1. #1
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    Default Does size matter?

    Does size matter? Being a small rural department our only real requirement to join is an okay from the chief. We have a firefighter on our department that stands about 5' nothing. He has taken firefighting 1 and 2. My concern is will he be able to drag me out of a building if the *!*!*!* hits the fan? On the other hand I would not want to be with a large person if I felt I could not get him out likewise. Any thought?

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    It is more about training, technique, and fitness than size. I'd take a 5'0" fire fighter in good physical condition anytime over a 5'8" couch potato. I'm 100 pounds heavier and 12" taller than my wife and there is no doubt in my mind she could kick my *** if needed.
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    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
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    adreadlen does wonders. you can do a lot of things that you normaly cann't do. when ???? hits the fan you tend to be able to do more. but training and shape play a big role in that to.

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    If he has taken FF I & II, he "hopefully" has shown that he is capable of doing a rescue. This is part of the curriculum. As stated earlier, technique plays a large part in rescue operations, so size or strength limitations can be overcome. Remember....training, training, training.

    p.s. If it might help, have him pull you out of a structure during a training evolution. Then turn around and pull HIM out!!!
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

    ** "The comments made here are this person's views and possibly that of the organizations to which I am affiliated" **

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    If you haven't done any real RIT / Firefighter rescue training then I suspect that you're in for a rather eye-opening experience.

    You are going to find that it takes a lot more effort and work to drag someone out of a building.

    Try this - you take the 5-nothing FF and put him in full gear w/ SCBA and you try dragging him across an open flat area (apparatus bay) and see how easy it is.

    Now try it again - only this time you don't get to stand up and drag - it is a simulated fire condition you know so try dragging him while crawling.

    NOW try doing the above but do it in a simulated room - you have doors to go through, furniture and other obstacles to navigate around, possibly carpet which GREATLY increases friction making the downed FF even harder to drag.

    By the time you're done - I think (hope) you will see & agree that Firefighter rescue is a lot more complex that "dragging" someone out.

    The concept of a 2 person RIT team is a fallacy. Unless it is a very simple very quick "snatch & run" situation (i.e FF lost but not down/trapped) then a 2 person team will expend there time/air/energy simply locating & freeing the subject. A much larger 4 to 6 person team will be needed to make a speedy and effective rescue / removal.

    I'm not a RIT guru and Lord knows I'm not the most physically fit person (200lb @ 5'11") but I'd have a hard time moving a 5'-0" FF in full gear and I know for a fact that our 5'10" 285lb (all muscle heavy equipment operator) FF already has trouble moving me in situations like # 2 & 3 above.

    IMHO - you should be more concerned about this FF's general firefighting knowledge, skills, and abilities (i.e pulling his own weight) than whether he can pull yours.
    Last edited by N2DFire; 04-12-2006 at 01:11 PM.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
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    The reality is that unless your partner is a gorillia, it's unlikely that he is going to drag you out alone. Think about the extra weight you are carrying with your gear and SCBA, plus your body weight. For me, that rings up to about 280 pounds, and there are few folks that will be able to do more than move me a few feet, especially given the restrictions of breathing through an SCBA and working in a full protective ensemble.

    The key to your survival won't be your partners brute strength, but his/her brains. Will he be able to think through the problem? Will he be able to EFFECTIVLY communicate with command and the crews coming in to assist? Will he/her be able to guide them to you? Will he/she be able to take the measures needed to protect you (and himself) while the crew works in way to you? If the classes he took were worth thier salt, the answer is probably yes.

    To me, there has been too much emphasis placed on brute power. I think it's more about your partners ability to be avle to think and communicate clearly.

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    Size does not matter. It takes about 6-12 people to move one firefighter out of a building. RIT/RIC teams shouldd be around 12 people. We have trained on this many times in my department. We found that after the first team had gone in and found the victim the second team needed to be already in the building heading to their location for a hand-off. You will use alot of air trying to get someone out by yourself. It all boils down to team work from all crews operating on the scene. With the proper training it can be done as long as everyone has a clear head and uses good judgement. I carry a Save-A-Jake strap, 6' of rope, 8' webbing strap, and a set of linesmans pliers in my bunker pants pockets. You can use any of those to drag your partner out of danger. It is alot easier to do with something to get a little distance for yourself away from the victim.

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    Thanks for all the input! I agree that a 2 man RIT team is not a reality. We had use a a vacant two story building for a while and did a rescue evolution. It took four firefighters to get the "downed" firefighter up to the window and in position for another ff to carry him down the ladder. I also agree training and brains are better than size anytime.

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    Well Ill tell you Im about 5'6 about 125. Sure Im small compared to most on my dept. We had a firefighter safety and survival class and a firefighter rescue class last month and let me tell you I was the smallest one there but I done alot of what the other guys killed their selves trying to do. One of the guys weighed about 250 and I had to drag him up two flights of stairs By myself. Everyone else almost killed themselves dragging him up. When It came my turn I put him on a lond spine board and slid him up and down the steps no problem. So no Size dosn't matter. I kinda suprised myself.

  10. #10
    firefighter7160
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    Default No...

    Most small rural fire dept's are just looking for any1 who can show up to a call. Not every firefighter is in the best shape or 6'1. Dont make a big deal about it. More then likey youll never be in a fire where you have to be pulled out. And if you really think you might, train on it. If he can do it, then you know he can.

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    I'm 5'5", 145 pounds. I usually pair off for training with an Iron Man competitor - he's 6'4", 275 pounds. It works extremely well for us. I'm small and agile, he's large and muscular. We joke around that I can fit through the confined spaces, and he can knock down the walls. Could I haul him out of a burning building? With the adrenaline, you bet. In a training simulation? Probably not. What you also have to keep in mind other than just height and weight is the body fat percentage. I have an EXTREMELY low percentage of body fat, which means most of my weight is in bone, and muscle mass. My 145 pounds will be more effective pound for pound than someone with a higher body fat percentage. Like the others said, training and fitness have a lot more to do with it than just body size. Then again, I have Napoleon complex, so I have to be better at everything as a matter of personal pride.

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    Don't know ask my wife !! Couldnt help it!
    Fortune does not change men; it unmasks them.

    The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter!! Either side of the hill.


    IACOJ PROUD

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    After reading all these posts, I just got to ask why is that stupid dummy drag on some many agility tests?
    FOR HE WHO SERVES HIS FELLOWS IS OF ALL HIS FELLOWS GREATEST

    IACOJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by redneckemt
    After reading all these posts, I just got to ask why is that stupid dummy drag on some many agility tests?
    Because the Fire Service is 200 years of tradition, unimpeded by progress.

    And rescuing a typical (i.e. 130-160lb) civilian victim/child is much different than a fully dressed FF.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    Size doesn't matter at all, everyone has their parts.. Like most have said when adrenline takes over you can do almost anything.. We were doing a search and rescue training at that time I was 5'10" 150 lb not including the wait of full gear including airpack.. My partner she was approximately 5'2" and 100 lbs without gear and she drug me out of a building during the excercise with no problem.. And it was just a training excercise not a real fire. So size doesn't matter...

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    I agree with everyone else size doesn't matter, it all depends on training and experience. Im not very big, about 6'1" 165 lbs, but I can pull the guy on our department thats the same height plus 150 pounds. Now, he might be a big guy but I would rather have him behind me in a burning building if the s@#t his the fan cause hes got the experience and training.

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    Before I had joined,I knew one of the guys on my old department from when I'd driven a wheelchair bus and picked people up from the nursing home he works at.
    This guy is 5'5" and while all he does is engineer and drives the rig to calls,he is as capable as anyone else on the department,maybe more so.He always has good advice for those on the hoselines because he used to be an officer.
    If someone has completed the requirements for FF I and II,whether with a volunteer or paid department,why shouldn't they be assumed to be able to handle the job requirements?

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    Well I really don't care how tall a person is nor how short a person is. As long as the person can do the job and have the training to go in that building and do what is asked of him or her thats all that matters. If that person has the training to go in then i have enough respect to trust that person with my life as long as they are fit to do the job.

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