferrara. It has a 1250 gallon per minute top-mount pump and carries 750 gallons of water. It also functions as an Advanced Life Support Paramedic Unit.

    From looking at the map, there are 2 other stations that appear to be "realatively" close to 68.

    While volunteers can increase manpower (I'm a volunteer on my days off from being a career firefighter) volunteers, just like paid firefighters are not going to save the world.

    "I smelled smoke, and I walked outside, and saw smoke coming out of the eaves," he said. "I walked back into the kitchen and picked up the phone to call 911, but the phone was dead."

    He couldn't see smoke inside the house, but smoke is coming out of the eaves. The fire was in the roof. How long will it take to engulf the roof from one end of the house to the other? Not long. Takes responding first due engine 6 minutes to arrive from the time of 911 call. Could a volunteer engine have made it to the scene in less time with more manpower? I don't know. Could a volunteer company have made any difference? I don't know. CaptStan said that "mandatory program in the state for volunteers to have that most can not meet and one that is also not offered in a way that would make it convenient for the volunteers to take it." So, in this sense, would it be better to have a company full of "under trained" (for lack of a better term) volunteer members or a crew of 3 trained, paid firefighters with back up 4 & 6 minutes out respectively?

    I do agree that you get what you pay for. Well trained, experianced firefighters put out fires, not fire trucks. And isn't it always the case that the contents burned are much more valuble burned then they were new?

    Just my thoughts...

    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    156

    Default

    1114 career firefighter, 100 volunteers.

    I bet 90% or better of those volunteers are only such as they are trying to get a paid job, and the leadership could care less about anybody that just wants to volunteer.

    Would a full volunteer company have been better or do better in a case like this? Who knows. But would having enough volunteers that one could have shown up with the first due have made a difference, I say definitly. 1 or 2 more guys on the scene early on can often make a huge difference. In a case like this, I stand by my earlier statement, if you cannot keep enough paid manpower in each station to do the basic tasks like a simple interior attack, than you need to keep volunteer manpower to supplement it. It's cheap, simple, and effective help.

    As far as Floridas new rules, what they have done is require a FF1 cert before you can even go on a fireground. Here we only allow untrained folks to fill a support role on the fire ground, such as running the cascade system, swapping air bottles, rehab, etc, and barring them from the fireground completely seems a little harsh to me, but I could live with it.

    What I couldn't live with is Floridas training, or lack of availability of training. From everything I hear from down there it is extremly hard to get FF1 & 2 classes outside the state fire academy. Why? The guys at the Academy are a driving force behind a lot of these rules, and the more they force to come to them the more $$$ they get in funding. Most volunteers that do not plan to make a career of firefighting down the road can not afford to take a couple months off from work and go attend the fire academy. If you don't work to make the classes available in a fashion they can attend, but require them to have them, well thats just stupid. Here anyone who wants can easily have thier FF1 & 2 in 6 months of nights and a few weekends if they put a little effort into it. From what I am told in many parts of FL that would be impossible even in twice the time.

    Oh, and don't plan on moving to FL and having any of your certifications transfer either, A friend of mine was, strictly as a volunteer, FF2, HAZMAT ops, EMT-I, ERT, and Instructor certified. His job transferred him to FL, and they told him they would let him challenge the FF2 test but nothing else, and then wanted every training document that ever existed from his 20 years of service and a whole lot more. He said he spent 8 months compiling a 2 inch thick stack of aperwork before he was even allowed to challenge the test, and kept being told "why don't you just come through the academy". He said he never saw a system that made it so hard to try to help people in your spare time.

    You guys from Florida correct me if I am wrong, I get all this second hand.

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