As you will see elsewhere at Firehouse.Com, there are some updated articles on Friday's tragic death of heroic Cincinnati Firefighter Oscar Armstrong. There is no funeral or related services information available yet -- check Firehouse.Com for updates. In the related articles, the writer states that "it is unclear how Armstrong got out of the house" but according to the FF's and Fire Officers we spoke to yesterday, he was removed by other firefighters attempting to rescue him and save his life. As described in the related articles, he was caught in a "flashover" and, as you can imagine, it was a very, very horrific, emotional and dramatic scene according to the FF's and Officer's we spoke with yesterday.
We offer our deepest thoughts, prayers and condolences to the family and especially the Children of FF Oscar Armstrong, Chief Bobby Wright, IAFF Local 48 and the Men and Women of the Cincinnati F.D.
The Cincinnati FD is an excellent, well staffed, well trained and very safety conscious Department-recently initiating an outstanding "Advanced" RIT Team (RAT) program (upgrading their previous RIT program) focused on FIREFIGHTER safety and rescue response. Local 48 has an aggressive SAFETY COMMITTEE that works with the CFD Leadership and has a very clear focus on the health and well being of the Cincinnati FIREFIGHTERS...constantly vigilant to insure their members safety is # 1. Think and compare that to your FD and those that respond with you.....
- When was the last time your F.D. did RIT and firefighter RESCUE related training?
- When was the last time that your FD trained with the other Fire Companies that your Department responds with?
- When was the last time that existing SOP's and SOG's were reviewed to insure that they are up to date, relevant, timely and trainable by your firefighters? A 60+ page SOP is not something FF's can generally be trained on. Simple, 2-3 page "written so we can figure out what you are talking about" SOP's that are relevant and describe the FD's procedures and expectations seem to make the most sense. Sometimes even a few drawings and pictures as a part of the SOP's help make the point-and educate the FF.
As we say: "Spend More Time TRAINING...Train To Honor The Memory Of Those Who Died In The Line Of Duty"........this is an EXCELLENT time to dust off your training materials and videos on FLASHOVER and make sure that every firefighter you are responsible for is aware, educated and ALERT on the hazards and warning signs of a flashover....and how IT CAN happen to them.
In addition to the many printed materials that are out there, there are two videos that are a MUST for your FD. They are both by Firehouse Contributing Editor and FDNY Deputy Chief (Ret.) Vincent Dunn -- one is called FLASHOVER and the other is BACKDRAFT. If you don't have these -- get'em.
Make sure that your firefighters are trained, aware and familiar with either of these fireground occurrence. There is often confusion and mis-information on "flashover", "rollover" and "backdraft"....These videos make it REAL CLEAR and should be reviewed "at least" annually by every member of your Department. I can't over emphasize the importance of these two tapes...and related qualified training on FLASHOVER.
Tell your troops that "today's training is in honor and in the memory of our Brother, Cincinnati Firefighter Oscar Armstrong." ...and then let them know what happened ... and who Oscar was by sharing this information with them.
Again, We offer our deepest thoughts, prayers and condolences to the family and especially the Children of Firefighte Oscar Armstrong, Chief Bobby Wright, IAFF Local 48 and the Men and Women of the Cincinnati Fire Department.