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  1. #21
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    I would like to point everyone to the USFA Fire Fighter Fatalities in the United States 2006 dated July 2007. It is an interesting read for sure. However on page 29 there is a discussion about enclosed structure fatalities. They look at the 444 fatalities that occurred between 1990 and 2006. 84% of these fatalities occurred in enclosed structures. Enclosed structures are what most big box retail stores use.

    The analysis concluded that over a 16-year time span, firefighters using an aggressive interior attack in enclosed structures died far more often, in greater numbers, and with greater multiple line-of-duty deaths than those using the same tactical approach in opened structure fires. In response to these significant findings, it is important that departments act to prevent additional firefighter deaths by adopting and implementing more appropriate enclosed structure tactics and standard operating guidelines (SOGs) for use during extremely dangerous enclosed structure fires.

    More information on this work, contact Captain William Mora at capmora@aol.com
    Check www.usfa.dhs.gov/fireservice/fatalities/ in coming weeks for a USFA Technical Report Series study on this topic.
    The report also has a special section addressing Engineered Wood Products.

    I recommend that each and every fire fighter in the fire service read this document. If you only read one thing, please read this.


  2. #22
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    It has been pointed out before, and I will do it again because it needs to be said. WE HAVE TO START LOOKING OVER OUR HEADS WHEN WE GO THROUGH THE DOOR!! Take the butt end of your hook and pop a couple of ceiling tiles. It will shine a light on a lot of things that need to be seen and made mention of that a TIC isn't going to pick up.

    1. You will see if there is any fire or smoke in the cockloft.
    2. You will see that if there is fire, has it progressed all the way to the front door and now over you yet.
    3. You will see what type of roof construction or more importantly what type of truss construction we are dealing with. This will also be a clue to wheather or not you will be able to or need to vert vent the building.
    4. You will see if there is more than one drop ceiling.

    Like many have said in this post and others before. We as the fire service have gotten so caught up in all the new technology and new toys out there that we have gotten away from the basics. We NEED to get back to the basics. The basics is what is going to bring you home at the end of the shift.


    This is not Monday morning quarterbacking of the Boston or Charleston tradegies, just general thought on the fire service as a whole.

    **Stepping off soap box**

  3. #23
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    We as the fire service have gotten so caught up in all the new technology and new toys out there that we have gotten away from the basics. We NEED to get back to the basics. The basics is what is going to bring you home at the end of the shift.
    Lt, this is a great point, and one that has been talked about in my house.

    My opinion is that the thermal cameras need to be taken off the rigs for this very reason. A TIC is a great tool, no doubt, but everyone gets complacent and forgets how to search without it.
    People also get too reliant on the camera in checking for hot spots. Now, rather than opening up a ceiling or wall, guys just look at it with the camera to check for heat. We need to open up and look.
    I'm sure that my job isn't the only one seeing this.

    I know that our searches, as a department have declined greatly since the cameras have been placed on all the truck companies. This is happening to seasoned guys, as well. If it happens to them, it's sure as hell going to happen to a newer, less experienced guy.

  4. #24
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    I think it's worth pointing out to those unfamiliar with building construction that many drop ceiling assemblies are "fire rated"; that is, thay are designed to keep a fire in the occupied space from extending to the structure above.

    Although they are not designed to do so, they will also hold a fire in the void space and out of sight of the occupants below.

    Now add to the equation that the void space above the ceiling is often filled with data cables coated with plastic insulation, you have a pretty good fire load. Add to that the potential for a combustible metal roof deck fire hidden from below and your problems multiply again.

    Around here it is not uncommon to run into insulated drop ceilings, either for temperature control or sound attenuation or both. Your TIC may not be telling you the full story.

    With a few exceptions, most drop ceilings can be cleared with a straight stream - but you have to be willing to accept the collateral damage to the occupied space if the fire hasn't progressed very far.

    Is it time to start popping out the first tile inside the door with a pike pole every time we enter a structure with a suspended ceiling?
    ullrichk
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    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    My opinion is that the thermal cameras need to be taken off the rigs for this very reason. A TIC is a great tool, no doubt, but everyone gets complacent and forgets how to search without it.
    People also get too reliant on the camera in checking for hot spots. Now, rather than opening up a ceiling or wall, guys just look at it with the camera to check for heat. We need to open up and look.
    I'm sure that my job isn't the only one seeing this.
    I agree we need to focus on basics, but don't damn the technology for lack of training. The TIC is an tool, that can be misused. Have you seen more "rekindles" from failure to open up, after using the camera? We have not, though I'm sure you've had more total opportunities. But its a training issue. If you can't maintain the basics and incorporate new technology with such huge benefits, you've got to re-evaluate the training program. No doubt that TIC's are overused and allow FFer's to rely on them, but again it ain't the camera's fault. The benefits are too great to remove them from the truck IMO.

  6. #26
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    Trotter: Go back and re-read your rationale for vacant vs. occupied. I think I know what you were intending to say (that's scary) but you made a real mess of it. It seems as someone else pointed out that you are a computer commando whose only skill is cut and paste, though you don't even understand what it is you're inserting.

    On the enclosed structures vs. open: It wasn't 84% of the 444 fatalities, it was 84% of the deaths that occurred in structure fires (84% of 223). For most of us this is no surprise, as an open structure tends to pose far less risk with better vent profiles and ingress/egress points.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 09-02-2007 at 11:58 AM.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Trotter: Go back and re-read your rationale for vacant vs. occupied. I think I know what you were intending to say (that's scary) but you made a real mess of it. It seems as someone else pointed out that you are a computer commando whose only skill is cut and paste, though you don't even understand what it is you're inserting.
    I was responding to someone who asked if the building is occupied by a buch of workers is it vacant. Which probably lead to the confusion

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    On the enclosed structures vs. open: It wasn't 84% of the 444 fatalities, it was 84% of the deaths that occurred in structure fires (84% of 223). For most of us this is no surprise, as an open structure tends to pose far less risk with better vent profiles and ingress/egress points.
    I'm glad to see you took the time to actually read the report. And thanks for pointing out that I used the wrong number But the point remains, 84% are dieing in these enclosed structures. That tells me that we need to look at what is being done in these things and modify our approach to fighting those fires. So it isn't really a surprise, but rather proof that we have to look at these types of structures as containing a much higher risk level. It needs to be considered when looking at the risk vs gain.

  8. #28
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    [QUOTE=ullrichk;858279]
    Around here it is not uncommon to run into insulated drop ceilings, either for temperature control or sound attenuation or both. Your TIC may not be telling you the full story.
    QUOTE]

    This is very common in our area as well. In fact we just enclosed a carport at the firehouse to make it a workout room. We had a drop ceiling put in, and the guy who installed it put insulation above the drop ceiling.

    You made some good points.

  9. #29
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    but don't damn the technology for lack of training. The TIC is an tool, that can be misused. Have you seen more "rekindles" from failure to open up, after using the camera? We have not, though I'm sure you've had more total opportunities. But its a training issue.

    Don't get me wrong, the technology is very good. We just haven't figured out a way to keep the guys from forgetting the basics.
    I watched as countless companies did the same thing at a recent inservice, and that was to miss dummies hidden under wooden pallets while doing a search. Almost all of them were so engrossed with the TIC, that they forgot to feel things out with their hands. Guys seem to do the same thing when entering a building, as well. They forget to maintain contact with a wall for orientation, and get turned around when the camera battery runs out, or fails entirely.
    I have also heard similar stories from guys at a recent course I took, relating with their own departments. I should have worded what I said better, but it almost seems like guys are more consistant with their search patterns and orientation without using the cameras.

    Nothing beats a camera for finding a blown ballast, though.

  10. #30
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    Popping a tile does absolutely NO harm. But, like has been previously stated might provide you with a wealth of knowledge about your current situation.


    When it comes to using a TIC for a search. I like to do a quick scan then return to the "old school" style of fumbling around in a systemic approach. I feel it gives me a better grasp of where ive been and where im going. I have also noticed that when relying solely on the TIC for orientation and search, member will be hard pressed to be able to discribe a single floor plan after searching it. Proves difficult when you need to call for help and discribe where you are for a crew comming in that might not have a TIC.

  11. #31
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    Cool I have a dumb question.

    Our new says we will get more water thru a 2" plastic hose than a 2 1/2 due to less friction loss because its plastic. Also easier to drag, Storz connectors make it faster, etc. therefore, pound for pound it is a better all around choice He wants to take all the 1 3/4 off the truck and use the 2" plastic for interior lines.

    Can anyone either back this up or argue against it? I have looked all over the net and cannot find the appropriate chart to argue one way or the other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    Wouldn't your basic TIC tell you exactly what you have. A TIC without a doubt will let you know the extent of the extension behind the tiles. And now that they are less than $10K and I believe under $5k, they should be standard equipment on every truck. Next thing that is needed is the training.
    Can you provide us with the $105,000 ($155,000 if we put them on our ambulances also) to put them on our remaining engine companies? Or maybe you can take our council into allowing us to get them. It is easy to say they need to be on every truck, but paying for them is another issue altogether.

    On our first alarm structure fire we have 4 TICs on the scene (2 ladders, 1 heavy rescue, 1 on the squad.) Why would we need more? It takes little time to displace a ceiling tile and look into the void space. The TIC is also not going to show you smoke above the ceiling tile 100% of the time. Remember smoke only registers on the TIC when it is hotter than the ambient air temperature.

  13. #33
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    LEX, if you are from LEX, KY just tell Bullard you guys are going to bid'em and because of your proximity to Bullard they'll probably give you BOGO (buy 1 get 1). Kinda figure thats why you guys still wear their helmets with better helmets on the market.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    I watched as countless companies did the same thing at a recent inservice, and that was to miss dummies hidden under wooden pallets while doing a search.
    Not to beat a dead horse here, as I do agree that we have allowed ourselves to become complacent due to the TIC but... The inservice you describe would prove to be far less likely to reveal a victim than in the real situation due to the lack of heat. A dummy will be very close to the same temp as the pallets, making them look like one large pile a crap, as compared to a lie victim with exposed skin and objects that absorb heat a varying rates. Again, I do agree the camera isn't the 100% answer, we must use it in conjunction with techniques to maintain orientation. As well as feeling piles of stuff, bedding, in closets, etc. Philly describes the way we also teach/preach camera use. Scan and move to the objects/areas to move objects and feel through things. I'm sure there is some truth to us being further in quicker, because the TIC lets us get there.

  15. #35
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    I suppose we have moved off topic a bit here but, I find the comments on TICs surprising.

    Our officers carry the TIC during searches and use it as a tool to speed up the primary search by staying at the door of the room , top of the hall, wherever he has the best advantage to ďseeĒ the area being searched. The rest of crew performs a standard search of the room, the officer giving details as needed to speed the search along. This gives us the advantage of additional safety and speedier primary searches.

    In cases of overhaul anyone can use the TIC to search for hot spots after the walls and ceilings have been pulled.

    We havenít yet become complacent (I donít know, maybe that fact that I just said that means that we are) because of the TIC but I'll take what has been said as a wakeup call that we need to be vigilant.

    Bill

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    A dummy will be very close to the same temp as the pallets, making them look like one large pile a crap, as compared to a lie victim with exposed skin and objects that absorb heat a varying rates. Again, I do agree the camera isn't the 100% answer, we must use it in conjunction with techniques to maintain orientation. As well as feeling piles of stuff, bedding, in closets, etc. Philly describes the way we also teach/preach camera use.
    Hey, no dead horse here. That was really the point I was trying to make. A couple of years ago, we went in to search for an occupant, and we were pushed out by fire. When we reentered, the victim could not be seen in the debris on the floor because the whole room was close to the same temp. The guy on the camera never saw our victim, we found her the old fashioned way.
    The dummy was close to the same temp as all of the surrounding material, and proved a valuable lesson, at least that's what we hoped.

    We also teach the oriented search, but it just seemed like guys in general depended on the camera too much. We try to beat it into everyone's head, but I think the short bus stops here more often than elsewhere.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaeld327 View Post
    Our new says we will get more water thru a 2" plastic hose than a 2 1/2 due to less friction loss because its plastic. Also easier to drag, Storz connectors make it faster, etc. therefore, pound for pound it is a better all around choice He wants to take all the 1 3/4 off the truck and use the 2" plastic for interior lines.

    Can anyone either back this up or argue against it? I have looked all over the net and cannot find the appropriate chart to argue one way or the other.
    PM me and I will give you about a decades worth of personal use info on nitrile rubber 2 inch hose.

    FyredUp

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    Anyway, wasn't the Deutche Bank building vacant?
    Wal mart is hiring, you clueless doofus.

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    Talking

    So this means you like 2"? or are against it?

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaeld327 View Post
    So this means you like 2"? or are against it?
    In our particular situation I like it. Do I believe it is right for everyone? No.

    Research, testing and then applying it are the keys to success.

    FyredUp

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