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  1. #1
    firefighter7160
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    Talking Understaffed Company's Part II

    Your a small city fd, with 5 engines, 2 ladders and a rescue squad. A call comes into the 911 center of a small fire in a business on the east side of town. Its sunday, summer, 3pm, temp. of 85f and a light wind of 10 mph from the north. Your staff is 3 on an engine and 2 on a ladder and rescue. First alarm is 2 engines and 2 ladders and the rescue. The rescue squad is at a MVA, and will not be able to responded tell they clear. The BC is on the west side of the city and is responding. More calls come in now about the fire, some from 2 blocks away. 911 advised that the business is a farm and feed store. They arrive and give this size up (E-4 onscene, we have a business/warehouse about 6000 sq feet with heavy smoke showing.) (we have a plug on the A side and a plug on the B side.) Next due will be E-1 and L-1 then L-5 and BC-1B then the rescue. There is no auto-aid, and the closest mutual aid is 25 mins out if called. Flames have just came through the roof. What would you do now.
    Last edited by firefighter7160; 04-20-2006 at 05:07 PM.


  2. #2
    Forum Member nyckftbl's Avatar
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    Drive west until I couldnt see the smoke anymore
    Proud East Coast Traditionalist.

  3. #3
    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
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    It's 3pm, so the store could have been occupied-but the conditions you describe make it unsafe to search anyhow. This is an exposure and hazmat problem.

    1. Account for occupants and find out what the hazmat is-fertilizer can be explosive, pesticide is diluted nerve gas-keep a large collapse/hot zone in mind. That means stay away from those convenient hydrants next to the building.
    2. Call for the hazmat team, pull the second alarm, and request mutual aid for manpower.
    3. SCBA for everyone until hazmat says you don't need it.
    4. Protect exposures-especially the propane tanks they probably have outside.
    5. Evacuate nearby residents or shelter in place-the extent of this will determine whether you pull the third alarm.
    6. Surround and drown-unless hazmat thinks you're better off letting it burn, considering the runoff is contaminated.

    Without knowing any more about the neighborhood and the scene, I will refrain from commenting on individual company assignments-the priorities are dependent on those answers. Of course, many of the tactical priorities I mentioned would be unnecessary if the store was full of corn and dog food.

  4. #4
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    Try running the scenario with 1 engine (3 FF's) and 1 ladder (2 FF's), thats what i would be dealing with, 2nd and 3rd alarm companies about 15-20 min out.

    Now thats an understaffed 1st alarm

  5. #5
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    Does arriving on location of a gas station fully involved with two 4,000 gallon above-ground fuel tanks as exposures (one with 2,000 gallons on unleaded and one with 1,400 of diesel) neighboring a hardware/fertilizer store with five feet of distance between them count? How about with one engine staffed with 2 FF's and an officer? Mutual aid 20 minutes out.

    I'd probably attack this the same way as we did that fire - limit the fire to building of origin. We actually got chewed out for pushing fire into unburned portions of the involved structure but we felt it more important to keep the fire from the fertilizer and fuel supply.

    As stated above, account for all persons. Protect exposure and expedite rescue if a viable person is heard and reachable from the exterior of the building.

  6. #6
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    Try running that with one Engine/3 people

    Mutual aid is an Hour away

    Thats understaffed

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