1. #1
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    Default need some PR advice

    we had a fire yesterday where we ran out of water for about 2 to 3 min. Now we are getting a bad rap. I was out of town and am still getting up to speed as to what happend. But I want to adress this before it gets out of hand if possible.

    A quick story.

    Volly dept, shed next to house fully involved on arrival. eve of house on fire.
    pulled 2 attack lines, 500 gal tank ran out of water, second due was a little slow because of daytime response . house got a lot of dammage.

  2. #2
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    I don't mean to second guess but what you need to address is engine company operations. If you're flowing 150gpm per line and you pull two lines,you're flowing 300gpm. A 500gal tank will empty within 2 minutes.You didn't say what size line was used.A 2 1/2 flowing 225-250gpm will empty the tank in no time all by itself.Was the shed 8x10, was it 50x75 attached to the house.Where did the first line go? On the shed or directed towards the house.Let the shed burn and go for the house.Charging a second line while working off a tank takes water away from the first line that may be closer to the fire and put the crew in jepardy. So don't be caught off guard when the tank starts to run out.Drill with dropping the tank with 1,and 2 lines for time.Not how fast you can do it,but how long before you're sucking air..As far as the public,they'll always second guess whether they're there or not, even if they never saw a fire in their life.You could say you're working on improving your tactics,or need new equipment.I don't know,but good luck pal.
    Last edited by len1582; 03-20-2004 at 01:38 PM.

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    Sounds to me like typical problems volunteer and understaffed career departments face every day in this country. Of course, I wasn't there; but some things can be done to help prevent this, including automatic mutual aid and first-due engines with 1000 gallon tanks. Also, look into whether or not your policy is set as RECEO; rescue, exposures, containment, extinguishment, and overhaul. If you have such a fire, it is often best to use what water you have to protect exposures. Firefighters must be taught to control the urge to attack the main body of fire. It's simply a matter of GPM's versus BTU's; if you don't have the water or application rate to put the fire out, your best bet is to protect exposures until help gets there, or a water supply can be established. Attacking a fully involved fire (even a shed) with five hundred gallons of water is like ****ing on a blowtorch. And we all know what fire can do in the few minutes your standing there without water. Of course, life safety takes priority in any situation.

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    Default My 2 cents

    You don't offer a lot of information, but I tend to agree with the other replys.

    It is not much different that this. Your company rolls up on a fully involved structure fire that you know will require a defensive attack. The house next door is only 10 feet away. Save what can be saved. Your are going to protect the exposure, right? Most everything in that shed seems it was well on it's way to ash.

    I realize that daytime responses are a tough thing for many volunteer companies. Make the most of what and who you have.

    Stay Healthy & Stay Safe

    Phil

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    Is this in a hydrant area or does water need to be shuttled in?

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    If you knew that you would have been operating alone for a while, you should have dropped your own feeder on the way in. This is assuming there are hydrants in the area.

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    yes Hydrant area

    Sops are, first in attack, second in water supply.

    First was fast rolling and big fire on arrival

    second was a bit slower and did catch the hydrant on the way in.

    In hind site, first could have tagged a hydrant on the way in, but this would have delayed attack to a full involved fire.

    I can't point fingers here. Maybe adjust sops.

    Adress it in training.

  8. #8
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    Thumbs up A Slight Adjustment................

    As a Chief who does this every day, I would STRONGLY urge you to drop a line at the hydrant on the way in WITH THE FIRST ENGINE. This is absolutely not an option in my Dept, you do it or you're gone. Also, we drop a line ON EVERY RUN. Just because you don't see anything when you look down the street doesn't mean that there is no Fire. Practice does not make perfect, Perfect Practice makes perfect, so Practice a lot, put it in the street everytime, and you'll be able to have a good water supply with NO DELAY. Good Luck on this one. Oh, last thing, Hand out Volunteer Applications to everyone who complains. It's obvious that they know it all, so they should be helping out. My motto is "Put up or shut up" Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    I've always said "hind site is 20-20". We should always reveiw our plan of action after any incident to see what was done right and what can be improved upon.Any one can arm chair quarterback and critisize what you do after the fact (the public) but what you did at the time probably seemed right at the moment.

    Just a question, if you lost water for two or three minutes, how long would it take to grab a hydrant on the way in? Our SOG's are for the 1st in engine to grab the hydrant (in hydranted areas) and lay into the scene. In our case we have only one engine and the next due M/A is going to be 3-5 minutes out at best.

    You didn't address manpower. We are fairly lucky that normally,even in daytime we can get a full engine crew 5-6 f/f and 12-15 on scene within a few minutes. I'd say that pulling two lines was ok but only charge and use one to protect the exposure untill you had sufficient H20/manpower to initiate an attack with the second because the shed was apparently already a write-off.

    Again, these are what work for us. I'd review the incident and make changes to yuor SOGs that seem appropriate.

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    Catching a hydrant with first in wouldn't have taken that long. Only the time it took to stop by it. Once on the scene use the tank water till the hydrant is connected. That's how we do it here. Normally there is no break in water flow. Maybe just a small drop in pressure when switching over.

    Also if it was a problem due to manpower use it as a recruitment tool. "If we would of had more manpower" or "We could use more volunteers" or "If employers would allow people to leave work"

    I realize some people can't leave there job because of the work they do but I think the biggest problem employers have with people leaving work is they think they are goofing off on there time. Workers should only leave jobs for structure fires or things that sound serious. If it sounds like a BS call it more than likely is. Stay at work an monitor the situation. Also get back to work as soon as possible. Don't stand around and shoot the breeze.

    I know got off topic a lil bit but oh well.

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    A little over a month ago, my career engine manned with 4 and our automatic aid engine, manned by 2 were dispatched to a trailer house fire.
    Our engine was first in, we stopped and established a water supply and made an aggressive interior attack on this trailer that was 75% involved. Including and elderly male who was burned and subsequently passed away from his injuries.
    We fought the fire and made a good stop in the portion of his trailer with all the old family treasures, with a total of 6 firefighters!
    While not recommended, it can be done with less then 20 people.

    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

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    Hand out Volunteer Applications to everyone who complains. It's obvious that they know it all, so they should be helping out. My motto is "Put up or shut up"
    LOL I agree 100%

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    Tell the people that complain the truth for one... dont embelish it at all.

    As for how your SOGs read or whatever, follow them or change them if ya dont like them. Our SOGs on a structure fire is that the first engine in rols up to attack, and the second one coming in lays the line from the hydrant. In all honesty... it really dont matter I dont think as long as it works for YOU. What works for us, might not work for someone else, and vice versa. This is probably why we have a 1750 gallon tank on our first out with a 1500 gallon behind it from the east town. All topped off with two big tankers.

    It sounds like just the simple mistake of putting the water on the wrong stuff. Next time step back, take a minute, think about it, and then re-evaluate. Take a few seconds in the beginning and you will save yourself hours in the end.
    Firefighter/EMT Mitch Cowen
    Hose Co. 1 1st Lieutenant
    Randolph Fire Co. Inc

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    To address your question about the press.

    Be honest, background and describe your dept.(1 truck 4 men, ect)
    Eplain the scene, no candy coat, dispatch time,arrival time.
    If you think you should have done somthing different explain why, but watch out for the liability.

    500 gallon of water will only put out a given amount of fire.

    Ask for help! any help. A real good time for recruitment.

    JMO

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    Gotta disagree with college buff some what. Most of the time it is easier to protect the exposures. But nothings set in stone, multiple exposures, odball type exposures (large open overhangs, shake roofs,ect) it is sometimes better to roll the dice,and blitz the fire. All a judgement call, same concept on rescue on large buildings with many occupants. Hit the fire and things usually improve.

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    GPM123,

    Plain and simple, I would explain the way you operate. First engine in for attack and second engine in for supply. Explain why you operate that way, quick attack, faster rescues or whatever reason you operate that way. Perhaps if you have the data of average response times for that second engine explain that this is a rare occurence and more volunteers or more employers willing to let their employees leave for fires would lessen a reoccurence.

    As far as looking at the way you operate...perhaps. What we allow is the first in rig some leway. If they see smoke or fire we lay in if a hydrant is available. If nothing is showing they respond in and the second rig stages at the hydrant ready to lay in.

    I agree that this is the time to hand your critics an application and say we would apprecite your help.

    FyredUp

  17. #17
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    Same idea. RECEO. If your engine only has 500 gallons of water, and you respond to a full involved shed; it is already a total loss. If no one is in it, the Exposures are your next priority. Depending on the fire, and 1 3/4 line should be adequate to protect a neighboring house from the fire. If second due engine is 2 minutes out, then your water will last with one line pulled. Also, is their hydrants in the area???? Was there enough people on the engine, 3 at least? One FF can catch the hydrant, officer sizes up and pulls the exposure line, Pumper Operator, of course pumps, and creates a water supply. If first due engine company protocol isn't hooking up to a hydrant, maybe this issue needs to be addressed, and given the circumstances would be the best thing to do. Life Safety, Incident Stabilization, and property conservation.
    Good luck in the Future!

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    Default Re: A Slight Adjustment................

    Originally posted by hwoods
    As a Chief who does this every day, I would STRONGLY urge you to drop a line at the hydrant on the way in WITH THE FIRST ENGINE. This is absolutely not an option in my Dept, you do it or you're gone. Also, we drop a line ON EVERY RUN. Just because you don't see anything when you look down the street doesn't mean that there is no Fire. Practice does not make perfect, Perfect Practice makes perfect, so Practice a lot, put it in the street everytime, and you'll be able to have a good water supply with NO DELAY. Good Luck on this one. Oh, last thing, Hand out Volunteer Applications to everyone who complains. It's obvious that they know it all, so they should be helping out. My motto is "Put up or shut up" Stay Safe....
    Chief Woods,
    Is this a Glenn Dale SOP or a PGFD SOP that the first engine hits the hydrant? Thanks

    Eric

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