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Thread: Fireground Tricks of the Trade.....

  1. #61
    MembersZone Subscriber SteveDude's Avatar
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    Hey Mutz Nutz.... or whoever you are...Did the brother do something to offend you? The man is one of the most promising upcoming Fire professionals I have dealt with. His posts are welcomed and learnt from on a UK Fire Forum filled with plenty of highly experienced Firefighters and officers.... there are plenty more of the same high calibre on here who also do the same.

    If you wind your neck in, open your eyes and take notice, you may begin to aspire to be the type of Firefighter Nate has become. I've walked the Block in this industry for a good many years now. I know my job and I know who I'd have standing on my Fireground anytime.... If you have nothing constructive to say, go try to bust balls somewher else... a Pre-Schoolers forum may be a good place to start!!!!

    Jesus, I'd love to have you spend a shift at my place....
    Steve Dude
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    www.fireservice.co.uk

    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.


  2. #62
    MembersZone Subscriber cdemarse's Avatar
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    hopefully it is someone who knows my bro and is just breaking balls. If not im sure he is the lead carny at his department
    "Train as if your life depends on it"
    Always Remember *343*

  3. #63
    Forum Member NDeMarse's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I appreciate the backup! Now lets get back on track!

    Here are some more truck tips that I have also learned!

    Saws:
    - If a saw is flooded and you are having a hard time starting it, make sure the choke is off and have someone squeeze the trigger while you pull the cord. The saw should start within a couple of pulls with the trigger depressed.

    - When the saw is on, roll the saw blade to your point of operation. It is a rule for us that once the saw is on, the blade doesn't leave the roof. The blade should be rolled to the point of operation from the start point. The saw should also not be "gunned" when not in contact with the roof. Gunning the saw is both dangerous and pointless.

    Commercial Fires:
    - Under most circumstances, if the fire is in the store level, I will grab at the 10' hook. The ceilings are much higher in commercial buildings than in residential and in the older buildings the likelihood of running into multiple ceilings is very high if not probable.

    - When asked to check the cockloft, make sure you get all the way through ALL of the ceilings to the cockloft before you report it "clear". I have seen up to three ceilings before getting access to the cockloft. The one that I ran into had an 8' drop tile ceiling, two feet above that there was a sheetrock ceiling on a 2x4 framework, then one foot above that was a stamped tin ceiling. All of it had to be pulled down before the cockloft could be "examined".

    If you are doing this blind (heavy smoke), then use your hook to get through to where you think the cockloft is. With the head of the hook, sweep side to side for the large timber roof supports (should normally be 2x10's 16" on center). If you don't find them on the first side to side motion, turn 90 degrees and repeat the side to side motion (the joists might be running the other way). When you do feel the joists, they should be very substantial (not like a 2x4 framework would feel). When you think you have the roof joists, then throw the hook up a few times. A substantial surface with a dull thud should tell you that you are hitting the underside of the roof boards. The cockloft can now be checked for heat (using the TIC or the head of the hook) and the cockloft can be "cleared".

    - To judge heat conditions at the ceiling (that are normally higher in commercial buildings) hold the hook above your head for about 10-20 seconds, bring it down and CAREFULLY feel the hook. If it is very hot or the wood is charred, then water will probably have to be applied on the ceiling through the smoke. Keep in mind that with the higher ceilings, rollover will be concealed above the smoke line. If the rollover goes unnoticed and heats the store up, you might be too far into the store to escape safely when the store lights up.

    - On older stores, some storefront window displays lead directly into the cellar. If you break out some of the display it may provide a vent for companies advancing into the cellar. Keep in mind that if you do this you might cut off the front of the store for egress. A line will probably have to be stretched to the front in case it is needed.

    - Terrazzo floors have killed many firefighters over the years. Twelve were killed at one fire in Manhattan, NYC 40 years ago on Monday (17th). A terrazzo floor is a concrete or tile floor that is commonly built over wood joists or wood flooring to "renew" the look of the old building. You can imagine that this isn't good anyway, let alone under fire conditions. You can read more about this type of floor here: 23rd Street Fire, or a first hand account of the fire in PDF format here: First Hand Account. To check for the presence of a terrazzo floor, you must first note the age and type of construction of the building. If the building is of Class III construction (brick and wood joist) then it should not have a concrete floor. To check for this, take an all metal tool (halligan tool) and strike the floor right inside the front entrance. IF the fire is suspected to be in the cellar, AND the floor is concrete (terrazzo), AND the building is Class III brick and wood joist construction, DO NOT COMMIT MEMBERS TO THE STORE! The building is a loss! Terrazzo floors are also commonly found in bathrooms and kitchens in houses and apartments. Be careful!

    - When a thermal imaging camera is in use at a large area search, then a search rope should tether the team to an escape route. If the thermal imager dies, stops working or otherwise craps out on you, then you are in the middle of an open room with no real sense of how you got there. It only takes one member to deploy the search rope and only one member for the TIC. Use them in conjunction! Again, this tip is for large area searches where exits could be quite a distance from the team, not for searching a bedroom in a PD (private dwelling).

    Other tips:
    - When chocking doors, set the chock in the crack of the door ON THE FLOOR! If you chock the door high, any bump to the door (which is common) could cause the chock to fall out. The chock cannot fall out of the hinges if it is already on the floor. Also, if members are making a retreat, you don't have to stand up to remove the chock from the door.

    - Air conditioners should be PULLED into the building by members operating inside the building. If you are venting a window with an air conditioner, pull it inside the room and then take the glass. This will assure that members heading to their position or operating below, will not end up taking the 60 pound air conditioner on the head.

    - Air conditioners should be PUSHED into the building from members operating on the outside of the building. Air conditioners are installed from the inside and it is easier to push them in than to pull them out. Additionally, if you are on a ladder, and you pull the air conditioner out and drop it, could bounce into your ladder and kick it out from under you.

    - If there is a bottle neck in a stairway or there are lots of members operating on the upper floors of a building, take out the wooden banister and railing of the stairway. This will allow you to get around the stairway bottleneck or provide a rapid egress for the members operating. Now instead of members having to go around the railing they can just drop down the stairs if they need to.

    - Never trust a railing. They could be located on porches, stairways, etc... Don't lean on them because you are tired, don't touch them. You never know when they are going to fail or what jerk took out the supporting banisters to get around a bottleneck or provide egress Additionally, you also never know where you will end up if the railing does fail. Play it safe, lean on a wall if you are tired!

    That's about all I have! Keep them coming.
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

    Nate DeMarse
    Co-Owner, Brotherhood Instructors, LLC.
    http://brotherhoodinstructors.com
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  4. #64
    Forum Member Skwerl530's Avatar
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    Default Doors

    A lot of inward swinging doors will block another room when they are open. If you have a hose line through one of these doors (and you can sacrifice door control) then take the door off it's hinges. The additional access allowed will be worth it.

    With the door open, slide the Adez if a halligan into the crack of the door right next to the hinge. Pull down on the Fork and the hinge should pull free from the frame. Do the same for the hinge on the bottom. A door can be pulled down in seconds with this method.

    A door also makes a good platform to perform an emergency below grade rescue.
    We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering.

  5. #65
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    When confronted with heavy smoke but no visable fire in a taxpayer (row of stores) with roll down gates, use the Thermal Imaging Camera to scan the gates....the white gate is probablywhere the fire is.

    When taking a window, take glass, unlatch the sash,slightly open the window, then attack the frame to remove it...it will be much easier now.

    When climbing a ladder to vent (after permission has been gotten) Drop the tip of the ladder into the window first, then reposition it and climb...half your job is done before you even get up there. A side note.....when you hear glass breaking above you at ANY time...dont look up.

    When taking a window, make sure you went through BOTH panes in a double pane window.

    When pulling ceilings....make sure you arnt pulling it down on still smoldering materials....or your Halligan that you left on the floor, put that into a wall or closet.

    When breaching a wall to crawl through,(after sending fork of the Halligan through to the other side to check for furnature or a bathtub) take the plaster off on both sides, then take a few baseball swings at the 2x4 stud with a maul/axe or Halligan. It can fairly easily be split or knocked out of the way creating a nice large opening.Ive always been amazed at how many guys try the "swim" technique, or try to squeeze through without even trying to knock a 2x4 out of the way..trust me, my company has drilled on it in new contruction as well as old tenements with actual dimension 2x4's and had no problems breaking them out of the way...try it after your next job.

    If raising a portable ladder yourself in a narrow driveway, use the recess of the basement window to butt the ladder, or grab a civilian.

    When searching off a ladder into a window...put your hook on the window sill projecting into the room. It can later guide you back to the window. Also, while searching a room, if you come across a Radiator (not a car one) reach up and feel for a window, they are usually located under them.

    When advancing a line down tight basement stairs, it is often better to let the nozzle and officer get all the way down first, then have the back up desend the stairs to prevent overcrowding should they need to come back up in a hurry.
    Last edited by MattyJ; 10-16-2005 at 09:21 PM.

  6. #66
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NDeMarse
    - Play it safe, lean on a wall if you are tired!

    .
    I attended a lecture several years ago by a batallion chief from Oklahoma City who responded to the Murrah Federal Buildiing bombing. He said that at that incident he leaned against a wall to take a break....it shifted...he didn't lean on any more walls after that.....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  7. #67
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    The saw should also not be "gunned" when not in contact with the roof. Gunning the saw is both dangerous and pointless.
    Question on this one Nate, we don't use the circular's too often as most of our roofs are wood and we go with chainsaws. We have been taught to lift the blade off the roof a little bit, throttle up to a higher rpm, and then drop the blade back onto the roof to start cutting. Are you saying not to do that or do you mean simply "gunning" it for no reason? Just wanting to clarify.
    "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?

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    we throttle up, then insert the blade into whatever we cut.

  9. #69
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    The saw should be brought up to full RPM before contacting the roof surface. That doesnt mean walking around with a running saw. If you need to move to a new location without shutting the saw down, roll the blade along the roof surface in front of you. When going to make the cut, raise it to full RPM (just off the surface to be cut) and start your cut. The opposite is true when cutting a metal surface such as a lock. Start with low rpm, let the blade form a grove, and then slowly bring it up to full RPM.

    If a guy in my company is so tired,that he needs to rest against a wall or a railing or whatever....he better do it in the street after we've been relieved. But hey; my company is just funny about that.
    Last edited by MattyJ; 10-17-2005 at 10:17 AM.

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    When searching in dense smoke I like to close my eyes. You cant see anyway and it takes my mind off of "trying" to see and seems to raise my awareness of touch and sound. Of course you should open them every now and then to make sure the higher heat your crawling into is actual fire.

    I also like to remind guys that when performing vertical ventilation and you take out a natural opening such as a skylight open the walls around the inside, just dont break the glass. It will (should) vent the the cockloft before you get your hole cut.

    I also like to knock out the banister in the hallways but not for relief of bottlenecks but for faster egress should you need it.

    Carry more than one tool, thats why they make belts.

  11. #71
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    As soon as I read the post from nutz I took it as ballbusting. Probably a guy from his station or neighboring found him posting and decided it was time for alittle busting of the balls.

  12. #72
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Thanks MattyJ, that's what I thought, just wanted to be sure.

    PFD... we teach that (closed eyes) during basic training now. Took a little bit, but had some of the "older" guys try it. Made believers of them.
    "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?

  13. #73
    MembersZone Subscriber cdemarse's Avatar
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    Every good truckie has a handlight...or two...or three
    "Train as if your life depends on it"
    Always Remember *343*

  14. #74
    Forum Member NDeMarse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PFDTruck18
    I also like to remind guys that when performing vertical ventilation and you take out a natural opening such as a skylight open the walls around the inside, just dont break the glass. It will (should) vent the the cockloft before you get your hole cut.
    Great point. Take the returns (walls of the skylight and scuttle). You have to watch what you are doing though, if you take the returns remote from the fire area, you could pull the fire through the cockloft towards your hole.

    Great tip!
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

    Nate DeMarse
    Co-Owner, Brotherhood Instructors, LLC.
    http://brotherhoodinstructors.com
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  15. #75
    Forum Member NDeMarse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PFDTruck18
    I also like to remind guys that when performing vertical ventilation and you take out a natural opening such as a skylight open the walls around the inside, just dont break the glass. It will (should) vent the the cockloft before you get your hole cut.
    Sorry guys, one more to expand on PFDTruck18's post. Don't forget to push down the draftstop (glass or plastic sheet below the skylight). If you don't push this down or break it with the hook, you won't vent the stairway or interior. These are very common!
    Good Luck, Stay Low & Stay Safe

    Nate DeMarse
    Co-Owner, Brotherhood Instructors, LLC.
    http://brotherhoodinstructors.com
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    GET IN THE JOB, BE A STUDENT OF THE JOB!

  16. #76
    Forum Member PattyV's Avatar
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    do your chin strap up on your helmet. it might be annoying having to unbuckle the thing when you take your mask off, but it is more than worth the risk.
    "There are only two things that i know are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And im not so sure about the former."

    For all the life of me, i cant see a firefighter going to hell. At least not for very long. We would end up putting out all the fires and annoying the devil too much.

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    Default Tricks

    For MVA's I have set up a small plastic toolbox and marked it the "Quick attack box". It is on our rescue and contains all the little items you need at most MVA's. Window punch, duct tape, linemans plyers for removing battery terminals or cutting cables, shave cream, tennis ball, screwdriver for inflator hunting, piece of webbing to secure doors, seatbelt cutters, box knife, and probably an item or two I cant think of right now. This saves my guys from havin to carry this stuff in their pockets and risking injury and saves us from havin to make a million trips back to the rescue. We set the box at the base of the windshield, on the hood for all to dig into.

  18. #78
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    cappyy: what is the tennis ball for in your mva box?
    i like the idea of having everything together, especially all the smaller items.

  19. #79
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    I have seen tennis balls used to cover the ends of the A pillars that are cut.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    I have seen tennis balls used to cover the ends of the A pillars that are cut.

    gotcha. i've seen sections of old 5" hose, no tennis balls.

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