Content provided by: FirefighterCloseCalls.com..... FIREFIGHTER ON FIRE.... This photo shows a firefighter on fire. The firefighter is intentionally on fire. The firefighter is participating in a demonstration for kids of how to stop, drop and roll. This was conducted inside an occupied elementary school classroom.
Personal Protective Equipment <ul><li>WEAR YOUR PPE: </li></ul><ul><li>-The Better Chance We Have To DO The Job THEY EXPECT US to Do. </li></ul><ul><li>DON'T WEAR YOUR PPE: </li></ul><ul><li>The Better Chance We Have In NOT Doing The Job Successfully And Ending Up In The Burn Unit. </li></ul>
Sure Chief, but it’s….. "Partial" PPE?....yep, it's hot out and whatever other excuses we have. But we gotta take care of "us" before we take care of "them"....
The Big Picture <ul><li>Sure, like ALL of us, this FD has the best intentions in the world...but SOMEONE isn't looking at the BIG PICTURE! As you can see, one firefighter is on the ladder with a "booster line" WITHOUT BUNKER PANTS, and the crew below him just opened up the window directly below the ladder. SO... DO WE HAVE A PREDICTABLE OUTCOME? Yeah! And what is predictable: </li></ul><ul><li>The fire will roll out that window, burn his ass and then once again, a firefighter, one of "our own" is admitted to THE BURN UNIT. "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" is a great song and wonderful for the holidays-but NOT on the fireground. </li></ul><ul><li>BOOSTER line? WHY do we even HAVE booster lines anymore?... high $$$ cost to the apparatus and low water flow capability makes it worth strongly reconsidering when specing apparatus. </li></ul><ul><li>His "brother and sister" firefighters are flowing THEIR handline into the vented area, predictably pushing the fire right back in, spreading it into the house, endangering any interior firefighters and maybe even pushing it out the window-back onto our "slacks wearing" friend at that window. </li></ul><ul><li>A few things to CONSIDER : </li></ul><ul><li>All firefighters wearing ALL of their gear and SCBA. </li></ul><ul><li>Ladder placement-this ladder is right in front of the window which blocks the window as well as potentially placing a firefighter (gear or no gear) directly in line with the venting fire. </li></ul><ul><li>Strict line management to insure the use of our lines does NOT work AGAINST US. </li></ul><ul><li>Strict Command and Control so fire operations are coordinated to benefit our SAFETY and our ABILITY to do what the public expects us to do. </li></ul>AVOID: "CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE!!"
SCBA Does Not Stand For: Shit!!! Can I Breathe this Air ?..... ..........WEAR YOUR MASK ! YES! WEAR SCBA's... but wear your BUNKER GEAR AS WELL to insure that YOU are as well cared for as the people you are trying to help.
How many firefighters does it take??? <ul><li>BE SURE TO ASK AND/OR KNOW: </li></ul><ul><li>WHERE ARE YOU POSITIONED?.... </li></ul><ul><li>WHY ARE YOU POSITIONED THERE?... </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT IS SUPPORTING YOU?........AND </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT ARE YOUR STRATEGIC OR TACTICAL REASONS FOR BEING WHERE YOU ARE? </li></ul><ul><li>HOW WILL YOU ESCAPE THE AREA YOU ARE OPERATING IN? </li></ul>
Ladder Placement..... <ul><li>Firefighters are reminded in this photo of the importance of the seeing the "BIG PICTURE" ...Roof operations require a way up... and also a way down! </li></ul><ul><li>Just from a FIREFIGHTER PROTECTION STANDPOINT , it is important for the OIC to make sure the members have a way OFF the roof...as well as making sure that there are enough-or perhaps too many-members operating on the roof. </li></ul><ul><li>Safety Officers, Ops Chiefs or Sector Officers must be assigned to insure that the members on the roof have someone looking out for them while they work their tasks. Someone who can see THE BIG PICTURE. </li></ul>
Look Up... BEWARE OF WHAT IS ABOVE YOU! This is a structure fire involving this house and an 88 year old woman who perished in the fire. My guys were doing an interior attack when I (as the IC) noticed the roof failing. They were backing out, due to conditions changing inside and we sounded the air horn evacuation order also. After the "smoke began to clear" we noticed this interesting flue on this home. We can only guess the builder/owner had it constructed like that for looks. It's stability was checked with a VERY LONG pike pole and I stationed a safety officer to keep watch on it during overhaul as well as to watch over the police investigators safety during their work. I thought is was a neat picture that shows hidden dangers in some construction and maybe you could use it also. TAKING CARE OF "OUR OWN" WHILE OPERATING...
and Down! <ul><li>Ladder placement is critical-be sure to look and see "what might happen" prior to, or following the placement of, your ladder. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in mind the questions of: ...where IS the fire, where WAS the fire and where WILL the fire be going....and use that info to determine your most effective, safest actions. </li></ul><ul><li>Also: A firefighter footing the ladder, in addition to stabilizing, also provides us w/another set of EYES and EARS to protect those operating on the ladder...and helps us all see " the BIG picture "... </li></ul>
Off the Roof <ul><li>FFCC.Com Notes: Although this firefighter ended up with no injuries-the results could have been tragic. </li></ul><ul><li>This FF was performing ventilation. </li></ul><ul><li>Members operating on roofs are reminded at ALL TIMES to use extreme caution and insure a SAFE means of egress. </li></ul>Our Sincere Thanks to Thomas Bishop of Fire Photo News . FIREFIGHTER FALLS FROM ROOF - 4/28/04
Vent is a Vent A VENT IS TO ALLOW THE FIRE, HEAT AND GASES TO ESCAPE... so WE or the VICTIMS have a better chance. FFCC.Com Notes: Although there are some VERY RARE circumstances where a hose line may be directed by the IC into a vent hole... (such as to protect a firefighter stuck in that specific area or when we "write the building off")... but it is VERY rare. Why? We vent to let "the bad stuff out". So when a hose line is directed into that hole we are interfering with the VENTING process as well as causing potential DANGER to our crews operating inside. We may get away with it a few times but eventually, like all "Close Calls or worse..." it will bite us in the ass. Let the interior crews knock the fire after the roof crews open up... with strong COMMAND, CONTROL and Accountability by the bosses. ADDITIONALLY: WHAT IS coming out of your vent hole? Nasty shit. Wear your mask so you don't
Ventilation <ul><li>► No question that ROOF (vertical) ventilation plays a critical role in the job we do. </li></ul><ul><li>BUT-how many firefighters do we need to send up to the roof on a SFD? (Single family dwelling). </li></ul><ul><li>What about a roof ladder for those up there? </li></ul><ul><li>How many DOES it take? LOOK at the dwellings in YOUR community and pre-think (that’s like pre-planning-only it doesn't take fancy forms or expensive computers) how many YOU need to put a good sized hole (4 x4 or larger). </li></ul><ul><li>DRILL for that task...and once the hole is made--get off the roof! </li></ul><ul><li>IC's - LOOK at the big picture. </li></ul><ul><li>Where are your people?... </li></ul><ul><li>Where is the fire?... </li></ul><ul><li>Where is it going?... </li></ul><ul><li>What’s under them?... </li></ul><ul><li>What’s holding them up and </li></ul><ul><li>How are they getting out-safely? </li></ul>The Roof Is a Popular Place!
The Roof SOMETIMES WE JUST SHAKE OUR HEADS... Someone wrote us a few weeks ago and said to light'n up on some of this stuff. Yeah-OK, we'll get right on it. We are glad that letters like that are very, very rare. As long as this kinda stuff keeps going on-we'll be busy on this site for a long time to come. Almost everyone knows that this site is dedicated to the PREVENTION of FIREFIGHTER INJURY AND DEATH. The stuff we write and the photos we use are here to LEARN FROM. Often, we write a CAPTION so these shots can be used for training-and to make specific points about FIREFIGHTER SAFETY. And then there are times when we don't have to write ANY caption. This would be one of those cases. WHAT THE @$#^% !?!! WHO is looking out for the BIG picture here? And what do you suppose the firefighter BEHIND him, fully bunkered and SCBA'd up is thinking? Yeah-thats what we thought too. Part 2 - In one moment...things can turn UGLY ... So keep your gear on until out of the danger zone!!
Working Fire (1 of 3) FFCC.Com Notes: Here is a recent working fire. USE these photos for discussion & TRAINING at your FD to determine how your FD would handle this fire.
Working Fire (2 of 3) <ul><li>What type of Construction is involved? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Occupancy and where are the occupants? What is the Life Hazard (along w/occupancy)....Where are the people who live here? How will you find them and how will you get them out? Who will TREAT any injuries? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Apparatus and Staffing that is responding. It is always MUCH easier to return companies not needed than needing them "NOW" and having to wait! HOW QUICK can you get the needed companies? MATCH the reported fire with appropriate response, staffing and apparatus thru pre-plans and dispatch procedures. PREDETERMINE the tasks needed (before the fire)! and then apply the amount of firefighters (and apparatus) needed for each task... THAT'S a good start to help plan your needed STAFFING which directly contributes to firefighter SAFETY and SURVIVAL! </li></ul><ul><li>What Assignments would the companies be given? What Sectors would be established? </li></ul><ul><li>Water Supply...What Flows are available? What size lines will be used for supply and attack? Will your lines reach the fire? What master streams are ready and easily usable? </li></ul>Some considerations include:
Working Fire (3 of 3) <ul><li>Are there any Auxiliary Appliances available such as standpipes and sprinkler system? </li></ul><ul><li>What's the Structural Condition prior due the fire-and due to the fire. Where IS the fire now?...Where WAS the fire (deterioration) and where IS the fire GOING to be in 1 minute, 5 minutes or 15 minutes? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there any Weather Conditions effecting fire operations? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the Exposures to the fire? </li></ul><ul><li>What Area Size of the area involved in or effected by the fire? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Height of the building and do you have MORE THAN Appropriate Apparatus and Crews on the scene or on the way to deal with that consideration? </li></ul><ul><li>What about REHAB and Additional Firefighters that may be needed? </li></ul>Some additional considerations: <ul><li>THE ABOVE ARE AMONGST SEVERAL CRITICAL TACTICAL COMMAND AND CONTROL CONSIDERATIONS THAT MUST BE MADE IN ORDER TO EFFECTIVELY AND SAFELY OPERATE. IT'S EASY TO JUST LOOK AT (these or any) PICTURES....BUT THE BETTER ACTION TO TAKE IS TO LOOK AT PICTURES AND APPLY WHAT YOU SEE TO HOW YOUR FIRE DEPARTMENT WILL HANDLE THE FIRE. </li></ul>
Overhaul <ul><li>Some of the WORST smoke is present during overhaul..... Wearing PPE...INCLUDING SCBA can allow firefighters to be around long enough to enjoy grandchildren. </li></ul><ul><li>Yeah, It’s just overhaul… but wear your gear! </li></ul><ul><li>Sure - After a working fire, we all wanna take the stuff OFF. But we can't let our guard down and by taking it off--we do! And we then GET HURT. </li></ul><ul><li>If it takes extra crews coming in to relieve the FF's, so be it. But do WHATEVER IT TAKES to make sure everyone is properly protected while operating. </li></ul>
Electricity After all, how do we justify this to a firefighters family.... Firemen pull a power line Monday from Jared Johnson's new Mazda on Washington Avenue in downtown. Johnson said he saw a transformer sparking, then a power line whipped onto his car. He waited in the car about 45 minutes before his rescuers cleared the line. Owen Riley Jr./Staff After all, how do we justify this to a firefighters family.... USE EXTREME CAUTION.....AND WEIGH THE RISK VS. THE BENEFIT OF FIREFIGHTERS ACTIONS....
Vehicle Fires This was a car fire on the side of the road. The car was pretty much fully involved, and the people were out already. It was in July 2005, during the day, and apparently manpower is a problem in this area. The gentleman in the green shirt worked for the town DOT and drove the truck to the scene and didn't even have bunker gear. The guy in the gear came in his own car, and the flip flop guy wasn't even in an active department (x-air force firefighter). <ul><li>Chief? Company Officer? Firefighter? Your status and rank doesn't mean crap in the burn unit....so.... </li></ul><ul><li>Use caution and protect yourself.. No matter how hot the weather may be! </li></ul><ul><li>...So wear all of your PPE to maintain your status! </li></ul>Steve Pekar Photo WHY TAKE THE CHANCE?
Construction <ul><li>WHAT YOU SEE MAY NOT BE WHAT YOU GET! </li></ul><ul><li>Sure-this building appears to be a "standard" commercial building... NO SUCH THING! SURPRISE!!!!! NOW look what we would be dealing with! WITHOUT preplanning and building walk thru's by the FIREFIGHTERS and OFFICERS who will actually responding, NO ONE would have a clue as to what was above them while fighting a fire at this building... until it is possibly too late! Information and knowledge AHEAD OF TIME is one of the KEY INGREDIENTS to "EVERYONE GOING HOME" after the run. </li></ul>
Learn your areas <ul><li>When is the last time YOU took your crews out-and LOOKED and LEARNED about the construction types that are designed with everyone... BUT FIREFIGHTERS in mind? Don't think for second that builders actually give a damn about FIREFIGHTER safety... that's your problem. They could care less... yeah pal, it's ALL up to you! So... whatcha gonna do? </li></ul><ul><li>Get out there now... yeah, right now! Take your inexperienced firefighters and educate them on BUILDING CONSTRUCTION by looking and reading the articles as well as Chief Frank Brannigan’s book! You don't have his book? E-mail us and we'll tell you HOW to get it. </li></ul>When Firefighters don't think, or don't know... WHO is watching the BIG picture to look out for them? That's why COMMAND is established... but it must be taken seriously-and that means after the fire is declared "under control" as well. THE BIG picture IS all our responsibilty-but "the buck stops" with whoever is running the fire.
360 ° Walk Arounds <ul><li>What’s up front may not be around back! If you were to see only one side of this building, and had F/F's lost, which1st floor are they really lost on (SIDE 'A' or SIDE 'C'), and why can't we seem to find them? Planning ahead is the best way to manage this: </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-Plans that are simple and easy to access-and understand. </li></ul><ul><li>A 360 walk around so you have a clear idea of what you are dealing with. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify on the radio what is SIDE A, (and the related sides) so it is CLEAR to all on the fireground... and everyone is reading off the "same sheet of music". </li></ul>WHY DO A 360 WALK-A-ROUND?
Training <ul><li>Require PPE....Even When Training. </li></ul>As one reader recently suggested maybe we should just start a "wear your PPE" gallery....and then she wrote: "Why Is It So Hard To Get FF's To Just WEAR IT"? Photos by Stephen Takacs
Training <ul><li>FIREFIGHTER PPE....ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF WHY IT MATTERS </li></ul><ul><li>On 6/17/2005, these firefighters were at a drill on the roof prop. This firefighter was rolling rafters when the chain saw hit a nail that must have been only in the sheeting. He was in full PPE with eye protection when the nail slid by the goggles and was embedded 1/2" into the bridge of his nose right between the eye...see photos below. </li></ul><ul><li>They took him to the hospital and they took a CT and found that the nail was into the bone fracturing it ....but no other problem. The nail was removed and he was sent home. He worked the next day. Our thanks to the Montebello, CA FD for this information. </li></ul>
ROOKIE ON THE HYDRANT… WHY WE WILL ALWAYS HAVE PLENTY TO DO IN THIS BUSINESS... WHY ROADWAY BARRIERS SHOULDN'T BE IGNORED
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