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Building Construction in Relation to Fireground Operations

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  • Building Construction in Relation to Fireground Operations

    No doubt this won't last long but for the sake of information I figured I'd try. Chief Gonzo has already given me a slice of information but I figured this would be a great format to exchange ideas.

    List a few buildings in your area that pose a unique obstacle/fire hazard/ etc. Discuss both your departments plan and your plan. No arguing, if its not done the way you'd do it, oh well. Suggestions are more than welcomed, they are encouraged.

    This is one skill I am trying to build up and would like to tap into the knowledge here so I'll start it off.

    In a heavy residential area we have a National Guard armory and training facility.
    Approx land size (total of land taken up): 800'x 1320'
    Alpha=heavy traffic blvd
    Bravo= residential area (spans multiple blocks with backyards AND homes up to property lines)
    Charlie= a baseball field, really.
    Delta= entrance road, 12' high fence, then an expansive city park with a one way park road that meanders anywhere between 1-40' to property line.

    The building make up consists of nearly all building construction types.

    The Barracks are type 1 as they were the original sole building. There is a gym which was built later on and appears to be type 2 with a weight concern as the A/C units for the facility are all stored upon it. A vietnam era built two story office mainly consisting of type 3 construction sits in the back by a munitions/ armory that I know is type 4. Around 1990, they built a training platform and tower and covered (encased really) the armory in concrete. As far as I know, it is still heavy timber with a concrete shell. There are both covered and semi covered military vehicle locations throughout each posing their own risks. All buildings are connected by a row of offices and such recently built and obvious type 5. A few of these buildings are sprinklered.

    My main concern is, while I'm fairly new under my departments standards (sub 5 years), they are slow on officers training so mitigation of scenes isn't my forte'. I'd like to know, basically, how to tackle this monster.

    It's obvious without seeing or knowing what we have to work with (building and response-wise) it'll be difficult to say so if tomorrow you wake up and this is on fire in your district, what would
    you do
    your concerns be
    any tidbits you'd like to throw out








    Hopefully this thread stays drama free and I'd be more than willing to get out with a camera and post up pictures for discussion.


    Thanks!
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  • #2
    Where are the closest hydrants? That will make a some decisions easier to handle and formulate.
    -Rob
    Greater love has no man than to lay his life down for a friend.

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    • #3
      And.....

      I'm with Rob. Quite often, a Variation in Available resources will have a greater impact on Strategy and Tactics than the Structure itself. Water Supply, Staffing, Apparatus available, all bring a lot to the table when you're planning your moves at an incident. I'm Lucky that I have a "Bottomless Well" to draw from with both Water and Apparatus, while staffing isn't too bad either. If absolutely everything goes wrong, I'll still have 4 Engines, 2 Ladders, and a Heavy Rescue with 15 people. Normal Staffing is more like 35, sometimes up to 45. There is a huge difference in going after"A couple of rooms off on the 3rd floor" with 15 people as opposed to the same job with, say, 35. I'm sure there are places that do the same with less staffing, and I feel for them........
      Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
      In memory of
      Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
      Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

      IACOJ Budget Analyst

      I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

      www.gdvfd18.com

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      • #4


        Plugs flow 1300-1700 gpms. Those three will be higher as they are 2000 feet or so from the tower. There is also a large river behind it and though we rarely draft, we are equipped and very well trained in it if need be
        ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

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        • #5
          That's a great amount of GPM from those plugs. As far as the layout of your streets goes, I would look at this:

          Alpha=heavy traffic blvd. PD response, I assume, is automatic. Shut down the road if fire is confirmed on arrival. Make sure you have room to set the truck up if need be.Bravo= residential area (spans multiple blocks with backyards AND homes up to property lines). If any fire has the chance of hitting an exposure, get an engine or two in place as soon as it's possible and get some lines ready to cool down the buildings. Make sure that if the housing is that close, to evacuate the residents quickly and safetly.

          Charlie= a baseball field, really. Could be a good staging area if it goes to multiple alarms.

          Delta= entrance road, 12' high fence, then an expansive city park with a one way park road that meanders anywhere between 1-40' to property line.My question would be, is the fence wood, wire, concrete, or something else. If it's breachable(not sure if that's a word) do what you have to and get around it. We had an instance where we had a vacant multi-story fully involved and the closest working plug was behind a wire fence. We cut out what we needed and got our hook up.

          As far as the building types are concerned, knowing what you do about their construction is helpful. Unless you're at risk of immanent collapse though I would take the right steps in getting interior and hitting the seat of the fire. Get two plugs right off the bat and be aware of your roof loads, which you already are. Make sure everyone is ready to hump some hose and put them to work. Get your vents when needed and if you're cutting the roof, get them on and off quickly, or have them hook into the bucket if you have it and cut from there. Always be aware of the conditions on arrival and if it's getting bad quick, and no victims are inside, don't be afraid to go defensive and get an exterior knock down before going interior again. Just my .02 cents. I'm sure I missed a lot of info. Hope some others chime in.
          -Rob
          Greater love has no man than to lay his life down for a friend.

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          • #6
            Pictures or at least a link to google street view would be good.

            The armory is scary, you say ALL of these buildings are connected?

            Are the plugs on seperate mains?

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            • #7
              I'll take pictures shift after next, when I'm on swing in yet district. As for google, it's a very old shot with half the construction not even up yet.

              I can't answer for sure if they are all on separate mains or not but I will contact the water company and check our map Monday and report back.
              ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

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