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    Default No FF Should Ever Die - Part deux


    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by hfd66truck
    2. Enhance the personal and organizational accountability for health and safety;

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    It kinda been discussed thoughout this thread so far. But here we go. I think that personal accountability leads to better organizational accountability. Be responsible for yourself 1st....
    Round Two - item 2

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    Originally Posted by Da Man - Chief ReasonI think that this one goes straight to the heart of "accounting" for each and every person at the scene. However that is done. Tags, magnetic boards, Passport devices, GPS, etc. But don't stop there. Just knowing where they are at isn't enough. You need to know how long that they have been in, how much air has been consumed, are they in a high heat environment, among others.
    Having SOPs/SOGs, reading up on the various standards and regulations concerning equipment and environment will go a long ways towards establishing a viable organizational accountability system.
    What kind of accountability system do you use? Do you even have a designated safety officer at the time that the alarm is struck? Do you have a Plan B to your Plan A? What is your mayday signal? Do you have a mayday signal? Have you trained your people to recognize signs of flashover/backdraft? Fire behavior in general? Do they understand lightweight vs. heavy timber construction?
    I mean; the more firefighters know about the "enemy", the easier it will be to "defeat" it.
    CR

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    The British SCBA Control procedure gives great accountability for BA crews. It gives time in, how much air you have on entry, when you are due out and time of low air alarm.You have a dedicated Control Officer watching to see that all is going well and this person has the authority to send in the emergency team if the crew is not out on time. It also melds with the guide line procedure.I cant understand the reluctance of FDs over here in the USA to adopt this system. Its a life saver IMHO.

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    And it works real well.

    The other thing we use is the Low Air Alarm. The cylinder gauge reads around 200 Ats (Atmospheres) on entry, the alarm sounds at 50.

    So the rule of thumb is "150 for the Service and 50 for me."

    Meaning it is better to be out BEFORE the alarm sounds.

    There are other crews showing up, they can take on the fight. Your reserve air is just that, a reserve for if you encounter problems.
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    Air management is becoming the buzzword now, but in many places its still the "wait for the bell" then get out method. If you treated smoke like divers treat water, you would be much more concerned about running out of air.

    Dave

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    hfd66truck,

    I fully understand why persons are concerned with air time and monitoring this time.

    Here are some ideas for solutions...

    -Increase staffing so Company officers can be more concerned with such issues as Air consumption. If they are stretching lines or pulling celings they aren't really paying attention to the big picture or their men. Why promote a guy to company officer if all they are going to do is be your Back up man?

    -Increase staffing and call more companies, even if that means all of your working fires will be 2nd alarms or more. If you don't have enough call Mutual aid until you are blue in the face. If the city fathers complain or other cities complain..you now have stats to ask for more funding and more staffing. If you have guys completely using up 45 min bottles on a regular basis before being relieved. Perhaps you need more men and companies for relief.

    -CHIEFS AIDES!!!!! I can't yell this loud enough. How many NIOSH reports do you need? How many depts got rid of them only to have serious problems arrise when the chief had too much on his plate without his aides. (Seattle, Pittsburg...) They are absolutely critical to managing all the incomming and out going info on the fireground. And they need to be there from the begining so the chief isn't dwelling on how to get there and driving he can instead listen to the radio and concentrate on what companies are responding what the situation is and what he will do once on scene...etc. Many states are now banning cell phone use while driving because it is distracting. Now if people can't handle talking about what groceries to pickup on the way home...how can you expect a chief to handle all his info.

    I think while many ideas will work for small depts and small houses, large MDs and larger depts will have a problem implementing a system where there is some 1 or 2 guys you must check with before entering the building. Where I work this is a physical imposibility and also it could be argued unecessary. I just hope some don't take a good idea and bastardize it into another layer of bureaucracy that will only hamper sound firefighting tactics and procedures. (Many probably will though)

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 07-22-2004 at 12:04 AM.

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    Ultimately I think the responsibilty for air supply, like accountability, start with the individual. I agree with you Fred, another layer, just for the sake of having it, is not needed.

    Each Firefighter needs to be accountable for his/her actions, his/her safety, his/her equipment..... Thsi starts way before we hit the trucks. I also agree about the manning issues. I have always written our runcards with an "overkill saves lives" attitude. You can always turn them around if they are not needed.

    Originally posted by FFFRED I think while many ideas will work for small depts and small houses, large MDs and larger depts will have a problem implementing a system where there is some 1 or 2 guys you must check with before entering the building. Where I work this is a physical imposibility and also it could be argued unecessary.
    I wouldn't be so sure that it wouldn't. London uses these procedures and the initial air management is done by the 1st due MPO (if I read that correctly before) I am not questioning the FDNY tactics or procedures, just offering that some things that may seem unworkable at first glance, but may actually work out.

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    Just a few points on safety from a volunteer prospective

    Accountability starts long before the tones go off.

    A) staying shape, eating healthy.

    B) Practising on a regular basis, and I mean practising not just showing up.

    C) Being conscious of any and all safety protocols in place.

    Accountability after the tones go off:

    A) Not going on calls if youíre under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    B) Driving responsibly , wearing your seat belt. That means not driving recklessly so you can be one the first due engine. I live 2.5 miles from my hall, I rarely get there in time for the first due. Iíve had other FF pass me on the way to the hall.

    C) Driving the apparatus responsibly, wearing your seat belt and making sure every FF is using their seat belt.

    D) Being aware of safety on the scene, every FF should be their own safety officer. Pointing out safety concerns any time you see them, even if this makes you unpopular with some officers and other FF.

    Remember the three most important rules in fire fighting: SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY. This doesnít mean not being aggressive, you can be aggressive without being reckless.
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    FFRED;

    Im not sure if I have fully understood your response.

    "I think while many ideas will work for small depts and small houses, large MDs and larger depts will have a problem implementing a system where there is some 1 or 2 guys you must check with before entering the building. Where I work this is a physical imposibility and also it could be argued unecessary. I just hope some don't take a good idea and bastardize it into another layer of bureaucracy that will only hamper sound firefighting tactics and procedures. (Many probably will though)"

    The way it works in the UK (or it did while I was there) On a small job, the driver could be designated as the Stage One BA Control Officer. On a job that involved more personnel then A fire fighter was designated as Stage One Control and his sole job was to monitor the entry/exit of the crews. If the incident developed into a Stage Two control, then an Officer was designated. Believe me, it is not a task to be taken lightly, you have to be on the ball all the time. And I would argue that far from being unecessary, it is in fact a very necessary procedure. This is borne out somewhat by the British LODD being so low in comparison to other Countries.

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    protomkv,

    I knew that there would be misunderstanding.
    London isn't New York even by a long shot. I formerly worked with a bloke from Kent and we've had long discussions on UK FF and US and similarities and differences. Totally different systems and set up.

    Perhaps because our procedures outline what each member will be doing and that there is no one free to stand around and do this. Besides, how would the Engine Chauffuer down the street hooking up to the hydrant know when the Inside team forced entry and is now making its way into the appartment on the 5th floor? Or better yet 37th floor?

    You might suggest the Truck Chauffuer... what if he is positioning the aerial? Or teaming up with the 2nd Due Chauffeur on high-rise jobs?

    We could have members VESing via Aerial ladders, portable ladders, fire escapes from below and above, searching multiple floors at a time. OVM comming up, Roof men comming down etc. 1st Due and 2nd Due...etc.

    We have everyone assigned to a task and every task is important to the safe concusion of the fire. For someone to just stand there at the countless places keeping track of who goes in and who goes out would require a whole van load of these entry control officers and there would have to be at least one per battalion if not more. I just don't see working for us as the city would like to cut our staffing even more!

    As for unnecesary I think it is already taken care of here since my officers are only there to suppervise they don't pick up tools or handle the hose lines. They are only concerned with such tasks as how much air have we used...etc. Besides how is it the alarms on the masks and the gauges don't do enough? How many more improvements do you need?

    I ran through the mulitple senarios in my head and I can't figure out how it would work, help or not seriously delay crucial fireground operations. Thats how I came to my conculsion.

    FTM-PTB

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    FFFRED.

    It works like this,

    The pump operator maintains no more than 2 crews of 2 FF's on the board as the ECO, controlling up to 2 entry points. If you have more than 4 people inside you obviously have more than 2 trucks in attendance and it is a major incident.

    So there will be FF's lined up ready to go in and relieve crews as they come out. These FF's position by the ECO/Pump Op to recieve the brief from the outgoing crew or go in and get them.

    Establishing more entry points mean another pump operator takes over as ECO for entry points 3 and 4, and then has his relief crews stationed by him.

    Going above 4 entry points will mean that there are crew waiting to enter, crew rehabbing, and crews inside, this gives enough manpower to establish the ECO's as designated FF's relieving the Pump Op to get on with his job.

    After 4 entry points an overall ECO Officer is appointed for managing FF's Inside and setting up cylinder supplies. And a designated local channel on the radios for all BA work seperate to the Fire Ground channel. This way the OIC Scene can co-ordinate the various fire ground functions with out chattering up the working FF's channel.

    So your manpower at 6 entry points would be

    At least 12 FF's inside
    At least 12 FF's outside donned ready to mask up and enter
    3 ECO handling 2 entry points each
    1 ECO Officer handling the ECO's

    so about 27 FF's should cover it.

    At a situation where you have 6 entry points, how many FF's would you expect to be at the scene?

    Remember there is no real RIT team set up here, we all do that work, thats why the standby guys are with the ECO ready to rock.

    Also there is no problem with placing the call "Make Pumps X" down here, even if it turns out they are not needed and turned back. It is better to over manpower a fire ground than run out of FF's and have it turn to custard on you.
    Last edited by FlyingKiwi; 07-22-2004 at 04:21 PM.
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    Originally posted by FFFRED
    We have everyone assigned to a task and every task is important to the safe concusion of the fire.
    This is one area where you guys are way above everybody else. Obviously it works, and works well.

    Originally posted by FFFRED
    As for unnecesary I think it is already taken care of here since my officers are only there to suppervise they don't pick up tools or handle the hose lines. They are only concerned with such tasks as how much air have we used...etc.
    This is another good point. Until you have the manpower to ensure that the Officer only has to worry about the size up and his firefighters (ie not opening up or humping hose), many of the problems being discussed will exist.

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    You know:
    In class, they teach us to lay the tarp out and to place all of our tools on the tarp.
    We should do that with manpower. If you aren't involved in the fight, then you are standing on a brightly colored tarp until you are assigned a task and you give your tag to the accountability officer.
    And I agree. We should have learned from the Battle of Little Big Horn that more is better! Underestimating the enemy can have a very bad outcome. Right, Custer?
    CR
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    Default Techno Weinie note.

    Scott SEMS tracks firefighters air use and pass condition just by turning on the pack.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    FFFred,
    I guess I am quite a veteran of FDNY now having spent a few weeks over the past few years riding out of E37/L40, R3, B58, E3/L12/B7 with other trips out to R1, SQ288/Hz1 and Fort Totton.

    I fully understand how your system works and no matter how much I puzzle cannot see a way to introduce our style of SCBA Control without completely overhauling the way you operate...which cannot be an option becuase it is fantastic.

    Having said this there are several points I'd like to make...as far as the actual Cities go NYC and London are similar... If you thinned out mid-town a little bit, took in New Jersey from Englewood down to Bayonne and out to Newark, then took in half of Nassau County on the other side you would have London... A little less dense in the middle but geographically much larger... the end result is about the same size population. Commerce, Diversity, almost every other demographic is the same, apart from we have a very liberal Mayor, so crime In London is looking like it was by you 25 years ago.

    So, now you take that area and cover it with 112 Fire Stations staffed by 7000 Personnel, who do not do any EMS (London Ambulance thake care of that 1.5 Million calls) but attend 300,000 fire calls of which 50,000 are fires, over 1000 requiring more than the first attendance.

    Figures look like we have a similar workload but with far fewer personnel...2 Pumps (4-5 Crew on each) for a fire in the outer areas, 3 Pumps and an aerial for the middle of town.

    With all of the structure jobs we have we can still do BA Control, I admit that with your assignments it would not work, but somewhere there must be a system of placing a tally off of your SCBA with a name, company and air contents on, even if it was not as strictly monitored as our policy.

    Everyone in the fire building leaves a tally in a board downstairs, like some of ours, the tally going in triggers a clock counting down 'average' air consumtion. The only thing that would have to change is the fact that if you are under air you stay under air...all of this on and off with the mask lark would have to stop...ask your lungs, or the old London Smoke Eaters...oh!!! They all died already!!!!

    I have 3 BC's, 2DC's and a DAC come over by me last summer. Apart from the DAC wanting to take our command bus back to NYC for a FDNY re-spray they were impressed with BA Control and the BA Guideline we use...so much so that I brought one over with me last October and gave a presentation to Chief Cassanno who I believe sent it out for trial.

    So, these guys can see a way of it working, definitely not like we do, but working in some shape or form.

    Jesus Christ we lost two Guys this week by what looks like a horrific backdraft. But within sconds we knew exactly who was where and who was missing...small comfort for all of us who are hurting this week, but the IC knew exactly who he was missing and where they were.

    If what you are doing gives an incident commander that much clarity that quickly over by you, then I will be quiet. If not then you have to meet me halfway, as a 'Chief' I could not do my job without knowing exactly what was going on with absolutely everyone.
    Last edited by SteveDude; 07-24-2004 at 05:23 AM.
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    SteveDude,

    I'm glad you can see what my issues were regarding our operations vs this entry point control concept. You state you have observed many of our operations and as such you probably have a better grasp and understanding of what I was discussing eariler in the thread. I think because of this you can understand how I am looking at this concept for us and the many other US FDs that use similar initial procedures at working fires.

    I realize London isn't that different in many respects to NY as I talk to many UK tourists and they all feel very comfortable in NY as if they almost were in their own neighborhood. What I was trying to illustrate was that the number of men, types of buildings and system of operations (detailed riding positions, Eng-Trk, assigned tools..etc.) were vastly different. Where as one poster mentioned that under a described system they would have only 27 men and roughly half were going to stand around outside and wait. Whereas we have at least 50 men at an All-Hands fire which means Everyone(with the exception of the FAST truck) is working. And extra Engine and truck are typically called for precautionary relief purposes. Add in the multiple actions that are occuring simultaneously and it isnt' possible for everyone to have such tracking. I'm still not convinced it is needed in that format. I personally would rather have these control guys as company officers who aren't part of the stretch and aren't carrying truckie tools. They could be in there up close monitioring the big picture with the men in the most danger and not standing blind out in a hallway.

    I'm be looking to see what comes from the R&D on those test procedures you mentioned. Though we have and continue to do trials on every concept, tool, apparatus, most don't work out and are scrapped. Contrary to what most people believe (especailly certian Left coast persons)the FDNY is open to new concepts and tools, however they are strictly evaluated and tested in a number of environments. Historicly we haven't have chiefs re-write policy without extensive resarch. This process often takes 6 months to a year or more. One would only have to look at how long it took to get acceptance of the Rabbit-Tool among the Rescues and Truckies to see how hard it is to change the old tried and true.

    Only once something is shown to need improvement or having XYZ procedure will obviously improve operations will it get written into procedures. Our SOPs are probably the most complicated and battle tested ones out there. They aren't for example, changed just because TFT came out with some new expensive low pressure fog/SB that is meant to replicate the smoothbores we already have.

    We might see a small segement of the concept or system worked into the framework we alredy have in place, however as I said I personally don't see how this would be possible. Perhaps we will have certain chiefs assigned new tasks and considerations that they didn't previously have...however the firefloor in a Brownstone or Tenement is way too crowded to have more people just waiting at the door to try to keep track of 10+ guys that might just go into the fire appartment, not including other apartments to be searched, and floor above..etc. Besides it goes so fast no one is waiting to give names and tags. There would be a collosal backup or men at the door.

    As for our Chiefs or IC having immediate knowledge of who is missing and where they are I completely disagree that a Chief should know where all 50+ men are at, at anyone given time. That is what company officers are for, they keep track of their men in turn the chiefs keep track of the company officers...etc.

    That isn't to say that if the 2nd Due Roofman or 1st Due OVM or 3rd Due Backupman... transmitts a Mayday that the chief won't know where they are at in some sense. Based on procedures we would know where he would have been comming from, going to, what tools he would have, where he should have been operating and so forth. Unless otherwise indicated that is where the search for the man begins. I really don't know of that many depts out there that could do that.

    As for everyone else, many if not most places are really hurting for manpower to begin with...not sure they will be able to muster up enough guys to do this Entry Point Control when they would be better used elsewhere.(vent,search,etc.)

    Interesting thoughts though. I'll be waiting to see what comes of it.

    FTM-PTB

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    Fred,
    I understand completely... the LFB is often likended to an Oil Tanker... takes for ever to get a change of direction. Unbelivable but we have been trialing Halligans...yes the same things you have had for decades... and rabbit tools for over 5 years. Every time they get the go ahead, someone else has an issue with it, it as to go back to commitee...etc...etc...zzzzz

    I also see all of the points you are making with regard to everyones role, but a couple of points...

    1. The Chief may rely on the Company Officer to let him know how things are going. But, what if the whole company...working for example deep inside a strip mall get into trouble, when will they be missed??? and who will know exactly how far they got, what went wrong and so on.

    2. There is no way until hell freezes over (in which case we'd be out of a job anyway ) that you can ever adopt our procedure...it'd be as unrealistic as us turning hundreds of years of tradition on its head and suddenly haveing engine and Truck Companies.

    What can happen though is; with advances in technology, every one could have some sort of tally etc on their PASS or whatever...this could be entered into some sort of board with desiganetd roles on like 1st Engine, 1st Truck, 2nd Engine etc...

    You all know your designated jobs, but in the event of an emergency they would know that at 10:30hrs, Capt Black, Ff's White, Green, Blue, Red & Yellow entered the structure as second due Truck in a tenement. They (If I remember rightly) are designated above the fire floor, so if anything happened and it all went 'tits up' as we say over here. We have a dynamc record of who is where, how long they have been gone, last message etc....

    By the same token I would love to introduce some FDNY policies over by me...and within certain boundaries I have taken FDNY best practice with High rises and other stuff and introduced it locally, as I speak we are trying to get the 'Oil Tanker' to adopt a whole new High Rise policy

    Obviously these are just ideas from the top of my head, but we are none of us perfect. As big busy Departments with big Budgets in modern developed Countries we are luckier than some...but I can state that the LFB can take a lot of lessons from many smaller quieter UK & European FD's, as well as other 'super size' depts such as FDNY & Tokyo.
    Steve Dude
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    Steve Dude,

    I like the tanker analogy.

    Anyhow to answer your questions. Officers and certian members (truckies) give updates to the Chief. As well as the Chief also typically asks for updates on conditions and situations. All members have handie-talkies. If the Chief repeatedly calls Ladder 00 and they don't respond...there is a problem. If contact is lost with a member(s) then after failing to raise them on the HTs They could do a number of things. Make sure that a radio relay or Post radio operation isn't needed (or improved) in Cellars, Subways, or high-rises. Have another company operating nearby look into it or if the conditions warrant send the Rescue Company and/or FAST Truck to search starting in their last known location based on where they were told to go and where they might be.

    Also just to clairify tpically the chiefs, Field Comm, etc. don't track individual FF movements throught the structure. That duty rests on the company officer. They track the companies as to what due they were and what their assignement is based on procedure or for greater alarms, what the chief ordered them to do. Our riding list (the BF-4) is two copies, one for the boss in his pocket and one on the rig.

    To track every single FF at the Battalion Chief level would be rather daunting considering it would be roughly a minimum of 50+ men. Someday with improvements in technology and legal requirements for cities to purchase well-tested and proven equipment once it is thoroughly developed will help keep track of FFs. However a reliable and practical system isn't a reality yet. Until then I hope we find a workable solution if the current system is shown to be faulty.

    FTM-PTB

    PS- Just what prey tell do you use for Forcible Entry then if you don't have halligans? Considering you have many doors in Masonry frames and walls I can imagine FE being quite the challenge.
    Last edited by FFFRED; 07-27-2004 at 12:11 AM.

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    Has anyone used or even evaluated the Scott SEMS System? This seems like it would be the ultimate accountability system if it's reliable. Hopefully as more manufacturers develop these systems the price will come down.
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

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    WTFD10,
    That system looks great if not a little expensive and complicated...what are the fail safes if the technology goes wrong...I have to admit I didn't go right through it. Maybe that would suit smaller well financed departments. I amagine the budget to get a Big Dept set up would raise a few eyebrows and plenty of other who don't even have new Fire trucks wouldn't stand a chance with it.

    FFFred,
    What do we use??? The same as you guys did before Hugh Halligen had his good idea...

    A 14lb Sledge Hammer, a Crow Bar, a large Axe and big strong Firefighters... if there are metal security doors involved then the grinders and/or the 'jaws' come off.

    I have also seen the riding lists.. we have Nominal roll boards, almost the same but the tops identifies the Crew (Company) i.e F22 Poplar Pump or F22 Poplar Pump Ladder, below that the date and name & rank of the Crews is written in chinagraph (wax pencil). This styas with the truck, if the job is a worker (all hands) or a make up (Multi Alarm) One Firefighter, usualy a Driver from the 2nd or third in will collect all of the roll boards, he will then get an incident command wallet from the front of one of the Trucks and set this up one what we designate the ICP (Initial Control Point).

    The blue lights will be switched off on all other appliances (unless there is a safety issue such as a fast road etc) this will identify the ICP to oncoming Crews and Officers. The Wallet will list the IC, messages sent, attendance from FB (by the boards) and attendance of other such as Police or Ambulance, a paln of the incident....

    Tell'ya what, I'll take a photo... a shame becuase I had a job this evening involving acetylene where we had it set up...and I'll post it here.. a picture paints a thousand words etc.
    Steve Dude
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