Ok here is the deal I thought some of you all may like this one so here it goes. I am on a volunteer fire department and here is how this run went.....
My pager went of for a house fire. The house fire is just two blocks behind my house so as I go out the door I see no smoke showing. The page came in at 1 pm. Know that most of my members are at work during the day I go on and have dispatch put the next two departments on stand by.... As I am driving to the station to get a truck I have to drive rigth by the house. As I drive by I see smoke coming from the eves of the house and out of the vents. So I go on and have the other two departments to start heading this way. I get the the station and go 10-8.
Now just a little past history on this fire department it use to be a good o'l boy department. If you had live in this small town all your life that was were the fire department would respond to. If a call came in and they did not know who you were good luck at getting anyone to show up. Then in the last 10 years most of those firefighters have droped out of the fire department becasue of the new guys like me that give a dam had ran them off. Back in the day if you could drag a hose you were on. There were no rules at all. You didn't even have to wear gear.
No back to the run. I pull up on sene... AND lord and behold there are two of the good o'l boys. This house it one of there family members house.... Not having much help with me I didn't say much at first. It was just me and two other guys to start. So as I get out of the truck whick is not in pump gear. I look at the house and see heavy somke. No flames but heavy smoke. So I go to get a SCBA on and as I am putting on my bunker coat one of the good o'l boys says **** that gear and help pull a line we have a house fire.... I kindly tell him were he can go, and continue to suit up. Now I come around the side of the truck and I see the other good o'l boy on top of the carport and spraying water into the atica... So I go to the front door and opened it and have heavy smoke all the way though the house... Then I hear the guy on the carport say there in no fire up here... Which I could already tell that. So I go and get the hose and nozzle and start to head into the house by myself, which I know I should, but we do things alot that we should because of man power. As I start to go in one off the Good o'l boys had put a air pack on and was going in to back me up... He must have been trying some of that new turnout gear out, because I had never seen it used before.... It was a sweat shirt, and a pair of blue jeans, and that was it... The sad part of all this is that same good o'l boy is a ASST. Cheif for a paid department that works 365 days a year 24hrs a day. I did make a inside attack on the fire, and he was rigth behind me, but I cann't not seem to thank of all of the WHAT IF's...... I did get to the seed of the fire I had already flashed it the closet, and was spreading to the bedroom. So this was not just a small fire it had alot of fire. Now this is not the first time this has happened, and I am sure it will not be that last. But I can not seem to get the cheif on the department to do anything about it. If some of the good o'l boys show up they just think that it is a VOLUNTEER fire department and there are no rules to go by. So I am asking for some suggestions on how to handle this problem..... I don't want to quit because I love doing this, but at the same time I do not want to be there when one of these good o'l boys get hurt, or killed, or worse yet hurt someone else or kills someone else....
So what do I do now?
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01-18-2006, 02:57 AM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
NEW GEAR....... Sweat shirt, and Blue Jeans....
01-18-2006, 03:40 PM #2
01-18-2006, 08:54 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
Dont know what the hell happened to never leaving your partner, or having one fot that matter ? Fireys always work in teams of two at least here.
01-19-2006, 12:55 AM #4
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
I would like to have two, But what do you do when you are the only one that can go in? I was one out of three... I know that going in by myself is not safe. But what else to I do?
01-19-2006, 02:21 AM #5
Originally Posted by Nebo424FF/NREMT-B
- Join Date
- Jul 2005
Brass does not equal brains.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to control it.
01-19-2006, 11:25 AM #6
- Join Date
- Sep 2003
- New York
These good ol'boys that showed up to this fire that you are talking about; are they still members of the dept. or did they just happen to show up and want to help? If they are members I'm taking them back to the firehouse and giving them a tounge lashing and probably a suspension. If they are not members of the dept. anymore then I'm going back to the firehouse and I'm calling the police.
01-19-2006, 11:49 AM #7
Where is this town and how can I stay away from it?"Training doesn't make you a good fireman, fighting fire makes you a good fireman"
01-19-2006, 01:19 PM #8
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
Wow....that was mean....
This is a story of some sort i hear more and more often. Being in a rural department myself, we have manpower issues alot too, esp. during the day.
Not too long ago we had a working house fire at 3 in the afternoon. The fire was in the basement with extention through a window to the attached garage. Two officers were on scene. One guy in the tanker, i was driving our quint with two ffs and an officer. I went in with the two guys as the chief ran the truck. We made a good stop on the fire. Thankfully the next three due companies were on the way to back us up and were there by the time i came out with the attack crew.
I know the day is comming for the same situation to happen here. Maybe not the gear problem...but the manpower issue. I know myself, i could not attack the fire by myself. The idea of attacking from the outside is an idea. The next due companies are all about 15 min away from us. So as much as I wouldnt want to, I would have to wait for them. My life or the life of a brother is more important.
Good luck with the free lancers. If the chief doesnt seem to realize that it is not a good thing, then maybe it is time for a change. Find someone who can do the job of running the dept.
Stay safe....Take pride in volunteerism.
01-19-2006, 03:07 PM #9
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
- Adger, AL, US
We are a very rural department and on any fire, we have a struggle for manpower unless the moon and the earth are lined properly and we have a good turnout.
We have a strict guideline on house fires from our chief, unless there is 2 in and 2 out, and someone else to run the pump, you do what you can from the outside. I am thankful that our saftey comes first before anything else at our dept.
01-19-2006, 06:18 PM #10
If it is typical for your department to have a single member response to a confirmed working structure fire then you should consider preventative solutions to the problem such as automatic aid agreements with surrounding departments or the city should consider a paid, or paid on call department.
I understand your frustration with the manpower of your department, your adrenaline pumping, and your desire to respond to the fire, but is it possible to wait at the firehouse a few extra minutes for additional members to show up? You can't operate on a fireground safely by yourself, and unless you have a confirmed viable rescue, the two in two out rule applies for any interior efforts to be initiated. Keeping in mind you probably look like a complete tool to the public arriving on a fire truck with hoses and water and doing nothing...why not wait at the station for another firefighter to avoid even having the stress of "Do I or do I not act?" If this is not a possibility you can still kill the downtime by establishing command, doing a complete size-up of the building and the fire conditions, take all of that into consideration and establish a solid quick action plan to ensure a smooth and effective plan of attack for additional arriving units (if not from your own department, the two mutual aid companies you called for while en route to the firehouse). Not doing a proper size-up and entering the structure by yourself is a mistake that may cost you your life...and what did you benefit from doing this? Risk management!!!!
As for your other problem at this fire, don't forget you are in charge of the scene. Regardless of your rank in the fire department, you are the only member from that department currently on scene which makes you the incident commander. I would first take a less confrontational approach, asking them to handle crowd and/or traffic control. If they still get in the way advise them failure to remove themselves from the fireground and continuing to interfere with fireground operations will result in their arrest. Besides the obvious of entering a fire building, there are too many safety concerns and chances for injury involved in fireground operations if you are not up to date with training and wearing PPE. You are the incident commander...and guess who's ***** it is going to be if a civilian, former member or not, is hurt or killed because you allowed, or did not attempt to stop them from entering the fire building or stretching a hoseline.
Last edited by SeavilleFire; 01-19-2006 at 08:34 PM. Reason: grammer correction
01-20-2006, 01:09 PM #11
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
What were you thinking??? In the fire service we risk a little to save a little(property) and we risk a lot to save a lot(a life). I agree with the previous post of violating the two-in/two-out rule ONLY if engaging in the rescue attempt of a CONFIRMED and VIABLE patient. By going in alone, you increased the risk for no known benifit. By allowing this "good ol' boy" to go in on the hoseline with you, you have accepted responsibility for him AND his actions.
Grow a set! Advise them to stay back and if they continue to hamper your efforts to control the scene then have removed by law enforcement. By allowing them to remain on-scene and assist with firefighting operations in a hot-zone, you are opening your local governing agencies and yourself up to a multitude of legal liability that could cost you dearly.
I got started in a small rural volunteer department and I know the type of person that you are dealing with. Do not allow the ignorance of others to jeopardize YOUR safety or the safety and wellbeing of your community.
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