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  1. #1
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Mar 2001
    Pt. Beach, NJ

    Default No FF should ever die...part three

    3. Focus greater attention on the integration of risk management with incident management at all levels, including strategic, tactical, and planning responsibilities.
    Part 1 had lots of good discussion, Part 2 slacked off a bit. It's been a while so let's get part 3 going - only 13 more.

    Staffing is being cut to balance budgets.
    FF's are ignoring OSHA 2in, 2out rule.
    Interior attacks on abandoned buildings.
    "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?

  2. #2
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    New Jersey

    Default Re: No FF should ever die...part three

    Originally posted by Bones42
    Interior attacks on abandoned buildings.
    risk a little to save a little. risk a lot to save a lot. no need to limit yourself to abandoned buildings. no firefighters life is worth an unoccupied building. if it's going real well when you first arrive, stay exterior. no need to risk our lives just to save a structure.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!


  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Flanders, NJ


    It is incredibly difficult to blanketly say "No interior attacks on abandoned buildings!"

    What if that abandoned building sits between two occuppied, yet closely spaced, viable structures. Mounting an exterior attack on that abandoned building may cause unnecessary los of lives and properties in those other propreties.

    The converse argument could be made that there is no way that an interior attack should be mounted on an occuppied dwelling if the fire is too advanced to make a difference. What are you going to save? Remember, risk a lot to save a lot.

    The answer is having enough resources (manpower, equipment, water, etc.) on the first alarm in order to jump on that fire and hold it to the room or floor of origin.

    Budgetary contraints may prevent a department from doing that by itself. My age-old advocacy of regionalization may be the key here.

  4. #4
    IACOJ BOD FlyingKiwi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    New Zealand


    FF's are ignoring OSHA 2in, 2out rule.
    And dying because of this. It is equivalent to chopping off your left hand before trying to start the chainsaw.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  5. #5
    Forum Member SFD13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000


    Interior attacks on abandoned buildings.

    Earlier this year Clearwater VFD lost a FF while doing interior attack on an abandon restuarant. There were no other exposures or risks. While I'm not against doing interior attack, the reward must outway the risk. Many small VFD seem to focus on the reward and not the risk. Tunnel vision kills and injures far too many FF.
    "My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea." - Tommy Douglas 1961.

    Tender 9 - old, slow, ugly, cantankerous, reliable!

    All empires fall, you just have to know where to push

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Sep 1999


    Many small VFD seem to focus on the reward and not the risk. Tunnel vision kills and injures far too many FF.
    Not just volunteers there pal, everyone is guilty.

    Anyway, not making an interior attack on all vacants is a un-thought out statement. Use common sense, if you can go in and knock it, do so. Why would you try to hit a vacant room and contents fire from the outside, push it throughout and risk losing say an entire row?

    It's all common sense. If the building is in bad shape, don't go in. If you're going to lose the block, make more of an effort, if the place is gone before you get there, obvious answer.

    We, as firefighters in many ways are out-safteying ourselves out of doing the job. Going into fires IS a dangerous job. In the grand scheme of things, not that many people die on firegrounds. The majority are BS accidents that shouldn't happen and heart attacks (many of which are un-avoidable, I've seen perfectly healthy people die from heart attacks).

    I think last year the number was only something like 25 or 30 of the LODD's were fighting a fire, the rest were vehicle or medical related. That just made our job a lot safer when you get down to it.

    We still need to be firefighters, go in, do the job, and put the fire out.

  7. #7
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Rural Wisconsin, Retired from the burbs of Milwaukee


    I have always hated the blanket statements of always and never when it comes to firefighting tactics.

    The silliness of no interior attacks on abandoned buildings becomes clear if you roll up and can see a small fire in a single room and because of a rock solid SOG you can't go interior and effectively extinguish that fire so the building burns to the ground and damages exposures. Also, if the fire is just in a few rooms in an abandoned building how do we know squatters haven't taken up residency?

    There is also similar insanity in thinking every fire should be attacked from the interior. No building is worth a firefighter's life.

    I think one of the biggest failings in this area is inadequately or poorly trained company officers. By the time you become a lieutenant or a captain you should have a good balance of fireground experience and textbook knowledge of building construction and the hazards that fires in specific buildings cause. We should be able to trust these officers to make a tactical decision of whether an interior attack is viable or not. If they are incapable of making those initial decisions maybe they shouldn't be in that position.

    I have worked for several officers in my career. One of which absolutely refuses to make an interior attack until we have 2 in and 2 out. Is he right? According to the standards he is. Have fires grown because of his decision? Yes. Has he had a single firefighter injury since he implemented this? No. I also have worked for an officer who looks at the incident and makes a tactical decision based on what he sees before him and how far out the next in unit is. Is he right? Not according to the standards. Have fires grown because of his decision? Some. Has he had a single firefighter injury because of his plan? No.

    Staffing is one of the things we always lose over. Especially the smaller cities or suburban areas. What counts against us is we don't have the frequency of fires that larger urban areas do. Unfortunately, when we do have them we are immediately short handed and are waiting for either mutual aid or call backs to give us enough people to do what we should have had enough people to do initially. How do we counteract this? I wish I knew. Smarter people than me have been beaten by this and chief's have resigned rather than be held accountable for the disasterous incidents they know will eventually happen.

    Is it all gloom and doom? Not really, but many times we are our own worst enemy when it comes to staffing and safety rules. We prove time and time again that we can and will do the job without that 4th guy on the engine or that 4th or 5th guy on the truck. So when we prove that somehow we will make it work we end up shooting ourselves in the foot with the local government.


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