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  1. #1
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    Default Tough Situation in Fairfax, Virginia

    http://www.wusa9.com/video/player.aspx?aid=45318&bw=

    I wonder if the primary search team was specifically told to search the bathroom.


  2. #2
    Forum Member FireCapt1951retired's Avatar
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    I'm not going to judge what they did or didn't do, I wasn't there. I know I was taught from the beginning of my career that if you had a SFD and were going to do a primary search to make sure you check 2 areas, especially at night. Those 2 areas were the bedrooms and the bathroom. Over my career I did find numerous (5 or 6 times) people in the bathroom laying in the bathtub with the water running and filling the tub.

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    what a bad situation,i just hope people arn't to quick to judge our bros. i know if i were in their shoes i would feel like *****.best of luck to all the fairfax FF and this women's family!!

  4. #4
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    The outcome of this one should be interesting. I know that Fairfax County Fire has issues in the fire suppresion end of things, and I'm sure this incident wont have a happy ending for some folks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OSD122 View Post
    I know that Fairfax County Fire has issues in the fire suppresion end of things, ...
    I'm curious. To what issues are you referring?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLt1951 View Post
    I'm not going to judge what they did or didn't do, I wasn't there. I know I was taught from the beginning of my career that if you had a SFD and were going to do a primary search to make sure you check 2 areas, especially at night. Those 2 areas were the bedrooms and the bathroom. Over my career I did find numerous (5 or 6 times) people in the bathroom laying in the bathtub with the water running and filling the tub.
    Similar thing was drilled into my head...check the bathrooms and closets, especially if there are children living in the residence.

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    Coming from a Chief’s point of view I commend their Chief on his honesty during the interview. It is obvious there was time lost somewhere. Before entry or more likely after entry. Communication is key. In such a small area the door should have been found, but no one is perfect. The public will have to realize this. The department members involved will have to be honest, which if one makes a mistake is hard to do. But they can all learn from this if it is evaluated correctly. My heartfelt wishes to the family.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BScott View Post
    I'm curious. To what issues are you referring?
    Well for one, they have a lot of people wearing white helmets and bosing suppression units who came from the EMS side of the house and very little firefighting experiance when they get promoted. FYI, medics are given extra points on suppression promotional exams.

    As for this fire, it's been reported that the officer on the first arriving engine (E-419) sprained his ankle when he stepped out of the rig and kept his engine company from going in after the fire so that the rescue company (R-419) could get upstairs and to the victim.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber fireslayer1237's Avatar
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    Is it just me or is their chief not doing a very good job backing his firefighters. I think that even if you are not happy with an outcome from a fire you dont go in front of the public and express it.

    my heart goes out to these brothers as they cope with this.
    FOOLS
    RFB-KTF-DTRT

  10. #10
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireslayer1237 View Post
    Is it just me or is their chief not doing a very good job backing his firefighters. I think that even if you are not happy with an outcome from a fire you dont go in front of the public and express it.

    my heart goes out to these brothers as they cope with this.
    Yeah, I'm sure its easy for the Chief to say what should have been done while he's sipping coffee the next morning reading the report.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 06-02-2007 at 10:18 PM.
    RK
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireslayer1237 View Post
    Is it just me or is their chief not doing a very good job backing his firefighters. I think that even if you are not happy with an outcome from a fire you dont go in front of the public and express it.

    my heart goes out to these brothers as they cope with this.
    I was thinking the same thing and I agree with you 100%. Their chief sounds kinda like mine. Well, I don't know this guy, so maybe my chief is worse. He'd sell his men out in a heart beat to keep himself looking good.

    So OSD 122, does Fairfax County FD have morale problems like my FD?

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    First- I do not work for Fairfax County. I work for the City of Fairfax. I just want to make a quick comment regarding the speculation around the Fire Chief.

    Second- He is the Interim Fire Chief, normally the Assistant Chief of Operations. A new Fire Chief has been selected and will be starting this month I believe.

    Third- I don't want to speak for members of the County Fire Department but I do not think I am going far out on a limb in saying that Chief Rohr is respected by the troops and a stand up guy. If you think about what he said, he was just being honest. Based on the facts at hand he felt that they should have found the victim.

    Adrian Munday
    City of Fairfax Fire Department

  13. #13
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Just curious. I am assuming that the Chief and everyone backing him up thinks that because the lady was later found in the bathroom that she was presumably there the entire time??

    How do you know that at the time of the initial search the bathroom wasn't clear??

    People that are still alive during the primary may still be capable of mobility. Perhaps the search team and the victim circled each other during the initial search and the victim later collapsed and died in the bathroom after it had been scanned. Maybe a stretch, but possible.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    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.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber fireslayer1237's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RE33FFX View Post
    First- I do not work for Fairfax County. I work for the City of Fairfax. I just want to make a quick comment regarding the speculation around the Fire Chief.

    Second- He is the Interim Fire Chief, normally the Assistant Chief of Operations. A new Fire Chief has been selected and will be starting this month I believe.

    Third- I don't want to speak for members of the County Fire Department but I do not think I am going far out on a limb in saying that Chief Rohr is respected by the troops and a stand up guy. If you think about what he said, he was just being honest. Based on the facts at hand he felt that they should have found the victim.

    Adrian Munday
    City of Fairfax Fire Department

    I can understand what he said but I do not believe it is something that should be brought out to the public in that way.
    FOOLS
    RFB-KTF-DTRT

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurdFergeson View Post
    So OSD 122, does Fairfax County FD have morale problems like my FD?
    I can't speak for everyone, but I know a few guys and gals on the job in the county and they're morale isn't all that bad. Fairfax County has some good people who train hard and go just as hard at a fire, but I think the problems are with a number white helmets and administators.

  16. #16
    EuroFirefighter.com PaulGRIMWOOD's Avatar
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    I have been involved in several incidents such as this tragic scenario during my career. I really feel for the firefighters involved, for the victim and the family.

    Firstly the Chief is being open and honest but sometimes it is better not to comment at all, pending investigation.

    Secondly, he mentioned lot of 'clutter' in the search area. Where there is heavy smoke and clutter it is easy to miss a closed door! I have searched personally and missed closed doors (no victims but there could have been) and kicked myself afterwards! Hey I am not making excuses here because it shouldn't happen .... but it does. It raises a training need because in clutter situations with thick smoke it is easy to miss fine points, like a door handle.

    Maybe there should have been a VES approach .... maybe staffing would not suit this approach on this occasion.

    LEARN from this situation because it could happen to your firefighters tomorrow! Practice searching in next to zero visibility where everything is one color .... walls, ceiling, windows .... all black! There maybe other circumstances involved here but this type of event has occurred many many times before. Sometimes there were no victims involved .... sometimes the media never latched onto the story. No excuses but I can understand how this may occur.

    There maybe a nation-wide training need for searching under such conditions. We should ALL look at our own approach here. In training fires I see firefighters missing doors over and again.

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    RE33FFX maybe you could shed some light as to the staffing of the first due units? Also, did I miss a piece on the number of units in the building and more importantly on the third floor? It very well may be that the brothers there were starting way behind the curve. If the engine stretched and held the stairs allowing the Rescue to make the search, how many really went to the third floor? Is there a possibility that the TIC contributed to the "missing" of a victim? We still haven't heard if the crews searched the bathroom initailly and missed her or completely missed the room. Reliance on the TIC can be dangerous. It wouldn't be hard to look through the TIC into a small bathroom and see nothing if the victim was in the tub and especially if it was a glass enclosure.

    I'll admit I thought the Acting Chief probably shouldn't have made the comments publicly, but they certainly may have not been trying to place blame, but introspective. Who knows sometimes its best to put it out there before someone else does.

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    "RE33FFX maybe you could shed some light as to the staffing of the first due units?"

    Fairfax County Staffing is-

    Engine Companies- 4
    Truck Companies- 3
    Rescue Companies- 4

    All structural box alarms get 4 Engines, 2 Trucks, 1 Rescue and assorted BCs, EMS officers and Transport EMS units on the first alarm. In a lot of areas all of those resources arrive on scene fairly quickly and almost on top of each other. In other areas it is much more scattered. Not real familiar with 19's first due so I can't say how quickly units got on scene.

    One item I left out from before. The media had the information about the firefighters missing the victim and her being on the phone as they were arriving. Chief Rohr's interview was several days after the fire when the media was "seeking answers."

    Again I don't want to speak for any Fairfax County Firefighters and/or their department, I just wanted to respond to some of the comments regarding the current Interim Chief.

  19. #19
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    Although a bit off the subject of strategy and tactics, when we talk to the media would it not be a little more professional to not have our hands in our pockets. I think that just looks bad in general and people take alot away from body language.

  20. #20
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    I am a FX County EMT (volunteer) and while I am not able to comment on what happened at the fire in question - I wasn't there, I will back up a comment made by RE33FFX regarding Chief Rohr.

    Yes he is an interim Chief of Department, and from what I've heard about him through varying sources, is as RE33FFX states, a pretty good, stand up kind of guy. A lot of the folks in my stn like and respect him. And I've heard good things from other sources too.

    As for what happened with R419 and E419, that will just have to wait until the investigation is over, I guess. Was a sad day for everyone concerned in any case.
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