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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Default First M C I

    Well it had to happen sometime or another. I finally hit my first "confirmed" MCI with Fairfax Co and Vienna VFD. There we were minding our own business, watching the fireworks show that the Town of Vienna puts on every year. Everything was going great until the BIG FANALLY. The guys lit off their remaing mortors and what have you's and everything was going great for about the first 10 seconds. Then in very quick time instead of launching into the air and exploding as fireworks should, they started to explode right in the boxes.....

    Oh Oh... This can't be good.

    We could see the technicians and the three fire marshalls all running away... Ok Now this REALLY can't be good.

    Short story is 7 persons (mostly children) got transported to various hospitals for everything from significant cuts and scrapes to closed head injuries.

    We transported two kids in our ambulance, and the Medics took one of the serious persons.

    Final assessment:

    It was really kuul to see and be a part of the ICS in a major way. We had resources coming in from all over the surrounding area. BC 402 and EMS 402 were on site with us, to see the show, and even before most of us really understood what was happening, BC402 was already calling for an EMS Task Force, and Fairfax 1 (the helo) to come in. I know we are on the news right now, but I'm too tired to go look. I also know that I am not actually featured, because the media didnt start to arrive until after I had left the scene with my pts.
    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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    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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  2. #2
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Red and white? Nope. Not us. Vienna has white with blue stripes

    Fireworks Mishaps Injure People In Vienna, D.C.

    POSTED: 11:33 pm EDT July 4, 2007
    UPDATED: 6:13 am EDT July 5, 2007

    VIENNA, Va. -- Seven people were injured Wednesday night when a firework went into a crowd in Vienna.

    The crowd was watching the public show near Vienna Elementary School.

    Viewer Images From Vienna

    Five of the seven people injured were children. Their ages ranged from an infant to an 11-year-old.

    One of the adults might have suffered a life-threatening injury.

    Meanwhile, two people were injured in a fireworks incident on the National Mall.

    Two members of the crew who put on the National Mall fireworks were injured after leftover fireworks exploded while they were working.

    Sgt. Robert Lachance with the U.S. Park Police said two males -- ages 42 and 46 -- were working in the fire pit after the show was over when the incident occurred.

    One of the men was taken by helicopter to a local hospital with burns.

    The other was treated and evaluated on the scene.

    Lachance said nobody else was injured.

    Stay with News4 and nbc4.com for more information.
    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)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  4. #4
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Read about the incident this morning and knew you were there Rick. It sounds like you guys did a great job. It is unfortunate when things like that happen. However, those victims were lucky that a well-trained group was able to take care of them.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike. Theres a longer story to go with it... but that would be complaining about Occifers. LOL

    **lets just say that there was some initial difficulty in getting the car in service (well prior to the final events fortunately). Much better told standing at the bar with beer in hand.
    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)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    they started to explode right in the boxes....
    The #1 reason why my department now requires fireworks shows to all be shot from tubes.

    Boxes are cheaper, easier to set up, easier to ship and... as you learned the hard way, more dangerous.

    Once the box is compromised by explosion, fire or even dew from the grass that it has been sitting on all day - the structural integrity is lost and the cardboard tubes containing the shells can fall over.

    I have a photo someplace that shows an entire box exploding... talk about having good timing with the camera!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    We could see the technicians and the three fire marshalls all running away... Ok Now this REALLY can't be good.
    Reminds me of the t-shirts the bomb squad guys wear that say "If you see me running, try to keep up."

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    Malahat, nice to hear that your MCI management worked out so well. I hope all the injured people recover quickly.

    There seemed to be a lot of mishaps with professional fireworks displays this year, or maybe I just noticed the news reports this time around.

    No one hurt, but there were several rounds that went off at or near the ground during the show here in Germantown (MD), and we were held on our detail long after the crowd had left because the crew spent an hour-plus discharging rounds that had failed to launch. Maybe it was due to the wet weather; we had drizzle most of the afternoon/evening punctuated by several downpours.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Poland, no disagreement regarding the boxes, however if we used the same folks as last year (and every other year I think) the set up that I viewed last year, the system looks like a window flower box. Wood construction with a series of compartments between to hold the mortors etc. However your comment regarding moisture is spot on. We had a 45 min thunder/rain storm about 3 hrs prior, and while that would have helped on the suppression side of things, I wonder too if it might have contributed to the apparent failure of the system.

    I have to agree with sts's assessment too. Either there really were a larger number of incidents or else they were just "better" reported this year???

    One thing that the news keeps harping on that I think I will have to disagree on is regarding air transport. I am pretty sure that:

    1) yes, Fairfax 1 was on scene;

    2) they did look at a patient, but;

    3) I also remember hearing from EMS 402 that they would not be needed for transport and could return to service.

    Therefore I do not believe that the report of them doing a transport is correct.
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 07-05-2007 at 11:26 AM.
    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)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    Poland, no disagreement regarding the boxes, however if we used the same folks as last year (and every other year I think) the set up that I viewed last year, the system looks like a window flower box. Wood construction with a series of compartments between to hold the mortors etc.(
    You mean like this:?
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    Last edited by superchef; 08-11-2007 at 09:55 PM.

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    Why we don't allow "box" shows anymore:



    Can you make out the pyrotechnician?
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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Very similar, except the boxes were about knee high, 1 to 2 feet maybe. And there were at least two very separate from each other. One I would call the "Master Box" as it was quite a bit longer than the other, and seemed to be the main blower. The main was also the one that seemed to experience the failures I'd seen earlier too, with the ground or near to ground bursts, as well as the main muck up at the end.

    Funny thing about this whole event is that I spent more time watching what the techs were doing (as much as could be seen in the dark LOL) than the actual fireworks themselves. Probably because we were practically directly underneath; hurt too much to keep my head tilted up.
    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)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    The main was also the one that seemed to experience the failures I'd seen earlier too, with the ground or near to ground bursts, as well as the main muck up at the end.
    Sounds to me like just bad lift charges in the shell. Actually a common problem with the "cheaper" suppliers that communities are being forced to go with.

    I am EXTREMELY fortunate because New Castle, PA is only 20 minutes from here. Companies like Zambelli Internationalle and Pyrotechico have thier international headquartes and manufacurting there. Every year they hold a fireworks festival where they try to one-up each other.

    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    Funny thing about this whole event is that I spent more time watching what the techs were doing (as much as could be seen in the dark LOL) than the actual fireworks themselves. Probably because we were practically directly underneath; hurt too much to keep my head tilted up.
    I LOVE to be on the field when the fireworks are being set off. I have spent the last 6 years there (the last 2 as the lead Fire Safety Inspector)... the view may not be as great, but I LOVE the feel of the concussion when the titanium shells go BOOM!
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    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    I am wondering when the rest of the firework industry will follow Disney Worlds led and switch to airpressure launches. I know it is easier for Disney to do since they go off 365 a year from the same place, but I would figure that atleast the big displays would have gone to them by now.
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    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Good question Dennis, as I saw 3 guys walking around with lit flares the entire show. That was also my first clue that things were not going well, as I could see two of them beating off to the edge of the field when things started to go sideways.
    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)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Forum Member Res45cuE's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Malahat made the big time!

    I just saw this story on CNN. Nice job! Keep up the outstanding work!

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Update to the story:

    Mishaps Take Place At 5 Northern Va. Fireworks Shows
    Three Workers Injured At National Mall Fireworks Display

    POSTED: 11:33 pm EDT July 4, 2007
    UPDATED: 6:57 pm EDT July 5, 2007

    VIENNA, Va. -- Eleven people were injured Wednesday night when fireworks went into a crowd in Vienna.

    The crowd was watching the public show near Vienna Elementary School. A mortar in a box that contained about 25 ignited and exploded, which triggered the others to ignite.

    One shot horizontally into the crowd, hurting 11 spectators, including seven children. Two suffered life-threatening injuries, News4's John Friess reported.

    "We are all deeply distressed that what has always been an enjoyable family event ended so disastrously, and we are keeping the injured spectators and their families in our prayers," said Vienna Mayor Jane Seeman.

    The investigation determined that the company that operated the fireworks show was not at fault, but Friess reported that four other northern Virginia fireworks shows operated by the company had similar mishaps, though no injuries were suffered in those.

    Meanwhile, three people were injured in a fireworks incident on the National Mall. Three members of the crew who put on the National Mall fireworks were injured at about 10 p.m. after two leftover fireworks unexpectedly exploded while the men were working.

    Sgt. Robert Lachance of the U.S. Park Police said two men -- ages 42 and 46 -- were working in the fire pit after the show was over when the incident occurred. Those two men were hospitalized. One of them was released on Thursday. The other is in critical condition but is expected to survive. That man was standing over the launching canisters when the fireworks exploded, News4's Darcy Spencer reported.

    The third victim was treated at the scene.

    Lachance said nobody else was injured.

    The launch site and the World War II Memorial were closed Thursday while the investigation continued.

    Stay with News4 and nbc4.com for more information.

    Copyright 2007 by nbc4.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


    I received word that one female adult and her son are still in critical condition, due to burns and shrapnel from the exploding box. I wish for a very speedy recovery to all concerned.
    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)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Washington Post update:

    Fireworks That Injured 11 in Va. Are Investigated

    By Tom Jackman. Washington Post Staff Writer

    Friday, July 6, 2007; Page B01

    Identical boxes of commercial fireworks made in China malfunctioned at six Fourth of July displays in Northern Virginia, including an accident in Vienna in which a misdirected shell injured 11 people, two seriously, officials said yesterday.

    All six shows were operated by the same company, Schaefer Pyrotechnics of Ronks, Pa., and involved the same "cake boxes" of 25 three-inch mortar tubes. But fire officials in Fairfax County and Fairfax City, where a high-powered shell narrowly missed two Schaefer employees, said Schaefer did not appear to be at fault. The company declined to comment.

    Investigators were trying to determine the exact origin of the fireworks yesterday. In Vienna and Fairfax City, the same thing happened: One shell exploded within a cake box, which tipped over and fired some rounds a few feet off the ground. A cake box is a container of five rows of five three-inch mortar tubes ignited by a single fuse.

    Fire officials said similar incidents occurred at four other shows in Fairfax without injury -- Langley High School in McLean, International Country Club in Chantilly, Westwood Golf and Country Club in Vienna and Springfield Golf and Country Club. Organizers said they were unaware of any problems, but Fairfax fire spokesman Dan Schmidt said fire marshals filed reports on the malfunctioning boxes.

    In Vienna, several thousand people were gathered near Vienna Elementary School on Center Street at 9:45 p.m., when the finale was just beginning, according to Fairfax Battalion Chief Keith Johnson. Schaefer's setup had been inspected twice, but the individual tubes holding the fireworks cannot be closely checked, Johnson said.

    In the cake box, one shell "detonated before it came out of the mortar," Deputy Chief Dave McKernan said. He said the box "tipped over and displaced all the other mortars."

    Assistant Fire Marshal Ronald Sheffield said there were at least 600 pounds of sandbags around the mortars, but the shells "blew out what was there."

    Rounds flew in different directions. "There were several that were going haywire," said Brian Huber of Vienna. "Sparks were showering the ballfield, and on Waters Field there were sparks at ground level."

    One round landed in a group of mostly youngsters, who ranged in age from an infant to an 11-year-old, Schmidt said. An adult was flown to the burn unit at Washington Hospital Center, and one of the children was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital. Five others were hospitalized overnight, and four others treated at the scene. Eight were children.

    Federal privacy laws prevented fire officials from releasing the victims' names, conditions, ages or home towns, Schmidt said.

    Huber said the scene was mildly chaotic but not panicked, because most people didn't know what had happened.

    Vienna has used Schaefer for 10 years or more without incident, town spokeswoman Marie Kisner said. Fairfax City has also used Schaefer for years, city officials said.

    In Fairfax City, about 20 minutes into the show at Fairfax High School, "one of the shells exploded inside the box, causing the rest of the tubes to lay down horizontally," said Chief Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson.

    Only two shells were left in the 25-tube box, Wilson said, but one of them rocketed between two of the show's operators and slammed into a chain link fence.

    Wilson said the Schaefer employees were uncomfortable using any more of the Chinese fireworks. Wilson and city officials decided to call off the rest of the show.

    "I have been told by the fireworks company they had multiple malfunctions of that device," Wilson said. He said Schaefer told him it had bought a load of 250 of the cake boxes, packed with 25 three-inch mortars, and that 200 were shipped to shows around the country.

    Nearly 99 percent of all fireworks sold legally in the United States are imported from China, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association, a trade group. Fireworks manufacturers in China are regulated and inspected more closely than makers of other items, such as toothpaste and dog food, which have recently been found to contain poisons, the group said.

    Three employees of another fireworks company, Pyro Shows Inc. of LaFollette, Tenn., were hurt on the Mall in the District after the show ended. U.S. Park Police said unused fireworks exploded on the ground just south of Constitution Gardens about 10 p.m.

    One man was taken by helicopter to a hospital, where he was treated for serious burns. A second man was taken to a hospital by ambulance, and a third man was treated at the scene, police said. None of the injuries was life-threatening.

    Staff writer Allison Klein contributed to this report.
    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)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Glad to hear it went fairly smooth on your end. I wondered if you were a part of that or not. Also glad there were no fatalities.

    You do good work man!! As my old boss told me once, " you're too good, nobody else would want ya."
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