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  1. #81
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Post Well................

    Quite a discussion......... This is my Fiftieth year in the FIRE Service, Twenty Six as a Chief Officer, so I've seen a few changes over those years. Like many of you, I'm concerned that we're losing the Focus on "Putting Out The Fire". Unlike some who post here, I think that there is no one central focus, rather that factors coming from different directions, many of which are unrelated, are combining to force the "Dumbing Down" of the FIRE Service. One area that we are NOT good at, is blocking outside influences that intrude into our everyday operations. Someone at risk management thinks that we're having too many accidents, so an order comes down that we will no longer respond with lights and sirens to certain calls. BULLS... You call 911, you get an Emergency Response. The path to Accident Reduction should be through Training of Our People, coupled with education and stringent enforcement of the Laws with the General Public, not changing a response policy.

    Breathing Apparatus is a hot topic these days: My first training was with a MSA Filter mask, which was OK in Wood smoke, but gave no protection from CO or other Gases. In 1958 this worked fairly well because the Plastics and Synthetics hadn't arrived yet in the average home. Today, we have Positive Pressure Air, which in my opinion, is an absolute must, due to the changes in the Home's contents. This is a classic case of the Technology keeping up with the hazard, and we can still enter a Burning structure to apply water to the Fire. Which is what we should do.

    I would offer that the only way that we can get back to being allowed to do our jobs, as we see fit, is to start working for Leadership Change in our respective FIRE Service Organizations. When the Presidents of the NVFC, IAFF, IAFC, and the State FIRE Organizations are standing up and condemming policies that have made us the "Foundation Saving Department" THEN, we'll be starting in the right direction. FIRES can be fought aggressively AND Safely at the same time. We just need "Big League" Leadership that will force the issue.
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  2. #82
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    Well said George.
    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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  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    This thread began addressing the demise of basic fundamental fire fighting. I have not seen one person advocate reckless endangerment of fire fighters. I agree 100% that a culture change is needed. But the culture change you are seeking is to try to make fire fighting not dangerous. The culture change I seek is a return to the basics.

    FD's plan drills all the time for unrealistic scenarios that would be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Of course, it is far more interesting to stage a drill with two trucks carrying radioactive materials being hit by a passenger train carrying 1,000,000 gallons of gasoline in a wildand area during a hurricane. How many times do we drill and drill and drill and drill an drill on the things that we will see potentially every day? Proper interior FF techniques in single family dwellings, taxpayers and office buildings included. What about SCBA proficiency? I know, we do that once a year. NOT ENOUGH! What about the proper method for approaching a MV fire or a dumpster fire? BOOOOOOORRRRRIIIIINNNNNGGGGG!! !!!

    Our fault here is not a lack of training. It is a lack of fundamental training to allow our FF to operate safely INSIDE the building where the fire is. It is offensive for those who dare to insinuate that aggressive interior fire fighting is reckless. I'll submit it is reckless to not train our FF how to BE aggressive interior FF.

    Bing-fracking-o!
    ‎"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."
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  4. #84
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    In October or November 2007, there was an article in Fire Engineering called "Break the Failure Chain with Competent Leaders" by Jerry Knapp that pretty much echoed everything GeorgeWendtCFI said. If the department I am on could get 10-12 firefighters out for one of these "boring" drills, that would be a lot. The firefighters that need the training the least and would find it the least boring would be the ones who show up every time. Sad but true. I suspect it is the same almost everywhere.

    A link to the article is here, but you need a subscription:

    http://www.fireengineering.com/displ...etent-Leaders?
    Last edited by JD1234; 04-07-2008 at 05:52 PM.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    This thread began addressing the demise of basic fundamental fire fighting. I have not seen one person advocate reckless endangerment of fire fighters. I agree 100% that a culture change is needed. But the culture change you are seeking is to try to make fire fighting not dangerous. The culture change I seek is a return to the basics.

    FD's plan drills all the time for unrealistic scenarios that would be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Of course, it is far more interesting to stage a drill with two trucks carrying radioactive materials being hit by a passenger train carrying 1,000,000 gallons of gasoline in a wildand area during a hurricane. How many times do we drill and drill and drill and drill an drill on the things that we will see potentially every day? Proper interior FF techniques in single family dwellings, taxpayers and office buildings included. What about SCBA proficiency? I know, we do that once a year. NOT ENOUGH! What about the proper method for approaching a MV fire or a dumpster fire? BOOOOOOORRRRRIIIIINNNNNGGGGG!! !!!

    Our fault here is not a lack of training. It is a lack of fundamental training to allow our FF to operate safely INSIDE the building where the fire is. It is offensive for those who dare to insinuate that aggressive interior fire fighting is reckless. I'll submit it is reckless to not train our FF how to BE aggressive interior FF.
    Excellant,Excellant,Excellant. ....right on the money.

    George and I dont always agree 100%, but he nailed this.

  6. #86
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    This was just posted today in a "local" Fire/EMS forum. The thread started about what is perceived to be a recent surge in LODDs this year. I read this comment and immediately thought of this discussion.

    "........is it possible to tell when a roof will give or a floor? no, but you have signs. it's a tough call whether or not to go in. but if everyone is out, why not just an exterior attack with a "surround and drown"? why risk the lives of your best if there are no lives at stake? we all want to save the property, but going in when not necessary is why we have a ton of the recent LODD's. you are putting lives at stake when there aren't any in danger when you arrive.

    i'm sorry, but my idea is that if you have lives to save, then it's time to enter. if nobody is inside, then we shouldn't need to be either."


    I think this is a prime example of the "pussification" others have referred to. Feel free to share your thoughts.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedic049 View Post
    This was just posted today in a "local" Fire/EMS forum. The thread started about what is perceived to be a recent surge in LODDs this year. I read this comment and immediately thought of this discussion.

    "........is it possible to tell when a roof will give or a floor? no, but you have signs. it's a tough call whether or not to go in. but if everyone is out, why not just an exterior attack with a "surround and drown"? why risk the lives of your best if there are no lives at stake? we all want to save the property, but going in when not necessary is why we have a ton of the recent LODD's. you are putting lives at stake when there aren't any in danger when you arrive.

    i'm sorry, but my idea is that if you have lives to save, then it's time to enter. if nobody is inside, then we shouldn't need to be either."


    I think this is a prime example of the "pussification" others have referred to. Feel free to share your thoughts.
    I most certainly agree!
    Last edited by fireman4949; 04-08-2008 at 12:31 PM.
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  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    This thread began addressing the demise of basic fundamental fire fighting. I have not seen one person advocate reckless endangerment of fire fighters. I agree 100% that a culture change is needed. But the culture change you are seeking is to try to make fire fighting not dangerous. The culture change I seek is a return to the basics.

    FD's plan drills all the time for unrealistic scenarios that would be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Of course, it is far more interesting to stage a drill with two trucks carrying radioactive materials being hit by a passenger train carrying 1,000,000 gallons of gasoline in a wildand area during a hurricane. How many times do we drill and drill and drill and drill an drill on the things that we will see potentially every day? Proper interior FF techniques in single family dwellings, taxpayers and office buildings included. What about SCBA proficiency? I know, we do that once a year. NOT ENOUGH! What about the proper method for approaching a MV fire or a dumpster fire? BOOOOOOORRRRRIIIIINNNNNGGGGG!! !!!

    Our fault here is not a lack of training. It is a lack of fundamental training to allow our FF to operate safely INSIDE the building where the fire is. It is offensive for those who dare to insinuate that aggressive interior fire fighting is reckless. I'll submit it is reckless to not train our FF how to BE aggressive interior FF.

    Damn it George, just when I think there is virtually no way you and I can ever see eye to eye you make what may be the best post EVER here on FH.com.

    The training and retraining and refeshing of basic skills is as important today, and perhaps more so in many parts of the country where run totals are down, as it has ever been. Your painting the picture of the overblown ridiculous scenario drill couldn't be more true. We do that while at the next fire the guy sent to get the vent saw can't find it or start it, or the crosslay gets tied in a knot while being laid out, or the ladder gets raised upside down, or the mysterious scba malfunction occurs.

    I am an aggressive firefighter. I will go interior and fight fire every time I can. BUT that is tempered with my ability to determine if it is possible to do so and the faith I have in my company officers to do that very same thing. I am nearing the end of my career and I do not wish to die in a fire saving nothing, BUT, if I never intend to actually do the job as it is supposed to be done I might as well turn my papers in now.

    Return to basics, teach people the job and expect them to do it. It is that simple.
    Last edited by FyredUp; 04-08-2008 at 01:45 PM.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    This thread began addressing the demise of basic fundamental fire fighting. I have not seen one person advocate reckless endangerment of fire fighters. I agree 100% that a culture change is needed. But the culture change you are seeking is to try to make fire fighting not dangerous. The culture change I seek is a return to the basics.

    FD's plan drills all the time for unrealistic scenarios that would be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Of course, it is far more interesting to stage a drill with two trucks carrying radioactive materials being hit by a passenger train carrying 1,000,000 gallons of gasoline in a wildand area during a hurricane. How many times do we drill and drill and drill and drill an drill on the things that we will see potentially every day? Proper interior FF techniques in single family dwellings, taxpayers and office buildings included. What about SCBA proficiency? I know, we do that once a year. NOT ENOUGH! What about the proper method for approaching a MV fire or a dumpster fire? BOOOOOOORRRRRIIIIINNNNNGGGGG!! !!!

    Our fault here is not a lack of training. It is a lack of fundamental training to allow our FF to operate safely INSIDE the building where the fire is. It is offensive for those who dare to insinuate that aggressive interior fire fighting is reckless. I'll submit it is reckless to not train our FF how to BE aggressive interior FF.
    The culture change I support is not to make firefighting "not dangerous". Rather, it is to make firefighting "less dangerous". One of the ways to do that is through better training, and focusing on the mission. We're in agreement about that. There's no question that we're stretched thin between HAZMAT, COBRA, USAR, etc. I also think that our initial training is inadequate. I've read enough NIOSH reports to know that too many firefighters are dying in situations they shouldn't have been in, or weren't prepared for. If it's true that there are no new lessons in firefighting, just old lessons that go tragically unheeded, then we are our own worst enemy. I understand that no one advocates reckless endangerment. The problem is not malicious fire officers. It's poor situational awareness.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireMedAS View Post
    The culture change I support is not to make firefighting "not dangerous". Rather, it is to make firefighting "less dangerous". One of the ways to do that is through better training, and focusing on the mission. We're in agreement about that. There's no question that we're stretched thin between HAZMAT, COBRA, USAR, etc. I also think that our initial training is inadequate. I've read enough NIOSH reports to know that too many firefighters are dying in situations they shouldn't have been in, or weren't prepared for. If it's true that there are no new lessons in firefighting, just old lessons that go tragically unheeded, then we are our own worst enemy. I understand that no one advocates reckless endangerment. The problem is not malicious fire officers. It's poor situational awareness.
    You just repeated back exactly what I said. Thank you.

    And BTW, there is little reason for us to be "...stretched thin between HAZMAT, COBRA, USAR, etc." For 99% of all fire fighters, they will never be involved in a USAR response or a COBRA situation. But they WILL go to a house fire tomorrow. Training is certainly needed in those areas, but when the training for the "possibly maybe perhaps once in a career" response takes precedence over the things we do every day, someone's perspective and prioroties are screwed up. Big time.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Pardon my ignorance, but what is "COBRA"? I thought thats the people G.I. Joe used to fight........

    Stay Safe
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  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    Pardon my ignorance, but what is "COBRA"? I thought thats the people G.I. Joe used to fight........

    Stay Safe
    That's it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    Pardon my ignorance, but what is "COBRA"? I thought thats the people G.I. Joe used to fight........

    Stay Safe
    It's an acronym for Chemical Ordnance, Biological, Radiological Awareness Team. It is a specially trained group used as first responders to this type of incident.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    It's an acronym for Chemical Ordnance, Biological, Radiological Awareness Team. It is a specially trained group used as first responders to this type of incident.
    So you're saying GI Joe is the villain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny46 View Post
    So you're saying GI Joe is the villain.
    That's it.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Default No sugar coating it here...

    Prime example: In a recent news cast of Cincinnati ABC 9 concerning the Colerain Township line of duty deaths, the question was brought forth of why Capt. Robin Broxterman and firefighter Brian Schira still entered the burning home, when evidence now shows that Capt. Broxterman knew all occupants were out of the structure. And the structure did not appear to be weakened or heavily involved by first in companies. To save property, that's why! They were firefighters, that's why! Rest in peace Sister and Brother.

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    George-

    Is that different from HAZMAT in some way other than the acronym? Or did they change in to COBRA because it sounded cooler?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cap6888 View Post
    George-

    Is that different from HAZMAT in some way other than the acronym? Or did they change in to COBRA because it sounded cooler?

    Stay Safe
    Defintely differernt. COBRA is more tactically and law enforcement oriented.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    I believe that one issue is that too many FD's have the attitude that the operations FF's work for the admin. side of the FD rather than admin. supporting the mission of the ops. FF's.

    I also believe the abundance of SOP's or SOG's has led to a lack of decisiveness among some OIC when it comes to making decisions. As an example, do you really need to be told to lay a line if your standing by at a hydrant when the first company on scene reports heavy smoke and fire showing?

    Finally, we all know this job is like no other. When we hear the tone we go. The expectation from the public on our arrival is that we are there to take care of business. As a Lt. friend of mine once said, "We are problem solvers". It takes initiative, assertiveness, agressiveness, and yes sometimes risk. Not everyone can be trained to do the job and instilled with the proper attitude. You need to bring the right attitude with you when you start.

  20. #100
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD1234 View Post
    If the department I am on could get 10-12 firefighters out for one of these "boring" drills, that would be a lot. The firefighters that need the training the least and would find it the least boring would be the ones who show up every time. Sad but true. I suspect it is the same almost everywhere.
    For a time, we stopped telling the firefighters what the drill was. We simply said, "firematic drill".

    It helped to stop the cherrypicking of drills.

    The other key is to involve those veterans in the drill... if you get enough of the old guys saying, "man it was great to do REAL FIREFIGHTING stuff in this drill and get dirty." I know I don't find the drills boring if I can pull some hose, climb a ladder and get a little sweaty and dirty. Beats watching the bloodborne pathogen video for the 15th time.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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