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  1. #1
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    Default Charleston Listens to Preliminary Panel Recommendations

    Updated: 08-17-2007 05:02:22 PM
    SUSAN NICOL KYLE
    Firehouse.Com News


    Charleston Fire Chief Rusty Thomas
    The Charleston Fire Department is poised to appoint a safety officer and an assistant to the chief following recommendations by a panel of fire service experts reviewing the policies and procedures.

    The group released its first report to Charleston Fire Chief Rusty Thomas and Mayor Joe Riley on Friday, the day before the second month anniversary of the deadly Sofa Super Store blaze.

    After nine firefighters perished in the June 18 blaze, the Charleston Fire Department's SOPs have been scrutinized and criticized.

    A group of national fire service officials -- appointed by Riley -- issued preliminary recommendations after four days of meetings.

    Two suggestions that are expected to be met immediately include the appointment of a safety officer and an assistant to the chief, said Gordon Routley, the chairman.

    "The chief has been very receptive. I would expect these people to be in position immediately since it's a matter of re-assignment."

    Routley said he's been impressed with the attitude of the Charleston fire department officials. "It's been very positive."

    The panel is looking at the department's operations and guidelines that were in place prior to the deadly blaze.

    Charleston Fire Chief Rusty Thomas said he's impressed by what he's heard so far. "They've really been busy. They've given us a good place to start."

    Thomas, who personally knew each of the fallen firefighters, said Friday afternoon he is looking forward to working with the panel.

    "Change is good. I am committed to the community and my firefighters to do what I can to make us better."

    Thomas said the department will benefit by having fire service experts in town. "Some things we can do right away, others will take a while. These are just the first."

    Pete Piringer, the spokesman for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, said he's been impressed with the work thus far. "It's been unbelievable. We've had total access and cooperation."

    The panel will be taking next week off as many are involved in seminars at the annual IAFC conference in Atlanta.

    In addition to Routley and Piringer, other members of the group include Kevin Roche, Tim Sendelbach, Brian Crawford and Mike Chiramonte.

    Panel Reccommendations:


    PERSONNEL


    Establish Deputy Chief/Assistant to the Chief position -- Fill with qualified officer on 6 month temporary assignment

    Establish Fire Department Safety Officer position -- Fill with qualified officer on 6 month temporary assignment

    Public Information Officer
    Minimum of two dispatchers on-duty at all times
    Maintain minimum staffing of three on-duty firefighters at all times on all existing engine and ladder companies (staffing and overtime impacts)

    Incremental movement over two years to achieve four on-duty firefighters on all fire companies (staffing and overtime impacts)

    COMMAMD


    Apply incident command procedures on all incidents (ICS -- NIMS procedures)

    First arriving officer assumes command, performs size-up and provides direction for all others

    First arriving chief establishes exterior Command Post and remains at Command Post

    Subsequent arriving higher ranking officer may assume command after command transfer process

    Safety Officer assigned for working fires and hazardous incidents

    Rapidly implement personnel accountability system with passports and PAR

    SAFETY

    Reinforce appropriate use of personal protective clothing and SCBA

    Reinforce the use of seat belts and standard emergency response vehicular operations

    OSHA 2-in/2-out to be followed at all times

    Reinforce management procedure for off-duty firefighter response to emergencies

    TRAINING

    Initiate and complete Incident Command and tactical operations training for all officers

    Provide training for all Fire Department members in firefighter safety and survival, risk management, air management, standardized actions for lost/disoriented firefighters, rapid intervention operations, objective-based tactical operations, and other critical firefighter safety procedures
    Provide incident safety officer training for all command officers and health and safety officer training to selected personnel

    Assure that all new firefighters are trained and certified in accordance with South Carolina State standards/NFPA Firefighter II before assignment to emergency duty

    RESPONSE AND COMMUNICATIONS


    Increase initial structure fire response to three engines and one ladder

    Utilize the third engine as the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT)

    Working fire - dispatch Assistant Chief, Second Battalion Chief, 4th engine company and an EMS unit

    Utilize the second-arriving Battalion Chief as the incident safety officer unless staff Safety Officer is on scene

    Communications changes including the elimination of 10 codes and the use of the tactical radio channel for responses

    WATER SUPPLY

    Changes in water supply standard operating procedures with near-term transition to large diameter supply hose

    Use of 1-1/2 inch hose, or larger, for interior attack as well as vehicle fires

    Changes to standard nozzle configuration and flow for all handlines

    OK, without slamming them, how do you feel about these recommendations? Should some of them been in place in the year 2007? Without getting specific, I see a pretty good report making critically needed changes, some probably due long ago. RIP Brothers.


  2. #2
    Forum Member BFDNJFF's Avatar
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    Charleston is a pretty damn good FD. I have seen them in action a few times. I agree there may need to be some changes but people need to realize that what works for your city may not work in there city. Charleston is an old southern tight designed city. It mentions increasing to LDH and I duno if there water system could even handle LDH.
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    the 4-1-4 Jasper 45's Avatar
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    Unless an engine company has sufficient manpower and tools, an engine company should never be used as a sole provider for RIT.

    Tools and manpower are the most important aspects for a RIT.

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    deleted by author
    Last edited by devildog4; 08-28-2007 at 11:37 PM.

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    Forum Member KnightnPBIArmor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by devildog4 View Post
    For those of you who have not heard these tapes here is the web link to listen to them. Remember, we are in a dangerous profession and listening to these audios, I AM PROUD TO BE A FIREFIGHTER IN THIS GREAT STATE OF CALIFORNIA which takes the incident command sysytem very seriously!

    As you listen you will hear this incident go into total chaos with no intial set up of IC, RIC, Accountablity, Interior Ops, Staging, etc, etc (kinda reminds me of Hanckinsack NJ Incident a few years back).

    Anyways, they were emotionally draining on me but I learned alot from listening to them. Keep those lost in this tragic incident in your thoughts and remember how important "family" is to all of us!!!

    Stay safe ALWAYS!!

    http://www.charleston.net/news/2007/...sed_afternoon/
    I thought you said in your first post that you weren't going to slam them...sorry bro, but your post comes off as very arrogant and condescending, and you manage to get a dig in on the fallen in Hackensack as well. Sorry if us poor dumb yokels in the other 49 states can't be as progressive and forward thinking as your "GREAT State" is

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    Quote Originally Posted by devildog4 View Post
    For those of you who have not heard these tapes here is the web link to listen to them. Remember, we are in a dangerous profession and listening to these audios, I AM PROUD TO BE A FIREFIGHTER IN THIS GREAT STATE OF CALIFORNIA which takes the incident command sysytem very seriously!

    As you listen you will hear this incident go into total chaos with no intial set up of IC, RIC, Accountablity, Interior Ops, Staging, etc, etc (kinda reminds me of Hanckinsack NJ Incident a few years back).

    Anyways, they were emotionally draining on me but I learned alot from listening to them. Keep those lost in this tragic incident in your thoughts and remember how important "family" is to all of us!!!

    Stay safe ALWAYS!!

    http://www.charleston.net/news/2007/...sed_afternoon/
    Yeah....very subtle.... No staging...yep, that is exactly why these guys died! If only they had established a logistics officer!...if only.

    Care to throw Firemen 1st Grade Graffagnino & Beddia under the bus as well?

    With comments like this...I can only imagine at the wealth of expereince you must have....take your BS somewhere else pal.

    FTM-PTB

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    I AM PROUD TO BE A FIREFIGHTER IN THIS GREAT STATE OF CALIFORNIA
    Good, stay there; from your comments, you won't make it anywhere else. I'm glad you can boost your ego on the backs of others.
    My posts reflect my views and opinions, not the organization I work for or my IAFF local. Some of which they may not agree. I.A.C.O.J. member
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    Elevator Rescue Information

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    deleted by author
    Last edited by devildog4; 08-28-2007 at 11:38 PM.

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    Hackensack is still being taught today. As well as many other fires that killed firemen. They arent digs. After listening to that tape, anyone defending that chief should really think twice about doing so.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    One thing I see is Chief Rusty has changed his tune. It went form we don't need to make any changes to we need follow all of the recommendations.

    It was also refreshing to see a panel of experts stating many of the same things I stated in another thread and got beat up for it.

    All of the recommendations say nothing about the fire fighters who died, it speaks volumes for the administration and the way the department as operated. I was amazed to see they have no safety officer. Heck, even our little volunteer department has a safety officer. And heck, our little backwards department uses LDH and 1 1/2" attack lines, no booster hoses for us. Based on what I see here I predict things getting worse for the Chief.

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    just repeating a few of what the group of national fire service officials appointed by Mayor Riley issued in their preliminary recommendations
    That's right, DD4... I can help but notice that some of the nay-sayers are the usual repository of people who just refuse to accept the fact that ALL line of duty deaths have been associated with a multitude of various reasons - all of which were preventable (i.e., lack of IC, lack of accountability, lack of safety, etc.)

    While many of us have no hesitation in praising and remembering those lost brothers who did what they had to do (I appreciate their actions, too), some of our readers absolutely refuse to acknowledge that there are command, operational, and support actions that might have prevented many of these LODDs. This is the reasoning for many programs, such as Firefighter near-miss, IAFF-IAFC safety stand-downs, etc. Unfortunately, as long as we have a handful of people in this business who refuse to accept and use safety programs, and continue to operate without due regard, the LODD meter will certainly keep ticking. We can only hope that their daily actions do not reflect their forum comments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    One thing I see is Chief Rusty has changed his tune. It went form we don't need to make any changes to we need follow all of the recommendations.

    It was also refreshing to see a panel of experts stating many of the same things I stated in another thread and got beat up for it.

    All of the recommendations say nothing about the fire fighters who died, it speaks volumes for the administration and the way the department as operated. I was amazed to see they have no safety officer. Heck, even our little volunteer department has a safety officer. And heck, our little backwards department uses LDH and 1 1/2" attack lines, no booster hoses for us. Based on what I see here I predict things getting worse for the Chief.
    Don't flatter yourself...

    You got your internet arse kicked because you were "armchair Monday morning quarterbacking".
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    I will repeat what I said. What works for your town or city may not work in someone else's city or town. I used to live there and know that they are a ISO Class 1 rated and quality FD. LDH will not work for them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by devildog4 View Post
    I was not slamming anyone. Just noting the obvious mistakes that were made.
    As far as being here in California; ICS, accountability, RIC/RIT, etc is taught and implemented by every FD small or large, volunteer or paid. Fact of life.

    If you donít use these tools where you are at then you are behind the times and asking for trouble.
    Three Captains and one firefighter who was acting as a Ladder Company officer took their crews into that building. They made the decision on what lines to stretch, and where to place them. They were in charge of what was going on with their individual crews, and in the end they paid the ultimate price. I am sure they are looking down and are most appreciative of you pointing out that they nutted up and how behind the times they were...

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Don't flatter yourself...

    You got your internet arse kicked because you were "armchair Monday morning quarterbacking".
    I have to flatter myself...who else will do it.

    I prefer the term post incident critique. I'll be the first to admit, I learn a lot from other peoples mistakes. And I'm also one of those people that will point something out when I notice someone doing something wrong. Like our guys went through a spell where they kept setting up the portable pond without paying attention to where the drain was. Wouldn't bother me so much if those same guys would stick around for the clean up. Somehow they always disappear and there I am trying to get the water out of the pond.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFDNJFF View Post
    they are a ISO Class 1 rated and quality FD.
    I could understand that - ISO is all about staffing and equipment. If you have the right number of FT firefighters on the rigs and the basic ISO-required tools/equipment - you get points and a Class 1.
    Nothing in ISO even addresses command, control and safety.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFDNJFF View Post
    I will repeat what I said. What works for your town or city may not work in someone else's city or town. I used to live there and know that they are a ISO Class 1 rated and quality FD. LDH will not work for them.
    But how about things like having a safety officer? How about using the National standards for ICS/NIMS? OSHA 2 in/ 2 out? Accountability system? And what about the radio traffic? Why is the chief heard repeatedly telling everyone to stay off the radio? That should be automatic. I will relate a story about that which happened around here. There was a very serious accident (turned out to be a fatal). First people on scene have already asked for multiple ambulances and the availability of med flight. Some moronic idiot from another department goes onto the county frequency and tries to call the IC on scene. The dumb***** wanted to know what kind of vehicles were involved because it might be a relative of one of the members. Those kinds of things should never happen.

    Also, why would LDH not work? Is there a problem with supply of water? If so that issue also needs to be addressed.

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    LDH is not the savior of the world. Yes it is a useful tool but it is not the end all be all of water supply.

    Without knowing the Charleston water system and the Charleston Fire Department's SOP on Engine Operations and Water Supply we don't know if it is even practical.

    As for ICS, there is no need to fill all the boxes all the time. ICS is meant to be expandable when needed. If I am the first in company officer on a single car fire do I need to have a Safety Officer, PIO, Operations Officer, Logistics Officer, EMS Officer, Accountability Officer, Staging Officer, and LEO Liaison Officer called to the scene? No, I fill all the needed functions. The size of the ICS system should match incident. You may not be able to grow the ICS fast enough if things go bad as they did. It still takes time to get those second alarm companies on scene even if you call for them immediately.

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    LDH will not work for them.
    Why wouldn't it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lexfd5 View Post
    LDH is not the savior of the world. Yes it is a useful tool but it is not the end all be all of water supply.

    Without knowing the Charleston water system and the Charleston Fire Department's SOP on Engine Operations and Water Supply we don't know if it is even practical.

    As for ICS, there is no need to fill all the boxes all the time. ICS is meant to be expandable when needed. If I am the first in company officer on a single car fire do I need to have a Safety Officer, PIO, Operations Officer, Logistics Officer, EMS Officer, Accountability Officer, Staging Officer, and LEO Liaison Officer called to the scene? No, I fill all the needed functions. The size of the ICS system should match incident. You may not be able to grow the ICS fast enough if things go bad as they did. It still takes time to get those second alarm companies on scene even if you call for them immediately.
    True, we don't know, but the experts who made the recommendations do know. They have been there and they have looked at those things. And they came up with these recommendations.

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