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  1. #1
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    Default When did we stop being FIREFIGHTERS? one mans Rant

    When did this country give up the idea of putting the fire out? All of the dribble on here about PPV, Glow Sticks, tool exhaust on the apparatus floor, Application of water from outside of occupied buildings??? The list could go on and on... ad nauseum.

    Firefighters crawl down hallways and put water on the fire, the water in turn puts out the fire, other firefighters break things to facilitate this operation and search for victims. Pretty simple concept, why is it that so many folks on here (a good cross section of the American fire service) are content with removing the fire fighting concept from the fire service?

    MattyJ refers to "the pussification of the fire service" and I for one, agree and I am very disappointed that it is being allowed to happen.

    Will some of the "lookers" on here chime in, we know you are out there, guys with a clue about fire fighting, please help us save the firefighters. I am not just talking about the guys on my job (we have our morons too) there are guys all over this land that "get it" please help Stop the madness.

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    No surprise to some....but I could'nt agree more. The job at it's core is still very basic as jftl says. It requiers common sense, some mechanical ability and a willingness to get a little dirty.

    Part of the problems as I see it:

    Like alot of things in this country, alot of aspects of the fire service are being "over-thought". And they are being over-thought by many people who have no business re-inventing the wheel, due to lack of knowlege or experience.

    Another fairly new phenomenom seems to be the inability of a large part of the fire service to be able to think, without seeing it in a book or some directive, SOP, or SOG (even the change from SOP to "SOG" is an example of "over-thinking" it!) Anyone who reads these forums regularly knows that there is constantly threads started asking about "official policies" on everything from tieing your shoes to pancake breakfast's.....and we wonder why there are firefighters out there who cant perform the basic's...let alone handle the curve balls; they've been conditioned not to be able to handle them!

    While this may not be popular with many on these forums....I belive it to be the truth. If we are to do this job with any amount of thought towards the citizens we swore to protect in our cities, any amount dedication to anyone other than ourselves...than yes, injuries will happen...minor and sometimes serious, life-threatening, and non-life threatening. Anyone who thinks this job can be done with any amount of proficiency, and remain unscathed at the end of a long career....is either fooling themselves or a "floor below" firefighter, who is serving nobody but themselves. Those who actually still go into burning buildings will attest, that the very act of operating in that enviorment, can lead to injuries. I truely belive anyone who thinks otherwise has literally never been inside a fire apartment (training fires dont count)

    While my term "pussification" may offend some....I believe it effects the fire service as much as it is effecting every other aspect of life in this country...waterdown, weaken and above all; dont offend anyone.
    Last edited by MattyJ; 04-02-2008 at 10:51 AM.

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    A-men my Brother!!! We are skilled labor, and our trade is not exactly rocket science however many try to make it just that. Water puts most fire out, and we brake stuff to get that task done. And this is all done by putting men into the building. To many people have fallen into the "super safety" mentality.....meaning that every building we go to is in danger of falling down, blowing up, or we will die if we don't have on 6 hoods made from XYZ company, 2 pairs of Bunkers made by XYZ with ABC materials that NASA sent to the moon, God forbid we don't have a 1000000000000 CFM PPV fan with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a fan of that caliber and the $5000000000 apparatus of the same status to carry it. And don't even think of stepping off that rig without being masked up and on air......also be sure to grab that $300000 nozzle that sparys 90 water patterns in a manner never devised before.....Not to mention all the NFPA, OSHA, PESH, NIOSH, ABC, EIEIO codes and what-have-you that will most certainly lead to your death if not followed to the "t".

    I am not saying don't be safe.....I am saying don't be a puss afraid of his shadow on the the fire ground.....being "over-safe" is a hindrance.

    Know your Job
    Know your area and buildings
    Know your limitations
    The fire goes as the first line goes "its the first line stupid"
    Coordinate venting with the engine
    This job takes ballz and a spine...but don't be blind or stupid
    The axe ALWAYS starts
    Know a way out
    Close the door...
    Get home to your family, make sure your Brothers do too.


    These lessons only scratch the surface of whats been passed down to me.....This is what I think about at work...not what gear is better, who makes the prettiest rig, what hose is lighter and has .0005% less friction loss.....
    IACOJ Member

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyJ View Post
    Another fairly new phenomenom seems to be the inability of a large part of the fire service to be able to think, without seeing it in a book or some directive, SOP, or SOG (even the change from SOP to "SOG" is an example of "over-thinking" it!)
    I whole heartily agree with this one! To me these are the worst to work with.

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    Vinnie and Matty hit most of the "causes" of this, but one not mentioned is the lack of fires and the resulting lack of real experience. Too much time sitting reading books or other class room training and not enough time fighting fires. Now before anybody says it, I'm not saying that training is not important, but there's nothing like the real thing. Too many of us (myself included) get most of our experience from books or training burns and not enough real world experience to know when there is a real collapse danger or real flash-over danger.

    The lack of fires also give us too much time to sit around and overthink these issues.

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    this lack of fires..... hmmm


    I know of lots of people who get plenty of fire....


    Lots of people just cant work without being micro-mangaged and are lazy.

    The guy looking for the SOP on opening the door to test small engines. Thats just COMMON SENSE.
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

    "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfTL41 View Post
    When did this country give up the idea of putting the fire out? Application of water from outside of occupied buildings???
    I hope you didnt take what I said as anything but sarcasim.
    Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

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    jfTL41,MattyJ,and Vinnie B, Thank you for saying what needs to be said,
    Seems like a lot of todays ""Firefighters"" tend to make everything a full blown
    incident with 5 Chiefs telling 7 Capts telling 10 Lts telling 40 Firefighters how
    to fight simple room and contents fire, That was handled back in the day with
    a engine and truck, What ever happened to keep it simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    Vinnie and Matty hit most of the "causes" of this, but one not mentioned is the lack of fires and the resulting lack of real experience. Too much time sitting reading books or other class room training and not enough time fighting fires. Now before anybody says it, I'm not saying that training is not important, but there's nothing like the real thing. Too many of us (myself included) get most of our experience from books or training burns and not enough real world experience to know when there is a real collapse danger or real flash-over danger.

    The lack of fires also give us too much time to sit around and overthink these issues.

    While I agree, most places have very few jobs a year to hone their skills, it is still possible to go out every day, and stretch a handline into a real building, in real time, or put a ladder to a roof, climb it and go through the paces of venting (without breaking anything) in real time. Instead of sitting around reading "the books"...get out there and do it. Far too many seem to think number of years "on the job" equates to experience, and know how...something alot of younger firefighters will blindly follow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dashman View Post
    ..... room and contents fire, That was handled back in the day with a engine and truck, What ever happened to keep it simple.
    .
    .
    That changed when orange fireball gloves were replaced by orange reflective vests.
    .

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    J - You already know my feelings on this sad "pussification" trend.

    A lot of this BS starts in the classroom. For example (hypothetically, of course) if you had an instructor preaching crap like "You should only ventilate peaked residential roofs from the safety of the bucket of a tower ladder." Not that anyone would actually say such an absurd thing...right?

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    Anyone that has been on these forums any length of time know that my views are well expressed in the above posts. Especially those from jfTL41, MattyJ, and Vinnie B.
    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
    "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
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    While I agree, most places have very few jobs a year to hone their skills, it is still possible to go out every day, and stretch a handline into a real building, in real time, or put a ladder to a roof, climb it and go through the paces of venting (without breaking anything) in real time. Instead of sitting around reading "the books"...get out there and do it. Far too many seem to think number of years "on the job" equates to experience, and know how...something alot of younger firefighters will blindly follow.
    No arguments here. I've always preferred this type of training over books and video any day.

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    thats why I always like hanging out with the old timers. Anything "new" i ask them about they show me how it was tried in the 60s thru 80s, found to be useless and cast aside. Whats old is new etc etc...

    Granted, you have to be careful with the really old timers because there was a big lack of safety thinking back then. Simple stuff like SCBA usage that can save us, and not effect our ability to fight the fire is simple. That being said, it does seem there are a lot of safety sally's out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dashman View Post
    ................ how
    to fight simple room and contents fire, That was handled back in the day with
    a engine and truck, What ever happened to keep it simple.
    It's still alive here, at least the actual firefighting part.

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    Smile Amen!

    Finally something on this forum worth talking about.......................

    Does anyone feel that the push of "progress" by a lot of our unions and city/ town/ village officials has had a significant contribution to the pussification of the fire service in the good Ole US of A?

    Why cant we form a union to push for tin / leather helmets, sling packs, long coats, 3/4 boots, hookers + booze in the firehouse, booster line as an attack line, 6 MAN companies, laxed fire codes, abolition of sprinklers, seperation of fire + EMS and hiring not based on minority / gender status.

    I figure thats a good start......................................

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    Why cant we form a union to push for tin / leather helmets, sling packs, long coats, 3/4 boots, hookers + booze in the firehouse, booster line as an attack line, 6 MAN companies, laxed fire codes, abolition of sprinklers, seperation of fire + EMS and hiring not based on minority / gender status
    Well trotter has returned....
    If not, another clueless whacker has emerged from the mire, right on schedule.
    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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    A number of us here had a conversation along these lines a couple months back after a really inexperienced, fast track promoted officer essentially burned down a business because he really overreacted to an incomplete report of interior conditions...pulled the interior crews out and went defensive. After we got outside a few of us went to him to voice our opinions that he was going the wrong way and that the conditions inside were not as bad as the other crew made them seem. The "IC" made the statement "I just don't want anybody to get hurt" and we started exterior operations.
    When we took it up the chain of command time after time we were asked "Did anybody get hurt?" "No" Did the property owner have insurance?" "Yes" "Then it was a successful call."
    BOVINE FECES!!!!!
    I told my wife that night if she ever heard me say those words to tell me that instant to hang up by boots for good. I'm all for safety. Safety is a great thing. But don't make safety the scapegoat for not putting properly trained, experienced people in leadership positions.

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    Amen to the posts above...not sure about the one. There is so much of an emphasis to turn us into an "All Hazard/All Emergencies" outfits that the basics get overlooked. When the Dodgers and Orioles were elite, they got back to the basics every spring that would bore even high school players. They even had manuals in both of those organizations for the rookies and the veterans. We need to not be insulted when asked to stretch lines and throw ladders for drill time. There are many ways to make those evolutions interesting.
    I think RIT and RIG or whatever you like to call it, is a great addition to the Service. One thing that is disturbing is the breed of some new members nationwide that jump into this and drill so much on this, some exclusively, that they neglect other areas of training that if they were proficient in, could many times prevent the may day situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfTL41 View Post
    When did this country give up the idea of putting the fire out? All of the dribble on here about PPV, Glow Sticks, tool exhaust on the apparatus floor, Application of water from outside of occupied buildings??? The list could go on and on... ad nauseum.

    Firefighters crawl down hallways and put water on the fire, the water in turn puts out the fire, other firefighters break things to facilitate this operation and search for victims. Pretty simple concept, why is it that so many folks on here (a good cross section of the American fire service) are content with removing the fire fighting concept from the fire service?

    MattyJ refers to "the pussification of the fire service" and I for one, agree and I am very disappointed that it is being allowed to happen.

    Will some of the "lookers" on here chime in, we know you are out there, guys with a clue about fire fighting, please help us save the firefighters. I am not just talking about the guys on my job (we have our morons too) there are guys all over this land that "get it" please help Stop the madness.
    im all for old school firefighting! I would love to feed horses and shovel poop all day long and then work a hand pump and pass buckets hours at a time.

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    When the powers that be dictate everything that you must do, from the color and number of tetrahedrons on your lid, to PASSes for all, because we might go down behind a truck when no one sees, and buying the latest, and greatest toys, while most of the dept has no clue of how to operate at a room and contents fire.
    MICROMANAGEMENT is the enemy.
    Lack of experience is the enemy.
    Not being aggressive enough is the enemy.
    Seeing how one Brother gets hurt, or killed in a freak, once in 100 years accident, and making some absurd policy, but not enforcing seatbelts being worn.
    Having all fog nozzles.
    Reprimanding firemen for breaking a window in a zero visibility, high heat enviroment, because it messes up PPV.
    NFPA changing policies to ensure job security.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLSboy View Post
    MICROMANAGEMENT is the enemy.
    Lack of experience is the enemy.
    Not being aggressive enough is the enemy.
    Complacency is the firefighter's WORST enemy

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    Quote Originally Posted by LFDLT10 View Post
    The "IC" made the statement "I just don't want anybody to get hurt" and we started exterior operations.
    When we took it up the chain of command time after time we were asked "Did anybody get hurt?" "No" Did the property owner have insurance?" "Yes" "Then it was a successful call."
    Ahhhh. The latest twist on "Everyone goes home."

    I wish I could change it to "Why don't you just stay at home."
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Watching the dinosaurs on parade.

    Fires are different than they were 29 years ago, when I started out. Fires burn hotter because our buildings are loaded with synthethics. Fires burn faster. Flashover happens sooner. Synthehics mean more bad stuff which means SCBA at all incidents all the time.

    Building construction is different than it was 20 years ago. They collapse sooner.

    Fires occur substancially less than 20 years ago, which means less experience.

    I'm been around awhile. I have seen the changes. Not all fires need to be fought aggressivly. Not all fires should be fought aggressivly.

    Change is, at times, a good thing. That is the case here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R1SAlum View Post
    I think RIT and RIG or whatever you like to call it, is a great addition to the Service. One thing that is disturbing is the breed of some new members nationwide that jump into this and drill so much on this, some exclusively, that they neglect other areas of training that if they were proficient in, could many times prevent the may day situation.

    Amen to that, brother. Sadly, I have done more RIT/FF rescue training than anything else...
    Probationary Firefighter

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