View Poll Results: Primary Attack Line?

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  • Through the FRONT

    56 93.33%
  • From the REAR

    4 6.67%
  1. #1
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    Default Residential Fire Scenario - YOU'RE THE CHIEF!

    Single storey residence .... mid afternoon .... YOU are the Chief .... what is your first action? (No occupants reported involved) WHERE do you place your primary attack hose-line? Also - give any tactical reasons or considerations?

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    First line through the "front gated" entrance. 1.75" flowing 180 gpm with nozzle set at straight stream.

    Why? Without any other special circumstances we "always" attack residential dwelling fires throught the primary entrance. This usually guarantees the ability to get the line between the fire and the stairs in multiple storied homes. In this case it would be between the fire and the most likely occupant locations. Going in any other way lengthens the time to make the stretch. Also, stretching through the garage would force you to open open the door ina perfectly functioning firewall. The first crew of three should be able to make the fire area and knock down the fire, while the truck crew seaches the rooms to the sides and behind the nozzle. If you go around the back and the time has allowed the fire to spread you may not be able to just keep it in that corner. The garage should not pose a problem as it should have a 1 hr. rated wall between it and the house. It looks as if this is a single story and may need vertical ventilation as the fire is in the floor below the roof. I would prepare to vent the roof but attempt horizontal vent by opening the rear door.

    Concerns: The large open floor plan may signify truss or other lightweight construction. The kitchen is in an odd place with no windows? Does the stove vent up through the ceiling as there is limited outside wall space? This could be a route for extension.

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    Through the front, would seem better to push the fire to the burned area and not into the unburned area.

    But I'm a trucky so ...
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    You always attack from the unburned side. Since the fire is towards the rear the structure, I would put the first attack line (on my Engine company, it would be a 1.75" preconnect) through the front door to attack the fire, the Ladder crew would do a horizontal vent via the windows. The backup line would also go through the front door, the personnel of the Ladder and 2nd due Engine would overhaul. Rescue would do a primary search, after the fire is knocked down, secondary search would be done.

    Entering through the rear would push the fire towards the majority of the unburned area, causing much more damage.
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 10-08-2005 at 11:52 AM. Reason: OOPS! my bad! I forgot about the Rescue!
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    Looks like an overcooked hamburger to me....LOL

    It is difficult to determine how much volume of fire there is by that image so saying it is a stove and some cabinets (basic room and contents) through the front door with 1 3/4 line. Truck doing primary search for fire extension and occupants (as we never take any place as unoccupied even if it is reported as such) and ventilation if needed, however there does appear to be a window in the kitchen just at the tip of the flame. Second engine will use members as RIT and be the water source. As stated earlier there is a large open floor plan and depending on the fire load there is some concern for collapse. Once the fire is knocked down the attic space should be checked for extensions.
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    ok ....

    1. There is no fire issuing and only light smoke prior to entry.

    2. Has anyone completed a 360 yet? What will you be looking for??

    3. Of note - any assumption that we 'always' attack via the front entrance is a broad generalisation and may well be misguided.

    4. Well done to those recognising a large floor space with potential for collapse.

    5. Assume entry has been made - heavy heat conditions are encountered inside with visible fire at the ceiling.

    6. Wind is heading from the rear of the structure, towards the rear entrance at 14mph gusting to 30mph.

    7. How many firefighters do you commit? There is definitely no reason to believe this residence is occupied.

    8. Ventilation? If so, where and what?

    9. You have one Chief .... 3 Lts and 9 Firefighters on scene at time of entry with one additional engine carrying Lt + 3 firefighters 2 minutes away.

    10. What other considerations do we need to think about on the primary tactical approach?
    Last edited by PaulGRIMWOOD; 10-08-2005 at 02:23 PM.

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    Chief is doing the walkaround, when riding Chief I am usually there with enough time to get down the driveway or around the house for size up. I want to see the fire location and intensity, unusual building features, is there a cellar? Is this fire coming up from below? Do I have victims at the rear, heavy smoke or fire from attic vents indicating transition from a contents to a structure fire.

    If the truck is there first the OV is taking the rear and giving a report. He is then looking to force the rear door and find a horizontal vent point. Truck officer and search firefighter are making entry for the truck. Truck driver is assisting the OV or the first due engine get its line in service.

    1st engine has laid in and stretched a line to the front door. (1 3/4 @ 185 GPM)

    2nd engine has the hydrant and is pulling a 2nd line off the 1st, also to the front door.

    ALL of the company officers in my case are assigned thermal imaging cameras.

    Always to the front is one of my rules too. Some reasons:

    Access is almost always better through the front. Most people exit and enter that way and the floor plan and storage is usually more conducive to people moving through.

    Less twists and turns. Access at the rear usually requires a 90 or a 180 when making entry.

    Access at the rear can require stretching down a driveway, through a fence and various other obstructions.

    Access at the front almost always protects the stairs to the 2nd floor if there is one and allows the 2nd line to move up stairs quickly.

    Access through a garage is almost always a bad move for a bunch of the above reasons plus storage conditions, overhead doors and parked vehicles

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    In the real world we wouldn't know the layout of this large single story home, so a judgement would have to be made after considering a wide range of factors not covered by this diagram.

    Seeing the floorplan, and relatively small fire area, I would send my crew in through the front. From that angle, they can better protect the majority of living area, and our primary search crews would never be in deeper than the attack team.
    There goes the neighborhood.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halligan84
    I want to see the fire location and intensity, unusual building features, is there a cellar? Is this fire coming up from below? Do I have victims at the rear, heavy smoke or fire from attic vents indicating transition from a contents to a structure fire.
    Fire is heavy towards rear of structure but prior to entry there was no structural extension and all windows/doors are intact.

    No cellar or attic. Neighbour confirms if garage has no car in then occupants not at home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rossco
    In the real world we wouldn't know the layout of this large single story home, so a judgement would have to be made after considering a wide range of factors not covered by this diagram.

    Seeing the floorplan, and relatively small fire area, I would send my crew in through the front. From that angle, they can better protect the majority of living area, and our primary search crews would never be in deeper than the attack team.
    What factors Rossco?

    Also - note there are high heat conditions and heavy fire at the ceiling on advancing in .... nozzle man is taking a battering.

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    Is it cheating if I already read the NIOSH report?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kayakking
    Is it cheating if I already read the NIOSH report?
    YES!!

    NIOSH REPORT

    OK this was just a pointer on doing a 360 and taking the right entry point! I really feel strongly on this one. Use the wind direction to assist your advancement of a hose-line at every opportunity. With the wind behind you your crews will be safer. I have seen too many firefighters lose their lives where they have advanced against a gusting wind ....

    You might not agree tactically and in some situations it may not be viable/possible. I feel this time a rear entry was certainly the optimum approach.

    Do the 360 and make WIND DIRECTION a prominent part of your size up EVERY TIME!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulGRIMWOOD
    1. There is no fire issuing and only light smoke prior to entry.

    2. Has anyone completed a 360 yet? What will you be looking for??
    Light Smoke Showing understood, working on a 360, looking for visible fire, smoke color/velocity/volume, location smoke is coming from, as well as egress and entry points, utilities and victims that may be visible from the exterior.

    4. Well done to those recognising a large floor space with potential for collapse.
    Most modern homes have an open concept, meaning lots of air volume as well, aside from the collapse potential.

    5. Assume entry has been made - heavy heat conditions are encountered inside with visible fire at the ceiling.
    I don't assume, but from which side, not that it matters too much as it's one giant room, your just closer to the heat if you enter from the back.

    6. Wind is heading from the rear of the structure, towards the rear entrance at 14mph gusting to 30mph.
    Who needs the PPV fan? I'd still be entering from the front, and vent vertically, keeping the rear of the structure closed to prevent spread while my attack crew is making placement.

    7. How many firefighters do you commit? There is definitely no reason to believe this residence is occupied.
    3 for attack, two to the roof, two for a primary search, and two outside until RIT arrives.

    8. Ventilation? If so, where and what?
    Roof, 4x8 hole, as close to the fire as possible. The wind from the rear is going to make horizontal too dangerous as it's going to spread and feed the fire heavily.

    9. You have one Chief .... 3 Lts and 9 Firefighters on scene at time of entry with one additional engine carrying Lt + 3 firefighters 2 minutes away.

    10. What other considerations do we need to think about on the primary tactical approach?
    Regardless of wether or not we think it's occupied it still deserves a quick, and effcient primary, the wind here plays a critical role in how we attack the fire, and what we are taking into battle. I'd say no less than a 2.5in line, while the fire volume may not be high, we don't know what is burning as interior conidtions were reported to be heavy heat, as well as visible fire at ceiling. I'm guessing the height is 10-14ft, cathedral.

    So here is the breakdown....

    3 FF for attack
    2 for Roof Vent, re assigned to backup team and secondary seach once roof ops are complete.
    2 for primary, re assigned to overhaul after primary search and bottle swap
    2 for Inital backup for a 2/2 rule, until RIT arrives, next arriving engine will take these duties, inital backup will assist with overhaul
    One LT for Safety Off
    One to supervise interior
    One to oversee exterior/rehab
    Chief will take IC

    Attacking with 2-1/2 in line, 1in tip, flowing 250-300gpm, 65psi on the nozzle.
    Backup will be 1-3/4 with a fog tip.

    Overhaul will be truck job, they will also have 1-3/4 line to assist.
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    Default Agressive Offensive Interior Attack

    The first line through the front door, 1 3/4 line positive pressure ventilation a to c side, second line to back up attack team 1, 1 3-4 provide for primary search as they make entry. Attact team 1 primary task control and extingish the fire. Attack team 2 primary task , protect team 1 and primary search. Vent team to to vent c side kitchen window, cut utilites, then stand by a RIT team. Until third engine arrives to become RIT>
    BTW The lay out of the incident and tactics are determined by the first arriving officer doing their walk around!
    Hows that? Stay Safe and Keep Low, jack.

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    I suggest you guys read the NIOSH report before you answer this thread from hereon. For the record, prior to the NIOSH report being mentioned here, we had an 87% take-up rate for the front door entry option on the poll.

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    Default Ppv

    Still PPV fan a to c would have helped.... The above post was made prior to readng the NIOSH report or looking past the first post... so i did okay... still a tough position to be in as the IC. 360's rule...Stay Safe and Keep Low, jack.

    BTW I just reread the NIOSH report, did not see any mention of ventilation being preformed in this incident. Other than the hose stream venting out a windward window inthe kitchen thus introducing natural positive pressure from side c blowing the fire to side a and our brother firefighters. Stay Safe and Keep Low, jack.
    Last edited by dchomen; 10-08-2005 at 07:35 PM.

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    A couple of my thoughts. Why use PPV when the natural wind will overpower? The PPV will NOT be able to overcome 15-30 MPH winds. It will be feeding plenty of air into the house but cannot overcome the natural wind currents coming into the rear.

    And second, what concerns me, why is everyone assuming that there is nobody inside? Just because there are no cars? When I was a kid, after school, I'd be home alone in the afternoon, with NO cars in the driveway! What about the families that only have one car, and one of the parents are at work? Are we so worried about our safety that we gamble with the public's safety? It only takes ONCE for us to be dead wrong.

    Front door, 1 3/4, 15/16th tip. It appears to be a kitchen fire. Get in there and knock it down before it gets any worse. Back up line would be a priority, as would a primary search of the house.

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    So far:

    RFDACM:
    Why? Without any other special circumstances we "always" attack residential dwelling fires throught the primary entrance.

    RIGHT!!

    CaptainGonzo: "You always attack from the unburned side."

    WRONG!! C'mon brother, you know never say never or always without some kind of qualifier.

    TrojanHorse: "2. All four sides of the structure are equally accessible for the apparatus."

    Yeah, that seems realistic.

    TrojanHorse: "Option 3. If I go in through the back door Access is extremely easy, damage from equipment and hoses will be minimized."

    I have been doing this for a fairly long time. Maybe its me, but I have never even once considered damage from equipment or hoseline advancement when determining a tactic to extinguish a fire.


    Paul,

    People would have had no reason to contimplate the wind conditions at the beginning of the thread. I believe it was addressed however by including
    "Without any other special circumstances we "always" attack residential dwelling fires throught the primary entrance."
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 10-08-2005 at 10:35 PM.
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    Would you also want to attack from the front as to push the fire out the back windows instead of spreading it to the rest of the residence and the garage where there are potentially dangerous or hazardous materials??? Just curious.
    Last edited by backsteprescue; 10-08-2005 at 09:51 PM.
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    OK, let me further explain why without special circumstances we generally (always) go through the front:
    1. It is the primary egress route for residential buildings.
    2. Most stairways are in direct proximety to the front door and getting the first line between the stairs and fire is key to a successful search.
    3. Always attack from the unburned side is an outdated tactic designed for use with 1.5" hose flowing <100 gpm.
    4. If we arrive at the front it is the quickest stretch into the building.
    5. If you use horizontal vent where are you exhausting the products? Toward the rest of the house?
    6. Better yet in this scenario where is the PPV fan going to be placed? Where is your exhaust?

    I can see why may firefighters here would agree with the attack from the unburned side, with all of the talk of pushing the fire. How about attacking with enough GPM to extinguish the fire? The days of pushing the fire out the windows are gone. Today, we make entry with sufficient water to overcome the BTU's. We're proactive with regard to thermal stratification and utilize multiple ventilation tactics in a coordinated attack.

    An attack through a garage forces you to enter close to the fire, so if it is your intention to push the fire, you have driven it toward other occupiable rooms.

    "There's no reason to believe the building is occupied" vs. confirmation or even a verbal report that all are out. Today, families work day shifts, night shifts, two or three jobs, some people commute others work from home. If life safety is still our number one priority we need more certainty before we abandon priamry searches so early. This isn't a windowless warehouse, it's a home where people live! This is wher we work, it's the level of service our "customers" expect. How do you explain to the family that their grandma died in a back bedroom because we decided that there was no reason to believe anyone was home?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a
    Paul,

    People would have had no reason to contimplate the wind conditions at the beginning of the thread. I believe it was addressed however by including
    "Without any other special circumstances we "always" attack residential dwelling fires throught the primary entrance."
    I think they should have every reason to consider WIND at the beginning of this thread. The primary objective of this was to get some views on 'size up' and 'attack hose-line placement'.

    It is always difficult to get the feel for a real incident from a 'table-top' exercise. However, you had more information at hand than the on-scene crews in some ways and you could ask questions or read additional info as it progressed.

    The KEY learning points at this incident were , in my mind,
    1. Taking the obvious opportunity of a 360 and;
    2. Mentioning the potential for WIND direction to influence the placement of the primary attack line.

    In my view Trojan was the only one to come close.

    I was asking all through what 'special circumstances' would influence the approach and WIND should be right up there at the front. If there is ONE thing you learn from this thread it is that! Take the 360 and THINK WIND!!!

    I could list you 10 fires NOW where multiple firefighters were killed or severely burned when a window failed on the upwind side of the structure as the line was being advanced on the fire.

    erics99 is right in stating that PPV will not overcome a 30mph gusting wind.

    As for committing crews for interior search .... the neighbour was assuring firefighters that noone would be home if the car was missing from the garage. In the exercise I was also assuring you that this was not an issue and that fighting the fire was the main objective. However, on-scene they were unable to establish the status of the garage early on. Yes, in a risk versus gain decision you will consider an interior search along with the primary line. But without reliable reports of any occupants being inside & their likely location .... mid afternoon .... where to start?! I would say that knocking the fire down is the priority here.

    Do the 360 .... take the wind factor into account at EVERY fire.

    I say a REAR APPROACH in this situation. Why work from downwind when you have the choice? I agree that the front door is normally our first approach.
    Last edited by PaulGRIMWOOD; 10-09-2005 at 05:15 AM.

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    I have never really cared for scenarios but here goes. When you do your 360, the one thing you'll notice is that there is a backdoor and window at the rear of the kitchen. By looking at the diagram, natural horizontal ventilation will be difficult as there are no easy exit avenues (windows) to the left and right in the kitchen. If you have no fire in the attic area, vertical ventilation would not be advised, as it would more than likely spread the fire to the untouched attic area.

    I would bring the first line through the front door, followed by my search teams and second line. As the search teams (one team left, one team right) check the rooms they close all doors behind them. I've known nieghbors to be wrong on many occasions night or day in relation to occupancy. Set up the fan as you enter to push the fire products out through the rear door (not open yet) and window (not open or broken yet)of the kitchen (although this is in conflict with erics99's statement, my honest opinion is that the fan can overcome the wind coming from the rear because I've seen it succeed many times with winds up to 40 mph but needs to be cooridinated with the opening of the kitchen window, door and entrance of attack lines). With a good coordinated effort and quick attack it should be a fairly quick knockdown with little property destruction. Now this is based on my inability to actually see and hear the interior conditions and just going from the drawing and information given (this is one reason I dislike scenerios like this). A lot of what you would do would also depend on your staffing situation.
    Last edited by FireLt1951; 10-09-2005 at 09:07 AM.

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    We pretty much always pull up from the "address side", which in this case I would assume would be the front. Therefore, as usual, we would advance our line through the front door.

    How would this go here? First due engine to side "A" (front/address side), pulls past to allow aerial access. Engineer takes the PPV to the front door. First FFtakes forced entry tools to the front door. checks to see if forced entry is needed. Second FF pulls 200' 1 3/4" foam/water line (class A foam).

    Lt does 360, takes out window side "C" (rear) for PPV exaust, returns to side "A". By this time, door will have been forced (if needed) and line stretched. PPV is started and the 2 FFs and Lt. advance to search/attack the fire.

    By this time, first due aerial and second due engine should be on scene. Aerial (quint) to side "A", crew gathers RIG equipment and stretches back-up line. Second due engine lays 5" LDH from the hydrant to the first due engine.

    When third due engine arrives, they take over RIG from the aerial crew, who then enters to assist first crew with search/fire attack/pulling ceilings etc.

    Oh, and the Chief would find and out of the way place to park while keeping the building in view.

    PS: The wind isnt really an issue. Being right on the coast a 15mph wind with gusts is a daily occurance. We are used to operating in these conditions. The PPV should easily over come this. HOWEVER, if you change the figures to say, 40 mph steady with gusts to 60, then we would probably cut the roof and not open up the windward side or use PPV.
    Last edited by Dave1983; 10-09-2005 at 09:09 AM.
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    Paul,

    You certainly made your point and I agree with as the thread progressed more information became available. I merely meant that had your initial post included the wind condition from the rear, your poll may have not come out as skewed.

    Early on however, individuals did include "without any other special circumstances."

    Additionally, you yourself conceded that "...the front door is normally our first approach."

    I am guilty of doing always doing so well on table top exercises. I fall guilty to the fact of believing that if something is important the information will be provided on the front end. Its not like you are stepping off the rig here and feeling the wind in your face.

    To me adding stuff as you go or at the end would be no different than now saying that this house was in America; the occupant was frustrated with high gas prices; and as a result has mutiple 55 gallon drums of gasoline being impinged by fire as you arrive.

    If we're gonna make it up as we go....lets make it good!!
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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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    Airflow speeds from PPV units vary from 6mph to 30mph at the FASTEST part of the stream, which is only a very small percentage of the entire radius of the PPV air-cone. It is not physically possible for PPV unit/s to overcome 30mph winds in practical use! Scientific testing has suggested that winds around 6MPH are not likley to be overcome by a PPV unit unless the vent point (where the wind is entering) is less than half the size of the air inlet (doorway for PPV).

    Further .... why are you attempting this in the first place! The rear access in this situation is perfectly accessible. You have a natural (and very effective) PPV airflow from the wind on your back! By siting PPV against an opposing wind makes no tactical sense whatsoever!

    Memphis ....

    If I had listed wind right at the beginning it may have been too obvious and my intention was to leave a thought process in place in people's minds at the end of the scenario .... I would like to think that when readers of this thread get off the unit tonight, and from now on, their 360 will take WIND speed and direction a into account as a PRIME consideration and not just a second thought.

    Interestingly, the arguments for front door entry and hose placement have INCREASED in the poll by 10% since I made the NIOSH link available!

    Are we learning anything here? A brother has died .... a major reason (not the sole reason) was the choice of entry point ....

    It is not only the fact that the fire and heat will head in your direction if you enter downwind. The most important factor is that FLASHOVER - BACKDRAFT & SMOKE EXPLOSION's are enhanced, and far more likely, where a wind is entering a fire compartment if the fire is severely ventilation limited (as in this case).

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