1. #1
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    Default Overhaul Question...

    Quick question...how much interior overhaul do you guys do or allow after a fire where you went defensive due to some adverse life threatening condition upon arrival or during interior ops? ie: poor roof integrity or collapse? Just curious...

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    We perform overhaul/salvage ops basically the same on all fires, whether the initial attack was interior, or not. Often times, the process takes considerable more time if the structure has collapsed because of the need to dig it to reach and extinguish all hot spots.


    Even in virtually totally destroyed buildings, there is sometimes something that can be salvaged...It may not be much, or seem very important to us, but considering the owner has just lost virtually all of their worldly possessions, anything that can be plucked from the ashes is appreciated by the owner(s).
    Cause and origin investigation will take priority over the above, but in and of itself, often requires a lot of overhaul work just to reach the point of origin.

    We don't ever leave a fire scene until we know there is no possibility of re-kindle. We will also routinely perform re-checks (often more than one), or sometimes we will even set up a fire-watch on all significant structure fires.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Captnnc View Post
    ie: poor roof integrity or collapse? Just curious...
    There would probably very little overhaul if there is a possiblity of either. Just because the fire is out doesn't mean the building is safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterbryVTfire View Post
    There would probably very little overhaul if there is a possiblity of either. Just because the fire is out doesn't mean the building is safe.
    I have to add to what I said above...

    We're not going to risk getting someone hurt if there are still immanent hazards of roof, floor, etc. collapse. Then it's basically a surround and drown scenario.
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    we do a pretty thoruogh overhaul on all fire's we have a primary stage and a secondary stage to ours. the primary stage is during the fire attack, search, exposure protection ect. our secondary is pretty much a mop up stage hot spots and overhaul. before the secondary stage begins usually all the officers on the scene report to the IC and discuss the structrue and what they noticed dureing the primary stage. before we start going through a thorough overhaul the safety does a 360 of the entire structure and determins what is safe and what is not.
    Last edited by fireslayer1237; 04-26-2007 at 06:56 PM.

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    Like my pal from Tallahassee, we pretty much overhaul everything the same. The goal is to not have to go back because of another call, ie - rekindle. On larger building that have collapsed, the fire department has literally been on the scene for days. The last big fires we had downtown maintained a fire department presence for over 2 weeks. This is accomplished by using "ruins crews."

    Basically, companies are rotated through ruins details. There is a master list. When your up, you are given a fire scene to cover for normally 3 hours either by yourself or with other companies depending on the size of the incident. During this time, you may be flowing water or merely maintaining the scene for an ongoing investigation.

    As far as overhauling in potential collapse areas, if we think it might fall, we knock it down. Even to the point of calling in city Track Ho's and dozers, but the fire will be out (supposed to be) before we leave.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 04-26-2007 at 09:58 PM.
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    We also have a system similar to the guys in Memphis. Instead of "ruins crews' we call it a watch line. It also depends on the size of the fire. It could be a single engine, or an engine feeding two ladders with ladder pipes going. Usual rotation is 3-4 hours depending on weather. 75 degrees isn't bad, 4 degrees sucks.
    Interior overhaul depends on building size, how badly building was damaged, and is there really a need. Sometimes it's just 'hydraulic overhaul' using a tower ladder with a 2" tip and alot of GPM's and many psi's.

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    A re-kindle should never occur due to laziness.

    If you can overhaul, overhaul properly.

    If you can't overhaul -- because it needs heavy machinery to be practical and/or the Fire Marshals need to do their thing, use a fire watch or arrange for crews to return regularly to check for activity.

    Being more rural we don't often maintain the continous watches like Memphis and Len mentioned -- buildings smaller, fewer exposures, not as much public asking about why we're not there, and tough to maintain a continous water supply with only a skeleton crew.

    But sometimes you have a future cellar hole that is currently filled with a pile of steaming ****. Before breaking down water supply they're given a good shot with the ladder pipe and a nice blanket of Class A foam.

    If it's necessary to preserve property, we'll take responsibility and call in an excavator whether the owner or his insurance can/will pay for it. But if it's just to dig it out to wet down collapsed remains we don't.

    If the Fire Marshals won't be maintaining custody, the Officers will arrange a schedule of who among them will return when to check it. If it's a fire they're pretty sure will flare up but there's nothing obvious at the time we'll even assign crews of who will return when with the Engine-Tank to wet it down again.

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    Cause and origin investigation will take priority
    Hang on a minute. Let me turn that up:

    Cause and origin investigation will take priority

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Hang on a minute. Let me turn that up:

    Cause and origin investigation will take priority
    Thanks George...I'm deaf now!
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    We imploy mechanical overhaul when the structure is unsafe....an excavator.

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