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  • Small City tactics

    We were first due at a 4 family, 2-1/2 story wood frame(40x80) house with porches on the first and second floor on the street side of the building. Upon arrival we found the entire front of the house on fire with the fire lapping into the attic. The on duty shift that day had 7 men responding with two trucks (1-75'quint and 1-104' platform). The first line pulled was a 2-1/2 to the front of the building to protect the exposures across the street, line two 1-3/4 went to the C exposure. After 12-15 minutes of John Wayne crap the rest of our troops arrived (off duty of course), my question is this how many departments operate this way and if so what different tactics would you have used. We only have 37 men in the department and operate out of 1 station.
    Last edited by Ltmdepas3280; 06-14-2003, 03:40 PM.
    IACOJ Membership 2002
    {15}

    Mike IAFF

    The beatings will continue until the morale improves

  • #2
    We have 5 on shift (4 minimum) We would have responded with a Rescue (Extrication) and 1 Pumper. A Code 1 would have been sent which re-called all off duty firefighters and reserve firefighters. We would have dropped a line and the "Rescue" would have hooked it up and charge it. Most likely would have pulled a 1.75" line and gone after it aggressively.

    It should be noted that we have 15 full time firefighters, 1 Chief and about 10 reserves. A Code 1 may have brought in 4 people at the max.

    It should also be noted that we have County Stations (one actually in the city) that are available but we do not use them, nor do they use us for mutual aid. They do respond an ALS Transport unit to our fires and if the crew is fire qualified (some are not) we can use them as firefighters.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    • #3
      Typical response would be 4 engines and a rescue, not because we have that many apparatus to spare but because the staffing levels are so low that it takes that many apparatus to get 10-15 firefighters on the scene. When the call goes out however it is automaticly sent out as a full alert (sometimes more like a fool alert though) which recalls all off duty personnel and volunteers. Hopefully when all is said and done there will be somewhere in the vicinity of 30-40 firefighters on scene.
      After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one

      Official Minister of Philosophy of the IACOJ

      IACOJ Probie Crusty of the year 2003

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      • #4
        Wednesday night we had a house fire alarm. Our career station is staffed by 3 District Firefighters (Captain, Engineer, Firefighter) and 2 City Paramedics, both are cross trained. We are about 15 minutes away from the next due engine, since we are in an isolated valley, a resort comminuty.
        Wednesday night we were called to a house fire. All 5 of us, in a Paramedic Rescue Ambulance, fire engine and 2000 pumper-tanker, went enroute. We arrived with smoke showing. We went to work. Knocked the fire, overhauled and cancelled next due companies within 10 minutes. It's just something that has to be done. Next night while I was working on a trade downtown, we run a house, with all kinds of man power and apparatus. It's a different world in the small areas. John Wayne isn't an understatment either!

        *Mark
        FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

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        • #5
          Do quints have deck guns? If they do, and it appeared that it was just the porches on fire, I would lay my own feeder and attempt to use the deck gun and knock down most of the fire. I would then move the 1.75 lines inside. We don't run with any quints and all of our engines have pre-piped deck guns.
          Northeast Fire Photos

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          • #6
            No they do not have deck guns and after the bulk of the fire was knocked down we took the 1-3/4 line to the attic and then streched another 1-3/4 to the 2nd floor. It's not pretty but we held the fire in check until the troops got there. In total we streched 3 lines before the off duty men got on scene.
            IACOJ Membership 2002
            {15}

            Mike IAFF

            The beatings will continue until the morale improves

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            • #7
              Initially protecting the exposures was the right move. Especially considering your department only has 7 on-duty firefighters on two apparatus. Considering the two-in two-out rule and the new NFPA 1710 / 1720 standards, your department should really be trying to push for an additional engine or at least consider automatic mutual aid from a near by department.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ltmdepas3280
                No they do not have deck guns .
                No,there are quints with deck guns. For intance St. Louis has a prepiped deck gun on the right side above the pump panel that can be used with out moveing the ladder on all there new 75' quints.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dfdex1
                  No,there are quints with deck guns. For intance St. Louis has a prepiped deck gun on the right side above the pump panel that can be used with out moveing the ladder on all there new 75' quints.
                  He's talking about his own Quint, not Quints in general.

                  *Mark
                  FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

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                  • #10
                    We operate out of my station a 3 man truck(that is if we did not have a EMS call taking 2 of the guys). On a typical fire we have the 3 of us on scene driver/engineer for the day runs up the pump and the other 2 pack up and make the attack with a 1.75". We have auto mutual from 2 depts; one with a 2000gal tanker and 2 men, and the city is sending a 4 man engine and a 2 man rescue along with St 1 sending 2 2 man tankers and recall of all offduty and volunteers. We just attack aggressivly but caution, if it looks crappy we will hold off till we get more people.

                    I have been on scene by myself w/ a reported person still inside. You just have to do what has to be done.
                    AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

                    IAFF Local 3900

                    IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CrossBro1
                      Initially protecting the exposures was the right move. Especially considering your department only has 7 on-duty firefighters on two apparatus. Considering the two-in two-out rule and the new NFPA 1710 / 1720 standards, your department should really be trying to push for an additional engine or at least consider automatic mutual aid from a near by department.
                      They probably need more personnel on-duty.

                      The extra engine/automatic aid is irrelevent to the two-in two-out rule because they are arriving with 7, which is enough to satisfy that rule. Is 7 optimal to fight a fire with? NO.

                      As far as the NFPA 1710 standard goes. They are only 1 person short in on-duty staffing since they run 2 apparatus and it recommends 4 per unit as a minimum. Depending on the average response of their off-duty people, they probably meet the standard's recommended total number of firefighters. They might be a few minutes short of the time goal, but that may still be quicker than the mutual aid unit.

                      My department operates with similiar staffing and we'd be better off with 2 more guys per shift to make 8 total on our engine & quint rather than adding another under staffed (per 1710) on-duty engine or mutual aid engine. We can staff our reserve engine just as fast as bringing in one of the volunteer mutual aid companies most of the time.
                      Last edited by mstclair190; 06-15-2003, 03:03 PM.
                      Mark
                      Firefighter / Paramedic
                      IAFF Local 10

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                      • #12
                        Depending on the time of day we would have

                        3 engines, 1 rescue, 1 tower, and an ambulance.

                        We would also have about 40 people. In the evening of course.


                        In the daytime we would have at lest 2 engines and about 10 people.


                        I was just wondering why would they use a 2.5 to protect the exposure across the street and an 1 3/4 for the one next door?

                        Or did I read something wrong
                        Proud to be IACOJ Illinois Chapter--Deemed "Crustworthy" Jan, 2003

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                        • #13
                          With 7 men we used the big line on the bulk of the fire and then the next pre-connect was a 1.75. After knocking down the main body of fire we took the 1.75 line in the building to the attic and cut it off there. Hope that helps with the picture.
                          IACOJ Membership 2002
                          {15}

                          Mike IAFF

                          The beatings will continue until the morale improves

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                          • #14
                            This thread brings up some interesting points. There are many smaller, full time departments that are well under-staffed in this country. It's all fine and good to talk about hiring more guys, and waving 1710 in the city managers face, or setting up AMA agreements, but those of us on smaller departments have tried all of these things, and have come back empty-handed. The city's broke, and can't afford more firefighters. The city manager doesn't care what 1710 says. And the mutual aid departments are short staffed too, and are not always available.

                            So what do you do?

                            We have five people on duty at a time staffing one engine and one squad (ALS transporting unit). Six square miles, 30,000 residents, and about 2100 runs a year. Recently, we have found that more and more often, mutual aid is not available (which means we have to call someone else 20 minutes away).

                            Here's how we work at house fires: One guy on the pump panel, one IC who also performs horizontal ventilation, two guys on the line, and one guy setting up the PPE, hooking the hydrant, and backing up the two interior firefighters.

                            Not ideal, I know, but what else can we do?

                            Out of curiosity, how would you older guys run a fire in a 2000 square foot home with just five guys?

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                            • #15
                              Ferg, I raise my hand to your question in the quasi-affirmative. We are 22 sq miles, 17,000 people and 2 stations manned by 7 a shift running more then 3200 calls a year. Our Downtown station has 1 officer and 4 ff manning an engine, a ladder and an ambulance. Our Beach station has a 2 person engine. A few major bodies of water really chop our community road system up and the Beach engine has a 10-15 minute run to downtown or a similar wait for help from the DT units. We do an AMA with the next town but they are still 5-10 out with a 2 or 3 man engine. Depending on life hazards all off us on duty may be tied up into stretching the first line between the fire and the victims to effect rescues or just plaining hitting the fire keeping it in check/knocked down until help comes.Off duty brothers and sisters can get the quint, hose wagons or spare ambulances on after a recall in sometimes less then 5 minutes but help is still thin early on.

                              In short, we do the best we can with what we have and we make our safety paramount.
                              Proud to be an American, Union Firefighter!

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