1. #1
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    Default Why do you need extra truck companies for a high rise fire?

    Ok, before anyone asks, I'm referring for a fires in a highrise something like 20 stories in the air. where the fire is out of the reach of an aerial ladder.

    I know FDNY (probably ones of the foremost experts in these types of fires) has 5 trucks responding to a highrise fire (instead of the usual 3), but if the fire (and the victums) are out of reach of the aerials, why not just call for additional engine companies?
    If 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!

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    Lightbulb A thought from my sleepy brain...

    In a lot of departments where there is true separation between engine and truck companies, it is often the truck that handles the majority of the rescue work. I don't claim to know much of anything about FDNY. However, I would think that if the truck handles search and rescue on smaller occupancies, they would be the chosen ones on larger occupancies, too. And if the building is bigger, there will be more occupants and more truckies will be needed to do the job.

    When people think of truck companies, they often become fixated on the aerial ladder alone. Yet, the real mark of a good truck company isn't the stick, but the other tools, the men on the rig and the skills that they bring with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cozmosis
    When people think of truck companies, they often become fixated on the aerial ladder alone. Yet, the real mark of a good truck company isn't the stick, but the other tools, the men on the rig and the skills that they bring with them.
    An aerial device is just one of the many tools a truck company has in it's arsenal.

    Having a vehicle in your station with an aerial device does NOT make you a truck company!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff
    An aerial device is just one of the many tools a truck company has in it's arsenal.

    Having a vehicle in your station with an aerial device does NOT make you a truck company!
    Agreed, however in most places this is the case. The "we are a truck co" mentality exists because of the big shiny truck.

    I know FDNY (probably ones of the foremost experts in these types of fires) has 5 trucks responding to a highrise fire (instead of the usual 3), but if the fire (and the victums) are out of reach of the aerials, why not just call for additional engine companies?[/B]
    Truck co's are responsible for locating the fire, searching, ventilation, utility control and rescue (in no specific order). Thats alot to do in a high rise, especially when venting usually means using existing openings and building HVAC etc. Another example would be having to search and force doors on 20 apartments on the fire floor, floor above and top floor.

    In this area alot of engine companies carry more of a "squad"s worth of tools. That is, you'll find hooks, fans, hand tools, ladders etc on engines. The real answer to the question is if the company assigned has the tools and the people that understand the truck company functions, then it probably doesnt matter what the vehicle they ride in on looks like. How many and what types of companies are due on this type of box should be pre-determined.

    FDNY companies are assigned specific duties based on building type and fire location. Not many places have their act as well honed and unfortunately most places wing it. When the bell rings everyone just goes and the IC has to develop a plan and carry it out with a fire in front of him, hardly a sensible way to do business.

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    Well, for us its simple. Bigger building equals more truck company work that needs doing which equals more trucks sent. We send additional trucks to all large buildings, regardless of how tall.
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    Engine Cos are needed for then men to rotate on the line and to get additional lines into place. In high rise fires, the initial companies will take a beating so thiere is a need for Engine Cos to provide manpower to replace the battered units. Trucks by trade are Search and Rescue. When the fire is out of reach of the stick then that adds a fireman (LCC) to the trucks manpower. He's the guy thats going to make the roof and check the stairs above the fire floor. Rescues and Squads can also be used in lieu of trucks.

    We use trucks because we have enough and through the years we've developed our procedures from repetition. If your city doesn't have enough trucks....then use whatever you have...just so long as they are trained to do the job.
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    Not being a smart a** here but just going back to the basics as put down by Lloyd Layman would seem to answer your question.

    General fireground priorities / (also usually the engines duties)

    Rescue
    Exposures
    Confine
    Extinguish
    Overhaul


    Truck company operations (although these can be done by engines if you don't have enough trucks)

    Ladders
    Overhaul
    Utilities
    Ventilation
    Exposures
    Rescue
    Salvage

    Makes sense to me to bring enough trucks to get the truck work done by truckies so the engine slugs can get their work done efficiently, but I'm just a brush monkey (and proud engine slug) so what do I know.

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    LADDER COMPANY OPERATIONS
    9.1 INTRODUCTION
    9.1.1 Fires in High-Rise office buildings present unusual complex problems to the first arriving units. It is essential that the first alarm ladder companies define the fire problem and convey this information to the officer in charge and provide for the rescue and evacuation of occupants in affected areas. The information gathered by the first alarm ladder companies and relayed to the lobby command post will determine to a large extent the success of the overall fire operations.

    9.2 LADDER COMPANY RESPONSIBILITIES
    9.2.1 General goals of first alarm ladder companies.
    A. Gain control of elevators.
    B. Locate fire floor and determine the best access thereto.
    C. Ascertain the general area and extent of the fire on the floor.
    D. Provide the necessary search and evacuation of occupants on the fire floor.
    E. Conduct a preliminary search and examination of the floor above the fire.
    F. Initiate search and examination of the upper most floors of the building.
    G. Reconnaissance of the exterior of the building.
    H. Initiate search and examination of all stairways, especially the “attack” stairway. Care must be taken that doors to these stairways on the upper floors are not left open which would contaminate the upper floors and could significantly affect fire operations.

    9.3 FIRST ARRIVING LADDER COMPANY
    9.3.1 The first arriving ladder company shall:
    A. Obtain as much information as possible from the fire safety director or his
    surrogate as to:
    1. Location of the fire.
    2. Evacuation procedures that have been implemented.
    3. Status of elevators.
    4. Access stairs serving the fire floor.
    B. Prior to leaving the lobby:
    1. Determine the elevator bank that provides the safest access to the fire area and place the elevator cars to be used on "Firemen Service".
    2. Obtain floor plan of the fire area. If only one copy is available do not remove it from the fire command station.
    3. Obtain keys necessary to gain access to the fire floor.
    4. Insure that the lobby command post is manned by a fire department member.
    5. Due to HVAC and the stack effect, smoke can permeate the entire
    zone (up to 25 floors) and cause confusion as to the specific fire
    floor. Numerous reports of fire or smoke may be received and
    even the original alarm may be from the incorrect floor. Always
    be prepared for the unexpected, especially when elevators are
    being utilized.
    C. Conduct a preliminary inspection of the exterior of the building by the
    chauffeur for:
    1. Persons in distress.
    2. Smoke or fire showing through the skin of the building.
    3. The need for any exterior operations.
    D. Proceed to a floor at least two floor below the fire floor using a "Firemen
    Service" elevator as outlined in section 3. A firefighter equipped with a
    Handie-Talkie shall be assigned to remain with the elevator and to operate
    the elevator until relieved.
    E. Upon arrival at the floor below the fire conduct the following operations
    and relay all information obtained to the lobby command post:
    1. Determine if the reported fire floor is the correct location and
    return the elevator to the lobby to transport the engine companies.
    2. Determine the heat and smoke condition on the fire floor.
    3. Determine the life hazard on the fire floor and initiate evacuation procedures where required.
    4. Determine the location of the fire on the floor and select a stairway with a standpipe that will provide the best attack on the fire.
    5. Conduct a primary search of the fire floor.
    6. Provide support to the advancing Engine Company by:
    a. Removing obstructions.
    b. Forcing entry.
    c. Opening the ceiling to expose the plenum.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    9.4 SECOND ARRIVING LADDER COMPANY

    9.4.1 Due to the utilization of manpower from the 1st arriving Ladder Company for:
    A. Examination of building exterior.
    B. Elevator car operator.
    C. Temporary Lobby Command Post supervisor, plus the large area that MUST be searched mandates that the second arriving Ladder Company assists in the search and evacuation of the fire floor.

    9.4.2 The second arriving ladder company shall:
    A. Report to the lobby command post.
    1. Determine if the fire floor has been verified by the first arriving ladder company.
    2. Obtain an elevator car that provides the safest access to the fire area and place the car on "Firemen Service". If possible, the same elevator car used by the 1st arriving ladder (manned by a HT. radio equipped member of the 1st ladder company) should be utilized. If a different car must be utilized, a HT. radio equipped member of the 2nd ladder shall be assigned to remain with the elevator and operate car until relieved.
    3. Upon arriving at the floor below the fire (or on the fire floor) obtain as much information as possible from the 1st arriving ladder company - areas searched, fire area location, occupants reported missing, etc.
    4. Coordinate the search operation of fire floor with first arriving ladder company.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    9.5 THIRD ARRIVING LADDER COMPANY

    9.5.1 The third arriving ladder company shall:
    A. Report to the lobby command post.
    1. Determine if the fire floor has been verified by either the 1st or 2nd arriving ladder company.
    2. Obtain an elevator that provides the safest access to the fire area and place the car on "Firemen Service".
    3. Proceed to a floor at least two floors below the fire floor, using a "Firemen Service" elevator as outlined in section 3.
    Note: The 1st arriving and possibly the 2nd arriving ladder company will already have a HT. radio equipped member operating one of the "Firemen Service" elevators. Use these cars if available rather than losing a member to operate another car. In ALL cases each elevator car used to transport Fire Dept. members a HT. equipped member shall be assigned to operate the car. These cars shall then be returned promptly to the lobby to transport additional members or equipment.
    B. Upon arriving at the floor below the fire, obtain as much information as possible from the 1st or 2nd arriving ladder company OR by a rapid survey or reconnaissance of this floor and stairway serving it. Signs posted in elevator lobbies ("YOU ARE HERE" signs) can also be used for such familiarization. The Officer and members shall then:
    1. Determine the number of stairways serving the fire floor and the floor above.
    2. Proceed to the floor above the fire via a stairway other than the attack stairway.
    3. Determine which stairway is the best stairway to be used by the occupants for evacuation and advise the lobby command post.
    4. Examine the floor above the fire and report to the lobby command post the following:
    a. The heat and smoke conditions.
    b. The status of the evacuation.
    c. Any extension of the fire.
    d. Presence of Access Stairs - Down to Fire Floor or Upward to Floor Above.
    5. Examine all stairways for occupants and smoke condition.
    6. Remove all occupants from the attack stairway for a reasonable distance above the fire floor and prevent its use by the occupants.
    7. If difficulty is encountered in clearing the attack stairway of occupants, the officer shall advise the first arriving ladder company or the operations post to withhold the attack until the occupants have been safely removed.
    8. Conduct a primary search of the floor above the fire.
    C. When his operations are completed on the floor above the fire, report to the operations post either physically or via H. T Radio.
    D. Notification to Chief in Charge of Command Post or Operational Post of missions NOT accomplished can be more important than assignments accomplished.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    9.6 FOURTH ARRIVING LADDER COMPANY

    9.6.1 The Fourth arriving ladder company shall:
    A. Report to the lobby command post.
    1. Each member shall be equipped with an extra Scott cylinder.
    2. Obtain an elevator that provides the safest access to the roof.
    a. If the fire is on a floor that is not serviced by the High-Rise bank of elevators, the High-Rise bank will be used if it is in a blind shaft.
    b. If the fire is on a floor that is serviced by the High-Rise bank of elevators,they shall proceed to a location belo the fire floor and then use a stairway other than the attack stairway to proceed to the roof.
    c. If the High-Rise bank of elevators is used, assign a member equipped with a Handie-Talkie to operate the "Firemen Service" elevator until relieved.
    B. Upon arrival at the roof area the officer shall:
    1. Report the following conditions to the lobby command Post.
    a. Smoke and heat conditions in the area and in the stairways.
    b. The presence of any building occupants.
    c. All means available for roof ventilation, especially over stair ways and elevator shafts.
    d. Any unusual conditions.
    e. Fire or occupants at windows visible from roof.
    C. Not undertake roof ventilation unless ordered by the Chief in Charge of the lobby command post.
    D. Determine the identification of all stairways and elevator shafts so that when ordered, the correct ventilation can be carried out.
    E. Conduct a primary search of the top five floors.
    F. Remove any occupants to a safe area or assure the occupants that they are safe to remain where they are.
    G. Remain in the roof area to monitor and report any changing condition until otherwise ordered by the lobby command post.
    H. A logical assignment after roof operations would be the terminal floor of elevator bank serving the fire floor.
    I. Operate under the control of the lobby command post until the SAE post is established. They shall then operate under the command of the SAE post.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    FIFTH ARRIVING LADDER COMPANY is the FAST Truck
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    I thought I heard that FDNY changed the high rise SOG to move the command post out of the building because of possible collapse. This was a direct result from Sept. 11th. Is this true??
    Jason Knecht
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    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey
    I thought I heard that FDNY changed the high rise SOG to move the command post out of the building because of possible collapse. This was a direct result from Sept. 11th. Is this true??
    no.................
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    It's nice to get the news from the "horses mouth" kind of thing.

    There are a few instructors here that are saying that. I think I shall re-educate them.

    Thanks man, stay safe!
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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    Cool Why we have add'l Trucks respond......

    Let's not forget that some Departments are running 5 personnell on their Trucks..... 4 Trucks = the manpower of 5 Engines........ but I also believe that it is for the various reasons previously discussed.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite
    Ok, before anyone asks, I'm referring for a fires in a highrise something like 20 stories in the air. where the fire is out of the reach of an aerial ladder.

    I know FDNY (probably ones of the foremost experts in these types of fires) has 5 trucks responding to a highrise fire (instead of the usual 3), but if the fire (and the victums) are out of reach of the aerials, why not just call for additional engine companies?

    One way to compare it is to ask oneself... Would an Army General on the Battlefield who needed more Air cavalry support ask for more infantry or armored support?

    We just like everyone else have a certain numer of Engine and Ladder companies in the city for the tour. It wouldn't make much sense to reduce the availiability of Engines just to have a whole bunch of ladder companies with a few relocated Engines sitting around. Not to mention you would have to draw Engines from farther away while there were plently of nearby Ladder companies to address the staffing needs.

    When you have x amount of tasks that need to be handled at a basic high-rise fire...the first alarm companies assigned should be numerous enough to adequately address these needs.

    The S&T needs of a high rise as 40-35 pointed out are numerous indeed. One of the many things that need to be considered is Commercial or Residential as that has some effect on operations and how many Ladder Companies are needed and what roles they will play. Ladder Companies are the ones with the most experience and best equipment to handle the many tasks such as search, forcible entry and overhaul.

    There could literally be 4 or 5 staircases to be searched along with 100s of office doors needing to be forced depending on seriousness of the fire and smoke travel in the building.

    The Engines as it was said will be needed for stretching lines and relief, along with CFR-D and the new Command Post Companies (I think they changed their names though) They really aren't equiped or staffed on average to handle the Truck tasks as efficently as the Ladder Co's are.

    Maintaining company cohesiveness(this doesn't refer to everyone staying within arms reach of each other.) and keeping each one focused on the tasks that each one is meant to deal with is paramount to maintaining control and command of a fire of this size. This very fact has been brought up by reviews of fatal fires in a few cities. When one has Engines doing Truck work and Trucks doing Engine work and everything in between...things can and will get confusing and out of control fast.

    Have trucks been used to stretch lines and Engines used as FAST teams or to overhaul or search...sure, but it is usally due to extreemly unusual circumstances (low availiablity) this is by far the exception and not the rule.

    FTM-PTB

    PS-As for the command post...it has gone no where and I don't know who these instructors got their info from but it is wrong.

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    Dont confuse High Rise office buildings with highrise multiple dwellings.....we handle them differently.

    In High Rise Office buildings the whole company (5 firefighters and an officer) will generally operate togather, in a specific location and job.

    In a high rise multiple dwelling, there are much fewer companies operating. 1st due truck, 2nd due truck,Rescue and Squad. Occasionally they will special call an additional Truck to handle the large number of reports of smoke on the upper floors (but it is usually handled by the 1st,2nd Due trucks or Rescue. I've been to jobs where we've had over 15 apartments calling the dispatcher for smoke or people trapped,....so it can keep the trucks very busy going up and down stairs checking floors and apartments. Every apartment must be checked (due to past fires...we can get into that later)

    The vast majority of High Rise MD's we have jobs in are handled by the above companies (with 4 Engines stretching lines and getting water on it) When you hear a multiple alarm in NYC for a Highrise MD...it is usually a severe fire...out of the apartment, maybe wind driven...etc..

    By the way..if the victims are out of reach of of ladders, as was asked at the begining of this topic...what would the purpose be of calling Engines? The Trucks would most often be used first for carrying victims out, or performing a Roof Rope rescue.....in other words, if there were that many victims awaiting rescue (very unlikely anywhere other than the fire floor in these buildings) the truck co.'s would be the better choice.
    Last edited by MattyJ; 09-14-2006 at 09:53 PM.

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    Default *beep beep beep* my usual "civilian chick dumb question ahead" alert ...

    Quote Originally Posted by E40FDNYL35
    B. Prior to leaving the lobby:
    1. Determine the elevator bank that provides the safest access to the fire area and place the elevator cars to be used on "Firemen Service".
    Ray, what does that mean, "Firemen Service"?

    OK, I should clarify that I haven't finished reading all the posts yet, I decided to ask that question as soon as I got to that part. Going back to finish reading.
    Last edited by RspctFrmCalgary; 09-14-2006 at 10:07 PM. Reason: To add something
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    Quote Originally Posted by RspctFrmCalgary
    Ray, what does that mean, "Firemen Service"?

    OK, I should clarify that I haven't finished reading all the posts yet, I decided to ask that question as soon as I got to that part. Going back to finish reading.
    Sher.. I'll answer that for you.

    There is a key that we can use to "capture" the elevators. When the key is placed into the switch and activated, it will bring the elevators down to the ground level, regardless of what floor they were going to.

    The firefighter then removes the key fron the exterior switch and puts it into the ofirefighter's switch in the elvator. It overrides the elevator's controls and allows the firefighters to operate the elevator. in my community, for a fire situation, we would capture the elevator, use it to bring up equipment and such and set up command two floors below the fire floor.

    I had to use the "fireman's service" the other day for a medical in an office building. The people in the elevator were wondering why they pushed the button for the 4th floor and the elevator went to the ground floor. One of the passengers wasn't too happy... oh well....
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Thanks, Ron.

    That's pretty much what I figured after I finished reading the thread.

    Sounds similar to when an elevator can be "locked off" in an apartment building when a tenant is moving in/out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyJ
    By the way..if the victims are out of reach of of ladders, as was asked at the begining of this topic...what would the purpose be of calling Engines?
    well, my thinking was that 99% of your problems (including trapped victims) are solved by putting out the fire. put the fire out (using the additional engine companies) and the trapped victims are no longer trapped.

    Thanks for the info 40-35
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    Default Fire isn't the only threat...

    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite
    well, my thinking was that 99% of your problems (including trapped victims) are solved by putting out the fire. put the fire out (using the additional engine companies) and the trapped victims are no longer trapped.

    Thanks for the info 40-35
    Just because the fire is out (or knocked down) doesn't mean there are no longer trapped victims. Smoke, heat and toxic gases are all still present and are just as lethal as they were pre-extinguishment.
    Rescue is our absolute primary concern. I'd like to know there are as many resources dedicated to rescue as possible, while the necessary remaining resources are focused on confinement and extinguishment. Time is critical in accessing and removing victims, even after fire spread has been stopped.

    Second, third, fourth, etc. alarms will bring not only additional trucks, but additional engines, and various other support resources as well. All have their special capabilities and assignments are made based upon the particular need(s) as determined by the IC.




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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite
    well, my thinking was that 99% of your problems (including trapped victims) are solved by putting out the fire. put the fire out (using the additional engine companies) and the trapped victims are no longer trapped.

    Thanks for the info 40-35
    I think you are forgetting the fact that every person assigned to a piece of fire apparatus, whether it be an Engine compnay, A Ladder company or a Rescue company is first and foremost a firefighter!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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