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  • #31
    I disagree with the statements that some depts. have little choice. Training is not that hard to come by --- you just have to have the "want to "
    Limited manpower -yes --- limited resources - yes -- but lack of training - no excuse
    ?

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    • #32
      I call it keeping the boys unhurt and alive.
      We can agree on this...

      Do not confuse proactive with bravery or defense with fear. That is not what I am suggesting here.

      I do understand lack of resource and I have seen departments function with very little with amazing results. Been there and done that.

      In those situations there are not many choices, and, that I agree with you. But this is still not what I am talking about.

      I am referring to lack of understanding, lack of knowledge, lack of how to utilize resource... As you suggest, it is out of their hands many times, but it seems that there is a general watering down of the skill set and expectations. In some communites, there is no expectations because there is nothing to work with. But in other communites that have fantastic fleets and well-trained people, I also see no expectations.

      The comment on building materials is noted, and rightly plays into consideration. Fires ramp up quicker and hotter than in years past. The structural integrity is compromised earlier if not mitigated early.

      But even considering this, I or my Officers will not move to defense without certain satisfaction that it is the only course. And of course, firefighter safety is of upmost importance.



      For the record, I have not hurt or killed anyone yet. But... it is still early in my career.
      HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
        If your do scared to do the job you signed up for then it’s time to let someone else to it.

        Bottom line, if you're not scared, I'm worried.

        This job has nothing to do with overcoming fear or proving to the other guys that your are not too scared to do the job.

        This job is about sizing up the situation, your resources, and your and your crew's capabilities based on your training and experience, and then taking the appropriatte risks given the benefits v. those risks.

        You call it bull****.

        I call it keeping the boys unhurt and alive.

        That is the responsibility of the company officer, on the company level and the command officer. They are the ones that are going to have to answer if something goes south.
        I guess you missed the point about our command not sending us in when they don't think it safe. My point was that to many won't go in on a room and contents or something is less than 50% involved. Our command staff will NOT put us in on something that is fully involved or something shows signs of being overly dangerous. I think that every person will agree that the crew's saftey is the most important thing on any scene.

        If someone is on the command staff and are to scared to send a crew in on a room and contents then they need to either go back to being a firefighter until they figure it out or find another job.

        You can cry lack of training all you want. There is to many training tools in this day and age to use that line anymore. Lack of training is nothing more than lack of leadership.
        Last edited by rm1524; 07-27-2010, 09:06 PM.

        Comment


        • #34
          If someone is on the command staff and are to scared to send a crew in on a room and contents then they need to either go back to being a firefighter until they figure it out or find another job.

          I have no idea regarding the on your department. Bottom line, what type of attack the crew will make is the officer's call, not the line firefighters. The officer is the one that is responsible for answering to the next person on the food chain, not the firefighters. The officer is the one that will be in court, either way.

          Is it the right call? Maybe yes. Maybe no. But the bottom line is the officer is responsible for making that call. With all due respect, maybe the firefighters who don't beleive the officer is right are the ones that should be thinking about a career change, as obviously they have a problem with the whole para-military change of command thingee. There are factors that you, or the firefighters may not be aware of.

          There are times that you may not like the officer's decsion, but in the end, it is his decision, and only his.

          You can cry lack of training all you want. There is to many training tools in this day and age to use that line anymore. Lack of training is nothing more than lack of leadership.


          I have no idea where you are, what size your department is, what your training budget is or what type of state programs are offered. I can say that I have served in some states with some very poor - almost non-existent - fire training programs. I can also say that some states have offered courses, but at significant cost, such as my current state, LA .

          I can slso say that many training programs represent the entire training budget for a year for a rural VFD.

          Yes, there are excuses for have problems developing a training program. I have the t-shirt to prove it.
          Last edited by LaFireEducator; 07-27-2010, 11:07 PM.
          Train to fight the fires you fight.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
            If someone is on the command staff and are to scared to send a crew in on a room and contents then they need to either go back to being a firefighter until they figure it out or find another job.

            I have no idea regarding the on your department. Bottom line, what type of attack the crew will make is the officer's call, not the line firefighters. The officer is the one that is responsible for answering to the next person on the food chain, not the firefighters. The officer is the one that will be in court, either way.

            Is it the right call? Maybe yes. Maybe no. But the bottom line is the officer is responsible for making that call. With all due respect, maybe the firefighters who don't beleive the officer is right are the ones that should be thinking about a career change, as obviously they have a problem with the whole para-military change of command thingee. There are factors that you, or the firefighters may not be aware of.

            There are times that you may not like the officer's decsion, but in the end, it is his decision, and only his.

            You can cry lack of training all you want. There is to many training tools in this day and age to use that line anymore. Lack of training is nothing more than lack of leadership.


            I have no idea where you are, what size your department is, what your training budget is or what type of state programs are offered. I can say that I have served in some states with some very poor - almost non-existent - fire training programs. I can also say that some states have offered courses, but at significant cost, such as my current state, LA .

            I can slso say that many training programs represent the entire training budget for a year for a rural VFD.

            Yes, there are excuses for have problems developing a training program. I have the t-shirt to prove it.
            I'm not refering to my department but to some that I have been on scene with. I have NO problem with how my department operates. I think that I have made that clear.

            Your right, it falls on the officer to make the call for the type of attack, but I can tell you that most of our firefighters can tell the type of attack that we will be making when we pull up. It falls back to training. We all listen and follow the orders of command. I never said that we freelance. For us there is very few ways to be in the office faster than to freelance. We are afforded the right to back out if we see something that is going to get us hurt. No questions asked. Our command staff would prefer that we err on the side of caution than get hurt.

            There are to many on-line classes for free to keep playing the lack of training card. You can use youtube as training tool. There are many departments that post on there for others to learn from. It can be used for basic to officer level. Just depends if you want to invest the effort to find the stuff and figure out how to use it for your department.

            Comment


            • #36
              Everyone loves that Edward F. Croker quotation, "I have no ambition in this world but one, such and such......" If you love that quotation and think our job isn't to save lives and property, maybe you should read the whole thing because there is this little passage:

              "There is an adage which says that, "Nothing can be destroyed except by fire." We strive to preserve from destruction the wealth of the world which is the product of the industry of men, necessary for the comfort of both the rich and the poor. We are defenders from fires of the art which has beautified the world, the product of the genius of men and the means of refinement of mankind. (But, above all; our proudest endeavor is to save lives of men-the work of God Himself."

              Comment


              • #37
                nameless.... well played sir, well played.
                HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

                Comment


                • #38
                  I think the real issue is people need to start doing SCENE SIZE UP

                  How many fires have you all been on where no one does a 360 of the house or apartment?

                  I'm guilty

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by BW21 View Post
                    I think the real issue is people need to start doing SCENE SIZE UP

                    How many fires have you all been on where no one does a 360 of the house or apartment?

                    I'm guilty
                    Indeed.

                    There have certainly been situations where a failure to do a scene size-up has been a factor.

                    The double LODD incident in Coltrain Twonship comes to mind, where the lack of a 360 was a huge factor in deaths of the firefighters.

                    Continueing 360s by command are also critical and often not performed.
                    Train to fight the fires you fight.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Capt790 View Post
                      I agree with what that Lt. from a big city in New York said: "A culture of extinguishment will bring about safety."

                      Let me ask this though: I see a lot of disparaging remarks here and in other places about officers with a lot of training and certifications but little experience. While this may apply to an urban department that goes to a lot of fires, what about the small rural & suburban departments that only go to one or two fires a year at most? Should only their 20 or 30 year members be officers? What if those members have in essence repeated their first year 20 or 30 times?

                      Is training an adequate substitute when the opportunities for experience just aren't there?
                      Adequate? NO! However, in lieu of actual experience, I'd say extensive training will generally be much better than little or no training.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                        Indeed.

                        There have certainly been situations where a failure to do a scene size-up has been a factor.

                        The double LODD incident in Coltrain Twonship comes to mind, where the lack of a 360 was a huge factor in deaths of the firefighters.

                        Continueing 360s by command are also critical and often not performed.
                        That was actually Colerain (OH) Township.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
                          Adequate? NO! However, in lieu of actual experience, I'd say extensive training will generally be much better than little or no training.
                          Herein lies part of the problem- Adequate experience. It is estimated that in order to replace a 20-year veteran, it will take a new guy 30 years to gain the same amount of experience.

                          While I tend to agree with what much of Ray McCormack had to say in his presentation, I think he was a bit on the wreckless side. What FDNY does and how they fight fire cannot be replicated by more than a handful of departments in the US. NY is built where people are stacked on top of people, and they have adapted their operations to fit that. They are aggressive and experienced at that type of operation.

                          What I have heard several rookies take out of McCormack's words were that we are becoming a bunch of pansies and we're letting safety override our "job". These are the same rookies that wear their helmet earflaps up so they can "feel the heat on their ears and no when it's too hot to be inside", despite the fact they've only been in a dozen fires and are too wound up on adrenalin to even realize their ears are blistered until they're in rehab.

                          What I took out of McCormack's presentation was that we are not as aggressive as we used to be. Since when did the term "defensive" come to apply all exterior operations? When did interior operations become the ONLY means to really fight fire? On many occassions I've arrived at a fire and made an exterior attack and shifted into an interior. It's not hard. I've seen younger officers take similar fires and make a weak exterior attack and wrote the building off because it was too involved to make an interior attack when they could have been aggressive, knocked it down, and then went in for the kill.

                          There's a couple of factors that often get lost out of this type of discussion. Firefighters work off of recognition-primed decision-making. When we see something it creates a slide in our mind. If we have that slide already in our mind, we recognize it and it primes our decisions based on the outcome of that last slide. I do not have the slides the guys retiring now have, and the guys coming on now don't have the slides I do. It will take me half again as long to get all the slides the guys retiring now got in their 20 years, and it will take half again as long for the new kids to get mine.

                          "Safety" and "aggressiveness" can go hand-in-hand. We have not found a new way to kill ourselves in 200 years that I'm aware of, yet we keep making the same mistakes. Everytime a firefighter dies, you can find an error chain where something wasn't noticed and it progressed to the point that the fatality occurred. I.e., someone didn't notice the weak floor that collapsed, someone didn't notice the need for a seatbelt, someone didn't notice the indicators of flashover.

                          Experience is everything, yet training enhances that experience. Real-world training builds those slides for us to go back on. The problem is, we can't do "real world" fire training anymore. Now we must stick these new guys with experienced officers that will mentor them and make those slides stick in their head by using a real fire as a training opportunity instead of putting out the fire then going back to the station and sitting in the recliner.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            training will never replace experence -- but the more training you have , you will get more benefit out of the actual incidents where you gain experence. Sort of like putting in the last few pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
                            Training is too easy to aquire now days to use lack of it as an excuse to lay back.
                            -
                            ?

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Catch22 View Post
                              Herein lies part of the problem- Adequate experience. It is estimated that in order to replace a 20-year veteran, it will take a new guy 30 years to gain the same amount of experience.

                              While I tend to agree with what much of Ray McCormack had to say in his presentation, I think he was a bit on the wreckless side. What FDNY does and how they fight fire cannot be replicated by more than a handful of departments in the US. NY is built where people are stacked on top of people, and they have adapted their operations to fit that. They are aggressive and experienced at that type of operation.

                              What I have heard several rookies take out of McCormack's words were that we are becoming a bunch of pansies and we're letting safety override our "job". These are the same rookies that wear their helmet earflaps up so they can "feel the heat on their ears and no when it's too hot to be inside", despite the fact they've only been in a dozen fires and are too wound up on adrenalin to even realize their ears are blistered until they're in rehab.

                              What I took out of McCormack's presentation was that we are not as aggressive as we used to be. Since when did the term "defensive" come to apply all exterior operations? When did interior operations become the ONLY means to really fight fire? On many occassions I've arrived at a fire and made an exterior attack and shifted into an interior. It's not hard. I've seen younger officers take similar fires and make a weak exterior attack and wrote the building off because it was too involved to make an interior attack when they could have been aggressive, knocked it down, and then went in for the kill.

                              There's a couple of factors that often get lost out of this type of discussion. Firefighters work off of recognition-primed decision-making. When we see something it creates a slide in our mind. If we have that slide already in our mind, we recognize it and it primes our decisions based on the outcome of that last slide. I do not have the slides the guys retiring now have, and the guys coming on now don't have the slides I do. It will take me half again as long to get all the slides the guys retiring now got in their 20 years, and it will take half again as long for the new kids to get mine.

                              "Safety" and "aggressiveness" can go hand-in-hand. We have not found a new way to kill ourselves in 200 years that I'm aware of, yet we keep making the same mistakes. Everytime a firefighter dies, you can find an error chain where something wasn't noticed and it progressed to the point that the fatality occurred. I.e., someone didn't notice the weak floor that collapsed, someone didn't notice the need for a seatbelt, someone didn't notice the indicators of flashover.

                              Experience is everything, yet training enhances that experience. Real-world training builds those slides for us to go back on. The problem is, we can't do "real world" fire training anymore. Now we must stick these new guys with experienced officers that will mentor them and make those slides stick in their head by using a real fire as a training opportunity instead of putting out the fire then going back to the station and sitting in the recliner.
                              I agree with most of this, however my comment was directed specifically to the "low opportunity" for experience crowd. Without the regular ability to get that "real world" experience, training is the only avenue that can start to overcome that.

                              Mentoring is great, however if your veterans have little real world experience, then you likely won't reap much benefit from the process in terms of relaying that real world experience.

                              I would tend to agree with the recognition-primed decision making theory and the lack of "slides" to pull from for some. To me, this is clear in some of the "what would you do?" threads that come up. A picture gets posted of a decent sized SFD with fire venting from a couple of windows and a lot of smoke pouring out and we see initial tactics being thrown around like hitting it with the deck gun or pulling a 2-1/2 line when more than likely this fire could be (and has been) quickly knocked down by an experienced attack crew and a single 1-3/4 line.

                              If you don't see much fire, then I suppose having 2 rooms off upon arrival is a "big fire" and you may not realize just how much fire the smaller line can put out when properly applied.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Well stated Catch22.

                                Because we do have a lack of opportunity to live drill new people, they must rely on the old veterans to provide guidance. But in departments that have gutted the roster in favor of new younger blood, this asset does not exist. I have found this to be very true in my last three assignments. Lots of wall paper, but no real experience.

                                What you are left with are very cautious commanders that lack the experience and the aggressive nature. They almost always lean to defense if they have not seen this before. Aggressiveness does not automatically translate to recklessness. There is a distinct difference.

                                Your comment about beginning your knock down on the exterior is key to the debate. This is where it must begin, unless you have no access to start there, say a interior room with little extension. We almost always fight our way in. Once we can see what is inside, we formulate a new opinion about what we are dealing with, then change accordingly. If we are effective, we drive on. If it looks like the situation is dire, we retreat. But what I interpret might not be what you interpret.

                                I have good reason to not risk my people. I was the guy that became the human torch. I didn't like it then, and I doubt I would like it in the future. I don't want any Firefighter to deal with that pain and suffering. But that doesn't mean I will not push an attack. My entrapment was due to a very poor command decision to deploy 9 people at once in a three story dwelling. There was only a few left to pry us out when the thing went to hell and collapsed in my sector. My team mates were basically hurled out of the only door, but regrouped to fight back to me. 7 guys were injured in that one moment, but I was the only one trapped and burned. I have a damn good reason to be cautious.

                                Those of us older guys base our decision making on past knowledge and have the advantage of seeing and dealing with things that many of the newer, younger bunch have not experienced. So what looks like a simple deal to us, looks like a five alarm to a young inexperienced commander.

                                I was really impressed to learn that a well placed stream of water actually puts out the fire. Duh! Well if you don't put the stream where you need it, then you don't put out the fire. That seems pretty simple, but we all mostly know that it is not that easy. You first have to get there and make your own vantage or attack point to find success.

                                I have nothing against safety... hell I preached it everyday. But you also have to use your head. I have seen guys doing everything right, but leaning to cautious and safety, still get their butt handed to them. If we do not try to push the envelop, then why bother at all? We cannot save everything, but that should not cause us to migrate to a platform of "let it burn.... I don't want to risk getting a hang nail."

                                Your illustration of the slides is a keen observation and I appreciate it. I don't know how we solve all of the issues and this command thing. There has never been anything easy about this job. But this debate does bring to the forefront, that in fact, we have dumbed down the job with many taking the easy course. If it was easy, then our losses would be zero. Well we have along ways to go, but we are marching that direction... one step forward and two steps back.

                                It takes no particluar knowledge or skillset to position for a defensive fire posture. Humans have been doing that for thousands of years. That is not what we were meant to do.

                                And please do not confuse this with departments that do not have adquate resources, manpower or funding by no fault of their own. I am certain they are doing the best they can. But there is room for improvement everywhere, every department, every firefighter.
                                HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL

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