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    Default Firefighters Killed in I-Zone....Homeowner to blame?

    Just something I have been thinking about over the last week or so. We had the five Firefighters killed in the "I-zone". (interface) The word was that they were actually going back to "check on a house" or "defend the structure".

    I dont know what the exact tactic or order was or if it even matters. But over the last 10+ years, Firefighters have been begging residents/homeowners to please clear their brush around their homes. Some do, most dont.

    Me- I am kinda wondering and somewhat buzzing over the fact that if the resident of the home did clear their vegitation, that maybe these 5 people would still be alive today? Maybe they wouldnt have gotten burned over?

    What do you think?
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 11-05-2006 at 04:07 PM.

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    Using your logic, People should be held accountable for bad wiring, cooking accidents, candle mishaps, children with matches, not keeping their property secure enough to keep fire starting bums out, and 90% of the other reasons fires start. They are all preventable, therefore homeowners are to blame for every firefighter death. C'mon, it's a dangerous business and short of arson it's hard to start pointing fingers. We don't live in a fireproof world.
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    Actually Chicago ... in most of the world, people are held accountable for bad wiring, cooking mishaps, candles igniting fires, fires resulting from chimneys not being cleaned, children playing with matches or any other causes that are deemed preventable by the culture. The standard is simple - would a prudent man forsee a fire occuring by thier action, such as leaving the kitchen while food is cooking or leaving matches out with kids around, or through thier inaction such as not cleaning a chimney or replacing bad wiring . In Japan and Europe, homeowners can be denied claims on thier insurance payments, be forced to pay out of pocket for damages caused to the property of others by thier fires and go to jail is the cause of the fire is deemed preventable. Homeowners and employers can and do go to jail if they are found the fire was preventable or known fire safety hazards were not corrected and deaths occur. This includes the deaths of firefighters. And in those cultures, most of the fires are deemed preventable, because quite honestly, most can be prevented if firesafety is a cultural priority, which it is not in the US. And you know what - fires in these cultures occur much less frequently than in the US and thier fire deaths rates are lower than ours. In some cases .... 1/8th of our fire death rate. So maybe there is something to holding folks responsible for deaths caused by fires. Until our culture makes firesafety a priority, our numbers will be still be horrific and we will need to spend more per capita on fire protection than any other country in the world.

    Though not a wildland firefighter, it's my feeling that any structure without a definsable space provided by the homeowner should not be protected and allowed to burn in any situation that is close to marginal. Only in situations where the homeowner has made the effort to protect the property should we risk our lives to defend it. The same goes for situations where the homeowner has built the structure of non-fire resistant materials. This should be made public knowledge. That may cause many more folks to take the time to do what needs to be done to increase our chances of protecting thier propety with a minimum of risk to ourselves.

    As far as this case, I'm waiting for the report on the fire conditions at the time of thier death. Did they hold on to long before retreating? Should they have abondoned the operation and allowed the residences to burn freely? Was this a case of a truly rapid change in situation where they had been operating with a mimum of risk or a was it case of firefighters trying to do to much in marginal conditions where they were so close to the "edge" (safety-wise) that even a slight change in the situation left them without escape/self-protection options? Did the crew recognize the marginal conditions, if they existed, and if they did, why did they not evacuate? Was command aware of the marginal situation (if it existed) and did they consider pulling them out? If not, why? If the wind was shifting, and command was aware of it, should they have been operating at all in that area? These are questions that need to be openly discussed.

    I know this may sound critical, but it's a question that needs to be asked in any LODD and need to be honestly answered. Often, we attempt to remain in situations, for a variety of fire culture or personal reasons, which should have been abandoned long before the deaths occured. As a service, we need to identify if this mistake was made so that we can treat it as a learning experience, and use the incident to change the culture of that particuliar company, department, organization or fire service as a whole if they are found to be overly aggressive or not safety concious during thier firefighting operations. These questions do not lessen the bravery of these firefighters. They do not make thier sacrifice less noble. However, we owe it to them to honestly determine if thier sacrifice was in vain. Answering these questions honestly and recognizing any mistakes these firefighters may have made may allow other firefighters to live in future situations by either changing the "aggressive mentality culture", such as after Storm King, or recognizing additional training firefighters may need to survive similiar future situations.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-05-2006 at 10:02 PM.

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    ChicagoFF- Great point. I guess I just get frustrated when our agencies out here beg people over and over again to please clear their brush and they dont do it. And now 5 Firefighters are dead when it could have been avoided?

    Here is what I am talking about-

    http://www.fire.ca.gov/php/education_100foot.php

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    Default Defensible Space

    In California there is a law requiring 100' of "Defensible Space" this means it is all of our responsiblilties the land owner and the fire control personnell. While we are out and about meeting the public and promoting fire prevention we should be thinking about how we can protect our selves while in an I-Zone situation, take a look at the access, the turn around and the vegetation clearance, make suggestions and enforce the rules.
    With the proper clearance a house can stand on its own allowing firefighters to concentrate on the job of putting the fire out. If there is not enough "Defensible Space" you or your fellow firefighters will be at risk trying to defend a "Looser". Be proactive not reactive!

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    Default my 2 cents

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleG13
    In California there is a law requiring 100' of "Defensible Space" this means it is all of our responsiblilties the land owner and the fire control personnell. While we are out and about meeting the public and promoting fire prevention we should be thinking about how we can protect our selves while in an I-Zone situation, take a look at the access, the turn around and the vegetation clearance, make suggestions and enforce the rules.
    With the proper clearance a house can stand on its own allowing firefighters to concentrate on the job of putting the fire out. If there is not enough "Defensible Space" you or your fellow firefighters will be at risk trying to defend a "Looser". Be proactive not reactive!

    Stay Safe
    It is a catch-22 situation for firefighters. Laws are only as good as the enforcement. Enforcement can only be as good as the available manpower. Homeowners want protection but they do not want to pay more property taxes. Firefighters can only do so much with limited resources. The homeowners who live in areas that are known to have high winds and a high fire danger need to exercise some common sense and realize that they have a responsibilty to maintain their property. As LAfire pointed out, our culture does not make fire safety a priority. People need to get out of their self-absorbed bubbles and realize that what they do or don't do does affect other people.

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    Default Defensible Space

    I should have slid the word "Education" in some where into my comments and I would have to agree that staffing levels are important but education is not looked highly upon by fire control folks, the trend is to say that the Fire Prevention proram should handle the "Enforcement" part of the problem.

    I really don't believe that to be the case, especially in the rural settings that most CDF engines and stations are in. On any given day while out doing hose lay training (for the bazzionth time) that engine opperator could stop in at the house on the hill and ask to do I-Zone training around the house, make some suggestions to the home owner as how to tidy up some, show the firefighters what a "looser house" looks like.

    Be a good neighbor and educate the home owner instead of turning them in to the fire cops or watching thier house burn up next week.

    That's what I mean by being proactive, it easy to do and yes I do stop in to homes that look like they need some help, I even stop in at new homes under construction to show the new FF's what construction looks like and how it effects us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleG13
    I should have slid the word "Education" in some where into my comments and I would have to agree that staffing levels are important but education is not looked highly upon by fire control folks, the trend is to say that the Fire Prevention proram should handle the "Enforcement" part of the problem.

    I really don't believe that to be the case, especially in the rural settings that most CDF engines and stations are in. On any given day while out doing hose lay training (for the bazzionth time) that engine opperator could stop in at the house on the hill and ask to do I-Zone training around the house, make some suggestions to the home owner as how to tidy up some, show the firefighters what a "looser house" looks like.

    Be a good neighbor and educate the home owner instead of turning them in to the fire cops or watching thier house burn up next week.

    That's what I mean by being proactive, it easy to do and yes I do stop in to homes that look like they need some help, I even stop in at new homes under construction to show the new FF's what construction looks like and how it effects us.

    Stay Safe
    This is exactly what should be happening and it can be done. I've taken my crew out before and done a structure protection drill. On several occasions we have assisted an elderly home owner with their clearance, I discuss what we will do and get permission to do it then I bring in the engine and we set up for structure protection, cut brush away to make the home defendable, move patio furnature away from the house etc. It is good training for the crew, good public relations and at least one house has clearance for a couple of years. The home owner gets the work done and just has to have the debris hauled away, a pretty good deal in my opinion.

    Obviously this can't be done for every home but its a start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by superchef
    It is a catch-22 situation for firefighters. Laws are only as good as the enforcement. Enforcement can only be as good as the available manpower. Homeowners want protection but they do not want to pay more property taxes. Firefighters can only do so much with limited resources. The homeowners who live in areas that are known to have high winds and a high fire danger need to exercise some common sense and realize that they have a responsibilty to maintain their property. As LAfire pointed out, our culture does not make fire safety a priority. People need to get out of their self-absorbed bubbles and realize that what they do or don't do does affect other people.

    Its not just enforcement, some of this is caused by the PR machine in many departments. If fire departments would just be blunt and explain that homes with no clearance won't be saved under any circumstance that might wake them up. I'm not talking about homes that take some work, or every home with wood siding but those nightmare homes, you know the one, wood shake shingles (but you wouldn't know it because of the 6" of leaves on the roof), wood siding, and brush so think you don't even know there is a house in there except for the overgrown driveway leading into it.

    Most homes can not get the 100' clearance now being required, for a home to achieve that it would have to be sitting dead center of a 1+ acre lot (actually a little bigger since the house takes up a fair chunk of that space, an acre is 208x208' so to have 100' clearance on an acre lot the house could only be an 8x8' Ted Kazinsky shack). How many homes sit on 1 acre lots in your community?

    There is no excuse not to at least make a decent effort to clear to the property line. Also this is not just a home owner issue, why are fire prone communities still allowing highly flammable construction methods, why do some communities actually encourage poor home placement (mid slope, in draws etc) putting a "natural" setting over fire protection? Why do you think you find homes where the owners did make a good effort sitting on streets that it is obvious the local government has not trimmed a tree within the past 6 years?


    There needs to be a major adjustment in alot of peoples mind set regarding the WUI. One of the first is the idea that it is just a California thing.
    Last edited by NonSurfinCaFF; 11-06-2006 at 05:26 PM.

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    People should be held accountable for bad wiring, cooking accidents, candle mishaps, children with matches, and 90% of the other reasons fires start.
    Yes, I editted a little bit, because I agree. People should be held accountable for their (and their children's) actions. Do I think they should be held criminally liable if a FF is hurt/killed fighting their fire? Most times I would say No.

    That California law "Defensible space" sounds like a good start, though I am fairly willing to bet there are those that ignore it.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    6% humidity 50mph winds is what I heard the conditions were, with those conditions our brothers never had a shot.

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    Then why were they in such a vunerable position?

    If, and I stress if, conditions were that bad why were they still envolved in close-up operations? Again, I am not a wildfire expert, though we have them here frequently, but not with nearly the intensity, speed and power of those experienced in CA, but if conditions were that intense and unpredictable due to the materials burning, weather/humidity, terrain or the potential for shifting winds, I can't help but wonder why either the crew themselves, the sector commander or the incident commander didn't pull them out before the overrun took place.

    It just bothers me, with the information that I have gathered from the initial information available, that this seems like another example of the often overly aggressive fire service culture rising it's ugly head and uneccessarily killing our brothers. This is not meant as a disrespect to the brothers as this is how they may have been trained and this may be how they may have been expected to operate within thier company, division or organization as a whole. And I might be wrong, but if conditions were that close to marginal, why would you stay to protect a few homes? Maybe I just don't understand. Maybe I am coming to the wrong conclusions based on the information I have seen. Maybe I just don't buy into the "put the wet stuff on the red stuff all the time" mentality.

    I just hope this incident is closely scrtunidized and lessons learned. Well it's an unfortunate event, it's not a sacred event, and if the crew or supervisors made incorrect decisions, that needs to come out and lessons need to be taken away.

    Its not just enforcement, some of this is caused by the PR machine in many departments. If fire departments would just be blunt and explain that homes with no clearance won't be saved under any circumstance that might wake them up. I'm not talking about homes that take some work, or every home with wood siding but those nightmare homes, you know the one, wood shake shingles (but you wouldn't know it because of the 6" of leaves on the roof), wood siding, and brush so think you don't even know there is a house in there except for the overgrown driveway leading into it.

    When I talk about bad risk-benefit decisions that get firefighters killed, this is what i am referring to. We are smart enough as firefighters to look at situations and think "it isn't worth it". But then, in some firefighters, a little voice kicks in that says "but if I don't work it, what will my peers think". Or that voice may be your crusty old captain telling you or implying that you are a coward because you aren't pushing deep enough or fast enough into a situation that you just know could go very bad very fast. Peer pressure is a powerful force. The fear of not looking tough enough or macho enough to our peers is a powerful force. Those fears and desires to look "tough enough" often kill us. There honestly needs to be much more focus, IMO, in the fire service on risk/benefit, and we as a service need to come to grips with the fact that we can't save everything, and there are times that we need to back away and let it burn.

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    Departments need to be more proactive, and educate the community. Home owners don't realize the dangers, and think all the pretty trees and brush is good. Our department sends flyers out to the community about being firewise, and offers free home evaluations. We give them ideas on things they can do to improve the chances of their home being defendable during a fire. We also have a lot of open house events during the season, getting the community to come to the station and learn about wildland fires. I think to an extent the homeowners need to be held acountable. In the very least they need to know that if they fail to provice the minimum defensable space, their home may not be protected during a fire. Fire crews need to make it clear that if the home owners fail to comply, the fire department is not going to risk their people to protect that home.
    Anyone involved in wildland fire in the interface should try and take the S215 (NWCG) class Wildland in the Urban Interface. It is a great class, it isn't about tactics, you should already know that. But it covers the liability, preplanning and safety concerns that are unique to interface fires. It is a 4 day class, and depending on the instructors you can get a lot of field trip time, looking at houses and subdivisions, thinking about what you could and would do, and what your concerns would be.
    The deaths in California were devastating, and when the official reports come out I am sure there will be lessons learned. But as someone put it earlier, the emotional values/concerns during an interface fire are greater than a brush fire. You are dealing with people who are losing everything, and you might even be working to protect your own house or a friends house. People (without thinking about the risks) tend to stay in those situations longer than they normally would, and they place them selves in greater risk because they thing the values at risk are worth it. It is hard to understand until you are in that position. The things that we can do to reduce the chances of things like this happening are community and firefighter education.
    "Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all"

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    Default clean ups

    Local governement in Aust inspects properties and fines you for not cleaning up. Normally require for a 7 yd break around the perimeter of the property. This is not very usefull to protect buildings and homeowners are asked to reduce fuel 30 mtrs around buildings.
    Some property owners use a fire cleanup notice to clear bushland as it overides conflicting conservation laws.
    Victoria and NSW fire services advise what to do in a bushfire prone area. In my area your adjacent neighbour is really going to get the benefit of your clean up as the fire will already have done its damage in your property.

    Some buildings and properties are designated in bushfire prone areas.
    Many of these cannot and will not be defended when threatened by a bushfire. It is just too dangerous. The crew leader needs to be aware of risks and is responsible for crew safety. Fining the resident after the event is of little value.

    http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/publications/research.htm
    Linton report and Ash Wednesday fire reports are a good read and contain many safety notes.

    I am saddened by your loss as we will undoubtedly face similar situations in the coming months.
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    These views are my own and not of either my brigade or any other organisation.

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    I wouldn't blame an individual homeowner based on the limited information I have about the incident. It's more a cultural issue to work on -- you expect to find these poorly prepared properties, and you have to use your best judgement to size up the risk. And you work to have fewer and fewer like it.

    Sometimes you can have situations it's reasonable to hold a homeowner accountable for creating an exceptional situation that the Fire Department had no reason to expect. Although no firefighters were injured, an incident that leaps to my mind was several towns over. Following up on a basement explosion, the FD found around 1000 gallons of gasoline stored in the garage of a single family residence. Don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure my tactics on a residential garage fire anticipate something like that! Imagine rolling up on a garage fire there at zero-dark-thirty and beginning a fire attack just as the tanks let go...

    As far as preparing properties, it's not just a California issue although their conditions tend to see the situations much more regularly than much of the country.

    We have houses that are difficult to impossible to access with apparatus -- one I can think of will require 500' stretches just to reach the front door and carrying in all the equipment...because the homeowners like the privacy of having hemlocks surrounding the driveway that are cut just big enough for a car to drive under.

    We also do virtually no "Fire-Wise" education except for a link off the State DEP's website. And most years, it's a non issue. But one dry, windy October a fast moving woods fire will claim many houses as burning leaves roll underneath decks.

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    In the world of Firedafety Education, you are going to find 3 types of folks:

    Type 1: This person will take firesafety precautions because to them it's the prudent thing to do. They will require very little, if any, prompting to apply your firesafety messages. They usually have more than one smoke detector in the home. They will usually have a fire extigusher, if not multiple extingushers, in the home, and maybe even one in the car. They will have emergency numbers posted. And more than likely, they will have defensible space around the home and they will utilize some form of firesafety engineeering (non-combustable building materials, sprinklers, etc.). They require very little effort from us. In most cases, safety in general, including firesafety is a priority in the lives of these folks. They are also the type that obey the speed limit or use seat belts because in thier minds, it's the prudent thing to do. These folks require little, if any threat of enforcement, as they are self-motivated to think about safety.

    Type 2: These folks are on the fence about firesafety, and safety in general. They are a majority of the population in most areas. It's not a priority in thier lives, but if they hear and see the messages enough, they will think about them, realize they make sense, and in time, act on them to a limited degree. In some cases, it may take a subtle threat of enforcement for these folks to act. These are the type of folks may speed or not wear thier seat belts until they enter a stretch of road or highway where there is the possibility that there may be LE. In the firesafety world, these folks will often practice the minimum recommended firesafety steps with enough prompting, and may need continued prompting from us to continue with these practices. The prompting often has to be continous and extremly relevant to thier lives, or else the time and effort that the firesafety habits require will become to burdensome and be replaced by something more important. These are the types that will respond, but it takes effort. More than likely, most of them have though about defensible space and reducing the combustables around the home, and have taken some action on thier own. Some may need the subtle threat of enforcement to take further action, and some just may require additional education, or see a story about another fire that they can relate to.

    Type 3: These are the folks that resist safety messages in general. They for a variety of reasons, ahev decided that firesafety is not a priority, and nobody will tell them otherwise. These folks generally cannot be convinced through education that firesafety is important. They more than likely are the type that don't have smoke detectors, or worse. the type that cut the electrical wiring to them so they won't bother them. These folks, in the case of defensible space, will require a direct threat of enforcement, or the enforcement action itself.

    As you can see, there are several types of poulations you need to address when it comes to firesafety. Some require no reward, some require the carrot, and some require the hammer, or at least the hammer hanging over thier heads. It's not an easy battle. Good luck.

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    Default long winded

    There are so many different ways to look at educating people about fire safety. In the past couple of years my approach to this has been quite unique to say the least.

    I mainly target the living in the WUI areas of CA, but I have had the opportunity to cover most of the US using a sports marketing approach. It’s hard for a lot of fire safety educators to get out of the same old grind. I consider some of our tactics archaic at best the same old flyers handed out to the same people over and over again, it’s kind of like selling bibles in church when we should be out with the guys skipping out on salvation.

    We buy TV ads and run them in cheap time slots late at night or early morning when most working people are asleep or two tired to hear they need to work on their home next weekend.

    And then our own personnel need to be educated as to the value of prevention, especially wild land firefighters and those departments that contract to do structure protection within the wild land. I-Zone Training is a must, bump and run strategies should be emphasized, and having an understanding of when a win-loose situations becomes live-die decision.

    It seems to me (from what I know of) that the majority of our (CDF) younger first line supervisors like our Engineers and younger Captains do a lot of aggressive training in fire extinguishment techniques but fail to train often enough on preparation for the day they may be overrun by fire.
    We charge up the hills with hose lines do make and breaks for speed but when was the last time you seen a supervisor tell his crew they were trapped by fire, foam the engine and use it for safety?

    I know I harp on my piers about working with the fire prevention folks and the people in the community they protect. I just get tire of asking why are our personnel found dead just two steps from the cab of their vehicle or the door of the house. Although the loss of the USFS E57 crew is horrific and sobering it is nothing new, this happened a couple of years ago during a SoCal fire!

    So who’s at fault home owners in California have known about the 100’ clearance law for a long time, we came in with a grace period t ease them into the law. But it is the law and we as firefighters should expect people to follow it as best as possible.

    We as firefighters are also at fault for not making sure our folks understand what “Defensible Space’ really means to them and why it is there. It’s about firefighter safety period!

    You wouldn’t expect an engine crew to drive out a narrow drive way through dense or flashy fuels, pull into a small 100’ clearing and tell them to stay there while the fire passes, would you?

    “Failing to prepare is like preparing to fail”

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    You got to remember that people have a general mind set of "It will never happen to me."
    No one really thinks about something (anything) until they are affected by it.
    And what you, the FF, see as a problem or hazard the public sees you asking a lot and being a nuisance.

    I don't like it either. But what do you really expect? Not what you want or think should be, but what will really happen? I tell them "Don't do this, you should move that" etc, knowing full well it went in one ear and out the other. Just part of the job.

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    I don't like it either. But what do you really expect? Not what you want or think should be, but what will really happen? I tell them "Don't do this, you should move that" etc, knowing full well it went in one ear and out the other. Just part of the job.

    I guess I don't accept that mentality. It's the fire service's job to educate the public. In Europe and Japan, education and prevention is seen as the fire service's primary job. Yet in this country, the fire service seems to accept the fact that our messages regarding firesafety will only be acted on by a small part of the population, and spending more time and and the little money on pubed (about 1% of the fire service's total expenditures) than what we are spending now is a waste. We seem to accept the fact that fires will happen and there is little or nothing we can do to change people's behaviors. The reality is that we can change behaviors, and we can reduce deaths and fires through enforcement and enacting engineering legislation we can even protect those that choose not to act in a firesafe way. Accepting it as "just part of the job" is not the attitude that will help us solve the problem.

    Until we change our thinking, we will continue to have a fire problem. Until we change our thinking, we will continue to shortchange education and prevention and continue to demand that more money be poured into supression as the number of fires actually decrease. We already spend more money per capita on supression than any other country in the world, and if some folks had thier way, we would spend even more, when a lesser investment in prevention and education would reduce fires even further.
    This is not a pipe dream, as comprehensive efforts in some communties have resulted in significant decreases. Why as a service are we so willing to accept fires as a way of life and why are we so resistamt to educational efforts?
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-17-2006 at 10:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYCTruckie
    You got to remember that people have a general mind set of "It will never happen to me."
    No one really thinks about something (anything) until they are affected by it.
    And what you, the FF, see as a problem or hazard the public sees you asking a lot and being a nuisance.

    I don't like it either. But what do you really expect? Not what you want or think should be, but what will really happen? I tell them "Don't do this, you should move that" etc, knowing full well it went in one ear and out the other. Just part of the job.
    And this, unfortunately is the crux of the matter. "It can't/wont happen to me, because its never happened around here before". Or words similar to that. At which point no effort of education, except in in the case of Lafire's point #2, where a wee spark might germinate into a positive thought for safety in general, will do any good. Sadly though, it wont do a smick of good about Person #3.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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  21. #21
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    LA....
    I gotta ask you Bro...what part of Europe do you keep referring too? It certainly isn't mine.

    For everyone on the Welfare' (Which is plenty of people and plenty more from every other corner of the world... 21% of our GDP is spent on welfare) They seem to get an instruction, maybe when they arrive in the UK or when they see the welfare Guy that a Fire is a good way to get a new house or if the TV blows, the couch gets damaged, the kid wets the bed....set fire to it and you will get a now one.

    Yes, Community Fire Safety has been given an equal footing as Firefighting in the UK.... purely because there are so many fires in the home it was getting ridiculous. Fortunately because the UK is largely urban fires get noticed earlier and we are able to sucessfully rescue lots of people thus keeping our fire deaths remarkably low versus the high number of fires.

    The US may well spend more of fire protection than any other country, but that is because comparitively you are well funded...look at the amount of Firefighters and Fire Trucks that respond to an urban fire in the US compared to the average of two Pumps and 8 Firefighters in the UK....There are 60,000,000 people in the UK and every year there are around 800,000 fires (total number all types)... about one fire for every 75 people... in the population or 13 fires per year per Ff (800,000 fires / 60,000 Ff's)

    As you well know there are 300,000,000 of you in the US but with only 1,602,000 fires that equates to about one fire for every 187 people or 1.4 Fires per Ff (1,602,000 fires / 1,136,650 Ff's)

    Suddenly things don't look so bad for you, with the poor old UK Fireman statistically attending 10 times the amount of fires as his US counterpart...no wonder we don't have time for EMS

    I think Japan is certainly very much as you said...there is great shame in having a fire in the hom,e or any fire at all come to think of it...and their fantastically equipped Fire Services offer a whole host of services becuase they are well funded and don't spend so much of their time in burning tenements.

    I am sorry to rant on...but there is a common misconception about how 'wonderful' life is for Ff's in Europe...that isn't the case. I, as you may know have spent a lot of time in the US...especially in NYC where I am amazed that a similar large City with similar risks and a similar population as my own (London) has so many Ff's responding to a similar amount of (non medical) calls. For one of the most advanced Nations on earth we are very badly funded and equipped as a Fire Service... our saving grace seems to be the technological advancement of some of our equipment and our very thorough command protocols and safe systems of work. I know we have gone massively off topic and I apologise, but there is no 'shame' attached to fire over here and as the figures reflect. it is often a route to a new car/house/furniture etc.
    Steve Dude
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    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

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    Steve...

    In terms of deaths per capita, many European countries are far below the US. While I don't have the stats handy at this moment as we are moving, and all my reference materials are in storage, the Scandavian countries, Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, and even Britian, all have lower per capita fire death rates than the US. In the cases of Scandavia, Switzerland and the Netherlands, the rate is significantly lower (anywhere from 1/4th to 1/3rd that of the US). Even the Canadian fire death rate is only about 60% of the Us's.

  23. #23
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    LA,
    I absolutely agree with that. Like I sad, despite the high incidence of domestic fires... Fire Deaths generally for accidental Fires are pretty good. But, I think that has a lot to do with the urbanisation and maybe the stronger construction used in the UK. The more densely populated the area, the quicker fires get noticed allowing the Firefighters (of which a much higher percentage are wholetime career based over here) to respond quicker and thankfully make the Rescue before its too late.

    I have seen some of the areas covered by single US Volunteer Fire Stations, they cover areas that maybe covered by 10 or more Fire Stations...even in the Rural areas... in the UK.

    However, because of the change in the cultural, racial & religious demography in the UK, we are seeing a lot more multi-death murders in fires, especially in the Asian Community.

    Just last night a mother and two Children were killed in a deliberate fire in Leicester BBC News Story, Leicester

    JUst a couple of weeks ago a family of five were mudered by the father (who also died later) when he set light to the House. BBC News Lancashire Fire
    Steve Dude
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    London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"


    'Irony'... It's a British thing.

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    I agree Steve, Even some of the countries with the lower per capita fire death rates have seen increases since the mid-70's, when the disperity between the US and Europe was the greatest. Britian and Germany have seen significant increases, while places like Switzerland and Scandanvia's increases have been less. I understand that there are cultural factors driving these increases, but, as a whole, Europe's fire death rate is still far lower than that of the US.

    At last check, the US ranked 14th in the world at about 15.2 fire deaths a year per million. That is an imporovement over the mid 70's when we were at about 27 fire deaths per million. The lowest in 2004, and I forget the country, but I beleive it was Switzerland, was at about 2.8 per million. Most of Europe is under 10
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-18-2006 at 10:55 AM.

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    Cool An idea.....

    I will also refrain my opinions until the official report comes out.....
    There are Departments that have a program they call "Cost Recovery" that allows them to bill the home owner for fires and t.c.s that are caused by neglegance.
    The home owner is charged by peice of equipment, number of personnel onboard (each position has a seperate hourly rate) and how many hours the Department had to commit to the incident. I've even seen where a bill for the water to extinguish the fire can be billed.
    In California and in other states I believe that we need to use our modern technology better..... I believe that instead of so many commercials about cars, insurance, E.D. medications (come on, we all know "Bob") and the such, we should have commercials about Fire Safety, Prevention and especially during Fire Season, Defensible Spacing. We have the advantage of having CDF and the USFS (FRA) being the primary vegetation responsibility (SRA) but we also do as much enforcement as possible. Public Ed. functions are great for spreadin' the message of Fire Safety but kids can only do so much..... It's often times the parents who drop the ball and don't give us the spacing we need.
    I'd like to see some of my C.S.F.A. money go to this type of advertising. Is there anybody else here that agrees?
    Try a Google check of the area where the crew of E57 was assigned to and there is a lot of acres that have gone unburned for many years, which will definitely raise some questions. I believe we will see another change in how we deal with I-Zone Operations. Bump and Run drills are excellent for this, but they are becoming fewer and fewer..... It's sad and frustrating to me......
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

    Life on the Truck (Quint) is good.....

    Eat til you're sleepy..... Sleep til you're hungry..... And repeat.....

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