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    Unhappy OHOH... Heroes take flak for no PPE

    Things to make you say "Hmmmmm...."

    Heroes take flak for no PPE

    Three sheriff’s deputies who rescued two people from a fire last year are being questioned because they weren’t wearing proper protective equipment.

    The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) is investigating whether the Washtenaw County deputies broke workplace safety regulations. If so, the sheriff’s department could face fines.

    Someone filed an anonymous complaint after the deputies received awards for their heroism.

    The fire occurred Nov. 17, 2004 at an apartment building in Ypsilanti Township. The deputies arrived before the fire department did, so they entered the burning structure to help a female resident escape. They went back in again to rescue a male resident.

    The deputies suffered smoke inhalation, and one suffered a back injury from carrying the male resident out of the building.

    It was reported the officers were not wearing any type of personal protective equipment (PPE) when they entered the building.

    The complaint alleged that the sheriff’s department allowed and/or suggested the deputies enter the burning building without respirators or protective gear.

    But the sheriff commended the actions of his deputies, saying they did what they thought was right to save lives in a split-second decision.

    For information on personal protective equipment for emergency responders, visit http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/emres/ppe.html
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    You have got to be kidding.

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    That sounds about right...punishing someone for doing something right!

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    I guess they should have just stood outside wringing their hands.
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    Im sure if they had just stood outside someone would decide to file a lawsuit about it for whatever reason they could come up with.

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    I will absolutely guarantee the "complaint" was filed by a fire fighter from the responding FD who was upset that the deputies got the awards.

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    Just makes your day to read something like this. I hope "anonymous" waits for the Deputies to gear up while anonymous' body is in need of immediate rescue.
    A no-win situation for those Deputies.
    *shakes head and walks away growling...*

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    Just like every thing involved with the emergency services, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.....

    Like a few weeks ago we responded to a chimney fire (another one of those cases where some smoke got into the room and people freaked, no real danger). My captain told me to check the room above the fire place for any heat. Since there wasn't any fire danger, the homeowner was in the house showing us around. Well, when I tried to get into the room above the fireplace, he started a big hassle about why I had to go in there, and trying to tell me the chimney was on the outside of the building and so on. Well, guess what, my captain told me to check the room, so I did. :-D
    Last edited by Berks2Montco84; 02-21-2005 at 03:21 PM.

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    I will absolutely guarantee the "complaint" was filed by a fire fighter from the responding FD who was upset that the deputies got the awards.
    I concur!
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    Happened over here when the local police rescued an elderly female from her burning house. The fire service press officer went into overdrive accusing them of endangering their own lives and that of the rescued persons, stating they should have waited for the experts to arrive and enter the building...
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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    OK... DON'T SHOOT THE MESSENGER.... but I have a question:

    If this was one of "Our Guys" who entered and conducted SAR without PPE, what would the words be then? If you were "first on" in a private vehicle, would you do this too?

    Admittedly, these guys did GOOD, and there is no taking that away from them, but ........
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    I'd say that with "US" it'd different. We've got the PPE, train with it, know we have to wear it. Cops aren't firefighters. They were just trying to save a life. Give them a break.
    Jack Boczek, Chief
    Ashley Community Fire Protection District

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    Originally posted by jboczek
    I'd say that with "US" it'd different. We've got the PPE, train with it, know we have to wear it. Cops aren't firefighters. They were just trying to save a life. Give them a break.
    There is a difference, but it is not what you stated. I think that most FF would know how to assess the situation and intelligently (you're right, that's a stretch) judge whether a quick dive for a grab is a good idea. I am talking solely about arriving prior to FD and having nothing with you. I am not tlaking about doing something stupid to be a glory hound.

    In the same vein, it is hard to imagine a FF standing on the lawn saying, "I'd go in there to rescue that kid, but its an OSHA violation". Same goes for cops.

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    My words would depend on the situation I drove up on. Considering I've edited this response twice and haven't even sent it yet...

    In taking a few moments to think about the situation, I'm sure they had some kind of heavier clothing on. Being as it was November in Michigan, I'm pretty sure they were wearing heavy winter coats, maybe gloves, and those duty pants are thicker than normal. (At least they would need to be to keep the berries from freezing off of the tree in that climate.) So they may not have taken as much heat as some would think, especially since there's no mention of burns as one of the injuries. So they may very well have entered the unburnt side, and probably didn't go too far into involved or smoke filled areas, because they could see enough to find the victims and find their way back out, and not pass out from lack of oxygen the whole time.

    Depending on the call, depending on where the victims might be compared to the apparent seat of the fire location, I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't make a PPE & SCBA-less attempt at a rescue. Shorts and t-shirt? No, but jeans and some kind of a coat, probably. Smoke conditions would be the determining factor on how far I could get in. A self-ventilated fire, probably wouldn't be that much smoke inside, I could probably wander around a lot. We've all probably been on such fires. IOne of the first I made after moving south the whole second floor and roof were lit off, but there was less smoke on the 1st floor than in the average drinking establishment.

    First thought after reading the article, yeah, they were stupid and could have died. But after sitting on the thought for about an hour, in the right conditions, I don't think there are many of us that wouldn't have done it either.

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    Question

    Originally posted by Berks2Montco84
    Just like every thing involved with the emergency services, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.....

    Like a few weeks ago we responded to a chimney fire (another one of those cases where some smoke got into the room and people freaked, no real danger). My captain told me to check the room above the fire place for any heat. Since there wasn't any fire danger, the homeowner was in the house showing us around. Well, when I tried to get into the room above the fireplace, he started a big hassle about why I had to go in there, and trying to tell me the chimney was on the outside of the building and so on. Well, guess what, my captain told me to check the room, so I did. :-D



    Did the people who resided at this house call the fire dept? Is your Dept an official dept of Berks County, PA? Was there smoke in the house?

    Most states and local counties and cities that provide official fire protection, when called to any address for whatever reason, fire, smoke in house, electrical box malfunctioning, while operating at the address called, HAS COMPLETE CONTROL OF THAT ADDRESS. The occupant, owner or said agent can not deny you access to any part of that property. The owner and or occupant should have been outside or if assisting should have not denied you access to any part of the house. If the Captain explained that as an official fire department you must check and see if there is any extension. He could have had the local police remove this person as he or she was interfering in the job of the fire department.

    Maybe they were making drugs in that room or he had something to hide!!!!



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    I had essentially the same thing happen while I was on my way home several years ago from dropping my kids off at school one morning. I saw increasingly heavy smoke ahead of me, but out of my way by about a block or so. I saw it was a pretty small house of 1000 sq ft or less, and an obvious fire as I pulled up. The neighbors said they had already called the FD, and that they thought the guy that lived there was still inside. Smoke was hanging a couple of feet or more off of the floor, and the fire was just starting to roll out of a room towards the rear of the house. To make a long story short, I entered through the back, closed the door to the burning room, and did a quick search of the rest of the house. The old guy was at another neighbors, so no one was inside.

    I got my *** ripped by the Chief about waiting for help, but given the alternative had there been someone inside and I done nothing, I'll take that *** rippin' every time. I don't know if I could live with that ghost.
    Last edited by Steamer; 02-21-2005 at 04:07 PM.
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    That article is ridiculous. It's like a story I heard back in EMT class. This lady went into Cardiac Arrest, firefighters arrived before EMS (of course!!) and started CPR, brought the lady back, the lady got out of the hospital and sued the firefighters/dept. becuase it was a rainy day and they got mud on her carpet! She never stopped to think that she wouldn't have seen that carpet again if the firefighters hadn't of been there! That type of stuff really ****es me off... people really are ungrateful!

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    Anonymous mutt Some people would complain if you hit them in the head with a brand new hammer.

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    Originally posted by CaptOldTimer





    Did the people who resided at this house call the fire dept? Is your Dept an official dept of Berks County, PA? Was there smoke in the house?

    Most states and local counties and cities that provide official fire protection, when called to any address for whatever reason, fire, smoke in house, electrical box malfunctioning, while operating at the address called, HAS COMPLETE CONTROL OF THAT ADDRESS. The occupant, owner or said agent can not deny you access to any part of that property. The owner and or occupant should have been outside or if assisting should have not denied you access to any part of the house. If the Captain explained that as an official fire department you must check and see if there is any extension. He could have had the local police remove this person as he or she was interfering in the job of the fire department.

    Maybe they were making drugs in that room or he had something to hide!!!!



    Luckily, the situation didn't get that far, it just took some firm explanation that my partner and I "were going to check the room no matter what". The guy soon got the hint and let us in, and after a ten second sweep with the thermal imager, we were done. I think he was just embarassed by the clutter, but everyone has that. I mean, you should see my room! The situation wasn't all that bad, but lately people have just been getting on my nerves with their extreme lack of respect for us. A few days after that we got called to a smell of natural gas, and after finding the source and determining it wasn't a hazard, we started saddling up. The neighbor, who had called, started getting all p*ssed at us because we weren't doing anything, and demanded to "see our Chief" as our Captain was trying to explain it to him.....But yeah, we're in PA....

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    Hey Steamer, that reminded me of a similar incident that happened to myself. My Montgomery county company (the other one besides the one I've been talking about in this thread) was called to a brush fire right up the road from my house, at the top of my development earlier in the winter. I was just about to leave for work, but my brother came in and asked if I could take him to the station. I told him to just put his work boots on (we were already both wearing pants) and I'd take him to the scene, where I would wait and then update the first apparatus when it got there before heading off to work. I was always taught not to wear turnouts to a brushfire anyway because you could easily overheat and it was overkill protection-wise. Well, when we rounded the corner we saw a good amount of smoke drifting over the road, so I drove through it and parked a good ways away to let the trucks in, and then got out to establish scene control. It was then that I realized my brother and I could knock the fire down or at least keep it under control until the trucks got there. Well, the house next to the field had their garden hose out, but it was frozen, so I acquired a small ABC from them and put out the left flank of the fire, and then held down the right flank with a larger CO2 from the house across the street. When the truck arrived, it was full of cadets and one junior, so i grabbed the trash line and put out the rest of the flames. A few days later I heard that the one kid (a newly "retired" junior was bitching to our DC about how I wasn't wearing gear, so I called him. He had two arguments, 1. It was none of my business and 2. The company by-laws state that you should wear full TOG at every call invloving fire. Guess what my reply was. 1. The fact that he was bitching about me not wearing gear made it my business, and actually whether I was wearing gear or not was none of HIS business, and 2. Wearing full TOG to a grass fire is completely senseless when boots and jeans is sufficient. My brother and I were standing in the flames and our boots and pants were untouched. He just likes making trouble...but he get's his, I make sure of it...

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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    I will absolutely guarantee the "complaint" was filed by a fire fighter from the responding FD who was upset that the deputies got the awards.
    Wow, I hope your wrong George. Does sound a bit fishy though. I dont think John Q Public would think about that
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    Originally posted by Dave1983


    Wow, I hope your wrong George. Does sound a bit fishy though. I dont think John Q Public would think about that
    Dave, I'm with George (and Gonzo) on this one. I agree with you, in that I hope it wasn't a FF, but given the circumstances, it doesn't look like anyone without "inside" knowledge.
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    Default Re: Me Too................

    Originally posted by hwoods


    Dave, I'm with George (and Gonzo) on this one. I agree with you, in that I hope it wasn't a FF, but given the circumstances, it doesn't look like anyone without "inside" knowledge.
    I agree. John Q Public wouldnt think (or know) about PPE
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    Maybe one of the sheriff deputy’s filed the complaint. Maybe he/she thought they would now have to run into burning buildings as part of their job description. Maybe he/she wants to have firefighting in the job description and wants to be issued PPE. If it was a firefighter, he/she needs to be beaten with a halligan.

    Suppose Joe Plumber is on his way to a job and sees a house fire. He enters it and rescues someone. He is injured in the effort and is hospitalized. Will OSHA fine his employer? What if the job was the house that was on fire (i.e., his workplace)? Other than the obvious, what is the difference between the plumber and the sheriff deputies?

    The only way to fix the problem is to change the OSHA law and regulations. This, of course, means involving Congress. Isn’t this an issue that the Fire Service should undertake?

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    Unbelieveable........... My thought on this was either a FF or another Deputy...... Either way, it's rediculous........
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
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