1. #1
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    Default Structural FIRE ATTACK 'SOP'

    OK I have been calling for a fire-ground action plan for years. I base this approach on a much needed SOP for structure fires. We need guidance on what tasks are important at a structural fire and what priority should be placed on each? Perhaps you already have such an SOP in your department? Maybe, after some debate, we will arrive at an effective approach that is simple to use; universal; and improves safety further still.

    However - you will discover - there is a conflict! How do we address the 'emotional' aspects associated with 'persons reported trapped' incidents, as opposed to sound and sensible tactical aspects?

    Here's my tactical plan - Primary actions and Secondary actions - to be completed in order - not so rigid that certain actions can't be 'leap-frogged' over others, where necessary, but there had better be a good reason to do this!

    Primary Actions

    1. Position Apparatus
    2. Visible Rescues
    3. Initial Water Supply
    4. Cover hose-lines
    5. Exterior Lighting
    6. Forcible Entry (exterior)
    7. Fire Attack
    8. Fire Isolation

    Secondary Actions

    1. Accountability
    2. Tactical Ventilation
    3. Interior Search & Rescue
    4. Additional Water Supplies
    5. Interior Lighting
    6. Back-up (support) Hose-line
    7. Master Streams (Monitors)
    8. Rapid Intervention Teams

    I'm interested in your views on prioritizing actions - Primarys .... Secondarys .... Maybe you think some are missing?

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    You're going to get beat up a little because some people will not understand what you are saying. Many of these actions can be completed simulataneously. They are not completed in this exact order. Many of your porimary consideration are fire fighter safety-related and are already completed, albeit, automatically and unconsciously.

    For the most part, I agree with you. However, I have two comments on the Primary side.

    1. I think that you need to put "Locate the fire" in before you can attack and isolate it.

    2. I also think that, according to many state regs, you have to establish and incident management system and an accountability procedure prior to entering the building. Also, at least in NJ, the RIT teams have to be considered early in the game, again, according to state regs.

    Please don't misunderstand me. I see your big picture and, for the most part, I agree. Having a coordinated attack plan would reduce FF injuries and deaths.
    Last edited by GeorgeWendtCFI; 02-07-2005 at 09:27 AM.

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    I forgot one. There should be some consideration for fires where the suppression system is already operating. A fire where the sprinkler system is already operating on the fire will require a secondary water source as a primary consideration.

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    Thumbs up Interesting.....................

    Paul raises some interesting points here. Far too many troops rush off to do battle with no plan at all. When (Not if) you fail to plan, you are planning to fail (Thanks to someone who posts here, I wouldn't have thought that up by myself) We use Standard Operating Guidelines (S.O.Gs.) which are fairly Basic in their approach. It has been my experience that more complicated plans tend to have a problem arise more often than the simpler ones. One difference with me is that I want "Accountability" from the start. Our units mark up responding and give the number of persons on the crew at that time. Since having someone on the Fireground that was not on a piece of apparatus is not the norm, we can figure that the rundown from the dispatcher is correct. With Volunteers, I can have an Engine coming with 3 people or 10 people, so knowing what the staffing levels are up front is important.

    Looking at Paul's list, as posted, I don't have any problems with covering all those places, but we just flow right thru it, breaking it into Primary/Secondary doesn't do anything helpful.

    First Engine: Supply line from Hydrant to side A, Attack line to Fire, Vent and search as you go.
    Second Engine: Insure water to First Engine, Run a Backup line for First Engine.
    Third Engine: Stretch from different Hydrant to Side C. Run line per IC Direction.
    Fourth Engine: Gets water to Third Engine, Crew reports to Third Engine, waits for direction from IC.
    First Truck: Search and Vent, Ladders.
    Second Truck: Lights, Fans, Utilities, Secondary Search.
    Rescue Company RIT, unless otherwise directed by IC.

    Basic concept? Sure. Work? Sure. With those Thousand and one things that can, and do, change from minute to minute, you need Flexibility. Planning for the worst outcome gives you the best odds for avoiding the worst outcome.
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    Smile Thanks George.......................

    I'm also getting forgetful. On a Building with a built in system, First Engine secures water to the system, Crew takes the Standpipe pack to the Floor below the Fire as appropriate.
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    We do a lot of the same things, just not in the same order and many are done simulataneously. The main differences is accountablity is a primary function for us, as is establish IC and RIT.
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    George - Solid, sound and true to the cause - Good points all through. This was a UK proposal for a fireground attack plan I tendered (published) in 1991. The system is adaptable but as we approach structure fires in europe, it is not as 'organised' as in the US. There are no roles, no ladder (companies), just engines. No assignments occur until on-scene, except for the initial two SCBA.

    This flexibility was always seen as a positive feature of our system. Since having worked the US system I am convinced we are simply too flexible in europe. This means that safety may be compromised by differing approaches to similar situations. Yes you are right - safety is at the centre of this.

    However, I would still suggest that many US fire departments function outside of such a tactical approach. You guys might think this is not the case but apply the test ....

    I agree firstly with you all .. accountability is a primary. When the plan was proposed 14 years ago we had accountability for firefighters arriving and working on-scene. This was built into our system and was an automatic feature so was not a consideration. The accountability I referred to was for SCBA wearers. We operate SCBA control but 14 years ago the system was restricted by available manpower and tended to be a 'Secondary' consideration as other roles took priority. However, now we operate Rapid Deployment SCBA accountibility where wearers enter a tally into a board on the engine and this automatically starts a clock ticking - showing how long they have been under air when full SCBA accountability is set up some minutes later.

    I agree - accountability can now move up as a top Primary. HWoods, I see your point but I sincerely believe the object of primarys and Secondarys is to place greater emphasis on the 8 most important features. Kind of place this up front in the mind-set. You know - Ten commandments etc! But here's a thing - what if .... what if the first engine on-scene has a fire on the ground floor but persons reported trapped upstairs in a two storey house fire? Five firefighters arriving on-scene to operate on their own for 4-5 minutes .... ?

    and ... I agree again George .... Locate the fire first not always obvious.

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    ----------------------------------------------------
    Quote by Paul Grimwood:
    Here's my tactical plan - Primary actions and Secondary actions - to be completed in order - not so rigid that certain actions can't be 'leap-frogged' over others, where necessary, but there had better be a good reason to do this!

    Primary Actions

    1. Position Apparatus
    2. Visible Rescues
    3. Initial Water Supply
    4. Cover hose-lines
    5. Exterior Lighting
    6. Forcible Entry (exterior)
    7. Fire Attack
    8. Fire Isolation

    Secondary Actions

    1. Accountability
    2. Tactical Ventilation
    3. Interior Search & Rescue
    4. Additional Water Supplies
    5. Interior Lighting
    6. Back-up (support) Hose-line
    7. Master Streams (Monitors)
    8. Rapid Intervention Teams
    -------------------------------------------------------

    Paul,

    I can't see where setting lights is more important than Forcible Entry, Fire Attack, Back-up lines, Master Streams, or Rit teams.

    Lights are important, but the lack of them is not going to stop me from any of the things mentioned. To me lights get important after the fire is knocked down.
    RK
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    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    I can't see where setting lights is more important than Forcible Entry, Fire Attack, Back-up lines, Master Streams, or Rit teams.
    Not trying to be funny, but how about at night? Its hard to see in the dark, or at least I find it so. When we pull up to a fire at night, the first thing done, before anyone steps off the rig, is turn on the 12v scene lights on the rig(s). Which is soon followed by 110v flood lights or putting up a light mast. Makes for a much safer scene for firefighters to operate.

    I can SEE his point
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    I understand what you are saying, but I think the easier way to remember a structrural SOP is to use the acronym RECEO with one addition that I use when taliking about tactical prorities - S.

    S- Safety, which covers accountability, hazard analayis, collapse
    potential, lighting, safe apparatus positioning and other related
    issues.
    R- Rescue, if victims are still viabable.
    E- Cover Exposures, both interior and exterior.
    C- Confine
    E- Extingush
    O- Overhaul

    Throw in S,V and W where ever needed
    S- Salvage
    V- Ventilation
    W- Water Supply

    Just my thoughts as this acronym covers everything in a form firefighters are used to hearing. As I say in my public education classes, there is no need to reinvet the wheel if the wheeel still rolls (but updating it now and then isn't a bad idea).

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    What about at night? It has never been so dark outside, not even at night that I cannot see. Honestly, it is never pitch black, zero visibility dark outside. Once you get inside, exterior and interior lights will not help much until the smoke clears, and that won't happen until the fire is out. And.....I have a flashlight on my lid, and on my coat. Honestly, I don't normally waste the batteries to light up a couple inches of smoke in front of them.

    I am speaking of good, working type fires here. I agree that lights are important, but I am not going to delay things that must be done to go back to the rig and turn on a light.

    Additionally, exterior lighting initially can hurt you more than it will help you anyway. When I arrive on the 1st in engine, we try to spot in front of the house past the one on fire. This affords me a view of 3 sides and gets the pumper and lines out of the way of the 1st truck and other companies. From that angle, it is almost always impossible to light the entire front surface of the door. (shadows) Your eyes adjust to the light in the front yard as your stretching out the line, but when you get to the door, your back in the dark. Your worse off then you were before. Now someone has to shine a light into the shadow because you can't see anything. Had it been dark all around the door, your eyes would be adjusted and no flashlight needed. Precision not required here. Prove this to yourself tonight when you go to bed. Its always darkest in your bedroom right after you turn out the lights. What happens after you lay in bed a bit. Your eyes adjust. Heck, the alarm clock lights up the whole dang room. Amazing.
    RK
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Robert, I feel exterior lighting is essential where rescues are taking place. Not only that, in a multi-storey building (you have those in Memphis right ;-) we need to get a good look at the windows on arrival. It may assist to locate the fire; smoke travel; level of involvement and PEOPLE who aren't shouting. Where ladders are going up the lights will assist. You may also see 'wisps' of smoke across a clear facade, ir; no sign of fire. This may guide you to express some sense of urgency.

    As Dave says, its a quik fix to set up a light on leaving the cab.

    LA - I know that acronym but it takes for granted that firefighters will remember several actions under one letter of the memory jogger. Even worse - it assumes a totally different order of priority between my Primary's and Secondarys. I can describe several fires where the empahsis you give in RECEO to the order of actioning may have provided a worse outcome.

    Thinking limited crewing .... 4-5 firefighters?

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    It goes back to these things happening simulataneously. In my mind the first due engine chauffer, if it is a straight lay (from the hydrant to the building) will handle lights after the water supply is established. So if you are going in with the line or performing a search you are not going to stop and put up some lights first. As inportant as lighting is, it may be a little high on the posted list but I think we all understand the need. I am not in favor of teaching this type of list as an sop/sog. Teach guys why each is important and who we expect to perform the task. They will be most effective if the listed steps become instinct. You do not need a newer member telling you not to force the door and attack the fire because the sop is to light the scene first.
    Also RIT should be the first thing the IC does after postioning rigs and establishing water.
    B Holmes

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    I don't think exterior lighting needs a bullet. If it's dark and you need light, it should be common sense to light things up. It's definetly a consideration, and definetly important if it's dark -- in the name of fireground safety. But I think it's important for a coordinated fire action plan to be general enough that it applies in most situations, not "if it's so-and-so, then you might have to do this."

    To me, RECEO is more of a way to prioritize emergency situations. Like Paul hinted at, sometimes confining a fire might be the priority when it comes to saving lives and property. All depends on the situation.

    I don't think you can start to get too specific step-wise when you're trying to address all structural fires in general. I think you need a separate high-rise SOG, commercial building SOG, SFD SOG, MFD SOG, vehicle fire SOG, etc. Granted, your emergency priorities and many actions will probably be the same. But in some situations, certain things will be more important. (if that made any sense)

    I think GW's suggestion of LOCATE is very important. I've noticed this being pushed by some of the FDNY's people here, and it's something I had never really been taught to consider as a true "step" or "process." Obviously we've been locating our fires, but it has never given much thought or coverage in training. Reading the posts from some FDNY and the examples they gave... I think it is worthy of being broken-out as it's own step.

    I also think WATER SUPPLY is worthy of it's own bullet.

    There was a class I took in school that used some series that preached a "Fire Action Plan" that I really liked... I think it was the Mosby "First Due" series.
    Last edited by Resq14; 02-07-2005 at 08:04 PM.
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    it should be common sense to light things up
    Common What???

    I didnt mean delay any other action while your pulling lights off the rig. Ours can be "fired up" from the cab and pump panel so all the engineer has to do is flick a couple switches. I know not everyone has that luxury.

    We have some areas in our district that have no street lights and if the moon isnt out it can be frickin DARK !
    But if flames are shooting out the roof, no problem

    Like I said, our SOG's dont spell it out step by step. A lot of it happens at the same time. Every situation is different...
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    Here we go.
    http://www.firehouse.com/mz/images/2004/8/5_attack.pdf
    and the articles to go with it:
    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=14&id=23856 (3 parts)

    1. Place Apparatus
    2. Make the First-Arriving Radio Report
    3. Perform Size-Up
    4. Assemble Tools for Interior Operations
    5. Ensure Proper Staffing
    6. Select and Advance Hoseline
    7. Evaluate Interior Conditions
    8. Coordinate Ventilation Efforts
    9. Manage Fire Streams
    10. Report Progress

    Now this is another action plan, from "10 Steps to a Smarter Interior Attack" (link posted above). Does it cover some of the points brought up here explicitly? Kind of.

    I think 1-3 could be combined into something like "Arriving On-Scene." I think inherent in this is placement, size-up, and radio report.

    The problem is, what is "inherent" to me isn't necessarily "inherent" to others, nor does everyone agree on what is common sense and what isn't. At some point, you do need to talk specifics. Should they be in the general action plan for a structure fire? I tend to think they shouldn't be.

    I'm just sharing as many of these as I can find, as it's a quiet night at work. I'll keep looking for others. If I can find my "First Due" material, I'll try to post their version unless one of you beats me to it!
    Last edited by Resq14; 02-07-2005 at 09:20 PM.
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    Originally posted by bkholmes
    It goes back to these things happening simulataneously. In my mind the first due engine chauffer, if it is a straight lay (from the hydrant to the building) will handle lights after the water supply is established. So if you are going in with the line or performing a search you are not going to stop and put up some lights first. As inportant as lighting is, it may be a little high on the posted list but I think we all understand the need. I am not in favor of teaching this type of list as an sop/sog. Teach guys why each is important and who we expect to perform the task. They will be most effective if the listed steps become instinct. You do not need a newer member telling you not to force the door and attack the fire because the sop is to light the scene first.
    Also RIT should be the first thing the IC does after postioning rigs and establishing water.
    Why do you feel that RIT should be the first thing the IC does after establishing the water supply? Do you really feel that a RIT team (3-6 guys) should be established before lines are stretched, searches are initiated, etc? What about departments that show up with 4 or 6 guys initially? Yeah it's nice to be proactive, but if you don't have any guys going inside, what good is an established RIT team going to do? If all departments made a policy to establish a RIT team after positioning the rig and securing a water supply, you will have much more property damage and civilian fire deaths, period. And to me, that is not acceptable.

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    Fancy meeting you here Paul discussing a topic like this

    I think what Paul is trying to get going here is a discussion to formulate a SOP for a crew of 4 or 5 that is arriving first at a fire in a single family dwelling, with the next crew still 4 or more minutes out.

    Lets simplify it first by making it a crew of 4 - you can always find something for a 5th FF to do if you happen to have an extra that day.

    I basically divide SFD families into 3 types -
    Type 1) Known person(s) still inside - initial priorities are to confine the spread of fire so as crews can rapidly search for and remove victims
    Type 2) Unknown if persons are still inside - priorities are to control the spread of fire and extinguish it while crews are searching the rest of the house for victims
    Type 3) Everyone is out of the house - priorities are to control the fire and extinguish it with a view to limiting damage as much as possible.

    Let's delve further into Type 1 - there are a couple of options here depending on the competency of the crew, house construction and how advanced the fire is.
    1A) Basically the crew does a "snap search/rescue" - basically this first crew becomes a Truck Co.s interior team operating without an engine crew - no hoseline, just the can, irons, hook, TIC if you have one etc. The officer would probably go in with the 2 FF to control the search while the driver/pump operator takes care of the utilities and stretches an attack line to the door for the 2nd due to put in operation. Pro's - search is started very quickly and the building is searched very quickly, not hampered by trying to stretch and advance lines. Con's - very risky strategy - Big Risk, Possible big reward.
    2A) A safer approach - Officer passes command over the radio to the next due, then Off. and 2 FF stretch line to the door, charge the line and rapidly advance it towards the fire, cutting off it's spread. Once the officer is happy that the line is in place and operating effectively so the fire won't spread the officer and 1 firefighter leave the hoseline to search. Pro's - safer than 1A. Cons - slower to get search underway.
    Any department can write simple SOP's then for 1A or 1B
    Eg for 1A -

    If persons are reported to be still inside the structure, then the officer makes the call enroute that a "Snap Search/Rescue" is to take place if he/she is confident that they have a crew suitable to make this. The officer shall take the TIC, FF1 shall take the can and 6' hook while FF2 takes the irons. Once the officer has made an initial size up and determines that a Snap Search/Rescue is viable given the fire conditions the crew will immediately make entry, confine the fire (eg close the door to the fire room) and search for and remove victims. Once the primary search is completed the crew shall exit and participate in fire suppression. Driver is to secure utilities and then stretch an attack line ready for the second-due crew to use.

    The rest of you can continue from here....
    Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1

    ...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!

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    Why do you feel that RIT should be the first thing the IC does after establishing the water supply?

    Ok, I may not hav been very clear. What I mean is that after posistioning the rigs and water supply, the IC needs to assess his manpower and figure out where the RIT will come from. Will it be his second due truck, will it have to be mutual aided, will he need to strike a second or third alarm. Different fires will dictate different RIT responses. A one room job may only require you to establish RIT with your own units. A large commercial job may require a mutual aid RIT team. That is what I meant. I did not mean for him to assign RIT to the first arriving unit. It does not matter how many guys you are responding with RIT needs to be established at some point. I agree get in and put the fire out, but it is the responsiblity of the IC to establish RIT and it should be a high priority.
    B Holmes

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    Gentlemen, and StillPSFB, ;-) thanks for your valuable input so far ....

    Like I said, this proposed SOP (it was never officially brought in) is 14 years old and was aimed at European approaches. Nevertheless, I feel it has a lot to offer on an international forum.

    I agree wholeheartedly that 'locate the fire' should be a 'primary' and that SCBA accountability should also become 'primary' .... you may not agree here. Actions such as exterior lighting are essential but are so often forgotten. It seems there is differing opinions amongst a few on the order of priorities. This is why I promote the SOP in this order. Give good reasons where you believe a change in order is required.

    Primary Actions

    1. Position Apparatus
    2. Visible Rescues
    3. Initial Water Supply
    4. Cover hose-lines
    5. Exterior Lighting
    6. Locate Fire
    7. Forcible Entry (exterior)
    8. Accountability (SCBA)
    9. Fire Attack
    10. Fire Isolation

    Secondary Actions

    1. Tactical Ventilation
    2. Interior Search & Rescue
    3. Additional Water Supplies
    4. Interior Lighting (unless TIC)
    5. Back-up (support) Hose-line
    6. Master Streams (Monitors)
    7. Rapid Intervention Teams

    As for things occurring simultaneously, yes that can happen where resources and crewing are adequate. StillPSFB has grasped the basic scenario well, although despite some views that each scenario is different, I am looking for (and believe in) a universal approach.

    Still goes further to make the ‘gamble’ call – to commit a crew for S&R without 'fire attack' in place, although strong emphasis is placed on confining the fire …. The problem is, in reality, firefighters rarely action this 'isolating' strategy!

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    We have been discussing this over on the UK Forum...

    The assessment of the issue from a US/UK Perspective is roughly as follows....

    In the UK we are very good strategic Firefighters, Officers... even very Junior Officers are all taught the 'big picture' stuff like Incident Command, Firefighter Safety, Dynamic Risk Assessment...

    A Station Officer (Captain) in charge of a fire with a Four Pump Attendance will have a large command Vehicle with computerised maps, Operational Notes on Computer, large whiteboards, Multi channel Comms, telephone, SCBA Major Incident Control etc, all at his disposal.

    Lessons learned from the Blitz, The IRA Bombs and other major disasters in recent years as well as strict Health & Safety Legislation has made this a must in the UK...

    Tactically, though we are not so hot. I think it was always assumed since the war that the only way to learn the actual job of Firefighting was through experience... Paul will testify even more so for his generation a decade or so before me.. that this was the case, and there was plenty of it.

    But, New York City and other Areas of the US were equally as Busy as UK City Brigades, but you Guys still had well defined Tactical roles. While people were falling over themselves to develop Our Fire Commmanders so well they now send people from across the Globe to learn the UK System, our Firefighters were left to get on with it.

    In the UK, Our Fire Attacks happen by default, they are passed down and local SOP's are developed... we train our people in Fire Growth and Development and every New recruit now gets Live Fire Training as part of their course... But no one has addressed what Paul has brought up here.. a basic well defined, common Tactical Fire Attack Plan/SOP.

    We are becoming too reliant on the quick strike or 'Rapid water' that is discussed elsewhere on the forum, it is a fantastic resource for a quick knockdown in our largely Fireproof Structures, but more and more inexperienced Crews coupled with inexperienced Officers (We have lost a lot of older Officers over the past 5 years) are using these in larger fires well beyond the capabilties of these lines.

    The UK has suffered 5 LODD's in the past 10 months... we usually average 1 per year. Not wishing to pre Guess the outcome of any enquiries but some of these including last weeks tragic Incident where two were killed in a High Rise were very early on in the Incident....

    Are we getting to the point where our safe systems of work are protecting Firefighters Brilliantly at large 'Dangerous' Incidents, but we are dropping the ball on the routine jobs that occur up and down the Country Hundreds of times each day?
    Last edited by SteveDude; 02-08-2005 at 04:59 PM.
    Steve Dude
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  22. #22
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    We are becoming too reliant on the quick strike or 'Rapid water' that is discussed elsewhere on the forum, it is a fantastic resource for a quick knockdown in our largely Fireproof Structures, but more and more inexperienced Crews coupled with inexperienced Officers (We have lost a lot of older Officers over the past 5 years) are using these in larger fires well beyond the capabilties of these lines.
    You got it in one Steve. As a fireground commander in a busy area of our capital its good to hear your view on this.

  23. #23
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    Question Everywhere...........................

    Originally posted by SteveDude
    We have been discussing this over on the UK Forum...

    We are becoming too reliant on the quick strike or 'Rapid water' that is discussed elsewhere on the forum, it is a fantastic resource for a quick knockdown in our largely Fireproof Structures, but more and more inexperienced Crews coupled with inexperienced Officers (We have lost a lot of older Officers over the past 5 years) are using these in larger fires well beyond the capabilties of these lines.
    Same here, Steve. (and Paul) Everywhere, there seems to be change in the wind, and part of that change is a serious loss of "Institutional Memory", The loss of Older Officers and Firefighters, those who came up "The hard way" and have "Been There, Seen That". Despite our ever improving training, people are doing things that get them hurt, and, looking back, claim they weren't aware of the consequences when they did it. Experience is not purchased or taught, it is lived, in real time.
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  24. #24
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    Older Officers and Firefighters, those who came up "The hard way" and have "Been There, Seen That".
    hwoods.....I resemble that remark!

    As Paul has said, all these items are critical to the success at a fire scene. However, I am not certain you can place them in any order. As someone also pointed out they may or may not occur simultaneously with one or two actions by the attack crew or the IC.

    Of paramount concern is Life Safety, then as we all know Incident Stabilization and Property Conservation. If we narrow the spectrum to that focus and then remember that within each of those are specific tasks that often reqired additionaly training, good strategy and aggressive tactics we will have more success.

    In todays world I see newbie (with all due respect) that are fresh out of school. They arrive at the station and when you respond on a job, they fly out the door before the brake is set good. They hit the ground on the run and all they want to do is "pull a line" and spray water. They get off the truck with the facepiece already on and can not understand why the thing is fogged up and they can't see.

    The young generation....what are you gonna do with the??
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    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.

  25. #25
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    Default Great Topic

    This is a great topic...I really enjoy the perspective that our brothers from across the pond bring...perhaps the best part is the Paul and SteveDude are very open-minded and willing to understand some of the differences between the US and UK. But they also have a GREAT deal of information that we can and should be using over here for safer operations.

    That being said, I'm of the "younger" generation that hwoods speaks of. Perhaps, though, I'm a little different...I long for the tradition and good things brought about by those that came before Generation X. I'm also willing, though, to keep my mouth shut and learn from those who came before me

    Paul or Steve, what is your staffing on a structure fire response? Obviously, you know that in the US, this is a HUGE issue that has been posted in other places. In Lincoln, NE, we have become our own worst enemy. On paper, we ride 4 per rig...Engine or Truck. Due to finances, injuries, retirements, and another biggie...doing the job...we are getting closer and closer to riding 3. Every fire that we go on, we have done the job. The bean counters don't see congested streets, new construction, a large refugee population, poor access, etc. as problems...they see numbers...we have fewer "big" fires, because our average response time is under 4 minutes, and we get the fire put out. Unfortunately, with 3 people, the hydrant sometimes suffers. The way it is supposed to work here is (4 person crew), Captain takes command until relieved, Driver does what drivers do, Pipeman takes the nozzle in (with the Captain or another person from another crew), and the Hydrant person ensures a water supply. In most cases, the truck starts the fan and searches. Has anyone been killed in the past twenty years on the fireground...no, but we've been close, and we have (in my opinion), ignored some very fundamental firefighting principles in the interest of doing the end-around and putting the wet stuff on the red stuff. This (although i don't have the research to back it up) has put more strain on our firefighters and made them both less able to do the job and also to enjoy their retirements. I have a great deal of respect for Tim Sendelbach and think that his presentation that he gave the other day was absolutley "excellent." He's right...we need to slow down, and shouldn't accept "partial" following of certain standards...unfortunately, that won't happen in a lot of places (especially Lincoln, NE) until someone gets really hurt or really killed...sad to say.

    Sorry about my tirade...as always, these opinions are my own and not necessarily those of the agencies with which I respond.

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