hey all. i am a volunteer in waren county, mississippi. every now and then the old timers sit and talk about fires they have been to. one told us of a fire where he arrived on scene with another vollie to a house fire. they both arrived b4 the engine from any dept got there and the woman was screaming that her baby was inside. both entered with just their ppe on and no scba because the engine wasent there. they saved the baby, but had to be taken to the hospital. on a situation like this, what should we really do??? i mean on one hand u know its a big risk to go in without all of ur gear, but still another side u want to save the baby b4 its to late. what do yall think?
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Thread: entering home with no SCBA
04-27-2006, 04:46 PM #1
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
entering home with no SCBA
04-27-2006, 05:23 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jun 2003
If it works, you're a hero. If it doesn't, you're dead.
Judgement call. We shouldn't do it, but ..............
04-27-2006, 05:36 PM #3
A Hero in my mind is someone who has died by giving their all to save a saveable life. This situation as stated will kill you or get you some TV & News time. They had PPE on and in the given situation if the fire was in one part of the house and they entered a part with little smoke or fire then MAYBE I would do the same. They saved the baby so a pat on the back for them.. However next time they may not be so lucky. Wait for the truck and then enter when Full PPE is on. They didnt event the SCBA to sit on the rigs. Listen to the old dogs however be wary of the Info you collect........
04-27-2006, 05:38 PM #4Originally Posted by quint1officer
The quintee is right, the textbook answer is absolutely not. But the real world answer...
We know there have been a lot of publicized saves from this exact situation, but not so many publicized LODD's (which doesn't mean they are not happening).
I would not knock anyone who waited for the engine, but I would not knock anyone who made a sound "risk vs. reward" decision to go in either. Use your training, education, and experience to determine if it is winnable. Don't just become a dead hero because you think it is the right thing to do.Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!
04-27-2006, 05:39 PM #5
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
[QUOTE=quint1officer]If it works, you're a hero. If it doesn't, you're dead.
Quint1officer summed it up pretty good, either you will be a hero or a zero. To me a lot of it depends on what the conditions are and if there is a likely chance that you can save the baby and not just a corspe.
04-27-2006, 05:53 PM #6
There are key actions that firefighters who are placed into this unfortunate situation should take.
1. Get a confirmed and reliable report that there is definitely occupant/s inside.
2. Try and ascertan their most likley location.
3. It might be that a window (VES) access is better than an external door?
4. Size-up the fire situation .... and the viability of live occupants remaining.
5. ISOLATE THE FIRE if possible .... close all doors as you pass them and make a point of locating all doors that might separate the first floor from the second and close these off if possible, before ascending the stairs.
6. Stay low where the air is clearest.
7. Utilise the protection of your PPE.
8. Use all your senses .... listen for fire .... listen for occupant/s .... look at the smoke velocity to guide you on the extent of the fire's development .... the faster the smoke is moving the more dangerous is the interior .... look for warning indicators such as rising and falling smoke layers etc ....
9. Try and get a good look at the layout from the exterior on entering .... know where you are heading for .... note any possible exit points in case of emergency ....
10. Only vent a window as a last resort .... it may well increase the burn rate and allow the fire to develop quicker than you anticipated. This point may be argued by some and it depends on experience and conditions. As a general guideline I would suggest you don't do it.
04-27-2006, 06:38 PM #7
- Join Date
- May 2004
- Oxford, MS
Lafayette County Firefighter
Hey, I am a ff from Lafayette County,MS (Oxford). We had an officer go to save a "baby" once, he found out the baby was a small dog. Make sure you know the details of the situation. It definately depends on if we are talking about a small kitchen fire or a 50% envolved structure. I just don't think I'm ready to check out right now, you can never be sure if you are doing a rescue or a body recovery either. I sure don't want to die doing a body recovery.
04-27-2006, 07:06 PM #8
When I became a firefighter, I knew I was signing on to protect the lives of the public, even if it meant risking or sacrificing my own in the process. Simple as that. Sometimes you are put in an extreme situation and have to make that difficult choice. Sometimes you both live, sometimes you both die, sometimes you live but pull out a corpse. There really is no right or wrong answer, it's a judgment call. No firefighter should EVER be judged for making either decision, especially if they choose to run in. Yes, we should strive to make it as safe as possible for ourselves, BUT, in the end, it's a dangerous job and the bottom line is that the public's safety almost always outweighs our own. That's the whole point of the job. Sure, if we don't take care of ourselves, who is going to protect the public? That's a fair argument most of the time, but we're generally talking one on one here, not putting the entire department or response in jeopardy. Also, just because you have an SCBA on doesn't mean you're in the clear. You're still going inside a burning building solo and it's just as easy to become overcome or disoriented WITH the airpack on than without. Maybe moreso since you'll be able and inclined to go in deeper or stay in longer.
I've run into burning buildings with just turnout gear on to do a quick primary search if there was a report of someone still inside, and I would always make that choice, SCBA or not.
04-27-2006, 07:58 PM #9
We all have to understand that this a volunteer firefighter that is there with out any one else on scene no radio contact, NO SCBA and no Accountibilty. yes we sign up to risk our lives alot to save a savible life. We train in firefighter survival and in RIT. However we all know that this is a last resort. I too would enter if I could but only if it allowed me too. I will never tell someone that its the right thing to do because its NOT. We as fire fighter who arrive on an apparatus would never step off the truck without or SCBA or tools. (RIGHT?).. Then y would we do it without a truck on scene???
04-27-2006, 08:14 PM #10Originally Posted by JAFA62
There is a big difference between that and getting to the scene first and having a mother scream that her baby is inside, and you're her only hope to save it. If you're not prepared to handle that, then respond to the station or hide around the corner until the apparatus gets there first, simple as that.
PS - This isn't just a "volunteer" problem. Career guys have been faced with this same situation in their own communities or during the course of them traveling around town. Police officers that get to the scene first are also faced with this. Just the other day, 3 police officers from our county had to rescue a homeowner from his burning house. The only reason that guy is still alive is due to them, and they sure as hell didn't have SCBA, much less TURNOUT GEAR.
You do what you have to do, that's the bottom line.
04-27-2006, 08:20 PM #11
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
- NW Indiana
For 3 years i wondered what my reaction in that kind of situation would be. On 4-Dec-2005 i learned the answer. The victim was elderly and badly burned. Two of us hit the scene at the same time, victim's daughter was able to give us a good location and she was close to the door.
We were lucky, we went home and the victim is still with us. Flame was not showing, but a lot of smoke. We found her with our ears, and she wouldn't have lasted until we had air. The circumstances made it a viable risk with a savable victim and we worked well as a team--exactly as we trained. In and out in well under 60 seconds, some coughing but all right.
Personally, i'd never want to do it that way again. But i'm willing to do it every day. Do it by the book if at all possible, but...
04-28-2006, 06:01 AM #12
I think this pretty much sums it up......."risk a little to safe a little, risk alot to safe alot".
Paul has a lot of good points. If you are not trained to do what he is talking about then I would suggest that you stay outside and wait for the proper resourses. By this I mean that if you are not trained properly, you would be risking too much to save no one. Just my opinion!!! Take care and stay safe!!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" **
04-28-2006, 09:30 AM #13
Originally Posted by JAFA62
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
- The North East
Some people need to remember what our mission is! EMS has permeated the F.S. so much that now at fires we have a bunch of people running around waving their hands in the air screaming "Is the scene safe? Is the scene safe? BSI, BSI!"
I'm not saying take on a suicide mission to make a rescue but with some training you have a better chance than the civilian parent or a cop! These guys even had PPE! Bonus! A cops PPE includes polyester melting uniforms!
04-28-2006, 09:42 AM #14
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
We have a problem with firefighters going in without SCBA at our station. It's not so much of a problem them doing it, but that they get on scene, and jump out and run in. Our chief is the worst at this too. We rolled up on a single story dwelling about 50% involved. There is someone standing outside saying that there is a little girl trapped in a bedroom that by now may be burning. The chief tells me to pull a line as he runs inside to look for the little girl. Problem is, he ran in there, no PPE with no SCBA, and its not like we didnt have one on the scene. I'm the new buy at the time and this is making me think "what kind of an example is he making right now?"
If I was in the situation where it was 5 minutes before an engine got on scene, I would probably go in.
04-28-2006, 09:43 AM #15Originally Posted by Kevo231If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!
04-28-2006, 11:21 AM #16
Originally Posted by Kevo231
- Join Date
- May 1999
- Here, There, Everywhere
You search as far as conditions allow. Thats all one can expect but to even have the though of not entering because you don't have all the technically "appropriate" gear...well that is in my opinion inexcusable.
04-28-2006, 01:54 PM #17Originally Posted by Kevo231
Ditto to what FFRED said........
I have done this myself......and will do it again if need be.IACOJ Member
04-28-2006, 03:01 PM #18
- Join Date
- Jan 2003
Are you telling me no one here has gone into a fire and not worn their mask? I don't believe that. C'mon, what were they supposed to do? Stand there and tell the family it was too dangerous? They were there, they had gear, the made a grab. Thats what they are supposed to do.I am a complacent liability to the fire service
04-28-2006, 03:08 PM #19Originally Posted by ChicagoFF
I know that even today when I have either Control or Door.....I don't mask-up. You gotta be ready to take the Nozzle or Back-up when those brothers have taken a beating and need relief......sure you take a bit of a feed....but thats the job IMO......along the lines of what FFRED said.....it was done by the brothers years ago. My opinion is....if its bad...get lower....if its bad down there mask up......
Have a ball and stay safe....
Last edited by VinnieB; 04-28-2006 at 03:24 PM.IACOJ Member
04-28-2006, 03:21 PM #20
I don't know if I'd go as far as to say that the public's safety is higher than ours...after all without us they are screwed therefore you need your Ff's alive and able to rescue the casualty... otherwise instead of one civilin casualty that needs rescue you end up with them joined by 8 Ff's also needing rescue, multiply that a few times and you have WW3 in a suburban side street.
However, we are Firefighters and we are trained in how a fire develops and grows, we have a good understanding of the fire and should be able to use that to our advantage. It's physically impossible to step inside a structure that is 100% involved so anything less where a life is still viable then IMO an attempt has to be made. My own Brigade's fine history and that of many others throughout the World are built on the shoulders of men and even women in later years who have made successful rescues in less than ideal circimstances...no BA, from the tip of a fully extended ladder, jumping across burned floors and so on.
And long may they continue to do so. The day we are no longer organisationally able to make quick and courageous decisions is the day we should give up the game and just equip the residents with hoses, nozzles and Hydrant kit and leave them to pour water through burning windows.
It may be an unfashionable ethic now but this is the nobility and courage of those who choose this profession that sets us aside from most others. People will never stop having fires and people will always need rescuing.... we therefore still need to be ready to match that challenge.Steve Dude
London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"
'Irony'... It's a British thing.
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