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Hard from the yard

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  • Hard from the yard

    http://www.firehouse.com/news/121654...yard-effective

    I have a ton of respect for John Salka and his years of experience but he goes off the deep end here in failing to recognize the Governor's Island FDNY/UL/NIST studies in real buildings with real world furnishings.

    Further no one anywhere is saying that the transitional attack is a must do, or an always, tactic. It is another tactic that may save victims and keep firefighters safe. I am still amazed at the kick back against these studies and evolving tactics.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

  • #2
    I lost a lot of respect a couple of years ago when he made his initial comments on the transitional attack. he pretty much wrote it off as a tactic for the fire service in general at that time.

    Obviously now he might see the value in a rural department, but still will not conceded it's effectiveness in a urban or even suburban setting.

    Oh well. I have seen it work many times and I don't need John Salka to tell me how to operate.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

    Comment


    • #3
      We went over the HIHFTY/flowpath stuff pretty hard about a year and a half ago when LA first put their videos out. Our next day on shift after the flowpath training we had a fire in a vacant ranch-style home, with fire blowing out the windows on the A/D corner. Decided to put our transitional training to work. Pulled one line and hit the fire through a window on a D side while the other line was being stretched to the front door. Transitioned to interior attack and knocked out the rest rather quickly. We were in agreement afterwards that the tactic worked quite well, but that obviously it would be used only in certain situations. Just another tool in the toolbox. Not sure what Salka is so worried about.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
        I lost a lot of respect a couple of years ago when he made his initial comments on the transitional attack. he pretty much wrote it off as a tactic for the fire service in general at that time.

        Obviously now he might see the value in a rural department, but still will not conceded it's effectiveness in a urban or even suburban setting.

        Oh well. I have seen it work many times and I don't need John Salka to tell me how to operate.
        It's funny to me that he talks about manpower being an issue as a reason for not doing this tactic. What departments generally have more manpower? Urban or suburban/rural? I know the answer in my area. 1 or 2 guys can pull the transitional hit line while 2 or 3 others are stretched to the building entry point. Seems like a no brainer to me if you choose transitional attack for that fire as your strategy.
        Crazy, but that's how it goes
        Millions of people living as foes
        Maybe it's not too late
        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by EastKyFF
          This returns us to the "always" and "never" stuff. Clearly their experience shows that both men have a point that there are times when their course of action is best. But neither should claim that their approach is always best.

          I'm in a rural area. Most of our structure fires are mobile homes and smaller houses. If it's blowing out a door or a window, there's a good chance that we will choose to hit it from outside to knock it down, then make entry to finish it off. We've done it many times. But if we have smoke visible without flames, we are likely to leave the thing closed up (flow path!) and make entry.

          Buildings with a larger footprint will require a different approach. Upper-level fires will be different. What we all have to learn to do, officers and line personnel alike, is to assess conditions and decide which strategy we need to pull out of the toolbox.
          Always and never have little value most often in the fire service. But I will also add that the engrained this is how we have always done it is as dangerous or maybe more so today than ever in our history.
          Crazy, but that's how it goes
          Millions of people living as foes
          Maybe it's not too late
          To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by NCFF2014 View Post
            We went over the HIHFTY/flowpath stuff pretty hard about a year and a half ago when LA first put their videos out. Our next day on shift after the flowpath training we had a fire in a vacant ranch-style home, with fire blowing out the windows on the A/D corner. Decided to put our transitional training to work. Pulled one line and hit the fire through a window on a D side while the other line was being stretched to the front door. Transitioned to interior attack and knocked out the rest rather quickly. We were in agreement afterwards that the tactic worked quite well, but that obviously it would be used only in certain situations. Just another tool in the toolbox. Not sure what Salka is so worried about.
            Agreed. In the right circumstances it is a beneficial tool.
            Crazy, but that's how it goes
            Millions of people living as foes
            Maybe it's not too late
            To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

            Comment


            • #7
              Sometimes I can't help but wonder if some of these guys see something being used by rural volunteer fire departments and automatically dismiss it because of who is using it? As if since those guys are using it, it somehow makes it a lesser tactic that shouldn't be a part of any serious firefighter or fire department's toolbox?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by WVFD705 View Post
                Sometimes I can't help but wonder if some of these guys see something being used by rural volunteer fire departments and automatically dismiss it because of who is using it? As if since those guys are using it, it somehow makes it a lesser tactic that shouldn't be a part of any serious firefighter or fire department's toolbox?
                Possibly. The truth being an urban firefighter would be like a fish out of water in a rural water shuttle situation, but they never think of those kinds of things.
                Crazy, but that's how it goes
                Millions of people living as foes
                Maybe it's not too late
                To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                  Possibly. The truth being an urban firefighter would be like a fish out of water in a rural water shuttle situation, but they never think of those kinds of things.
                  The truth is in many cases an urban firefighter from a department that sees work wouldn't need to worry about a rural water shuttle. He'd show up with his 1,000 gallons of water, go to the seat of the fire, and put it out on tank water. Can't speak about what happens in your area, but in mine, the rural departments refuse to enter any structure unless there is a KNOWN life at risk. They call 10 departments, sit on the lawn, and shuttle water for hours.... I started out in the rural scene, and often got yelled at for being "too risky." I guess I just have high standards for what I feel is an adequate service for citizens.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I remember that article too Bob. "transitional attack is whack" I believe is what it was titled.

                    Seems there are too many varaibles to say "never" use it or "always" use it.

                    I wonder if that is what he is really getting at.
                    The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
                    There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
                    Captain Dave LeBlanc

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SFDCityFire View Post
                      The truth is in many cases an urban firefighter from a department that sees work wouldn't need to worry about a rural water shuttle. He'd show up with his 1,000 gallons of water, go to the seat of the fire, and put it out on tank water. Can't speak about what happens in your area, but in mine, the rural departments refuse to enter any structure unless there is a KNOWN life at risk. They call 10 departments, sit on the lawn, and shuttle water for hours.... I started out in the rural scene, and often got yelled at for being "too risky." I guess I just have high standards for what I feel is an adequate service for citizens.
                      And maybe that is your area. Here we go interior and do aggressive fire attack. But we also aren't so mired in machismo and tradition that every time a new idea comes out we dismiss it out of hand. Transitional attack works, how do I know? I have done my own tests at training fires. I also believe that places like the FDNY in conjunction with NIST and UL did realistic testing using realistic, actual building contents and they proved it works.

                      Further you comment is about putting every fire out with your 1000 gallons of water is about as realistic as a rural firefighter looking at the national publications and thinking that every fire in an urban area becomes a total gut or burn down with 6 aerial master streams washing the building down the street. Further, how many urban departments do you know that have 1000 gallon water tanks on their engines? The FDNY doesn't, Chicago doesn't, Boston doesn't, Detroit doesn't, LA city or County don't on their standard engines...so what's your point? Because if you don't have 1000 gallons on board then what happens?
                      Crazy, but that's how it goes
                      Millions of people living as foes
                      Maybe it's not too late
                      To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Was at a fire recently where rear 2nd floor was well involved after a delayed interior attack on it. Suggested ground ladders to windows and hit it from outside, then send attack up the stairs. "Thanks for your suggestion" and then watched the 2nd floor burn uncontrolled. Pulled interior crew out, sent them back in, pulled them back out....then aerial stream thru the roof.

                        It's still a hard sell to use that "transitional attack".
                        "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It seems as if Salka has forgotten the part of transitional attack where you actually transition. He spoke as if you "hit it hard from the yard" and then go home. Although from what I've seen from the doubters, it is common for them all to make the same assumptions in that regard.

                          FDNY hasn't embraced the transitional attack just yet. Maybe we never will. Sure it's on the books but it's not in common practice. We can do so much in so little time that it's not really a huge issue. Many buildings are built attached all the way down the block. This makes rear windows all but inaccessible, at least not in any suitable time frame. There are no side windows so that leaves front windows. If fire is in the rear it's a no go. If fire is above the third floor it's likely a no go. Certainly above the 4th floor it's a no go. A hundred years of aggressive interior attack via the interior stairs of multiple dwellings also makes it a no go. It is what it is.

                          It's more likely to become a tactic in the outlying areas of the city where detached and semi-attached private dwellings are found. Plus, response times are longer in these areas so units are more likely to find themselves operating alone for a period of time.

                          IMO, cellar fires may be the straw that breaks the camel's back in this regard. Descending the interior cellar stairs at modern day fires is really not fun at all. A quick shot through a small cellar window could change everything.

                          FDNY engines carry 500 gallons of water. It is not often an interior structural attack begins without hydrant water. This is not an issue because you can't throw a rock around here without hitting a good hydrant.

                          Lastly, what in God's name is a shuttle?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by captnjak View Post
                            It seems as if Salka has forgotten the part of transitional attack where you actually transition. He spoke as if you "hit it hard from the yard" and then go home. Although from what I've seen from the doubters, it is common for them all to make the same assumptions in that regard.

                            FDNY hasn't embraced the transitional attack just yet. Maybe we never will. Sure it's on the books but it's not in common practice. We can do so much in so little time that it's not really a huge issue. Many buildings are built attached all the way down the block. This makes rear windows all but inaccessible, at least not in any suitable time frame. There are no side windows so that leaves front windows. If fire is in the rear it's a no go. If fire is above the third floor it's likely a no go. Certainly above the 4th floor it's a no go. A hundred years of aggressive interior attack via the interior stairs of multiple dwellings also makes it a no go. It is what it is.

                            It's more likely to become a tactic in the outlying areas of the city where detached and semi-attached private dwellings are found. Plus, response times are longer in these areas so units are more likely to find themselves operating alone for a period of time.

                            IMO, cellar fires may be the straw that breaks the camel's back in this regard. Descending the interior cellar stairs at modern day fires is really not fun at all. A quick shot through a small cellar window could change everything.

                            FDNY engines carry 500 gallons of water. It is not often an interior structural attack begins without hydrant water. This is not an issue because you can't throw a rock around here without hitting a good hydrant.

                            Lastly, what in God's name is a shuttle?
                            A shuttle is tenders hauling water to either dump into folding tanks to be drafted from, or for nurse operations, where the engine pumps directly off from the tender.
                            Crazy, but that's how it goes
                            Millions of people living as foes
                            Maybe it's not too late
                            To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hahaha! Good one CaptnJack.

                              Fyred is all wrong. Once they retired the space shuttle they converted them too carry water.

                              Being heavy to begin with, they dont fly anymore, just drive down the streets and back roads. They are fast though.

                              I saw one come all the way from Florida with a load of water for us, average speed was about 1300 mph. Fast turn around times.

                              Only problem is because of all the friction from driving that fast the water is often boiling when they dump it in the tank.
                              The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
                              There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
                              Captain Dave LeBlanc

                              Comment

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