Thread: Dangerous Building Form for CAD
10-04-2006, 09:21 PM #1
- Join Date
- Feb 1999
- Pittsburgh, PA USA
Dangerous Building Form for CAD
Looking for examples of forms used to document dangerous conditions and building information. These forms would be given to dispatch to be put into the CAD system. The dispatcher will transmit the alarm and once all companies report in service, they will announce any information on the address of the building.
examples, previous fire damage, lightweight construction, hazardous materials, etc..
Anyone have a form they are using that we could get some ideas from? Any help appreciated.
10-05-2006, 12:02 AM #2
Ahhh. Affectionately know as "the blue card" around here. I have never actually seen one.
However, when I call dispatch and tell them, "Hey - this apt. complex is vacant know but full of vagrants - mostly drug users, automatically send the police on all calls in this complex." They reply okay I will fill out a blue card.
"Hey there is a know invalid at this address." Okay we will fill out a blue card.
"Hey, we are closer and have better access to this area. See if you can bump us up in the running order." "Okay, I will fill out a blue card.
I am thinking you need a blue card. I will contact a dispatcher and have them send me one, scan it, and email it to you.
Whats your email?RK
Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.
"Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.
Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.
10-05-2006, 07:52 AM #3
We submit CIDS cards. Critical Information Data System. which contains an address, dimensions, construction type, occupancy, AKA addresses, and about a 120 character section for other hazard information.
This information is made a part of any response ticket to that address, or ajoining addresses.
10-05-2006, 07:57 AM #4
By DENNIS HEVESI- New York Times
Published: February 4, 2001
THE first alarm sounded at 11:33 p.m.: first-floor fire in a vacant 40-by-60-foot, five-story apartment building with boarded-up storefronts at Seventh Avenue and 139th Street in Harlem. Within five minutes, 13 firefighters from Ladder Company 28 and Engine Companies 59 and 69 had stretched their hoses and were inside.
In the cab of his truck, Battalion Chief Bob Schildhorn tore off the capital-lettered computer printout from central dispatch: ''NO INTERIOR OPERATIONS DUE TO HAZARDOUS CONDITION OF BUILDING.''
Grabbing his walkie-talkie, Chief Schildhorn immediately ordered ''a backout'' by his firefighters.
''In less than one minute,'' he would later write in a bulletin to firefighters throughout the city, ''there was an interior pancake collapse'' -- all five floors imploding, sending up a burst of flame and sparks that ignited fires in three adjoining buildings. It would take four hours before the three-alarm blaze was extinguished.
The building, Chief Schildhorn wrote in his account of that May 23, 1999, fire, ''appeared from the exterior to be in excellent condition; it was sealed, with no F.D.N.Y. hazard markings.'' But inside, timbers were rotting, walls decaying.
Those 13 firefighters, in all likelihood, owe their lives to a CIDS card, an 8-by-5-inch yellow form with slots for up to 160 characters -- data that some unknown firefighter had supplied during a routine building inspection seven years earlier. Calling attention to unusual factors, like whether a building has an atypical configuration, how many hose lengths it would take to cross a floor where apartments have been combined, whether a particular type of roof construction is given to collapse, if toxic materials are kept on site, the CIDS -- or Critical Information Dispatch System -- card is a little known and less acclaimed protector of life and property.
Seventeen days ago, at 11:12 a.m. on Jan. 18, Dennis O'Connell, a dispatch supervisor, sat at his computer console in the now-quaintly named Fire Alarm Telegraph Station -- a 75-year-old octagonal building on a hilltop overlooking Forest Park in Queens -- when a call came in. In a rarely opened vault in the basement of Remsen Hall, the science building at Queens College, a potentially hazardous material had been found.
A check of the CIDS (pronounced sids) information for Remsen Hall, long since transcribed from the card into the Fire Department's central computer system, revealed that five containers of picryl chloride -- a compound related to TNT -- had been stored in the vault. ''When this stuff ages, it destabilizes,'' Mr. O'Connell said. ''It can really blow. They're going to call in the bomb squad.''
The CIDS data was relayed to the scene.
From their firehouse on Grand Avenue in Elmhurst, the men of Ladder Company 136 had already arrived at the Queens College campus. ''When they brought us the CIDS information for the Remsen building, when it was learned there was dangerous material in there,'' said the company commander, Capt. James McNally, ''we evacuated people, set up a perimeter of safety, went in more cautiously.''
The department's Hazmat -- hazardous materials -- Unit was called in. In a refinement beyond the CIDS system, computers on the unit's trucks provide ready reference on how to handle specific hazardous materials. The volatile acid was safely contained and removed.
''It's very important for the first responders to know what's stored in these buildings,'' Captain McNally said.
Does the system work? No question, said Chief Donald Burns, one of the department's five citywide command chiefs.
How often? No way to know.
''Let's say you have a store with a dry-pipe sprinkler system,'' Chief Burns said, ''a system that's not fed by water, but there's a siamese connection facing the street'' -- one of those double-nozzled standpipes by a building.
Most sprinkler systems operate automatically: there is water in them, under pressure, and when fire heats the sprinkler head to 165 degrees, the spraying begins.
With a dry-pipe system, firefighter action is needed. If there is CIDS information for a property with such a system, Chief Burns said, the first companies dispatched would see it on the printout. ''So if the fire is in the cellar,'' the chief said, ''you would hook up to the siamese and supply water to the sprinkler system.''
''The system worked,'' Chief Burns said. ''When the sprinkler goes off, the fire goes out. Did it save the building? Yeah, but nobody hears about it. It's like driving a car: if you pay attention, you avoid the accident. The good one is where you don't hear about it.''
Real estate industry officials have heard about it.
Edward A. Rytter, president of the Building Owners and Managers Association of New York, said: ''We have a long history of working with the Fire Department. Anything that's unusual that would create a hazard to either our property or life-safety is something we vigorously try to uncover and alert the department about.'' While state law mandates that most buildings be periodically inspected, their owners are not required to point out specific hazards.
Marolyn Davenport, senior vice president of the Real Estate Board of New York, said: ''The vast majority of our members are in the system, and certainly owners and managers of high-rise buildings are in it. Even more, they encourage the Fire Department to learn the intricacies of their fire-safetysystems and the physical plant of their buildings.''
''There's a history of cooperation,'' Ms. Davenport said.
The history dates back to 1977, a year after the department first started installing computers in firehouses. ''Everything before that was on paper, hard copy, and some battalions or companies had it in little, unofficial files they kept,'' Chief Burns said.
Now -- even though there are about 900,000 buildings in the city -- there are only about 37,000 CIDS cards in the system. And that, to a degree, is by design. The department seeks and welcomes input from building owners and managers, and will send inspectors to check a particular site. But the system particularly targets rare conditions, or something that poses a specific hazard.
Like truss roofs.
''Those are something like arches, or sometimes they're flat,'' said Chief Burns. ''It's a way of spanning large areas without columns in the middle, and it's a cheaper method of construction.'' They are typically found on garages, armories, supermarkets or other large stores.
''Trusses have a tendency for early and rapid collapse,'' Chief Burns said. ''You may send somebody on the roof, but tell them to stay in radio contact with the incident commander -- let him and the people operating in the interior know about the amount of fire and where it is located.''
''Always in the incident commander's mind is early withdrawal of the firefighters for their safety,'' the chief said.
The system also focuses on building alterations.
''We have buildings where they took five old-law tenements, buildings built before 1901, and they rehabbed them,'' Chief Burns said. ''They made it so there is only one entrance and connected five buildings under one address. Now, instead of five buildings that are 20 feet across, you have one building that's 100 feet across.''
That could be good news or bad news for the firefighters. The good news is that the old walls of the original buildings should contain the flames, forcing them to spread vertically, rather than engulfing the entire structure.
''The bad part is that many times when they do rehabs, sometimes the work is not of the highest quality,'' the chief said. ''Sometimes they leave openings where they run plumbing and wiring from one of the old buildings to another, and voids that normally aren't there. That helps the fire spread, undetected.''
IT is certainly good news when firefighters are made aware of unconventional layouts -- as in the case of the controversial current construction of five four-story apartment buildings in the courtyard between two existing L-shaped buildings in Flushing, Queens. Among other issues raised by opponents of the plan was concern that fire trucks would not be able to gain access to the old buildings.
''When I went out and looked at the old buildings -- the new foundations were in place -- I noticed,'' said Chief Burns, ''that when you wind up on the L behind the new buildings, there's entrances into each of the old buildings. So I would get into the CIDS card that there are entrances that are not visible from the street. And the officer would say it's two hose lengths down and two lengths across before I even get into the building and start up the stairs.'' A hose length -- standard reference for firefighters -- is 50 feet.
For high-rise buildings, the CIDS information would pinpoint the locations of elevators, the mechanical room for the elevators, high-voltage equipment and, of particular importance, the fire command station.
All high-rise buildings must have an on-site command station to receive and relay all alarms. When the building is occupied, a fire safety director must be on duty; or, on weekends when the building is lightly occupied, an evacuation supervisor must be there. ''When we pull up, these buildings may be a block square,'' Chief Burns said. ''So the card tells you to go in on 51st Street, 200 feet west of Sixth Avenue, to find the command station; and they're supposed to know what's happening in the building, where the fire is.''
''For example,'' the chief said, citing an infamous case, ''the World Trade Center had one command center for the whole complex, down in the garage right off the parking area. And when the bomb exploded, it knocked it out of commission. Now they have fire command stations in each of the buildings.''
For private homes and smaller apartment buildings, the information might include whether it is a group home, if any occupants are bedridden; whether and where there are window bars that would block a rescue or trap a firefighter inside. Such information might alert the commander on the scene to call for a tower ladder, providing a platform outside the upper floors, and bolt cutters to remove the bars.
LAST month, soon after returning to their Elmhurst firehouse from that hazardous-material incident at Queens College, the firefighters from Ladder Company 136 climbed aboard their truck and headed to the Cafe Baba, a nightclub on 63rd Drive in Rego Park. They weren't going to celebrate. There was no fire alarm.
They were going on routine inspection -- one of dozens fire companies must conduct each month, all the while ready to immediately respond to a call -- during which CIDS cards are written or updated.
Schools, hospitals, day-care centers and other public places must be inspected annually; factories, every other year; office buildings, every three, four or five years, depending on the workload, and multiple dwellings, from two to five years, depending on the building's occupancy (private houses can be inspected upon request by the home owner).
Near the nightclub's entrance, Captain McNally's crew raised a ladder to the roof. ''Every year we verify the CIDS information,'' the captain said. ''We go top to bottom: rubbish in the rear, padlocks; if they put a big air-conditioner up there, that could be a collapse hazard. Maybe there's razor wire on the roof. If you pull up at 3 in the morning, nobody's going to know if there's razor wire that could tangle up my men.''
Several of those factors came into play 10 years ago when Chief Frank Cruthers, then a deputy chief in charge of 20 companies in northern Manhattan, took command of a fire scene.
Just about every building on one block -- he couldn't recall which one -- had fire escapes in front, but none in the rear, their CIDS cards said, and razor-wire fences had been raised on the roofs, separating the buildings.
''Now, several months after we made out these cards, there was a fire in one of those buildings,'' Chief Cruthers said. ''We put a ladder up to the adjoining roof and the firefighters, having the information from the CIDS card, were prepared to ascend with the proper tools to deal with the fence -- bolt cutters -- and to suspect that there might be people trapped in the rear.
''And if they were, they would likely have to be rescued by a firefighter being lowered from the roof on a rope to their windows,'' the chief said. ''And that's exactly what occurred. It was a young man. He had climbed out and was standing on the window ledge.''
The city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development, with approximately 300,000 buildings in its purview, has recently joined forces with the Fire Department to strengthen the CIDS system. The housing department has begun a review of its files on building code violations -- isolating 18 types of violations that meet the Fire Department's specifications for inclusion in the CIDS program.
''The absolute obvious ones,'' said Carol Abrams, a housing department spokeswoman, ''are broken fire escapes, illegal occupancy, making addresses visible from the street, repair of self-closing doors'' -- to help isolate a fire.
''This is certainly going to help them target buildings for inspection,'' Ms. Abrams said. ''And now they're getting this information refreshed by us daily.''
Fresh in the mind of Battalion Chief Schildhorn is that day 18 months ago when he ordered his men to back out from that blaze in Harlem, just before the pancake collapse -- as is the unknown firefighter who supplied the information that his superiors had entered onto the card seven years earlier.
''Whoever put in the CIDS information definitely saved firefighters' lives and should recieve a medal,'' Chief Schildhorn said.
10-05-2006, 10:13 AM #5Originally Posted by E229Lt
I heard of that happening, but never got to see the article. You would think that after this happened, the CIDS would be read over the air before the 10-75 is given.....I know its on the MDT printout, but a lot of times the MDTs dont work, the officer forgets to let the men know whats on it, or he does hand it back, but never gets read anyway.....there should be an easier way....Proud East Coast Traditionalist.
10-05-2006, 01:44 PM #6
- Join Date
- Jan 2004
We call them premise hazards here. The county disptach center has a sheet we fill out for things like, known weapons in house, known dangerous animals, known unsafe condition, etc. We are then advised of a premise hazard when a call at any of those locations comes up and we can decide how to proceed, stage for S.O., or just be extra careful.
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