Thread: "new" S.O.G. ?

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    Default "new" S.O.G. ?

    In light of what has been posted in the last few weeks, I am curious. Does the department \ company of anyone here have an S.O.G. to the effect that the ceiling of each "room" of any building where there is "active" fire will be checked before persons are commited to operation under same? I am considering writing just such an item to submit to my dept. and would rather not reinvent the wheel. Seems like a quick poke at the ceiling ( drop \ plaster \ whatever ) from the protection of a doorway would tell us something about what is going to be over our heads. I would rather leave a small hole than have the whole thing drop on me. Feeling is this could be done from every doorway on the way in. Anybody have experience? Downsides?

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    Just wondering, couldn't this potentially expose an uninvolved area to more heat, flames, (especially as a truck company operation) and oxygen?
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    If ya got smoke pushing from the eves, ya got fire in the attic. Pull ceiling until you find the fire. And keep pulling until you see no more. Put an attic ladder up after the bulk of the fire is out, and check for extension.
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    A SOP/SOG shouldn't be necessary for good firefighting practices. A reminder memo, inservice training, or training bulletin in light of the recent LODD incidents may be in order, but SOG's? We just need to remind ourselves of some of the basics we were taught and get back to practicing them vs. becoming complacent.

    And no this is in any way a commentary on why recent LODD's may have occured.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KEEPBACK200FEET View Post
    Just wondering, couldn't this potentially expose an uninvolved area to more heat, flames, (especially as a truck company operation) and oxygen?
    I think he meant for the attack crew to do this IMMEDIATLY prior to opening the nozzle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    A SOP/SOG shouldn't be necessary for good firefighting practices. A reminder memo, inservice training, or training bulletin in light of the recent LODD incidents may be in order, but SOG's? We just need to remind ourselves of some of the basics we were taught and get back to practicing them vs. becoming complacent.

    And no this is in any way a commentary on why recent LODD's may have occured.
    Ditto. It's more about training and refresher classes. I don't care who you are, how long you have been doing it, how many fires you have fought, there is always room for more training. And let's face it, some guys who have been doing it for 20 years often develop bad habits or take short cuts they shouldn't. Doesn't hurt to remind them about what they are supposed to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Binaroundawhile View Post
    In light of what has been posted in the last few weeks, I am curious. Does the department \ company of anyone here have an S.O.G. to the effect that the ceiling of each "room" of any building where there is "active" fire will be checked before persons are commited to operation under same? I am considering writing just such an item to submit to my dept. and would rather not reinvent the wheel. Seems like a quick poke at the ceiling ( drop \ plaster \ whatever ) from the protection of a doorway would tell us something about what is going to be over our heads. I would rather leave a small hole than have the whole thing drop on me. Feeling is this could be done from every doorway on the way in. Anybody have experience? Downsides?

    FDNY Taxpayer Firefighting procedures

    8.3.1 Tactics (store fires)

    D. The probing of the ceiling area with a hook upon entering will give some indication of conditions in the cockloft area.

    FTM-PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    Ditto. It's more about training and refresher classes. I don't care who you are, how long you have been doing it, how many fires you have fought, there is always room for more training. And let's face it, some guys who have been doing it for 20 years often develop bad habits or take short cuts they shouldn't. Doesn't hurt to remind them about what they are supposed to do.
    We find an equal number of new firefighters have not learned good trechniques, but rather learn from inexperienced instructors who teach from pre-packed Bartles and James or IFSTA programs. But, it is also true that unless you have a well regimented system with documented procedures to train by, things get lost over the years. As FFFRED posted FDNY does actually have SOP/SOGs that relate to good firefighting practices, a must for a department of that size that has a high expectation of quality! (we all should) Their Rules and Regs can be used like a football playbook for training and actaul incidents.

    So in the end a SOP/SOG may be in order if this is what it takes to ensure we are teaching and practicing the basics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED View Post
    FDNY Taxpayer Firefighting procedures

    8.3.1 Tactics (store fires)

    D. The probing of the ceiling area with a hook upon entering will give some indication of conditions in the cockloft area.

    FTM-PTB
    Fred, is a "taxpayer" what we consider a strip mall down here or is it a common commercial occupancy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KEEPBACK200FEET View Post
    Fred, is a "taxpayer" what we consider a strip mall down here or is it a common commercial occupancy?
    One in the same.

    FTM-PTB

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    I have always heard "taxpayer" meant a commerical occupancy ( a store or shop of some sort) on the ground floor with residences (apartments) above it. These can also be offices on the upper floors. The rentals upstairs paid the taxes on your store or shop, hence "taxpayers". Along with the theme of this post, It's all about the void space. Beware the false ceiling. Common situation in Boston, S.C., and many others, unrecognized or under appreciated fire conditions with smoke and gas build up in a confined space. We have to be able to learn from these incidents or we will be forced to repeat them until we do. Our hind sight so clear, but do we pull the ceiling right away? no we wait for overhaul. We disrepect those that have paid a great price if we dont learn from them.

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    Thumbs up S.O.G.s are our training documents

    Thanks FFFred, I knew FDNY had one but my contact links have been down. That says it pretty clearly.

    I'm not sure how Standard Operating Guidelines are used in some areas, but we use them to train our new (and old) personnel to the "standard" way we would like them to "operate". We use them as our training documents so that everyone knows what is expected. They are not Law, nor Rule, nor Procedure (all words that lawyers love to hang you with). We like to keep them simple if possible, then train on them. I once heard a quote, "you fight the way you train". I beleive that is true. Training includes putting ideas on paper sometimes too.

    Anyway, thanks all, I have already submitted a draft (similar to FDNY's but tailored to our meager area) to my department.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Binaroundawhile View Post
    Thanks FFFred, I knew FDNY had one but my contact links have been down. That says it pretty clearly.

    I'm not sure how Standard Operating Guidelines are used in some areas, but we use them to train our new (and old) personnel to the "standard" way we would like them to "operate". We use them as our training documents so that everyone knows what is expected. They are not Law, nor Rule, nor Procedure (all words that lawyers love to hang you with). We like to keep them simple if possible, then train on them. I once heard a quote, "you fight the way you train". I beleive that is true. Training includes putting ideas on paper sometimes too.

    Anyway, thanks all, I have already submitted a draft (similar to FDNY's but tailored to our meager area) to my department.
    I agree with you bro; it is important for people to have a guide to reference for questions/conflicts. We have simple, uncomplicated SOPs and also train to the SOPs. You are absolutely correct, when you practice the way you'll work, it becomes habit and habit becomes instinct.

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    They are not Law, nor Rule, nor Procedure (all words that lawyers love to hang you with).

    You could call them General Orders or Barney's Great Big Purple Happy Book of Nice Things To Do. That doesn't matter.

    If the contents says things like, "The officer shall" the lawyer's just going to ask you if you read, trained to it, and understand the meaning of the word "shall."

    I know it sounds like semantics, but I've seen absurdities like "Suggested Operating Guidelines" produced by someone paranoid we'd be held accountable if what was called a SOP. That proceeded to lay out in non-discretionary language specific things members were to perform.

    Titles don't matter. Content does.

    ========================
    On the topic on hand, I'm highly interested to see the official reports on Boston when they come out on this incident. It sounds like a relatively unusual event overall. There are a couple of scenarios in my mind that checking the ceiling on entry would not have necessarily revealed the fire overhead.

    As to the general topic of needing an SOP -- I agree with RFD & Fred and the others. I was taught 20 years ago to pop ceiling tiles if you suspect there's fire overhead. In a situation more commonly encountered to many of us, that extends to dropped ceilings in finished basements of SFDs, too. This isn't SOP stuff...this is basic, basic stuff to check voids.

    And you don't necessarily need a tool -- a good solid / straight stream will knock the tiles out of the way and introduce water simultaneously if you're worried there is a good chance of fire overhead.

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