1. #1
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    Question 2 in/2 out and South Carolina

    I don't want to start a debate about the recent loss of 9 brave brothers in Charleston but I am looking for some info about firefighting and safety procedures in South Carolina. As a Safety Officer I have been reading all I can about this tragic fire in hopes of learning anything I can to prevent this from occuring where I work. The question I have is this, I have read on 2 different occasions that S.Carolina has a 2 in/1 out rule. Can someone explain this ? My understanding is that Federal OSHA 1910.134 Resp. Protection Standard requries 2in/2out and if you are covered by a State OSHA plan it must be EQUAL to or greater than Feds. Knowing this how does S.Carolina have a different standard ???

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    I was wondering the same thing, and have had the same understanding in regards to meeting or exceeding the OSHA regs.

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    I just graduated the academy in SC and now work with a SC dept here and the 2 in 2 out rule was preached so much that in the academy we actually had to have someone with us when we went to the bathroom or anywhere else. Accountability was a major thing there.

    Our dept is very big in accountability with the two in two out rule....So I'm actually quite confused on the two in 1 out rule....

    Granted the RIT team can be doing other exterior operations but must be close to the entrance and can't be doing important task.

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    Question Still confused.....

    Thank Cato36, I am glad to here that but I know I'm not imagining things, here is part of the articles I read.

    "He said South Carolina is one of the only states in the nation that does not require two firefighters on rescue standby for every two firefighters that enter a burning building."


    And


    "The state requires only one firefighter for every two inside. "
    Bowie led the charge against the 2 in 2 out standard helping to establish
    the 2-in-1-out rule that prevails in South Carolina (the only state in the
    nation that doesn't follow OSHA standards of 2-in-2-out),"


    I realize that the 2in/2out does not require a 1 to 1 ratio like the top quote indicates but I assume the reporter is misunderstanding the concept and the 2nd article clearly states that SC does not comply with OSHA !!???

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    Honest question, but does anyone really believe 2 guys outside, ready to act, would have made much difference for 9 FF's inside?

    IMO, If you are counting on 2 guys outside being your "safety/rescue" team...you are in a dream world.
    "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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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Honest question, but does anyone really believe 2 guys outside, ready to act, would have made much difference for 9 FF's inside?

    IMO, If you are counting on 2 guys outside being your "safety/rescue" team...you are in a dream world.

    Heck, seeing some other posts where firefighters are not even interested in learning how to rescue their own, I'd be happy with 2
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    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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    Bones42

    Thanks for your reply. No I don't think having two guys outside would have made a difference with this fire, like I said I don't want this to be a discussion about the fire in Charleston. As someone who has worked in the safety profession prior to the fire service and is now a career Firefighter and trained Incident Safety Officer I'm just curious about how SC seems to be getting around the OSHA standard. Now having said that I realize most orginazations don't and can't comply with every OSHA reg but I have never heard of a state just coming up with their own standard that is not equal to or greater than the federal standard. I am assuming (I know what that gets you !) that 2in/2out is the law of record but that there is a general consensus in that state to "do it their own way." Again I'm not judging anyone, I'm just curious as to what the "real story" is.

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    Smile Got the answer !

    I did some research on OSHA's web page and found the link to SC OSHA's page, they did adopt a revision to 1910.134 which I have listed below. Essentially it states the IC can be part of the 2 out which is what many departments (including mine) are doing now to comply with the requirement but it appears they wanted some specific language not included in the Feds version. They gave themselves "wiggle" room by allowing the IC some discression on sending in the troops, maybe not a bad compromise if not abused and you have a competent IC making the call.


    e. In Subarticle 6, 1910.134, paragraph (g)(4)(ii) has been revised to read:

    At least two employees are located outside the IDLH atmosphere, however, prior to the assembly of the entire firefighting team, a qualified incident commander may allow two or more employees to enter the IDLH atmosphere with one employee located outside the IDLH atmosphere until the arrival of additional employees, provided that the following conditions are met:

    (1) The incident commander has completed the Incident Command System course or its equivalent as certified by the South Carolina Fire Academy;

    (2) The employees who enter the IDLH atmosphere have completed the Basic Firefighter Course or its equivalent as certified by the South Carolina Fire Academy;

    (3) The incident commander has determined that the standard staffing pattern is not feasible;

    (4) The incident commander has determined that the entry can be made safely with the personnel on-site; and

    (5) Arrival of additional employees to complete the standard staffing pattern is imminent.

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    The way I interpreted the SCOSHA revision is that the IC is not part of the firefighting team, therefore it allows for a 2in/1out situation as long as certain conditions are met. It is basically the same as the feds (remember the feds count anyone outside including the IC). IMHO I think that this is actually a step in the right direction. By not including the IC in the 2out group, you theoretically have someone who is managing the overall incident and not engaged in tactical activities. Once an IC engages in tactical activities he can loose sight of the overall situation. I would have rather seen the revision require a 2in/2out team plus an IC.

    I by no means live in a dream world and realize that the 2in/2out rule is really just a token gesture. The reality has been proven time and time again that firefighter rescues can be extremely manpower intensive, although sometimes it only takes 1 to save our own and then again sometimes 100 aren't enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Honest question, but does anyone really believe 2 guys outside, ready to act, would have made much difference for 9 FF's inside?

    IMO, If you are counting on 2 guys outside being your "safety/rescue" team...you are in a dream world.
    I don't want to speak on anyone elses behalf, but I for one wasn't applying the 2 in/2 out, or 2 in/1 out in regards to the fallen Charleston firefighters. I'm more curious about the rule in and of itself.

    At the same time, from my understanding the 2 in/2 out is the initial RIT and the bare minimum to start any operations in an IDLH environment, unless it is reasonable to believe a save can be made. As subsequent people are placed inside, more RIT personnel are to be added.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcl312 View Post

    e. In Subarticle 6, 1910.134, paragraph (g)(4)(ii) has been revised to read:

    At least two employees are located outside the IDLH atmosphere, however, prior to the assembly of the entire firefighting team, a qualified incident commander may allow two or more employees to enter the IDLH atmosphere with one employee located outside the IDLH atmosphere until the arrival of additional employees
    What does 'or more' mean

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    sounds like a reporter

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    When I worked for North Charleston I remember them preaching 2 in 2 out all the time. On a funny side I did carry a little fireman on my helmet so if asked I was covered for the 2 in 2 out rule . The person to ask is Captain Grant Mishoe(Sconfire). He is a world of knowledge down there and one hell of a good dude. I never served at his station but had the privilege of talking to him numerous times.
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